This late night red post collection features quite an assortment of tidbits, including a few notes on the potential for S4 summoner spell changes, a note on PBE content availability, gypsylord discussing what makes Vi so awesome, Meddler demonstrating the problem with Syndra being able to throw a Teemo shroom, Xelnath sharing his general thoughts on a few things, and more!
Summoner Spell Changes in S4?In response to a summoner asking for a preview of potential S4 changes for summoner spells, Meddler cautioned:
"Changes to Summoner Spells are on our list of possibilities for Season 4. Whether we end up making any changes though depends on how our internal testing goes and how other S4 initiatives that are also competing for testing time turn out."
On the community platform, Xelnath also responded to a question about summoner spells - noting some options currently being toyed with might render the seldom used Clairvoyance obsolete.
"We're looking at giving everyone the option between: A wriggles ward, a mini-CV and a one-shot oracles peek effect.
When this happens, Clairvoyance may be obsolete."
Why isn't everything unlocked on the PBE?Wilwariniel responded to a request that rare skins, such as Team Spirit Anivia or PAX Twisted Fate, be enabled on the PBE by reminding would-be testers that the PBE is not a place to simply play with skins you can't obtain normally.
"When we believe something needs coverage and attention, we will unlock it on the PBE. The PBE is not the place to play skins you can't get on Live."
What makes Vi awesome and exciting?Popping into a thread discussing how awesome Vi is, gypsylord shared his enthusiasm for her and questioned summoners on what it was exactly they like about Vi!
"Designer of Vi here. Super psyched to hear you're enjoying playing her. If you don't mind me asking, what exactly is it about Vi that you find so exciting? Always looking to better understand why players pick my champ so that I might improve her in the future as well as any other champs I end up working on"
Xelnath also shared his thoughts on Vi, saying:
"The thing I love most about Vi is how utterly coherent she is as a character. Her art, audio, abilities and overall design converge to sell the concept of a girl who punches through everything.
I wasn't sold on her W during development, but in the end, the combination of simple skills and timing opened up by the W worked really well for me. Also, it feels like I can actually fight her - unless I'm an immobile AP carry (Anivia, Orianna, Xerath all get hard countered by her).
Frankly, she has one theme, she sells it well and I totally want to meet the singer of her theme song and give her a high-five for being a badass."
Following up, gypsylord shared some of the general vibes he was feeling from the thread and gave some insight into his thoughts whil designing Vi.
"Lots of great stuff in here. Not going to respond individually but know that I have read all your posts and really appreciate the feedback, be it positive or negative. Going to absorb all of it and relay key takeaways to the team.
I'm getting two major things people "like about Vi" that are super valuable to think about:
1. Thematic cohesion
Thematic cohesion refers to the intersection of a character's Gameplay, Lore, and Visuals. A character with strong thematic cohesion will take these three attributes and blend them together, each one playing off of the other to create a complete package or "experience" if you will. It's all about delivering on the character's fantasy from every possible angle. Seems like you guys are really picking up on that interplay with Vi. Goes to show how much our characters rely on things other than pure gameplay mechanics to truly shine and become memorable. Vi's looks and sounds are all about aggressive punkrock punching. What does she do in game? She punches champions. What does she do in her lore? She punches crooks and gives Caitlyn a hard time. I remember waaaaay back when I started working on Vi her first kit had lame stuff on it like "throw a champion" and "put up a spell shield to protect yourself." Ugh, those were so bad. Didn't deliver on the punching fanatasy at all. Vi's kit really came together when I had an epiphany and was all like, "If I can't describe the skill as "_____ Punch" then I can't put it on the kit."
Q: Falcon Punch
W: Shredder Punch
E: Explosive Punch
R: Dunk Punch
Things got much better after that.
Combos/Flow gets more into game mechanics. The first thing you have to do is provide the player with 2 or more abilities that have some amount of synergy with each other. That's the combo. The second step is to make sure that the combo works in a way that feels good to the player. That's the flow. "Feels good" can mean a lot of different things. Maybe the combo has big rewards when pulled off (Varus using spells to proc W stacks). Maybe the combo is difficult to execute but feels great when done right (Lee Sin's Q, ward, E, R combo that lets him jump behind enemies and knock them into his team). Maybe the combo simply makes the player feel clever (Caitlyn E, Q buffering). A take away here is that combos with good flow provide focal points around which a champion can be built and create an engine for high moments that players can latch on to and get better at game after game.
For Vi, her combos and flow have always been around focusing on "What broken stuff can Vault Breaker do?" It's an in, it's an out, it applies denting blows, it gets you in range to R guys, it's a great follow up to R, it's crazy strong with flash, it vacuums creeps so E can autoclear them, it stuns just long enough to set up the Q,AA,E triple hit that procs W, it activates Blast Shield. Everything on Vi's kit has been positioned to either combo into Q or combo out of it, which (hopefully) allows Vi players to constantly learn new use cases for the spell as well as find new and interesting ways to test the character's limits.
Anyway I'm kind of rambling at this point. Again, thanks for the feedback folks. Stuff like this is really informative for a newbie designer such as myself. The rambling helps me situate in my head what exactly it is that I need to deliver on going into the future. If I can better understand why you guys like the things you like it will help me to continuously up my game when it comes to champ design which will hopefully result in continuously improving champion releases.
Also want to reiterate that I'm absorbing the negative feedback. The R can be very frustrating. I have my regrets for sure. Also looking at the Q sometimes deciding to not go over walls. I think that's an update cycle problem...
Soooooo yeah. Thanks a ton for playing Vi guys. :D Really brightens my day to see people enjoying someone I put so much of my time into. Hopefully you'll like #116 just as much."
Why Syndra can't throw Teemo's mushroomsResponding to a summoner's question on whether or not Syndra could throw Teemo's shrooms , Meddler commented that they tested Syndra being able to pick up a wider variety of objects but that it lead to some disastrous results:
"She cannot. Basically if you can't smite it you can't grab/throw it.and
We did try playing around with letting her grab a wider variety of things at one point, turns out pulling Teemo Shrooms into yourself/your team isn't a particularly useful feature though..."
"Alas, the shrooms detonated upon being pulled to Syndra, leaving you without Teemo bashing ammo. Such a travesty seemed unacceptable."
Xelnath grab bag - Lore, Balance, and RankedIn response to a summoner's well thought-out commentary on League of Legends and some areas it could improve in, Xelnath sat down to share his thoughts on a few of League's mucky areas - including Lore, Balance, and more.
This was a well-written and thought-out post, so I wanted to take a few moments to reply. I'm really happy you have had the chance to enjoy the wonderful feeling of reconnecting with lost friends. You're right - the community itself is the living, breathing entity that has been created over the last three years - the game is just one reflection of this point.
I want to acknowledge head-on that we know how bad an experience it can be. I get angry and rage more than my share when I feel like my allies aren't cooperating or don't have the same objective as me. Few things can throw me off more than a Shen who refuses to show up to a team fight or a Caitlyn who insists on facechecking Baron - or even the person who just wants to play their favorite champ, but is required to play ward-bot Janna.
Anyways, let's jump to your bullet point:
You've said it yourself, we have 116 characters and suffering from the Marvel effect. A lot of them were created in a time where we didn't think about the implications of their story upon the world of Runeterra. Once upon a time, Runeterra was just going to be a point of convergence for many worlds, each with their own story, like Morgana/Kayle. However, as we've matured, we've realized the deeply disconnected issues trying to control a "metaverse" can bring. So we are trying to reframe our understanding of Runeterra as a single, coherent world.
This means a lot of work you guys haven't had the chance to appreciate yet. It's not a simple problem, but I feel like our new characters have a richer place in the universe now. I would love to see our stories move forward - but first we have to understand who they are.
League is in my opinion one of the best balanced games I've ever played or worked on. Every character is still dramatically different, but the win rates fluctuate around the 45-55% win rate, with rare exception.
Right now, we're looking into Support and Jungler incomes in an attempt to raise the quality of experience for that entire segment of the player base. I hope that will help soon.
I lost 6 games today. One of those was probably my fault. The rest were everyone else messing up.
... does that sound familiar? Yeah, even I believe it sometimes. It's hard to recognize that you at your best is not the same as your skill at playing with current team you have. This is strongly why I believe that many people play hard metas - watching OMG today reminded me that even exotic team comps can work at extremely high levels of play.
However, we *aren't* considering our skill with that comp when we join a match - just our own self-perception in a specific set of situations. We know for a fact that people dramatically over-estimate their own skill - the amount of overestimation only compresses as they get better.
Sadly, the reality is that AFKs, rage explosion and DCs affect everyone. Everyone faces these problems - the system is fair because the reality of 1000 games is that everyone does get "that" match. I know statistics aren't reassuring... and they don't help you feel better about that bad game.
I'm not sure what your point was here. You feel last hitting is too important?
Thank you. The Player Behaviour team has done a lot. I don't think any company has ever tried to help this problem before. I'm excited to see what they do next.
A.k.a. Xelnath, Wizardlock of the 7th Order of Obsidian Darkfire Witchlords"