Red Post Collection: New Minion VFX, Updates fo S3 Ranked Rewards, CertainlyT on Thresh / Mundo, Xelnath Tidbits

Posted on at 1:08 AM by Moobeat
Looking to kill some time while you wait for patch 3.11 to be deployed? Look no further than this red collection - featuring posts concerning updates to the VFX of caster minions, some changes to the S3 ranked rewards, CertainlyT chatting about Thresh and briefly mentioning Mundo in S4, and Xelnath with an grab bag posts from his late night forum thread.
Continue reading for more information!

New Minion Visual Effects
Earlier today, Nome announced some updates - which will soon hit the PBE - to minion's visual effects.
"Hey guys,

As part of our ongoing effort to increase gameplay clarity, we've decided to revisit minion visual effects. Here are some of the problems we've identified with what you currently see on the live servers:
  • Ranged missiles fail the "screenshot test" for information conveyance. Because the missiles are round, directionality cannot be inferred.
  • Hit effects are too high in the "loudness" hierarchy. Champion particles should take much higher precedence!
  • Visual noise is excessive. There are a lot of bright flashes that simply aren't necessary.
  • The low Effects Quality setting made them look pretty bad!
With these issues in mind, we've made several revisions to minion VFX, which should come to the PBE in the (very) near future.
  • Ranged missiles now convey directionality.
  • Overall particle brightness and saturation are reduced.
  • Decreased amount of bright flashing.
We've taken great care to preserve the last-hitting experience, though it may take a game or two to adjust to the new visuals. Be sure to take a look and give feedback!"
As you can see, the blasts now show which direction they are heading.
He continued, noting that nothing gameplay wise has changed:
"No gameplay mechanics are affected. See 'em in motion first to see if they look weird :)"

S3 Ranked Rewards Update
In response to the community's concern about the recently announced S3 ranked rewards, Riot Socrates has posted an update to Ranked borders and changed the requirements on the ranked team rewards.
"Hey all, 
A couple updates to Season 3 Rewards to share: 
1. Ranked Borders 
Many of you have raised some concerns over our announced plan to show your highest earned border across all queues types. I'll explain a little bit about our original reasoning, but first, some news: we'll be rolling back this change in a subsequent patch - so loading screen borders will reflect the highest tier you've achieved in the ranked queue you're currently playing. 
This change was already implemented and is going to be in the patch for 3.11 (so you will see it applied to Season 2 rewards), but we'll be reversing the change in the following patch. In non-ranked queues, your rewards will be displayed based on the same rules as the start of season 3. 
Why were we originally doing it? One of our goals is to improve the ranked team experience and drive more participation in ranked teams - after all, League is a competitive team game. We'll talk more about this in Season 4, but the idea to make loading screen borders valid across all queues was driven by this notion. In the case of cross-queue login screen borders, we viewed this as an incentive for players to form ranked teams. Players who participated in ranked teams would get to display their rewards everywhere. 
The problem many of you have highlighted is that this change appears to incentivize players to sell ranked teams or otherwise abuse the system to illegitimately earn rewards. While our research indicates this actually hasn't become a common occurrence in the wake of our announcement, our priority is to make sure that the rewards you've worked so hard to earn over the course of Season 3 aren't tarnished by cheaters, even if it's rare. 
We're being extra vigilant in tracking these cases and we're actively banning abusers for win trading and slot selling. Our tracking methods are also not limited to just high ranked teams. If we discover that someone has been selling ranked rewards (or is abusing the system), we will ban the account for two weeks, strip it of any previous season rewards (summoner icons, Victorious skins, etc) and we will make sure both the seller and the purchaser are completely ineligible for any reward associated with Season 3.

2. Ranked Team Rewards
Another great piece of feedback we've heard from you is that the 30% of total games requirement for players to earn Ranked Team rewards was a little confusing. We agree - it created too many scenarios where players might lose out on rewards they expected to earn, and it made the situation too complex. 
Instead, you'll simply need to have 10 wins with your ranked team in order to earn rewards. A notification icon will appear above your 3s or 5s tier badge in your profile page in the next few weeks to inform you if you are below 10 wins on a ranked team. 
We're going to be closely monitoring teams with big roster swaps and/or big drops in matchmaking rating, and we'll investigate any signs of abuse. In clear cases of abuse, we will (as above) ban the accounts for two weeks, strip it of any previous season rewards (summoner icons, Victorious skins, etc) and we'll make sure involved parties are ineligible for any reward associated with Season 3. 
We're genuinely grateful for your feedback - we're listening closely as we work towards Season 4 and beyond."

CertainlyT talks Thresh bits and Mundo in S4
CertainlyT had a few comments about Thresh's power level , mentioning his intent to shift some of his power from laning phase to mid and late game in the near future.
"I feel you: Thresh is a powerful champion and playing against him can be frustrating. There's nothing wrong with that; in fact all champions should feel strong when well played. When I play Thresh I feel more powerful than I actually am. This to is a good thing. The worst of all worlds is the champion that is overpowered but feels weak.

With that being said, rather than nerf him further, I'm looking to shift some of Thresh's power from the laning phase to the mid and late game in upcoming patches."

In addition to spell shields blocking Death sentence properly in 3.11, he also noted that you can now cleanse Death Sentence as well.
"You can now Cleanse the Death Sentence as well. You'll have 0.5 seconds to do so before he can reactivate the Q (this portion didn't make the patch notes... oops!). It's not something you'll always have available, just an option. The primary counterplay is of course not getting hit."

At the end of one of the Thresh threads, he also mentioned working to improve Mundo in S4.
"Yes. Hopefully for Season 4. He's a tough problem because he needs more than just numbers tuning."

Xelnath Grab Bag
Xelnath spent a few hours last night entertaining any reasonable question summoner's wanted to ask him. Below is a small collection of the more revealing answers:

When questioned about fixing Olaf and if the rework is actually going to happen - as it's already been pulled from PBE testing, he replied:
"Yeah, he's been neglected for too long. Now we're working on him. Not much more we can do than that. He's a dangerous champion because he gains SO much power at low health. Its a window of power that's hard to percieve until you're even in the high platinum range. I can't even tell. "

As for Heimerdinger's rework, he commented:
"Yeah, Xypherous got the core kit hashed out. He was really strong. Now we have some iterative work going into try and make fighting turrets feel less like getting stabbed in the eyeball with a toothpick."

When asked about the possibility of Leona being able to trigger her own passive, he noted:
"This won't happen, because it would be ridiculously strong in the jungle and that's not the kind of value we want Leona to bring. She provides a unique support playstyle that would be much missed."

As for Sivir getting gameplay updates in addition to her visual update, he commented:
"Statikk did a few minor touchups. Nothing huge though."

When asked how his Yorick rework was coming along, he noted:
"Yeah, sorry, he's basically on ice right now while we sort out Season 4. Turns out there was a lot of work that had to be handled, so I haven't done any iteration since the first pass. I liked the idea, but there was a lot of work remaining to be done "

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