[ Updated ] Red Post Collection: Morello on Preseason Support, Team Builder back on PBE, Post Incident Messaging for EU, Update on OCE server skin, and more!

Posted on at 6:26 PM by Moobeat
[Update]: Added in a ton of preseason support related discussion from Morello.

Itching for something to do while we wait for patch 3.14 to get here? Why not brush up on League news with this red post collection, featuring an update on Team Builders temporary return to the PBE for testing, Jatt with a reminder on some of the upcoming support changes, a note on the new community site vs the "old forums", a post incident message on the EU server problems from a few days ago, and an update on the MIA OCE server skin.
Continue reading for more information!

Recent News

Don't forget to check out the other, recent news posts!

[ Update ] Morello on Preseason Support Changes

With 3.14 on the way, Morello has posted on the forums in an attempt to clear the air on some of the support balance changes included in the patch.
"Let me speak to this a little; 
In the initial reveal, we were talking about the new gold flow for supports - more gold, items and general "agency" being something long overdue for Support characters (in this context, Soraka, Sona, Lulu, Taric, Janna and Nami) who have been overworked and underfed despite actual impact or performance. 
We now have a world of characters who have been only balanced to have no gold now having quite a bit of gold! This comes with a few truths: 
1) The old support balance base lines no longer are balanced and valid, anymore than if we increased Marksmen, Fighter or Mage gold by the same amount would be.

2) Supports have been previously defined as "characters who function well with no gold." Now that's no longer the case, overtuned/undertuned mages (if we'd not made changes) is a bad identity. By introducing support scaling, supports become MORE supportive through gold - either through acquisition of active items or AP scaling on utility. This is all done specifically to not have AP Mages and Supports fight each other in a raw numbers perspective, and instead provide supports with scaling that fits their role of helping people and working with their team. 
3) Looking at these changes, seeing "NERFS" as the takeaway is...well, I don't know how to put it....insane. One of the patch notes could be "increased income by 3000-6000 gold per game". We actually were very conservative on these champion changes in an effort to protect supports from obsoletion (and will react aggressively if that becomes the case in practice). 
A glance at the patch notes can read like a nerf, if you ignore the context or associated changes. AP Mids may have additional viability bottom lane, though our changes are specifically to bulwark against that.

Support needed satisfaction, a more fleshed-out identity of "helper," and a place in the game that's real and valid. That's the entire premise of the preseason support changes.

EDIT: Unreasonable rage downvotes, or real thing that you guys disagree with?"
When criticized for the the "Black Cleaver OP" fiasco from early S3, he replied:
"Sure - it's true this stuff is pretty complex and difficult. Does the short-term Black Cleaver issue (that we then fixed) mean we shouldn't have made the changes at all? That doesn't seem like a good trade-off to me.

If the worries are true, then we'll address it to make sure it's not permanent."
When asked why Janna and Lulu received nerfs but nothing to Annie's ( who has recently emeraged as a popular support pick ) AP ratios, he responded:
"When Lulu and Janna could lane and get gold she pushed Annie out of mid lane - these characters have gone insane with normal gold multiple times when allowed to solo lane. Now we COULD see a world where one of these characters can solo and we won't have to gut it - one definite advantage.

These characters should be about SUPPORT. If they're about damage, they're not support at all - they're mages."
As for an overall view on the changes and traditional supports, he commented:
"The support changes (Leona as an exception and experiment) are here to ensure core helpers are scaling in a new way. Tanks and Fighters (Thresh is a Fighter/Support hybird, really) have understood scaling frameworks that are well-understood - supports are the only characters who have never had a way to scale that made sense for them, was cohesive with their place in the game, and balancable."
Commenting on the communities reaction to these preseason changes, he noted:
"You guys are reacting to what is a temporal, possible problem in a time when those will be the case; preseason. There's a specific reason we wait until between Ranked Seasons to do this stuff - to make sure the details can be managed before it's "for keeps." The direction is theory-craftable, but details really aren't."
He continued:
"If this is the problem, we can increase support utility ratios - and if that is really not good, we will. It's a real risk, but the difference is this is a temporal issue, just like League of X was in preseason last year. That's the time to do this stuff, get the data/feedback, and get it in tuning for 2014. If I seem like I'm not worried, it's because the path forward is clear in any case - the whole preseason plan is predicated on tuning being imperfect and us being on-deck to fix it."

When asked what's so wrong with traditional supports ( such as Soraka, Taric, Sona, Nami, Leona, and Lulu ) having high AP ratios and doing damage, he replied:
"They do deal some. :P Not a ton because they shield, heal, buff and speed up allies. Sometimes they have tank-level CC. 
I need to leave for now. Bottom line on this stuff;
1) Supports can do some damage; supports are not primary damage-dealers.
2) If the tuning is off and AP mids blow away support characters, we'll adjust aggressively throughout preseason.
3) Having not had gold in 3 years is not a counter-argument for why this class can not have damage nerfs when it should be focused on utility, which is how we will likely continue to scale them (CD's, duration, intensity, impact)."
As for why Riot didn't just add the utility scaling and leave the AP ratios alone until more testing could be done, he commented:
"We did this originally and it was crazyland. These nerfs after the best stab after 3 months of internal testing."
When asked about scaling CC times up with AP, Morello commented:
"Don't want to scale CC with AP at all. Might be tough for a couple characters (though they likely just scale better on HP/CDR)."

[ Morello is still responding to this discussion, wiill continue to update with new posts ]

Team Builder Back Up for Testing 11/20 and 11/21

Team Builder, an upcoming, alternative way to queue for normal matches, is temporarily back on the PBE for testing!

Here's Lyte with more details:
Team Builder is coming to the PBE today! From 1 – 5pm PST over the next 2 days (Nov. 20th to the 21st), select PBE testers will again be able to try out this new feature and give us invaluable feedback on its design and functionality. 
We got a lot of great feedback on Team Builder in the first PBE test, and we’ve been hard at work incorporating some of your feedback. Team Builder is a complete re-design of Champion Select, which means it’s extremely complicated and there are a lot of changes. One of our goals is to keep collaborating with players on this feature, and collect feedback throughout the development process. 
What does this mean for players?
As players, you’ll be able to help us test the feature extremely early in the process, and work directly with developers to evolve the feature over time. 
PBE is a smaller server, so queue times will be longer, and gameplay experiences will not represent a Live server. Matches might be very unbalanced as players of all skill levels will appear in the same match, but our focus is on testing the feature and collecting your feedback. 
The following additions have been made for this PBE test:
  • Skin Selection now works, but skin preferences won’t be saved from game-to-game
  • All Role Selections are now available
  • Limited Match Found Ceremony (you’ll hear a gong!)
The following bugs have been fixed for this PBE test:
  • Summoner Spell selections are now saved
  • Summoner Icons will now show up in the loading screen
  • Team Builder games will now be available for Spectator Mode
  • Reduced the volume of sound effects
  • Added missing buttons in the Champion Select window
The following features are still turned off or incomplete for this PBE test:
  • Friend Invites from Friends List
  • Dynamic Matchmaking Adjustments
  • Estimated Wait Times
  • Anti-Abuse System
How do I get involved and help make Team Builder awesome? 
Again, we'll be introducing VonBurgermeister who will be using this thread to collect player feedback and answer questions about this PBE test. Check out his response to this thread about where we’d like you to focus your testing for this round. 
RiotDoctahWayne has a thread in the Bugs Forum that will be collecting information on bugs you’ve found in Team Builder. 
To participate in future beta testing for League of Legends, apply for beta access here.
VonBurgermeister also posted, highlighting a few areas players should focus on while testing:
"Hello again, PBE Community! 
VonBurgermeister, here, User Experience Designer at Riot. Your feedback during our initial PBE testing of Team Builder was incredible (to say the least) and we're all very excited to be back. I'm anxious to resume our conversation and to follow-up. 
Our focus areas this time:
  • Were any of the system messages in the chat log confusing?
  • Could you tell when a match has been made?
  • If you saw any error messages, did they clearly explain what happened?
  • What have your experiences with other players been like in Team Builder so far?
  • How do the lengths of the timers feel?
  • Anything else you're experiencing you'd like to mention 
Have a great time, Summoners, and let the feedback begin!"

Riot DoctahWayne also submitted a post encouraging players to submit their bug team builder bug reports!
"Hello Summoners! 
Found a bug while testing out Team Builder? You’ve come to the right place! We’re going to be collecting and listing all bugs with Team Builder in this thread. Please do the following to help us best triage your report: 
• Before posting, please read the list of known bugs to see if your bug appears on the list.
• When you experienced the bug, were you a Captain or a Solo?
• List whatever steps are necessary to reproduce the bug.
• The Last “repro step” should be the buggy behavior that you observed.
The following features are still turned off or incomplete for this PBE test:
• Friend Invites from Friends List
• Dynamic Matchmaking Adjustments
• Estimated Wait Times 
Skin selection in particular has several known bugs associated with it. Please read the list of known bugs before posting! 
Thank you for your support!"
Within this post, he also shared a list of KNOWN bugs:
"Known Bugs:
  1. If you buy a skin while in the Team Builder flow, you will not be able to play the skin unless you quit Team Builder and rejoin the queue.
  2. Captains and Buddies are not able to change their skin once the Captain begins searching for Solos.
  3. Solos are not able to change their skin after they start searching for a group.
  4. Solos can attempt to change their champion and skin after joining a group, but these changes will not be shown to the group, and will not take effect in game.
  5. After buying a skin from the champion details page while in Team Builder, an INVALID_SKIN error will pop up upon returning to the skin selector.
  6. As a buddy attempting to change champion once the Captain has started searching for Solos will give an INVALID_STATE error.
  7. When choosing runes runes in champ select, the rune page stats are cut off at the bottom of the screen - RedBox"
In response to a post about not being able to swap skins after joining a group, DoctahWayne replied:
"Currently it is impossible to change your skin after you join a group as a solo, or after you start searching for Solos as a Captain. We'll be changing this in the future so that you can continue changing your skin at least up till your team is entered into matchmaking. Thanks for the report!"

Jatt on 3.14 Support Changes

Jatt dropped off a few comments regarding the upcoming support changes, particularly to summoner upset that Sona has had her AP ratios reduced so heavily.
"I think you guys are missing the intent of the support changes, where you see AP ratio reductions and you immediately think the champion is nerfed. Take Sona for example, AP ratio reductions on her Q, and also a big hit to her Ult taking it from 0.8 to 0.5 
We need to get something clear: AP is not the only way to scale a champion with gold Sona is not a mage, she is a support. She doesn't need a 0.8 AP ratio on her ultimate to be effective. 
But Jatt, what am I going to do with this gold if I can't scale Sona with AP like a mage?- Sona scales remarkably well with CDR and mana regen. The base values on her abilities are high, and the aura's she provides have ridiculous gold value. Additionally, if you can cycle your spells faster you get substantially more power chords which can make you a beast in teamfights. Also, since you're building CDR you may as well make yourself a little bit tanky. This way when a DFG Ahri comes at you, you might actually have a chance of living for more than .5 seconds.

I'm not saying that support Annie and support Zyra or support Lux who scale like traditional mages aren't going to be effective bot lane, I'm saying that traditional supports have multiple ways of scaling that don't have to include ability power and they are equally as strong. It's going to be a trade-off. 
Support Annie and Support Fiddle are going to be better than before. They have AP ratios, they have more gold, they're going to do more damage. Sona and Soraka also have more gold. They get to be tankier, they get to have more CDR, and they get to have a more powerful impact thanks to their increased team utility.

I encourage you all to keep an open mind."
He continued:
"Yeah I can sympathize with your concern. I know a lot of supports were very good in the past at getting gold by sneaking farm and having lower ward control in the early game. I think with the amount of changes done to supports this pre-season getting the tuning 100% right on the first pass is a bit of a dream. If I had to guess there's going to be many tweaks in the future to the way supports are tuned to scale utility, but the direction will most likely remain the same. That's what the preseason is for after all." 

The "Old Forums" and Community Beta

In response to a summoner asking when the old forums will be deleted and replaced with the community beta sites, Krylhos noted:
"To be clear, the old forums will not be "deleted". 
We want the adoption/migration to be something that players want to do."
When asked when the Community site will come out of beta, he responded:
"We have a list of things we want finished before we take the beta tag off, ranging from huge improvements to moderation workflow and organic community growth to different views for comments and a bit of mobile support. The list is hugely impacted by player feedback." 

Post Incident Messaging: November 16-17th EU Problems

Here's Riot TMX with a follow up on the problems the EU servers faced back on November 16th and 17th:

Rincewind explained some details of our yesterday's problem (read here), but we still owe you an update on the live service issues that occurred over the weekend. Below you will find a detailed explanation from Ron Williams, our VP of Operations:

We have had a few issues over the weekend that I thought could use some extra explanation: 
Saturday evening, November 16, our Internet connections into our Frankfurt data center experienced significant issues that resulted in reducing the amount of bandwidth available to player traffic. Frankfurt currently supports our EUW and EUN game servers along with our Russia and Turkey platforms plus their game servers. So this network issue resulted in a wide spread problem for lots of players for several hours Saturday into the early hours of Sunday. 
We have been working through the weekend to bring additional Internet capacity online in Frankfurt and will continue to add more over the next several days. We could create some connectivity issues while we are doing this work but we will have messaging up to players in the game client when we think there could be an unplanned outage. We might also take a 1 or 2 planned down times in the early morning hours this week to make some bigger changes to our Frankfurt Internet connections. 
The Internet changes underway in Frankfurt are a significant rework of the various Internet providers and telecoms we partner with for Internet access. We believe it should result in improved connections for many players and should reduce lag certain players may experience due to the Internet connection between Riot's servers and their home. It may take a few extra days to adjust the traffic balance of some of the new Internet providers we are bringing into Frankfurt which could result in reconnects or lag for some players while these adjustments are made. Again we will communicate through the game client when we are tweaking various network connections.

Even though we are earnestly working to switch EUW and EUN to brand new platform and game servers located in our new Amsterdam data center soon (still on track for early 2014) we are adding, this month, over 100Gbps of Internet bandwidth to our Frankfurt data center to ensure a smooth Internet highway for players until we make the switch to Amsterdam. 
Unrelated to the above, we had a problem Sunday evening, November 17. We experienced an issue with the EUW login service that prevented players from using the various platform services like login, game starts, etc. 
This issue was resolved and we will be watching the systems involved closely to make sure any new problems are addressed quickly. 
We are sorry for the poor experience this weekend. We are committed to improving player experience in EU. Before Christmas I will post an update on our Amsterdam build-out. We have some great stuff on the way. 
Ron Williams
VP Operations"

Regarding the OCE server release skin

( Note this one is actually from a few days ago! Sorry for missing it !! )

Here is Riot Sephyre, Oceanic content editor, with a little update on the OCE server release ( like Ghost Bride Morgana for LA or Sultan Tryndamere for TR! ) skin that has yet to pop up!
"Hey everyone,
The Oceanic server skin hasn't been forgotten :) 
I wish I could say it's coming 'soon' but the truth is it will take quite a while longer.

The skin development process is quite lengthy and as has been alluded to in past updates there were a few ideas that were abandoned due to simply not being good enough! 
That said, the server skin has not been forgotten about - we had a meeting about it last week actually, and we're working with the skins team to make it happen. 
The way the process works is we gather ideas (from these forums, the old server petition thread on NA, Reddit, etc) along with ideas from Rioters and work them up to be presentable to the skins team. 
Then it's fleshed out to make sure it will make something that can work and will be cool. LOTS of skin concepts are rejected/abandoned because they aren't good enough.

So TL: DR it's still being worked on, it will happen but I can't give you a firm ETA :("

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