Red Post Collection: Morello on # of Champions and future Reworks, Yasuo AMA on Dec 3rd, and more!

Posted on at 5:42 PM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection features a reminder on Yasuo's upcoming AMA, Morello sharing his thoughts on the current champion pool, a wealth of discussion on some upcoming champion plans and reworks, an explanation of the new assist streak system, a note on a bug for Vayne's condemn,  and more!
Continue reading for more information!

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Yasuo AMA  on December 3rd

The team behind our next champion are rallying together to host an AMA about all things Yasuo on December 3rd!
"In preparation for Yasuo's stormy arrival, some of the Rioters behind him are hosting a reddit AMA this 12/3 at 12PM. Stop by to air your questions and meet the team!"

Too many champions?

When asked about Riot's champion release schedule slowing down ( from 19 new champions in 2012 to 7 so far in 2013 ), Morello commented:
"Mostly, all things take time and resources. Because we have a large champion pool, we thought it was important to repurpose those on other things that support the larger champion pool. Namely, reworks/VU's/Relaunches.

We have a lot we want to do there on both the game design and visuals front, so we needed to redouble our efforts to make a dent in that backlog. That's the primary reason we've slowed champion production."
After being thanked for all the effort going into VU and reworks, Morello replied:
"A lot of the studies we've done and feedback we've gotten tends to support that too. Was a good marker to confirm our assumption that players would appreciate it :)"
When asked if there are any plans to increase the ban limit, he commented:
"Likely not, as we don't want to stretch out champion select, though other systems may debut as needed."
As for how many champions is too many, he noted:
"I tend to think there's still quite a bit of room for more champions, though you're correct that I don't have a specific number in mind."

Future Champion Rework Discussion

With the new year on the way, Morello took a bit of time to discuss some of the future plans the design team has for old champions and their effort to prioritize these reworks:
"In my previous thread, I mentioned why we slowed down champions to focus on reworks. One thing we're shoring up as we speak is the prioritization - which until now has been prett willy-nilly and "what can we get done in X time" focused. 
Upcoming this year, we'd like to focus much more on these long term marginalizations. Shaco is my top pick, with Alistar, Poppy (even though she's crazy with gold right now) Sion, Warwick and Zilean, with Urgot somewhere in there too.

So, simply, I agree. Game development's difficulties typically revolve around prioritization/resource management, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be improving here.

I will continue to take the stance of not letting one character poison the well for over 100 others, but we need to be more aggressive on prioritizing said champions."
In response to some quick criticisms of only nerfing champions so they fit into Riot's idea of a meta, Morello noted:
"Or we value interaction as opposed to letting people with no interaction poop all over people and calling it "gameplay." Winning at champion select is not the game we want to make."
He continued:
"It's frustrating to love a champ and know it's on the **** list - I get you on that. I think it's a really fair critique to call us out on our approach on fixing these things."

Let's dive into the individual champion discussion!

Shaco

When someone commented about Riot likely removing Shaco's perma slow, Morello replied:
"That's the plan.

Our plan with the ult is AWESOMELY insane. I hope so much that it works. (vaguevaguevague)"
When asked if this means his clone will duplicate Shaco's abilities, Morello commented:
"Better :)"
Poppy

As for hints on what might change about Poppy, Morello noted:
"Want to absolutely retain wall-slam ability - best part of kit. Some "smash guy" attack like the Q is fine, though could use at least a decision-point in there. Rest of the kit...well......"
When asked what role they are moving towards with her, he replied:
"Still unsure. Maybe even tank would work there with that as a core ability."
He continued:
"That's a bit where we're at with her because she basically has really poor interaction and not a lot of opportunities to create a richer game - sans her wall slam, that is."
When threatened that "If you are planning to take away Poppy's passive, you might as well refund my RP for her!", Morello replied:
"Likely will. You do get three refunds."
Darius

As for his long coming plans to fix up Darius, Morello noted there are actually a few things currently in internal playtests!
"Actually, we got the Darius thing in playtests now. Just have to wait to get some of the other fighters in gear and some art resources.

It won't be watered down if we do this version - not worth doing if you don't go ham."
Urgot

When criticsied that Riot has had 12 months to do something with Urgot and that they are only now thinking about what to change, Morello replied:
"We've actually thought about it and even tested things a lot.

It's allll resource management. Game development turns out to actually be pretty tough!"

As for the scope of the Urgot changes and the time frame we can expect it, he commented:
"Unsure on Urgot. Would like to, but have to match up on total upgrade (old art + gameplay > just gameplay).""
 Phreak also jumped into the Urgot discussion, saying:
"Can confirm I've seen a number of Urgot kits. Not all of them work out, and if people hit brick walls, they often go try something else with a different champion. Unfortunately (fortunately?) there are a lot of dudes who could use the attention."

Warwick

As for a time frame and the scope of Warwicks future rework, Morello noted:
"I don't like a world where we don't get Warwick done. It's probably closer to Sivir-level in scope than Sion-level."

Assist Streaks

When asked about the validity of the new preseason assist streaks, Morello commented:
"The goal of assist streaks is to support natural, positive behaviors in-game. For example (and we see this at pro-play as indicators of "success"), being involved with a kill means you contributed positively, we feel that should be a rewarding teamfight behavior since funneling gold is something that teams want to do, but tends to be focused on the most efficient characters.

Many systems "under the hood" are meant to just work as incentive mechanisms. This is one such system. I'd say the one big risk I think is here is the risk of additional team snowballing (as teams with lots of assists have more overall kills, and this could lead to team power > individual power from gold)."

Vayne Condemn Bug

Meddler has posted a small update on a current bug with Vayne's condemn ability:
"Thanks for the reports, we've got a fix that should be on the PBE sometime in the next couple of days/all testing well should then be part of the next patch.

For those curious Condemn is sometimes not stunning if, when the Condemn missile hits, the target is already being moved by a spell (whether friendly e.g. Graves' Quickdraw or enemy e.g. Blitz's Powerfist)."

PBE Updates to the client's frame

Riot Azmodius has posted a about the recent improvements to the client's frame that are currently testing on the PBE
"Hey guys! The team has been working on improving changes to the frame that surrounds the client, which includes window controls, notification ticker, play button and all other informational and navigational elements within the top border. These changes were made to address pain points and make it much easier to add cool stuff in the future. A few things you may notice... - Clicking the LoL logo in the top left corner now works as expected while in Arranged Team Lobbies - The Play button should also work as expected while in the Custom Game lobby - Visiting your Runes screen should no longer change the font of the info panel - Improved performance 
As with all previous work we have done to improve the client experience, the client will continue functioning as it always has... taking you to those screens you love, resizing the client, and letting you press that all important Play button. Please exercise getting into those other screens, resizing the client and making sure your summoner icon/RP/IP appear correctly. As always, let us know about improvements we can make to this aspect of the client and any of its adjacent areas. 
Thanks for all your help guys!"

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