- Champion and Skin Sale 2/25 - 2/28: Emumu, Secret Agent Miss Fortune, Vandal Twitch, Vladimir, Miss Fortune, Diana
- Free Champion Rotation 2014 Season Week 6
- 2/24 PBE Update: Kassadin VFX reverted, tweaks to summoner icons.
More NA Servers and Optimization
Following up on the NA and EU stability update from yesterday, sonicdeathmonk commented on the plan to further optimize NA by getting more game servers out to central and eastern NA, working with large ISPs to improve connections, and more.
"We are working on getting game servers more centrally located in North America. We can share more on this soon. We are also optimizing our connections to many large ISPs in the USA and Canada which should improve things for everyone in the meantime. A few more were just hooked up just last week. Comcast, Level 3 and Cogent are now in the mix. Key changes coming first is a direct connection to the San Jose, CA and Seattle, WA located Internet Exchanges, this should reduce ping time a bit even for East Coast players (while also improving our DDoS defense). These Internet Exchanges bring us direct connections to many more USA and Canadian ISPs, cable companies, and telecoms than we have directly connected today in NA. Connections are ordered, so not too much longer to wait.
We also have truck loads of game servers built and waiting to be delivered closer to the Eastern US Coast as soon as we nail down the best place to put them to benefit the most NA players. This year for sure, hopefully soon. Won't be able to give everyone in the US 20 msec ping time but I think we will achieve getting most player closer to the same ping time (and still keep almost everyone faster than a Ferrari FXX can shift gears).
-sonicdeathmonk"In another thread, he also commented:
"Not promising East Coast game servers but I am committing to lower ping time for East Coast players and an attempt to balance ping time for most players to a closer range then we see today between the coasts. So more like centrally located servers for the NA player base (USA and Canada) as best as we can manage given the need for bandwidth, data center services, and other complicated issues about working in different parts of the USA. Servers are in hand, location contract is in work, then magic (though we might need some tweaking after the switch is thrown).
Meddler on Various ChampsMeddler returned to the OCE forums to share his current thoughts on various champions, including a few we've already heard are up for kit reworks:
"Kog'maw: Kog's been a popular pick in the past and we don't feel his balance is too far off. What we're planning to do, as soon as we've got the art support to change his visual effects, is convert his Q into a skillshot so that it better lines up with his engagement ranges.
Warwick: Rework in progress, timeline uncertain though - depends on whether the changes we want to make on the gameplay side require significant new art resources (if so would probably be bundled with a visual upgrade at some point) or not.
Yorick: Really large rework project. Not currently being worked on, right now Sion's our biggest priority for complete overhauls.
Leona: Potentially too strong, before looking at her directly though we're buffing the Frost Queen's line of support items/nerfing Doran's shield, so that we can then assess the state of bot lane when itemization's in a more balanced spot for the different support options there.
Sion: As above undergoing a full rework. Current kit has a lot of issues (disjointed skills, thematically weak, lack of counterplay when strong).
Shaco: Rework at some point, potentially combined with a visual upgrade. We've been doing some testing on possible kit directions, early days though.
Gangplank: Same as Shaco, though probably with minimal visual work since he's already got an updated model.
Ryze: We're looking to add a bit of power to his early laning, no major changes planned though.
Fiora: No immediate plans, potentially a champion we'll look at once we've got some of the current top lane issues/dominant champions solved."
Jungle - We do want to get some of the currently seldom seen junglers into a better spot. That'll require a combination of buffs, nerfs and system (items at least) changes. Upcoming patch 4.3 includes nerfs to Kha'zix and buffs to Skarner for example, and we're testing some item changes as a possibility for patch 4.4.
Viktor - Would like to do some work on his augments, make them feel a bit more satisfying, particularly given they occupy an inventory slot which can feel restrictive late game. Other champs higher priority at present though.
Rumble - No gameplay changes currently planned. In order to create new skins for him though we'll need to do significant work to the skeleton under his model, hence the lack of post launch skins so far. We'll definitely do that, can't speak to timing though, not my area of expertise.
Urgot - Gameplay rework in progress (discussion thread here on the Oce forums if you search for it). Candidate for a VU eventually, won't be for a while though.
Galio - Some minor work likely at some point, don't think we've got anything planned for the immediate future though.
Anivia - No gameplay changes planned, after her texture upgrade don't think we'll need to give her a VU in a hurry either."
When asked specifically if Sion will be AD or AP, Meddler confirmed:
"We're currently looking at AD Sion - playing up the axe wielding juggernaught side of him basically. Work in progress though, so that's not locked down yet."As for Yorick, Meddler commented:
"He's a champion we'll definitely rework to a substantial degree, won't be for a while at the very least though, the Sion overhaul's currently our focus as far as really major reworks go."
When asked what Riot plans to do to shift Gragas to an AP Bruiser ( as mentioned the other day), Meddler commented:
"We're not trying to kill off AP Gragas, we are however looking to shift him to a more sustained damage playstyle, since it's his current burst that's creating balance and game health issues."
During his champion discussions, Meddler also discussed the difference between total and bonus AD - a ratio change we have been seen pop up more and more in recent patches:
"Both total and bonus AD ratios have their place. Total's particularly useful when looking to add non item dependent power to a champion over the course of the game. Additionally when creating a spell that requires a champion stop auto attacking for a significant amount of time using a total AD ratio reduces the amount that auto attacks become a flatly better choice over the course of the game.
Bonus AD by contrast lets you create a skill that scales harder with items, increasing the impact of offensive item purchases and reducing a champions ability to rely on innate damage while building defensively, should that be desired."
He also replied to someone asking if we will ever see a penguin champion:
"If we had a penguin concept that was a good fit for our world and allowed us to do some interesting stuff in terms of gameplay/art/story possibly. I don't see it as a particularly likely fit myself, but then a sad mummy that runs around looking for friends and crying on people doesn't seem like a successful approach on paper either, and Amumu's a character I'm really glad we've got in the game."
IronStylus AMA on Oceania forumsIronStylus will be flying over to the OCE forums to host an AMA on Wednesday Feb 26th at 12:00 AEDT ( 5 PM PST on Feb 25th)
Here's Riot Sephyre with more info:
"Come and join IronStylus for an AMA (ask him anything) on the Oceania forums from 12:00pm AEDT on Wednesday 26/02/2014. The Senior Concept Artist will be on hand to talk about champion art, concepts and his obsession with parrots!"
Vel'Koz Voice ActorWhen asked who the voice actor is behind Vel'Koz, Riot Eno confirmed it is none other than Erik Braa - voice of Draven and Jax!
"It's actually Eric Braa =)"
Evelynn's SFXRiot Eno also commented on how the team produced sound effects for Evelynn:
"A lot of the sound we created for Evelynn's current SFX, especially her Hate Spike and Agony's Embrace were a combination of sharp ice pick sounds, mixed with rock scraping/breaking, a little gush, and heavily processed bat and pig vocals. =D"
Status of OCE Release SkinAs you may recall, the OCE servers still do not have a customary server release skin ( such as Ghost Bride Morgana for LAS/LAN or Bear Calvary Sejuani for RU ) .
Here's Koyotee, a Front End Developer, with a small update:
We've been iterating over potential concepts - the office has been having very passionate discussions about what it should be, how it should celebrate all of our region, and how it can have global appeal. That balance has been a struggle to be frank, and it has slowed the process. So I have to apologize - we are moving very slowly, but it's not because it's been put on the back-burner or we forgot. It's coming."