Red Post Collection: [4.12] Live Gameplay Patch Forecast, Neon Strike Vi's recall sound, and DOOM BOTS OF DOOM discussion

Posted on at 4:56 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection features the [4.12] Live Gameplay Patch Forecast, including specific mention of plans for Ahri, Alistar, Kassadin, Lucian and more! You'll also find C3Sound explaining how they came up with Neon Strike Vi's recall sound and L4T3NCY discussing DOOM BOTS OF DOOM.
Continue reading for more information!

[4.12] Live Gameplay Patch Forecast

Here's the live gameplay team with a patch forecast for 4.12, including  a few specific champions they are taking a look at as we approach the World Championships:
"Hey all, 
Welcome to another Patch Forecast from the Live Gameplay team! With the World Championships coming up, our focus for the next few patches will be aimed at competitive play - both in increasing the diversity of picks and hitting those outliers who beat down all meaningful choice in champ select. 
As a reminder: these are not promises for what will be in Patch 4.12, rather, they're a forecast of what we are currently working on and the problems we see. 
Ahri: Ahri's a cool fox gal that we'd like to see more of, but she's currently sitting just below the top-tier mid picks. We're investigating ways to make Ahri feel better to play without just tipping her into the perma-pick category (hello S3 worlds). 
Alistar: OH BOY. We really want to bring Alistar back up as a support, but our big challenge is to make sure he doesn't also become an insane jungling cow god, because that gets obnoxious. Access to what's essentially a mini-Malphite ult at level 2, combined with powerful tower dives and displacement makes for a worrisome combination that keeps us up at night. Worrying. 
Kassadin: This guy. Man. 
Lucian: Like we mentioned in the 4.11 patch notes, Lucian is still strong and his super well-rounded nature makes him less of a strategic pick and more of a must-pick. We're really exploring ways to give Lucian meaningful weaknesses while also highlighting some of his core strengths. At this point we probably can't bring along all of his advantages, but we're looking to maintain Lucian's mobility / burst while also highlighting his spellslinger archetype. You'll see more as we go! 
Them aggro junglers: Depending on who you talk to, there are roughly 3-5 competitive junglers in the 'very strong' category who are outshining entire categories of dudes (see tanky jungler buffs). That said, we're balancing our approach here to make sure we don't just hit one so the others become default picks, but this gang has such high early aggression that they're still inhibitive in the game. Chances are high we won't have anything for these in 4.12 as we're still watching how the 4.11 jungle item changes have affected the scene, but we have a strong inkling that these dudes will still be around. 
Up today we've got Riot Hongyou from the Live Gameplay team to answer some of your questions / comments on the forecast."

When asked about Kassadin specifically, Riot Hongyou commented:
"The identity of Kassadin is a high mobility champion. When we look at how to make nerfs to champions with a very distinct identity like Kassadin  , we try to keep their identity intact. We will be looking at other ways of approaching this champion before taking away his mobility."
He continued:
"We believe there is a world where Kassadin players can blink around and have fun without being oppressive to his opponents. Maybe it is because we gave him too many tools to go along with his mobility. But we would look into reducing some of them before taking away the cool part of his kit."
In response to a summoner suggesting Kassadin's power is wrapped up mainly IN his mobility and that is why he can't find good balance, Riot Hongyou replied:
"There have been iterations of Kassadin where he did no damage and was not a threat. Because of how powerful mobility is, history of Kassadin has shown that he is either overwhelming or underwhelming. But this difference in power was not due to changes in his mobility but related to changes in the other aspects of his kit. Therefore we believe there can be a point between A (OP) and B(underwhelming) that is tunable by changing these levers instead."
Tamfail also brainstormed ( i.e not a planned change )  on a way to keep Kassadin's mobility high but make it less frustrating for enemies, saying:
"If the identity of the champion is conditional, e.g. based on hitting other units/champions with the ability, would his identity still be strong/intact? 
For example, I'm imagining something like a 10 second cooldown on Riftwalk, decreasing by 4 seconds per champion hit. Perhaps even also decreased by 1 second per minion hit? This incentivizes aggressive play, decreases the power and frustration of fighting against Riftwalk in no minion areas, gives a window for players to respond in teamfights, gives an opportunity for Kassadin  to make a high risk play, and (maybe?) still keeps his identity. 
We've done something similar with Gragas when his E was on a low cooldown, and I'm wondering if a similar approach could work here."
As for feedback on the plan for Lucian, Riot Hongyou replied:
"Welp, I did read it all, kind of proud of myself after that :P. Our primary goal with Lucian would be to push his strength and to give him a weakness. Given his visuals and whole package, what type of marksman do we see Lucian being? Our team thought that he should be a badass marksman that dashes left and right, and slings spells along the way. We might not get there in one patch but that's the direction we would like to head."
When asked where Lulu stands, Riot Hongyou noted they are looking to make support Lulu better rather than just purely nerfing her:
"We are looking at Lulu because she is currently oppressive in top lane. However, we don't want to purely nerf her. Our goal is to make her solo laning worse while making support Lulu better. We are experimenting some changes around wave clear and to give her incentives to have a lane partner."
He continued:
"I share your view on a few point so I am going to try to jump off of your post while addressing some questions from other players. I agree that the main reason Lulu in top lane is oppressive is due to her heavy crowd control potential on top of movement speed buff and shield. However, I think these things are what makes a support Lulu awesome. I don't think a support's selling point should be wave clear. Although, it can be a nice thing to have and taking it away might feel bad. Would need to test more to see. We might also look at ratios as some players suggested, but the problem with this route is that the base number coupled with her kit is what is making top lane problematic, so changing ratio might not solve this problem. Changing the base damages on Lulu, on the other hand, would directly impact support Lulu and that is something we would like to avoid."

As for Lee Sin, Riot Hongyou commented:
"You make a really good point about the power curves. However players have told us that they value strategic variety in terms of power curves. Example: Lee Sin's identity is tied to the fact that he is a dominant early game jungler. Lee Sin has been a headache to balance simply because he does fall off late game for the majority of the players but in competitive play, pro players tend to bypass that by using Lee Sin's utility to full potential. We are currently looking to change Lee Sin in a way where he would still fulfill the role of the early powerful jungler while having a noticeable weakness in the late game. We would love to watch how the jungle landscape changes with the new jungle items. We also do not wish to bipolarize the skill versus reward of Lee Sin even more, although that might ultimately be the best answer."

Riot Hongyou also commented on Alistar, explaining why the team has pushed him away from the jungle:
"When Alimoo is a good jungler, he creates an unhealthy gameplay pattern where he can boop you out of turret safety as part of his gank as early as level 2. We would like to avoid this pattern because historically it has been problematic and snowbally."

[ A few of the changes from above, including Alistar and Ahri, are already up on the PBE for testing! ]

Neon Strike Vi's Recall Sound

C3Sound popped into the audio feedback forums to share how the team came up with the sound effects for Neon Strike Vi's recall:
"Hey Arrownacks! 
So I checked the session out. Those anime-styled sounds sunc to the light flashes in Neon Strike's recall are primarily made up of sword shings/slides/strikes and smaller dagger clangs. I then took some of the layers that were more strike-like and transient mastered the top to really push the initial attack, with a limiter to make sure it wouldn't clip out. I took all the layers and ran them through a reverb, concert hall impulse response, and then added a vibrato after the reverb in the insert chain. This wobbled the pitch of the reverb to give it that stylized anime feel. I took the same set of layers and ran them through a separate chain with a compressor to squash em and add a bit of thickness to the composition, then tossed a distortion plug-in after the compressor to dirty it up a bit. I mixed the two FX chains together with a bit of the clean tracks, and boom. Anime shings haha. 
I really should remaster that sound and push it back out. I feel like I could do a bit better now as were constantly learning and growing in our craft here at Riot. I may do that if I can get the time! 
Thanks for the question and dont hesitate to hit me up whenever to ask more! Everyone has easy access to me on the twitterverse @RiotC3Sound !!! I get around to the forums as much as I can, but I get notifications on twitter, so its much easier to know someone asked me a question. If its one that warrants a longer answer, ill start a thread on the forum about it!"

Doom Bots of Doom discussion

With Doom Bots of Doom, our next featured gameplay mode that pits players against a set of nightmarish bots with super powerful abilities, on the PBE for testing, L4T3NCY  has been botting around the PBE community replying to feedback on the mode.

In response to complaints regarding the difficulty of the DOOM bots, L4T3NCY noted:
"We agree, it's a very difficult balancing act. While some players will have a blast battling to overcome 1-bomb, there are others who will always say "too ez!" no matter how hard 5-bombs is. 
For context, all of the Doom Bot's abilities were crafted with telegraphed patterns you can learn to overcome (albeit demanding a higher mechanical execution than their non-doomed counterparts). Obviously if they didn't, they wouldn't be very 'doomy' ^_- and you should feel like a total badass when successfully dodging them. 
Team fights in 1 & 2-bombs are not insurmountable with good teamwork and understanding of the Doom Bot's abilities. 5-bomb team fights are definitely face-meltingly challenging, but we're interested to see what kinds of creative comps and strategies you guys come up with to wreck them heads up. It wouldn't be 5-bombs if they were a push-over. :) 
RE your experience at dragon, sounds like a case of bad timing in that game. They must have decided to do it just as you happened to be there. :P 
RE the Garen Bonus Doom, you can always ward the brush to prevent him from appearing!"

As for the PBE bug that is currently causing games to drop, he noted:
"Hi guys. We've possibly found the source of what was causing games to crash. It actually appears to be unrelated to Doom Bots specifically, but as a result of everyone playing nothing but Doom Bots (thanks!) it looked that way. 
We've implemented a fix and hope to have it out as soon as we can. Thanks for your patience and help testing!"

Speaking of bug fixes, he also noted a fix for a bug caused by the Bonus Doom system is in the works:
"You're right, there are a LOT of potential emergent combinations, so it's cool to hear from you guys which ones feel the strongest. 
We also have a potential fix for that FPS drop caused by load of Bonus Dooms, which will hopefully be bundled in the next update soon(tm)."

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