Tonight's red post collection features the 4.13 Live Gameplay Forecast, a heads-up on what changes the team is currently working on for the next and following patches. You'll also find the Patch Rundown - 4.12, the first in a new video series that aims to provide extra context and discussion on the the most recent patch's changes. Finally you'll find info on today's NA platform troubles, ricklessabandon noting the team has their eye on Chalice of Harmony, and more!
Continue reading for more information!
- Red Post collection: Sona Update Discussion, Pwyff on Lee Sin, IronStylus on Champion Update transparency, and more!
- 7/16 PBE Update: Sona's Yellow Hair Tips are back, New Summoner Icon, "Tantrum" resource bar files, and more!
4.13 Live Gameplay ForecastWith patch 4.12 out of the way, the Live Gameplay team is charging ahead with their Live Gameplay Forecast for 4.12, which mentions competitive diversity, aggro junglers, and hyperscaling marksmen as points of interest for what they are currently working on!
As a result of this being one of the last patches to really react to the game before the World Championships, expect this to be a large patch in terms of number of changes. Probably not in terms of huge scope modifications, but more like small to mid balance tweaks across a number of champions.
As another reminder: these are not promises for what will be in Patch 4.13, rather, they're a forecast of what we are currently working on and the problems we see.
Them competitive diversity picks: At the heart of all of this, our core goal with patch 4.13 (and 4.14) is competitive diversity. There are a few champions we're looking to give small buffs to, and others who are, by nature of being the best, skewing picks into who can play against them and who can't. You'll probably see a lot of smaller changes in this line of thought.
Them aggro junglers: There's been a few big discussions going around on this, but we agree that early aggro junglers are still very stifling - particularly in competitive level play. While we're still watching how our tanky jungler changes have rolled out from 4.11, we think there are a few 'top tier' dudes (fine, I'm saying it: Lee Sin, Elise, Evelynn) who can afford a nudge down.
Them hyperscaling marksmen: With the Lucian changes in 4.12 (and Lucian being on the downward trend thanks to hyperscaling marksmen like Koggles and Trist) we're on light watch to ensure the marksmen pool gets a little more diversity. In terms of categorical picks, we'd love if other marksmen had their strategic choices and niches to play, rather than a single 'type' (ie: early game vs late game hyperscalers, etc).
Up today, designer Riot Jag will be hanging out in the comments to discuss some of the things we're looking at in 4.13."
As for the short length of this forecast, Riot Jag noted:
"This patch will have a fair amount of champions with relatively small amounts of changes, so it probably wasn't worth going through all of them here. Rest assured the 4.13 notes will be substantially thicker than the forecast. :)"He continued:
"We're probably going to trend towards smaller champion level changes this patch; don't expect too many big system-level changes (like Marksmen in 4.10 or Junglers in 4.11) with World Championships drawing near."When asked to elaborate on the ADC / Marksmen changes, Riot Jag explained:
"Ultimately, our goals for all marksmen are for each one to feel like they have specific aspects of the game they excel at, and have item paths to facilitate them succeeding. The BT and Essence Reaver changes should give some help to carries like Graves or Ezreal, who feel like they're a little under par right now. That said, we know some of the heavy auto-attack centric hyperscalers like Tristana and Kog'maw are very strong right now, and while we like seeing those guys picked in the game, we don't want them to be the only choice for marksman players."
Patch Rundown - 4.12With the release of Patch 4.12, Riot is also trying out a new Patch Rundown series! The Patch Rundown will be a video synopsis of the changes in the patch, including additional context with designers and even discussion pro players.
Without further ado, here is the Patch Rundown for 4.12, which includes additional discussion by on a lot of 4.12's hot topics - the new Jungle timers, Lucian,
We’re piloting the first episode of (what we hope to be!) a new video series, the Patch Rundown! These videos will focus on the contents of the latest patch before opening up a discussion between Riot designers and guests. Patch 4.12 introduces jungle timers along with changes to Alistar, Lucian and more - hit play for the full rundown and patch discussion featuring Statikk and Nome from Riot Games and Snoopeh from Evil Geniuses.
We’ll improve future videos with the feedback you leave us, so add in your comments below!"
Pwyff also popped up on reddit to answer a question on just how rehearsed or pre-planned the Patch Rundown discussion was:
"TLDR we try to throw together a baseline discussion for the host (Pudding) and the designers. So things like general philosophy of the changes, some general questions we expect to get from the public and/or guest, and roughly the points we really want to hit (ie: gotta talk about Lucian having weaknesses, that's important!).
Our pro players / guests we don't prep too much beyond giving them a rundown of the topics. Any questions they ask during the panel we have the expectation that the designer should be able to answer (because if the design can be challenged so easily, that's not great either!). So it's like a semi-structured dialogue, which is what you got from it at least! EXCELLENT."
Got feedback for the new series? Be sure to drop off your commends and questions over on the official Live Gameplay Balance board!
As for if we can expect more of them , Riot Neon noted:
"Hi Markusbtw! Yes, Patch Rundown is a new series that will accompany each patch. So look out for Patch Rundown 4.13 in a couple weeks :)"
Chalice of Harmony Line Changes on RadarIn a thread discussing the future for the Chalice of Harmony line after the after the Athene's Unholy Grail changes in patch 4.10, ricklessabandon popped in to note they have future plans for the item line:
"we have a couple of ideas for chalice changes that we intend to test in the near future, but nothing is set in stone yet. if the live gameplay team wants us to move a little earlier on them (i.e., they see chalice as an issue we should address very soon) then we might test them out on the pbe during the 4.13 or 4.14 dev cycles. otherwise, we'll likely do that testing as part of the 2015 preseason.
again, it's only testing and the timeline is uncertain, but we do have it on our radar as it were."
July 16th: NA Platform OutageRincewind has posted a context thread regarding July 16th's NA server problems that left the platform all goofed up after the 4.12 maintenance:
Here is what happened today. The NA platform went crazy and it was totally preventable.
TL;DR: We missed an error that showed up in the logs during restarting the platform after the deploy. Unfortunately not fixing that error in time led to instability much later.
The longer version:
The platform has static and dynamic configuration values that are stored in a database or configured when the platform is up. The static values persist between restarts of the platform.
When we started the platform today, the static values did not load. We failed to detect this particular error condition in the automated deploy process as it occurs once in a blue moon.
When the platform went live several hours later with important configuration values missing, the platform buckled under load. We attempted to fix it by lowering the load on the platform by taking the following steps.
1) Stopping additional players from logging in.
2) Turning off all queues
The above steps would have allowed players to be still logged into the platform rather than dropping all players and causing a huge login queue.
We did load all the missing configuration values, however the errors in the logs did not give us the confidence that we would be safe. We proceeded to do a restart of the platform. We recognize that it was a preventable incident. We are taking the following steps to prevent such incidents in the future.
1) Find an engineer who will be made a scapegoat and make him do pushups till he collapses. (This might be hard as all of us on the team are responsible.)
2) Improve error detection during a deploy
I will be around for some time to answer any questions."