Red Post Collection: Doom Bots of Doom are coming, Meddler Q&A Live, Ghostcrawler on Lee Sin & Champ Diversity, and more!

Posted on at 2:19 PM by Moobeat
This afternoon's red post collection features details on the Doom Bots of Doom which will be available between July 17th and July 27th, a heads up that Meddler is currently doing a Q&A on the community beta, Ghostcrawler weighing in on Lee Sin and champion diversity, and much more!
Continue reading for more information!

The Doom Bots of Doom are coming!

Doom Bots of Doom, our next featured game mode, is on the way with patch 4.12 and will be available between July 17th and July 27th!
 Here's the official announcement that will DOOM US ALL:
"Get ready - it’s almost time for the next Featured Game Mode! 
You thought Brazil’s Veigar Bot was challenging? Think again! We’ve souped up the bots to DOOM levels, giving them mind-melting abilities that’ll blow you away. Thought Amumu was already emo enough? What if Amumu’s Doom Bot is so sad he makes all his nearby allies units CRY WITH DESPAIR, too? What if Ziggs’s Mega Inferno Bomb broke off into six MINI INFERNO BOMBS after landing, or if Lux’s Final Spark burst out in ALL directions around her? Each of the Doom Bots have had their abilities tinkered with, and things most definitely get crazy when they get aggressive. 
Fight the Doom Bots and you’ll unlock harder difficulties. Bots with 2 Bombs respawn with Bonus Doom effects such as Anivia’s passive or Swain’s ultimate, while 5 Bomb Doom Bots carry TWO Bonus Doom effects and provide the most extreme challenge in this brain-bursting Featured Game Mode! 
The Doom Bots of Doom will be cavorting around the Fields of Justice from July 17 to July 27, and you’ll unlock a Doomtastic summoner icon if you challenge them at least once!"

For those interested, this is the special icon you can unlock by defeating the Doom bots at least once!

Meddler Q&A is LIVE

Meddler is currently hosting a Q&A over on the recently updated community beta!
"Hey all, 
Lead champion designer Andrei van Roon here. I've meddled in the origins of more than a half-dozen champs, having designed Ziggs  as well as Syndra, Lissandra, and Varus. All the while I've also contributed to a number of other designs including most of our recent champions. 
Whether you’re looking for a few more answers to your moustachiest Braum questions, or wondering how Vel'Koz  got his death ray, or just curious about new champion ideation, concepting and execution, ask away below! 
Go get your questions in and I'll have a recap his replies in the next red post collection!

Ghostcraweler on Lee Sin and Champion Diversity

In a thread criticizing Morello's earlier comments of needing to find better Lee Sin nerfs than the ones they had originally proposed due to community back last, Ghostcrawler stepped in to elaborate:   
"I'll address this at a philosophical level, because someone in the trenches of the live team would be better to mention specific tactics. 
Champions are coolest, in our opinion, when they have distinct strengths and weaknesses. (This is why we describe champs that are just balls of stats as a bad thing and try to update them.) Moreover, when balancing champs, we achieve the best results when we buff things a champ is good at and nerf things a champ is weak at. This opens up opportunities for cool moments when a champ leverages their strengths, but still leaves clear opportunities for counterplay. 
The problem with Lee Sin is that while he has some really cool things he does well, he doesn't have obvious weaknesses that we can enhance in order to open up windows to try and shut him down. This means we have to invent a weakness, which is a dicey prospect, because it means having to redefine a champion's role. "Oh, you only thought Lee was great at mobility and that's why you played him, but we just decided that should be something he's bad at instead. So sorry." (Just an example obviously.) That doesn't absolve us of the responsibility to balance him, but it means it takes more exploration than just nerfing his Q or whatever. 
I'll even expand on the philosophical discussion and say that improving champion diversity is something we need to deliver. By champion diversity I mean three things: more champions actually played, more distinction among champions, and sometimes actually getting to play the champion you like instead of him or her getting pick/banned all the time. These are long term goals and not something we're going to quickly accomplish in a patch or two, but they are long term goals, and I have no problem if you hold me accountable for making sure we drive in that direction."
He continued:
What bothers me is that, up until now, you guys have outright gutted champions while you 'look' into inventing these types of weaknesses. 
It feels like Lee Sin has avoided this for a very long time (since his release) because of how popular he is and how flashy his plays are.
Yep, that's a totally fair criticism, but you can also see the challenge in trying to navigate those two extremes: removing what is cool vs. tinkering around with changes that don't really solve the problem. 
A few of you have mentioned that I didn't respond with a specific list of changes for Lee. That's true and I tried to address that up front. What I was attempting to provide is some insight into how we think about these things. If you are only interested in specific patch notes, the patch forecasts or notes themselves are better for that sort of thing. I appreciate not everyone is interested in our conceptual framework for how we solve problems, but my experience has been that some players are.

As for adding a weakness, Ghostcrawler noted:
Riot just won't nerf him and they won't give a good reason as to why. The Red literally said "He has no weaknesses"; didn't you guys(riot) define toxic as something that has no counterplay? 
To be clear, he does need counterplay. We have to engineer some versus just nerfing something he is already bad at, because he's not really bad at anything. Our intention is to do that, and when we have a direction, we'll let you know."
In response to the suggestion of nerfing Lee Sin's energy costs, Ghostcrawler commented:
"That would nerf him, and something we can consider, but does it really open up coubterplay? Maybe if you survive his attack, you have a chance to counter...."
He continued, responding to criticism on Riot being inconsistent on how they handle problematic champions:
If you guys want to gut champions and remove them from the scene while you work on them, great. 
If you want to leave them overpowered while you work on them, great. 
Being inconsistent and leaving some while quickly gutting others, not-so-great.
Totally agree. We understand how frustrating the inconsistency can be. If we were consistent, at least you could predict what you were likely to see in a patch or two. We also understand that actions speak louder than words here and you won't take our word on improving consistency. We have to earn that trust."
As for why champions like Poppy or Urgot aren't being looked at while Lee Sin is, Ghostcrawler explained:
"So the difference here is these champions need reworks to some degree. We have several champions, many of which were designed before we really solidified what made a good champion, who don't have a lot of counterplay or don't do much interesting to the game overall. We do keep them weak so that they may get some play but aren't really competitive at higher levels. This isn't ideal by any stretch but it's better than having the game dominated by these guys. Our apologies if you play League for Poppy and we will get her straightened out at some point. 
Lee Sin isn't in that category. He does interesting things to the game. He requires skill to play and you can make mistakes. He doesn't need an update or rework by the team that does that for champions. However, he is very dominant. We don't think he just needs a simple number tweak. He does need a weakness that skilled players can exploit. Does that distinction make sense?"

Xelnath also jumped in to add:
"Hey buds, 
Look, I get it. You're upset, you're frustrated. You feel like the diversity of champions that should exist is being crushed by Lee Sin. You are sick of seeing the same thing over and over again. It sucks. 
I hate when I want to jungle it up and see yet-another-lee-sin-invade steal my buffs and being unable to punish the **** out of him for it. (Cuz he just ward hops away, woo hoo!)
At the same time - look at what happened last year when we got close to worlds and made some tweaks to Tri-Force. The result was that it distorted the entire competitive scene for worlds, potentially invalidating months of build-up and expertise. 
Now, I am not saying there aren't tweaks to Lee Sin that would push him out of Worlds. The perfect solution might even be in this thread. What I am saying is that to find, evaluate and iterate on that solution takes time and causes ripple effects on the rest of the game. 
Lee Sin has become a jungle-defining staple because he has no weaknesses. This is why the long-term solution Ghostcrawler described is the right one - and will probably cause some pain along the way. Once Lee's out of the way, who are the next three champs to surge to the front? They could make the game just as bad, if not worse. 
When we hit a champ like Lee, we want to do our jobs and do our jobs right. Thank you for holding us to that standard. We'd also be doing you a disservice if we didn't tell you that the right solution isn't easy"
He continued, replying to criticism on the amount of time it's taken to see any Lee Sin changes:
"You know, it's a fair criticism that he's been strong a long time. 
But do you remember when we had some pretty severe changes to him on PBE? Lots of you guys got pretty upset, saying we over-shot so we scaled back the changes. (E.g. His ult doing damage based on the number of enemies hit)

Maybe we should have pushed forward harder to hit competitive. However, we already saw Lee Sin's success rate plunge while players continue to play him a ton."


When asked why they can't just number nerf Lee Sin until they can find an appropriate fix, Ghostcrawler answered:
"That's a really heavy hammer for us to throw around. Yes, we've done it before, but it doesn't make anyone happy. It's the reason Olaf has become a verb. We'd rather try to fix the problem of jungle diversity for real than just dropping Lee Sin damage or survivability and hoping he goes away.

As Xelnath pointed out, there are competing goals of trying to improve the game (which includes champion diversity) and trying not to throw everything into chaos every patch. Please don't interpret that as our declaration of doing nothing. We just want to be cautious. Do you feel the "Lee Sin situation" for want of a better tile has become an emergency?"

Player Expectation on New Content

In a thread full of players discussing their frustrating with the early announcement of the champion Ao Shin despite his release still being a long way out, Riot Baconhawk commented:
"Unfortunately, this is a good example of why we don't like doing previews of of upcoming stuff. We are like, hyper-excited about all the upcoming stuff we're working on—and we know you will be too!!—so we want to share a little sneak peek into what's coming up. 
But then...[sad, epic timpani solo] ...when that feature isn't up to our standards and/or needs a rework or other changes before release and will take more time, we are very sad because we said one thing and then had to change it. 
So :( I hope you kinda understand. WE WANT TO SHARE ALL THE THINGS, but we also want to MAKE ALL THE AWESOME THINGS... but we also want to CREATE A FANTASTIC GAME EXPERIENCE... so we gotta like, balance those three.

caws and sizzles, flies overhead"
on the other side of the coin, Riot Boompje also dropped off an interesting comment in a thread begging Riot to announce some upcoming content:
"We have the Summoner's Rift Update and the Doom bots of Doom on the PBE. We'll also have a few other cool things coming up Soon™, including the next champion, which is really, really, really awesome (i'm gonna pick that champion up!)"

Yasuo's ultimate

Following up on a conversation discussing Syndra and Yasuo playstyles, Meddler commented on the power Yasuo's ultimate and the balance team's thoughts on him:
"Yeah, knocked up's a misleading shorthand here, I should be saying displaced. We opted to have Yasuo's ult trigger off any displacement because it both clarifies which allied skills are relevant (if it moves an enemy then you can) and because it opened up the pool of champions Yasuo works with more. Our intent was to make Yasuo stronger with some allies than others, but we did want to keep that set of champs he synergizes with moderately broad.

As to why the ult went out that strong? That was our best estimate on appropriate balance for Yasuo. For the first few weeks players really struggled with him, and we thought for a while we might have undertuned him and buffed him a bit as a result. Those buffs, combined with his learning curve and some quality of life changes (consistent targeting indicators, better visual feedback etc) however brought us to the conclusion he was too strong once mastered so we took some power off him. He's currently played with some success in both competitive play and normal play. Some discussion internally on whether he may be too strong late game, last I heard we hadn't come to a definite conclusion on that yet though."

Headhunter Caitlyn Concept vs In-Game

[ Headhunter Caitlyn's updated PBE model ]
When asked why Headhunter Caitlyn's in-game model was such a deviation from the concept art that's been floating around, Riot Baconhawk explained:
"This has been answered before but I am happy to answer it again. That was exactly what you said it was: concept art. If you look closely, it doesn't bear much resemblance to Caitlyn. In order to fit within our guides for readability and clarity within the game, it had to be adjusted. Otherwise it would definitely not have worked. (You are comparing that artist's hand-done paintover to an ingame model on the PBE, which we are still working on!). It's easy to say "amagad that look so much bettar rito y u do dis" but in all honesty, a lot of our concepts look totally different (for better or worse!) than the final product, but it's all about readability and gameplay clarity as well as looking totally badass/sexy/amazing/baller/Teemo.

I hope this answers your question."

For those who might be curious about the lack of a Headhunter Caitlyn splash art this late in the PBE cycle, Baconhawk also noted:
"As you might know, we were making changes to her model... so making a splash, then having to change it over and over again... Ugh"

Honor System Not Forgotten

In response to a summoner asking how many honors they need to obtain one of the coveted Honor Ribbons, WookieeCookie noted that it is not a static value and reminded that the team has Honor system changes in mind; it isn't forgotten!
"Hey Insanecreeper,

I'm not sure where you heard that you needed a specific number of honors to unlock a ribbon, but that's not quite how it works. If you're interested, we do have a knowledge base article here on the system:

With all that said, I do agree somewhat with the comments here about the system. It's not quite what it can be, although it is a really cool step. The good news is that the Player Behavior and Justice team here at Riot is aware too. Since the Tribunal is currently in extended maintenance while they work on new features they're looking on touching the honor system too. One idea they've had is that, what if in addition to voting on players to punish for negative behavior, there could be a system of voting on players to promote for good behavior? 
They're some cool things they're thinking up and working on, nothing too specific to really reveal yet though. But I'd keep an eye out for updates."

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