Red Post Collection: Sion buffs planned for 4.19, Summoner Icon Distribution, Cassiopeia rework Follow Up

Posted on at 11:39 PM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection features Riot Scruffy discussing planned Sion buffs for 4.19, vladcole commenting on the lack of a 5 year anniversary celebration for League, a reminder on how long it takes summoner icons to be distrusted during events, Morello and Stashu on Cassiopeia, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Sion changes planned for 4.19

Riot Scruffy has posted up information on upcoming Sion changes planned for the next patch, 4.19 :

"There should be a few tweaks for him (some stat increases, bugfixes, usability and mana costs) up on the PBE in the next build (they will be released in the next patch). 
To some of your points about Q and R reliability, those will most likely not change. Those abilities are meant to be very powerful but limited in meaningful ways.
  • Q has beyond most normal ability AOE base damage and CC, because it is a very committed decision (a good comparison here is fiddlesticks drain). If we wanted to increase the reliability of the spell we would probably make the "snap cast" (not full charge) more effective.
  • Similarly R enables unstoppable engage and map movement at the cost of great reliability. That said, the R turning is a number that we can tweak easily if we want to increase the reliability a bit more in the future.
Your feedback is really helpful and we definitely consider it in our decision making.
PS - The W passive on champ kill change that you're suggesting is likely in the next patch, we have a prophet."
He continued:
"The stat changes are actually HP focused. Both in consistent gains (hp per level) and in earned gains (W passive). 
Mana costs are more of a shift than a buff/nerf. Moving E cost up a little and lowering Q and W cost to compensate. 
There is a delay after you reactivate R, he plays a specific "leap into the air and slam down" animation to represent it. A big dude of his size cant just stop on a dime is the general idea."

As for the potential to maybe make Sion's Q scale with attack speed, Scruffy noted:
"No plans of that. Attack speed is not a stat that he scales particularly well with, and that's ok. He scales well with HP, armor, MR, AD, and CDR already."

These changes were added to the PBE in the 10/28 update.

LoL's 5 year Anniversary 

The five year anniversary of  League of Legend's launch date was yesterday and many players were saddened to see Riot had nothing planned for the occasion.

Vladcole jumped on reddit to share his thoughts on anniversaries and why they are "a little tough to celebrate in the way that you hope":
"Hi --

I'm talking a little out of turn here because player events isn't my thing, but I can share some perspective on this that may build some understanding for why anniversaries are a little tough to celebrate in the way that you hope.

An anniversary that's focused on the game's launch date doesn't immediately have a ton of meaning for players, and it might not be healthy to ask players to celebrate a game's launch date. Why not?

First, it'd be a little presumptuous and self-important for us to believe that the game's launch date is an important date for most players (except the very few players who were playing at launch). A far more important date for most of us (self included) is the anniversary of each of our first games of League of Legends. I think it'd be really cool for Riot to figure out how to recognize my summoner's birthdate and celebrate that in some meaningful way, instead.

Second, celebrations of game anniversaries can feel really conventional and we have this healthy aversion to doing stuff just because everyone else is doing it. We hunt for ways to delight and surprise players that you can't anticipate because there's more upside and genuine delight to be found in exploration of the new, and because work's more fun when you're trying to do original stuff (hey, job satisfaction is a big part of the promise we make to Rioters, so they're an important stakeholder in this conversation as well).

Third, I think (and this is just me thinking out loud here) there's a seachange in how gaming works that makes birthday celebrations somewhat problematic. Until recently, the games industry was about new: new consoles, new games, new, new, new. Gamers (again, self included) have been trained by marketers spending bajillions of dollars to have a series of fairly intense but short affairs with their games, spending 10-60 hours here, 10-60 hours there. The idea that any of us could have a years-long polygamous relationship with multiple games is fairly novel -- it's really only because internet that games as a service became a thing. I played Everquest for years, have paid for a WoW subscription (since 2005!), and have played LoL since 2011. But making a big deal of a game's age can be off-putting to a certain group of players who might still think "new" offers the best experience.

In fact, in this age of games as a service, "new" is often the least great experience in the lifespan of a game. All of the games I've really loved in the last decade have had somewhat rough launches and have gotten better as their developers patched them and improved them over time. Forgive me this metaphor, but I think of new games kind of like infants now. They don't get fun until about three months after launch -- after teeth-gnashing labor, a bloody delivery, and numerous instances of the game shitting itself in a spectacular fashion. All of that was true for League's launch, btw.

Anyways, apologies for the wall of text -- just wanted to try to share three ways to look at the ways in which game birthdays are somewhat anticlimactic or problematic.


The Shop's Dancing Katarina

When asked about the dancing Katarina that pops up when purchasing something in the store and if she might get an update to something more modern, Saberprivateer noted:
"Change comes to all things. Even the store will get a bit of touch-up in due time. Plus, Kat has GOT to be tired at this point. Or needs to join one of those dance marathons..."

Summoner Icon Distribution

With the Harrowing in full swing and two exclusive icons to earn during the event, Icosahedron swung by the forums to dropp off a reminder on how often icons are distributed and how long players may need to wait to get them:
"There's a slight delay with our system for granting the icons, which can be affected by a variety of factors. But it should not take longer than 3 days. If it still hasn't appeared after 72 hours, let us know!"
In a different thread, Icosahedron reiterated:
"The icon granting process takes anywhere from a few seconds to up to 72 hours, depending on a variety of factors. We're currently making improvements to the way we distribute icons for events like this, so hopefully it won't be a problem in the future!"

Cassiopeia Rework Follow Up

In a thread asking for another status up on the follow up work for Cassiopeia's rework, Morello hopped in to explain:
"Hey guys, 
Stashu posted the latest thinking here: 

We're not going to rush changes out the door that aren't ready; we are working on it and will ship them. Some TL:DR on what we're gonna be looking to do.
  • We get we missed the mark on Cass' identity, similar to the Skarner changes. We're looking to make changes that support "poison mage" while staying true to her QWER pattern overall. She'll still be a combo caster with the same feel, but we're going to restore and enhance the posion-y-ness of it.
  • Some more power/tuning balance changes will accompany this. We're going to do this along with the prior changes (not separate).
  • We do still have to test the approach, but it's active development, not something in the "backlog."

Riot Stashu also added in:
"Hey! Yeah sorry about the slow progress here, and it still might take another week or two to get stuff on the pbe. As Morello said, we're definitely willing to be experimental with pbe stuff, but won't put anything up there till its ready for testing. 
I've been working closely with Morello and Scruffy and lots of others in really focusing these changes. Our thinking is still largely the same as in my last post, but we've actually narrowed it down to a few specific changes-- on which we're currently in the process of implementing. Pretty confident in what we have, but not 100% ready just yet. I'll be more explicit with our plans when as we get closer to our mark. Sorry to be so cryptic, definitely working on it though. 

As for why there has been a bit of a silence since the last Cassiopeia threadMorello noted:
"I could see that - some of this was the unfortunate timing of Worlds too (a lot of us went to go see it live!), so we had less time on the ground since we've spoken about Cass."
and why there are no Cassiopeia changes testing during 4.19 on the PBE, he noted:
"Not enough time before the bug lock date. He tried and didn't have time to get something reasonable done."
When asked if there is a potential for a change to Cassiopeia's new passive, Morello replied:
"I think changes to how it works are on the table, but I think the scaling paradigm is still part of her "why bring her" (outside of the general fun factor/attachment to themes). I still think the largest and most salient critiques are about how she doesn't feel like herself.

Lane bullying will not be restored, in either iteration ("able to lane" is important though)."
He also added in:
"A few things to note: 
  • A champion like Casseopia, who has repeatable targeted damage, has very little dueling play other than fish and destroy. Casseopia was absurd pre-update in lane, but clunky and hard to play. She fell off late, but that's not a solid enough footing to base the champion on - lack of lane counterplay should not be balanced with "well, she sucks later." It's a binary and non-LoL appropriate pattern (even if it's certainly fun to shit on people in lane :P) 
  • We won't revert because the update isn't just a wash; it accomplishes the functional goals of changing Cass' power curve - which is still an intended goal. What we missed was playstyle and emotional resonance notes, along with power tuning. This will then be additive and adjusted based on the current foundations, and not a new overhaul. The issue wasn't a change, the issue was trading one set of problems for a new set, when we can instead solve problems with a follow-through. 
So she's in a bad state now, but this is still closer to what "finished" will look like than old Cass."

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