Red Post Collection: No Masteries or Rune changes in Preseason, Champion Visuals Discussion, and more!

Posted on at 1:19 PM by Moobeat
[ Note: The SR update is now available in normal blind and draft picks!]

This afternoon's red post collection features info on the hotfix to addres performance issues on the updated Summoner's RiftMeddler with a reminder there will be no runes or masteries changes during preseason, IronStylus sharing his thoughts visual updates for several champions, and more!
Continue reading for more information!



Table of Contents


Hotfix for updated Summoner's Rift Performance

Riot Aeon has updated his Summoner's Rift performance issues thread with a note on the hot fix that went out earlier today!
"Our hotfix patch, sent out this morning (11/17, 9:00 AM PST), includes the improvements mentioned above. 
For those of you who are experiencing poor performance on the update to Summoner's Rift, please give playing on the new rift a try after downloading this patch.
If these fixes are improving your performance or if you are still encountering issues please let us know. Thanks again for your patience and for your help in tracking down these issues."

See this post for more information on the Summoner's Rift open beta!


No Masteries or Rune Changes in Preseason

In a forum thread asking if we can expect any heavy changes to runes or masteries during the preseason, Meddler reiterated that is there will be none.
"We're not making any changes to runes or masteries this pre season - focusing on other stuff instead this time."
He continued:
"Yeah, I expect we'll look at them again at some point, there's definite room for improvement there in terms of how both runes and masteries are handled (lack of genuine, interesting choices in various places in particular)."

Champion Visual Update Discussion

IronStylus has been nesting on the forums, popping into several threads in the Story & Art board to share his thoughts (not promises!) on the current visual state of several champions!

As for Akali's visuals, he commented:
"She's got spaghetti syndrome right now. Super noodly geometry and some weird rigging/animation issues. I'd love to give her a model and VFX a pass. She's not considered a priority right now, and I'm not sure if game design has plans for her. So, personally preference, I'd love to give her some love, but we've got worse offenders and more clear opportunities currently in the pipe. I think she'd probably get a nice new skin before any heavy visual base changes."
In a thread asking about Irelia's eventual visual update, IronStylus reiterated that she's still in need of a gameplay update so it wouldn't likely be until they got around to that:
"Oh I have. I've got a concept sitting all nice and warm on my hard drive. I've had a pretty good reaction from it, though as has been said, she's in need of a kit re-tune. If we're going to do something with her I'd really like to make her blades REALLY mean something than just being a floating skateboard that she thwacks you with. So any VU will be dictated by kit changes which are currently not on the schedule."
When asked about a model update for Kassadin, he replied:
"I think we have opportunities to do an MTU on him. He sorta just floats so I'm not sure how much animation support we'd need. His particles got a nice pass not too long ago so I could see us plugging in a new model, nothing however is marked on the schedule for such an implementation. He has a fair amount of skins too so we'd have to load that work up also."
When asked about LeBlancIronStylus commented:
"Eh. She's not the worst offender. She got a lot better with the texture re balance, but as with most old stuff, with her I'm more concerned with theme. What the hell is she and why does she wear strings of jelly?"
He continued:
"Hmm.. I think whatever "Noxian" means, yes, probably. We'd dig into what form language and other visual reference we've developed internally and derive from that. I think actually that Raven Le Blanc would have made a KILLER new base. But that's just me. 
Zeronis did a really amazing concept of her which plays around more with the whole deceiver thing and duality. We played with using masks and mask motifs as nods to deception, as well as asymmetry in her design to denote contrast. I think he did a really elegant take. That concept is currently sitting on the back burner while we focus on other stuff but will be revisited when we plan to do more work on her."
Finally, he dropped off a few comments on Miss Fortune:
"She'll get an update. We have a few assets hanging around but recently didn't really have the ability to scope her in properly. Now with slightly more model related work, things like Renekton and Maokai, we might be able to prioritize her a bit more easily. I'd say "sooner than later" but I'm not sure specifically "sooner" will be. That being said, some of the work has already been done. She needs to be slotted and put into the pipeline proper at some point."

When asked about the prevalence of "sexy" champions in the past  and what to expect moving forward, IronStylus explained:
"I'll say this much, and this is painting with a broad brush since I'm not on the Champion team proper..

There would be a "sexy" lady if the champion in development called for such a sexy lady. The team isn't just going to conjure up something which has the specs of a curvaceous and busty woman arbitrarily. In the past, yeah, I guess sort of a given because hey, thems video games. But I think we've adjusted philosophies to say "What sort of character do we want to make? And what core aspects of look, theme and design will portray that character best?" We also look for opportunities of things we don't yet have in the game, finding "opportunity space", which I think is great, because it forces us to look outside of the tropes we've leaned on in the past.

The biproduct of this shift is that there probably aren't going to be as many arbitrarilly scantilly clad women simply because those aren't really pillars you design characters on top of. That's just taste, and taste is subjective and isn't a foundation you can build off of when you want a diverse character roster.

I can say that on ChampUP there'll be those opportunities in places like Eve or already existing "sexy" champions, unless that particular flavor of sex appeal simply flies in the face of the character we're trying to bolster. Ironically, you'll probably find more "sexy" ladies being updated and outputted by the ChampUP pipeline than the Champion pipeline.

As has been said, we have a lot of "sexy" females already. It's probably time we focused on getting them up to spec versus making a slew of new ones."

IronStylus also gave his own personal hit list for champions who he believes are the worst visual offenders:
"Yikers.. hard to nail down. But we do have a hit list, but that list isn't necesarilly gone through by worst -> best. We also hit champions where we have opportunity.
On my personal list, however: 
Taric, Morgana, Ryze - would be my top 3.
Followed by.. Poppy, Kassadin, Dr. Mundo

The list would goes on as well.. Cho'Gath, Mordekaiser, and Caitlyn are also up there."

Dancing with Champion Design

For funsies, Meddler waltzed into the forums to help a summoner out on his fan idea for a new champion themed around dancing, using it as an example of how the design process works:
"If we were to develop a dancer champion it would assumedly be because we felt such a champion would allow us to:
  • Offer new gameplay of various forms (new skills to master playing as said champion, the ability to do new things in the game others can't and an impact on how teams think about strategic play).
  • Tell a story and present a personality we hadn't already included in the game
  • Offer a distinct visual appearance, silhouette especially
  • Do all of the above better than other concepts we were considering at the same time (e.g. if looking for a new assassin we'd want to be confident that the dancer idea in question was better than other assassin ideas on the table). Dancer is an idea we've talked about occasionally, so far though we haven't hit on a version we felt was stronger than other options we've been looking at.
To dig into part 1 above, since gameplay's what you've mentioned in your post: 
Dancer as an archetype's generally about physical control - agility, discipline, movement, grace and/or power, etc. 
Assassin or light fighter are the roles I'd consider most likely to be a good fit as a result, since those attributes align well with the expected actions and fantasies of those roles.
Could potentially make an argument for support as well, Sona's existence as an 'inspires allies with music' champion occupies a lot of the space there though. 
Could also go with something a bit unexpected and go for a mage instead (ritual based caster, with long cast times, with dance acting as a channel for magical power) 
Regardless of which choice of role you opted for I'd be inclined to start by looking at some form of combo caster (whether melee or ranged), with ability chaining representing dance flow, and different effects based off whether abilities were used as a setup or finisher. Very easy to get into over complicated design with that sort of approach though, so would want to either have some fallback options or be willing to kill the concept if it wasn't showing promise."
Again, he is only speaking hypothetically.

Death Recap is ... frustrating. 

ZenonTheStoic stepped up to the plate over on reddit to answer a question on the Death Recap system and, while it on the radar, why it is a tricky fix for something like preseason:
"First, couldn't agree more. There isn't a more frustrating system in the game from the perspective of a designer than death recap. Not only is it really buggy and really hard to develop for (some actual bugs you guys see were introduced when trying to fix death recap bugs), it's also a massively wasted opportunity. Where the time you're dead would be great to instruct you how to do better next time, we're currently not doing any such thing.

However, the idea that "Riot should redo it for Season 5", which I've read a bunch of times before on reddit's front page, is pretty misguided, so let's look at why that is!

A new pre-season is a massive undertaking each year, requiring designers, sound engineer, vfx artists, modellers, concept artists, animators, engineers etc. It often stretches the resources of these departments thin. Thus saying "you should also do this other thing which will require the same resources at the same time" is the opposite of what we should do. We should totally attack death recap, but it cannot be while we're working on pre-season. Not only would we make engineers really sad, we'd also risk having season 5 slip, which is not really acceptable.

TL;DR: Yeah, we should redo death recap, absolutely. We should do it when we have time though, not at a time when we're stretched thin already."
When asked about a bug causing it being overly inaccurate recently, he continued:
"Yeah that's definitely a bug we should fix. I've already escalated to the last engineer who touched the code--even if he didn't break it, which he well might not have, he'll know where to look. As always, no ETA."

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