Red Post Collection: Legend of Poro King Q&A on Friday, Rek'Sai Price Reduction, FeralPony on Feedback & Masteries, and more!

Posted on at 6:22 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection features a heads up on the upcoming Legend of the Poro King AMA, a reminder that Rek'Sai's price has been reduced as it has been a week since her release, FeralPony discussing player feedback and masteries, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Legend of the Poro King Q&A on 12/19

The team behind Legend of the Poro King will be hitting boards on Friday to answer your questions regarding our latest featured gamemode!
"Some of the guys from the Featured Game Mode team are tobogganing in for a Legend of the Poro King Q&A session at 11 AM PST on December 19! Come armed with questions, feedback and snowballs. Wait. No. Not snowballs. We’re on the internet. 
Learn more about the Legend of the Poro King Featured Game Mode here!"

Rek'Sai post release price reduction

It's been a week and, as outlined in the champion release schedule, Rek'Sai's price has been reduced to 6300 IP from 7800 IP.
You can find more information on Rek'Sai and a preview of Eternum Rek'Sai here!

FeralPony on Feedback and Masteries

In a board thread asking if Rioters actually make use of any ideas, opinions, or suggestions about gameplay that roll through the boards or third party sites, FeralPony stepped up to explain his take on processing community input:
"So I'm going to speaking mostly from personal experience on how I use the forums and other forms of community feedback, as different rioters use community feedback differently. If I had to broadly categorize I would say I use community feedback in 5 ways.

Feeling out General Sentiment - This is pretty broad but this is when I search for general trends, issues, and feedback. This is generally for broad answering questions like
"What are people most interested or vocal about?"
"Aside from the concrete data - do people feel that this character is OP or UP?"
"What elements of a larger patch or feature are people most drawn to or that is most contentious"

Easy Wins - These are specific changes that are really easy to do, something I could tackle over lunch without sacrificing my current projects. Often these are champion QoL fixes or bug/feel investigations.
Examples include
Switching a skill to a new targeting indicator
Investigating reports of a characters AA feeling weird
Updates to a champions recommended items
Minor particle updates I can fix with my bad art skills (ex- displaying all 3 cards during Twisted Fates Pick a Card for colorblind people)

Discovering Important or unImportant elements - When I was working on the Udyr and Trundle updates a long time ago reading community feedback on those champions in general was super useful in evaluating what elements of the character people seemed most attached with on each character and what they simply didn't care about. I found out pretty quickly, and not super surprisingly, that people didn't really care about the flat bonus AP on phoenix stance and it was viewed as practically worthless. Stripping this bonus damage out allowed me to put the phoenix fire breath cone on the very first punch upon switching stances for nearly identical total damage but made him more satisfying and allowed him more interesting positional play and let him rotate stances faster.

Discussion Topics on Contentious Issues - Seeing people propose specific solutions for issues and the response to those solutions is really valuable. A specific example here would be the Critical Strike or Grievous Wounds discussions that pop up from time to time. Even if the issues discussed aren't ones we are working on right this minute the discussions are still valuable to have so we can make progress faster on them when we start working on changes.

Specific Solutions - When I'm stuck on something as a dev it can be helpful to get specific suggestions. When I worked on the mastery tree updates for the previous seasons (we didn't do one this time around). Stuff like focusing on laning power for early 9pt masteries, fusing options that didn't need to be separate (such as phys and mag pen or the improved Summoner Spell options), pickpocket variant for melee champs etc, came from community feedback delivered once each version went out and was incorporated into the next iteration.

Anyways that's a really long way of saying, yes I find a lot of value in people posting stuff for a variety of reasons, but it varies greatly based on the projects I'm working on, and how much those issues are discussed.

I hope this was helpful Wiegraf (I'm assuming your name is a FFT reference btw?).

In the same thread, he also chatted a bit about why there were no preseason changes to masteries:
"Few reasons, on the value side updating the trees has increasingly less value each time we do it. Not saying there isn't value but it gets more and more into small scale numbers tuning (or in mastery cases REALLY small numbers tuning) and less about solving largescale problem. This isn't terrible surprising as when we approached them initially in Season 2 it was a pretty substantial overhaul, the S3 and S4 updates while certainly improvements were more on the lighter tuning side of things.

In addition, the cost of doing this adjustment is really high. We need to wipe all players mastery pages each time we do an update beyond a very simple balancing change which based on a lot of player feedback is something people don't want to go through unless there are really substantial gains.

With so much focus on the jungle this preseason having a characters baseline statistics stable was really beneficial for getting the strength and tuning of the jungle where we wanted it to be. Runes and masteries have such a huge impact on that system keeping as many variables steady as we could is highly beneficial.

With those factors in mind and the ever increasing long list of other stuff we wanted to get done it didn't make sense to spend a lot of time this preseason focusing on the mastery system.

TL:DR - High cost, low gains, messes with jangle jangle, other stuff we want to do."
When asked about spicing up masteries and adding less "just stats" options, FeralPony noted:
"That's definitely something we'd like to do and overall a noble goal. It's why the trend over the years with masteries has been to shift more into unique effects. There is an increasing complexity cost if you go too hard on this mentality where you have 30 unique effects all interacting simultaneously and unless there is substantial power creep accompanying these effects most of these will be unnoticeable invisible. For these to ultimately be both more interesting mechanically and noticeable we'd probably have to cut down the number of masteries chosen down from 30 but that would require a larger rework that we'd have to do at a later time."

[Continued] Player Behavior Design Values: Reform discussion

Following the recent developer blog on the player behavior design value of Reforming players, Lyte popped up on reddit to address a few concerns and reply to questions:

When asked about the potential increased on toxicity in normal draft queues due to ranked restricted players, Lyte noted:
"We're monitoring Normal Draft extremely closely to ensure that there isn't a meaningful increase in toxicity. 
The key that makes this system different than traditional Prisoner's Island designs where you place all toxic players on a separate matchmaking island is that the majority of players in Normal Draft are still neutral to neutral positive. 
By slowly and intentionally introducing a very small minority of players who may be toxic, and ensuring that they are **also** chat restricted allows us to ensure that Normal Draft never actually becomes a Prisoner's Island. 
One of the key things we're also watching out for is how do players behave in Ranked Mode after being through a ranked restriction? Is the behavior better than before, or worse? So far we're seeing pretty positive signs that the feature is doing well."

He continued, commenting on the types of data shared and measurements of toxicity:

That is exactly my point. The reduced reports don't mean reduced toxicity. It could be reduced reports because the season's over, because people play less now that it's near Christmas, because finals happened, or less reports because people were legitimately removed. Who knows which it is. 
And personally, I don't think that the reports correlate to toxicity at all, since nobody ever gets reported or punished for toxic behavior, just toxic words. Do whatever you want, as long as you don't speak.
We often see feedback that we don't provide enough context in some of our blogs or posts about player behavior, and that's valid. However, we generally don't go nitty gritty on a piece that millions of players are going to read because only a small % of players are going to care about the academic rigor behind the statistics.

In academic talks at universities or GDC, you'll often see me go into pretty extreme detail on some of the numbers behind experiments, and you'll want to look up those if you are interested in the nuances.

To answer your question, we don't just measure reports when measuring toxicity. We have numerous ways of measuring toxicity including sentiment analysis, which analyzes chat logs in real time to determine the level of toxicity in a particular game's chat log.

In this particular blog post, we're referring to the fact that extreme toxicity (for example, specifically games where someone uttered a racist, homophobic, sexist remark or death threat) went down. We can measure this through sentiment analysis which crawls chat logs and identifies whether these phrases show up in the game.

To address your concern about seasonal changes, actually that's a pretty simple problem and numerous analysts normalize out seasonal changes by comparing any influxes they see from previous years and compensating for that in the current report. For example, we generally see changes in reports around September. For people who are currently students, that shouldn't be a surprise :)

Finally, to your last point, verbal toxicity and gameplay toxicity are both punished--you don't need to speak to be punished for gameplay toxicity. I am not sure why you believe that reports only correlate to verbal toxicity. Intentional feeders, Elo Boosters, RAF abusers, etc are all banned daily from a combination of reports and other systems.

When asked for specific numbers and the precise details of these studies, he reiterated:
"Feel free to come to one of our university talks or GDC talks if you are in the area. Last year, we did a tour of Boston universities such as MIT and Harvard, and this year we'll be doing MIT/Harvard and adding some schools such as UCLA/USC/UC Irvine potentially. If you want to see the full blown experiments and data behind the studies you'll have to come to one of those talks, because that's the audience that we share that level of detail with."
He continued:
"GDC tends to put their talks online for free, for example this one about player behavior in League of Legends:"

When asked about players who falsely report on a consistent basis, Lyte noted:
"This. If you report inaccurately, your reports just end up worth nothing to all systems in the game."

12/18 Patch Update

The official 4.21 patch notes have been updated to include two minor bug fixes that went out earlier!

  • BOX FIX Fixed a graphical bug where Sherwood Forest Ashe's E - Hawkshot visual effects were generating tons of green squares
  • BUGFIX The damage of E - Rend now properly matches its tooltip

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