Red Post Collection: Champion Update discussion, More on Zz'Rot Portal, and Good Behavior Mystery Gifts out soon

Posted on at 9:38 AM by Moobeat
Today's red post collection features Riot Scruffy chatting about the champion update team, Reinboom with more discussion on Zz'Rot Portal, and Lyte noting the good behavior  mystery skins are going out soon!
Continue reading for more information.

Table of Contents

Champion Update Team

First up, Riot Scruffy jumped into a boards thread about the new champion release rate vs updating older champions and how the increased size of the champion update team:
"Hey Sinwrath, we totally feel like you do in terms of how much we need to (and want to) update our old champs. The potential of these characters to be awesome is really high. 
Just in terms of designers on the champion update team, this year we are growing from 4 to 6, and at the same time I think (hope) we're getting better at what we do. 
We don't have any set timelines like "expect 1 update a patch," but we will release as many high quality updates as we can this year (both big and small). We are in progress on a bunch of the champs you have listed above, and the work is looking very promising so far. 
That said, we don't have any plans to slow down new champion releases. IMO new champs are part of the lifeblood of what keeps League fresh and evolving.
2015 is gonna be a good one."
He continued,
Only 4 people have a say in whats going to be in these kits? Well with the current track record of new champs its only gonna get worse from here.
We actually work very closely with a lot of people, so every update gets feedback and improvements from 10-20 different designers and another 20 artists, producers and engineers. 
The whole champion update team is closer to 30 people, in 2014 we had 4 game designers (not including me)."

Scruffy continued, sharing his thoughts on what is "too many" champions:
"It's definitely true that there is a point (just for illustration say 500 champions) where there are more champions than there should be and it starts to detract rather than add value to the game. 
At our current rate of ~8 new champs a year, I think we have at least a few more years before we start to hit the point of slowing down further. 
On point though, we definitely want to ramp up the rate of fixing/improving existing champs by a large amount."

When asked for specifics on a few champions who are currently being worked on, Scruffy noted:
"I don't want to bring up any stuff that is still too early and experimental but a few projects that we are working on and are going pretty well IMO are: 
Some are small, medium, and some are big scope. Also there are a bunch more in the pipe just not ready to talk about yet."
He also added later:
"We're actually working on GP as well, he's just a bit earlier in the process."

When asked if Poppy is keeping her  "football tackle" slam, Scruffy noted:
"Yea, she is keeping that for sure."

When asked if Shen is on their radar, Scruffy noted:
"Agree that Shen needs work, we just have so many to do and only enough bandwidth for a handful at one time. We will get to everyone that needs it in time."
Scruffy also explained what he means by using the term "bandwidth":
""Bandwidth" refers to how much content you create and work on simultaneously. It's a combination of how many resources you put the team (primarily staffing and testing) and type of the work required (how many people you can throw on a problem before you hit diminishing returns or "too many cooks in the kitchen problem")"

Riot Repertoir also popped up on reddit to briefly mention Taric, saying:
"This time around, Taric's update is not going to be a small one. The next update you guys see to him will be pretty substantial. Haven't locked down full details yet so we haven't established a release patch yet (and don't have too much to share as far as details go), but he's one of two projects I'm pretty actively working on."

When asked why we sometimes hear about champion updates - both visual or gameplay - but sometimes don't hear much about them for sometime, FeralPony noted:
"Kit outlines (or rough plan) and ideation is the shortest part of working on a rework and also the most likely to fail and get sent back to the drawing board. I know it can be frustrating to see a kit or idea set and think "Great! It's almost done now, all they need to do is code it into the game, tweak a few a numbers and done!" but realistically that phase of the design is only 5%, maybe 10% of the total work at most. 
As for admitting that some champs need higher priority than others? Nobody is going to disagree with you there, and while there is some universal level of agreement (ex - Yorick would benefit more from an update than Udyr) this is not only very subjective but also can vary widely by discipline.
If you ask Iron Stylus on the art team who is most desperate need of an update you'll get a very different response from a member of the design team, or the creative team. When a champion needs multiple of these teams to be successful that's when the champion update as a whole needs to be looked at and prioritized not only in desire/need but also all the other factors. Who is available to work on the project? What's the value for the time invested over other projects? Etc, etc."

[Continued] Zz'Rot Portal Discussion

Following yesterday's discussion on the upcoming Zz'Rot Portal item, Reinboom popped into a boards thread to open up the discussion there:
"I'm interested in hearing feedback or seeing discussion for Zz'Rot Portal wherever possible. Reddit just got asking questions first. 
What are you interested in?"

As for which role or type of champion Zz'Rot Portal is intended to be used by, Reinboom noted:
"Top, Bruisers, or a late game "My GA is on cooldown and I just really need to take a turret so I'll exchange the GA for this new thing" item. 
Fun fact: Raptor Cloak (and thus Point Runner) was made for this item. It building into Ohmwrecker was a later changed. This item just got delayed enough that it got released in a weird order."

Reinboom continued, answering a question on  what impact they imagine this item will have on the game:
"The main ideal impact is more teams can split push even if it costs an item investment to do so. Or a different type of siege pressure.

The item actually functions best when there is someone present to support it. It's kind of weak at pushing minions itself (intentionally). It WILL eventually push down a tower, but it takes awhile by itself.
The type of opening that provides though could be useful.

Nasus CAN gain stacks on it. Be careful when building against Nasus.

And yes, the item does have uses outside of split pushing. It can compliment a siege. It can be placed preemptively against a lane that is at risk of slowly pushing towards a tower alone to help negate it. It can be used for vision (in kind of a weird manner)."

When asked for her thoughts on how popular the item will be and if the voidspawn benefit from the siege commander elixir, Reinboom commented:
"My predictions: It will have a spike in usage when it first rolls out then it will have a drastic decrease. People will find creative usages and some people will become attached to it. It's a uniquely fun ability - active map presence on an item - for some players. I don't think it will have an overwhelming usage rate though, it's not really "core" on many champions. 
They currently aren't boosted by siege commander. That will probably change."

In response to a player's concern on having to purchase one's own Zz'Rot Portal to counter another one, Reinboom explained:
"Most ranged champions have better tools available to them for taking towers than Zz'Rot Portal already. 
If it becomes a must pick on all champions, then the base stats of the voidspawn can be dropped even further and more of it shifted over to how your defenses contribute to its damage. That is, pushing it even further into the realms "tank only-ness"

Damage output counters Zz'Rot Portal innately in that you can clear the voidspawn and the void gates. If your opposing ranged character purchases an early Zz'Rot Portal, then you can build clear and sustain (Tiamat) to deal with it or you can threaten pressure elsewhere. By putting their value into pushing power, they sacrificed stats that could've helped them with Dragon.'
Reinboom also commented on why the voidspawn do not grant the opponent exp and gold:
"The cost of the item is already paid by building it. Unlike a champion ability, there was already significant investment given to getting a void gate out. 
Turning such an investment into a reward for your opponent is... tricky and not ideal. The void gate itself does provide 25 gold when you kill it, but even that is only a tiny bit for the purposes of the incentive, "this is the thing you're supposed to kill"."

When asked why Zz'Rot Portal can not be damaged by skill shots, Riot Reinboom noted:
"One of the core concepts to the item is "here is a defensible point you must take from me". It's a tool to lure your opponent into engaging or making a mistake. 
Making it hittable by skillshots goes against that."

As for if the new item will be available on Twisted Treeline or Howling Abyss, Reinboom confirmed:
"Currently, no. It was tuned for SR lane distances so we would need to do a bit of research to make sure it would work healthily on those maps first."
FeralPony added:
"The number of changes the item would need to function properly on Dominion both from an implementation and a gameplay perspective are substantial enough it would be close to making an entirely new item. Not ruling it out in the future though (and we could certainly reuse the cute little bug models)."

Check out our PBE coverage for a better look at this upcoming item!

Good Behavior Mystery Gifts being handed out soon

As you may recall, positive players who did not received "a chat restriction, ranked restriction, 14-day ban or permanent ban in 2014" will soon be receiving a free mystery gift!
When asked just how soon these gifts will be going out, Lyte noted:
"We're running a final test today, and the gifts will start going out tomorrow. Around 95%+ of players are getting the gifts, so it's a pretty massive undertaking. 
Hopefully players are presently surprised."

When asked if this promotion extends to the Garena servers, he noted:
"Riot territories will start getting gifts tomorrow, but we're still nailing down final details for Garena so they might be delayed a few more days."

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