Red Post Collection: Bard Discussion, Patch Rundown 5.4, Kassadin Champ Update on PBE, DJ Sona Q&A, and much more

Posted on at 3:48 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post is MASSIVE! It includes oodles of discussion on Bard, Scarizard with a patch rundown for 5.4, Ququroon on the Kassadin champion update currently on the PBE, a lengthy Q&A on the recently released DJ Sona, and much more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Bard Discussion

With our next champion revealed and up on the PBE for testing, several Rioters have jumped on the boards to discuss our upcoming champion:

When asked about Bard's designer Rabid LlamaZenonTheStoic commented:
"Rabid Llama is a super old school Rioter. He's been around since 2009. He used to be an engineer but switched over to design recently. This is his first champion, so be gentle!"
As for where they expect Bard to fit into team comps, Meddler explained:
"One of our goals when we first starting kicking around ideas for Bard was to create a support that offered a distinctive style of play to his team, let them do some different stuff both in terms of team comp and strategy. Roaming support (or at least partially roaming, we're still predicting most Bards will spend a lot of time in lane too) seemed like a good fit as a result.

In terms of team comp we do think it's likely some champions will pair noticeably better with Bard than others and that's something we're fine with unless it goes to extremes (really overpowered with X other champion, useless without's not a good thing of course). Safe 1v2 laners, whether because of their range, escapes, lack of farm dependence, toughness or whatever are likely to be good fits with Bard (Caitlyn for long ranged farming or Sivir for strong waveclear+spellshield safety for example)."
When asked if Bard can see his chimes on the minimap through fog of ward, Meddler noted:
"Bard can indeed see his Chimes on the minimap once they've spawned, regardless of whether that's in fog of war or not."
He continued:
"They're more likely to spawn near Bard, early game especially. 
Other players, whether ally or enemy, can see Chimes, but can't interact with them at all."
Meddler also added:
"Chimes spawn in semi random locations at fairly regular intervals. They'll keep doing so as long as the game lasts. If all you're doing is collecting Chimes however you'll be spending a lot of time waiting and not doing anything (you'll temporarily run out of new ones to collect), which is why we're expecting Bard players to still spend a lot of time doing other stuff."

ZenonTheStoic also chimed in on where the chimes spawn, noting:
"Passive chimes do have a large number of possible spawn locations. The game chooses where to spawn the next one semi-randomly, as in there are some rules to it. The spawn locations are NOT the locations on Sr where the Bard symbol currently appears - those are unrelated."

As for how long the charms last,  Rabid Llama shared:
"They last 10 minutes apiece. They have minimap icons (missing on PBE yesterday, should be back today), which turn orange for the last 30 seconds of their lifetime so you have some idea which ones are about to disappear."

When asked if they worry that Bard will spend so much time out of lane he will be regularly underleveled, Meddler noted:
"There's experience on Chime pick up in part to avoid that problem, so that spending more time out of lane than normal (up to a limit of course, eventually you run out of Chimes to collect) feels rewarding rather than punishing."
He continued:
"We're hoping to see some other reasons to roam a bit as well too, whether that's throwing down Shrines in other lanes until needed, helping your jungler bypass walls, warding deeper than you normally would or whatever. Really interested to see what people make of this guy and how his toolkit gets used."
Meddler also commented on Meeps role in his kit, explaining:
"That's pretty accurate. Meeps damage is there, and scales over the course of the game, in part to offset Bard's lack of other damaging abilities and the way some of his skills (E especially, W and R to a lesser degree) lack immediate combat impact. 
Meeps also give a clear, discreet way of providing power from his collection game, adding some different decision making and optimisation into how that power's used (rather than giving raw stats, which can also be an appropriate choice but is something we've already got on offer on other champions)."
As for why Meeps are generated over time vs Bard picking them up, Meddler shared:
"We did look at whether Bard should collect Meeps directly. That lead to situations where Bard went through extended periods of no Meeps at all however if unable to roam sufficiently. It also left Bards feeling they had to try for a kill immediately on returning to lane (otherwise he either never auto attacked or would spend his Meeps before he really wanted them). Very boom or bust gameplay and we do want the Meeps to offer a consistent contribution to Bard, given his non combat/non damage tools as above.
When asked if Bard can use his own Caretaker's Shrine (W), Meddler confirmed:
"Bard can use his own Shrines."
As for W's high mana cost, Rabid Llama also noted:
"It's offset by his chimes giving him percent-missing mana back, so the number looks higher than it "really is" - plus, early sustain is something that has to have a cap kept on it or it gets out of hand very quickly."

As for if you need to click his Magical Journey (E) portal or if it just sucks you in, Meddler noted:
"You'll need to explicitly click on the portal - you won't get auto pathed through."

Meddler continued, hitting a few points on the Magical Journey (E) portals:
"In gameplay terms the portal doesn't remove terrain or create a hole in it, but instead creates an area you can choose to click on to be transported through the terrain. Being knocked into a wall a portal's on functions just like being knocked into any normal wall as a result.

Enemies are still targetable and vulnerable while taking a Magical Journey.

An Anivia wall up against an exit portal could lock an enemy against terrain for a while, in the same way that you can use an Anivia wall to lock someone against terrain they've just dashed across.

Bard cannot, alas, create portals through the walls on the side of the map, fun though allowing people to fall to their deaths on Howling Abyss would otherwise be."
He also reiterated:
"Allies go through Bard portals faster than enemies do."

When asked about the maximum length of Bard's portal, Meddler noted:
"Uncapped, though will stop once it runs out of terrain to go through. You can get some pretty long Magical Journeys going, speed of travel does slow down a bit on longer ones though."

As for if Bard's portal interacts with temporary terrain like Jarvan's R or Anivia's wall, Meddler commented:
"It currently doesn't interact with temporary terrain at all (though his Q does). That's something we might change at some point, still debating whether it's sufficiently valuable gameplay to be worth the coding time though versus other stuff we could work on instead."

When asked if Bard's R would put Olaf into stasis, Rapid Llama noted:
"That's right - it doesn't hit Olaf during his ultimate, on either team. 
It's a bit of an odd spell, so I think players will discover cool interactions and plays around Unstoppability. 
As for the base laser - I actually didn't know, so I just tested - the Fountain Laser won't shoot you if you're untargetable, and the fountain healing also won't work... but you're invincible, so it's not a huge deal :) 
In general, this spell works very similar to Zhonya's Ring Hourglass, although there are some differences since you can be Tempered Fate'ed during times that Zhonya's is normally disabled."

As for the "troll potential" of Bard's R, Rabid Llama noted:
"(Said before, but I'm waiting on my Riot flair. Reddti pls)

I'm super stoked to see so much agreement in this thread!

Giving characters more power to directly help your enemies or screw over your allies is definitely a risk. On the other hand, any character in League has the power to indirectly help your enemies anyway - "trolly" abilities make it much more apparent, than they do more possible
My bigger concern, honestly, is that it will make characters like Bard harder to learn. For example, if you miss a Ziggs ult really badly, you just lose out on some damage, no big deal. If you miss a Bard ult really badly, though, congrats, you just stasis'ed your whole team and got them aced. Whoops! <Cue spy accusations in team chat>

In my mind Bard exists as a "more advanced" character - he requires a better understanding of how League works to play most effectively. As such, I feel like we can get away with taking some of the bumpers off and letting the player choose to make a few mistakes on the way to mastery."
He continued, commenting again on the possibility of griefing with Bard's R:
"It's definitely something we're aware of, but the design team has been supportive of the idea all along :) 
It used to be that we avoided abilities that took control away from allies, or gave a possible advantage to enemies. Nowadays, though, we're more interested in offering an awesome gameplay experience in the best cases, even if it gives trolls a little more ability to troll in the worst case. 
League is a team game, and a toxic player can have a negative impact, whether they have access to an ally-disrupting ability or not. 
That said, I'm a little scared that the first week will be filled with a bunch of new Bard players getting the trolling out of their system all at once :X"

Rapid Llama continued, answering several more questions on Bard's Tempered Fate (R):
I think it's unquestionable that Bard's ultimate is one of, if not, the most powerful in the game, but I have some questions... 
Can it grant invulnerability to inhibitors or the nexus? 
Cab it shut down the Fountain Laser/Fountain Healing? 
Can it shut down the energy barriers that block non-lane entry into the bases that only members of that team can pass through? 
What happens if you use it on an ulting Malphite? Does he pause mid-dash and then continue after it wears off? 
What happens if you use it on a more conventional dash? 
Personally, I'd love if it could do 1. 3 would be redundant with his E, but would be cool nonetheless. 2 might be kinda iffy.
Hey there!
  1. Nexus and Inhibitors aren't hit by it - I debated it a bunch, but I like the symmetry of the spell, and there's never a reason to make the enemy Nexus or Inhibitor invulnerable (aside from pure trolling), so I left it out.
  2. a. This means that turrets behind the first turret aren't hit by it either. You can tower-dive, but not double-tower-dive.
  3. It only hits things that are targetable, so no, it doesn't hit the fountain laser (and the fountain healing is just a Mysterious Area of Effect anyway.
  4. Nope, nothing to hit there, but as you (and Inept Maverick) pointed out his E portal can totally go through the base walls, including enemy gates.
  5. This was a tricky case - I ended up going with having Unstoppable units (Malphite Ult, Sion Ult, others) be unaffected by it. It's a disable after all, and they're "immune to disables". Stopping and starting was super janky.
  6. It stops dashes in their tracks, similar to Viktor's W. The alternative has people sliding all over the place, outside the area that was hit, and looks really weird :X"

Rabid Llama also replied to another set of general questions, commenting:
Some of the things I was thinking was... 
1. Will Bard's ult have any effect on Dominion Turrets/Any Mode Nexus/TT Altars?
2. As it is-- Bard's E seems to be literally useless on Howling abyss, due to the lack of walls outside of the stage limits.
3. A lot of people are asking, how often will the little chimes appear? They seem to be close together in the video, but I notice suddenly no more appear.
4. What roles can this guy do? He seems like he could be an EXCELLENT jungler (free experience just for doing what you do anyways? OP.) and could work as a roaming mid as well. Another thing someone brought up is have Every lane solo-- solo top, solo mid, and marksman bot-- while having the jungler in the... jungle and bard following him around, and going where needed.
Hey there! I can answer these questions!

1.a. Right now, it does not hit Dominion Turrets (it's cooler to just hit the people channeling, and they serve a very different purpose than turrets on SR)

1.b. It doesn't hit Nexuses (Nexies?) or Inhibitors - there's no reason to hit the enemy Nexus besides trolling, and I like the symmetry on the spell. I'd like to keep it focused on clearer plays, too.

1.c. In general it doesn't hit untargetable things, and there's nothing to hit on the TT altars, so nope :)

2 - I'm interested to see how he plays out on Howling Abyss - he can cut the base wall corners and end up way into the lane, and can jump from brush to brush in the middle of the map. He can flank pretty hard, and might be a big force multiplier for an Udyr or similar. We'll see. Can always up his Chime spawn rate to compensate!

3 - Right now, the chimes show up two at a time about once a minute. Definitely a balance lever, though

4 - That remains to be seen. Jungle Bard is definitely possible, but I'm not sure if it's viable or not. As for double-jungle with a support, his W and E definitely synergize hugely. If that's a thing that happens, I'll be super excited."

When asked if we should expect more champions with a non-traditional VO following Bard and Rek'Sai, Meddler commented:
"Bard will be the last champ without a voice for a little while at least. Something we identified last year was that there was some cool stuff we could do with non verbal champions. Original plan was to space Rek'Sai and Bard out a bit so they weren't back to back, in part because of the lack of voice lines, these release times ended up being better for other reasons though."

In a reddit thread discussing Bard's voiceover, Riot Utora chimed in: 
"this is really awesome to hear - and thank you! We thought that traditional voice would just not fit Bard at all. Fun tip: Bard has a unique VO system that plays certain kinds of lines based on how many meeps you currently have spawned at your side. There are specific lines for "i have zero meeps", "i have one, two, and three meeps". Bard's VO is controlled entirely by the cyclical meep ammo system."
When asked if a bassoon or tuba was used to create Bard's voiceoverRiot Utora replied:
"In the final version there is no bassoon or tuba. However bassoon and contra bassoon are two instruments that I was very adamant on using in the beginning. Bard's early VO prototypes used bassoon, contrabassoon, and bass clarinet. It sounded cool - but wasn't hitting the mark - i think the disconnect was the reeds. I'm a huge bass clarinet and contra bassoon fan, i love their timbre and texture but sadly wasn't right for Bard. The final version of his VO has 4 parts: alpenhorn, middle eastern flutes,verbed out piano tone clusters, and a synthesizer patch that was programmed to cycle through the harmonic series, or overtone series. The overtone series is really what gives Bard it's other wordliness, We wrote the synth lines first and then took the other instruments and composed around the synth."
As for how difficult it was to create Bard's voiceoverUtora noted:
"More difficult in the sense that we haven't done something like this before. Recording traditional VO has a very specific and involved pipeline that involves a ton of people (writers, audio designers, voice actors, recording studios editors, localization, etc, ect.) Bard was just myself and one of our composers (Sebastien) sitting in a room together and writing every single note together. So while yes there are less people involved, it by no means it was easier. To a writer Bard was very easy in terms of VO, if Bard spoke English mine and Sebastien's lifes would have been a hell of alot easier. Also one thing people don't think about alot - Bard will sound EXACTLY the same on every continent. It's a very rare occasion where this can happen. No localization can sometimes be amazing for a global game"

For more on Bard, check out these links

Kassadin Visual Updates & 5.4 Changes

Kassadin currently has a slew of visual updates on the PBE, including updates to his model, textures, and animations. Here's Ququroon with a more context from the  PBE feedback thread:
"Check your (force) pulse, because the Kassadin update is on PBE! [when it's up] 
The man who simply walked into the void is receiving an update to his visuals! Kassadin is a rather old champion, so it's without question that he'd be needing some polish. Though dated, Kassadin's personality and theme had some strong notes that we looked to maintain with this release, rather than recreate. As such, our goal with this update was to strengthen what was currently in game. 
In this update, we wanted to bring his model, texture, animations and icons into the modern era. He had received updated particles not too long ago, but they did receive a slight update as well. His skins have also received like love, including the long requested flip on Harbinger's blade. 
Some questions to keep in mind as you take a look at Kassadin!
  • Does this still read as Kassadin to you?
  • Do you feel that anything you find core to Kassadin is missing?
  • How do you feel about Kassadin's skins? 
We'd really appreciate it if you'd take a look at Kassadin, and let us know of any bugs and/or feedback that come your way. Your feedback helps to guide changes we can make, as well as helps us grow as a team. 
Interested in a little more context on this update? Check out this ChampUp post!"
As for the scope of the update, he continued:
"I didn't mean to imply you were saying that, just framing the question.

But yes, to your point, we do aim to be cohesive in Art, Gameplay and Story. In an ideal world with infinite resources, every character is fully updated on every axis, even when the increase is minimal at best.

However, there are times when we aim for quicker wins. Would Kassadin/Alistar have been better with the addition of VO? Yeah. They would. However, that would make things take longer, and eat resources from some of the larger projects (Poppy/Taric). There's a loooot of champions we want to get to (Hi, Urgot.), but only so much we can do at a time. Smaller projects like this allow us to be more agile and affect more champions in a shorter time period.

This does mean that we go back and add things to projects we have shipped. Kassadin previously received VFX, and now we're adding more visuals on top of that. Janna received a VU in the past, and wouldn't be out of the question for us to do again. Stuff like that."
When asked if Kassadin will be receiving a recall animation with these updates, Ququroon noted:

Check out our PBE coverage for a better look at Kassadin's updates, as well as his updated skins.
As for the sour response to Kassadin's recent patch 5.4  R range nerfs, Pwyff noted:
"Range nerfs are definitely a challenge, but it's worth noting that while -15 mana off R doesn't seem like much, it's an exponential stacking mechanic that impacts him a little more than that.

To be fair, in jungle fights he's still pretty obnoxious and, in rare cases where the number of jumps matters more than the distance, he's even more obnoxious <_<

Buuuut I don't want to turn this into a Kassadin balance thread, and we're going to be watching really closely for him to maintain his identity."

Veigar changes in 5.4

Meddler also popped back on the forums to offer a bit of context on Veigar's 5.4 changes and how they came about after the recent removal of DFG:
"We've wanted to do some work on Veigar for a long time. He's a cool character, with both a strong personality and clear high moments in his gameplay. He's suffered historically however from a significant lack of counterplay, particularly on his E. That meant that we felt we'd be uncomfortable if he was to become a common pick and deliberately didn't buff him at times because the experience of playing against him could be really poor.

When we decided that we ought to remove DFG from the game we felt it would be the right time to also work on those champions that most commonly used it. We weren't certain exactly how much of an impact its removal would have, but wanted to be free to work on champions affected if appropriate. That meant looking at some existing problems and prioritizing some work, such as Veigar, that had previously been on our backlog. Veigar's instant stun was the biggest barrier to him being healthy (or at least, much healthier) and we felt adding a delay would do a lot to shift the spell to something it's appropriate to have be strong and seen regularly in LoL.

As it turned out DFG's removal didn't have a very significant impact on Veigar's performance on average. It was a really useful item on him, but so are the alternatives that Veigars are putting that gold into instead now. We felt we had a direction that would lead to a much better Veigar however and as a result continued to refine a set of changes to him as far as we could with internal testing. We included his changes in patch 5.4 as a result and are now waiting to see how he performs. We're confident this direction will help make him a better champion overall, it's certainly possible the current numbers may leave him unbalanced however, and there's been a lot of understandable concern expressed that he'll now be too weak, particularly against mobile enemies. Next step for us is to see how he performs now, dig into which circumstances he does well in and which poorly, figure out whether those are appropriate, and then adjust him in subsequent patches as appropriate."

Azir in 5.5

Continuing on his earlier comments, Meddler again reiterated they are aiming to buff Azir in 5.5:
"Nothing certain yet, though we've got a couple of people testing possible changes this week to try and get them ready for 5.5.

We've been talking about increasing W range, potentially partially offset by reducing how far past a target the spears go (theory is that's a significant source of harass in lane, but much less relevant later on, so would allow us to return some range where it's most appropriate). Also considering raising his base AS and/or AS/level, since increasing those would directly support a more sustained damage pattern."

Nemesis Draft Community Storytime

With Nemesis Draft wrapping up on live earlier this week, L4T3NCY has posted up a request for the communities experience with the game mode as well as a reminder on the summoner icon:
"Hey party people ^_^/

So Nemesis Draft wrapped up on Monday this week and we'd like to hear your stories! This is the first time we'd experimented with a 'pick-type only' game mode that had no other real gameplay changes, so we were excited to see what you guys pulled out. Before we get into that though, there were some popular trends and (as always) surprising outcomes that I want to call out.

Many players perceived giving a 'low damage' champion as the best strat for victory. It seems have been not a terrible idea with many common Supports being extremely popular picks, as they traditionally don't do a lot of damage. Of course, they're also usually sacrificing all their farm for an ADC. With 4+ supports on a team, at least 2 of them got solo farm and could carry hard... as many players learned the hard way. :) Sona & Soraka in particular did very well, yet players constantly handed them over to the enemy team. A cohesive team strat or theme seemed to work better than cherry picking individually 'weak' champions. EG: all ADCs, all glass cannon AP mages, all glass cannon assassins, etc. It made defensive itemisation easier and you could guarantee 2 of those champs not getting anywhere near the farm they usually need to be 100% effective (as oppose to utility Supports that really only require levels to contribute). What did you guys find worked best?

Following on with the popular cherry-picked 'weak' champs, Ashe, Galio & Poppy were also not something you wanted the other team to have. They did really well. Yet people seemed intent on giving them to the enemy team. And then they melted faces. Many faces. :/

Finally, we'll start distributing the Nemesis Draft reward summoner icon from today. Remember it could take up to 2 weeks to reach your account, so don't panic. We experimented with the extended time penalties and rewards around dodging in this mode, but as it turned out, most people who played Nemesis Draft never dodged a single game at all. What we did learn is that "Dodgers Gonna Dodge". :/ 1 dodge impacts 9 other players, so while intentional, repeat offenders were very few in number, they can make large ripples (they won't be receiving the icon though). Most players just wanted to get on with playing the game. :)"
 He continued:
"So many ADCs did have quite a poor showing though. Lucian, Caitlyn & Graves in particular (despite their unpopularity suggesting people thought they would actually be good). What I suspect happened with Ashe was, she was SO underrated and picked so much, she sometimes slipped through into the popular "all jungle" or "all support" comps. With a tanky, peeling frontline, Ashe does just fine. :) 
She also doesn't really need farm for her Crystal Arrow to contribute to team fights if it hits. People are also more familiar with her due to the training (plus she's a low IP cost so high exposure rate) and a Crystal Arrow is still a Crystal Arrow. :)"

Patch Rundown 5.4

With patch 5.4 out on live, Scarizard and the gang are back for another patch rundown!

"Join Scarizard, Smashgizmo and Riot Jag as they discuss Live Gameplay’s change philosophy and dive into Riot’s latest changes to Kassadin, Jarvan IV, and Veigar."

DJ Sona Q&A 

Prior to DJ Sona's release on live, several Rioters who worked on the ultimate skin gathered on the forums to answer all sorts of questions!
Here's Riot Paradox with an introduction to the Q&A:
"Hey guys, 
The skins team is stepping out from behind the curtain for some Q&A about DJ Sona! Whether you’re interested in her development, her music or other fun facts about skins – ask away and we’ll be happy to answer! 
If you missed DJ Sona’s opening set, get all the details on League’s premier disc jockey here
  • Nathan "Riot Paradox" Moorman
  • Elie "Riot Ve1vet" Lehman
  • Jeremy "Jestercapp" Putnam
  • Heather "Riot Baconhawk" Jones
  • Brennan "Riot Reaper" Haase
  • Paul "Partiest Cat" Jarvis
  • Sunny "Kindlejack" Pandita
  • Eugene "kyugene" Kang
  • Paul "Paulewog" Hoefener
  • Myke "DontHassleDaHoff" Hoff
  • Paul "RiotZeronis" Kwon
  • Katey "Riot KateyKhaos" Putelis
  • Adam "Riot AdamUnicorn" Kupratis
  • Tom "Riot Whist" Robbins
  • Toa "Iceburrg" Dunn
  • Viranda "Viranimal" Tantula"
Here is a collection of the more interesting posts from the Q&A, sorted into similar themes:


When asked how they go about selecting which champion should get an ultimate skin, Riot Reaper replied:
what do you base the criteria of ultimate skins on a champs kit or champs popularity in the community
We put all of the champions pictures on the wall and throw darts until we hit one ;) 
In all seriousness though, we look at Ultimate skins as an opportunities to really evolve the game and do something we've never done before. In this case, the team was very excited about the idea of creating a unique musical experience and an awesome skin to go along with it."

When asked why Sona was chosen for the ultimate skin, Riot Kindlejack  noted:
The most obvious question ever: Why did Sona get the ultimate skin? In other words, why make DJ Sona ultimate over something else? 
As mentioned above I was an external freelance artist at the time and I felt the same way when I got the brief. But the more I thought about it the more excited I became because I realised that it was going to be amazing. 
I love music, and this skin is a love letter to music! Electronica, light shows, extreme high points, the opportunities for this skin to be huge are all there. Maybe we could collaborate with real world artists? Sona has been in the game for a long time, she is a really iconic champion and one that people feel very passionately about. I love to look at fan art and get pumped up by the outpouring of love champions in our game have and the more time that goes by the greater their followings grow. Some skins are great ideas but can be fully achieved at lower tiers. With DJ Sona there was plenty of space to crank it all the way to 11."
Riot JesterCapp also added:
"Hello! Thanks for the question. I worked on DJ Sona as Tech Artist/ Rigging Dude. 
So when deciding on which skin concepts we want to pursue, and at what tier, a lot of it is about the potential we see and our personal excitement about the concept. When looking at ultimate skin ideas, many folks on the skins team (especially the sound dudes!) had a lot of excitement about DJ Sona. We had a lot of feature ideas we thought were really cool, lots of opportunities to do things we hadn't done before, so we thought it was worth pursuing. Yes, there are characters that don't have as many skins as Sona, but we felt this concept had the most potential. :)"
He continued, elaborating on how long the skin was in production:
A followup: How long have you been working on the skin? This seems like a concept that would've been thought up pretty quickly, after all, and the skin seems to have A LOT more work put into it than the other two ultimate skins. Like, Super Saiyan 3 compared to Super Saiyan 1 levels of difference, just to have an obvious analogy.
Just curiosity at work :)
Thanks for the questions! The skin has been in development for over a year, which I think was true for Ezreal and Udyr as well. One of the things that contributes to the development time is deciding which "super-saiyen-level" features to add, or how they'll exactly work. :P For example, there was a lot of discussion around how many forms she'd have, how they'd work, how to switch, how we'll get the music to transition, etc. We're trying to make each ultimate skin push boundaries, which means new levels of complexity and problems to solve."

When asked what the inspiration was for DJ SonaRiot Kindlejack  weighed in:
What was the inspiration behind Dj Sona?
DJ Sona makes so much sense. A lot of the strongest skin concepts come from the obvious. You know when a skin comes out that really resonates and you think 'of course, how could this not already be a thing?' that you're onto something good. 
As a concept artist I can say that my specific inspiration came from not just performance electronica like Orbital and Daft Punk but also from DJ roots. I am a huge fan of DJ Shadow and Mixmaster Mike and watched a heap of DJ championships and was blown away by artists like DJ Craze, ie.MERG and DJ Kentaro (this guy omg). As a musician I also got really obsessed with the gear and the vinyl, but ultimately a lot of that kind of stuff can't be reflected in a champion skin because of the small scale. I feel like by collaborating with some real artists we managed to create a skin with some real 'cred'.
One word that I kept coming back to was 'experience' and I feel like that is something at the core of both music and games. A concert is an experience, a game of LoL is an experience. Let's take those and multiply them!" 

When asked how they came up with the names for each of her three forms, Riot Paradox explained:
Where did you think of the names "Ethereal", "Kinetic", and "Concussive"? What do they represent? Please answer Rito :) Love the idea!
Each name is a different type of "energy" that we felt represented that specific style. We didn't want DJ Sona to be tied to existing genres but to instead have a trio of music styles that are unique to her."
Riot Viranimal also added:
"@Paradox brings up a rad point here.. One of our goals was for the music to be as unique to DJ Sona as possible (as opposed to be being tied specifically to existing genres, or to the sound of a specific artist). This was actually why we had two artists collaborate on each of the styles... 
We chose these three “energies” to be representative of many many genres that we loved. Kinetic was meant to be an homage to high energy euphoric genres (such as house, trance, etc), Concussive was meant to be an homage to the darker side of electronic music (think industrial, dubstep, etc), and Ethereal was meant to be an homage to the more mellow electronic genres (such as ambient, downtempo, etc)."
When asked why they chose the Caramelldansen dance for DJ SonaRiot Partiest Cat  explained:
Why did you choose Caramelldansen as the dance for DJ Sona?
Animator here! More than anything, I thought it would fun and cute. Dances are always a cool opportunity to do something fun and light-hearted regardless of the base thematic, and it was one of the more requested dances I've seen in comments over the years so I rolled with it and internally people really dug it!


As for how they landed on the color schemes for each of her three forms, Riot Paulewog explained:
Love the skin and I'm sure as heck gonna buy it, but one thing that's been confusing me, What's the reason behind making both Kinetic and Ethereal have blue and delving into green and purple, respectively? Would it not have been better to make Ethereal a form with more purple and pinkish tones, much how like Concussive is purely made of red and orange tones, and leave Kinetic as is?
Hey HealerDoc 
The color schemes for each form went through a lot of iterations. While we wanted to represent each form with different colors we also wanted to make sure there was a range of hues in each since her LEDs were going to shift to the same color during her auras. so if we went with just blue, purple, orange, or green with any form, the player wouldn't be able to tell there was any hue shift when she used one of her auras or her ult. So we landed on green/blue for kinetic, orange/red for Concussive, and Blue/Purple for Ethereal. At first we tried pink/purple for Ethereal but the hue shift when she used her purple aura wasn't apparent enough so we decided to Include more blue in the ethereal color range. Another reason to include blue is because its a relaxing color, which matches the mood of the music."

Riot Paulewog also commented on which decided the other - the forms to the songs or the songs to the forms:
What dictated what? As in did the skins dictate how the songs were going to sound like or did the songs dictate what the skins were meant to look and feel like. Or was it overall "we want three different genre, a steady pace song, a hard bass song and smooth melody."
So this is how it went down. When we first came up with the idea, the team got together and hammered out which genres of music we thought would make sense. We knew we wanted her to be able to transform from one genre to another. Eventually we decided that staying withing EDM, techno trance, would be the best option. Once we figured that out we decided having three "moods" of dance music would allow us to provide the most distinct and individual forms while staying cohesive thematically. we chose: upbeat techno, dubstep/industrial, and chillstep as very basic thematic directions for each form. 
At that point I went to work on flushing out the look of each "mood". I used color and shape language theory to make my design choices. For example my goal with Concussive was to use color and shape to communicate aggression. I used hard edges, sharp shard-like shapes to construct the deck because those basic shapes are more threatening, while soft round shapes are comforting. Colors can also influence the way you feel. I used red which is a color that evokes higher energy levels. its really interesting a persons heart rate can increase just from sitting in a red room. 
After the looks were nailed down The audio team assembled a BADASS team to use these thematic looks and built a soundtrack tailored to each design."
Riot AdamUnicorn also added on why her blue/green/pink ability colors stayed in each form:
I've been thinking about this for so long. I will ask this here hope you could reply. Have you guys actually consider giving DJ Sona more color varieties for her spells, instead of always making them blue, green, and purple?

Her spell VFX are highly connected to gameplay. "W" is healing and everyone in the game needs to know at a glance what is going on. Color and Shape are the 2 biggest reads for players. Especially in team fights. If we mix these up too much then it will hurt the players experience. However, we are always aiming to improve. Perhaps looking at colors with more flexibility is something we can consider moving forward!"
As for how they went about making DJ Sona's hair,  Riot AdamUnicorn commented:
How did you go about making the hair? It seems so ahead of everything else in LoL. 
Also, why couldn't said technology be applied to say, Nocturne's lower half? (God knows he needs it)
Ah Sona's HAIR! This girls hair had me really busting a forehead vein. We began by utilizing tech for Arcade Hecarim's tail. It would have worked as is if we didn't have her entire EVERYTHING change when she did a transition into a different genre. That's when our amazing engineers worked with myself and the animator to get everything working the way we imagined it. 
Essentially her hair is 'invisible' according to the engine. We then 'hi-jack' the geometry in the hear and 'ghost' it using a particle effect. This allows us to scroll textures, fade in and out etc. It even was quickly used on the new Vel'koz skin!"
As for her "daft punk" style helmet, Riot Kindlejack noted
what made you guys go with a DAFT PUNK look on DJ SONA?
I tried a ton of different looks. Seriously, I wore out my imagination producing style after style. I think in the end it's a direction that has some great music to offer, fits well into the world of vidya games, provides a very unique look for Sona and stands alone among all our skins. Ultimately it resonated most with the team!"
Riot Kindlejack  continued:
"I really wanted Sona to have a display helmet Daft Punk style for a similar reason that they do. Sona doesn't speak, so how does she communicate with her fans during a show? I designed a number of different helmets with various displays, each of which could display every alphanumeric character so she could spell things out for her fans, as well as keep an eye on equalisers for cool-factor. Also it seems like my 'thing' is fast becoming covering pretty faces - just look at my eclipse Leona fan concept >:D 
There were plenty of designs without the helmet too, or just with huge headphones, but ultimately the helmet was a direction we all felt was going to be the strongest for the skin design."
Riot Paulewog  also added:
I personally love the type of helmet/gear she has on.
-Was that an aesthetic choice to look more like daft punk or were there more reasons behind it, since concussive is a full helmet?
-Why that type of helm/visor? Most characters that use those types of helmets are normally Followers and zealots, design wise like . Interesting choice because she doesn't look like a follower.
Hey Xanini, as one of the concept artists who worked on her I'll field this one. 
It was definately a conscious decision. We knew early on we wanted to go in a more sci-fi direction with this skin as opposed to modern day DJ. We looked to tron, daft punk, and EDM culture to provide inspiration for the final look. We loved the idea of Sona wearing a helmet to get into her onstage persona. Another reason behind the helmet decision was to allow more real estate to show a visual representation of each different form of music: the sound bars for kinetic, heartbeat wave for Concussive, and calming streaks for ethereal."
As for why Concussive is the only form to have a full helmet, Riot Paulewog explained:
Why is Concussive the only form with a fully masked helmet?
Hey Renbot, 
A lot of people have been asking this question. We hoped this design decision would make players feel the Concussive form is a bit more sinister and mysterious than the others, which are more lighthearted and fun."
Riot Paulewog  also commented on what inspired them to give Sona a sleek suit instead of her traditional dresses:
Sona always wears a flowing dress in her other skins, while working on this concept what gave her this new sleek look?
Hey ElleBunny, 
We were inspired by daft punk, tron, and EDM music culture for the look of this skin. 
We really wanted the costume and deck designs to feel futuristic, sleek, and minimalist. 
We felt a full dress design didn't fit the thematic as well as a sleek suit. Another reason we chose to go with a suit is because its a bit more of a "blank slate" meaning it can fit well with each different form. An elegantly flowing dress clashes with the Concussive thematic which is much harsher and higher energy."
Riot Paulewog  continued:
Hi, Sona was my first main and my first love. I'm super hyped about this especially because my birthday is in 12 days so it's an unofficial birthday gift lol. ^q^ Anyways, I've been stalking her progress obsessively so my curiosity is strong with these questions: 
A lot of people remarked on this already but... were there any previous outfit designs before settling on a bodysuit? I study character design so I [think I] understand why you chose the outfit but I'm curious to the other concepts you might've had. 
What were some notable complications you had to confront while making this skin? Be it design, animation, coding, etc.? 
What's your personal favorite feature(s) about DJ Sona? 
Thank you so much for such an ace quality skin! =]
Hey Glinda, 
we went through a few different ideas for her outfit in the early stages of the concept. A lot of them were based on the musical form she would be playing. In the end we decided the costume should stay the same so it didn't distract from her cool transforming deck, and also to reinforce that she is remaining in the same persona and just embodying different moods of EDM music. We felt a slick bodysuit served as an effective "blank slate". something we could keep consistent but also didn't feel aligned with one form more than the others.

DJ Sona was a huge undertaking. She got a new model, animations, specially engineered tech to render her hair, and a new music element ( not just for one, but all three versions) so needless to say this skin was a huge file size. The team had to be super clever in finding ways to optimize the skin to meet our specs. I didn't experience that since I am a concept artist who doesn't work on the technical portion of a skin, but major props to my team members for blazing that trail.
My favorite part of the skin is definitely the ability to transform from one form to another. It was so fun designing the same character, with essentially the same deck, while still communicating the mood of the different musical styles through color and shape language theories." 

Riot Kindlejack commented on why DJ Sona is the first Sona skin to show her legs:
Were the looks of Sona's legs developed during the creation of this skin, or were they already defined previously. I'm curious, since her other skins contained no visible legs. Thanks for all the work!
In early concepting I was thinking a lot about what it means to be an Ultimate skin and I made a list of things we could bring to Sona players that they've never seen before. One of them was her legs! So I pushed for it and RiotZeronis drew them oh-so perfectly >:D"


When asked about the new "/toggle" command and if the same technology will be implemented to other skins with toggles (such as NH Rengar or NS Vi),   Riot JesterCapp replied:
Hey Rito! I have a few questions pertaining to the new Toggle command you are implementing. 
Though DJ Sona is the first skin to have access to this unique command, two skins before it already have toggle-able cosmetics. I’m of course talking about Neon Strike Vi and Night Hunter Rengar. The toggle on those skins, however, are bound to their Taunt command (I always found it weird how Vi doesn’t keep her taunt because of this). Will you be remapping these toggles anytime soon? Or are they going to remain the way they are? 
As a follow-up, what about Heimerdinger’s swag walk that normally can be toggled using an emote? Is that going to be moved to the Toggle command, or stay where it is? 
Will this Toggle command be spammable on DJ Sona? Or is there a measure in place to keep players from doing this (i.e. freezing Sona in place until the transformation animation finishes)? 
Hullo, Tech Artist here. Regarding points 1 and 2, we've talked about it, but do not have concrete plans to move those skins over to this system at this time. I'll be interested to see feedback on this UI. 
Regarding toggle spam, as I think a couple folks mentioned in another post, there's a 2 second cool-down between switches and you have to be out of battle for a bit to do it. :)"
Riot kyugene  also answer a question regarding how DJ Sona's evolving music works:
I'm a little bit confused on how the track will change on each ability use. Will spamming Q, for instance, cause the track to start to loop?
Here's a general break down of how you can interact with DJ Sona's music:

When you use her ult for the first time after putting a point in it (EX: using it once after it hits lvl 1, once after lvl 2, etc), Sona's music will progress into a different section of whatever section she's in. She has 4 sections per form and ulting will cause the music to progress to the next form for all genres.

Using Q, W, and E, for the first time, will unmute layers in the music.

/toggle or ctrl + 5 will switch genres "
 Riot Kindlejack also added:

"If you've ever seen electronic music laid out in a program each component (say for example a drum beat) has it's own channel. When you use abilities it switches on different channels within one continuous song. I always remember Mixmaster Mike's work on the snowboarding game SSX3 which had these amazing interactive tracks: if you wiped out, went through a cave, landed a huge jump or approached the finish line the music would change to reflect the highs and lows. I always remember how awesome that was and wondered why more games never did this. Dead Space did something similar where tense music would get louder the closer you were to an enemy, which was a different implementation that worked better for survival horror."
When asked about some of the bugs or difficulties, Riot Partiest Cat shared his experiences from an animation point of view:
As one of the first champions I played, I am very happy to see Sona get an Ultimate Skin. What kinds of troubles did you have during the construction of the skin (Cosmetic or Environmental) and how did hurt/delay the overall finished product? Also how worried were you about setting the skin apart from say Arcade Sona like Reddit so graciously flamed?
Hello! I worked on her animations and she definitely had her fair share of troubles. It's tricky to describe without getting dry and technical, but there were a few technical hurdles that took a good amount of exploration on my end to get working 
  • Her hair 
When we first started working on her and we still had a lot of unanswered questions about how she was going to look, how we were going to tackle her hair came up a lot. We weren't sure if we wanted to animate her hair by hand or if it was going to be done completely in particles (VFX)! There was even a point early on where she had four ponytails instead of two, but it just made her look like a mess of hair tentacles. 
  • Her ambient deck animations 
This one took a long time to get looking right. Each deck needed to animate independently from the rest of her, but there also needed to be moments where I could override that (or add to it) when she interacted with anything without forcing things to reset. Her idle animation in her Kinetic form is a pretty solid example of this! She needed to be able to scratch and interact with them at any point in their turning cycle and have it look clean. It's one of those small details that will largely go unnoticed by everyone, but I put a lot of work into it :D. Hologram blinking was also tricky and worked in the same way. I'm pretty sure Sona is now the most complexly-animated champion under the hood in League and I don't know if I should be proud of that. Sorry QA! 
None of the issues are anything too out of the ordinary for a project this size and didn't really hurt or delay her -- We really wanted her to be something special and were given the time we needed to get her there :) 
As far the Arcade Sona comment, I feel like that worry was squashed pretty early on. We fielded plenty of similar comments from other Rioters when the idea first got the thumbs up, but everyone got on board with the idea once they saw it in action!"

As for the slight differences in DJ Sona's preview site videos vs what was release, Riot Partiest Cat explained:
There was something I've been wondering about DJ Sona's Concussive Stance, I'm not sure if you can answer it but I might as well ask.
In her Preview ( When it was showing her moves and how her music would work. ), She was using both her hands to use the cube, and was headbanging to the beat; which seems to work perfectly fine since a song like that requires a lot more attention if she was creating it on the spot. 
In the PBE though, she seems to only use one hand, and sways left and right rather quickly, and doesn't seem to be in sync with the beat of the song, she seems more calm, which doesn't seem to quite work considering that it seems like you've went with a more Sinister and Hectic view with Concussive. 
So my question is: Why was there a change?, Was there technical problems into bringing that with DJ Sona or did it not workout in the end?
It's just a nit-pick I've had with the skin. Other than that, I absolutely love the skin, and I cannot wait to use it. 
I can definitely speak to that - 
There was a good amount of iteration done with a few of her idles mixed with some really unfortunate timing. At the time the promotional videos were being shot, she was still in development and we couldn't get around shooting them without showing off those WIP animations. 
The "holding the cube and jamming out" was still a pretty big WIP idea that ended up not making the cut after a few rounds of feedback that it was conflicting with the music. The timing wasn't spot-on with the beat and felt really strange any time it wasn't perfectly lined up (which was almost never). 
At the end of the day I had to make the call to go with something that was a little more ambiguous. In a perfect world I would have found a way to make it all work, but time is finite on big projects like this. I'd love to add something else to it later if given the opportunity, though!"
When asked what the hardest part of making the skin was. Riot AdamUnicorn shared:
When did you start making the skin? And what is the hardest part you did in making it? I mean there is a lot of cool things added, but there should be one thing you focus to make it so awesome.

For the VFX side of thing. The hardest part was creating 3 entirely unique sets of VFX for every basic attack and ability for just one skin. It was a challenge to this about what a shield would look like on a DJ... then to say "We need three DIFFERENT DJ Shields". It was a really great feeling when the team rallied and were able to hit each unique genre with such success."

Regarding DJ Sona introducing new ui elements to the gain by way of her opt-in music, Riot JesterCapp commented:
Firstly, I wanted to mention that I love the game, the character, and the skin. I think this is some really high quality work, Riot, and you have my respect. 
This is the first time I at least have seen a skin add new interface elements to the game (I'm referring to teammates abilities to "tune in" to DJ Sona's music). I am curious, what made Riot decide to include something so extreme? That is truly outside the box for a skin, and I am curious to hear if Riot plans on releasing other skins and/or champions that affect the interface in some way.
Thanks very much! I think the reasons you list describe why we did it - it's something extreme, out-of-the-box, that had never been done. Those are the sorts of features we want to try to include in Ultimate skins, to make them push the boundaries of what skins can be. :) You can expect us to continue adding features like that when appropriate, but I don't know specifically around "interface" when the next opportunity would be."

Riot Kindlejack   also added:
"When I started working on the skin I pitched a long list of insane ideas. They told me to go crazy and I certainly did. This was one of the ideas that the team decided was actually possible and I'm so impressed that they pulled it off. I mean really, what is a DJ without an audience >:D"

When asked about DJ Sona's allies being able to hear her music and being able to switch it on or off, Riot JesterCapp commented:
Q: how did you come to the decision about the 9 other players hearing DJ Sona's music ingame? 
i mean why not let the player playing DJ Sona decide who should or shouldn't listen to the music. for instance she can decide if all 9 players can hear her music or if her teammates only or no one but her. in the case of two DJ Sona's then the game would automatically force only the music of the DJ Sona on each team.
So for clarity, DJ Sona's music plays only to her teammates. It's "opt in/ out" for teammates, so they aren't forced into the experience. Leaving that control on the teammate rather than DJ Sona made the most sense to us, as we feel that players should have control over their own game experience."
He continued:
Yes but why not let the enemy team also have access to her music ingame?
Two DJ Sona's wasn't really the issue at hand because the game would automatically put the other 8 players to listen to their team's DJ Sona if that was the case.
I'll see if someone else knows the full reason for that, as I'm not sure - I know some concerns raised involved potential gameplay impact of enemy team knowing when you're switching, solving tech-wise the override when there's two Sonas, etc, but I don't remember the final reasons. 
Edit: it sounds like the gameplay/ disruption concerns were the primary reasons."

When asked if there was any chance for more or different tracks to be added to DJ Sona, Riot Viranimal  explained:
First, this skin is amazing. as someone who loves electronic music/synthesizers, this is a GOD SEND. and the music itself is simply FANTASTIC. 
My question: What is the feasibility that at some point down the line, Sona's library of songs might see some expansion. the 3 current ones are amazing, dont get me wrong. but as with all music they may start to feel stale after hundreds of playthroughs. is there any chance you guys might add a new track after a year or 2?
Awesome to hear you're enjoying the music! Your idea is a rad one- I think what it comes down to is that in-game music like this takes a lot of time to develop and many members of our music team to create. So, what would the opportunity cost be, i.e., what other projects would we have to pull resources from in order to make something like this happen? 
p.s.- since you mentioned being a fan of synthesizers, here's a rad pic from The Crystal Method guys' studio, aka synth heaven. This particular analog model was the same one used to make R2D2s sound effects: "

When asked about the involvement of industry artists - such as Bassnectar and The Crystal Method - for DJ Sona's three tracksRiot Iceburrg commented:
How did you go about getting professional DJ's to make music for DJ Sona? Were they familiar with the game or the character?
There was definitely a range, but some of the artists were very familiar with League - like Stefan from Dada Life that plays a mean Dr Mundo. Some knew of League, but didn't play themselves. One of my favorite parts of this project was the creative process of digging deep into DJ Sona as a character with the artists and then exploring what the music should be like for each form. 
When it came to choosing which artists to work with - there were a few are some of them 
1) We were fans of their music and craft
2) They were flat out cool folks and totally engaged in the idea of this project. 
*There are definitely more... but I'm hungry now.."
 Riot Viranimal also added:

"Further to @Iceburrg's point, we were fans of all of these artist's music and craft first and foremost. Some of them were folks we've already built rad creative trust with on other projects (The Crystal Method on Lucian and Danny "Renholder" Lohner on Pentakill for example). The rest were folks we've been slowly getting to know for a while and were just waiting for the right project to collaborate on. 
Also, an interesting tidbit... Two of our composers (Christian "Praeco" Linke and Alex "Scherzophrenia" Temple) actually wrote a few bars of orchestral melody for Sona which were given to the DJs to inspire them and keep things centered. A few of you guys with sharp ears have already noticed this, but if you listen carefully, the pieces for each of the three forms do share some musical elements between them..."


When asked about DJ Sona's release discount of 25% vs the larger initial discounts on our other champions, DontHassleDaHoff  explained:
Is there any particular reason you chose the sale percentage the way you did? I hear people referencing Pulsefire Ezreal and Spirit Guard Udyr's sales being more "fair". I'm going to buy the skin either way, but what are your thoughts on this?
With all ultimate skins, our goal is to introduce something never-before seen into League of Legends. For DJ Sona, that meant completely reimagining the in-game musical experience with switchable genres, evolving music and giving teammates the ability to tune in. 
As it stands, Ultimates take the most time to create and have the lowest return on investment to Riot of all skin tiers. As we continue to grow, we want the teams to be able to continue to push the bounds of what is delivered to player both at a cost and completely for free. Look back at the changes to champions that have been reworked (Sion for example), where we update the champion, skins, splash art, particles and VO. Or at Summoner’s Rift and all the new elements. 
We want to continue to invest in League and provide more amazing experiences, and to do that, we had to bring the initial launch discount on DJ Sona to a more sustainable level."
He continued:
That was the coolest, most round about way to say "It's just not cost effective and we can't keep eating the lost profit" I have ever heard :)
Will Riot make an open announcement about this on future Ultimate skins and more importantly, will the discount % shrink until it's no longer there? And will this philosophy carry over to the 1350 skins that come out as 975?
Thanks! I can't promise anything here - but I do know we're always looking to optimize our offerings for you all. This includes both in price and products that we're offering.
As of now, we're not looking to nuke our discounts, or make them shrink into nothingness. :)"

Other // Jokes

When asked about some of the hints that went out about "the next ultimate" before DJ Sona's reveal,
Riot WizardCrab  explained:
And finally, a post by WizardCrab: 541daw6s5d41a6s5d 
If it could be explained, then it would be much appreciated! 
Keep up the great work Riot!
I can't speak for Morello's, but I can tell you my clue. First thing's first though: go back and read the context under which I posted the hint. Especially the parent comment and the parent comment's parent. 
Here's the link:  
If you'll notice, my hint comes on the backs of two comments talking about how the hints are probably nonsense. With that in mind, I wanted to post a "hint" that was mostly nonsense as a joke (although it's only nonsense in the way that I could never even dream of someone figuring it out. It's a real hint but truthfully just a bad hint). Either way, I had a great time with it and I love love loved all of the fun theories, real and joking, that people came up with based on it. It was amazing. 
The hint came from my impersonation of DJ Sona. I pretended I was DJ Sona scratching. I used WASD and the numpad on my keyboard as my turntables and went to town.
It wasn't a hint you were meant to figure out. This is why a lot of people on Reddit have me tagged as "Trolling Rioter." See other evidence here:  
[ ]
But oh man did I have a blast with this one. I love this community; you guys are awesome. 
When asked why DJ Sona's rear end is bigger than her shoulders, Riot Paulewog explained:
Why is her butt wider than her shoulders? do you think this causes her bone issues? Don't let Sona suffer in silence, even though she is silent.
I don't mean to troll here but speaking from an anatomical perspective womens hips are around the same width as their shoulders. Males are characterized by wide shoulders and thin hips and vice versa for Females. While Sona isn't exactly 100% true to life proportions, stylizing character's proportions is part of the art style in League." 

As for why her joke doesn't include a reference to Darude - SandstormRiot JesterCapp joked:
Why is her joke not Darude - Sandstorm?
Because Darude - Sandstorm is not a joke. :I"

Riot kyugene also commented on the lack of Sandstorm, explaining:
Dear Rito, where is the darude sandstorm?
On copyright island--just off the coast of 1999esburg."

The team also shared a few of their funny and interesting stories from DJ Sona's development:

Riot AdamUnicorn shared:
About how long has DJ Sona been in the works, and are there any funny/interesting stories you could tell about something that occured throughout her development?
"When I first started working on her VFX, like the very first week.. I created a small "Beet" (like a turnip) falling our of her hand everytime she threw her basic attack.. It stayed in there for about 3 weeks."
Riot Partiest Cat  added:
"I received an animation bug towards the end reporting that her "behind appears concave" in a specific animation. There's something special and hilarious about QA sending me butt reports. 
There was a point where animation iteration was kicking into high gear and I was making a ton of under-the-hood changes to try and get all sorts of things working, which started yielding some pretty wacky results when I'd forget to check a box or set up an animation correctly. 
Riot JesterCapp  noted:

"I feel like I need to include a quote from that butt bug, because it was hilarious:

Bug: The Model of her posterior is much smaller from certain angles than the texture would have it appear, as well as all other animations/idles.
Expected: Model's backside does not appear flat or indented; Sona's buttocks are consistently as voluminous as the texture and other animations in Respawn_Loop animation."
Riot Viranimal  commented:

"For any of you that have seen Frequencies, all I can say are two words... Danny. Lohner. (aka Renholder from Concussive). Every moment working w that dude is a funny/interesting story waiting to happen..."
When asked if the skin was inspired by Hatsune Miku, Riot kyugene  commented:
was hatsune miku used as a reference for the development of this skin? If so, what aspects carried over into the final design? Also, is there any tribute easter eggs for miku in the skin?
I love the caramelldansen dance you gave her, why did the team decide on this for her dance?
It's kind of hard to see regular Sona, let alone DJ Sona, without thinking of Hatsune Miku, huh? She did come up quite a few times, but she wasn't the sole inspiration for her appearance. 
As for easter eggs, I can speak to one musical easter egg: In her Kinetic form, after ulting for the first time, there is a section in her music that's a reference to a certain Nintendo series--specifically one that involves being a bounty hunter :D 
And I'll just copy and paste what the animator said in regards to her dance: "Animator here! More than anything, I thought it would fun and cute. Dances are always a cool opportunity to do something fun and light-hearted regardless of the base thematic, and it was one of the more requested dances I've seen in comments over the years so I rolled with it and internally people really dug it!"
Riot Kindlejack  also added:
"When looking at Sona's base you can already see some similarities with Hatsune Miku. I like the idea of being inspired by vocaloids in general, but this was just one direction along with many others; K-pop, Hip Hop, Club DJs, Technique DJs, Electronica etc. There was just so much I tried to pack into my concepts!"
Check out this post for more information and a better look at DJ Sona!

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