Red Post Collection: Champion Mastery, SRU Beta comes to a close, FIxing Quinn bugs in 5.6, and much more!

Posted on at 7:37 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection includes details on the upcoming Champion Mastery feature, information on more improvements to Summoner's Rift as it heads out of beta, Meddler and Reinboom on Quinn bug fixes in 5.6, Riot Velocity on the strange blue lines in Bard's champion spotlight, and more!
Continue reading for more information!



Table of Contents


Champion Mastery hits PBE

The 3/11 PBE update included the Champion Mastery, a new reward system that lets you rank up with each individual champion and earn various rewards!
Here's more information from Riot's release announcement:
"CHAMPION MASTERY 
We want to recognize you for playing the champs you love and give you feedback on how well you play them.

"With Champion Mastery, you now get points, ranks, and rewards for the champs you play. Now, if you want to show other players that you’re a dedicated Swain main, or a big cheese with Twitch, you can! 
HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS

Finish a game of League and you’ll earn points for your champion based on your team’s performance as well as your own contribution. Earn enough points and you’ll level up that champ’s mastery level, giving you rewards as you progress.

Grades
 
Hover over your Champion Mastery points bar in the post-game screen and you’ll see the grade that our new system gives you. Grades are awarded based on your overall performance in the role along with the champion you’re playing and, crucially, where you’re playing them.
Leveling Up 
Check out your in-client profile, and you’ll see a new stat telling you your mastery score, a sum of all your mastery ranks combined. 

REWARDS


We’re kicking off Champion Mastery with the first five ranks for each champion unlocked. Here are the crests your champion will earn as they rank up:

ROLLOUT

We’re kicking off the rollout with a PBE stint from 3/11. If all goes well, a couple of weeks later we’ll then launch a beta in a single region, focusing on Summoner’s Rift normal queues to make sure the feature’s stable for expanded use. We’ll read through your feedback and keep you updated with our progress, too, so keep an eye out for future posts after the service goes live! 
Eligibility 
All summoners who’ve hit level five or higher will be eligible for Mastery points. However, at launch, it’ll only support normal games on Summoner’s Rift. 
The Future 
This is just the beginning for Champion Mastery. As the system matures, we’ll unlock extra tiers and rewards as we build on the program! "

As for who will be able to see mastery badges on the loading screen, Riot Mixtli noted:
"Team only. Same rules as Ranked banners on loading screen."

Socrates also added that team mates will not be able to see your end of game grade:
"You can only see your own grade so other players won't know if you scored poorly."
Riot Mirross also chimed in, confirming grades will not be available to third party sites:
"No, this won't be available to third party sites. We want the grades to be feedback for you, not something for others to be able to see."
Socrates also noted that all positions are treated equally when figuring out the grade:
"All positions are treated equally. If you're running a Jax / Poppy bot lane (or some of those other crazy combos) you'll be measured against similar players when we give you your grade. 
We aren't giving players an explicit breakdown of their performance in all the categories we consider for launch, but maybe some day."
He continued, elaborating on the point system:
"CP is determined using a combo of personal score, teammate scores, win or loss, game length and a few other factors. 
We weighted scores in this way for a few reasons. We didn't want to put too much pressure on players to perform individually really well at the cost of teamwork. Also we want wins to be more valuable than losses so it's not possible to faceroll a champion to max level easily. That said I can see how not getting as many points for a loss could feel a little bad. Ultimately it's a trade we have to make to align incentives properly in the system but it's something we'll keep an eye on."

When asked if the system will be retroactive and count games played before it's launch, Socrates noted:
"We aren't planning on retroactively giving out rewards at launch since progress is driven by performance."

As for if you can lose mastery on a champion, Socrates noted:
"There are no demotions planned currently. This isn't intended to be a ranked system in the same sense as leagues. The grading system does give players an idea of how they are improving with a champion via the per game performance evaluation. Also, performance and winning or losing does dramatically affect gains, so a high performing player will unlock rewards much more quickly."
Riot Mirross added:
You won't lose points. It's about leveling up your favorite champion, and your pool of favorite champions. You get a grade after every game that is feedback for how well you did, and how well you and your team play contributes to how quickly you level.

Over on reddit, Socrates talked more about the system and how it ties to "mastering" the champion:
"Quote
I am discouraged by this because it doesn't really show "mastery" of a champion but rather games played. Riot said that there isn't a demotion mechanism and basically if you play enough, no matter how bad you are, you'll become a master of a specific champion.
Ranked is the only system that gives players explicit feedback that they are improving atm (and sometimes not improving). In reality, every game you play you are typically improving to some degree. We want this system to fill that gap with a combination of the grading system and progression system. The grading system is percentile driven - so earning a high score means you performed in the top x% of players on that champ in that position. The grade governs the point gains. Ultimately we want a feedback loop that feels meaningful and if we don't feel like we've achieved that we will reevaluate."
Socrates continued:
"It's percentile driven based on your champion and position. So based everybody who played soraka support, if you played in the top x% in your current game you'd get that that score."
As for the rate at which you gain levels, he commented:
"The levels themselves will be pretty achievable on any given champion, but not trivial. The high grades are hard to earn. The only players we consistently saw getting S+ were pro level. 
There is also total score, which is the sum of all your levels on all your champions, that will be really hard to reach max on."

When asked what happens after you reach the maximum tier, Socrates noted:
"We don't want this to be a grind, it'll be way, way less than 500 games to max level. That said, after the levels stop you can continue to earn points, the total of which you get to show off in your profile. So if you wanted to go that deep on Shaco you could."

When asked if this feature will only be for Summoner's Rift, Socrates noted:
"For launch it'll just be SR. May go to other modes at some later point."
As for bot games, he continued :
"Can't do bot games, would be too easy to get a high score. :)"

When asked about including summoner icons as a reward from Champion Mastery, Socrates noted:
"We considered this. We kind of use summoner icons for everything atm so we wanted to branch out with this system."
He continued:
"There probably won't ever be skins associated with this system, but we do have some other ideas we think you guys will like in the works."

He reiterated over on reddit:
"This is something we talked about a bit internally. We kind of give summoner icons for everything atm, so we wanted to branch out here. That's not to say it's totally off the table, but isn't something we've prioritized up to this point. 
We have some pretty cool ideas as far as rewards in the works that I can't share yet, but as a whole we want to offer cooler types of content and the rewards in champion mastery are some of the steps we're making towards that."


SRU Beta Comes to a Close

As mentioned in the patch notes, Summoner's Rift update beta is coming to a close in 5.5! 
While the transition from beta to release seems more symbolic than anything, here's Riot Aeon with more information and a look at some of the recent improvements:
"With Patch 5.5, the update to Summoner's Rift Beta will be coming to a close. Since launching this update last November, we've been monitoring games on the new rift, and soaking up tons of player feedback. We greatly appreciate all players who provided feedback and those of you who helped us identify issues with stability and performance.

When we decided to launch SR as a beta back in November, we knew we had some more work to do to fully hit our goals for the update, especially around performance, visual quality, and a few parts of the map that weren’t quite up to our standards. Now, a few months later, we’re ready to remove the beta tag, and to commemorate we’re patching out another bunch of updates for SR. While I won’t go over every single part of the map that we’ve updated, I’ll walk you through the main things that we’ve focused on.

As we’ve mentioned in some of our earlier blogs, one of our goals for this update is to have the environment feel like a place you want to spend thousands of hours in, and used words like charming, fun, ancient, magical, mysterious, untamed, overgrown, and alive to try to describe SR. Throughout our development on this update, we’ve been continuing to narrow in on making the updated rift more and more this sort of place.

This has been an ongoing process and while we believe the release of the November SR update was a considerable move towards hitting our style and feel from when we first launched on PBE back in June, we knew we wanted to keep pushing the experience on SR even further.

A stronger sense of place

And we saw your feedback. Some players waxed, often quite poetically (and some with pretty pictures, oooh!), that they missed some of how they felt when playing on the former map, specifically calling out that the artwork felt a little less vivid and lively than it did on the original version. We heard you, and we’ve focused some additional updates specifically aimed at improving the map environments.

First up, we did an overall hue, saturation, and value rebalance across the entire map. This leads to the overall color palette to feel warmer and the trees and colorful elements (like flowers) to look more bold and vibrant.
However, while we amped up the amount of saturated color throughout the map, we also widened the value range. We’re hoping these broad shifts brings in some of the feel of the old SR while improving gameplay clarity. In this instance the value adjustment should help characters to stand out from the background environment so that you can still clearly find your champion during the chaos of skirmishes and team fights. We’ve also increased the levels of contrast and added more details to the ground in the bases, jungle and lanes to help anchor the champions and increase particle readability.
Next, when we released the update to SR, we were still working on how we wanted to implement lighting and shadows in a uniform way across the whole map. Without broad, consistent lighting, there are many cases where parts of the map can look flat, less detailed, and outside our intended art style. For the 5.5 update, we’ve done a broad lighting and shadows pass across the whole map. Part of this process was updating some of the in-game geometry artwork to feature more three dimensional detailing at various spots throughout the map. Then we added new directional sunlight (and corresponding shadows), which we hope make the environment feel more 3D and consistent.
I can haz pretty end of game screen?

As many of you noticed, the announcement video for the update to SR showed a shiny new end of game sequence that didn’t match with what went live in November. We ran into some technical hurdles that blocked us releasing the full end of game, but ultimately decided that we’d rather get the update into your hands sooner than wait for the fixes to those issues. Now, after tackling a handful of tricky problems, its finally made it in this patch. May all of your future games end in a little more glory and celebration!

Blue is us, red is ENEMY!

You may have noticed in 5.4 we added a new in-game option (on by default in Options → Game) called Relative Team Colors. This option changes the way team minions and structures look in order to mirror the way the rest of the UI in the game works. Regardless of which team you are on, you will now see allies as blue, and enemies as red. The result is your minions and structures will look blue when you are playing on both the north and south teams (and your enemies will always be red for both sides respectively). Many of you may have noticed us slowly making other color changes to League in both the UI and in-game over the last months. Our goal is to achieve a single consistent visual language throughout the game and Relative Team Colors is the last major part of that process. Moving forward, when using this option, you can consistently count on blue meaning ally/friendly and red meaning enemy/hostile.

Performance and bugs

Over the past few months we’ve made a ton of improvements and optimizations to performance. The net result is hopefully better frame rate, quicker loading times, and less hitching in games on SR. Many of you helped us identify issues, and while we are sorry that any of you had to experience a less than optimal experience when SRU launched, we greatly appreciate those of you who took the time to call out issues so that we could find and stomp out a whole bunch of subtle problems and issues.

Additionally, I know some of you may have read everything up to this point and are currently thinking, “More updates! Oh Noes! MY TOASTER WILL DIE!” Well, do not fret! we don’t expect these new updates will cause any negative impact to performance.
And MOAR coming

Lastly, even with the SR beta coming to a close, we’re excited to keep making SR even better. We’ll continue to look for opportunities to update the rift and the rest of League well into the future!

See you on the rift!

Riot Aeon"

Meddler on the female engineer concept from PAX East

Meddler also chimed in on thread about "Cici", the female engineer that eventually turned into Braum discussed during the recent PAX East panel,
"Close. We took bits from Ivan, and an unnamed yordle who hit people with an anchor, to make Ziggs and Nautilus. 
Cici (the engineer) basically morphed into Braum when we decided that we wanted to focus on 'giant shield defender' rather than 'engineer'. Possible we might go back to the engineer concept at some point, no current plans to but it's a thematic space that's still open provided we differentiate it enough from Heimerdinger (so no turrets, likely not a mage etc)."

[BUG] Lux Ult + Passive Damage Not Calculating Properly

In a detailed reddit thread pointing out that Lux's ult is not properly calculating the damage from her passive correctly, Riot Jag commented they'll be fixing it in 5.6!
"Looked at this just now and it seems like you're right. We'll fix that for 5.06."

Fixing Quinn Bugs in 5.6

In a thread discussing Quinn and a few of her more prominent bugs, Riot Reinboom commented:
"Sure! I have an update now after doing some more digging. 
We have a fix tentatively in for 5.6. The fix basically moves the miss chance definition of blinds from "attack declare" to "attack launch" (basically, from before the windup time until once the windup time is finished). 
This fix is going through QA now. If there are any problems we'll pull it for a later patch to figure those out."
Meddler also added in:
"We've got a couple of other fixes for Quinn going into 5.6 too. One's for a bug where Harrier's sometimes not applied by Vault. Another's for a case where Vault would take Quinn so far back she'd be out of range to attack afterwards."
and Reinboom swooped back in to note:
"Many of those (such as the vaulting in the wrong direction) are being looked at as Meddler mentioned. There's a few different eyes on Quinn! 
As a complete aside to Quinn... 
For the expectations of what I do: I'm not a "bugs person" or something like that. I'm a tech designer on gameplay systems. Basically, I work on gameplay design at the "Summoner's Rift" level and the wider interactions therein. (Turrets, items, broad reaching mechanisms, and that kind of thing). The "tech" word only says that us tech designers can use the tools of a software engineer (e.g. programming in the game code) as tools for game design."

Veigar's E interrupting Dashes pulled from 5.5 

Following it's absence from the 5.5 patch notes, Scarizard tweeted out that the PBE change allowing Veigar's E walls to interrupt dashes early was pulled last minute and will be back for 5.6:
"Bad news time: Veigar's Event Horizon interrupting dashes was pulled last minute due to some late-stage bug issues. It'll be back in 5.6."
He continued:
"Veigar will be receiving more changes in 5.6 alongside the inclusion of his wall-stopping."

Ryze Texture Rebalance Feedback

In response to one redditors critiques of the 3/11 PBE update's texture rebalances for Ryze, Ququroon commented they are planning to take another look at base, Human, and Zombie Ryze:

"Hi /u/Ryzetafari !

First off, thank you for your comprehensive feedback post. We wind up touching a lot of skins with this project, so feedback from passionate people like yourself is helpful.

Just to give a bit of context around our decisions: As one of the other posters commented on, we felt the old tattoos were rather noisy. We want to make sure textures match to the map, which does mean that they're going to be a bit softer, though perhaps we overcorrected.

We wanted to clamp down a bit on the amount of colors he had previously, as he had blue, purple, brown, yellow and red. This was a bit on the extreme side. This is why the scroll doesn't have the red runes anymore. To the pants color, we try to have the lower parts of characters darker in color, so they take up less visual real estate. From a high level thing on all of these skins, we aimed to match closer to the current splashes.

I've went ahead and shared around your post. We're looking into tweaking Base, Human and Zombie. Thank you again!"
He continued:
"Texture Rebalances are never replacements for VUs. Nor do TRs interfere with the timing of VUs. All they are is getting the veeerrry bottom line to a happier place. This is both to increase the characters on a wider scale (quantity over quality), and to match them closer to the level of the current map and the rest of the game. 
I'll one up you on the Ryze GU. There are no ChampUp projects waiting to hit the PBE for 5.6. Just the TRs and Icons."

Blue Lines in Bard's Champion Spotlight

When asked about the mysterious blue lines that appear in Bard's champion spotlight at around 6:45Riot Velocity explained:
"Hey all, just to address this specific feature you're talking about.

It's essentially an indicator for a sight wards max vision range. This is something we're currently testing internally, however I can't comment on when/if it'll come to PBE.

It wasn't intended to be shown in the spotlight, sorry for all the mystery around it!

Quick Ninja Edit: This has nothing to the with the mandrake ward that is currently on the PBE!"

Meddler on PBE buffs for Darius R

In a boards thread discussing the 3/11 PBE update's changes to Darius' R (significantly lower mana cost and if rank 3 R kills target it's cooldown resets entirely), Meddler explained:
"Yeah, late game power's the goal here. We originally removed Darius' full ult reset because it lead to situations where he'd kill you once with it in lane, get ahead and then always be able to do so again, leaving opponents with no way to continue laning. Late game by contrast we don't think a full reset will be problematic, particularly given in many cases the reset window gives you all the casts you can use anyway. Late game's also where Darius particularly struggles to close against many team comps, so giving him the potential for a bit more payoff if he can there seems appropriate. He's gated heavily by mobility, so doesn't need to be as mana/CD gated at that point (the Nasus principle)."

Levers for Tuning Bard

With Bard's imminent release in patch 5.5, Meddler popped into a boards thread to answer the question - "where are the levers of balance on Bard":
"Good question. Lever identification's a big part of the balancing/game health assessment process for a new champion. In Bard's case one of the key reasons he's got a passive with so many different effects is that it gives us a lot of control over his tuning by game time, which is particularly useful given the lack of damage otherwise on his kit.

Giant list of the main balancing levers we see for Bard below. This is just from memory, so there are almost certainly a few important ones I'm missing however. Which particular levers it's appropriate to use will depend heavily on what sort of problems Bard has, whether that's excessive strength at certain points in the game, lack of counterplay, lack of sufficient reward for skilled play, inability to roam sufficiently or whatever.

Passive:
  • Chime spawn rate, XP and mana given, spawn locations (with potential variation over the course of the game), speed boost duration/speed, lifespan
  • Meep damage, slow, AOE, max number, respawn rate
  • Upgrade effects, order, number of chimes required per upgrade
Q
  • Cooldown
  • Stun duration
  • Damage, AP ratio
  • Mana cost (mainly relevant early)
  • Missile width, speed, range, punchthrough range
  • Diminished effect for one target (if needed)
  • Modification of what qualifies as second target for stun purposes (all enemy units? Champs only? Terrain or not?)
  • Slow duration, strength
W
  • Healing base, growth, growth rate, AP ratio
  • Mana cost
  • Cooldown
  • Shrine max number, lifespan, bonus for being stomped
  • Shine lifespan (if needed)
  • Speed boost duration, amount, decay rate
E
  • Cooldown
  • Strength of speed boost for allies
  • Max range (if needed)
  • Ability to be used along the edge of the map terrain in some spots to travel in lane or not
  • Visibility to enemies, amount of vision granted to allies or enemies while using the tunnel (how much of a surprise should people coming through a tunnel be? How much vision of the destination should you have when using an enemy Bard's tunnel?)
R
  • Cooldown
  • Delay till impact
  • Duration of warning visual effect given to allies versus enemies
  • Cast range
  • Radius on impact
  • Stasis duration
  • Type of target affected (could remove towers or epic monsters if unforseen problems)

Plus base stats of course. Most of the above can also be tuned by spell rank too, depending on when in the game problems arise.

There are also some minor levers as well that aren't likely to be as relevant (W cast range, or E mana cost for example) but could be used if the appropriate issue crops up (e.g. if Bard has too little or too much early mobility E mana cost might be a useful tuning point, unlikely to be significant otherwise though)."
Meddler continued:
"Yeah, I figure we'll be able to get him into a good spot balance wise if needed. I'm really happy with his current state based off our internal testing, that involves a tiny number of players compared to once he goes live though of course, so it's possible what we're seeing won't be representative. He's also a bit harder to assess as a support that (hopefully) will roam more than average - trickier to gauge how much power that will offer versus more standard play, given the lack of strong comparison points. 
In terms of levers the ult's the only one that might be a little bit light on them simply given the amount of potential power there. Delay, range, duration and AOE size are all pretty versatile tuning options though, so current assessment is we should still be fine there. Very interested to see how that skill especially gets used though."

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