This afternoon's collection includes a treasure trove of red posts! We have the latest patch rundown, oodles of discussion on Fiora's champion update & a look at concept art, Jaredan on the new Bilgewater stories and teasing a Bard storyline, preview of the Cutpurse TF & Cutthroat Graves skins now that they are available, an FAQ on BW: BT Act One, Meddler on the Shen update, and more!
- Free Champion rotation, Week of July 21st - 17 champions!
- Gangplank Champion Spotlight
- Patch 5.14 Server Maintenance
- [Patch 5.14] New Bilgewater Login Screens - MF & TF vs Graves
Table of Contents:
- Patch Rundown 5.14 - The Harbinger Times
- [Updated] Fiora Champion Update Discussion
- Fiora Update Concept Art
- Jaredan on BW: BT Act 1 & Lore
- Shen Rework Talk
- Cutpurse Twisted Fate & Cutthroat Graves now available
- Battle across Butcher’s Bridge
- Bilgewater: Burning Tides ACT ONE FAQ
Patch Rundown 5.14 - The Harbinger Times
"Tune in and check out Scarizard, Zirene and ricklessabandon chatting about 5.14’s big hitters, including tweaks to Elise, Azir, and Runeglaive, and the introduction of Zeke’s Harbinger."
Fiora Champion Update Discussion
[Update] Following feedback on her champion update, Riot Scruffy and IronStylus have both commented that Fiora will be getting a changes to her in-game assets.
"The art team is doing an iteration on the models too. It's looking good from the early shots I've seen."
IronStylus later added:
"Upfront note: We'll be following up later in the coming months most likely with a dev blog or other such post going into why as artists we're shifting gears towards a more stylized approach to character design. This should help to inform people as to why we do what we do. Right now though, I'll clarify some things.
We are updating some of the assets (splash, models, etc) to adjust for more of a softer take. Some tweaks are being made to the model to decrease some of the angular-ness as well as soften some facial features. That's happening across skins as well. Some costume changes are also being done to Royal Guard Fiora to dial her back a bit.
That being said, we most likely will not be moving the hair part to where it was originally. Those are geometry changes that affect the UV's of the model and it can cause some compounding issues with the model itselve and rigging that was done to add a bit of bounce to her hair (from a technical standpoint it means re-exporting/deleting animations and that can gum up the process). There were also some deliberate design choices made there that can be elaborated on in later posts.
This is mainly a TL;DR. My hope is to lay out a more extensive blog/post/communication that delves into our character design philosophies akin to what was done in our explanation of how we went about the Summoner's Rift update, or how game design has elaborated on their methods. I've talked to our art director about it and there's interest in doing such a thing for characters.
To make a long story short, we have a lot of design philosophies surrounding characters as it relates to read, clarity, hierarchy, intellectual property development/world building, creating distinctiveness in roster, etc. There's very deliberate decisions we make along the way of any character design. I'd like for us to expound upon that and do a deep dive to show players the reasoning behind our decisions.
There are further things to discuss obviously. Subjects that hit a nerve at times when it comes to League and it's characters, but for right now this is more of a status update on asset tweaks, with later on this year communicating some wider art principles."
With Fiora's champion update announced and now on the PBE for testing, several Rioters have popped up on the boards and reddit to discussion what's next for the Grand Duelist.
When asked if this Fiora rework is a continuation of what Guinsoo was working on in 2014, Stashu noted:
Question though: Wasn't Guinsoo originally handling the rework, or is that old info? Did any of that iteration carry over to this one?
He was, actually, and with some interesting ideas. However, I took over quite a bit after he dropped it, and the direction that we decided to take her as a team conflicted with his work, so we made a completely fresh start."
As for the scaling on Fiora's new passive, Stashu explained:
"Currently, the AD ratio goes from 2.8-4.5 with level. That means at level 18, with 100 bonus AD, Fiora's passive will deal an additional 4.5% of the targets HP, for a total of 7.5%.
The heal simply scales up at a flat rate. It's technically 5.9, so that at it goes from an even 20 base to 120 at max level. This exact number might change as we tune her :D"
Riot Scruffy also commented on why Fiora's passive has % of target's maximum health as true damage on it instead of just physical damage:
"This is actually something that we found was necessary for her to be able to compete with the tanky fighters in the top lane or team fights.
Being a squishy melee carry that cant just blow up the enemy adc like Zed or other assassins is tough. Letting her skirt around the edges of the fight and deal hit and run damage to the enemy fighters/tanks is an essential part of her viability."
He also noted that her passive's Vitals stay locked once they go on a champion:
"The passive stays locked in the direction no matter what. If the enemy turns or changes facing, it won't affect the passive."Meddler added:
"They're not based off the facing of the target (e.g. if a Vital point spawns and it's pointing towards the top of the screen then it'll continue to point towards the top of the screen regardless of where/how the champion it's attached to moves)."
When asked about her Q prioritizing her "Vitals" and targets in kill range, Stashu elaborated:
"Yeah! Thanks for bringing this up. The priortization is a little cryptic, but here's the basics:
On arriving to her Q's target location, Fiora checks nearby enemies. If a Vital is facing her, she'll hit it, otherwise, if there's a minion within kill range, she'll hit that, and lastly, if neither of those things are true, she'll just hit the closest target, prioritizing champions.
Check the image attached. On the left, Fiora will hit the minion because the vital is facing away from her and the minion is about to die. On the right, she will hit the Annie because the Vital is facing her.
Hope that makes sense!"
Stashu also noted that Fiora can block multiple disables with a single W:
"Took a quick read. Hope the following helps:
During the block, fiora will ignore ALL incoming CC's, not just the first one. So, if Blitz somehow manages to both Q her and E her while she's in W, neither will take effect. In addition, displacement effects like knockups, knockbacks, or even tahm kench's devour have no effect while she's blocking, so if Lee Sin hit's her with R, she won't budge."
As for concern on the E's .75 second duration to block damage / disables, Scruffy noted:
"I definitely share this worry, to some degree. [I believe] we tuned the block duration to be long enough so that Fiora doesn't always need to twitch-block, but can often use the ability in advance, predicting her opponent's move. We really wanted to create some cerebral play as well as some mechanical play.
In fact, in many cases cerebral play is required. For example, when Warwick is coming to gank Fiora, Fiora can't re-actively block his R, but she can try to mind game him by casting the block right before she expects him to ult. It gets even deeper in other scenarios, such as when Jax is using his E -- the Jax needs to guess when Fiora's going to block, and Fiora needs to predict when Jax is going to stun.
Lastly, many champion's key CCs have telegraphs, which should curb this 'super-twitch-reactive' element. Blocking Cho Gath's Q for example, is much less stressful than blocking Irelia's E. The hope is that these various uses will allow most Fiora players to succeed with 'Riposte' even without incredible reflexes. We'll see how that pans out!"Scruffy explained:
"It's a bit out of the box from what most melee dps champs would bring, true. The goal is that we also want every champ to bring something unique and significant to their team outside of their base line role.
To explain, when we asked the question "when compared to master yi, what does fiora bring different to the team?" We were looking for something outside of just pure dps that she could offer. The theme is that when she can successfully 'duel' that target the team gets a pretty strong, almost "fight reset," level heal."He continued:
"It actually fits quite well with the rest of the ult, I'll explain. In testing we tried a BUNCH of different reward types (damage buffs, speed, cooldowns etc) for her winning the duel, and we found that there were a few reasons why this one stuck as the most useful and fitting.
-By the time she gets to that hard earned 4th proc, she is usually desperately in need of some heals (being a squishy melee carry)
-The "fight reset" elements of it give her this great "one down, who's next?" feeling
-Too much immediate reward makes her into a snowball champ like katarina, so the reward is given over time instead of burst
-The team benefits from it so that when fiora calls out her challenge, everyone cares about her success. They might help by CCing the target or keeping her alive so she can win
I hope that helps explain some of the reasoning for how we ended up with this current victory reward. Play it and see if it feels right to you too."Stashu added :
"Yeah, this is the thematic tie-in that we were going for. Fiora's duel, or 'Grand Challenge,' is a game defining moment for everyone, not just the combatants. Fiora's team should care about whether or not she's successful and be able to join in the celebration if she is.
Gameplay wise, adding reasons for Fiora's team to care about her in important. Selfish champions can lead to degenerate teamplay experiences, whether they are winning orlosing. Accordingly, by adding some team utility to her personal challenges, we can make Fiora a strong 1-on-1 duelist while keeping her team invested in her success. Heal might feel weird here, and I totally get that, but it was the most fitting tool in our box."As for why they went with a HEAL instead of a SHIELD on Fiora's R, Stashu noted:
"I really wish a shield effect would fit for exactly the reasons you outlined above, but sadly shielding and healing mechanics have significantly different implications in this case.
Fiora's R is meant to enable her team to abandon caution and focus heavily on a single target. In order to willingly accept this risk, Fiora needs to know that success will erase the costs she paid to attain it. A shield allows you to take risks in the future, whereas a heal forgives the risks you've taken in the past.
When Fiora's team takes heavy damage in fighting for her R's success, a shield would surely be appreciated, but would soon expire and leave Fiora's team unable to take advantage of the following 5 v 4. Thus, in future situations, Fiora's team will be very likely to hesitate to fight for her ult.
Don Noat Amu makes the point that a super long duration shield might also accomplish this. However, the duration would have to be so long that it would effectively be a heal at that point, and maintaining the visual communication of the shield effect (UI, particles, etc) for so long would both be costly and feel prety odd.
Hope that explains why we decided on a heal instead!"
Over on the art side of things, IronStylus commented that they'd be making tweaks to the splash art that was previewed in the champion update post:
"Hijacking. There's a delicate balance we want to strike here. We're intentionally moving our characters to a more stylistic take. This tends to include more chiseled shapes and even exaggeration of features. The trend will indeed move us to a less "realistic" treatment of some characters. (see new vs old Ganglank, lots of style changes there) That's an artistic choice we as a department are making. Summoner's rift is a great example of this.
That said, we are looking into some tweaks to the splash. Mainly focusing on lessening some of the chiseling on her face and some other minor changes.
Thanks very much for the feedback, guys!"He also noted that the ground indicators for her abilities are based on her house crest:
"Yup! All ground indicator effects are derived from or using her house crest."On the visuals, Scruffy added:
"We're iterating on the splash based on all of the feedback :)"
Fiora Update Concept ArtSpeaking of the Fiora champion update, we have also seen a few pieces of concept art & exploration for the visual updates go out from various artists.
Freelance artist Ness also tweeted out concept images she worked on for the Fiora update:
"Now that the Fiora update’s hit the PBE, here’s a bunch of the background work I did for her base update! I hope everyone enjoys her new look and kit (especially her ult :) )"
Freelance concept artist Raymond Griego also updated his artstation with concept art for the Fiora update
Jaredan on BW: BT Act 1 & LoreFollowing the new stories introduced in Bilgewater: Burning Tides Act One, Jaredan again reminded that there are upcoming changes to how lore & bios are structured on the site:
"Quote:He continued, noting yes we'll see longer lores for both TF and Graves in the future:
You fellas did many men a darn good job, if I might say. However, the real question still stands at bay: How will this lore be implemented into the bios? Will it be linked like a ship is anchored to the rusty ports of Bilgewater, or will it be implemented into the soul like scrimshaw in the fine starry depth of night?
We're glad you are enjoying the event so far. You'll soon see how things will relate to the bios and I don't want to get into things just yet (for reasons that will become apparent). I'll be talking about our thinking behind things as well. We hope you like the adjustments."
Will we see longer introduction lores for both TF and Graves in the near future?
"I'm referring to the new bio format and content we'll be showing the first examples of to support certain Champs involved in the event."
As for Gangplank's actions in the first act's story, Jaredan noted:
"He does everything for a purpose. His own gratification in that scene isn't his motivation. It's about making a point in a very particular way to everyone around him. I think you're picking up on that soundly."
"Gangplank sees himself as good for business all over. His own business first of all, of course, but if everyone plays along, everyone benefits.In relation to the progression of this story and the continuing character stories rather than leaving them be at the end of the Shurima event last year, he noted:
In Bilgewater, most people agree with that point of view. It's healthier."
"Responding to player feedback about Shurima was one of the underlying goals when we were writing Burning Tides. I hope you agree that significant changes have happened by the time the story is complete."As for if the new Graves and Twisted Fate skins are intended to represent them at a younger age before the conflict, Jaredan noted:
In the same vein, he continued that some Bilgewater characters like Fizz or Nautilus may get story changes but not until the full bios are complete rather than how Skarner or Rammus were left after the Shurima story:
"We'll replace Nautilus and Fizz's backgrounds when we have the full text ready. We've learned our lesson, don't worry."
What interested me was that Cutpurse and Cutthroat TF and Graves had descriptions as if they're canon; a younger Graves and TF from a time when they were partners
Indeed, that's the concept."When asked if Tahm Kench is involved in the Bilgewater story, he noted:
"Tahm isn't directly involved in this story. But he has a passing connection to TF. Or one of TF's relatives anyway."Jaredan also briefly commented on Bard after being asked if he a god in Runeterra similar to the Mother Serpent:
"Just for clarity, Bard isn't a god. He's not omnipotent, though he might look that way to someone he appears in front of. He just has a very particular task to remove things from Runeterra that could wipe out everything there and beyond. Though the things he deals with might have limitless power, he himself does not attempt to wield them. He knows how dangerous that is. That's why when he takes the egg from the Ionians/Noxians in Mountain, it's like he's snatching a handgun out of the hand of a baby.As for if this Shurima / Bard story exists, he continued:
Or like that time when he visited Shurima to make sure... Hold on, what was I saying? Sorry, lost track there."
"The story I refer to was written, in script form, in the process of Bard's development and was another option considered for his promo. We'll reveal it at some point, but now isn't that time."When asked about the term "egg" in Bard's story, Jaredan teased:
You could have said something like "artifact", "orb" or whatever. Yet you said "egg"...
May I question what was supposed to "hatch" from this egg?
Indeed. I could have said those things. And yes, you may question.
Sorry, I'm being a stinker this morning, but I don't really want to spoil anything."
Shen Rework TalkMeddler commented:
"In terms of gameplay changes, probably around Gangplank level (substantial modifications to about half his kit, some skills very similar however).
In terms of visual changes, still figuring that out. Some visual effects changes to support spells certainly, and potentially a model update, won't be a full overhaul on the level of Gangplank or Tristana though."He continued:
I REALLY like Shen's splash right now. That beautiful teleportation art is really just wonderful.
Assuming he keeps Stand United since it's a rather iconic skill, can I just put in that if Shen gets any update on his visuals, his splash is already really on par with other recent splash arts and really just looks great?
Odds are very high Stand United will remain his ult (might make some minor adjustments, but no fundamental changes).
As far as the splash goes I'm no splash artist, but I'd expect the biggest thing driving whether or not we opt for a new splash will be what sort of changes we do or don't make to his model. We've been talking recently about whether we should make Shen look a bit tankier, so his gameplay and theme/appearance line up a bit better. If we decided to do that and made noticeable model changes we might then go for new splash art to match. Discussion's still really early on what those possible changes might look like, could be small (bit of extra armor in the form of forearm guards or something similar) to much larger (more substantial amounts of armor while still matching his theme, significant adjustments to his physical build etc)."
Cutpurse Twisted Fate & Cutthroat Graves now availableWith the start of ACT ONE of the Bilgewater: Burning Tides event, Cutpurse Twisted Fate & Cutthroat Graves are now available for 750 RP each!
Cutpurse Twisted FateBilgewater: Burning Tides site for a look at the other upcoming skin releases, limited time bundles, and more!
Battle across Butcher’s BridgeBilgewater: Burning Tides is upon us and with 5.14 comes the new Butcher's Bridge ARAM map!
"Preview the frantic, all-random melee action on the new ARAM map: Butcher’s Bridge.
Visit the Bilgewater: Burning Tides website to learn more: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/site..."
Bilgewater: Burning Tides ACT ONE FAQdArtagnan with a short FAQ on ACT ONE, including details on how to obtain the event summoner icons, the upcoming Black Market Brawlers mode, and more!
Many of you may have some questions regarding the requirements for the event as well as how the rewards will be distributed. Be sure to check out our Bilgewater Event FAQ for an overview of how the event will work!
If you are looking for more specifics, the following should help clear up any confusion!
Black Market Brawlers
Not currently available. Will be available later in the event! We will update this when its live
- Must be level 3
- Only available in the special Game Mode, and not available in normal Summoner Rift queues
- When an enemy champion is killed, all players who got an assist will receive a Golden Kraken (for example, if you get a kill, and you're other 4 teammates got an assist, all 4 players will receive one Golden Kraken).
- Large Jungle Creeps are: Blue Sentinel (Blue buff), Red Brambleback (Red buff), Ancient Krug (Large golem), Crimson Raptor (Large raptor), Greater Murk Wolf (Large wolf), and Gromp. Note: Rift Scuttler (crab) will not give bonus, as it is a neutral monster and therefore cannot be counter-jungled
- Morellonomicon is disabled while in this mode. Be sure to check out the new items for BMB!
- Once Golden Krakens are spent, these purchases/upgrades CANNOT be undone/cancelled.
- it is not possible to 'lose' Golden Krakens without spending them
- Not to be confused with Brawl Brothers
- Must be level 6
- Completely replaces The Howling Abyss until the end of the event. You cannot toggle between the Howling Abyss and Butcher's Bridge maps
- Available in Matchmade 5v5 ARAM and in Custom Games
- Gameplay is exactly the same, regardless of how visuals may look
Event Icon Rewards
- You must first select a champion path for EACH act to start earning points to completing objectives. Once a champion path is chosen, it CANNOT be changed
- It is not possible to receive/earn both icons from a specific act
- Objectives for the icon must be completed in order. You cannot work towards (earn points for) the 2nd objective, until the 1st objective is completed. NOTE: You cannot complete both objectives in the same game. You can only unlock one objective, per game.
- Matchmade Games includes all game modes you can enter a queue for (Including Co-op vs AI). Custom Games will NOT count.
- Once you have completed the 2nd objective, the icon will be automatically unlocked.
- It may take several minutes for your icon reward to appear on your account. NOTE: The icon may be "buried" in your list of icons, so make sure to carefully scroll through all of them to find it! If it does not appear after 24 hours, make sure to submit a ticket.
- Both Cutthroat Graves and Cutpurse Twisted Fate are NOT Legacy Skins, and will be available for purchase after the event."
 "You have till the end of the event to complete the objectives! You cannot unlock subsequent rewards in future acts until you complete Act 1."
 "You need to complete the rewards for Act 1, before you can unlock rewards for subsequent Acts. You have until the end of the event to unlock your rewards, regardless of what act is currently available. I hope this clarifies things a bit!"