This morning's red post collection includes a look at the new August champion & skin bundles, Scruffy on upcoming Akali gameplay work, Poppy's future update supporting Top and Jungle as her primary positions, news that the NA server move to Chicago will happen "within the next few weeks" , and more!
- [Updated] Red Post Collection: August 10th Patch Update, Poppy & Taric Discussion, MF Follow up, & more
- 8/11 PBE Update: More tentative balance changes
Table of Contents
- [New] Enter August Bundles
- Scruffy on Akali gameplay work
- Poppy rework supporting top & jungle positions
- Fiora's Tooltips after recent hotfix buff
- Elise PBE Q changes
- [Updated] Xypherous on Captain Boot Enchantment cost
- Ghostcrawler Ask.FM Round Up
- NA Server Roadmap Update: Upcoming NA Server Move
- Thoughts on Trundle as a Juggernaut
- Shockblade Zed Chroma Likely Not Soon
- [Updated] Chat with composer ProtoShredanoid on 8/12!
are now available through August 19th!
Turn up the heat, turn the tides of war, turn into a golden statue, or turn enemies running with August’s head-turning bundles.
Grab these limited time bundles now through 23:59 August 19.
All That Glitters is Gold Bundle - 50% at 2999 RP (5098 RP if you need the champions)
- Lunar Goddess Diana
- Ghost Bride Morgana
- Void Fizz
- Soulstealer Vladimir
- Creator Viktor
Warring Kingdoms Bundle - 50% off at 2811 RP (4625 RP if you need the champions)
- Warring Kingdoms Jarvan IV
- Warring Kingdoms Xin Zhao
- Warring Kingdoms Tryndamere (Legacy)
- Warring Kingdoms Nidalee
- Warring Kingdoms Katarina
- Order of the Lotus Karma
- Heartseeker Varus
- Steel Legion Lux
- Dragon Trainer Lulu
- Marauder Ashe
- Dragonblade Riven (Legacy)
- Firecracker Jinx
- Foxfire Ahri
"We agree that akali is in a pretty bad spot. Her kit is not nearly as cool/deep as it could be and playing against akali when she is strong is quite frustrating when you feel like there is nothing that you could have done to save yourself against her. We're in the early stages of some (think fiora ish scope) work on her gameplay with a few goals in mind.
- Overhaul and upgrade that W shroud - remove the hard counter issues with pink wards in favor of more generally accessible play, and explore cool new possibilitys for how this spell could benefit her team in a unique way
- Create a much more clear success path for akali that gives both an akali that is behind or an opponent vs a fed akali some way to turn the fight in their favor
- Amp up cool factor overall - there are some pretty bland spells in there that we can just redo for much more flexible and fun gameplay
- Preserve the akali core - You like dashes? You like big burst damage? You like coming in and out of a smoky shroud? Dual scalings? we want to hit on all of these things that we think akali players hold close to their hearts right now.
Just wanted to expose some of our thinking on akali to have a discussion. Keep in mind that we are early on her design work so dont expect these changes to hit live in the near future, but we are getting started on what we think is a very needed update."He continued:
"I meant it more as a "scope of work/changes" rather than direction. I would call fiora's direction more of a "reboot towards the original fantasy" and akali would be more of a "preserve and enhance the akali playstyle." Sorry for the confusion on that."He continued:
"Akali is the type of champ where there is a lot to love as an akali main so we aren't taking a "full reboot" mindset. The end result is something that we are hoping will appeal to akali mains primarily."When asked if she'll keep her spell vamp synergy, Scruffy noted:
"We haven't ironed out all of the details, but my gut is saying that it's something that akali players like and it's not impossible to make it work with a healthy updated playstyle."When asked if these will be a net buff or nerf, Scruffy noted:
"In short, overall buff when it's done but it should feel much more fair to the opponent."
Following yesterday's Poppy discussion on her rework including a new passive and R, Scruffy also noted that the future Poppy update will support her in the top and jungle as her primary positions:
"We are supporting poppy jungle and top primarily. Other lanes are possible but we're not putting a ton of extra effort to make sure they're viable."
On August 10th, Fiora has several small buffs hotfixed to live including cooldown reductions to her Q and W. When asked why Q's tooltip doesn't reflect the lowered amount but W does, Meddler explained:
"The hotfix with the Fiora buffs in it was a server only hotfix (hence the lack of a new patch to download). That means that some things, while they did get changed, won't show up on her tooltips until we do a regular patch. If you test Lunge in game you'll see it does go on a 16s CD instead of an 18s one, though the text of the tooltip itself will still say '18 seconds'. Riposte by contrast is set up a bit differently file side, so it does incorporate server side changes into the body of the tooltip (given we don't generally make changes server side without patching the client at the same time that discrepancy's normally a non issue)."
current PBE nerfs to Elise's Q (dropping the target's current health % damage down to 4% from 8%), Meddler explained:
"We're nerfing the % damage in order to make Elise weaker, because we believe she's far too strong at present. Compensation buffing's not appropriate as a result, since it goes against the goals of the change. Compensation buffing can be the right approach in other contexts (e.g. removing power from a skill with little counterplay, adding it back in to a healthier spell), sometimes though what's needed is just a straight nerf."Xypherous commented:
"There's a couple of things that make this tricky:
- It's an aura - so it's often pretty hard to estimate the net effect.
- Because it's viewed as a support pickup - if the aura becomes efficient - there's an overarching concern it becomes mandatory as you get into higher level play - which then trickles down to strangle perceived good choices.
Admittedly, the item doesn't feel like it's 'worth' 600 gold - but auras never feel like they're worth the actual power of said aura. :/
Boots are something we're looking to do a retool during Preseason if we can - nothing major - something similar to the sharpening of AP/Defense."[UPDATE] He continued:
Won't there always be a "most efficient" item choice, numerically speaking, if you have a "batch" of items to choose from? Pretty much the only boot enchant that people actually pick up besides Homeguards is Captain on Janna because of the synergy with her passive, and maybe Distortion on support Annie for more frequent engages. How can you explain away not reducing the cost because it would "become mandatory" when there's already a clearly mandatory boot enchant (Homies)? It's not consistent logic.
Ah - I see. I'm being fairly unclear here.
There is an efficient way to play in the competitive scene with auras - as team fighting and coordination is high - so the value of team power is going to higher than in most games in general.
Since aura type effects rapidly increase in power in the competitive scene - if Captain's is efficient enough to compete in normal play - then the effect is going to be mandatory in competitive due to this factor.
Sightstone on Junglers - is a parallel case here - where there is a team oriented effect that is slightly weak in most games - and has been overpowering in terms of Jungle choice in high tier.
How can you explain away not reducing the cost because it would "become mandatory" when there's already a clearly mandatory boot enchant (Homies)?
While I can debate whether or not Homeguards is mandatory or not - let's just say that it is for simplification.
The reason why this is bad I glossed over - but it's basically - another non-selfish mandatory pickup for supports puts them even farther in the hole in terms of gold prices before they can pick up items that make them better.
While you could argue this aligns with support fantasies as well - what I've seen in the past is that the pool of supports rapidly diminishes down to 'who synergizes best with the initial 3/4k of initial support' purchases.
It's not consistent logic.
It's consistent logic in the following manner:
Just because an instance of something terrible exists in the game - doesn't justify more instances of something terrible - and in this case, auras are tricky to not make mandatory when they are powerful or efficient."
- Something mandatory is bad.
- Homeguards is mandatory - therefore Homeguards is bad.
- Making Captain's mandatory - would therefore be making Captain's bad.
Xypherous continued, replying to ideas for boot related changes:
Ignore Unit Collision on Switness Boots pls
Making Homeguard just a default effect on everyone so that you aren't forced to get it in most games pls
Homeguard just feels like it's absolutely mandatory in every situation. "I would like Alacrity but I need HG" "I would like Captain or Furor but I need Homeguard"
You get back to lane faster, back to defending faster, it's just amazing. You could make a lot of interesting enchants people would actually buy if it were default."
>>>Ignore Unit Collision on Switness Boots pls
We've tried this numerous times in the past. All it did was invalidate tanks and buff the hell out of fighters and divers.
Bodyblocking enemy champions is incredibly important for team fight positioning and actually gives slow moving defensive front lines meaning.
>>>You get back to lane faster, back to defending faster, it's just amazing. You could make a lot of interesting enchants people would actually buy if it were default.
Part of the reason why we've been.. (let's be charitable here - less upset) with HG being strong is that it's 475 G of strategic power that people are relatively happy with. Making it a standard part of the game, however, negates most of this advantage and basically just shrinks the map size down.
Ghostcrawler's ASK.FM over the past day:
 Hello Riot Ghostcrawler, do you have any information to give out concerning new champion mastery levels? Will there be new levels ever? Thanks in advance.
We do have a plan to add new levels at some point but we want to turn that on when we have some rewards to help them feel more impactful. This isn't a "someday, maybe" thing. It's in the works.
 Riot wants make new games or just will continue work only in LoL? Sorry for my english i'm spanish speaker xD
We want to make other games, but not at the expense of LoL.
 Which criticisms leveled at Riot do you find the most reasonable or true?
1) That we want to be a nimble company, but are currently slower than we want to be.
2) That our communication is a little raw or chaotic. This is by design but it's still fair criticism and we can improve.
3) That we have a lot of tech debt and design debt we are still paying down.
4) That Riot is a bit of an atypical company, and isn't for everyone. (Best place I have ever worked though.)
5) That we call ourselves Riot Games but are Riot Game.
Hey Ghostcrawler, loved your work in WoW and happy to see you in another game I love doing great work. My question is this, are we ever going to see consumable items that impact the game more. For instance some friends and I think Smoke from DOTA or something like it would bring a great dimension.
We discuss this kind of thing a lot. We have some ideas for more crazy items, including consumables, that really inform different strategies. On the other hand, we have a lot of active items now, and while most of them tend to be more tactical (say team-fight focused) than strategic (giving you new ways to approach objectives), we also see a lot of players (remarkably, even high elo) forget to use the active. Before we went crazy with consumables, we'd want to have confidence that players don't already have too many decisions to manage.
This is boiling things down too much, but in the interest of keeping the answer reasonably short, there are kind of two extreme philosophies here. One is that items should pretty much just be stat benefits for earning gold. That is, gold is the main manifestation of skill in the game, and items should let you leverage your skill.
The other extreme is that items should all be interesting choices and that someone who is really good at picking and using the right consumable could make up for a significant deficit in say team gold or number of turrets killed or whatever.
It's an interesting discussion we'd like to see players explore more
 What are your thoughts on design following the meta? For example creating new ad carries that are made to have a support with them reinforces the meta of having an adc and support duo, rather than opening the opportunity that support can go other lanes. Or that the team has to have a jungle, etc.
We think the game is pretty stable with a 112J laning pattern (one champ in each of two lanes, two champs in one lane with one not focused on cs, and a jungler). In the past when other patterns have emerged, they generally feel like BS, and we don't know if the bang for the buck is really there in supporting say a double jungle or no jungle option. If players develop an alternative that feels healthy, then awesome. We won't smack that down.
However, we are interested in promoting which type of champ can play each lane rather than the traditional fighter = top, mage = mid, marksman = bottom.
 Shouldn't Riot be pushing other champs/making new champs to fit this "bot lane juggernaut" role? Or do you guys plan to leave that role as an off-meta/niche thing for the time being?
I feel like we need to let Morde sit for a little longer and see how it is received and what it does for the game before we stampede to offer others bot lane alternatives.
 Is crit chance REALLY important enough that you couldn't just remove it? I can see how it adds a bit of nuance, but would the game really be a lot WORSE from removing it?
These are the main concerns about removing crit. They aren't deal-breakers, but are things we'd have to consider or fix.
1) Auto attack champions damage starts to feel really predictable. You know before a fight starts what the outcome is going to be.
2) Closely related, fights start to feel really flat. This is more of a feel issue while #1 is more of a skill issue.
3) There is one less stat on items for certain champs to care about.
4) We lose a hook for mechanics ("after a crit...")
 RE: marksman & autos. To make marksmen more distinct, maybe crit could be reworked into something that gave different things to different marksmen? Each of their passives or unique on-hit effects could scale with a new "crit stat". Caitlyns passive for example, or Varus' Blight.
Yeah, we talk about this idea a lot. It's more interesting when it is something that players can really leverage, such as "You always crit a rooted target and do X more damage" rather than just making a random stat even more random, like "Your crit chance increases when you do X and decreases when you do Y."
(In a strict mathematical sense, increasing control ends up decreasing the randomness at the expense of increasing the spikiness, but the end result can still be from another player's perspective that you never really know if crit is a big danger or not.)
Marksmen being too similar might be because of how auto-attack focused they are; There's only so many different ways you can design someone that is going to want to auto-attack as much as possible, especially if they're ranged.
Totally. There are ADCs who are less AA focused than others, and they tend to be distinctive. You can also do things with range (Cait vs Sivir). But the AA dependence is really what makes them frequently feel interchangeable or else drives some to just push others out since they occupy such similar niches.
At the same time, just de-emphasizing AAs risks making them feel an awful lot like mages if you don't add anything else.
 Is that ok? Marksman are different from every other role because they are so needed to fill a specific niche in every single team comp, specifically pushing towers. Is it okay that they all play relatively similar with minor flavor? Or is your goal to push ADCs into stronger niches like Kalista? 2/2
My opinions is that Marksmen are too similar (except for some of the examples you made, like Kog). I know the strong ADC players on the team disagree with that sentiment, because for them, there is a world of difference in how you play say Lucian vs Graves.
We think champions feel different when the rest of your team has to slightly change their strategy to really support and leverage your choice, and the enemy team has to do the same. "Protect the Kog" is a pretty clear example. I agree that since they many Marksmen are so reliant on autoattacks that it makes them feel more similar to each other than say mages are. It's something we want to try and improve for sure.
Riot Ahab is back with another Road Map Update - the NA servers will be movin from Portland to Chicago within the next few weeks!
"TL;DR: Very soon, we’ll move the NA game servers to a more centralized location in Chicago, Illinois. This move, along with other components of the NA Server Roadmap, should improve connection quality for the vast majority of NA players. West Coast players will see an uptick in raw ping numbers, but should also see that uptick mitigated by connection improvements in the form of better overall stability and reduced packet loss. We’ve now successfully completed initial testing and are planning for the final move to take place within the next few weeks. More details below.
Last week, we released the latest NA Server Roadmap update, in which we detailed the outlook for Phase 3 – the move to centralized game servers in Chicago, Illinois. Since then, we kicked off initial testing, which we’re happy to say was completed successfully earlier today!
With those results in hand, we’re now ready to confirm that we’re planning to move all NA game server activity from our current Portland servers to our new Chicago installation within the next few weeks. Due to the many factors in play, we don’t yet have an exact date for the switch, but we’ll be back shortly with both exact timing and final details. Trust us, you won't miss the announcement. In the meantime, read on for the backstory, post-Chicago service outlook, and day-of expectations for the server move.
The BackstoryHistorically, lower-quality East Coast service has been a problem for a huge number of players, especially as the explosive growth of the NA player base has further strained pre-existing infrastructure. We’ve worked on the problem for a while now, but we’ve had plenty of missteps along the way. Last year, we redoubled both our behind-the-scenes tech work and our communication about it, putting together the NA Server Roadmap to keep you informed.
Since then, we’ve steadily knocked out milestones and have now arrived at the final phase of the Roadmap - the move to centralized servers in Chicago, Illinois that will even out raw ping discrepancies across NA. With top-quality infrastructure, a centralized location, and a preexisting role as a major exchange between the US and Canada, the Windy City is simply the premier place to provide the best overall service for the far-flung NA player base.
What’s this mean for me?At the highest level, this server move will allow us to bring the vast majority of NA players under 80 ms ping. Currently, more than 50% of NA players actually fall above that threshold, so Chicago game servers (along with continued work on peering agreements and direct networking) will allow us to create a far more balanced latency outlook for the NA player base.
While this move will be an overall positive for the NA player base, the specific effects you experience will depend on which part of NA you call home. Compared to our current Portland servers, and speaking very broadly, moving to Chicago will result in:
Chicago has stellar infrastructure and connectivity to the rest of NA that, in combination with our own Roadmap work, will allow us to eventually provide all players with ping that’s determined purely by geographic distances rather than the eccentricities of your local ISPs or web architecture. That’s to say West Coast players aren’t simply becoming the “new East Coast.” While not smack dab in the middle of NA, the new Chicago server location is farbetter placed for reaching the whole of the US and Canada with equitable latency levels. We have every confidence that this move will allow us to bring nearly all NA players - west and east coast alike - under 80 ms ping.
- Moderate latency increases (up to ~45 ms) in the Pacific Northwest and outlying regions (Hawaii, other Pacific Islands, Japan, etc)
- Minor latency increases (up to ~30 ms) across the rest of the west coast of North America.
- Generally neutral effects across a broad strip of the Mountain States and Saskatchewan
- Moderate to major latency reductions (up to ~50 ms for much of the East Coast) across the entire eastern half of North America
Ping is also just one part of the overall service picture, and all NA players can expect continued service improvements from other elements of the NA Server Roadmap. Thanks to the PoP hardware (think on-ramps to our direct network) we’ve set up covering the US and Canada, you’ll also see continued stability gains, improved packet loss rates, and the aforementioned ping based purely on distance. Check out the map below for the various locations in our now fully armed and operational NA PoP network. Fear not if you don’t see your city - each PoP is also intended to pull in traffic from surrounding regions (including Canada for the northernmost PoPs) in order to make sure the network covers all of NA. So if you’re in Vancouver, you’d hop over to the Seattle PoP before your direct, high-speed route to Chicago.
To really make the PoP network hum, we also need to get ISPs on board with directing your traffic straight to our infrastructure, and we’ve been doing just that for the last year. We’re now maintaining or pursing peering agreements with a huge number of ISPs across NA (check the bottom of our last update for the latest list). In many cases, we’ve seen these agreements and proper PoP routing work wonders in cases where players were previously being inefficiently routed. So, if post-switch your ping seems off from what’s expected, let us know so we can investigate!
Ok, what’s the plan?So, what can you expect on the day we make the server switch? Well, assuming everything goes perfectly, very little. We’re planning for a phased, zero-downtime transfer of server activity, so if you’re playing League you’ll simply start one game on the current servers and the next on the new ones, with nothing noticeable on your end other than (possibly) a change to that little ping number on the loading screen. By the end of the day, all games will be supported out of Chicago whereas Portland will revert to a disaster-recovery backup while we continue to gather data and make any required adjustments.
As we mentioned, we’re planning for this move to take place within the next few weeks, but we can’t quite provide an exact date just yet. While that might seem strange given the move’s proximity, it essentially comes down to the fact that we’re trying to hit a moving target. The NA game servers handle A LOT of activity, and the need to fine tune a bunch of details means that we’re still deciding which timing will allow us to make the switch while causing the least possible disruption. Regardless, expect further updates and exact timing over the coming weeks. About a week before we relocate to Chicago, we'll also offer free transfers directly to players located in the US and Canada who are playing on other servers - look out for a transfer email from us!
That’s it for this update. We’ll be back soon with the latest details and a date for for the server move, but until then feel free to leave any questions in the comments below!"
On the woes of West Coast ping rising as the servers move physically farther away, Ahab commented:
"For us, the solution isn't alleviating East Coast woes by tossing them over the rockies onto the West Coast.
If we had decided to move the servers to Newfoundland or another coastal location on the East Coast, yes, it would absolutely be a "tables are turned" flip, and we wouldn't be solving anything! Instead, we focused on a centralized location that offered the best balance between coasts to the east and west, as well as a midpoint between Canadian and US traffic.
The end goal is not one coast being stronger than the other. The goal is to cover a HUGE geographic region by a common ping threshold of below 80ms. We feel like we can get there for almost everyone regardless of which coast you're on. It'll take some work and we'll need some input from everyone, but we feel confident we can get there."
Preeti also added that NA based players who transferred to LAN servers to avoid ping issues will be offered a transfer back to NA once the move is complete:
"Yes, we'll be offering free transfers from LAN to NA to players with a US/Canadian IP address. Look out for an email from us once Chicago goes live."
Hello,"Immobile, Powerful, Durable"
Although he's in a quite fine situation, a buff of his range would bring him in a better spot without making him overpowered. Furthermore, he has a big mace !
He might need some balance changes about his MS granted by his W for instance, but since Juggernaut gameplay will be released, Trundle is in my opinion very similar to it.
What are your thoughts ?
Trundle to me is def a juggernaut. Immobile super tanky super damage melee guy. On top of that he is in a good spot design wise because he brings some pretty unique stuff to the team (tank buster ult) compared to other Juggs.
If he's needing buffs right now I would rather touch some other stuff like Movement speed, overall damage output, ability to soften tanks, or baseline tankiness (without items) over attack range. Increasing his attack range might muddy the gameplay of "kits this godlike melee or you will regret it" so I'd rather amp up his strengths and preserve his melee limitations.
Edit: added thought, if the real problem is that he has trouble getting to/sticking on targets, we could buff up some of the existing tools in his kit like E and W that help him with getting on enemies."He continued:
I think you could help him a lot by letting him ghost through minions and/or be immune to slows while on Frozen Domain.
Ghosting might be a good solution if we want to up the sticking power during W. Definitely something to consider."He continued:
I gotta say, while I know that Riot members always have their own opinions and sometimes see far less than eye to eye, over here the other red said they saw trundle as a tank.
Either way, if he was to be buffed, I'd love to see his pillar be more useful, right now its kinda just like--"here have a random slow zone". I'd like it to have an AS slow with it. or just make everything more crucial when on his frozen domain. Maybe his ult also slows while both are on it, or his pillar slow zone is bigger on the domain, or his q is brief stun instead of slow while on it. something more along those lines.
I think this is ok, and in some ways a good thing. Talking about general class frameworks like Juggernaut or Tank is useful but we aren't trying to homogenize our characters into cookie cutter like buckets.
So in this case Trundle brings a mix of Juggernaut and Tank skills so he's somewhere in the grey space between those two clasees. IMO that's a good thing and these type of hybrid champs are what keep the league roster diverse."
Shockblade Zed Charge chroma pack that was pulled out of the 5.13 PBE cycle due to a bug and haven't been seen since, LoveStrut tweeted:
"Sorry, these very likely won't be coming in the next few patches. :< I'm sorryyy!"
Last up, ProtoShredanoid will be shredding on to the boards for a Q&A on August 12th!
"We’re back with Between Two Turrets, a new Q&A series from the NA Community team in which we’ll connect you with various Rioters to chat about League, life, and anything in between. You can expect an installment every couple weeks or so, with Rioters from all over jumping in to spend some time with you on the boards.
This week, we’ve composer, sound designer, and Pentakill guitarist ProtoShredanoid - come chat with him on the Boards August 12 starting at 1 PM PDT!"EDIT: Q&A live!
"Welcome to the latest installment of Between Two Turrets, a new Q&A series from the NA Community team in which we'll connect you with various Rioters to chat about League, life, and anything in between. You can expect an installment every couple weeks or so, with Rioters from all over jumping in to spend some time with you on the boards.
This week, we've got composer, sound designer, and Pentakill guitarist ProtoShredanoid!
Thanks for coming out to chat! A little about myself....
I started at Riot as a sound designer on the Champion team (some of my favorite champs I did sound and voice for - Velkoz, DJ Sona, Lissandra, Lucian, Thresh, Gnar....a few others). More recently, I moved to the music team and have been working as a composer. My favorite musical adventures at Riot include DJ Sona, Tahm Kench login and of course PENTAKILL!
Before coming to Riot I graduated from Berklee College of Music, and worked for an Activision studio called Vicarious Visions. You can hear bits of my music, sound design, or guitar work on a bunch of games like Transformers, Guitar Hero, James Bond, Kung-fu Panda, and Marvel stuff. I also record Instrumental Space Metal, Shred and Ambient music under the name ProtoShredanoid.
Down to chat with you guys about any and all things music (or really whatever....The Cosmos, Lost Civilizations, Rocket League.....), so ask away!"