Red Post Collection: Champ Up & Marksman discussion, Fiora to remain "The Grand Duelist", Riot Music Team Update, & more

Posted on at 5:34 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection includes discussion on several upcoming champion updates and smaller scope marksman reworks in the works, an update from the music team, a look at the small hotfix from September 21st, Repertoir with comments on Quinn, Ant in Oz confirming Fiora's title will remain "The Grand Duelist", a Ghostcrawler roundup, a reminder on the 2015 WC schedule, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

September 21st Patch Update

The official 5.18 patch notes have been updated to reflect a small hotfix going out soon to address spectator mode and Jarvan IV visual bugs.
Jarvan IV
  • THE POWER OF IMAGINATION - Fixed a visual bug where Jarvan's Passive - Martial Cadence empowered autoattacks were sometimes not playing an animation
Spectator Mode
  • LET'S CALL IT AN OPTICAL ILLUSION - Fixed a longstanding visual bug that caused certain VFX (ex. Relic Shield charges, Banshee's Veil bubble, blue/red buff runes) to visually persist even after the effect expired"

Champion Update & Marksman Discussion

Following the recent Juggernaut, Gangplank, and Fiora reworks, the champion update schedule has went untouched! When asked about this and what is coming next, Scruffy noted:
"We'll get to this very soon. 
Spoiler (the nearer future):
Poppy (big)
Taric (big)
Shen (medium)
A bunch of small marksmen updates (like the juggernauts) 
There are others that we've talked about (yorick, akali etc) but those are still in earlier phases."

When asked if the order he presented was relevant to release timing , Scruffy noted it wasn't:
"No sorry, it's not even 100% clear to me how they will shake out. Different "pods" on the team are working on different projects concurrently so sometimes things finish faster than others."

As far as time frames, he commented:
Define nearer...
Seriously tho, I don't have any real dates to give (wouldn't want to over promise). Generally think in terms of months not years. Some of those will happen sooner than the others as well."

When asked if Irelia was going to be on the list anytime soon, Scruffy commented:
"We aren't working on her currently, but she is a champ that we have a ton of interest in for the future. There is so much we could do now to better deliver on the promise of the "psi blade" character. It'll be a lot of work and we'd probably want to build her from the ground up (new model, anims, kit etc). 
When we do start working on her, we will definitely have some dialogue about what are the things that current irelia has that are really working. I would rather we enhance the things that irelia mains love than just create something cool, but too different."
As for his comment on smaller scope marksman update, Scruffy elaborated:
"There are a lot of them in progress, and we've mentioned a few already (MF/Quinn). Not sure if I should spoil the rest. 
There will be a bunch of them with like 1 skill or mechanic change (like the juggernauts) focused on making them more unique. Some marksmen, Lucian and Graves for example, have a ton of overlap in playstyle and strengths/weaknesses. We hope to fix those type of overlaps. 
On top of the characters getting "reworks" we are probably going to do a stat/scaling pass on nearly all of the marksmen to go with the updated marksmen items that are being worked on by the systems team."
When asked if Caitlyn would be on this list, CertainlyT noted:
"We are indeed doing some work on Caitlyn as part of the pre-season's Marksmen update. None of her abilities are likely to change substantially. As many have mentioned she's fun and functional on Live. It's just hard to identify a situation when she's the right pick over other marksmen. 
Here's the gist of the present direction, roughly ordered big to small in terms of where our changes are likely to focus:
1) Hone Caitlyn's strategic identity as a siege/zone control-focused champion, likely by emphasizing her traps.  
Hone her thematic identity as a sharpshooter by emphasizing accuracy and range. 
2) Give a bit more depth to her playstyle, likely by emphasizing shot timing and target selection. You should know a person who has 30 games on Cait from one with 5. 
Add this depth through rewarding good planning and judgment, not pure mechanical skill. 
3) Retain/enhance her trademark safety, again likely through enhanced traps, in exchange for not being a great tank buster compared to less safe marksmen. 
Ensure she has access to offensive rewards should she trade in some of that safety, likely through 90 Caliber Net. 
4) Create limited windows of breathing room to her early pressure so that more champions, when properly played, can fight back against her laning phase."
Repertoir also added:
"The full scope of Caitlyn's changes is actually quite low, and from at least what I've played of it in the last few weeks, she's a lot of fun in interesting ways despite not changing too much."

Repertoir also commented they are likely to do Vayne tweaks during preseason:
"We probably won't do something like the above suggestion, but we do plan to make a few minor adjustments to Vayne in the upcoming marksmen changes."

Repertoir on Quinn Rework in Development

Following the above discussion, Repertoir also commented briefly on the Quinn changes he's working on:
"I appreciate your guys' concern with the upcoming Quinn changes, and I do enjoy seeing threads like these that are well thought out and in the spirit of making a character everyone can be happy with. 
We're still not quite ready yet to discuss Quinn's upcoming changes in detail, but I'm looking forward to being able to do so. I will say in advance that the above stuff that OP mentions Quinn mains agree on won't necessarily be everything you can expect from the changes, and I do understand that there will inevitably be players that disagree with some of the changes I'll end up making, as is the case with almost every update to a character. In her changes, we're trying to mostly preserve what is cool and fun about the character while hopefully making the whole package make a bit more sense, especially from a gameplay perspective. 
I will say that in the update, you can expect her abilities to mostly be the same, with changes here and there to their effects, cast types, numbers, etc."
He continued:
"I'll expect her to still be a viable solo laner, but we're changing a few things up so that she has some purpose in a game outside of suppressing her lane opponent."
With regard to concern on her power level spiking to pick ban like the Juggernauts, he noted:
"I don't think she'll fall into pick or ban tier. With the juggernauts, we erred on the side of strong (and went a bit too far on that) since those champions felt largely non-functional before. Marksmen are generally much more stable as a group of champions, so we can probably expect to players to pick up and be familiar with their gameplay pretty quickly. Even though Quinn is sometimes seen as non-functional as a marksman, she still has elements as a marksman that make her pretty familiar to play."
When asked about numerous Quinn bugs and if they'll also be fixed, Repertoir replied:
I have that reddit thread of Quinn bugs saved as a favorite right now in Chrome. I'm trying to knock them out as I get to them.

As for a time frame, he noted it should come around preseason.
"Should hit right around then."

Kindred Passive Cap on Monsters

In a thread regarding Kindred's passive and the massive damage it can deal to monsters, Meddler explained there is an intended damage cap:
"Damage Cap on passive damage against Monsters should be working on the PBE Monday. It's intended to be 75 damage, but got bugged at some point from the looks of it and stopped working."
He continued, noting it would be 75 total per hit:
"Total (for comparison, Blade of the Ruined King does 60 max against Monsters)."

As for the suggestion of making Baron or Dragon able to be hunted by Kindred's passive and give Kindred passive stacks after they reach six stacks, Meddler commented:
"Hmm, that's an intriguing suggestion, I'll bounce that off the folks working on Kindred tomorrow, see if that makes sense to them too. Suspect Baron only might be the way to go to avoid pumping too many more stacks in for a winning Kindred."

Thoughts on 5.18 Darius

When asked about his thoughts on Darius' high ban rate in ranked, Meddler noted:
"Personal feeling is that his current ban rate made sense for 5.17 Darius, but doesn't for 5.18 Darius since he's lost a noticeable amount of power. He might still be ban worthy for some people/some match ups, and might or might not still be too strong, but not 90% ban rate worthy. I'd expect it to take a while for his ban rate to lower though, most people banning him won't be seeing him in game in the first place to observe the changes (super high ban rates limit feedback), so it'll take a while for them to get a read on his revised state."
He continued:
"As far as follow ups go, if we needed to do something flat + % missing, or flat multiplied by % missing on the heal would definitely be one of the things we'd look at. Whether that's the change we'd go for would depend on what the issue was though (no sense nerfing his heal if something else turns out to be an issue for example)."

Fiora's title will remain "The Grand Duelist"

After an unexpected change to "Mistress of the Sword" in the 9/21 PBE update, Ant in Oz has confirmed that Fiora's champion title will not be changing - she will remain "the Grand Duelist"!
"Whoops, our bad. Fiora will be reinstated as the "The Grand Duelist" in the next update. 
In the future, it's possible that some Champs may get new titles, but only when it clearly fits their thematic better - it's not something to change lightly, or without careful consideration. 
But for Fiora, "The Grand Duelist" does the trick - there's no need for us to change it. 

Sightstone changes likely in Preseason

When asked about the likelihood of Sightstone being changed in preseason, Meddler commented:
"It's fairly likely there'll be some Sightstone changes in the preseason. Amongst other things we're looking at adding some different upgrade options instead of just Sightstone -> Ruby Sightstone."
Meddler continued, elaborating on a few things they want to be careful about with upgrading Sightstone:
"There are a couple of things we want to be careful about with Sightstone. The first is avoiding making it an item that's appealing to too wide a range of positions. On one hand, too little vision's bad for the game, it stops you from making informed plays and instead just forces blind risk or extreme conservatism. On the other hand however too much vision's also a problem, shutting down the possibility for action and leading to dull, long, low action games. Sightstone not being bought too frequently in any single game's an important part of trying to keep that vision balance right. 
The second thing we want to try and do is make it so supports don't feel forced to upgrade their Sightstone to the final tier before picking up any other items, given how much that surpresses chances to make item choices. At the same time, the upgrade should still decent for the slot. Decent slot efficiency, but uninspiring gold efficiency for the upgrade, might be where we end up as a result."

Ghostcrawler roundup

Next up we have a collection of responses from Ghostcrawler's! 
[sourceDo you approve smurfs? There are so many of them, from Bronze to Challenger smurfs. And in my opinion they ruin the game experience by stomping low level people, even pre-level 30 ones which many times are just like:"Well i'm done with this game" since it's very frustrating. 
On the whole, they probably cause more problems for legitimate new players than they're worth it. However, I think you also have to look at the reasons why players smurf, which all feel like legitimate game problems that are on us to fix. In other words, I don't want to just blame the smurfers and punish them. We'd rather address the reasons they are smurfing and see if that helps the situation overall. 
The reasons players give for smurfing are:
1) I want to play with less experienced or less skilled friends.
2) I'm bored and I need something else to do in League.
3) I'm trapped in ELO hell and think I can do better.
4) I enjoy stomping noobs. 
We aren't particularly interested in supporting #4 as a legitimate way to play League. The others are real problems we would like to fix.

[sourceWhy does MF where heels into combat? 
Either she has spent less time on ships than she claims or she is extremely confident.

[sourceTo me Volibear is a Juggernaut that doesn't bring anything to the team. In teamfights he just stands there and acts reactively. If he gets hard CC'd while he's on all fours (Q), then he's otherwise useless. Will he get some sort of Juggernaut rework as well? 
He was one of the Juggernauts we wanted to work and the idea the team came up with was pretty cool, but it ended up requiring a lot more resources than originally intended. Faced with the idea of doing a cool idea in the future or scoping it down to something less exciting, we decided to shelve it. He definitely needs work and I hope we can bust out that idea when he gets it. I'll let you know if that happens.

[sourceWill you try to add new items specifically for ADC's, that cant be abused by others (runnans only range). So items that help adc's so we can stop fighting with swords. If you cant answer that question because your working on it then answer this. Do you like puppies? 
The hope is that we can target ADCs with the item changes without worrying that someone else may use the items. 
Philosophically, League was originally designed with the intent that items would be relatively flexible and there would be lots of options for every champion. Overall, I'd argue that fantasy really hasn't manifested and with a couple of cool exceptions, accepted build orders are a thing and there isn't a ton of experimentation (unless we change an item or make a new one). That's a long winded way of saying we are okay sacrificing the notion that any champion can use any item so that we can provide some real choices of items for a given champion (without causing a bunch of balance problems when an unintended champion takes the item). 
Another way to put it is in the stack rank of what we value: 
1) Relatively balanced game.
2) Champions who can make some choices about which items to build.
3) Champions can use just about any item.

[sourceHow do you feel about the "open mid" situation that's developing in NA and EU right now? Does this start a discussion on changing the surrender options in game or is this something that should be punishable? If 5 people want to give up shouldn't they be able to?
It's a really nuanced conversation. The reason we don't allow surrender immediately (for example once you see what the enemy team comp is) is because it's often possible to win a come-from-behind victory, and we want to give players an opportunity to focus on strategy rather than focusing on campaigning the team to surrender. In addition, we don't want to use quick surrender as a run-around leavers. For example, we don't want to encourage someone harassing you to surrender because they didn't get the position they wanted or because they didn't get First Blood.

However, it does also suck when you are really, really far behind (say a couple of players never connected) and you're just killing time waiting for that 20 minutes to tick down. Our surrender mechanic may need more flexibility in its design.

The open mid situation is further complicated by a number of factors. For example, teams may be throwing games just to get around the surrender limit I discussed above. Or maybe players perceive the game to be more snowbally than it really is, so they feel like playing from behind isn't worth the effort. (Our data suggests the game isn't more snowbally for players in most ELOs, but perceptions don't always match reality.) Also, there may be a perception that since open mid started in Korea, and Koreans have a well-earned reputation as skill players, that they must be onto something. :)

We're discussing what to do about it, if anything.
[sourceI read not long ago that there are more champions in testing phase. How many not-yet-released champions are there currently in playtesting? if it's not a secret. :P also do people testing them need to pla new ones only or old ones as well? Is it kinda chaotic with so much new stuff on there? XD 
We have three different teams within the champion team overall, which often means that we have 3 new champions in testing. That may change over time. You are correct that internal playtests can quickly get out of hand, if different teams want us to try out several new champions, several champion updates, some item changes, and maybe a clarity change all in the same game. You have to be pretty careful to get the most out of playtesting and try not to test too much or too little at one time.

Cho'Gath Team Frames R Bug fixed in 5.19

 In a reddit thread noting that the team frame R cooldown indicator doesn't work with Cho'Gath's reduced R cooldown after eating a minion or monster, CertainlyT noted it will be fixed in 5.19:
I was playing with my friend, who had picked Cho'gath. I asked him how long it was until his ult was up and he said it already was. This confused me as the green circle timer was only about halfway full. This happened multiple times throughout the game before I realized that it had to be the green circle not calculating for Feast's minion use cooldown, which is only half the normal cooldown.
Good catch. Fixed for next patch (5.19)"

Riot Music Team - Update

Following the 9/21 PBE update debut of Kindred's login music, Praeco jumped on the boards to offer an update on the Riot Music team and introduce Ed The Conqueror!

"Hello folks. 
With the Kindred theme coming out, I'd like to introduce you to Edouard "Ed The Conqueror" Brenneisen, who just joined our music team as composer. Kindred was his first project, and we're all very excited to have him on our team, writing music for you all in the future. 
With him, our team now consists of the following vagabonds:  
  • Sebastien "Chemicalseb" Najand (His work includes the themes of Ekko, Braum, Urf, Super Galaxy Rumble, Rek'Sai, Bard, PROJECT, etc.) 
  • Alex "Scherzophrenia" Temple (His work includes the themes of Bilgewater(including map music & champion themes), Snowdown 2014, Tiny Masterpiece of Evil, Tales of the Rift, etc.) 
  • Jason "Protoshredanoid" Willey (He also joined our team somewhat recently. His work includes the theme of Tahm Kench, Pentakill & eSports music contributions) 
  • Edouard "Ed The Conqueror" Brenneisen (As mentioned, Kindred was his first piece for us) 
  • Myself, Christian "Praeco" Linke (My work includes the themes of Nami, Diana, Jinx, Vi, Amumu, etc.)
Together, we work on all musical aspects of League of Legends. We all have different and musical styles and backgrounds that we try to utilize intelligently for all the different projects that we tackle, and one of the awesome aspects of working on this team indeed is being able to learn from each other every single day. 
If you have any questions, feel free to ask us whatever you'd like. 
Also, for the curious, the awesome dudes from already uploaded the theme, which is currently on PBE:

Christian // Praeco"
When asked about the potential of another PENTAKILL album, Praeco noted:
"Yeah! We've had a handful of get-togethers so far to write on some new stuff. We don't have much yet, but we're actually working on it :)"

Praeco also commented they are in the beginning phases of another LoL music album to follow The Music of League of Legends Volume 1:
"Yes. Also in the beginning phase, but this one should be taking way less time than the first, because the newer music is produced much better, and hence will not require as much re-production."

Over on reddit, Praeco mentioned they'll make the piano sheets available for the Kindred login soon:
"Ed is currently proofreading it, should be out within a few days!"
He continued:
"will make sure we post something about it in the forums! the sound & music board on our forums, that is."

When asked if the team would consider making tracks for older champions and if that is more difficult then making tracks for new champions, Scherzophrenia noted:
"Yep, it's definitely something we'd like to do, though we might be biased towards the older champions that we happen to play a lot :p Realistically, relaunches that get their own login splashes are the way we usually end up working on these, though I'd like to find other opportunities to revisit these champions. 
Creating the music for any champion does take a bit of time and exploration, but if anything, I would actually say it is more difficult to create music for an older champion. We're expanding the fantasy for a character that people have played for years, so we have an added responsibility to really get it right for the players that already know and love the champion."
Scherzophrenia  also answered a question on the development for the recent Bilgewater music pieces:
Question for Mr. Temple: 
How did you develop the music for Burning Tides ( Butcher's Bridge, Miss Fortune/Gangplank themes)? How did you settle on what instruments to use? What influenced its creation? Also, will the full track be released as was done for Twisted Treeline and the updated Summoner's Rift? We have snippets of it in both of Gangplank's themes and Miss Fortune's, but, as expected, large portions are missing. 
Also, Tiny Masterpiece of Evil lives up to its title in every way. Thank you very much for that.

Bilgewater was a fun project to work on, particularly as someone who probably plays 10 ARAM games for every SR game. One of the first things we looked at was what kind of instruments it should have, and whether there should be a "featured" instrument (in the way the Nyckelharpa is for Freljord). We decided that rather than focusing on one instrument, we could capture the melting-pot feel of Bilgewater better by using a variety of different instruments "imported" from other parts of Runeterra, brought together with some questionable playing techniques to make some unsophisticated noise at a pub down by the slaughter docks. The next question was, what should that ensemble sound like?

A lot of the "percussion" that you hear in the track is quite literally what you might hear in a Bilgewater pub: it's recordings of mugs being slammed down onto wooden tables that I later cut up and assigned to keys in a playable MIDI instrument. Some of the other non-MIDI instruments were chosen based on what was available, which in hindsight I think fits the spirit of how a Bilgewater ensemble would be assembled. We brought back the same bouzouki that chemicalseb used all over Braum's theme, but after traveling all the way from Freljord we thought it shouldn't sound that great. To fix this, I tuned it down almost an octave to get a loose, nasty twangy sound from it. I also bought a cheap Mandolin for the project, and while I do my best to play it "correctly" on many parts of the tracks, I think we actually had much more interesting results when I played it with a violin bow. I thought of it as the sound of a drifter with a bit of mostly-forgotten fiddle technique bartering his way into possession of a mandolin somewhere in Bilgewater, and trying to play it like a fiddle because in his addled mind, it looked kind of like one. You can hear this in a lot of the drones, like the ones that begin most of the logins and the champ select music. The voices are a bunch of Rioters having a little too much fun for a Monday afternoon. We'd considered doing lyrics but concluded that it would be too distracting for in-game music.

Musically, I thought everything should be simple and unsophisticated - the kind of music that would be picked up through oral tradition rather than properly learned. Thematically this meant straightforward rhythms with a lot of note repetition and a lot of stepwise motion (moving up or down by just one note rather than in larger leaps). I developed all of this in the map music first, and then later extracted and re-purposed the themes for the various logins. We actually work this way on a lot of our projects, where we might do a promotional video first, and then expand certain elements into the login. (For example Shurima, Ekko, Freljord, and Summoner's Rift were all done this way.) This often is due to project timelines more than anything else, but it also works in our favor, because it can be tempting to get carried away while working on a standalone login and write music that will be harder to adapt for a more time-locked format.

I have been meaning to get the rest of the music up onto Soundcloud, sorry for the delay! I'll try to get it up this week :)"

2015 World Championship Schedule

For those who may have missed it, the full schedule for the group stage of the 2015 World Championship has been published!

Starting Thursday, October 1st and running through Sunday October 11th, we'll have six games a day to narrow down the teams that will move on to the knockout stage!

Check out the 2015 WC page for more information, including a look at the pick'em, rules, and more!

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