Red Post Collection: OCE Regional Skin Preview, Positive Play Icon, Kindred Q&A on 9/29, Legends Rising, & more!

Posted on at 1:18 AM by Moobeat
[NOTE: Kindred Q&A is live! - lots of lore questions & confirmation Kindred will be released next week.]

Tonight's red post collection includes a preview of the upcoming OCE Regional skin, a look at the positive play summoner icon that is being distributed, a heads up that the Kindred Q&A will be on September 29th, a look at the six part LEGENDS RISING documentary series, ricklessabandon mentioning testing experimental Riven PBE changes, Meddler on Vayne and Zilean, & more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Upcoming OCE Server Skin Preview & Discussion

CptStupendous jumped on the OCE boards to discussion the upcoming Oceania "Server skin" - a special skin inspired by a particular region, such as Ghostbride Morgana for LATAM, Sultan Tryndamere for TR, and more! This post details the upcoming OCE exclusive discount & charity donation for the skin and includes a preview image what appears to be a forthcoming Kassadin skin!
"Hey everyone, 
I want to give you all an update on where we are at with the regionally-inspired skin.
Back in 2013 when the server first opened there was a history of offering a regionally-inspired skin as part of a server launch. We had some discussions with the skins team to do this for Oceania, but it soon became clear this would take a long time and we didn't want to hold up the launch, so we unlocked Pool Party Ziggs as a bonus for coming over to the new OCE server. 
We messed up soon after that by saying that a server skin would also come out. 
We went through an exhaustive process of coming up with ideas internally and reading every single boards/Reddit/social media post we could find. These ideas were then workshopped and taken through the standard skins criteria. 
What made this process so challenging was trying to come up with an idea that represents all of Oceania, while also making sure it resonates with players no matter where they live. Themes like Dropbears, Ned Kelly, Kangaroos, Kiwis, and hundreds of others were where we went initially (we even started concepting on some of these). But the issue is that it would really only represent one of the countries that make up OCE and we needed something that represented everything. This took way too long and that sux. 
There was also an expectation that this skin would be available for free. We really should have clarified this earlier for everyone. Because we already offered a free Pool Party Ziggs for everyone who transferred, we’re not going to unlock another free skin server skin. 
What will be happening is the regionally inspired skin will be discounted to 50% off only in OCE with all funds raised in the first two weeks from OCE going to charity. The type of charity will be chosen by a vote and be between:
  • Environmental
  • Animal Rights
  • Humanitarian Relief Efforts
  • Medical Services/Research
There will be more information about this process in upcoming posts after the skin hits PBE, but we wanted to share this news with you now. 
If you have any questions about any of this please ask them below."

NOTE: To clear up any confusion, this skin will be available on all servers once released but only OCE will have a 50% release discount.

Kindred Q&A on September 29th 

With Kindred headed to live sometime in patch 5.19, the team behind The Eternal Hunters will be headed to the boards to host a Q&A on September 29th!
"If you’re on the hunt for more Kindred information, head over to their Q&A at 11am PDT on 9/29! Some of the Rioters behind the death-bringing duo will be on hand to answer your questions and share all kinds of murderous details about the Eternal Hunters. 
Get stuck into more Kindred information here:

Positive Play Icon Unlocked

Players who had been neither restricted or banned over the last three months should be receiving an exclusive summoner icon very soon! Here's Lyte with details on the positive play icon:  
"When 5.18 dropped, we powered up the instant feedback system and shared that positive players would earn an exclusive Summoner Icon. If you met the requirements (no restrictions or bans 6/15–9/15), your icon should be unlocked right now. 
Thanks for being a positive force!"
In addition to the icon still being distributed, be aware the icon will likely be slightly down in your icon list rather than right up at the top - for example:

Reminder: Third Party Applications

Next up we have Riot Cluvie with a quick reminder on third party applications and what is safe to use:
"Hey there, Riot Cluvie here for the Risk team. We’d like to provide some insight into how we work with the Dev Relations team to determine which apps are and aren’t allowed. 
Quick preface: third party applications are sometimes difficult to classify, and we know that can make it hard at times to find consistency in what we do and don’t allow. We’ve tried to stay flexible in our decision making to keep up with the community’s innovation, but the lack of clear policy surrounding the use of unapproved apps just generates confusion. So with that in mind, we’d like to set fair expectations by calling out some features that definitely aren’t okay. 
To reiterate our stance on 3rd party applications from about a year ago: 
> No software should interfere directly with the in-game player experience between when you press “Play” and the end of game screen. 
It’s been said before, but we absolutely don’t like applications that provide measurable player advantage. If there were ever any modification that were to become so standard as to be required for competitive play, the integrity of our environment just wouldn’t be viable. You shouldn’t ever have to go digging for add-ons just to stay competitive. Some examples of measurable player advantage include: 
  • Exposing information that’s intentionally obfuscated (cooldowns or timers)
  • Taking actions on your behalf (botting or scripting)
  • Drawing conclusions for you (predicting enemy positions)
  • Otherwise altering your field of intelligence (zoomhacks or global ult alerts) 
For now, custom models and artwork sit firmly in a “use-at-your-own-risk” category, but we’re keeping an eye on them. We can’t optimize for assets we don’t develop, and if they do become a concern in the future (ie. they provide measurable player advantage), we’ll take action based on the stance we just discussed. 
Gray areas aside, there are definitely applications which are blatantly not okay, and while the number of players in this space are very low (think a fraction of a percentage), we remain vigilant and have been handing out punishments to those who show patterns of consistent abuse. Suspensions will ramp up in duration across multiple offenses and will be accompanied by ranked reward removal where applicable. 
Hopefully this post hasn’t come across as too doom-and-gloom! The third party ecosystem is full of devs making awesome applications that don’t run afoul of any restrictions. Our goal today is just to ensure we’re being clear on our end to provide them with peace of mind as they continue to innovate."

Lyte on Voicechat & Current Priorities

When asked about  his thoughts on a statement about Voicechat and what the team prioritizes, Lyte noted:
"[source] "Riot Lyte will do anything to prevent voice chat. He is biased and doesn't want to lose control. Voice Chat can (currently) not be analysed or included into the Tribunal. And the player base is suffering from it." What do you think about this statement?

 Not sure why players think we're against voice chat. Yes, university research has repeatedly shown that voice chat introduces toxicity into a game or community, but that doesn't mean we'll never try it. We would just design it differently than other games have in the past. We actually rarely decide to do (or not do) a feature because of toxicity. 
Everything is a trade-off, and if a feature introduces a little toxicity but is overall net positive because of numerous benefits in other dimensions, we'd still do the feature."
He continued, sharing a few things the team is currently prioritizing:
"Once the new Champ Select launches, we'll do an assessment on the 2016 schedule. We've been exploring voice chat research (with 2 external research labs) and voice chat designs to map out what we'd like to do in this space, so it depends how far along the research and designs are. 
But, for now, for some of the teams I oversee, the current priorities are:
  • Team Builder Draft and the new Ranked Season 
  • Instant Feedback System - better features against intentional feeding, scripting/hacking and Elo Boosting 
  • Tribunal voting system 
  • Early Surrender system when there's a 4v5
Knowing the numbers and the data around each of these opportunities, and the specific skillsets on these teams, we believe these are important features and systems to work on right now. 
There's hundreds of things we'd love to do, such as re-visit Honor and finish the system, but you have to pick and choose what to work on first."
He continued:
These are just some of the teams I oversee. This was just an example of a priority list for the "player behavior" or "social systems and features" spaces.

When asked about the "Early Surrender" system, he noted:
"In the design of the feature, there are no penalties for the other players. It's just called Early Surrender as a codename internally."

As for how they decided what to prioritize, Lyte noted:
"These are just the priorities for some of the teams I oversee. There are numerous other teams working on other projects in different dimensions such as the Marksman rework.

We determine priorities based on a variety of things, for example, the frequency of a problem (how often does it happen in the game), the severity of a problem (when it does happen, how bad is it?), and player demand. The perception problem with player demand is that Reddit is a highly hardcore playerbase, and a very small % of the playerbase. 
We've seen in several surveys that what the Reddit community wants as their top priorities is sometimes completely different than what the average player globally wants. In some cases, on specific questions, the Reddit community responds directly opposite to what the average player globally says too. 
It's a hard problem to resolve because Reddit is extremely hardcore, and an important voice among players; however, you have to take into account what the entire playerbase thinks too. "

Small Reduction to Vayne starting AD in testing

On the topic of changes in testing, Meddler also commented they are testing a small reduction to Vayne's starting AD:
"We're currently testing a small reduction to Vayne's starting AD, our belief being that Vayne's currently got too strong a lane for how powerful her late game is (with the strong late game a defining feature of hers and a strong lane not intended). That nerf's deliberately being kept small given the changes to a number of marksmen and marksmen items in the coming preseason and the belief that we're currently seeing a solo queue meta that's very favorable to Vayne (lot of tanky dudes to fight). Post preseason disruption we'll then assess both Vayne and marksmen in general, see where changes are or aren't needed."
He continued:
"Our belief is that there's room in the tank killer space for both Vayne and Kog, since they offer pretty different takes on it. While both are really effective against high health targets, and have at least some capacity to shred or ignore mitigation, they're pretty different otherwise. Kog's got a decent amount of poke, even with an AD build, has much greater average attack range come late game and offers some team utility (shred, slow, vision). He needs to be protected pretty carefully though, getting a lot of value from speed boosts and peel in particular, so places demands on his team's comp. Vayne by contrast's got high sustained mobility and functions well independently (she's got a number of duelist traits). She brings very little team utility however, and lacks both AOE and ability to affect enemies outside of her auto attack range.

Whether or not the two are are appropriately balanced, relative to each other and other marksmen, gets a lot of debate, we're pretty confident there's enough room within the space of 'tank killing marksmen' for both Kog and Vayne though."

Zilean Changes planned for 5.21 - 5.22

When asked if the team has any plans for Zilean in the near future, Meddler mentioned:
"We've got a few tweaks for him planned for somewhere around 5.21-5.22. Looking at some small responsiveness improvements to his Q (attach logic and feel improvements), plus we're exploring some experiemental stuff with his passive (still giving XP to allies, but potentially in a way that generates at least a little more interaction on the Zilean player's part)."

Experimental Riven Changes coming to PBE

ricklessabandon has tweeted that he will be putting a few experimental Riven changes on the PBE soon:
[1] "for anyone interested…i'm going to be putting some experimental riven changes up on the pbe while i continue wrapping up some other projects"

[2] "would probably be another couple days before they show up though. won't be tomorrow or anything."
[9/29 Update] He added they should be popping up in the 9/30 PBE update:
[3] "i think the experimental riven changes will hit the pbe in the next update. wrapping up the first iteration right now.

things will be…edgy~"
[4] "also if you've been following me for a bit (for league of legends things) you should know by now that when i say 'experimental' i mean it :3"

Purpose of Kassadin's E Charges 

When asked about the reasoning behind Kassadin's E having a charge system based on spells cast and if that restriction could be removed if Kassadin is in need of buffs, Meddler riftwalked into the thread to explain:
"Kassadin was created long before my time at Riot, some benefits I can see to the charge system though:
  • It allows Kassadin to use his E significantly more often in team fights than some 1v1s, giving a champion with strong duelist power a boost elsewhere 
  • It modifies how favorable some match ups are for Kassadin, giving him an edge against certain opponents and therefore adding a bit of extra depth to the decision of when to pick him or not, without getting into hard counter territory. 
  • It adds a small amount of extra decision making to both Kassadin's play and his lane opponent's (value of next spell cast changes slightly in some circumstances if it's the one that allows an E cast).
Now, if Kassadin were to be buffed, we certainly could remove that gate on his E, that would add power to him. Initial reaction personally though is that it's a mechanic that creates some optimization and adds a little bit of distinctiveness in some circumstances, so if we were to add power there would likely be more interesting ways to do so that created, rather than removed, gameplay."

Worlds Countdown in the Client

In case you missed it, a countdown timer to the start of the 2015 World Championship has been added to the bottom right of the client!

Here's zerocontext with more information:
"Hi everyone. Quick heads-up that we'll be launching a countdown to the start of Group Stage in the client landing page today. You can toggle it off (to return to the Featured Spectate card) by clicking the arrows in the countdown's upper-right corner. Hit us up with any questions or issues!"

Legends Rising: A Documentary Series

The six part LEGENDS RISING documentary is now up on the lolesports youtube!
"Legends Rising explores the struggles, triumphs, and motivations that have helped shape six of the world’s best League of Legends players. Go beyond League of Legends and discover what drives these pros to rise up and become legends. These are their stories told from the inside."

Check out all six parts here: 
More on the music of LEGENDS RISING can be found in this thread.

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