Red Post Collection: Illaoi introduction & story, Mordekaiser Follow Up, Poppy Update Discussion, and more!

Posted on at 10:24 PM by Moobeat
[NOTE: FIGUREFEST is now live in the merch shop!]

Tonight's red post collection includes Illaoi's longer form introduction and story, discussion on the upcoming Poppy champion update, Statikk with a follow up post on the Mordekaiser update, context on many of the recent tentative PBE changes for 5.24, and much more! 
Continue reading for more information!



Table of Contents


Illaoi, the Kraken Priestess Lore 

With Illaoi's now available on live servers, her champion page on the League of Legends website has been updated to include both her longer form bio and an introductory story!
"“Wisdom is frequently a kick in the head.” 
Illaoi’s powerful physique is dwarfed only by her indomitable faith. As the prophet of the Great Kraken, she uses a huge, golden idol to rip her foes’ spirits from their bodies and shatter their perception of reality. All who challenge the “Truth Bearer of Nagakabouros” soon discover Illaoi never battles alone - the god of the Serpent Isles fights by her side. 
All who encounter Illaoi are struck by her presence. An intense woman, the priestess is fully committed to the experience of living. She takes what she wants, destroys what she hates, and revels in everything she loves. 
However, to truly know Illaoi you must understand the religion she has devoted her life to. Nagakabouros, the deity of her faith, is usually depicted as an enormous serpent head with tentacles spiraling around it in endless motion, with no beginning and no end. Also called The Mother Serpent, The Great Kraken, or even The Bearded Lady, Nagakabouros is the Serpent Isles’ god of life, ocean storms, and motion. (The literal translation of its name is “the unending monster that drives the sea and sky.”) Central to the religion’s theology are three tenets: every spirit was born to serve the universe; desire was built into every living being by the universe; the universe only moves toward its destiny when living creatures chase their desires. 
Lesser priestesses are tasked with maintaining temples, calling holy serpents, and teaching people the ways of Nagakabouros. As the religion’s Truth Bearer, Illaoi’s role is to serve the god directly by unblocking the flow of the universe. To this end, she has two sacred responsibilities. 
The first duty of a Truth Bearer is to be the spearhead in the war against undeath. Having fallen outside of the normal flow of the universe, the undead are considered an abomination against Nagakabouros. While it is the responsibility of every priestess of the Kraken to protect the indigenous population from the Harrowing, a Truth Bearer directly engages its most powerful spirits and drives the Black Mist back. 
Second, Illaoi is tasked with seeking out individuals of great potential and challenging them with the Test of Nagakabouros. This task is the burden Illaoi’s title reflects. With her massive, holy relic, The Eye of God, the Truth Bearer strips the subject’s spirit from their body then forces them to stand against her to prove their worth. She does this knowing those who fail will be completely annihilated, for the great Kraken has no tolerance for cowardice, doubt, or restraint. But destruction is never the goal. Survivors of the ordeal are forever changed and often find the will to pursue their true destiny. 
Though Illaoi is the most powerful and respected Truth Bearer in a hundred generations, it is where she has broken the traditions of her faith that speaks the most about her. Having completed her training as a Truth Bearer, and at the height of her power, Illaoi left the golden temples of Buhru for the squalor of nearby Bilgewater. 
The pirate city is the only place foreigners are permitted on the Serpent Isles, viewed as a fetid gutter by Illaoi’s people. Previous Truth Bearers ignored the city and viewed the arriving foreigners as little better than untouchables. Illaoi broke with tradition when she chose to protect residents of Bilgewater from the Harrowing, or even more controversially when she decided that some of its residents had souls worthy of the great test. Despite this, only a handful of temples have been opened in the city, and very few paylangi (islander slang for residents of mainlander descent) have ever been permitted inside. Regardless, it is Illaoi who has brought the widespread awareness of the Mother Serpent to Bilgewater, and it is her indomitable spirit that has brought her religion into favor there. 
Rumors persist that Bilgewater’s most bloodthirsty and infamous pirate had his heart broken by the towering priestess. To anyone who has ever met her, this is no surprise. Illaoi’s rough manner belies subtle intelligence, strength, and a magnetic confidence.
Many seek Illaoi’s favor and welcome her to Bilgewater... yet everyone fears being tested by the Kraken’s Prophet. 
“There can be no rest. We are the motion.” 
—From The Twenty Wisdoms of Nagakabouros 
The Burden 
“Truth Bearer, this is why we must retreat to Buhru. We cannot save the paylangi,” the Hierophant said. The heavy-set woman grinned, obviously pleased by the prospect of leaving Bilgewater. 
“You’ve mentioned that before,” Illaoi said, walking around the stone table in the center of the room. She rolled her shoulders, loosening the muscles to fight off a yawn. 
Beside the Hierophant, an elderly serpent caller stood. He wore a vestment made from ropes. Each indigo-dyed cord had been woven to curl; their varying thicknesses and faded kraken ink gave him the illusion of being draped in rough-hewn tentacles. His face was completely covered by a black tattoo depicting the endless teeth of a leviathan’s maw. Monks and serpentcallers were always trying to look scary. It was an annoying habit of most men. 
“The greatest beasts won’t approach Bilgewater,” the serpent caller said with a wheeze. “They stay out in the deep water, away from the stench of the Slaughter Docks. At best, a few half-starved younglings will heed our summons.” 
Only the greatest children of Nagakabouros were strong enough to consume the mists and defend the city from the Harrowing. The rest of the Serpent Isles didn’t have this problem. 
It was yet another reminder of the ignorance of Bilgewater’s population. The mainlanders and their descendants didn’t give time for fresh water to flow through and clean their docks. Instead, the paylangi settled permanent anchorages around every shore in the bay. It was so foolish. Many of the priesthood asserted it was proof the paylangi actually wanted to be consumed by the Black Mists. 
“Crap,” Illaoi said. If she was going to stay, she would have to find a way to defend the city without serpents. She picked at the food from one of the offering bowls around her, before selecting a mango. She needed a plan, and these two fools were useless. 
A loud crack interrupted her musing. A heavy, wooden door had slammed open downstairs. 
Gangplank’s voice howled, the words were unintelligible, echoing around the stone walls. 
“We pulled him from the water, as you commanded,” the Hierophant smiled, adjusting the jade collar of her office. “Perhaps it would have been better to let his energy return to Nagakabouros?” 
“You do not judge souls.” 
“Of course Truth Bearer, it is for Nagakabouros to judge,” he said, implying that Illaoi’s opinion was biased. 
Illaoi walked between the two clerics, dwarfing the pair of them. Even for an islander, the Truth Bearer was tall. It had always been so. She was taller even than the largest Northman. As a girl, she had been self-conscious about it, always feeling like she was stumbling into people, but she had learned. When I move, they should know enough to get out of my way. 
She lifted the Eye of God from its stand. The golden idol was larger than a wine barrel and many times the weight. Her fingers tingled against its cold metal. It had been placed next to the giant roaring fire, which illuminated the room, but the Eye of God stayed forever cool and damp to the touch. Illaoi deftly shouldered its massive weight. In a dozen years, the Truth Bearer had never been more than two strides from it. 
“Hierophant, I remember my duties,” Illaoi said as she headed down the stairs. “We will not be retreating to Buhru. I will stop the Harrowing here.” 
The high priestess had done little but complain since arriving from Buhru, but there was some truth in her words. 
When Gangplank’s ship had exploded, Illaoi’s heart had jumped. It had been many years since they had laid together, many years since she had ended the relationship... but some feelings still lingered. She had loved him once… stupid, old bastard. 
Surrounded by tall walls of interlocking stones, the courtyard to the temple was shaped like the fanged mouth of a leviathan. The entrance looked over the blue waters of the bay far below. Illaoi stomped down the stairway toward the front gate. She assumed she would have to smack Gangplank in the mouth; he was prone to arrogance and rum. But still, it would be nice to see him. 
She was unprepared for the snarling creature in her temple’s entrance. She knew he had been injured, but not like this. He was limping badly and bent over from shattered ribs. He cradled what was left of his arm. 
He swung a pistol around the room with his other arm, in a half-mad attempt to force the monks and priestesses to back away from him; oblivious to the fact that these were the very people who had pulled his drowned body from the bay only a few hours ago. Worse, his pistol was clearly empty and completely useless. 
“Where is Illaoi?” he bellowed. 
“I’m here, Gangplank,” she answered. “You look like crap.” 
He fell to his knees. 
“It was Miss Fortune. Had to be. Working with those two alley whores. They sank it.” 
“I do not care about your warship,” she said. 
“You were always telling me to move on, to head back out to sea. I needed a boat.” 
“You need only a canoe for the sea.” 
“This is my town!” he screamed. 
The monks and priestesses surrounding Gangplank tensed at this outburst. That Gangplank was foolish enough to make such a claim while standing in a structure thousands of years older than his city, was dangerous in itself. But a paylangi shouting at the thrice-blessed Truth Bearer in her own temple? Any other man would’ve been dumped into the sea with broken knees. 
“It’s my town!” he roared again. Spittle flew from his mouth in rage. 
“So what are you gonna do about it?” Illaoi said. 
“I, I need Okao and the other chiefs’ support. They’ll listen to you... if you ask them. If you ask them, they’ll help me.” He lowered his head in front of her. 
“What are you going to do about it?” Illaoi said, raising her voice this time. 
“What can I do?” he said hopelessly. “She took my ship, she took my men, she took my arm. Anything I had left… I used to get here.” 
“Leave us,” Illaoi told the other priests as she walked toward the gate. She looked down on Gangplank. It had been ten years since she’d last seen him; drink and worry had taken his dashing looks. 
“There is nothing for me but this town, and without your help…” his voice trailed off when he met her gaze. Illaoi kept her eyes as hard and unforgiving as the Kraken. She gave Gangplank nothing. The priestess of Nagakabouros could show no pity or sympathy, even if it tore at her chest. In despair, the old captain’s eyes darted away from hers. 
“I could do that,” Illaoi said, “and with a word, the tribes and Okao’s gang would join you. But why should I?” 
“Help me, damn it! You owe me,” he snapped like a child. 
“I owe you?” Illaoi rolled the words in her mouth. 
“I keep up the rituals. I offer the sacrifices,” Gangplank snarled. 
“But clearly you did not learn the lesson. Rituals? Sacrifices? You speak of things for weak men and their weak gods. My god demands action,” Illaoi said. 
“I suffered for this town! Bled for it. It is mine by right!” 
Illaoi knew what she had to do. She knew it before Gangplank had spoken. She had known years before his ship had sunk. 
Gangplank had strayed. For too long, he had festered in the hatred and self-pity his father had beaten into him. Illaoi had ignored her duty. She had ignored it because she had loved him, once, and because she had led him down this path when she left him. He had been content as a killer, a corsair, a true pirate, and never interested in his father’s title of Reaver King. 
He had only set anchor in his bloody quest to become the lord of Bilgewater after they had parted ways. 
Illaoi felt a dampness in her eyes. His time had passed. He had been unable to move forward. To advance. To evolve. And now? Now he would not survive the Test of Nagakabouros. But he needed to be tested. He was here to be tested. 
Illaoi looked at the old pirate before her. Could I send him away? Trust that he still has some sliver of strength or ambition that might see him through? If I send him away, he might live, at least… 
That was not the way of Nagakabouros. That was not the role of a Truth Bearer. This was not the place for doubts or second-guessing. If she trusted her god, she must trust her instincts. If she felt he had to be tested, then it was her god’s will. And what fool would choose a man over a god? 
Gripping the Eye of God’s handle tightly, Illaoi lowered the heavy gold icon from her shoulder. A familiar lightness replaced it, yet somehow she could still feel its weight there. 
“Please,” Gangplank begged. “Show me some kindness, at least.” 
“I will show you the truth,” Illaoi said, steeling her will. 
She stomp-kicked Gangplank, her heel smashing into his nose with a crunch. He flew backward like a drunkard, blood pouring down his lip. He rolled over and looked up at her with furious eyes. 
“BEHOLD!” Illaoi intoned. 
She reached out with her mind and called forth the energy of the Mother Serpent as she swung the giant idol forward. A glowing mist vomited from the icon’s mouth and swirls of blue-green energy formed around the Mother Serpent’s face, solidifying into ghostly tentacles. Touched by gold, these tendrils were as beautiful as the sunrise over water, and as horrifying as the darkest undersea abomination. More tentacles grew from the icon, replicating around the room as if born from some unknowable mathematics. Exponentially they grew larger, and somehow each one’s growth seemed to hold all the promise and horror of the world. 
“No!” Gangplank screamed. But the whirlwind ignored his cries as the storm of tentacles took him. 
“Face Nagakabouros!” she yelled. “Prove yourself!” The tentacles grasped at Gangplank, then dived into his chest. He shuddered as ghostly images of his past lives shook around him. 
He screamed as his soul was ripped from his body. His doppelganger stood unmoving before Illaoi. The spirit of Gangplank smoldered an almost blinding blue, its body crackling and flickering through his previous lives. 
The mass of tentacles attacked the wounded captain. Gangplank rolled and stumbled to his feet, dodging what he could. But for each one that missed, more and more appeared. Reality twisted and churned around him. The swarm of tentacles crashed against him, pushing him down, pulling him further and further from his soul—toward oblivion. 
Illaoi wanted to look away. More than anything, she wanted to turn her eyes. It is my duty to witness his passing. He was a great man, but he has failed. The universe demands— 
Gangplank rose. Slowly, inexorably, and unrelentingly he forced his broken body to stand. He ripped himself from the mass of tentacles and advanced step by painstaking step, roaring through the agony. Bloody and exhausted, he finally stood in front of Illaoi. His eyes bulged with hate and pain, but full of purpose. With his final ounce of strength, he walked into the glowing visage of his spirit. 
“I will be king.” 
The wind fell still. The tentacles ruptured in bursts of light. Nagakabouros was satisfied. 
“You are in motion,” Illaoi smiled. 
Gangplank stood inches from his former love—glaring at her. His back arched and his chest swelled with the sweet air of resolve—he was the proud captain once more.
Gangplank turned and walked away from her, no less injured or limping, but his stride now held its familiar boldness. 
“Next time I ask for help, just say no,” Gangplank growled. 
“Do something about that arm,” Illaoi said. 
“Was nice to see you,” he said as he walked out of the temple and down the long steps toward the water below. 
“Stupid old bastard,” she grinned. 
As the monks and hierophant returned to the antechamber, Illaoi remembered there were a thousand things she needed to do. A thousand little burdens she needed to carry. The Truth Bearer would have to meet with Sarah Fortune. Illaoi suspected Nagakabouros would soon need to test the bounty hunter. 
“Tell Okao and the chiefs to support Gangplank,” Illaoi said to the hierophant. “Help him retake the city.” 
“The city is in chaos, many want his head. He won’t survive the night,” the hierophant grumbled, looking at the injured captain struggling down the steps. 
“He is still the right man for the job,” Illaoi said as she hefted the Eye of God onto her shoulder. 
We can never be certain if we’re doing the right thing, or how things willhappen, or when we will die. But the universe gives us our desires, and our instincts. So we must trust them. 
She began walking up the steps from the courtyard to the inner temple, the Truth Bearer’s idol on her shoulder. It was a heavy burden—but Illaoi didn’t mind it. 
She didn’t mind at all."

5.23 Minion Changes live on NA

The NA version of the 5.23 patch notes has been updated to announce the minion pushing changes are now live on NA.
"11/25/2015 
Minion Pushing
The Minion Pushing changes mentioned below have been enabled for NA! For the next week or so we'll be watching how matches play out here compared to the rest of the world. This data will tell us whether Minion Pushing in particular needs any followup changes in 5.24, versus the other system changes we introduced this patch. After the week of monitoring is over, we'll roll Minion Pushing out globally!"
Click here for more details on the changes, which include minors becoming stronger whiel your team has an average level advantage over the enemy team.

[ FOLLOWUP ] Mordekaiser Update 

Next up we have Statikk launching into a followup discussion thread on the Mordekaiser juggernaut update, discussing the team's current thoughts and upcoming goals for the Iron Revenant!
"Hey all, 
We're going to be trying out methods of making our internal design reviews player-facing. These reviews are mostly done on major champion releases, updates, and systems tuning that we roll out. We may dig into our archives for recently released champions as well. 
These reviews will probably not be very 'polished' in their presentation, rather, they're meant to be a way of showing how we examine our work. By looking back at our original goals and then examining what's currently working (or not working) in the present day, we can be more transparent about followup changes while also being able to discuss what 'good' looks like. 
This is very much an experimental process, but hopefully it proves valuable in the long run. Our first trial is going to be...Mordekaiser. 
Goals
  • Solidify Mordekaiser in the Juggernaut space (low mobility, high close-range threat)
  • Offer a different non-Marksman duo lane experience
  • Add new strategic meaning to Dragon
What's Working
  • Strengths / Weaknesses profile aligns with Juggernaut space
  • Provides a different bot lane experience and has unique ally synergies
  • Dragon creates unique and memorable moments
Concerns
  • Extremely early / mid game dominant - lacks true, exponential late game scaling
  • Both Morde and Dragon follow this power curve
  • Too difficult to interact with in lane, due to sustain on top of sustain
  • High AP ratios (especially on R) still leading to Morde being potentially too bursty
  • Q damage ramping is extreme and readability is poor - leads to weird "what happened?" moments on Q3 hits
  • Tankiness is extremely inconsistent (unlike other Juggernauts) due to Passive's scaling with direct damage output - increases snowball dependence
  • Dragon / pet controls are still clunky
  • Experience bonus passive may not be the optimal solution - it is effective and functional, but low in satisfaction and hard to understand
Next Steps
  • Lower sustain early, better damage scaling late
  • Dragon needs more late game relevance and potentially less early game power
  • Flatten Q damage out (more on 1, less on 3) while still preserving the 3rd hit as a big, high moment
  • Increase the importance of effectively utilizing Passive / E to survive in lane and fights
Hopefully this gives you guys a bit more insight into our current thinking on Morde and helps explain the direction we're moving him in with the recent patch. 
Feel free to chime in with any thoughts, questions, or concerns."
When asked about planned changes to Mordekaiser's Dragon Ghost,  Statikk noted:
"Quote:
so your plan with dragon is to scale it with his ult? say it does less damge and duration is shorter type thing at ranks 1 and 2?
Well we're not married to this exact solution, but overall we feel like an early / mid-game Dragon can be pretty overwhelming to deal with. As the game goes on though, the Dragon Ghost eventually just melts to the exponential late game damage scaling. We think this mostly has to do with survivability tuning."
As for Mordekaiser's itemization, Statikk commented:
"Quote:
It's difficult to build tanky with Mordekaiser when AP itemization doesn't support him very well. He doesn't have a lot of options for health without gimping his damage, and while CDR would help him keep his shield up his options for that got hit pretty hard with the pre-season changes to masteries and lucidity boots.
How do you plan to remedy this?
This is an open question. In development, we didn't think that Morde would continue to be so reliant on AP itemization. We envisioned him having access to the new Juggernaut items in addition to the hybrid AP / AD items. 
What do you WANT to build when you play Mordekaiser? I think this would give us a better idea of where to push his itemization incentives."
Statikk  continued:
"If AP itemization is what Morde should be buying, I really like the idea of hybrid defensive / AP items being his mainstay (like you stated above - Rylai's, Liandry's, Abyssal, Zhonya's make sense). 
I think it's a lot trickier when Morde's optimal builds make him a glass cannon - so I'm pretty personally weary of pushing him into items like Nashor's or Deathcap. 
Would a build like Rylai's + Gunblade + Tank items make sense for Morde?"
Continuing on AP itemization, he noted:
"Quote:
How about giving him ad scalings on w and r and slightly lowering ap ratios? As long as his ap ratios are decent there will always be incentive to build straight ap which I assume you want to discourage. Perhaps other people may not agree with this, but I would like to see usage of q incentivised over the use of e for damage, kinda feels weird to still have morde trying to mage you down even when he has a big mace.
I also recall mention of buffing his base stats, and the slight lowering of his attack range, mind elaborating on both?
I think more importantly than nerfing the AP build, we want to provide alternate build paths that allow Morde to truly live out the Juggernaut fantasy. 
I can talk to the Live team / CertainlyT about the base stats situation."

Context on Recent PBE Changes

Next we have have several responses on the tentative 5.24 balance changes currently testing on the PBE.
When asked about the reduction in snare time for Swain's W, Meddler noted:
"We've felt Swain's been borderline too strong for a long time, but his low play and ban rate have been a deciding factor in leaving him as is and keeping an eye on him. We're now seeing him perform really well post preseason changes, so feel we need to take some power off him. Current thinking (still going through testing, so not a locked change yet), is that as a sustained damage, drain mage-tank, that CC's the best strength to hit, hence the change to Nevermove so it's got a lower duration at lower ranks."
As for the buffs to Ziggs passive and R, Meddler commented:
"We feel Ziggs is in a weak spot at the moment, and has been for a bit. We're not looking to go back to the days of endless wave stalling though, so we're adding power to places where it's more anti champion/objective than anti lane minion (sweet spot on ult, tower damage from passive)."
He continued, noting passing on feedback  to have Ziggs bombs have a new vfx vs towers.
Sounds like a really good idea. Will bring that up if we're doing some animation work on Ziggs at some point we could bundle that in with.

When asked about what appeared to be a large nerf to Master Yi's W AP ratio, Meddler noted it was just a tooltip fix:
"1) Competitive play doesn't dictate champion balance. It's a factor to consider, but we believe it should be treated as just one element to think about. 
2)Master Yi has been used in competitive play. 
3)This is a tooltip correction only. The actual ratio's been 0.15 for a long time."
As for the nerfs to Skarner's R AD ratio and passive attack speed around spires, Repertoir noted:
"From what I understand, the team just wanted to try out a few different avenues as to how we want to nerf Skarner. Though it won't show up on the PBE over the holiday weekend, I believe the plan is to go with a pared down version of these nerfs for final changes. 
It seems worth noting here that it can be difficult to really try more than one thing out at a time in an effort to land on the correct change when it comes to nerfs and buffs, because we tend to get large reactions from players when we do so. I'm not saying that reaction isn't justified (since we don't have the greatest history of being fully transparent on every change you see on the PBE), but I do think that's what is going on in this case."
When asked about the Hecarim changes to remove unit collision ignore from his passive, Repertoir noted he didn't have exact context commented with his thoughts on reasons why:
"I don't have any deep insight into the particular Hecarim changes on the PBE, but I imagine it has to do with Hecarim's perma unit collision avoidance being somewhat fundamentally flawed given the kit he has. He just gets near you and then spams circles of damage onto you. If he is stronger and you don't have a tool to get away, he will win.

On the one hand, yes, he's always been this way, so the need for this particular change on this very patch is probably no greater than on any other patch. On the other hand, if he's deemed too powerful at the moment by the balance team (which seems to be the case), it seems like a good place to trim power.

For what it's worth, permanently ignoring unit collision is probably not something we should just put on champion kits, and I wouldn't really be opposed to us taking this from Fizz and Kassadin as well, even if it meant we had to compensate them with power elsewhere. It's just not that exciting for how powerful it is. I don't think anyone selects any of these champions primarily because they are excited about ignoring unit collision. As any of these champions, I'd rather have just about any of my spells be a bit stronger rather than always avoiding unit collision.

Even if someone was picking these champions solely for these reasons, this to me is more an argument that pathing/collision should be more tolerable on average than having players choose champions that ignore the rule."

Poppy Champion Update Discussion

With Poppy's champion update announced and currently on the PBE for testing, several Rioters have popped up on the boards and social media to answer questions on our oversized hammer wielding yordle!
When asked about Poppy's shield throwing passive and its interaction with items, Scruffy noted:
Yes, passive throw will apply things like hydra and melee iceborn proc.
When asked what all Poppy's W interrupts, Scruffy noted:
"Yes, Poppy W interrupts all dashes (but not blinks) during it's duration. Really really good counter for mobility."
Meddler also elaborated:
"Poppy's W only stops effects that her enemies apply to themselves or their allies (so it'll stop dashes, jumps Thresh W pull etc). It doesn't affect displacements applied to enemies however, so if you're playing Tristana with an allied Poppy her W won't interrupt your ult's knockback."
As fore thoughts on playing the new Poppy as a support, he Scruffy noted:
"We think poppy support will be kinda like shen support, situational but fun."
When asked about the six new skin splash arts for Poppy's update, Scruffy tweeted:
"It's our first time trying an update with all splashes, if it goes well it could stay as common practice for us."
He also noted Poppy has full facial animation:
"The poppy team went the extra mile: first champ with full facial animation."
Regarding the updated splashes and other reworks,  Scarizard also tweeted out:
[1]  "something we'll seek to message, but Poppy represents a commitment to updating all of a champion's splashes for a champion update -"
[2] "the hyper disclaimer here is that were still making sure we have the resources to do them, but poppy's was the first shot"
[3] "- meaning nidalee, trundle and will be retroactively done, though the prioritization (quality vs chronology) up in the air"
[4] "re-read: poppy was the first champ we had the resources to do a full update, will be doing more in the future + retroactively"

While not clear if it will just be in bundles or as singles, Scruffy noted Poppy's legacy skins will be available when her champion update lands on live:
"All of the poppy skins will be available when she releases, so yes!"

Speaking of updated splash art, Riot Avari has shared 1920 x 1080 version of each Poppy splash [1] [2]!

Meddler on Taric Rework

With Poppy out, Meddler also briefly commented on Taric's upcoming high scope update:
"Sion level's the plan for Taric, though without the shift of class that Sion and Poppy went through (he'll still be a tank support primarily)."
He continued:
"Our intent with Sion and Poppy was always to try and preserve their thematic identities while addressing the major kit problems they had. We didn't feel that 2 button click stun burst mage fit giant undead warrior, nor that low counterplay assassin with an extreme power curve was the right way to do valiant yordle warrior, hence the class changes. In Taric's case by contrast a tough support who heals/buffs allies is a good fit with Taric's core theme (gem paladin effectively)."
As for a timeline for Taric's update, Meddler noted:
"We haven't committed to a specific time for Taric yet. It's highly likely he'll be the next full scale rework out, but beyond that can't give any specifics until we're closer to a firm launch."

Dev Corner Feedback

Following the launch of the new dev corner board to provide a centralized place to discuss changes in Riot created threads (vs user created threads with responses), Pwyff popped on reddit to look for feedback on the new addition:
"What would you like to hear from the Dev Corner? 
I'm specifically looking for what sorts of insights you might find valuable from teams at Riot, rather than feature information! 
Hi fronds, 
I'm sure many of you have seen the Dev Corner we've been piloting with the preseason and beyond, but just in case:[LINK]
Also, I'm cross-posting this. 
Anyway, now that the holidays are on us I've been doing some foundation / prep work for the Dev Corner and what sort of content we can pilot out there. 
Ultimately I'd love for this channel to be a central place for Riot developers (potentially even artists, writers, etc) to talk about emergent topics without just directly firebombing reddit with red posts or getting drowned on the boards. We have a few blogs (ie: the engineer tech blog), but I want something with a little more discussion and flexibility of content (not to mention less visual overhead). 
Ideally for any player, they can just swing by the Dev Corner every afternoon (I'm thinking 1PM PST as a set 'schedule' time) to see what's on the itinerary, whether it be experimental PBE change discussions, designer insights, balance retros, etc. 
The fun thing about a more casual channel like the dev corner is we can also pilot random things, like a livestream or something of the sort. I figured it'd be fun to get any input from you guys so I can write it on my notepad and then promptly forget about it. 
[edit] itt: requests. pls be serious o dear 
Also, rather than one-off topics, maybe more broad themes that you'd love to hear about, ie: "Timeline of a champion rework" or something of the sort."
In response to a suggestion on a new post about design values, Pwyff noted:
"Quote: 
to talk about emergent topics without just directly firebombing reddit with red posts
I wouldn't mind that. 
On a more serious note. Years ago Zileas offered us a sneak pick into Riot design values with a great forum post on patterns and anti patterns I would really appreciate if you took a bit of your time to explain us what changed or not, what is Riot design values, and how does it impacted the design of pre season changes? 
PS: You fogot the [Serious] tag. Shame on you.
Valid. 
I know many wouldn't mind the reddit firebomb of discussion, but fundamentally I think reddit is a player-owned, player-driven discussion and to see a lot of developers sweeping their way in, dominating upvotes by sheer red visibility, is odd. 
We've always been very careful about reddit overlap. 
As for your suggestion on values... Absolutely! I wonder if next year we can do a full-on revamp of some of our design values. We did do a blog post a year or two back on it (link) but an update is probably overdue. "
When the sandbox comments started to roll in, Pwyff replied:
"Quote:
sandbox
I was probably asking for that - if our stance is clear in terms of present prioritization but we do understand the value of sandbox mode, I think the conversation comes to "yes we get it" - but that still doesn't make it the #1 thing. As I mentioned before, an idea can be very good but not the thing to do."
he continued:
"Quote:
What would be more important than the sandbox mode except the replays and the new client (that is coming soon tm in alpha iirc) ? Just to know
I'll answer broadly and then I'm going to end up repeating myself, so: 
Sometimes priorities reflect order of operations - where a product (ie: the client update) needs to be done so that other things can be built on that foundation. If we were to develop new features for the AIR client, for example, we would have to re-do them completely down the line. That's incredibly tricky. 
Other times it's resource overlap - a project can be seen as good, but if something has a higher priority and pulls from those same resources (ie: engineers, UX designers, etc) - no field operates on an "infinite talent" budget. There's a very real reason why we're constantly hiring for talented engineers, designers, and so on. We're hiring as fast as possible, but if we want to be sustainable we have to ensure we're not hiring to finish one specific task, but someone who can actually work in a career capacity. 
If I were to start saying "X is more important than Y," or "Z demands these resources over W," I don't think either of us are really equipped to have a valuable conversation without really understanding what's being shifted around in priorities."

Snowdown 2015 Content

As you've likely seen in the Snowdown Preview or on the PBESnowdown 2015 is right around the corner and is including three new skins, a new ward, new summoner icons, the return of the Poro king game mode, and much more!

When asked if the three new Snowdown skins will be sharing a splash art, KateyKhaos noted:
"Yup, they will be sharing a splash." 
When asked why Snow Day Bard is NOT legacy when Snow Day Syndra and Snow Day Gnar are both legacy skins, KateyKhaos commented:
"Snow Day Bard is not legacy because it's the first skin available after his launch skin. If we put Snow Day Bard as legacy, he'd only have one skin available for most of the year."

Meddler on Akali Changes

When asked about the Akali changes mentioned earlier this year, Meddler noted:
"We have been looking at Akali somewhat recently, with the focus being on reworking her kit to both give her better counterplay and abilities that are more distinct from other assassins (her W's currently really unique, rest of the kit not as much). Conclusion we've come to is that there's cool stuff that can be done, but that it makes more sense to bundle Akali changes with work on other assassins whenever we can look at the class as a whole. That won't be for a while at least (definitely not preseason or early 2016, might be quite a bit later depending on which bits of work get prioritized)."
He continued:
We'd be looking at the primary assassins, rather than diving fighters with some assassin qualities (Irelia or Vi for example). We would like to look at diving fighters separately someday as well, that'd be a different piece of work with a different focus though.
As for when, he continued:
"Yeah, it's looking really unlikely we'll tackle assassins next. Whether we do a smaller class update earlier in 2016 or a larger one mid year's still being figured out."

No Loot for Restricted Players

While not many details have been released about the upcoming loot & crafting system coming in 2016, Lyte recently noted in an interview with Polygon that toxic players will not be eligible for loot.

From the interview via Polygon:
"If you're a player who is punished for toxicity or intentional feeding or so on, you can't get loot," lead game designer of social systems Jeffrey Lin told Polygon in an interview today.
"While Lin said the developer is still ironing out details on the point at which a player's account will be cut off, he confirmed that players who are consistently tagged for negative behavior will not get any drops. Likewise, they will not be able to use crafting, where undesired drops can be traded in for something else."
Socrates also popped on reddit to drop off a few comments:
"Quote:
How have we not heard anything about this from Riot?
Hey, we haven't given a lot of detail around the specifics of the loot system yet. We'll be giving a bit more detail as part of a larger announcement we're doing soon."
When asked about how to earn loot in the new system, he noted:
"Quote:
That's a pretty cool name for the system. I like this change. It might be significant enough to encourage players who are locked out to reform their ways, more than before, because it could be a big part of stuff outside the main game.I'm kinda worried about if this new system becomes really addictive. Like, you have all these quests or something, and it's like, "Get a double kill as Katarina and unlock 1/5 of the components of her Bilgewater skin!" That's one way to create champion diversity, all these people playing Maokai jungle to double up on quest completions to grab a new skin or other cosmetic."In game 2, your team faltered when you picked the unusual choice of Garen mid. Could you tell us a little about that decision?""If I get 15 assists on Garen, I get a new random ward skin."
We didn't want to do anything too prescriptive for the initial release since it could result in some weird gameplay. First round of objectives will just be linked to you and your teams performance grades at game end."
He continued, noting this will be linked to restrictions:
"Quote:
If you're attitude improves can you ever get back into it?
As it's planned currently it'll be linked to restrictions. So if you work them off you can start earning loot again."

Meddler Grab Bag

In a boards thread discussing various topics such as Garen being able to silence, Veigar's R scaling with enemy AP, and more, Meddler popped in to comment:
"Quote:
Garen still have a silence 
Fizzs ult increase damage taken 
Veigar ult scale with other person ap 
Udyr have Phoenix stance 
Ahri charm not increase damage taken anymore 
What's the purpose of urgots ult 
Enemies knocked back into bards magical journey not go through it
"We want to remove silences from highly mobile, high burst champions since those are the cases that leave very little counterplay if played correctly. Garen's not very mobile, so we feel it's appropriate he has a silence still.

Fizz ult has a damage amp on it so that more of Fizz's burst combo is dependent on a long cooldown. That makes his choice of when he goes all in, and on who, more significant than if he can repeatedly use most of his full burst combo.

Veigar's ult scales with the opponent's AP so that Veigar has somewhat different target and match up preferences than other similar champions. It does add a bit more champion select counter feeling than we tend to prefer though, and can get drowned out by the sheer amount of AP he himself builds up, so there's some debate over how appropriate a mechanic that is.

Phoenix is there to offer Udyr an AOE option should he wish it, and to add some nuance to his damage pattern, particularly while jungle clearing.

The damage amp was removed from Ahri's E to shift her towards more of a mage pattern and less of a pick into kill model (contrast with Fizz being somewhat longer fight times, lack of untargetability, ranged versus melee etc).

Urgot's a bit of a mess, and his ult doesn't fit particularly well with the rest of his kit. It can lead to some cool plays, whenever we do an Urgot rework one of our goals will be to give him a kit with less conflicting notes to it.

While knocking enemies through Magical Journey would be cool it's both quite a lot of power, in a really team dependent way, and likely to lead to a lot of unintended displacements. Bard's already got a pretty hard to master playstyle and a fair bit of unreliability, so wouldn't want to double down further on those elements."

[BR ONLY] Hunt Event

For anyone who may have seen this teaser circulating, an exclusive HUNT event has started for the Brazilian server. During this week long event, players on BR will earn points for playing with friends and defeating Dragon & Baron in game to earn summoner icon, a mystery ward, and unlock art/audio logs!

As the BR community reaches each goal, an audio log (in Portuguese) and art of that specific jungle camp will be released!

As of the time of posting, the community has already unlocked GROMP art!
[NOTE: To avoid confusion, this event is ONLY on the Brazilian Server, it will not be coming to others.]

Changes to LoL Support Site Login

Starting December 1st, you'll now be able to log in to the Riot Support site via your LoL login rather than by a seperate account!

Here's dArtagnan with more info:
"Hey everyone, 
Here’s the straight and dirty: on Dec 1st when you submit a ticket to us here in Player Support, you’ll need to enter your LoL credentials first. If you haven’t verified the email on your account, you won’t be able to log on. So make sure to verify your email address!
On the other hand, you won’t need to login if you are submitting a ticket about:
  • Account Recoveries
  • Chargebacks/Unauthorized Charges
NOTE: If your account is banned/suspended, you CAN still sign on to submit a ticket 
WTF? Why?
Because Stone Cold said s-- 
Actually, because having two accounts is stupid. There is no reason to have a special support account when we all already have a League of Legends account. This should make things easier for all of you as well as us. 
If you have any further questions, feel free to drop a reply!"

Hecarim & Rammus Champion Price Reductions

With Illaoi's release, both Hecarim and Rammus have had their IP & RP prices permanently reduced
  • Hecarim reduced from 6300 IP / 975 RP to 4800 IP / 880 RP.
  • Rammus reduced from 3150 IP / 790 RP to 1350 IP / 585 RP
You can always keep up on the upcoming champion price reductions by checking out Riot Support's Permanent Champion Price reduction schedule.

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