Red Post Collection: Warding & You, Ranked Rewards Info, Discussion on New C. Select & Dynamic Queues, and more!

Posted on at 3:54 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection includes Riot Jules with a data driven Clairvoyance blog entry on WARDING AND YOU, a ton of discussion on the recently announced Dynamic Queue and New Champion Select experience, dArtagnan with info on the upcoming end of season ranked rewards, Stashu with tips and example builds for the new keystone masteries, Meddler discussing a few reworks, and more!
Continue reading for more information!



Table of Contents


Warding & You: Clairvoyance Blog

First up we have a new article on warding by Riot Jules, which runs down some statistics on wards usage! This is the first article in a new data driven series called CLAIRVOYANCE!
"The millions of players around the world that play League of Legends generate lots of data. If you visit sites that provide champion win rates and summaries, you are seeing a slice of this data in action. As a member of Insights at Riot, I help distill this raw data into digestible information that can be used to improve League of Legends. This is the first part of a recurring series on data for data’s sake, called Clairvoyance. 
WARDS ARE A CURIOUS THING. 
Despite not providing any combat stats, they’re incredibly powerful. Wards provide vision, vision is information, and information is power. Warding allows you to take fewer risks: less face-checking, getting ganked, and throwing at Baron. 
WARDS PURCHASED

% PER PLAYER PER GAME
 
So, wards are good, but how often do typical players buy them? Throughout the course of a game, the average player purchases 0.9 wards, which we define here as either a Stealth Ward or a Vision Ward. However, that figure is heavily skewed by the few selfless heroes buying multiple wards. The majority of players, 64%, never purchase a single ward, and only about one in ten purchases more than two. 
WHO’S BUYING, OR NOT BUYING, WARDS? 

AVG. WARDS PURCHASED
BY ROLE
It’s not surprising that ward purchases vary across role. ADCs buy the fewest wards, averaging 0.3 wards per game, while Supports lead the pack with 1.8 wards per game. That figure doesn’t include Sightstone, which predominantly lends to support itemization. Before you yell at your team’s Vayne, keep in mind that it makes sense for some roles to purchase more wards than others. Supports, for example, don’t scale with items as well as other roles and typically invest more of their gold into team-centric items like wards. Junglers are more likely to roam the map and have the opportunity to ward strategic spots. On the other hand, Top Laners are often isolated from midgame objective control, which depends heavily on wards, and might spend more of their gold on dueling items. 
AVG. WARDS PURCHASED
BY TIER
With that said, most players could probably afford to ward more. Let’s take a look at warding patterns across different levels of play. Players in Bronze buy just shy of 0.6 wards per game, while players in Master and Challenger buy roughly four times as many. The upward trend is especially strong for Vision Wards, with the typical Bronze player buying less than 0.2 per game and the typical Master+ player buying over 1.2 per game. Disclaimer: while there is likely a causal link between your vision game and your ranking, doubling your ward purchases probably won’t suddenly bump you from Silver to Diamond. These trends show us correlation and don’t fully tell the story of how many wards you should buy. That sort of complex analysis is maybe a topic for another day. 
HOW DO TRINKETS FIT INTO ALL OF THIS? 

TRINKETS
% PER PLAYER PER GAME 
Most players sit on their unupgraded Warding Totem. Specifically, 73% of players end the game with a Warding Totem, 12% with a Sweeping Lens, and 5% with one of the other five options. 
Let’s condense the basic Trinkets and their various upgrades into three classes: Orb, Lens, and Totem. From there, we can more easily see trends across different roles and levels of play. 
TRINKETS BY ROLE
% PER PLAYER PER GAME 
Totem is the Trinket of choice for all roles except Support, who favor Lens 54% of the time. Junglers are second mostly likely to have Lens, picking it up in 22% of games. Orb, being a more niche, situational choice, doesn’t get the same amount of love. Only among ADCs does Orb show up a significant amount of the time, but still only in 18% of games. 
TRINKETS BY TIER

% PER PLAYER PER GAME
Totem remains dominant in most levels of play, including 91% of games in Bronze and 50% in Diamond. Usage rates of Lens and Orb both gradually increase as you climb the ladder, with Lens overtaking Totem in Master+ tier games. Lens sees more action in these high skill games, in part, because players at this level are warding at a much higher rate. It only makes sense to buy a broom if you’ve got something to sweep!  
SO WHAT? 
If you want to up your vision game, start out small. 
It can be tough to get into the habit of buying wards, but take our advice: If you want to up your vision game, start out small. Grab an extra Stealth Ward on your first back; you’ll thank yourself for spending 75 gold when you see the enemy Jungler coming. Get a Vision Ward out early and don’t get buyer’s remorse if it gets cleared. And don’t forget to upgrade your trinket; yes, it’s probably better than that fourth Long Sword. You’ll be going above and beyond most players."

Meddler on Various Reworks

When asked about the status of the previously mentioned Shen rework, Meddler noted:
"It's high ish on our list of smaller reworks (smaller as in some gameplay changes, with visual/audio changes as needed to support those, rather than a full relaunch). Marksmen polish, bug fixing and followup, plus Poppy, are the champion update team's big priorities at the moment though. Shen's rework definitely won't be this year, early next year's looking like it could be feasible though."
As for Akali, Meddler commented:
"Quote:
Could I also ask really quickly what the ETA on the Akali rework will be?
IE soonish or not until pretty far into season 6. Thanks.
We don't have a timeline for Akali at present. Could be a moderate time after Shen, could be a long time after."
As for Taric, Meddler noted:
"Quote: 
What's Taric's status?
I want to Gem God all over fools!
What direction has he been taken?
What has been kept from his current kit?
At a high level current intent is to stick with a pretty similar feel (armored defensive warrior, power of gems, kind of paladin like vibe, similar personality etc). In terms of kit we're still thinking similar effects (heal, stun, allied armor buff etc), though with some different ways of manipulating/delivering them."
When asked about Taric and what was taken him so long compared to other reworks, Meddler noted:
"For quite a long time we were blocked from working on Taric because we hadn't found what we felt was the right way to update him without losing core parts of his character. A little while back we found a direction that we're really happy with, so we're now in a position where we can look at putting him into the pipeline. 
Progress in terms of direction and goals basically, rather than progress in terms of producing the actual character for the game."

When asked if they still planned to take a look at Zyra's passive in the future, Meddler noted:
"Way too swamped right at this moment, from memory she's on the Live team's list of champs they want to assess again once things quieten down a bit though."


As for what class of champions they might try to tackle after doing marksman, he commented:
"We haven't decided which class to tackle after marksmen. Assassins are definitely a possibility, but still just one of several options we're talking about. If doing assassins we'd definitely want to sync an Akali rework with that of course."

Meddler on Urgot shrink & Sona


When asked about the former PBE change that had Urgot's damage reducing passive shrink debuffed enemies size and if something like that could be implemented for Sona as well, Meddler noted:
"If it ends up working well on Urgot we'll throw it on Sona as well. If it doesn't, we'll take it off Urgot."

As of the 11/4 PBE updateUrgot's passive shrinking enemies size has been removed .

TL,DR: Will I get Ranked Rewards? 

With the end of the 2015 Ranked season on November 11th, dArtagnan has put up a FAQ post on ranked rewards, how to obtain them, and eligibility.
"Hey everyone, 
Ranked Rewards are the culmination of everyone’s hard work throughout the season (or grinding those 10 ranked games at the last minute XD). We want to make sure everyone knows the exact requirements in order to unlock those rewards: 
Ranked Season 
  • Ranked Queues will be disabled on November 11th, 00:01 in each region. For NA, this is PST -- Click here for EUW, EUNE, and OCE
    • You can queue at any time before this, and the game will still count. You can even queue at exactly 00:00 PST on November 11th, and the ranked game will still count.
    • The Ranked Season will officially end once the final ranked game is completed in that region
    • Challenger/Master tiers will update one final time after the final games are completed (after the Ranked queue is disabled) which determine the end of season standings
  • To earn rewards, you must have played ALL 10 games
  • If you decay at exactly 00:00 PST on November 11th, you will get rewards based on where you land after the decay. Decay is disabled on November 11th, 00:01 PST -- the same time Ranked Queues are disabled
  • You can find a full list of rewards for each Tier in this Article
  • Rewards are displayed for specific queues. A full explanation can be found here 
Ranked Solo-queue 
  • Can be completed solo or with a duo-queue partner
  • Rewards are awarded depending on your ending rank at November 11th, 00:01 PST, NOT your highest achieved
  • You must be Silver Tier and above to receive a Loading Screen border
  • You must be Gold Tier and above to receive the Victorious Sivir Skin (If you don't own Sivir, she will be added to your account.)
    • NOTE: If you purchased Sivir right before receiving Victorious Rewards, she will not be refunded. 
Ranked Teams 
  • A ranked team must have completed 5 ranked games by November 11th, 00:01 PST
  • You must have WON 10 games in a single ranked team to qualify for team rewards
    • You must have 10 wins on the same team, not on multiple teams
    • If you won 10 ranked games on a team, and then are kicked from that team, you will not earn rewards. Player Support cannot override or change this.
    • If you were kicked from a team for whatever reason, you will need to win 10 NEW games on that team (if re-invited) or on a different team.
      • For example, if you won 5 games, and then were kicked from the team (then re-invited), you would need to win 10 more games, not just 5
    • If your team goes into an in-active state before November 11th, 00:01 PST, your team will not earn rewards
  • The Ranked Team Ward Skin is unlocked for each individual (not team) based on how many points you individually earned during the Ranked Season:
    • You must WIN Ranked Team games to earn points -- Points are individually earned, not tied to specific teams
    • Victory in Ranked Team 3v3 - 1 point
    • Victory in Ranked Team 5v5 - 3 points
    • Points are earned from ALL Ranked Teams combined. Points do not have to be earned within a single Ranked Team. Even if you leave the team, are kicked, or if the team disbands, your points remain.
  • Ward Skin tiers are unlocked at 20, 45 and 75 points respectively
    • You must earn 20 points to earn the base Ward Skin
Things that will get your ass disqualified from Ranked Rewards 
  • Being banned or having active chat/ranked restrictions at November 11th, 00:01 PST
    • If you had any 7 day or more bans, they must have expired/ended at or before August 9th, 23:59 PST
    • For example, if you received a 7 day ban on August 2nd and it ended on or sometime before August 9th, 23:59 PDT, you are eligible for rewards
  • On the other hand, if you received a 7 day ban on August 3rd and it ended on or after August 10th, 00:00 PST, you are ineligible for rewards
  • Players banned for boosting during the 2015 season remain ineligible for rewards
    • Both those who boosted and those who did the boosting are ineligible
  • Players who received fraud-related (including Chargeback bans) and accidental/false bans will still be eligible
  • Players who had LeaverBuster suspensions are still eligible
  • Being ineligible for 2015 Ranked Rewards does not automatically disqualify you from getting other rewards in future seasons
Reward Distribution 
  • All rewards (Borders, banners, icons, Skin Wards, Victorious Sivir/Champion) should be distributed by November 18th, 23:59 PST
    • Rewards are distributed in waves. If you see others with rewards, but you haven't been rewarded yet, don't panic! You will get your rewards in subsequent waves
  • If you earned rewards, but did not receive them by November 18th, 23:59 PST, feel free to submit a ticket to Player Support so we can investigate further!
Previews for the end of season reward content, including summoner icons & Victorious Sivir can be found here:

More information on rewards can be found on the Riot Support page.

Closing Thoughts on PBE Kog, Quinn, & Marksman Changes

Riot Repertoir has updated his three PBE threads with closing thoughts on some of the marksman changes as 5.22 is prepped for it's deploy to live next week.

New Masteries - Build Tips and Theory Crafting 

Stashu has jumped on the PBE boards to share example builds and tips for the new masteries system coming in preseason!
"Hey all! 
First, if you haven't already, go check out this player-made mastery calculator! I'll be using this tool to link pages. Special thanks to Hudzen, DPatti, and Pyro for their work on it over the seasons - you guys are all awesome. 
Anyway, let's get into it. I understand that the new mastery system can be hard to get a feel for, so I wanted to get a few template-esque pages out there to help get everyone started. So, check out the links and associated champions below, and let me know what you think about these recommendations! And of course, please share some pages of your own :D 
Note: These are only intended as guidelines and should be just enough to get you started -- I'll leave the real theory-crafting / optimizing to you guys! I DO NOT want to prescribe your build, and rarely will there be a single optimal build, but if you're feeling particularly overwhelmed, feel free to lean on what's here until you figure out your own way! 
    • Elise,  Kha'Zix, Lee Sin
    • These assassin types will love the pen and burst damage offered by the Cunning Tree [hello, Thunderlord's Decree!], paired with the more general damage amps offered by the Ferocity Tree. Savagery and Runic Affinity from the Cunning tree also really help out in the jungle.
    • If the early clear proves to be too challenging (Evelynn), opting into a safer 0-18-12 setup might be the way to go. 
    •  Darius, Nasus, Olaf
    • These juggernauts really benefit from the Grasp of the Undying mastery in the Resolve Tree. It turns their already high-health builds into more damage and sustain, allowing them to slog through the fight, dishing out and soaking up tons of damage.
  • 0-12-18 Peel Tank
    • Braum, Maokai, Nautilus 
    • If soaking up damage for your allies is more your thing, check out Bond of Stone in the Resolve Tree, and pick up some self healing and mana regeneration so you can keep yourself topped off while you protect your carries! 
    • Sona, Soraka, Janna 
    • Windspeaker's blessing in the Cunning Tree multiplies the power of these more buff/heal-centric supports. In addition, picking up Secret Stash and Meditation will give their lane some serious staying power.
    • That said, swapping those 12 points into Ferocity, and selecting Thunderlord's Decree as your keystone will give you some potent trading potential in lane. I encourage you to choose based on your own playstyle and preference! 
    • Ziggs, Cassiopeia, Azir 
    • When you're not just trying to one-shot someone, Deathfire Touch and co. from the Feroicty Tree will really amp up your damage over long periods of time, and the mana regeneration from the Cunning Tree will give you the resources to make it work.
    • When you ARE looking to one-shot someone (I'm looking at you guys: Veigar, Zed, Lux) , I'd recommend 12-18-0 instead! 
    • Ferocity suits the playstyle of most marksmen -- Lifesteal and %armor pen? Sign 'em up!
    • Certain champions will inevitably make better use of certain keystones, but Marksmen should be able to viably run any of these keystones, depending on their preferred playstyles.
    • Do you like to poke with spells? Check out Deathfire Touch Varus
    • Is harassing with basic attacks more your thing? You'll enjoy Fervor of Battle Caitlyn
    • More into heavy Crit/AD builds? Warlord's Bloodlust can shore up your lifesteal and attack speed so you can focus on your core stats Draven
    • Some marksmen might opt into something like18-12-0 for maximum damage, but I find passing up the laning defenses in the Resolve Tree too costly, personally ;)
Alright! That's all from me. I left out a number of archtypes, like the light-fighting skirmishers (Fiora, Yasuo), bulky divers (Vi, Xin Zhao), and many more. Plus, many champions will have particularly unique set-ups, based on their kit, so I encourage you to break out of the molds I outlined above!"
More information on the new masteries and keystone masteries can be found in our preseason PBE coverage or the preseason section of Riot's 2016 season update site.

Jaredan on future Champion Bio Updates

With the new Shadow Isles champions bios going up with Shadow and Fortune, Jaredan popped into a boards thread about updating champions bios for folks like Jax or Nocturne whose backgrounds were compromised with the lore changes last year:
"Those champs won't be getting new intros before the end of the year. They are among the champs that will be worked on, and we recognize the specific need to update them, but they're not on deck right now."
Jaredan continued:
"I'm very excited for what lies ahead. Lots of work to do, plenty of things in need of TLC, but we've got a lot of folks working very hard to bring great new champions, fresh takes on older champions in need, new stories to continue things we've previously failed to pay off, and a world that's coming together.

Teams like Champ, ChampUp, Foundations, and some other teams that are just getting started.

Personally, I'm proud of the work done this year and of the tremendous folks, old and new, on Narrative and the many other great disciplines at Riot, that are passionate about getting things for you to enjoy.

On Narrative and the direct story teams, there are still many things we need to rectify and improve on.

I can't even list how many changes we've made in 2015, but I think you will see the results more and more in 2016.

And you'll start seeing a few more fresh faces on here along the way.

Speaking of which, hey Jellbug!

As an intro: Jellbug's a relatively new member of Narrative who was the principal writer on the new Thresh extended character intro. I'll poke her to come say hi in here.

And this became a lot longer than I intended quick (though anyone who sees the first draft of anything I'm working on would not be surprised by that).

2016, onward.

This PSA was brought to you by Poro Snax. Poro Snax, now with 28% more fur!

Socrates on 2016 Ranked Changes 

Next up we have Riot Socrates with a few comments on the ranked changes being introduced in the 2016 season, including dynamic queues:
2016 Season Update 
This upcoming season we're replacing the solo/duo queue with a dynamic group queue, where you'll be able to climb the ladder with any number of teammates, going from single participation all the way to a full team comp. There's no longer a penalty for players ranking together, so the benefits of grouping up will always prevail.
I've seen a few concerns popping up around opening ranked queues to larger premades over the last 24 hours. I want to walk you through why we're making the change in a little more detail. First, I want to say this is the subject of debate internally and it's something we're going to be watching closely to see how it plays out over the preseason. That in mind, the argument really comes down to the following: 
First, when we looked at your feedback around the issues with ranked queues, we saw a pattern:  
  • "I had a leaver in my game, resulting in me getting demoted" 
  • "I ran into a rager who ruined my promotions" 
  • "I'm bronze V because these noobs I'm getting matched with"  
What's the pattern? As a player, I didn't have control of who I was playing with in a highly competitive environment resulting in misaligned competitive intentions. We've built systems to address many of these issues, but ultimately we realized we had hit diminishing returns without implementing more fundamental changes. 
Next, ranked standing currently is a reflection of your ability as an individual to carry in a team game. We of course believe great play should be recognized and rewarded and it should be the foundation of ranked standing, along with team work. Right now ranked standing is far more representative of personal mastery than teamwork. This is why when you look at solo queue the games are so different from high level team games. When we looked at this pattern, we asked ourselves why it should be this way. Why should the most authoritative standing of your abilities in a team game be a rating that requires you explicitly not play as a team? 
Finally, we just straight up asked players if they wanted the change via a large scale feedback tool. A small number of players were strongly opposed, the vast majority of players were in favor or strongly in favor. This doesn't make it the right decision, but it was a data point we considered an important part of the picture. 
We believe this change will reshape behavior around the ranked experience and we're excited to see what happens during the preseason. Change is scary, and we realize this is a big change. As the stewards of ranked we are going to be analyzing the hell out of the data we get during the preseason to make sure this is a step forward for the game.
For the open minded and the skeptics alike: we look forward to seeing what happens in the preseason and to hearing your feedback."

Q&A about Dynamic Queues and new Champ Select 

Similar to the above, Lyte also dove onto the boards host  Q&A on both the dynamic queue being introduced in the 2016 season and the new champion select:
"Hey, 
A bunch of team members are all over social media answering questions about Dynamic Queues and new Champ Select, but going to gather everyone here to help answer questions too because it's hard to keep track of Reddit threads, and Twitter/Ask.fm is hard to have conversations on. 
Here's my initial posts about Dynamic Queues, so let's start here! 
We knew Dynamic Queue was going to be a controversial topic. If you check my accounts over the seasons, I've played over 5000 Ranked Solo/Duo Queue games, and about 4800 of those are pure solo. Other team members like RiotSocrates, RiotChomey, ryedan, and RiotTantram... we're all Platinum, Diamond or higher and pure soloists. Because we are the advocates for solo players, this is also why we're the best team to build the new Champ Select and Dynamic Queues. 
When we first started building the new Champ Select, we knew this would be a big debate. In every research survey, the majority of players wanted to try Ranked, but also wanted to play with friends and did not have enough friends always online to play Ranked Teams. In every analytics report, the more friends you play with on average, the better your experiences and the less toxicity there is. We looked to other popular games and it was very hit-or-miss. Non-MOBAs have historically rewarded group play with more opportunities and better rewards (such as WoW, where the entire end-game is based on group play and you are forced to group up to get the best loot). Competitive PvP games, however, were split. HOTS and LoL were most recently Solo/Duo Queue, but CS:GO has Dynamic Queue, and DOTA2 has a hybrid Dynamic Queue. When we looked into this, the reason every game chose their approach was for different reasons. For some, it was size of their playerbase, some were forced to because of how their matchmakers were designed. For Riot, League is a competitive team sport. Playing with friends allows you to try more strategies, and the more organized play there is, the more competitive the entire ecosystem becomes. By playing with friends, it becomes much easier to organize a rotation strategy, a knock-up comp, or double jungler invade strategy. 
So, we had to make a super risky, super difficult choice. We--a team with a bunch of solo purists--had to try to make Dynamic Queue a great experience. We started by adding a bunch of features and looking at premade data: 
1) We upgraded the matchmaking system to pair similar group comps together. It is possible that it might be harder to rank up in a premade group than as a solo because you'll be consistently exposed to crazier, and more competitive strategies. 
2) We changed the Ban System to something we call "Distributed Bans." By giving Players 3, 4, and 5 one ban each, and giving Players 1 and 2 first and second pick, we've given every player a meaningful choice in Champ Select and this "leverage" reduces a lot of toxicity in our research labs. Basically, the premade of 4 doesn't want to lose LP either, and in every game, the random solo has a lot of power in Champ Select. 
3) As you may have noticed, we've beefed up the Report System, and added new features to the Instant Feedback System. More than ever before, Premade 4s won't be able to "affect" your account if they simply gang up and try to bully you with reports. In fact, if they do this often and they file false reports, they can be banned for this behavior. Secondly, in a Premade 4 situation, your reports are just as powerful as the group, so if they are showing toxic behaviors at all, your single report can have a meaningful impact and trigger a punishment. We believe measures like this will help balance out this specific scenario to be less negative. 
4) There's actually a pretty big perception issue with premades in League. When I talk to players, they always remember the premade that bullied them or made the game more toxic; however, when I point out behind the scenes and show them the data that almost every single Ranked game has a Duo Queue in it... they are shocked. The perception problem is that you only remember the games where a premade did have an issue, but you never remember the games where they were quiet and just didn't give away they were a premade. We've been measuring toxicity in premade combinations for awhile now and believe that most most combinations of premade 2s and 3s are fine, and premade 4s have a little bit more toxicity than we'd like. Premade 5s are obviously awesome experiences. So what are we doing about premade 4s? 
Like any big change, we're going to have to monitor this one carefully. We ask you guys to be patient and give it a chance. We'll ultimately make the right decision, but a LOT of players have voiced their opinions that they do want a more social Ranked experience and want to play in a Dynamic Ranked queue. 
Contrary to what some players may believe, we've made hundreds of changes to Champ Select and Ranked Improvements already during development due to feedback and nothing is set in stone--it's possible that Dynamic Queues aren't a great experience. If that's the case, we'll pivot. But, right now the data suggests A LOT more players want Dynamic Queues than not and Premade 4s are nowhere near as toxic as players are making it out to be with our tier restriction and matchmaking systems in place. We just have to figure out how to make this a great experience for groups and reduce some of the frustration solo purists are feeling. We're going to try everything we can to make Dynamic Queue a great experience. Give it a chance, and we're listening if it doesn't work."

DYNAMIC QUEUE: 

When asked how they came to the decision to try out dynamic queues, he elaborated:
"Quote:
Can you show us where this is? I know reddit is a very vocal group, but the number of posts on other sites (including this one) seem to show agreement with the dislike.
We run random sample surveys across the entire global playerbase on a daily basis. You can't really get a representative view without talking to the players who don't even visit websites and just like playing the game."
He continued:
"We run random sample surveys across the entire global playerbase regularly, so we tend to get a nice representative response from all demographics--the hardcore, the average, the player that never visits forums, the player that visits Reddit 8x a day, etc. 
The truth is, in every survey we've done, the majority of players were interested in Dynamic Queue. That doesn't mean we just use that data point and force Dynamic Queue on everyone because we also saw that a non-trivial number of players were solo purists, and loved the idea of "true" Solo Queue and their experiences may get slightly worse because of Dynamic Queue. So, we assessed all the potential negatives that Dynamic Queue had, and implemented upgrades or new features that tried to address them. Did we succeed in making it overall a great experience for the vast majority of players? We don't know yet. We need to try, collect data, learn, and iterate. 
That's how design is."

When asked about tier restrictions in dynamic queues, Lyte noted:
"Quote:
How balanced will match making be? For example, if there is a premade 5 with a bronze player, a silver, a gold, a plat, and a diamond, might they be matched against a team with five gold players? Is there still going to be a restriction on queuing up with players who are far from your rank? Will there be any other restrictions on who you can queue up with?
You can't even create that team because Tier Restrictions still exist in Dynamic Queues. Your team has to be within 2 tiers of each other."
He continued:
"Tier restrictions still exist in Dynamic Queue, and we can always tune them. Right now, you can only party up with members within 2 tiers and if we need to we can always adjust this value for the best experience. 
If there actually is more variance in skill in matches in Dynamic Queue, this is super easy to detect, and even easier to fix."

As for MMR balance in higher queues, Lyte elaborated:
"Quote:
How exactly do you plan to balance high Elo queues? 
The system is both supposed to avoid matching teams without premades, and to inflate the MMR of lower Elo players to decrease queue times. With so few players up there I don't see it working 
From the sounds of the system right now, as a Master tier solo player, I'll either be A) Repeatedly matched with significantly lower tier players to compensate for the queue times or B) Matched with/against large premades that I can't communicate properly with/coordinate against 
As I stands, and this is an opinion shared by many high Elo players I've spoken to/read about, this system is going to kill high Elo solo queue outright, just to get lower Elo players playing with their friends more
There's a weird misconception around high MMR queues. 
We can't predict exactly what will happen, but here's a few scenarios: 
1) High MMR players will group together with their high MMR friends, and we'll get to watch some pretty crazy matches between players from different pro teams queuing together. This will be highly competitive and entertaining. 
2) High MMR players will decide to all go solo, so it'll be just like Solo/Duo Queue today except sometimes they'll face off against premade teams from a lower skill tier. 
High MMR players are already waiting in queues and being repeatedly matched with lower tier players, or placed with teams that have Duo Queues of lower skill. This already happens, and won't be fixed with Dynamic Queues. It's not really easy to fix the problem of "not enough high tier players" in a queue :P"

In response to concerns about forcing surrenders, he noted:
"Quote:
4 premades will have entire control over the surrender vote. are you thinking about doing it like dota where you cant have 4 but you can have 5 and 3?
It's pretty easy to detect if 4:1 premades are surrendering too early, holding the 5th player hostage, so on and so forth. It's also super easy to resolve, including things like forcing 4:1 premades to have unanimous votes to trigger a Surrender. At the end of the day, there's way less toxicity to 4:1 situations than players are portraying right now."

When asked about voice chat in relation to the new champion select and dynamic group experience, Lyte noted:
"We've been doing a lot of research on voice chat and the impact it has on the game experience. We have some ideas for how we'd like to solve the negatives that voice chat has, but no teams are actively working on integrated voice chat for League. As you can tell with the 2016 Ranked changes, we are trying to make League more of a team sport, which does make voice comms more valuable."

When asked why they don't just introduce a third queue for the dynamic queue, Lyte commented:
"Quote:
Since there seems to be a plethora of "wall-o-text" I will try to keep this succinct 
I understand that having partial groups for ranked is important with dynamic queue. This being said, is there any chance of getting a "lone wolf" ranked queue? This may cause an issue for that 4 man premade looking for ranked games, but a lot of focus has been around the issues this would cause.... if it causes longer queue times for 4 mans and detracts from the lure of a 4 man premade, wouldn't this lessen the issue people have with it while also giving the players who are adamantly against being paired with groups an option. Having your cake and eating it too.
Basically it'd shake down to 3 ranked queues: 
Lone wolf (single player only): 
Small group (or standard ranked as it could be called): 
full group (5 man only): 
Splitting the queues into a Pure Solo and Group Queue would have all the queue health problems that we (and other studios) have faced before. When you have a smaller playerbase on a server like Turkey, both queues would be negative experiences. The more you segregate your playerbase, the worse the experience in each island."

NEW CHAMPION SELECT:

When asked if you can still trade picks in the new champion select, Lyte noted:
"Yes, there's still a Trade Phase in the new Champ Select."
He continued:
"Quote:
You're also forced to play the role you signed up for if: 
1) You are countered 
2) Your champs for that role and picked/banned 
Lyte is solving problems and creating new ones.
Actually, just like in today's Champ Select, if you really have to you can negotiate with your team to swap positions. Just like today, you could go, "Hey guys, I really can't do well versus a Darius Top, anyone mind swapping positions with me?" 
We're not removing any functionality, you can still do this stuff today."

When asked about the new champion select in other game modes, he noted:
"Quote:
Will modifications of the new Champ select roll out for Twisted Treeline, Crystal Scar and Howling Abyss?
We have to first finish the "Blind Pick" version of this experience, then we'll figure out how we want to tackle unique maps."

When asked about being able to report behaviors in champion select, he noted:
"Quote:
I made it 
Alright, well question. I'm sure this has been asked before or maybe its currently being worked on and I didn't see it. But will we ever get the chance to kick a player from Champ Select? 
I find that when there IS a toxic player on a team, it usually starts in champ select. If we could get that toxic player out right from the beginning maybe games would run more smoothly. 
Just a thought...kinda.
The new Champ Select should solve a lot of conflicts because of the system design and things like Pick Intent, Pick 2 Positions, and Distributed Bans. However, if there are still meaningful negative experiences in Champ Select, we've considered allowing players to queue dodge and "report" a player and supply a reason. If the reported player was being toxic, we could make sure there's no queue dodge penalties. But, for us to do this feature there would need to be meaningful Champ Select toxicity, say greater than 5% of lobbies."

With regard to the new "pick intent" (showing your intended pick before bans & pick phase) and if they believe folks will troll others by banning their intended picks, Lyte commented:
"Quote:
You still have not adressed the issue of people potentially troll-banning other's pick intents. I personally really want to use this feature, especially since a lot of champs that I play function best in specific comps, however from past experiences whenever I, or other people, mention what they want to pick, first pick may just ban them to troll us. And before it was one guy, so the odds were small that he would do this. Now, with 3 guys, the chance of getting your champ troll-banned is skyrocketed. I know pick intent is not mandatory, but with the potential of troll-banning what is even the point of that system anyways, since eventually those who have never experienced troll bans will experience it and learn that this feature is a trap. Do you guys intend to add a way to detect troll bans, or will you just let these people run rampant? Once again, I really want to use this feature, but as things are now I am afraid to use this feature, and may even tell teammates in champ select to not use pick intent in order to avoid anyone else becoming a victim, essentially making the feature useless.
If a player wants to troll, they are going to find a way to do it whether Pick Intent exists or not. 
We believe Pick Intent is still a net-positive feature, and provides more value than damage. What we did notice was that by introducing Distributed Bans, far less players trolled Pick Intent. Because nearly every player has a "powerful" choice in Champ Select (whether it's a ban, or 1st/2nd pick), players are less likely to troll one another in the drafting process because that other player could counter you with something equally damaging."

Lyte also commented on why the last three players get to ban in the new champion select, noting:
"Quote:
Can you explain to me why the last three get to ban? 
Because right now, it seems like it'd make more sense to give everyone one ban rather than giving the bottom three bans but the top two just sort of...deal with it. Wouldn't five bans (One per person) just make things easier on everyone and eliminate the feeling that your voice and/or choice isn't considered or doesn't contribute to the ban system?
Player 1 and 2 get first and second pick, which we've seen are also "valuable" choices in Champ Select. 
Whether we add more bans or not is a super complex topic that Ghostcrawler or Meddler have talked about before, so I don't want to dig into it here again."
He also hit up a series of questions on pick intent and more:
"Quote:
Why hello there, surprising on how you show up here. Handshake? 
IS IT QUESTION BOMBING TIME? YES IT IS :D 
  1. Since people TEND to troll with champ preferences, do you think there is a way for people to "lock" in champs to prevent banning certain champs before actually banning? For example, I am first/second pick, called and got support, and picked Lulu as my "champion preferred". Lulu, then, can't be banned by allies anymore, but the enemy team still has full power to ban her whenever they want. Think this would prevent such trolling acts/toxicity? 
  2. Any plans on using the report option DURING champ select? (as in, an actual button to report upon dodging) A lot of toxicity comes SOLELY from champ select, forcing people to dodge, and these guys aren't punished at all because the report button doesn't even exist YET. Yes, you answered a similar question above but IMO a button would be nice. 
  3. Thoughts on making the option to queue for only ONE role? I mean people SHOULD know how to play at least more than one role, but I just wanna hear your opinions on that. 
  4. We all know that there's already lots of community backlash regarding the Dynamic Queue's that will replace ranked SoloQ in season 6. I got an interesting idea: how about try prioritizing grouping the 2s and 3s together and 5 different solos together, instead of a 3s plus 2 solo players on a team or 2s plus 3 solo players like the classic ol' SoloQ? This would keep the players that WANT a complete solo experience happy (since they solo'd to get solo players for the most part), while the groups can still experience the "group experience" that they wanted. Thoughts? 
1) When we introduced Pick Intent, it was critical that we also introduce Distributed Bans. Because every player has a "powerful" choice in Champ Select (either 1st/2nd pick, or a ban) we saw less trolling of Pick Intent because every player had some leverage over the other players. It's a weird dynamic, but Distributed Bans were effective in reducing trolling. We do not intend on allowing players to "lock" something from being banned during Pick Intent because that could introduce far more damage than positive in the long run--imagine preventing a ban of an S-Tier champion that gets first picked by the opposing team. Chaos would ensue. 
2) Not at this time. If there are still significant toxicity issues in Champ Select, we may introduce a feature to allow a player to dodge, and report a player and supply a reason for their dodge. With some machine learning magic, we could assess this report in real-time and remove any potential queue dodge penalties as well. But, this feature is pretty costly, so it'd have to be worth doing. 
3) One of the big criticisms of Team Builder Classic was queue times, so forcing everyone to choose at least 2 positions really, really improves queue times and ensures queue health. By allowing players to only select 1 position (even if they understand they are waiting longer to play that 1 position), it significantly influences the entire matchmaking ecosystem if only 20% of players choose 1 position only. To us, it's not worth damaging the entire health of the queue to give players this amount of control. 
4) This pretty much already happens. We've made a few changes to the matchmaker so similar group comps are paired against each other. Premade 5s pair more with Premade 5s, before being paired with 4:1 or 3:2 for example. I'll also note that really, the vast majority of players wanted Dynamic Queues, but of course Reddit is a pretty hardcore demographic and once a thread swings one direction, generally the opposition are not going to jump in to voice an opinion. Most players also don't realize when they are in games with premades. Nearly 100% of Ranked Games has a Duo Queue today, but players only remember the games when Duo Queues were negative."

As for expectations on queue timing with the new champion select, he noted:
"Quote:
Question: how long will queues be when nobody picks support? Team builder status?
Actually, with the "Fill" position, we're in a pretty good spot for position distributions. We're also willing to incentivize the in-demand positions with some small bonuses from the future crafting system."

Over on reddit, the team continued the discussion of the new champion select experience !

When asked how the new champion select experience will translate to normal blind pick, Lyte noted:
"We'll be creating a version of the new Champ Select experience for Blind Pick, but without the drafting process. 
Invite your friends, choose 2 positions, enter matchmaking then a Champ Select where everyone can pick Champs/Skins at the same time and you're off into the game. If this works out, we're going to replace the Blind Pick queue with this version."

As for enemies being able to see your champion hover prior to bans, he noted:
"We had a huge debate about this about a month ago, and it looks like RiotChomey was right. We'll fix this before 2016 Ranked Season launch. Our other design was to simply not show any champions to the enemy team until you clicked something--either another champion, or "Locked In" your pick intent champion. 
This allows for people to still use hover strategies to psyche the other team out, but without the small abuse case of revealing too much unintentionally."
He reiterated this in a different thread, noting:
"We were debating this internally about a month ago, and made a few bets about how big of an issue this would be for launch. 
Looks like RiotChomey won. Our backup plan was to simply not show the enemy team any champions until you clicked something, and we can do this before the season starts."

Boourns also jumped in to comment on why there are two positions to select instead of one:
"We're quite aware that many people want to only choose their primary position. :D The pros we had in wanted that as well, actually. 
However, we have to balance that vs. matchmaking time. We gave you complete control over your position and role in team builder, but one of the biggest pain points people had was matchmaking time. The realities of the positions people want to play and how that affects matchmaking means we can't offer you only a primary position otherwise you would spend a long time in queue for popular positions."
Riot Eno also commented they'd be working to put together a track for the new champion select's music:
"Chemicalseb (composer) is planning on putting something together similar to the 'Tales of the Rift' medley that appeared on The Music of LoL, Vol. 1. 
It's a lower priority than polishing the in-client music experience, but it's something we want to do. Hang tight and give it some time, he's a busy, busy fella'. =)"
More information on the new champion select experience can be found on Riot's 2016 Season update post, the follow up red post discussion, and our PBE coverage.

Lyte has also been VERY active on his ASK.FM regarding the recently announced changes. While a lot of it is similar to what is discussed above, check it out here!

Zombie Slayer & Harrowing Legacy skins rolling out!

For those looking forward to the upcoming Slayer & Zombie skins as well as all of the returning Harrowing legacy content, KateyKhaos has noted they are being rolled out to each server individually to insure stability!
[1] "The rollout for Zombie/Slayer content has begun! Hang tight!"

[2] "We are doing a rolling content turn on to ensure platform stability for all regions when the Zombie/Slayer and legacy skins turn on. ^-^"
As mentioned, the new content and returning legacy content is being flipped on across each server over the next couple of hours. The promotional ZOMBIE SLAYER page is already up though, revealing the legacy content to be available through November 16th!
As usual, we'll have a decided post up here on S@20 when the content is available on most regions!

NOTE: At the time of THIS red post, skins are up on OCE, EU, & BR!  Riot Reaper has confirmed the content will be coming to NA around 8 AM PT!

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