- Free Champion Rotation, Week of January 5th
- Champion and Skin Sale 1/5 - 1/8
- 1/5 PBE Update: New Skin Splash Arts, Season 2016 Login, & more
Table of Contents
- State of the Season: Preseason Progress
- Snowdown ending soon!
- Lyte on the new Champion Select testing
- Upcoming Lunar Wraith Morgana lowered to 975 RP
- Feithen on PBE and 6.2
- /ALL Chat | Happy Holidays ft. Tentacles
- Famileague: A Documentary
- Community Collab | DeLUX Jam (LuxMix)
- Fantasy LCS Starting January 7th!
State of the Season: Preseason ProgressWith the 2016 season right around the corner, Meddler has posted up a state of the season post to keep everyone up to date on the preseason progress and upcoming changes!
"Welcome to our experimental "State of the Season" dev blog, where we'll check in every so often with an update on the state of the game from a high-level perspective. Expect to hear thoughts on what we think’s going well, what's a problem, and what we're planning in the foreseeable future.
The first of these is easier because it's all about preseason:
Goals/Expectations of Preseason
Preseason's a time where we focus more on revising systems and challenging established parts of the game than usual. We do this in order to make long-term improvements that just aren’t possible to do bit by bit. That means game balance will be a lot more variable than usual toward the end of each year - which is also why ranked play takes a break and competitive play's much quieter than usual. At the start of the new year, however, we'll shift back to more standard balance patches, particularly from 6.2 onwards.
For those who speak English, we have some preliminary thoughts on game pacing in the Dev Corner and will have more formal details next year.
As a summary, however, our goal this season was to introduce changes to games where they could either resolve when they were considered ‘over,’ or allow a team that plays well to come back. So far, overall game length is down slightly (around 7%), which we feel is within an appropriate range. We saw game pacing get a little too stompy in 5.22, but with the changes in 5.23 and 5.24, things appear to be stabilising if not improving.
Rift Herald's currently looking a bit underutilised and we believe it’s still too expensive (in terms of health lost) for many champions to take. We don't want to make the Herald a mandatory objective, but do want to see it used more. There's likely also some learning curve as well, so we're curious to see how teams do or don't work it into their strategies.
Similarly, Dragon doesn't look like it's attractive enough either, which leads to a consistent focus on taking turrets instead. That's not new to preseason, being something we saw as a trend toward the end of 2015, particularly in the World Championships. We're currently exploring changes here to put more value on Dragon, which would potentially include making the second buff stack more appealing.
We think that Keystone masteries so far have done a good job of demonstrating how masteries can have appreciable in-game effects in a satisfying way. Satisfaction aside, we don’t think the trees are delivering enough choice, both because some masteries are too dominant or weak, and because many don't have real choices at some tiers. To improve that, we're planning both new masteries and balance adjustments throughout the season.
Our first steps here will be to flesh out the T1 and T2 keystones, and then consider additional T3 Keystones. For the next addition, for example, we're considering a T2 Ferocity keystone that functions like the old Expose Weakness Mastery, amping damage a target takes from your allies if you've recently damaged it.
We're fairly happy with both marksmen and their items so far, in terms of the different experiences they offer and increased amounts of item choice/diversity. There have been some balance outliers we've had to adjust (Quinn, Kog'Maw, Graves, Lucian, Miss Fortune, Essence Reaver, etc) and we expect there'll be some need for additional refinement early next year as well.
As far as specifics plans go... we think Cull's almost certainly too weak, so we'll be looking to buff it a bit so its users can survive in lane to farm. Phantom Dancer also needs help and we're planning on having it offer some constant movement speed, like the other Zeal items, rather than only being about in-combat mobility.
There are some AP junglers that aren't well supported in the jungle who we think should be. To help, we’re exploring replacing Runeglaive with a new AP-focused jungle item so it has a less exclusionary design (ie: something that supports broader mage patterns). We're also considering whether we'll need to tweak jungle monster stats as well, with a focus on initial clear capabilities, but will have more details in the future.
Vision's a subtle system and changes to it take longer for teams to ‘figure out’ and adapt to than most. Understanding that, vision is an area where we're still deep in assessment on the impact of preseason.
So far, it's looking like Blue Trinket's too strong, whilst Yellow trinket in the mid and late game is too weak, so we'll be making changes to both. We've also got some tweaks for the combination Sightstone + gold generation items, which at present have an excessive amount of their power in mana regen, making them unappealing for quite a few champions.
For our next class update we'll probably be looking at some immobile mages. This will definitely be a long-term project, so a very rough guess is they won’t be out before the middle of the season. We can, however, talk through some details in terms of which champions we're thinking of working on (and why), early next year.
Overall we feel the preseason changes are trending in a good direction, though there’s plenty of work still ahead, both in the refinement of existing changes and some new content. Now that the new year is upon us, we’ll be pushing for more communication and transparency in the coming months. Do let us know if there are topics - preseason-related ones especially - on your mind that the above hasn’t covered, would love to talk about them where possible."
Snowdown ending soonfriendly reminder that SNOWDOWN 2015 is ending soon! Legacy content will be headed out of the shop and promotions will conclude at the end of the day on January 7th!
"The snow might be melting away, but there’s still time to toss one last ball of icy awesome. Spend some time on the frozen banks of Howling Abyss and grab a poro-fied icon before the Legend of the Poro King game mode snows away. A flurry of Legacy Snowdown skins, wards, and icons are sliding into the vault soon as well, so don’t freeze up and miss your chance to grab something cool.
And if you’re feeling lucky, get the Legendary Snowball rolling by picking up a Legendary or Ultimate skin to receive a free Mystery Gift! If that Mystery Gift is a Legendary or Ultimate, you’ll get another free Mystery Gift…. It’s called Legendary Snowball for a reason, if you catch our drift.
Get into the Snowdown spirit before it all wraps up on January 7. Also, we’re sorry about all the snow puns… but not really."Be sure to check out our SNOWDOWN 2015 page for a better look at all the content!
Lyte on the new Champion Select testing
Over on twitter, Lyte has announced that the live testing for the new champion select will soon start on the NA and TR regions!
 "It's go time. We're on the final stretch of development on the new Champ Select. 2016 the best season of #LeagueOfLegends?"
 "We'll be starting with a launch test on North America and Turkey to make sure everything is stable, then we go global #LeagueOfLegends."When asked if this testing will occur before or after 6.1 goes out, Lyte noted:
 "It will be after the patch because players will have to download some art and music for the new system!"He continued:
 "It'll be for Normal Draft and Ranked to start."
Upcoming Lunar Wraith Morgana lowered to 975 RP
Over on her twitter, KateyKhaos has noted that the upcoming legacy Lunar Wraith Morgana skin will be priced at 975 RP instead of the original 1350 RP price point.
"Lunar Wraith Morgana's price has been adjusted to 975 RP. She is still legacy."On the PBE bugs and feedback thread for Lunar Wraith Morgana, she also noted:
"Update! We're adjusting her price to 975 RP. Thanks for the feedback!"Be sure to check out the 6.1 PBE content megapost for previews of this and other upcoming skins!
Feithen on PBE and 6.2Riot Feithen tweeted out a few reminders:
 "To clear up some confusion: the PBE deploys every week day. It changes to a "new" patch on the day the upcoming patch goes Live."
 "That's almost always Tuesday, but there are some exceptions, especially around holidays."As you may remember, we saw 6.1 PBE content - including four new skins, balance changes, and more - added to the PBE prior to the winter break. That content is still on the PBE and will be included in the next live patch.
When asked if these tweets imply we can expect the 6.2 PBE cycle to start up next week, Feithen replied:
 "Yup!"This suggests we'll see 6.1 PBE content finished up on the PBE throughout this week and then NEXT WEEK we'll have 6.1 go to live and also have 6.2 + whatever mysterious things it may include go to the PBE.
Be sure to check out the 6.1 PBE megapost to catch up on what all is currently testing on the PBE!
/ALL Chat | Happy Holidays ft. TentaclesCatch up with the latest /ALL Chat episode from over the holiday break!
"Happy holidays from /ALL Chat! We’re so festive! Summoner Showcase features a double whammy of Illaoi and Snow Day art, and BM or GG dives into the hosts’ favorite champion of the year, rework of the year, and more. We even have a vote at the end for /ALL Chat host of the year, and you won’t want to miss who nabs the first annual prize. Let us know what you think in the comments below!"Here's the full size version of FF Sade's Santa Rek'Sai art!
Famileague: A Documentary
Next up we have a mini doc on families that play League of Legends together - Famileague!
"Ever wonder what it would be like to play League with your Mom?
We followed four Leagueloving families to see what’s it like when losing can get you grounded and feeding puts you on dish duty.
Famileague profiles four families and the many ways League brings them together. From a Pentakilling Pastor who duos with his son in Florida to a Streamer who cosplays with his Mom in California, League is quality bonding time for these families.
So check it out here or in the YouTube player embedded above, and if you have your own stories about playing League with your family, share 'em in the comments!"
Community Collab | DeLUX Jam (LuxMix)Light 'em up! Need a new Jam? Tired of the ol' Teemix and Braumix? Enjoy the new LuxMix!
"Domics and Jomm took Lux's voice and remixed it. A double rainbow? What does it mean?!
Additional Lux VO by LilyPichu
**Created in collaboration with Riot Games**"
Fantasy LCS Starting January 7th!Be sure to check out Riot's Primer article on the upcoming season and the new & returning teams for the upcoming split!
EU LCS starts up on January 14th with the NA LCS starting on the 16th. The full LCS Spring Schedule for EU can be found here and NA can be found here.
The recently announced uLoL Campus series will also kick off soon with broadcasted matches airing after Saturday's LCS games!