Red Post Collection: Riot Pls on Sandbox & Dynamic Queue, MYMU in 6.9, LotPK on Friday, Taric Q&A, and more!

Posted on at 1:11 AM by Moobeat
[UPDATE: Legend of the Poro King is now live on all servers through early monday morning!]

Tonight's red post collection includes a new Riot Pls discussing a potential Sandbox mode and the current state of Dynamic Queue, Meddler noting the MYMU is planned for 6.9, a reminder that Legend of the Poro King returns Friday in the Rotating Game Mode Queue, the Taric Q&A, and more!
Continue reading for more information!



Table of Contents


April 13th Patch Update

The official 6.7 patch notes have been updated to include bugfixes for Ahri, Caitlyn, Rengar, and Zed that went out late April 13th!
"4/13/2016 
Ahri
  • STICKY FINGERS - Fixed a bug where Ahri's Passive - Essence Theft wasn't benefitting from ability power 
Caitlyn
  • YOU'VE ACTIVATED MY TRAP - Fixed a rare crash issue with Caitlyn's W - Yordle Snap Trap 
Rengar
  • CAT BUGS HAVE NINE LIVES - Implemented a stronger fix for the bug where Rengar could cast abilities without cooldown 
Zed
  • THE UNSEEN BLADE - Fixed a bug where, under specific circumstances, Zed gained tons of attack damage when casting W - Living Shadow (in addition to its passive bonus)"

Riot Pls: Dynamic queue, sandbox, and League 2016

First up we have the latest installment of Riot Pls from New001, ScuttleChris, and Banksy, offering a discussion on the future of LoL and a few recent hot topics - Dynamic Queue and a Sandbox mode:
"Hey everyone, 
New001, ScuttleChris, and Banksy - product leads on League - here to loop you in on what’s next for League of Legends. 
tl;dr: Riot Pls is an ongoing effort to talk about the future of League of Legends and share lessons we’re learning along the way. You can read the first one here. 
The vision 
Over the last 6+ years, we’ve been guided by a few core philosophies -- for example, we believe League at its best is an incredibly competitive experience, and one that is all the more powerful when played with people you trust. We also believe that our mission is to support League in being the best it can be, whether it’s maintaining the never ending path to mastery, offering more avenues of expression, or connecting players to one another through a shared love of the game. 
We still believe these things and wanted to share how our vision - our long, long-term goal for League - has evolved. 
We want League of Legends to become a global sport that lasts for generations. We’re not just talking about the LCS (or LCK, or CBLoL, or NACS, or…); we’re talking about League as a way of life - a competitive hobby, pastime, or activity that stays with you through the years. Imagine growing up with League the same way others have grown up with basketball, baseball, or soccer; shooting free-throws at the park, playing pickup games at the gym, forming new friendships in recreational leagues, being a die-hard fan of your favorite pro team, all the way to taking the international stage at the World Finals (if that’s the path you choose). Ultimately this is our goal: to foster a love for the sport of League by offering competitive, fulfilling experiences at all levels of play. We’re not quite there today, but we think we can get there with your help. 
This vision doesn’t demand we drop everything else we’re working on. It just provides us with an overarching ideal we can push toward. We want League to grow into a true team sport and, at times, progress has been painful. As we stack-rank our development priorities, we’ve had to be honest with ourselves in making hard decisions about things we aren’t prioritizing. It’s part of why we retired Dominion, and it’s part of our initial goals for dynamic queue (and why we fumbled in the transition over from solo/duo queue). With these challenges in mind, however, we still believe this is the vision, and we’d love to hear your ideas on how we can accomplish it. 
As we get more comfortable talking about work on the fly, Riot Pls will move away from being about the features we’ve shipped (or won’t ship) and more on the lessons we’ve learned in pursuit of this vision. For now, we have a few things to cover: 
Sandbox (aka Training) mode 
We were wrong to completely shut down the possibility of sandbox mode. Full stop. Our initial argument - that training mode makes for an even higher barrier to entry - makes some behavioral assumptions that many rightly called us out on. Your passionate feedback and sound reasoning, along with a lot of internal conversations around this vision of League as a global sport have made it clear that our concerns only have the potential to become reality if we’re not doing our job. Providing competitive experiences at all levels of play also means we should be providing the right training tools at all levels of play. 
That said, being open to the idea doesn’t mean it immediately becomes our top priority. The internal team that would develop this feature is focused on a different project for the foreseeable future, so while we’re saying we want to do it and, one day, we will, that’s the extent of this commitment. Your feedback has always been a powerful presence in conversations around how we achieve our goals, so while we can’t even promise SoonTM here, we didn’t want to leave the issue canceled. When we begin tangible, focused work on sandbox mode, we’ll update you. 
(Quick caveat: when we say sandbox mode, we’re specifically referring to a training mode where players can practice core skills - not a sandbox ‘modify your game in any way’ mode.) 
Dynamic queue 
We don’t expect you to rent out a gaming house with four friends just so you can stay in Plat, but we do want to support a queue that levels up in competition like any other team sport: through leadership, cooperation, and, yes, raw skill. All athletes possess these attributes in different measures, but they understand and value them intrinsically. Prior to the launch of dynamic queue, we felt like we had a competitive ladder that over-indexed on the raw skill and individualism parts instead of naturally promoting all-around great teamplay. 
When the competitive team made its recent update, a lot of players took away the conclusion of “no solo queue” -- that we were hiding from a hard conversation by being purposefully vague. In reality, we’re not making a call on solo queue because there are some critical issues we need to fix in dynamic queue to understand what’s actually missing. Promising solo queue in our original announcement was premature - a knee-jerk reaction to a situation we were still figuring out - and our silence on the matter (outside of some miscommunications) only made things more suspicious. 
Here’s the rundown: We know that for some players, dynamic queue undermines individual recognition of skill, and that’s not something we can solve with iterative improvements. It’s a philosophical difference. But, we know a lot of things that can be solved with iterative improvements, and our current top three priorities are improving the solo player experience against premades, lowering queue times, and smoothing out role selection weight. In an ideal (and optimistic) world, getting these numbers right would make a second queue unnecessary, but it’s not something we’re dismissing as of yet. Right now we're prioritizing the stability and health of a single queue - two would split the ranked player base and have a significant impact on wait times - and this is not a decision we’re taking lightly. 
When it comes to a philosophical stance, however, we do want to be clear: we believe that dynamic queue is closer to representing a healthy, competitive landscape in League of Legends than solo/duo queue. We’re not saying this to present a binary ‘one or the other’ situation -- it’s a belief in the same way we know we’re under-serving those who want a way to measure (and communicate) their individual performance. This will be an ongoing conversation as we finish stabilizing dynamic queue and develop a deeper understanding of what we should be prioritizing next. 
Onward through 2016 
When we launched League back in 2009, we were just focused on making the game we wanted to play… and then making sure the damn thing stayed online and worked correctly. We’ve spent most of our time since then trying to keep up with the game as it grows -- we’ve told the story dozens of times. Honestly speaking, we’ll never get beyond tech debt (or design debt, or art debt, or systems debt, etc.) because we never want to stop evolving and trying to improve. But we’ve made a lot of progress over the last few years (even with occasional stumbles), and 2016 is finally the year where we can build off our remodeled foundations to take real, meaningful steps forward. 
Whether it’s alpha testing an updated client, improving our backend stuff, delivering clubs and the mobile app, or working hard on our mid-season update, we’ll always stay hungry in evolving League as a global sport that lasts for generations. We hope you’ll stay with us on that course. 
We’ll see you before Q3 with our next wall of text."
On the boards following the announcement, ScuttleChris chimed in with a few more comments:

In response to a comment about rising queue times for high MMR players and the desire for better team communication options, ScuttleChris noted:
"Quote:
Lmao, this is ridiculous.. Before dynamic queue I had 1 minute queue times.Now it's 3-15m (depending on the time of day). I'm really tired of playing with 4 man dynamics and being the only one whose communicating in chat. I feel that as a two season mid-high diamond player communication is crucial to win games .Honestly, just bring back solo queue so I can stop playing this busted and retarded system called dynamic queue. 
I agree. We need to fix those issues. Queue times are too long at high Elo. For most players below diamond they're the same or faster, but they're unacceptably long for high Elo. We have a team working on this now and they've got some good solutions to speed up high end matchmaking that we're currently testing and tweaking. 
The team communication one is something we need to solve as well - that why we wanted to share that we're trying to make this into a team sport. Clearly effective teams communicate and coordinate a lot, so this is something we'd like to improve as well. It's a little longer term as we're focusing on improving queue times, and things like updating the LoL client first."
ScuttleChris also replied to inquiries on tech debt and the upcoming client, as well as specifics on how they hope to improve queue times in Dynamic Queue:
"The client update is coming along. We recently ran a test on the PBE where players got to use it for the first time. 
It's still incomplete, but it's making progress. It will be going back into testing Soon(TM), but will still be incomplete and in need of testing (read: will have bugs). Once it goes into testing again, you'll see regular progress on it until it's ready for all players to use. This will be a huge "tech debt" that we're paying down. 
We believe there are ways to improve queue times without compromising match quality or forcing more players into their secondary roles. The current avenue we're testing is around when we group players up as teams. Currently we first choose a few players who are compatible (from a ranking and role perspective) to form a team, then we try and find other players to complete the team (as the queue timer ticks upwards). We believe we can improve queue times (especially in higher Elos and for longer queue times) by, after a certain point, looking to see if any of the other partially made teams also in the queue can use a player or two from this partially made team (something we currently don't do - we just look for new players joining the queue to complete teams). 
It's more complicated, but it's smarter, and it might just make queue times shorter without necessarily forcing us into worse roles or worse matches. "

RGMQ: Legend of the Poro King [April 15th - 17th]

Legend of the Poro King returns from April 15th through April 17th in the rotating game mode queue! Just like last week, expect the rotating game mode queue to become available on your server around noon server time on Friday (April 15th) and be available until the early morning hours of Monday (April 18th). Brush up on LotPK here.

Moving forward, here's the current Rotating Game Mode Schedule - LotPK this weekend, followed by U.R.F next weekend, Hexakill: Twisted Treeline after that, and One for All the following weekend!
For your convenience, this schedule is also listed in the sidebar here on S@20!

[UPDATE] Poro King is live! Here's a refresher on this returning game mode:
"From the original clone-tastic One For All to the frenetic manatee magic of Ultra Rapid Fire, featured game modes provide unique spins on the classic League formula. It’s time to kick off the next game mode in the rotation: Legend of the Poro King is now live!
As a refresher on the mode, let’s go over the basics:
  • When you jump into a match, you’ll be joined by two poro pals in your quest to call forth and aid the majestic Poro King
  • The Poro King is a mega-classy super minion that heals your team, regenerates mana, and deals AoE damage while handing out royal beatdowns to enemy towers
  • The King will serve as a sieging dynamo for you until he is killed by the enemy team in a regicide most foul
  • Activate Poro Toss once to toss your teeny poro pal across the map, if the lil fella hits a target, you can reactivate Poro Toss to Poro Dash, which will send you soaring towards an unlucky enemy
  • Land 10 Poro Tosses as a team and the Poro King himself will plop down to begin his royal wreckery
  • Once you or your team has summoned the Poro King, activate To The King! To transform into one of the king’s loyal (fluffy) subjects and fly to his side
As with Ascension, we haven’t changed too much about Legend of the Poro King, although we did make it so you can ping the King to coordinate sieges with him or assaults on his royal person. Just as in any rotating queue game mode, we’ve specially tuned Champion Mastery so you can earn points in the mode. You’ll also be able to earn keys for your wins and loot chests for your (or your premade’s) S­-, S, and S+ games. 
Up next is Ultra Rapid Fire next weekend, followed by Hexakill: Twisted Treeline and One For All. If you need to catch up on the rules for any game mode, check back at leagueoflegends.com each Friday, and we’ll give you the lowdown in a quick post like this one. 
We’ll be trying out different things with the rotating game mode queue over the next few months, such as potentially turning it on longer depending on how popular it is, changing the mode cadence or what modes are available. We’re looking for your feedback as we go, so let us know. GLHF, and we’ll see you on the snowy battlefield of Legend of the Poro King!"

MYMU in 6.9 & Class Update Discussion

For all those eagerly anticipating the mid year mage update, Meddler has confirmed that it, the item changes, and more are all headed our way in patch 6.9!
"6.9 should include the changes to mage kits, the AP item changes, modifications to dragon and the dragon buffs, a revised Rift Herald buff, towers that ramp in damage on subsequent shots a bit quicker, stronger Red/Blue Buff (late game especially) and a few other bits and pieces."
As for when it might hit the PBE, Meddler noted:
"Mid next week's pretty likely."
[This syncs up with expected schedule as the 6.8 PBE cycle is coming to a close and we typically see new patches pushed to live on ~Wednesday morning's with a new PBE cycle starting the day before!]

Meddler also added that should something happen to the item changes or kit changes, one would not ship to live with out other:
"Quote:
i guess they only "hope" for it to all be done on 6.9
but 6.10 seems much more realistic
We won't ship the mage kit updates without the item changes or the item changes without the kit updates. If one of those sets isn't ready we'll hold the other one until it is."

When asked why it is so early when original estimates were "mid-year" in June or July, Meddler noted:
"Yeah, we were vague on the timing of the mage changes ('mid year') because we didn't want to communicate a firm date until we were confident it was one we'd be able to hit. At the same time we certainly wanted to give you folks a heads up about what was coming and roughly when, so 'mid year' seemed like a reasonable approach."
He continued:
"We didn't want to call it a spring mage update both because we weren't sure we'd be able to hit spring when we first started talking about it and because to a lot of people spring could understandably mean earlier than May."

Meddler also  commented on why they only put the items up for early PBE testing instead of champion changes as well:
"Quote:
So, question I just thought of: Any reason why you didn't put the mage updates on the PBE for extended testing when you put the items up?
Adding that many champions into the patch on PBE and then pulling them out again increases the risk of bugs in that patch significantly. In the case of the items we felt the feedback gathered and bugs caught would be worth the risk, particularly since there are far fewer files involved with those items than all the mages. For the mages and some other mid-season changes (dragon changes for example) we felt the cost was too high to go to PBE a patch early by contrast."
Meddler also mentioned a new effect that is being added to Ziggs Satchel Charge (W) - destroys towers under a certain % health!
"We ended up using the visual effects time we had for Ziggs instead on a visual indicator that shows him when he can demolish low health towers with his Satchel Charge."
He continued:
"This is a new mechanic where Satchel Charge will be able to affect towers if they're below a certain health threshold (currently 25% in internal testing), destroying them immediately."
Meddler continued
"Quote:
That seems a little too high a Threshold, considering Ziggs can Demolish Towers at an astonishing rate once he acquires Lich Bane currently. Perhaps a 10 to 15% Threshold would be a little fairer.
We tried significantly lower thresholds, they resulted in the effect almost never being meaningful. The tower was either going to fall within a second or so already or it wasn't worth the risk to Ziggs of using his long CD escape/only hard CC."

When asked if Katarina will be receiving any changes in the MYMU, Meddler noted:
"No kit changes to Kat planned for 6.9 (the mid-season patch). We'll definitely want to do some work on Kat whenever we look at assassins as a class though, at the soonest that'd be end of year though."

As for potential MordekaiserZilean, or Rune changes in the MYMU, Meddler noted:
"No current changes planned for Morde. 
Zilean seems to be in an ok spot at present, as with any heavy AP user we'll take a look at him post item changes though of course. 
As far as Runes go we don't have any plans to adjust their stats at present. We are looking into some possibilities to make it easier for new players to fill rune pages effectively though, particularly given they'll now be unlocking rune slots faster with the reduced XP required to get to 30." 
~~~~~~~~~

As for when to expect the next class update after the MYMU, Meddler noted:
"We're planning to do another class update at the end of the year (November ish, so after Worlds). Assassins are a strong option for that spot. 
We won't be doing another class update between 6.9 and Worlds."
As for who is in the running, Meddler noted:
"Quote:
What are the contestants for that spot; Diving Fighters, Assassins and Vanguard Tanks, yeah? Any other class?
Those three yeah."
As the the goals of these class updates, Meddler shared:
"Quote:
I thought the reasoning for the immobile mage and ADC rework was because the classes weren't relevant enough and were underwhelming. Assassins fit their role and obviously do it properly seeing as they're a big reason ADCs and immobile mages needed updates in the first place.
Class reworks are primarily focused on making champions with a class more distinct from each other (in terms of how they play, what they offer to the team, what playing against them is like etc) and game health issues (counterplay especially)."
As for if a potential assassin update might include changes to stealth, Meddler commented:
"Quote:
Do you think it is possible that an Assassin Roster Update could include a rework on how stealth works? 
It seems to be a problematic aspect on some of them (Akali, Rengar, Talon).
I think it'd be a good time to look at stealth, in terms of general functionality and/or options playing against. Could imagine situations in which we did assassins without major stealth changes though, depending on what other work we also wanted to accomplish and how much benefit we felt stealth work would offer."

Looking for  more on the Mid Year Mage Update? Lucky you! We have a ton of context threads:

Tentative Illaoi Changes in 6.9

Over on the boards, Meddler shared a set of tentative tentacle and vessel oriented changes they are currently considering for Illaoi in 6.9 PBE cycle:
"Hopefully in 6.9. What we're currently considering:
  • Tentacles no longer appear in FoW for enemies
  • Vessel duration cut dramatically (been testing values in the 10-15s range, down from 60s)
  • Vessel state spawns nearby tentacles much faster 3-5s instead of 10s)
  • Tentacles can spawn closer to each other if spawning from vessels
I suspect we'll then need to do some follow up balance changes depending on the power impact of the above (or something like it). First thing though is getting an improved structure in place, in terms of how the Vessel state works."
Meddler continued:
"Oh, couple of other things I missed, apologies:
  • Killing tentacles no longer allows you to clear the Vessel debuff
  • Tentacles are no longer prevented from spawning if the vessel is recalling"
On the vessel duration, he also added:
"Quote:
It's not a nerf. The vessel debuff spawns more tentacles over a shorter period of time. A 3s spawn timer means the enemy basically can never stop moving and recalling during the period is impossible.
It might be a nerf, we'll need to look at the power impact after the changes go out and follow up with buffs/nerfs as needed. Big thing for us is getting the mechanics to the right spot, then we can adjust damage etc where appropriate."

Meddler Rumble changes in 6.8

When asked up the upcoming 6.8 patch and if there are any changes for Rumble planned in addition to his Q now doing full damage to minions, Meddler commented:
"Quote:
Meddler told us that they are going to buff Rumbles Q. This is probably the best thing happened in a long time for me I mean that Flamespitter does full damage to minions? But is this the only change to his Q? Just asking :)
That's the only chance we've currently got planned for Rumble's Q yeah. We'll probably reduce his ult CD slightly as well. 
There's also some wider stuff that should have a noticeable indirect impact on Rumble - nerfs to a couple of things he doesn't use that other people he often lanes against do (Grasp, Iceborn)."
Meddler continued, commenting on the full damage to minions change for Rumble's Q:
"Quote:
Assuming that these aren't enough to make him a good top laner again, which I think is a fairly likely scenario, is there anything else that is planned or being tested for him?
A champion's biggest damage source, and main source of wave clear/push, doubling in damage against minions is a fairly substantial change, particularly given it also makes last hitting noticeably easier (something Rumble has a rough time with). It's certainly possible he'll need further changes, wouldn't want to assume anything there though, this is very much a 'assess again after the changes have been out a patch or two' situation."

Reav3 on new Splash Arts

With the 10+ new splash arts in the 6.8 PBE cycle, Reav3 has been posting on the boards to answer a few questions about them and where they came from:

When asked why skins like Blade Mistress Morgana or Galactic Renekton got splash art updates, Reav3 shared where the majority of these new assets came from:
"This was actually worked on ALONG time ago, as people have also mentioned with Warwick Base. So they were like 90% complete. We were not going to update them due the the reasons you stated above but we recently wanted to go through some of our 80-90% complete splash art and finish them, so that's why you see so many of these right now. Had this splash not been 90% complete we probably would not have chosen to update it."
When asked how long it takes to make a new splash art, Reav3 noted:
"It takes about 1-2 months depending on iteration and feedback. This is from the VERY Beginning to the end, not just the rendering though. So this includes doing a bunch of quick thumbnails till we get the approved pose/scene. That in of itself can take awhile until we settle on the actual image we want to render out. 
That time also takes into account that the splash artist has various meetings through out the day and might be helping other splash artists out with paint overs and feedback as well, so its not like 8 hours a day for 1-2 months straight." 
When asked if the new Evelynn splash art meant she will no longer get a visual update, Reav3 noted it does not rule out a future update for Evelynn:
"We still want to do a full VGU on Eve eventually. We don't have anything currently in the works though. Once we do get around to her though, her splash would be updated as well. As with most VGU's her art will probably change enough to warrant new models and new splash art."
When asked if he thinks Evelynn's base appearance will change significantly, he commented:
"It's always possible that she doesn't change much. Poppy didn't really change nearly as much as Taric, for example. Won't know until we start to work on it."
In response to a large boards post inquiring on exactly which previously updated champions will be receiving new splash arts for, Reav3 replied answering a few questions and reminding that it is simply a list of things they will like to do:
"Quote: 
I'm making this in order to know which skins are getting a new splash art (this is for the list of champion VUs that Reav3 posted a while back)
Here's the list (in no particular order): 
Nidalee, Trundle, Tristana, Sion, Miss Fortune, Alistar, Kassadin, Gangplank, Twitch, Fiora, Karthus, Maokai, Karma, Garen, Morgana, Sivir, Sona, Annie, Renekton, Nasus & Heimerdinger. 
Now I will make a run-down for each skin getting a new splash art: 
Nidalee - French Maid, Pharaoh, Bewitching, Snow Bunny and Leopard
Trundle - Traditional, Junkyard and Lil'Slugger
Tristana - Riot Girl, Rocket Girl, Buccaneer, Firefighter, Guerrilla and Earnest Elf
Sion - Lumberjack, Hextech, Barbarian and Warmonger
Miss Fortune - Secret Agent, Road Warrior, Waterloo, Cowgirl and Candy Cane
Alistar - Black, Golden, Matador. Longhorn, Unchained and Infernal
Kassadin - Festival, Deep One, Pre-Void and Harbinger
Gangplank - Spooky, Toy Soldier, Minuteman and Sailor
Twitch - Whistler Village, Kingpin, Vandal, Gangster and Medieval
Fiora - Royal Guard and Nightraven
Karthus - Statue of Karthus, Phantom and Grim Reaper
Maokai - Charred, Totemic and Festive
Karma - Sakura, Sun Goddess and Traditional
Garen - Sanguine, Desert Trooper, Commando, Dreadknight and Rugged
Morgana - Sinful Succulence and Exiled
Sivir - Warrior Princess, PAX, Spectacular, Bandit and Huntress
Sona - Silent Night, Muse and Guqin
Annie - Annie in Wonderland, Prom Queen, Frostfire, Reverse and FrankenTibbers
Renekton - Outback, Rune Wars and Bloodfury
Nasus - Galactic, Riot K-9, Pharaoh and Dreadknight
Heimerdinger - Alien Invader, Snowmerdinger, Piltover Customs and Blast Zone 
Am I missing any @Reav3?
Now, here are my 2 questions for you Reav3.
1. Is there any particual Reason to include Morgana on the list?
2. Who else is on the list?"
To be clear, this is just a list that we would like to get too, if time and resources permit. Things can always change and strategies can always change, which can change resource allocation. So these all aren't guaranteed to get done, and also could go at a slow pace as big VGU's always take priority (For example we had to put a temporary hold on these old skin splashes to get Tarics new skin splashes out the door.) 
For the time being though our goal is to get through as many of these as we can. Now about your questions. 
Are you missing any? 
Mafia MF
Black thorn Morgana
Ghost Bride Morgana
Arcade Sona 
Ones you added that we weren't planning on updating (Though this could always change) 
Rugged Garen
Dreadnaught Garen 
Is there any particular Reason to include Morgana on the list? 
She's on the list since we did a minor VU on her and we had a nearly complete Blade Mistress Splash. We decided to just finish the Blade Mistress one though and ship it so she went down considerably in priority. We may just exclude her from the list and will re asses when we get trough some of the greater offenders. 
Who else is on the list? 
That's the current list. Not to say we won't ever update any other splash art as things tend to change over time, but for now that's the list."
[As a friendly reminder, we know from previous red posts that NidaleeTrundle, and Tristana are the first batch of skin splash art updates we are likely to see!]

When asked if the is a new Leona base splash in the works, he noted::
"We currently don't have a Leona one in the works, sorry. But anything is possible in the future!"

Hextech Crafting - Champion Shards and owning all champions.


In a recent reddit thread inquiring about the previous comment on having something planned for Hextech Crafting champion shards for players who already own all champions, Socrates noted:
"It's coming. It'll be linked to Champ Mastery, still not ready to reveal details yet. Getting loot out globally took a bit longer than we expected, but this hasn't fallen off our radar."

Draven Day Icons will be distributed by April 25th

For those eagerly awaiting the Draven Winion and Draaaven summoner icons from DRAVEN DAY, the Riot support site notes they will be distributed by April 25th!
"[APRIL 14] DRAVEN DAY ICONS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED TO ACCOUNTS BY APRIL 25."

Taric Champion Update Q&A

Taric's champion update is being shined up for release in 6.8 and the team behind the update has gathered on the boards for a Q&A!

To start us off, here's ADillonMostDirty with an introduction to the Q&A:
"Hey everyone!

We've gathered a bunch of Rioters from the Taric team for some Q&A about the Shield of Valoran himself! Whether you're interested in Taric's gameplay, story, or art, ask away and we'll be happy to answer!

On hand for questions today we have:

David "RiotRepertoir" Capurro - Designer
George "Glorft" Krstic - Writer
Paul "Partiest Cat" Jarvis - Animator
Kory "Ququroon" Dearborne - QA
Ryan "Reav3" Mireles - Production
Janelle "RiotStellari" Jimenez - Promotion
Jake "LoveCommander" Pearce - Promotion
Chris "Pwyff" Tom - Cool Guy

Check out these links if you need to get up to speed:
As usual, I've sorted out the Q&A answers based on topics:



GAMEPLAY

As for the thematic changes in Taric moving from a heavy armored paladin to what he is now, Riot Repertoir commented:
"Quote:
You guys moved a VERY far distance from the gem knight idea. I mean comparative to Poppy/Sion, who are still represent their roots (Poppy the yordle torn between two worlds, Sion the reanimated champion), Taric is almost a totally new role and character. Can you elaborate a bit on this shift? Was the gem knight thing not working?
Taric has definitely changed visually, but we do still see gems as his primary source of power. Before, gem knight meant guy in armor with gems all over it, and the Taric you see now is much more a guy with a couple very powerful gems with some story behind them. It's not so much that gem knight wasn't working as it was us wanting to give meaning, story, and power to the gems he has now."

When asked about where he believes Taric will fit into the current meta, Riot Repertoir noted:
"Quote:
also, do you think he is going to fit the current support/adc meta?
As to whether he'll fit into the support/adc meta, I don't expect him to be a particularly strong laner, so he might not fit that part of the meta too well. However, the stuff he's doing is strong enough for his team that teams will probably try to fit him into a comp somehow or another."

As for Taric's viability in non support roles such as top or jungle, RiotRepertoir  commented:
"Quote:
I'm just a little curious how you feel about Taric being viable in the top lane. A lot of streamers and youtubers have showcased clips of taric being played top, very successfully as well. Do you feel like he's overstepped his role as a support, like how lulu has dominated as a solo laner rather than support, or do you feel like it's justified? I personally believe there's always going to be that one guy that tries a new champ in a role riot didn't design them to be, like I've played AP Nami mid when she was first released.
I'm trying to not take too many proactive measures to shoehorn him into any particular role on release. The most important thing to me long term is that whatever position he ends up being balanced for is a fun experience for the player and his opponents."
 He  continued, discussing Taric's take on being a defensive fighter of sorts:
"Quote:
As a Taric main, I was a little disappointed when Taric's gameplay, which was originally played like a Fighter, seems to have been changed into a Tank. 
Do we need more Tank supports in the game? Fighter supports are much more unique. What were the reasons for the change?
I'd say he historically played as a fighter/tank in the support role, and the intention is that he still a defensive take on a fighter. For instance, his damage from auto attacks is much more significant now, as his passive hits twice, hits fast, and hits harder per hit. A tank, by contrast, usually focuses much more on peeling and lockdown, and Taric only has the one crowd control spell. 
Is Taric tanky? Absolutely, but he always has been. I wouldn't say he performs what are typically seen as the jobs of a tank though."

When asked about removing the damage from Taric's W and R, Riot Repertoirexplained that his passive's damage is up quite a bit compared to the old version:
"Quote:
1) I really liked his total damage output of the old Taric, it is what made him unique, and I really enjoyed it. Of course he was really really easely kited out and struggled against AP comps. My question here is, because two of his damage abilities (W/R) got removed, won't his damage get down? It's one of the main things I liked about Taric, and I'd hate to see him struggle because he's lacking damage.
Taric's passive damage contribution is up pretty substantially. I've seen many people with reactions very similar to yours, and usually their opinion is changed quite a bit after their first couple games because they didn't really believe how much difference there is in the damage his passive and E do now." 
When asked about the inspiration for Taric's new W, RiotRepertoir  explained:
"Quote:
Was there any inspiration behind the move that pairs him with an ally?
The original idea that led to this ability was that we knew we wanted Taric to retain his core weakness of being immobile and kiteable, but we wanted to enable him to have high impact with allies that weren't necessarily of the same mobility profile. As such, Bastion's original purpose was intended to be to allow him to help allies that were moving around all over the place, without necessarily needing to keep up with their erratic movement. The ability to fire skillshots off allies came about as a result of that desire. Once we started testing it out, I found there was some cool gameplay choice behind linking to someone and figuring out how you could make good effect of the person you chose for the next 10 seconds or so."

Riot Repertoir also commented on the choice to make Taric's Dazzle (E) no longer point and click:
"Quote:
What were some of the most difficult aspects of his kit to rework?
Also, how did the inception of having another champion work as a proxy for his abilities come about?
Deciding whether to get rid of targeted Dazzle was really difficult. I think I spent the first 2+ months of kit variations and playtesting on versions of the kit that still had it in one way or another. It was not an easy decision to get rid of it, but it freed up a lot of room for other things once I did."
When asked about Taric's new R and why it is purely defensive, Riot Repertoir explained:
"Quote:
Why Taric's Ultimate is now defensive and zero offensive? The addtional AD and AP Aura is gone...even for Taric himself. Why??
We felt that Taric should be mainly defensive in nature, and giving out stats that aren't very visceral is one of the worst ways to give power, in my experience."
 He continued:
"Quote:
Just one question, really. Are you as concerned as I am about the possibility of Taric breaking the game in half with his new ultimate and where do you think you would be interested in trimming power from the ability if need be?
I'm personally not overly concerned about the ultimate. Yes, it's a really powerful effect, but it's behind a large delay that I believe players will learn to play around. I expect there will be a large number of complaints/frustration in the first few weeks/months he's out, but I do think players can learn to burst during the delay, hold their cooldowns, or disengage from him to counteract it. 
If anything, I think reducing the range at which Bastion (W) stays active may be something we have to look at in the future to reel in some of his spells."

Riot Repertoir  continued replying to the comparison of Taric's and Kayle's R:
"Quote:
Taric Seems really balanced like Aurelion Sol was do you think having an ultimate like Kayles would make Kayles Ulti obsolete?Just curious.
Though the actual effect of Cosmic Radiance is the same as Kayle's Intervention, Kayle's
being instant cast makes its application hugely different in many scenarios."
As for Taric's R and Kindred's R comparisons, he noted:
"Quote:
I have a question regarding Taric's ultimate, most effects similar to it- kindred ult, kayle ult, and zhonyas active, are meant to be reactive but Taric's huge delay makes that kind of play impossible, but the delay makes for such a huge telegraph that the enemy won't blow any important cooldowns while it's active
What's the optimal use of the ult? The delay is so long it's hard to use it responsively and the duration isn't long enough feeling for your team to start a fight with it on, how has taric used it best in playtests?
The primary differentiation between Taric R and Kindred R is, as you say, how you approach using it. Kindred's is very reactive in nature, whereas Taric's is meant to be much more proactive, as a signal to your team that they can continue fighting or take some risks in the next few seconds. In playtest, it seems to be best used in conjunction with powerful initiators like Malphite or Vi, where Taric puts Bastion and Cosmic Radiance on them while he sits back next to his squishies to ensure optimal coverage."

As for his thoughts on Taric's power against assassin or burst champions, RiotRepertoir  noted:
"It's hard to say that Taric's ult alone enforces an assassin meta; it's just one champion/spell. If people feel empowered to pick assassins when they enemy has locked in Taric, then that's great. That's ideal, actually. One of the main purposes of Taric's ult is that it is a powerful defensive ability that is not crushing to burst champions. 
There actually was some offensive purpose to his R several iterations ago, but I removed them because I felt that it muddied the spell."

RiotRepertoir  also shared a few scrapped ideas they tried for Taric's R:

"Quote:
I can’t imagine this new ultimate, Cosmic Radiance, was the first one you came up with when developing his new kit. Can you tell us about some other things you concepted before settling on this one?
A very long range version of his old targeted stun
Channeled resurrection
Offense/defense form swap
Some variant of a PBAoE charm"
RiotRepertoir  continued,  commenting on why Taric no longer has flat armor reduction on his kit:
"Quote:
My question is what led to the decision of the loss of Taric's flat armor reduction? I always found that as an integral part of his old identity. Was it ever considered to be moved to his passive or was it considered not necessary towards his newer playstyle?
I considered moving it to the passive or other abilities in more than one iteration. However, the reason wasn't ever really much more beyond him having it in the past, and it's really not something that had many synergies within his own kit. When it came down to choosing what stayed and what went, I chose to narrow down to what I thought were more the essentials, and let those things be really strong and pronounced within the kit."
When asked about the main problems he ran into when designing the new kit, RiotRepertoir    shared:
"Quote:
What were the main problems you encountered while reworking Taric? As in, were there any issues regarding his kit, design, balancing, etc?
One of the most difficult things about balancing Taric was/is dealing with the somewhat inherently binary nature of a champion with his strength/weakness profile. Players are generally pretty happy to play against someone that is kiteable and weak at range, but they tend to be less happy with the idea that if that melee guy gets on them, he's probably really overbearing. Striking that balance on him has been pretty difficult. I'm not sure it will be correct on release, even."

STORY / LORE

When asked where Taric's signature floating shoulder gems came from, Reav3  explained:
"Quote:
Where did the floating gems come from, and since he is no longer the "gem knight" why is he still covered in gem armor? Is that his way to express beauty? Does this have anything to do with Targon or Demacia specifically?
The floating gems came for the Targonian Aspect of the Protector, and are his primary source of power."
As for "THE ASCENT" comic, Riot Stellari  commented:
"Quote: 
Taric’s comic, Ascent, is my favorite piece of out-of-the-game content I’ve seen in a very long time. I’m currently using the final image of Ascent as my desktop, it’s so beautiful! What was the process for writing this piece, and how did you decide on the art style? (also, the “guy” near the top, was that a (fake) Noxian or a (fake) Freljordian?) And not a question, but I really liked the part where it looks like he was going to slap the guy, but instead he gave him his cape! And the line “I know, but I promise I’ll never stop trying” actually made my heart race! So good!
I'm not the best person to answer the other questions, but I can definitely tackle this one. I'm super happy to hear that you liked the Ascent, it was a labor of love for us. Literal blood, sweat and tears (okay, no blood.) For writing, we wanted to give players a way to 'say goodbye' and that he was leaving his past behind. Everyone was really drawn to the story of Taric's climb on Targon and what that might be like for him. 
For the art style, we wanted to do something a little different than the other comics we've done (I also produced the Poppy comic)--since Taric was Demacian, we wanted something more "Demacia." A little more traditional, painterly, and classic.
[edit] And the dude at the top is a Noxian :)"

When asked about Taric's more intimate desires, Reav3 noted:
"Quote:
So, does Taric appreciate only the beauty of women (Ashe, Diana), and the love between a man and a woman, or???? Is he straight, gay or..... multi-faceted? I'm dying to know xD
Taric loves all life on Runeterra and appreciates the beauty in everyone, it's not specific to Ashe & Diana. 
We wanted to tell a great story about a kind, protector. Much like the rest of our cast, Taric's story is open for interpretation and stories we might create in the future."
Ququroon added:
"Quote:
So, first of all loved the rework! Now my question, Taric appreciates the beauty in everyone, but had he fell in love personally with anyone on the past? I mean, if he had been in a a romantic relationship before ?
Taric is very open with his affections, with a fair share of experiences in the past.
As for his past relationships and more into his past? That's a story for another time."

When asked if there will be a story follow up on Taric after release, Riot Stellari noted:
"Quote:
Will we be seeing more of his story around the time of his release? (as well as the other Aspects and Aurelion Sol) Or is what we have on the Mount Targon page everything lore-wise for the near future?
We don't have anything planned lore-wise for Taric in the near future."

When asked what Taric's favorite food might be, Riot Stellari hypothesized:
"Quote:
does new taric have new favorite food? if yes what?
Taric's probably always loved great meals with wine and the company of friends, in my head cannon he loves fine dining and whatever the Runeterran version of molecular gastronomy is. He probably loves kale. He probably takes pictures of his food."
Ququroon  also humorously commented on Taric's "daily routine":
"Quote:
Can you please describe Taric's daily health/beauty routine? How does he maintain that chest? What does he eat for breakfast? What hair products does he use?
For his hair, he cheats and totally uses starlight to manage the luster in his hair.
For his chest, he eats 5 dozen eggs in the morning to help him get large."

As for Taric's thoughts on champions such as Karthus or ViktorRiot Stellari  commented:
"Quote:
How Does Taric Feel About Non-Life such as Karthus and Viktor?
The Shadow Isles represent the anti-thesis of love, life, and beauty so Taric would probably have a problem with anyone who embraces that kind of ethos."
Glorft  added:
" He would see the anti-life of the Shadow Isles as something to be purged from the world."

As for Taric's feelings on Demacians after being exiled, Ququroon commented:
"Quote:
But the question I have is: How does Taric see some of the Demacian champions now? For example, what's his opinion on Jarvan, Shyvana, or Xin Zhao, to name a few.
Taric himself still loves them dearly, and thinks of them fondly. However, it's tense on the Demacian side due to that whole exile thing. 
Basically, family reunions aren't the best."

Glorft  also commented on how Taric might handle situations that threaten things he is to protect:
"Quote:
From a lore standpoint, will Taric be the one to help ease the current warfare/tenions between Leona and Diana and the Solari and Lunari to fight off the Void? It already looks like that Diana and Taric are already on the same page in terms of objectives.
Taric is not a peace-maker or diplomat - if some fool threatens the things he holds dear, they are going down. This would include Leona, Diana, etc..."
Riot Stellari added:
"Quote:
If someone wanted to stamp out all life on Runeterra, Teemo for example, would Taric hunt him down?
Yes. 
With impunity."

SKINS / ART / ANIMATION

When asked about the new take on Armor of the Fifth Age TaricReav3  shared:
"Quote:
OH! What made you guys decide for the new Armor of the Fifth Age model?
We wanted to make 5th "fun" skin. We really wanted his skin portfolia to have 3 very different takes on Taric. So.. 
5th Age: Fun Skin
Emerald: Elegant skin
Bloodstone: Dark, Evil skin 
We also thought it would be a fun skin to incorporate some of the fan art for that skin since it is such a beloved skin from the community."

When asked if Emerald Taric will return to the store when Taric's update hits live, Reav3 noted it would:
"Quote:
Will it be back up for sale with the re-release?
Yes! Temporarily though."
When asked if the Emerald Taric skin will remain 520 RP even thought it now boasts a new nature theme instead of being a recolor, Reav3 commented:
"Quote
Quick question about his Emerald skin:Will the price be the same as before or will it be changed when its available?
It will be the same."

As for why updated skins like Emerald Taric stay in the legacy vault at all, Reav3 commented:
"Quote:
Can I ask about this decision? Why do you guys keep legacy skins legacy when you've totally updated them and brought them up to modern standards of quality? Looking at poppy and shen skins too here. It seems like a very weird decision
This is actually something we have been discussing a lot internally. On the one hand it would be nice to bring these out of the vault permanently since they were put into the vault due to the fact that they were just recolors, yet on the other hands players that have these "rare" skins might be pretty upset if they just became common skins all of a sudden. It's something we are interested in getting more data on in the future for sure."

When asked if Taric will get a brand new skin any time soon as his last was years ago, Reav3 noted:
"Quote:
do you think after those updates taric will finally get a new skin? he havent got one in years! 
also, do you think he is going to fit the current support/adc meta?
I can't give a confirmed date or anything since the skins team is separate from the Champion Update team. What I can say is that the plan for future VGU's is to get at least 1 new skin out much sooner then the time it took to get a new Sion skin."

When asked who did the animation for Taric's update, Partiest Cat commented:
"Quote:
Who came up with his amazing animations- the way the gems move during taunts, when using bastion, etc are really great
Hey thanks! I was lead animator for most of Taric, but also had some great support from XrayAlpha and MikeHiggins. Glad you like it!"
Partiest Cat   continued:
"Quote:
I love the animation for his joke, and the way his crystals are positioned. It's a subtle but nice touch. If I understand correctly, this is your work, isn't it? I am curious about the process by which you do this. Are all of his animations thought of and done by you, made out of solely your own creative mind? Or does Repertoir maybe describe something that he wants to see in game, and then you bring it to life?
Thanks! I wish I could take credit for the joke, but that was done by Mike Higgins. It was an awesome idea and was all him! 
I was in charge of a majority of Taric's animations overall and made most of the style calls/decisions for how we wanted him to animate. Repetoir and I sat down early on to go over his kit and figure out expectations and it was up to me to figure out from there -- I'll usually come up with a pitch on some new ideas and share them with the team to see if they stick. Sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's painstaking to nail down something we're happy with!"

GROUP QUESTIONS


Glorft Group Question 1:
"Quote:
Hi there! Congrats on this champ update (one of the best in my opinion), and I hope you don't mind answering some questions about lore ^^
  • Is Taric being chased by Kalista? It seems that he was being pursued by some ghosts while he was climbing Mount Targon, and they called him "oathbreaker", so, are they spirits born/from Mount Targon or Kalista was summoned by some demacian to kill him?
  • Could we know the name of Taric's demacian house? Does he still have a family out there or they were purged/exiled from Demacia for his "wrongdoings"?
  • So Taric seems to see Garen as an old friend, but does Garen see him the same way, or does Garen think of Taric as a traitor to Demacia?
  • Why has Taric so few lines for Void champs? Only 2 for Vel'Koz, and one generic for all of them?
  • Is Taric romantically interested in Diana, or he just see her as a paragon of beauty?
  • Was Avarosa related somehow with the Aspects/targonians? Taric's interaction with Ashe seems to hint it
  • Is the Aegis of the Legion a demacian shield?
  • What's a mog anyway?
Good questions! 
1 - The spirits in the comic are manifestations of Taric's guilt/The Protector's test, but Taric's men did die while under his protection so if they got together in the afterlife and called out a hit, maybe? 
2 - Taric is not a noble, he comes from an old military family that has served the Demacian crown for ages. And while his actions have cast doubts on his loyalty, his family is still seen (at least by Garen) as staying true to Demacian ideals. 
3 - Garen felt that Taric was throwing his talents away, and that made him angry, but know he is slowly coming to realize that Taric has become the ultimate expression of his intended role of guardian. 
4 - We didn't want his quest against the Void to overshadow his other motivations. 
5 - Taric appreciates beauty in all forms. 
6 - Taric now has insight into a greater understanding of many realities, so although Avarosa isn't related to Targon, Taric now knows of her. 
7 - Yep. 
8 - I know, right?"

Reav3  Group Questions 1:
"Quote:
When can we expect Taric to drop onto Live servers?
That said, do you think we can see more splash arts done like Armor of the Fifth Age? I really love the little easter eggs and involvement of other champion skins in these splash arts and they come out very well done. props to the artists.
It should be live in the next patch, so around Tuesday/Wed of next week, unless the patch gets delayed for some reason. 
We always like to get these easter eggs in when we can. You can see some of that in the recent Shen skin splashes we did as well!"

Looking for more information on Taric's champion update? Check out or 6.8 PBE cycle coverage for a look at his new visuals, specifics on his abilities and ratios, updated skin previews, and more!

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