Red Post Collection: 2016 Mid-Season Spotlight, LCU Dev Blog - The Play Loop, PBE Jinx, Sona, and Mastery 6 & 7 context, & more

Posted on at 2:12 PM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes the 2016 Mid-Season spotlight, a League Client Update dev blog on The Play Loop, context on the PBE changes for Jinx, Sona, and Champion Mastery 6 & 7, ZenonTheStoic sharing more on Taliyah now that she's revealed and on PBE, and more! 
Continue reading for more information!



Table of Contents: 


2016 Mid-Season Spotlight

With patch 6.9 and all the mid-season mage, objective, itemization, and other changes headed to live, check out the 2016 Mid-Season spotlight for a run down of all the new stuff!

"This year, we're putting on a half-time show to introduce big changes to mages, items, and the river's most monstrous inhabitants. Get ready for Mid-Season Magic."

[LCU] Crafting the Client: The Play Loop

Next up we have a League Client Update dev blog on the "play loop" - which is everything that happens once you hit play until you've finished your game:
"The "play loop" in League of Legends is everything that happens in the client between smashing "Play" and swapping GGs in the post-game lobby. Today, some parts of League's play loop are visually inconsistent or just plain outdated, and we want to fix that with the updated client. We've set out with several design goals to help guide us here, and we want to share those with you. 
OUR DESIGN VALUES 
  • Improve the clarity of decision-making 
    • Some decisions are presented with a time limit and the threat of an impending game launch (or a dodge). These are important choices, so we want to make sure players are able to intuitively understand what’s being asked of them, and it’s gotta be especially clear to players when they need to respond.
  • Celebrate key moments
    • As players progress through the play loop we want to build hype—pulling player attention towards the impending game by adding a little pizzazz to key decision-making moments. This means showing off the chosen map, making champion selection feel impactful, and tuning the post-game lobby to highlight your individual accomplishments.
  • Unify the experience
    • The trip from the main menu to a live game should feel like one consistent experience—no awkward transitions or out-of-place menus. Each new section should feel like taking the next step on your march to the battlefield. 
Below, we’ll go through the various steps in the play loop and talk a bit about the changes we’ve made. 
PRE-GAME LOBBY AND READY CHECK 

You’ll notice a small, time-saving tweak when you first click “Play” in the updated client. Instead of having to click through the Mode > Map > Type menu every time you want to queue up, the Play button now drops you straight into a lobby with the settings from your last-played game preselected. If you want to swap over to a different mode, a few simple mouse maneuvers will get you there. 
Each mode has its own thematic anchor that speaks to the experience players are choosing, and we reinforce that with unique background animations and audio for the selected map. Choose the Howling Abyss, for example, and the client will get a little bit frosty. Swap to Summoner’s Rift to get a face-full of greenery. 
A major goal here is to clean up clutter and put the focus on the information that matters. Instead of littering the screen with countless clickable buttons at all times, information and actions are displayed only when you need them. 
It should be as easy as possible for players to get their friends into game with them, so the new client lets you invite folks by simply dragging-and-dropping them from the friends list to your lobby. We’re being careful not to eliminate useful features from the old client, so legacy tools for inviting friends in bulk are still available. 
We want to punctuate the moment a match is found, grabbing your attention and presenting the ready check in a way that feels unified with the rest of the client’s design. The ready check is the gateway that players pass through on their way to the battlefield, so it should feel like you're entering a portal—not zapping a web browser pop-up. 

CHAMPION SELECT

Certain moments in champ select determine a lot about how the impending game will play out, so they should feel big. In the updated client, locking in with a champion in the new client makes the skin selection panel blow up to fill the frame. Choosing a skin works much like it did before, although once you reach the end of a long list of skins you can loop back to the beginning (Teemo players rejoice). 
  1. YOUR TEAM - Selected champion icons and spells go here, as expected. Club tags appear beneath each player's Summoner Name. 
  2. CHAMPION GRID - Your roster of owned champions takes center stage before you lock in. New icons representing the various classes (Marksmen, Supports, etc.) allow you to quickly filter the list. 
  3. LOADOUT - This is your loadout-spells, runes, and masteries. Tweak these settings for any given champ and it'll be saved as the default loudout for that character the next time you roll them.
  4. THE OTHER TEAM - These are the bad guys.
Each step in the champion select flow is now more distinct—art, motion effects, and audio adjust to emphasize the decisions players should be focusing on at any given moment in the process. When you’re picking your champion, the huge grid of dude/lady/yordle/monster faces is the focus, so it’s now bigger and cleaner-looking. Once you’ve locked in and picked your skin, irrelevant information gets out of your way so you can focus on runes, masteries, and yelling at your jungler to take Smite. 
POST GAME
There are terabytes of information to take in during the post-game, so we’re making the scoreboard a little easier to navigate by allowing you to find advanced stats and charts by clicking the “advanced details” button. It’s all contained in the client, so you can easily pop over to that screen and come right back to the lobby to brag about your absurdly high-damage Sona support build.
Stay tuned to the alpha website for the latest on the client update alpha's progress!"
When asked about the fiery sounds when Annie is selected, Riot Eno commented:
"Quote:
why when they picked annie was there fire sounds, is this intentional? I would be so hard if they added unique ambient noise in champ select depending on your champ.
 You're going to be a happy camper..."

Keep an eye on the League Client Update Alpha site for more information and dev blogs!

You also can sign up for the live LCU Alpha here (use drop down in top right to switch regions).
The League Client Update has also returned to the PBE for addition testing: PBE post & coverage.

Inside Taliyah dev with the designers 

Next up we have episode 20 of the League Community Podcast, which focuses on our upcoming champion Taliyah with special guests ZenonTheStoic, Thermal Kitten, and Tokkelossie!
"Welcome to the latest League Podcast, a series in which we take you behind-the-scenes with the people who help make League possible. Expect new guests and new stories every couple of weeks or so, and make sure to hit us with those comments and ratings so we can keep striving toward a Challenger-tier podcast. 
This week, designer Daniel “ZenonTheStoic” Klein, writer Ariel “Thermal Kitten” Lawrence, and character artist Willem “Tokkelossie” Van Der Schyf share the behind-the-scenes story on creating the Stoneweaver."


ZenonTheStoic on Taliyah

With out next champion Taliyah revealed and up on the PBE for testing, her designer Daniel "ZenonTheStoicKlein has been very active on social media and reddit discussing the Stoneweaver!
ZenonTheStoic jumped into a lengthy twitter story on Taliyah's R and a few different iterations they tried out during her development:
"Alright, story time! You guys decided you wanted to hear a story about her R, so here we go."

"Let's start at the end: we ended up with an ultimate that creates a 3000/4500/6000 unit long wall that Taliyah can ride. This is dope"

"But we had some even more absurd ults that we tried. The very first thing on the kit, last September, was Earthquake."

"Think Trundle W size AOE effect that damaged and slowed people, knocked them up every 1s, and GROUNDED them... for 4s"

"We learned a LOT about grounded as a status effect; it needs to be selective and focused. It can't just be tacked on."

"Cassio W does this well: small area you can step out of, pretty hard to land on nearby enemies"

"I also learned that if you mini-knockup people once a 1s, playtesters will deliver their feedback in the medium of PUNCHING"

"For a while I had the W on the R slot because, let's be real, it's an ult, but then I put it back on W because LOOK A BIRD."

"So here's the big one that made @RiotScarizard walk off in disgust. Shoutouts to @meliavir for helping us test this one"

"For a while, Taliyah's ultimate was to target one piece of contiguous terrain on Summoner's Rift and destroy it for 15s."

"People flash over the thing wall between river and raptor camp? Break the wall."

"Sieging enemy base not going so well because they throw spells at you over the base wall? Break the wall."

"Enemy doing baron and you're stuck on the wrong side of the baron pit wall? BREAK. THE. WALL."

"It, uh, was definitely an interesting ability. Here's why it's not on her kit, and then I'll tell you why it's not coming elsewhere soon"

"First, for Taliyah's kit, the ability didn't make a lot of sense. It unlocks your team, but Taliyah actually wants choke points"

"It's a support ability, I think. So is it coming to a support soon? Well, not any time soon. There's challenges."

"On the tech side, we did solve changing the navgrid on the fly, but will this perform well on toasters? Probably not. More work needed."

"We would probably need to make custom assets for all places on the map. More work needed. A *LOT* more work."

"Design side, a LOT more work was needed on selection, shape, duration, cast paradigm etc. Is it a cast once and it's gone?"

"Do you pick a piece of terrain and it's gone for good until you pick another? Do you have to be near it?"

"So TL;DR: the ability was super interesting, but there's a shit ton of work needed before we could ship it. But it was cool!"

"Finally had a version of R where she didn't ride it, but could reactivate it to CURVE. Felt *very* weavery, but in the end? Surfing's cool"

"And that's Taliyah story time for today. Can't wait to see people try her out on PBE!"
Daniel Klein also confirmed Taliyah's voice actor:
"For all who've been asking: @ericalindbeck is the voice of Taliyah!"
With her reveal out, ZenonTheStoic also shared which of Taliyah's 4 ( of 5) abilities were described in The Bird and the Branch.
"For those keeping score at home: 
P: The "stones rising to meet her feet" in the end of the story Q: NOT REPRESENTED IN STORY W: The knockup on the captain of the guard / also how she gets Yasuo out of the snow E: The slow to zone the rest of the guard R: The way she busts out of the inn at the end"

Daniel also shared FeralPony's exquisite in development loading screen art for Taliyah:
"Oh also I should leak this: Taliyah's development loading screen asset by the very talented @RiotFeralPony"

He also went on a lengthy tweet discussion about Taliyah's looks and sexuality of female champions:
"So, Taliyah's video is out and we all had a look at her face (omg freckles). Most reactions have been extremely positive. "
"I want to take a moment to talk about some less-than-positive and downright awful reactions."
"League has a less than perfect record objectifying lady champions."
"There's nothing wrong with a champion putting her sexuality front and center if that's what they're about. MF and Ahri? Makes total sense. "
"The problem isn't that there were some objectified women, but that there was NOTHING ELSE (if not a child/yordle). "
"Restricting body types is limiting to us as creators. We can only make the one type? Screw this. "
"Our more recent ladies have been much more interesting. From Kalista's monstrous looks to Reksai being an actual monster..."
"From Illaoi's badass broken-bones-teach-better-lessons-than-sermons looks to Lamb's ethereal animal-like take on gentle death. "
"Those takes not your cup of tea? Cool! We already have 33 sexualized women in the game (I went and counted). "
"I'm certain we will make a sexy lady again in the future. She will own it, and it will make sense for her. "
"Taliyah is a young girl struggling with an elemental power unlike anything anyone's ever seen before. "
"She's a girl struggling with protecting her loved ones from an ancient power vs worrying that SHE will hurt them."
"She's a girl coming of age in a time of strife centered on her homeland, and her journey is one of mastery over her power. "
"Where in that does it say "and meanwhile I'm going to get sexy for my date at the Shurima social"? "
"Look at how cohesive all of Taliyah is. Who she is, what she does, what she looks like..."
"They make sense taken as a whole. Why does she look the way she looks? Because it MADE SENSE."
Speaking of Taliyah, be sure to check out the VOD for the League Community's Taliyah PBE gameplay stream for more from ZenonTheStoic!

Check out our 5/3 PBE coverage for more on Taliyah, including her kit, release skin, and more!

Meddler on 6.9 Rift Herald Changes

When asked about the massive increase to Rift Herald's buff duration in 6.9, Meddler explained:
"Our intent with the changes to Rift Herald are to shift it to a similar spot to dragon - a buff of moderate power that, once taken, gives benefit for most of the game. Original design for the change was a permanent buff like Dragon. That was pretty promising, but felt excessive late in the game, where split push can already feel really hard to deal with, given how fast towers fall to split pushing at that point. To address that, and to give teams playing against the buff another success condition (weather the storm during the mid game until the buff expires if needs be) we opted for long, but finite, duration instead."
When asked about the duration being too long, he continued:
"It's possible it's too long, it's also possible it should be a permanent buff. 20 minutes is our best estimate off internal testing of how long that buff should last. Wouldn't be surprised if we ended up changing that duration, or the time Rift Herald spawns, in a follow up balance patch though, depending on what outcomes we see. As with pre-season mid-season's going to be a period with a couple of patches of significant followup work."

[PBE] Testing Champ Mastery Levels 6 and 7 

Here's Socrates with details on Champion Mastery Levels 6 and 7, which are headed to the PBE for testing!
"Hey all, 
When we launched Champion Mastery, our goal was to recognize you for playing the champs you love, and give you feedback on how well you play them. We tackled the first part with Champion Mastery ranks (levels), and implemented the second with the grade system shown at the end of game screen. 
Now we’re excited to add another dimension to leveling up with the system, with a higher emphasis on demonstrating your actual mastery of your favorite champs. With new requirements in order to earn them, Mastery Levels 6 and 7 show off your skill as well as your dedication. 
First, demonstrate your familiarity with a champ by reaching Mastery Level 5 
Champion Mastery Level 6
- Once you’re Level 5 with a champion, earn an S- or higher in a champ mastery-enabled queue, you’ll unlock a Mastery token for that champion
- To unlock Level 6 using Hextech Crafting, combine 2 Mastery tokens plus one of the following: 500 blue essence, OR a champ shard of the same champ, OR the champ permanent of the same champ. 
Champion Mastery Level 7
- Once you're level 6, the next time you earn an S or higher in a champ mastery-enabled queue, you’ll earn a Mastery token for that specific champ
- To unlock Level 7 using Hextech Crafting, combine 3 Mastery tokens plus one of the following: 600 blue essence, OR a champ shard of the same champ, OR the champ permanent of the same champ. 
We structured the performance requirement and cost in this way in order to ensure this builds on the former system, rewarding a combination of skill and participation. As you rank up, you’ll unlock new mastery badge emotes, new loading screen border flags, and the announcement banner upgrade to indicate your higher skill. 
To make it easier to unlock the level once you’ve earned your Mastery tokens, we’re adding a mystery coin that yields a random champ shards that’ll be available for your choice of IP or RP. The mystery coin and Champion Mastery levels are only some of ways we’re expanding the value of shards and loot (especially for players who already own every champion), and we’ll keep looking for more. 
We’ll be enabling this feature for testing on PBE in the coming days, and we’re looking for your feedback. Leave us your comments and questions below, and we’ll meet you leveling up mastery of our favorite champs!"

When asked about the move away from just champion points and the repeat of rewards for these higher tiers, Socrates commented:
"Quote:
What's the point of having additional levels of champions mastery if all we get is a slightly different Emote spam and another border in the loading screen? We get absolutely nothing out of it outside of bragging rights and now you're asking us to spend actual resources (Essence) to level up rather than just spamming games with a particular champion. You claim that the champion mastery system is supposed to 'reward us', but we're getting almost nothing out of it.
Champion mastery offers a few reward paths, for example loot is granted from champion mastery achievement. 
Levels are a bit different. Levels 1-5 are about skill + participation, with more of the weight being on participation. Level 6+ are going to have more of a skill component, starting with this. For 6 and 7 we're sticking with the original reward scheme but other options are still on the table for future levels."
Socrates continued:
"Mastery points are pretty heavily weighted by participation atm. We want to branch higher levels to have more of a performance requirement so the levels are more significant."
He continued:
"Quote:
Just give us the emotes without hextech crafting involvement.
Grinding out more games on a champion doesn't really represent a compelling objective past a certain point. This is why we're branching the objectives to having a heavier skill requirement."

As for the addition of needing champion shards to increase in levels, Socrates reminded:
"You can get champ shards for IP now, so the barriers to getting blue dust are significantly lower. Most champ shards grant ~200 essence, so it'll really depend how skilled you are with the champs."

When asked about the pricing on the mystery coin, Socrates noted:
"Quote:
What I like.
Rank 6-7 mastery is being put into the game.
Getting rank S- and S to unlock rank 6-7
 
What I don't like.
1. Having 1100 blue essence a requirement
I have played an absolute ton of games since hextech crafting has been released and I only have 1 champion shard and 293 blue essence. This is mostly because I play the same champions and already have gotten my chest for the season on them. I think "The mystery coin" will solve this at least for me since I own every champion already and have nothing to spend my IP on.
I think over all this system is pretty alright and even though its a bit of a forced tie in to hextech crafting the "mystery coin" sounds reasonable as long as its not like 12000 IP cost.
Cool, thanks for this feedback. The prices will be tuned to be reasonable. Let us know what you think when it goes out."

Socrates also commented on the rewards for hitting these tiers:
"Quote:
I like the idea of making champion shards more useful. Any ideas of giving rewards upon reaching mastery 7 such as champion icon? That'd be really cool to see!
We think there's still a lot of rooms for cooler reward options. Can't really talk about this yet, it's highly unlikely 6 and 7 will be the level peak."
Socrates continued:
"Quote:
So are there any actual rewards tied to mastery 6 and 7 besides bragging rights? Better emote? Icon?
Something I've wanted for a long time are mastery-specific chromas, but I recognize that's a lot to ask for. Any chance that might ever be a thing?
There are new emotes / badges, yes. It's unlikely 7 will be the highest levels, with levels after this it's possible we'll explore other rewards."


[PBE] EXPERIMENTAL Sona changes

Here's Gypsylord with a context and discussion thread on an experimental set of Sona changes he is he's testing on the PBE, including making E give a significantly stronger self movement speed buff:
"Hello friends. I've got some Sona changes coming out to the PBE today that I'd love you togo play and give me some feedback on! 
I know Sona discussions can get quite heated so let me preface this whole thing with the following disclaimer: 
These changes are HIGHLY EXPERIEMENTAL. That means they may ship but they may not. Part of the reason I'm getting them out to the PBE is to see how everyone here feels about them. If they're well liked that will build confidence in the direction and if everyone hates them I'm going to start questioning whether or not they're a good idea. 
So then, what are the goals here? After reading a number of Sona threads I wanted to try addressing a couple of complaints that repeatedly get brought up about her current live state: 
  1. Many Sona players feel like they lack impact and agency on how a game will turn out outside of their flash R combo.
  2. Many Sona players miss the "spammy" feel she had before the rework 
With that in mind the goals of these changes are as follows: 
Increase Sona's angency/play making potential by giving her more selfish control over her positioning. Also try to make individual spell casts/aura hits feel better 
To achieve these goals i'm trying the following buffs
---E now grants a large selfish MS boost to Sona. Should make it way easier to chase/run/position for clutch ults or spell hits in fights (Seriously, this is like Lulu levels of fast).
---W and E aura are now stronger
---Q CD gets lower with spell rank 
Regretfully, I can't just buff Sona as she's quite strong on live ATM (even though a lot of you don't feel like she is) so power has to come out of somewhere. I'm seeing if it feels okay to drain power from lane and aura size. 
So yeah the TLDR here is Sona's positioning power, aura hits, and Q spam post level 7 are going up and her Q spam in early lane and aura size are going down. My hope is that you feel like you're being more impactful and have more agency while not actually making Sona crazy OP 
Types of feedback I'm looking for:
Do you like the new changes? Is she more fun?
Do you hate the changes (especially the aura size reduction)? Would this make you want to play Sona less?
If Sona comes out with these changes and ends up being too strong would you be willing to accept power cuts in other areas to keep them? What would you want to see hit? 
> Detailed changelist:
>
> Hymn of Valor (Q)
> Aura Radius :: 350 >>> 250
> Cd :: 8 >>> 12/10.5/9/7.5/6
>
> Aria of Perseverance (W)
> Aura Radius :: 350 >>> 250
> Shield Strength :: 35/55/75/95/115 >>> 35/65/95/125/155
>
> Song of Celerity (E)
> Aura Radius :: 350 >>> 250
> Self decaying MS :: 13/14/15/16/17% (+7.5%/100 AP) >>> 30/35/40/45/50% (+8%/100 AP)
> Allied MS boost :: 10/11/12/13/14% (+3.5%/100 AP) >>> 12/13/14/15/16% (+5%/100 AP)
>
> Crescendo (R)
> Points no longer increase Sona's Self MS boost on E"

[PBE] Jinx Rocket AS changes in testing 

Likewise, Gyspylord also posted a context and discussion thread for a set of tentative Jinx Q and E changes that he will be testing during the 6.10 PBE cycle:
"Hi Friends, 
We're also experimenting with some Jinx stuff this patch. 
Trying to see if we can resolve the feel hit to rockets that she took in the preseason. 
My hypothesis is that the majority of "feel bads" for slow rockets are not actually due to their poorer late game scaling but rather how they feel to use in lane at very low attack speeds. This is the part of the game where you're most likely to experience attack cancels and phantom rockets. Let's see if we can fix that. 
Goal is to resolve some of Jinx's issues with rocket feel while keeping her overall power level close to the same. I'd encourage any Jinx mains on the PBE to go try her out and let me know how she feels. 
TLDR - Jinx rockets are back to their old AS at level 1, and now only scale poorly with AS she gets from items and levels (This is how Caitlyn works). With these changes rockets should be feeling faster ALL THE TIME unless you're buying like 6 phantom dancers. E nerfs are to compensate for the increased lane power this is likely to give her. 
Changelist:
> Switcheroo! (Q)
> Rocket Level 1 AS :: .531 >>> .625
> Rocket Bonus AS scaling :: 15% reduction >>> 20% reduction 
> Flame Chompers! (E)
> Damage :: 80/135/190/245/300 >>> 60/120/180/240/300
> Mana cost :: 50 >>> 70"
In the comments, he elaborated:
"LIVE rockets have 15% less total attack speed (This affects Base + Items + Levels) 
PBE rockets have 20% less bonus attack speed (this only affects Items + Levels) 
Because your level 1 AS is such a big portion of your total, with PBE change rockets end up being faster at all points in the game (until you build like 300% AS)"

Patch Chat 6.9 - Playtesting the Mage Update 

Patch 6.9 is out to live and the playtest team is back with another patch chat discussion thread:
"Hey all,

Welcome back to Patch Chat! We’re Riot’s Playtest Team, a group of high ranking League players whose job it is to play the hell out of things (lane tests, competitive testing, etc) and give actionable, objective feedback to designers.

Every two weeks (concurrent with the release of patch notes), we’re going to be hosting a discussion here on the state of balance on the current patch. Take this opportunity to ask us any questions about the state of the game.

Patch 6.9 was a massive first for Playtest Team. With new items, 15+ champions being worked on, and systemic updates to objectives, jungle monsters, and buffs, it’s one of the biggest set of changes we’ve worked on as a team. However, unlike the overhauls of the Preseason, there’s a lot more pressure on us to be as precise as possible so as not to disrupt the game midseason. And unlike the Preseason, we don’t have a followup Preseason patch to correct midway.

And so the project began early. Our first playtest of the new mages was on November 30th, 2015, back when “Hextech Protobelt” hadn’t even been thought up. That mage was Brand. Vel’Koz and Malzahar followed shortly on his heels, and over the next two months we would play the six core mages (those three plus Vladimir, Zyra, and Cassiopeia) over 100 times.

In late February, the new items began arriving.

According to Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith, this was what was most difficult about the Mage Update: working on so many things as much. “We couldn’t possibly get enough games on every update to be confident in each new update”. This was a sentiment shared by Mattias “Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman, who pointed out that “it wasn’t so much that I didn’t think we’d have the patch ready eventually. It’s that I never knew how we all felt about every change on a given day because there was so much to keep track of”.

With two months to go, items in flux, more new changes coming in every day, Blake “Ex Shepherd” Soberanis and Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes spearheaded the project that probably resurrected our confidence in the whole patch: alignment meetings. As a new team, we’ve been expanding our process with each patch, and learning from our mistakes the hard way. But one thing we hadn’t had to do yet was tackle a constantly fluctuating project with a full team.

In these meetings we would highlight 5-7 core issues we wanted to increase confidence on by the next meeting, detailing the steps we needed to take. Sometimes this meant a specific context for our upcoming playtests to resolve a difference of balance opinion, other times it meant crystallizing our group opinion to deliver more specific and justified feedback to designers.

With a renewed sense of confidence under our belt, we would end up running more targeted tests over time, testing the six core mages another 150 times over the next two months, while simultaneously getting 250 games on the other mages, not to mention lane tests.

Obviously anything which introduces change into the game adds some degree of uncertainty and imbalance. But as we honed in more and more on the more egregious outliers, and as we each started to enjoy aspects of the update, we became more and more certain that we were creating positive player experiences and trimming out the severe imbalances.

So what are we excited about now that the patch is finally hitting live?

Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith
My favorite rework is Viktor because I love that champion, and I think these slight changes make him more viscerally exciting. The pulsing ultimate is extremely satisfying compared to the sustained damage of the old ultimate and the speed of the laser feels fantastic. While Aftershock is much harder to hit by yourself, the payoff is much higher and rewards you for following up on teammates’ CC or landing a W stun.  
Ben “Cezium” Burkhardt
Vel’Koz. Because true damage.
Blake “Ex Shepherd” Soberanis
Athene’s Unholy Grail. I’ve always been a fan of heal/dps hybrid battle-cleric type of characters - you should see my D&D character! - and Athene’s allows champions to better fill that battle-cleric role. It’s particularly fun on Nidalee, Karma, and Kayle.
Mattias “Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman
I don’t really play mages that often, but Warmog’s Armor making it easier to get non-armor linked CDR on tanks has me pretty excited.
Shawn “I Am The IRS” Currie
Teemo buffs will always be #1 in my heart
Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes
Zac. His new passive duration is gonna be rad
What do you think about the Mage Update? Have any questions about what it’s like to work as a Riot playtester? Maybe some questions about 6.9 as a whole? As usual, feel free to ask any questions about balance or what exactly our job is! We will be around for the next few hours and will try to answer as many questions as possible.

Adam "Afic" Cohen
Ben “Cezium” Burkhardt
Shawn “I Am The IRS” Currie
Miles “Daydreamin” Hoard
Mattias “Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman
Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith
Blake “Ex Shepherd” Soberanis
Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes"
Be sure to check out the patch chat boards thread for even more discussion!

2016 MSI Shirt now available

With the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational Group stages starting up on May 4th, a new MSI shirt is now available in the merch shop for a limited time!

Catch up on all the MSI action in our coverage thread or via lolesports! Don't forget to put on your regional MSI summoner icon for Who Will Own The Rift and check out all the other MSI 2016 content!

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