Tonight's red post collection includes new Shurima stories for Rammus and Taliyah, a dev blog on the visual style of the upcoming League Client Update, Patch Rundown and Patch Chat for 6.10, a look at the MSI in-game rewards for various servers, Lucian vs Thresh community collab & fan art, and more!
- Red Post Collection: Taliyah & Shurima Story Q&A, Ascension in RGM Queue, Meddler on Aurelion Sol and Ekko, & more!
- Champion and Skin Sale 5/17 - 5/20
- Free Champion Rotation, Week of May 17th
- This Week in Esports [May 10th - May 16th]
- Taliyah Champion Spotlight
- Patch 6.10 Notes
- 5/17 PBE Update: El Leon Gnar & El Macho Mundo, new Ward skin, balance changes, and more!
Table of Contents
- Shurima Stories: Rammus and Taliyah
- [LCU Dev Blog] Hextech Brings the Magic: Defining a Visual Style
- [LCU] Up Next: A Profile Preview
- Patch Rundown 6.10
- Patch Chat 6.10 - Taliyah, The Stoneweaver and Mage Update Cleanup
- MSI In-Game Rewards
- [Riot Engineering] A Story of Fog and War
- Meddler on Infernal Drake & Specific Dragon Callouts
- Meddler on Yorick's champion update
- Lucian vs Thresh: WHO WOULD WIN?
- Lucian vs. Thresh fan art
Shurima Stories: Rammus and Taliyah
RAMMUS: THE ARMORDILLO
Idolized by many, dismissed by some, mystifying to all, the curious being, Rammus, is an enigma. Protected by a spiked shell, Rammus inspires increasingly disparate theories on his origin wherever he goes - from demigod, to sacred oracle, to a mere beast transformed by magic. Whatever the truth may be, Rammus keeps his own counsel and stops for no one as he roams the desert.
Some believe Rammus is an Ascended being, an ancient god amongst men who rolls to Shurima’s aid as an armored guardian in its times of need. Superstitious folk swear he is a harbinger of change, appearing when the land is on the verge of a great shift in power.
Others speculate he is the last of a dying species that roamed the land before the Rune Wars sundered the desert with uncontrolled magic.
With so many rumors of great power, magic, and mystery surrounding him, Rammus compels many Shurimans to seek his wisdom. Soothsayers, priests, and deranged lunatics alike claim to know where Rammus dwells, but the Armordillo has proved elusive. Despite this, proof of his presence predates living memory, with crumbling mosaics depicting his image on the most ancient walls of Shuriman ruins. His likeness adorns colossal stone monuments made in the early days of Ascension, leading some to believe he is no less than an immortal demigod. Skeptics often point to a simpler explanation: that Rammus is just one of many such creatures.
It is said that he appears only to worthy pilgrims in great need of his aid, and those blessed by his presence experience great turning points. After the Armordillo rescued the heir to a vast kingdom from a terrible fire, the man renounced his position to become a goat farmer. An elderly mason was inspired by a profound, yet brief conversation with Rammus, and constructed an enormous marketplace which became the bustling heart of Nashramae.
Knowing Rammus’s guidance can pave an enlightened path, devout believers perform elaborate rituals designed to attract the favor of their deity. Disciples of the cult devoted to Rammus demonstrate their unwavering faith in a yearly ceremony by imitating his famous roll and somersaulting through the city in droves. Every year, thousands of Shurimans trek through the most treacherous and remote corners of the desert on a quest to find Rammus, for many teachings indicate he will answer a single question of those he finds deserving, if they are able to find him. Knowing his enthusiasm for desert treats, the pilgrims arm themselves with offerings thought to attract his blessing, packing their mules with flasks of sweet goat’s milk, chests filled with colonies of ants sealed in wax, and jars of honeycombs. Many never return from the deep desert, and fewer still with stories of the demigod, though travelers describe waking to find their packs mysteriously emptied of all edible provisions.
Whether he is truly a wise oracle, Ascended deity, or a mighty beast, Rammus is known for his miraculous feats of endurance. He entered the impenetrable Fortress of Siram, an imposing bastion designed by a crazed sorcerer. The structure was said to contain untold magical horrors - fearsome beasts mutated beyond recognition, corridors wreathed in flames, impenetrable tunnels guarded by shadow demons. Not an hour had passed when the enormous fortress collapsed in a plume of dust, and Rammus was seen rolling away.
None knew why Rammus entered the darkened gate, nor what secrets he learned within the basalt walls of the fortress. In the year of the great flood he crossed the vast lake of Imalli in just two days, and dug many miles deep to destroy a giant anthill and kill its queen, whose daughters had devastated the nearby farmland.
Sometimes he appears as a benevolent hero. When invading Noxian warbands attacked a Northern Shuriman settlement, disparate tribes banded together to defend the territory beneath the Temple of the Ascended. They were no match for the invaders in size or skill, and the battle was all but lost when Rammus entered the fray. Each side was so shocked to see the elusive creature that fighting halted completely as they watched him roll between them. As Rammus passed the towering temple, the foundations of the building shook, and enormous stone blocks toppled onto the invading army, crushing many of its warriors. Now outnumbered, the army retreated to elated cheers from the Shurimans. While many swear Rammus saved the town out of love for Shurima, others argue he was merely defending the territory in which his favorite cactus flowers grew. At least one tribesman claims Rammus was simply sleeprolling and had no intention of taking down a temple.
Whatever the truth, stories of Rammus are treasured by the people of Shurima. Any Shuriman child can list a dozen theories on the question of his origin, half of which they likely invented on the spot. Tales of the Armordillo have only increased with the rise of Ancient Shurima, as they did just before its fall, giving way to a belief that his presence heralds darker times to come.
But how can such a benevolent, epicurean soul herald an age of destruction?
Ojan’s knife whittled the edge of the ironwood into a soft curve. As an eight-year-old, he wasn’t the most practiced craftsman; his wood block was just starting to resemble something round and spiky.
His sister, Zyama, leaned down from her bunk and grimaced.
“What’s that? Rhoksha dung?” she said. “No one will want to buy that.”
“It’s not dung, it’s a great and fearsome god, with his armor and everything! And it won’t be for sale. It’s for luck.”
“We’re traders, little brother,” she said. “Everything here is for sale.”
The caravan clinked and clanged as it rolled over the dunes. Every space from floor to ceiling was packed tightly with jars of spices, leaving just enough room for the family’s narrow bunks.
“Something’s chasing us from the south!” Ojan’s mother shouted from outside. Ojan heard her whip crack, urging the camels to hurry their pace.
Zyama leaned out the window, staring through her most prized possession, an ornate spyglass.
“They’re Kmiros! I’ll ready the arrows,” she said. “They must be after your Rhoksha dung.”
Ojan replaced her at the window. Sure enough, hundreds of beetles the size of dogs swarmed over the dune behind them.
Zyama returned with a bow and quiver of colorful arrows. She fired, taking one beetle out, but the mass of insects charged on without pause.
“How many arrows do we have?” Ojan asked.
“About forty,” Zyama said, looking into the quiver. She frowned.
Their mother’s voice carried from the front. “We’ll have to outrun them. Hold on!”
Whips cracked once more and the caravan jolted forward, knocking Ojan to the floor.
Zyama loosed another arrow into the swarm, spearing two at once. The creatures fell, but plenty more took their place.
“Oil! In the left cabinet!” their mother shouted.
Ojan ducked away and returned with a flask of lamp oil and a wad of rags. He doused a piece of cloth before wrapping it around the tip of an arrow. He lit the bundle on fire and carefully handed it to Zyama, who blasted the flaming shot into a cluster of beetles. They burst into flames, screeching as they burned. Ojan grinned.
Together they bombarded the horde with flaming arrows, firing as fast as Ojan could wrap each arrowhead. The air smoked with burning chitin. The caravan accelerated, and the gap increased. They were nearly safe.
Ojan’s stomach dropped. The Kmiros spread glittering wings and rose to the skies as a unified black cloud.
Ojan flinched as a heavy thud shook the cabin from above. More followed, and the wooden slats groaned under the weight of the oversized insects.
“Hold on!” his mother shouted from the front as she veered them sharply left. Beetles tumbled from the roof, but Ojan heard a discordant scratching from above and knew more had landed.
Pincers broke through the layered beams in the ceiling and an enormous beetle tumbled into the caravan. Zyama drew her dagger and stabbed it, but her blade was unable to pierce its tough carapace. She pushed Ojan back and waved her blade before her, desperately trying to hold it at bay.
More Kmiros dropped through the smashed roof, all snapping jaws and clicking pincers. Ojan dove beneath his bunk, desperately kicking the insects as they clawed for him. He prised the round wooden figure from his pocket.
“Please, Rammus, I pray to you,” he whispered. “Help us!”
The caravan jolted as beetles landed on the roof. It pitched back and forth like a ship on a rough sea. Then the world tilted sideways as the caravan overturned completely, skidding in the sand.
Ojan shielded his face from tumbling objects as dust clouded his vision. He was flung against the wall, his ears ringing and head throbbing as the caravan swerved. After a moment of stillness, he felt a hand tug his arm as his mother dragged him from the rubble. He squinted in the blinding sunlight.
The family huddled in the wreckage of their caravan, coughing in the dusty air as the Kmiros circled. A beetle charged forward and Ojan’s mother stabbed it between its clicking jaws. She skewered another as it scrambled to bite her daughter, spilling rank yellow innards across the sand. A third beetle leapt from the top of the caravan and landed behind them. Zyama screamed as it seized her foot in its pincers.
The beetles froze abruptly, halting their attack. They hunkered low to the ground, antennas flexing. In the silence, Ojan heard a distant whirring. He watched the western horizon as a sand cloud rushed toward them in a fury of dust. The family brandished their weapons in readiness to fight this new threat.
A round armored shape exploded from the flurry of sand and smashed into the nearest beetle with terrible force, crushing it to pulp.
The shape barreled on, smashing beasts left and right. Though the insects snapped at the shape with their sharp pincers, it was unstoppable, and in a moment, no living Kmiros remained.
The dust began to settle once more, and Ojan glimpsed spiked armor jutting from the round shape ahead.
“Is that...?” Zyama said.
“Rammus!” Ojan shouted. He scrambled down the hill to meet his hero.
The creature’s shell was intricately patterned with spiral scales, and his claws were sharp as knives. He gnawed slowly on the hairy leg of a beetle, juice dripping from his mouth.
Ojan and Zyama gaped.
Their mother approached the Armordillo, bowing her head deeply.
“You saved us,” she said. “We are grateful.”
Rammus crunched the beetle leg as the family watched. Several minutes passed.
He rolled to the fallen caravan and rummaged through the debris, emerging with Ojan’s wooden carving of the Armordillo. The likeness wasn’t perfect, but certainly discernible.
“That’s you,” Ojan said. “Please, take it.”
Rammus knelt down and bit the wooden figurine in two with a crunch. He turned and walked a few paces before spitting the pieces into the sand. Zyama stifled a laugh.
“Hmm,” said Rammus.
He tore a leg from another dead beetle and dragged it through the sand as he rolled away.
The family watched him disappear over the horizon.
Ojan ran after Rammus to retrieve the broken pieces of the statue. He pocketed them and bowed.
“For luck,” he said."
TALIYAH: THE STONEWEAVER
“This world is a tapestry of our own making.”
Taliyah is a nomadic mage from Shurima who weaves stone with energetic enthusiasm and raw determination. Torn between teenage wonder and adult responsibility, she has crossed nearly all of Valoran on a journey to learn the true nature of her growing powers.
Compelled by rumors of the rise of a long-dead emperor, she returns to protect her tribe from dangers uncovered by Shurima’s shifting sands. Some have mistaken her tender heart for weakness and paid the price for their error, for beneath Taliyah’s youthful demeanor is a will strong enough to move mountains, and a spirit fierce enough to make the earth tremble.
Born in the rocky foothills bordering Icathia’s corrupted shadow, Taliyah spent her childhood herding goats with her tribe of nomadic weavers. Where most outsiders see Shurima as a beige and barren waste, her family raised her to be a true daughter of the desert and to see beauty in the rich hues of the land. Taliyah was always fascinated by the stone beneath the dunes. When she was a toddler, she collected colorful rocks as her people followed the seasonal waters. As she grew older, the earth itself seemed drawn to her, arcing and twisting to follow her tracks through the sand.
After her sixth high summer, Taliyah wandered from the caravan in search of a lost goatling that had been placed in her charge. Determined not to disappoint her father—the master shepherd and headman of the tribe—she tracked the young animal into the night.
She followed the hoofprints through a dry wash to a box canyon. The little beast had managed to get high up the rock wall, but could not get down.
The sandstone called to her, urging her to pull handholds from the sheer wall. Taliyah laid a tentative palm against the rock, determined to rescue the scared animal. The elemental power she felt was as urgent and overwhelming as a monsoon rain. As soon as she opened herself to the magic, it poured over her, the stone leaping to her fingertips, bringing both the canyon wall and the beast down on top of her.
The next morning, Taliyah’s panicked father tracked the skittish bleats of the goatling. He fell to his knees when he found his daughter unconscious, covered loosely in a blanket of woven stone. Grief-stricken, he returned to the tribe with Taliyah.
Two days later, the girl awoke from fevered dreams in the tent of Babajan, the tribe’s grandmother. Taliyah began to tell the wise woman and her concerned parents of her night in the canyon, of the rock that called to her. Babajan consoled the family, telling them that the patterns of rock were evidence the Great Weaver, the desert tribe’s mythical protector, watched over the girl. In that moment, Taliyah saw her parents’ deep worry and decided to conceal what really happened that night: that she—not the Great Weaver—had pulled at the desert stone.
When children in Taliyah’s tribe were old enough, they performed a dance under the face of the full moon, the manifestation of the Great Weaver herself. The dance celebrated the children’s innate talents and demonstrated the gifts they would bring to the tribe as adults. This was the start of their path to true learning, as those children then became apprenticed to their teachers.
Taliyah continued to hide her growing power, believing the secret she carried was a danger, not a blessing. She watched as her childhood playmates spun wool to keep the tribe warm on cold desert nights, demonstrated their skill with shears and dye, or wove patterns that told the stories of her people. On those nights, she would lie awake long after the coals had burned to ash, tormented by the power she felt stirring within.
The time finally came for Taliyah’s dance beneath the full moon. While she had talent enough to be a capable shepherd like her father, or a pattern mistress like her mother, the young girl dreaded what her dance would truly reveal. As Taliyah took her place on the sand, the tools of her people—the shepherd’s crook, the spindle, and the loom—surrounded her. She tried to concentrate on the task at hand, but it was the distant rocks, the layered colors of the land, that called to her. Taliyah closed her eyes and danced. Overwhelmed by the power flowing through her, she began to spin not thread, but the very earth beneath her feet.
Startled cries from Taliyah’s tribe broke her out of her spell. An imposing braid of sharp rock reached up to the light of the moon. Taliyah looked at the shocked faces of the people who surrounded her. Her will over the stone broken, the earthen tapestry crashed down. Taliyah’s mother ran to her only daughter, to protect her from the falling rock.
When the dust finally settled, Taliyah saw the destruction she had woven, the alarm on the faces of her tribe. But it was the small cut across her mother’s face that justified Taliyah’s fear. Though the cut was minor, Taliyah knew in that moment that she was a threat to the people she loved most in this world. She ran into the night, so weighed down by despair that the ground trembled beneath her feet.
It was her father who found her again in the desert. As they sat in the light of the rising sun, Taliyah confessed her secret in choked sobs. In turn, he did the only thing a parent could do: He hugged his daughter tightly. He told her that she couldn’t run from her power, that she must complete her dance and see where her path would take her. Turning her back on the Great Weaver’s gift was the only danger that could truly break his and her mother’s heart.
Taliyah returned with her father to the tribe. She entered the dancer’s circle with her eyes open. This time, she wove a new ribbon of stone, each color and texture a memory of the people surrounding her.
When it was over, the tribe sat in awe. Taliyah waited nervously. It was time for one of her people to stand as her teacher and claim the student. What felt like eons stretched between Taliyah’s hammering heartbeats. She heard gravel shift as her father stood. Next to him, her mother stood. Babajan and the dye mistress and the master spinner stood. In a moment, the whole tribe was on its feet. All of them would stand with the girl who could weave stone.
Taliyah looked at each of them. She knew that a power like hers had not been seen in generations, perhaps longer. They stood with her now, their love and trust surrounding her, but their worry was palpable. None among them heard the earth call as she did. As much as she loved these people, she did not see the one who could show her how to control the elemental magic that coursed within her. She knew that to stay with her tribe was to risk their lives. Though it pained all of them, Taliyah said farewell to her parents and her people, and set off alone into the world.
She journeyed west toward the distant peak of Targon, her natural connection to rock drawing her toward the mountain that brushed the stars. However, at the northern edge of Shurima, it was those who marched beneath the banner of Noxus who discovered her power first. In Noxus, magic like hers was celebrated, they told her; revered, even. They promised her a teacher.
The land had raised Taliyah to be trusting, so she was unprepared for the smooth promises and practiced smiles of Noxian dignitaries. Soon, the desert girl found herself on an unbending path, passing under the many Noxtoraa, the great iron gates that marked the Empire’s claim over a conquered land.
The crush of people and the layers of politics within the capital city were claustrophobic to a girl from the open desert. Taliyah was paraded through the tiers of Noxian magical society. Many took an interest in her power, its potential, but it was a fallen captain who swore to take her to a wild place across the sea, a place where she could hone her abilities without fear, who made the most convincing case. She accepted the young officer’s offer and crossed the sea to Ionia. However, it was made clear as their ship dropped anchor that she was intended as a glorified weapon for a man desperate to regain his place at the highest ranks of the Noxian navy. At dawn, the captain gave her a choice: Bury a sleeping people in their homes, or be discarded in the surf.
Taliyah looked across the bay. The cooking smoke had not yet risen from the village’s sleeping hearths. This was not the lesson she had come so far to learn. Taliyah refused, and the captain threw her overboard to drown.
She escaped the tide and the fighting on the beach and found herself wandering, lost, in the wintry mountains of Ionia. It was there she finally discovered her teacher, a man whose blade harnessed the wind itself, someone who understood the elements and the need for balance. She trained with him for a time and began to find the control she had long sought.
While resting at an isolated inn, Taliyah heard that the Ascended Emperor of Shurima had returned to his desert kingdom. Rumor had it this emperor turned god sought to gather his people, the disparate tribes, back to him as slaves. Even with her training unfinished, there was no other choice; she knew she must return to her family to protect them. Sadly, she and her mentor parted ways.
Taliyah returned home to the sand-swept dunes of Shurima. As the punishing rays of the sun beat down on her, Taliyah pushed farther into the desert, determined to find her people. Hers was a will of stone, and she would do whatever was necessary to protect her family and her tribe from the danger that loomed on the horizon.
Taliyah was outrunning the sandstorm when she first noticed the water. In the beginning, it was faint, just a cool dampness she felt as she lifted the stones from deep beneath the sand. As she drew closer to old Shurima, wet streaks dripped from each new stone as if they were weeping. Taliyah knew the rock had stories to tell as she sped across the desert, but she didn’t have time to listen, to hear if they were tears of joy or sadness.
When she was close enough to be covered by the shadow of the great Sun Disc, water from underground aquifers began to pour off the stone she rode like little rivers. And when she finally arrived at the gates, Taliyah heard the deafening water rushing along the bedrock. The Oasis of the Dawn, the Mother of Life, roared beneath the sands.
The people of her tribe had followed the seasonal waters for hundreds of years. The best chance of finding her family was to follow the water, and to Taliyah’s dismay, the water in Shurima now flowed from a single source as it had in ages past. The tragic remains of the capital city had always been avoided, almost as much as the great Sai and deadly creatures that hunted there. Even thieves knew to keep their distance from the city. Until now.
Taliyah brought the rock she rode to a sudden halt, nearly stumbling from it as she pushed the stone quickly below the desert’s surface. She looked around. The woman from Vekaura had been right. This place was no longer a forgotten ruin, haunted by ghosts and sand; indeed, the makeshift camp just outside the walls scrambled with life, like an anthill before a flood. Not knowing who these people were, she decided it might be best to reveal no more than was necessary.
It seemed there was tribal representation from all four corners of her homeland, but as Taliyah searched their faces, she saw none that were familiar. The people here were torn. They argued about the merits of staying in their temporary camps versus seeking shelter within the city. Some worried that just as it rose, the city would fall again, burying any caught inside. Some saw the storm that bristled with unnatural lightning and thought their chances were better within the walls, even if the walls had once been lost to the sand for generations. All of them moved quickly, packing haphazardly and worriedly glancing at the sky. Taliyah herself had won the race with the tempest, but it wouldn’t be long before the sand lashed against the gates.
“Now’s the time to decide.” A woman called out to her, her voice almost lost to the noise of the churning oasis waters and the rising storm. “Are you going in or leaving, girl?”
Taliyah turned to face the woman. She was Shuriman, but other than that, unknown to her.
“I’m looking for my family.” Taliyah gestured to her tunic. “They’re weavers.”
“The Hawk-father has promised protection to all those within the walls,” the woman said.
The woman looked at Taliyah’s concerned face and smiled, taking her hand. “Azir has returned to us Ascended. The Oasis of the Dawn flows again. A new day has come for Shurima.”
Taliyah looked around at the people. It was true. They were hesitant to move far into the massive capital, but the fear that worried their faces was more for the unnatural storm than the city or its returned emperor.
The woman continued, “There were weavers here this morning. They decided to wait out the storm inside.” The woman pointed to the throngs of people pushing in toward the newly beating heart of Shurima. “We must hurry. They are closing the gates.”
Taliyah found herself being pulled toward one of the capital’s great gates by the woman, and driven from behind by a crowd of strangers who had decided at the last minute not to brave the sands by themselves. Still, there were a few groups clustered near their circled beasts, determined to face the storm as Shuriman caravans had for generations.
In the distance, strange and threatening bolts of lightning crackled at the edge of the whirlwind. Old Shuriman traditions might not survive the storm’s passing.
Taliyah and the woman were pushed across the golden threshold that separated Shurima from the desert surrounding it. The heavy gates swung closed behind them with a resounding thud. The immensity of old Shurima’s glory stretched out before them. The crowd hugged the thick, protective walls, unsure where to go. It was as if they sensed the empty streets belonged to someone else.
“I’m sure your people are somewhere within the city. Most have kept close to the gates. Few are brave enough to go farther than that. I hope you find what you are looking for.”
The woman let go of Taliyah’s hand and smiled. “Water and shade to you, sister.”
“Water and shade to you.” Taliyah’s voice dropped off as the woman disappeared into the milling crowd.
The city that had been quiet for millennia now pulsed with life. Silently watching over Shurima’s newest denizens were helmeted guards that wore desert cloaks in gold and crimson. Though there was no trouble, Taliyah continued to feel there was something not right about this place.
Taliyah reached out to the thick wall to steady herself. She gasped. The stone throbbed beneath the flat of her palm. Pain. A terrible, blinding pain overwhelmed her. Tens of thousands of voices were etched into the rock. The fear and torment of their last moments, before their lives were cut down and their shadows were seared into the stone, screamed in her mind. Taliyah tore her hand from the stone wall and stumbled. She had felt vibrations in stone before, reverberations of memories long since past, but never like this. The knowledge of what had come before felled her. Wild eyed, she stood and stared, seeing the city anew. Revulsion washed over her. This wasn’t a city reborn. It was an empty tomb risen from the sand. The last time Azir had made promises to the people of Shurima, it had cost them their lives.
“I must find my family,” she whispered."
A new BLOODLINE section has also appeared on the main Shurima page! Stay tuned to see what that is all about!
Be sure to check out the Shurima page for a collection of all the Shurima stories released!
[LCU Dev Blog] Hextech Brings the Magic: Defining a Visual StyleNext up is a fresh dev blog on the upcoming League Client Update's visual style:
"The client update lets us adopt powerful new underlying tech and vanquish long-standing bugs, but it's also an opportunity to rethink and upgrade the client's style using a magical technology we call hextech. Big changes are in store, so today we want to talk about the thinking behind the new visual style. Not all of the features we talk about here are implemented just yet, but expect it to all come to fruition over the course of the alpha.
BRINGING THE MAGIC
Hextech is a type of technology within League's universe that's half magic, half machinery. It allows non-magic users to harness magical power. Jayce’s hammer, Heimerdinger’s gadgets and Vi's glove are all examples of hextech in action. Hextech unlocks abilities those champs use to affect their world, so we wondered: what if the client was like a hextech tool that players could use to interact with the game?
The hextech machine's magic acts as an intelligent partner as you navigate through the client's various screens, guiding you and highlighting important stuff. Primary buttons and important gameplay UI elements are charged with our signature blue magic that serves to draw your attention—it shows up in big ways in elements like timers, activity indicators, and progress bars.
Creating the client's UI presented a unique challenge for us: we needed to be able to build a framework that feels like hextech but has the flexibility to cleanly layer buttons and text over any of the art we've already produced. It's got to look good next to both muted, painterly skins like Elderwood Hecarim and multicolored, wacky skins like Battle Boss Blitzcrank. Our solution was to keep things as unobtrusive as possible while enhancing UI elements with gold metalwork.
Making the client feel mechanical was important to deliver on the overall theme. However, it's difficult to make something feel mechanical without relying on clichés like gears, pistons, and clocks, which tend to add unnecessary weight to the visuals. If we use animation to make things feel mechanical, we can keep the visuals more abstract and lightweight. However, we try to be judicious about how and when we use animation—players shouldn't have to wait to perform an action just because we want to shoot off a fireworks show.
DESIGNING FOR THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE
As you navigate through the legacy client, you might notice that pages designed to perform similar functions have inconsistent designs, without any real advantage to offset them (looking at you, Runes and Masteries). This is in many ways a legacy of League's 2009 release date; as years passed, our focus on making the game itself better meant that the client had to morph in unnatural ways. With the client update, we've got a unique opportunity to look at the holistic League experience and bring it all together using one cohesive visual style.
In design terminology, this means we can unify similar operations under consistent interaction patterns—basically, making stuff simpler by using fewer crazy buttons. In the above example, you’ll see a sample of the UI elements from the legacy client at the top half. With smarter design flow, the functions of all of the buttons on the legacy rune page can be performed by a back arrow and the "save" button in the updated client. Those old buttons are out of a job, but we wish them the best of luck finding gainful employment in some other client.
This radical simplification helps make the client just a bit more future-proof. If we introduce a new feature that uses the same functionality as the old buttons, interacting with it will feel familiar and intuitive from the day it launches.
As we packed features into the legacy client, it became harder for us to keep certain design ideas consistent. Just look at the current Profile page to see an example: it's supposed to look like a page from a magical book of scrolls, but that metaphor falls apart when players edit their Masteries or look at stats in their match history. We were overly literal about the client being a part of League's world, and that had become a limitation.
Early work on the updated client's visuals had similar issues. We played around with intricate designs for the Runes screen that looked pretty flashy, but it felt wrong. Players go to the Runes and Masteries pages to quickly tweak their setups—not because they want to have their eyes melted out by special effects wizardry.
We realized that making the updated client visually consistent meant we can't get too literal with the "hextech machine" setup. It isn't literally a magical machine you're interacting with (it's software, after all), but elements of hextech's magical and mechanical theme are present throughout. That's what designing for the whole experience is about: using a theme that can accommodate the action-packed pages like the Ready Check and the quieter, functional screens like Runes and Masteries.
UNLOCKING FUTURE AWESOME
One of our biggest tech goals with the updated client is to make it easier to ship features players want. We know we need Mobi Boots, so we're building them.
But we're also being careful to avoid any snares that might get thrown our way, like (for example) a super dense visual style that's too intricate to accommodate new features. Revamping the client's visuals isn't just about making stuff look prettier. It's about being mindful of the fact that we're nowhere near done building League of Legends. We'll still be shipping new features for LoL years from now, so this thing can'tonly be visually compelling and intuitive—it's got to be flexible.
The client update team will be hanging out in the comments for a bit, so hit us with any questions you may have about the visual style!"
[LCU] Up Next: A Profile PreviewSpeaking of the League Client Update, the updated profile page will be hitting the LCU PBE soon and the live LCU Alpha once it starts !
We wanted to share a quick update about some minor stuff that we're pushing out to the PBE alpha client this week (and to the live alpha after). The Profile page will now be accessible, although you can expect it to be pretty barebones at first—it's really just an overview of your account.
In the coming weeks, we'll begin to roll out more fleshed-out Profile pages and the Collection section (where you'll be able to manage Runes and Masteries). Once that hits, we'll release a longer blog to walk you through the redesign.
Until then, please continue to keep your feedback focused on Summoner's Rift and ARAM."
When asked about the 5v5 and solo/duo distinctions on the original article image, CapnBranFlakes noted:
But 5v5 and solo duo don't even exist anymoreAye -- those sections are being updated to match what ranked leagues are available currently in the legacy client."
CapnBranFlakes continued, remnding tha the live alpha invites haven't went out yet!
Wait, has the Alpha Testing that sign-ups were opened up for a few weeks ago actually started yet?Not just yet. We'll make sure to announce the start of it as soon as it's ready."
As for the large champion image in the back ground, cCc Grumbles cCc noted:
The Ezreal image will change depending of which champ is listed as "frequently played" ?
cCc Grumbles cCc continued:Could be amazing if we could pick a champ.Correct! Your profile's background image will change based on what champion you've recently frequently played to match what your friends see when they hover over your name in their friends list."
"One exception is if you own any ultimate skins and actively use its summoner icon, that will override your profile background image."Keep an eye out on the LCU hub for more on the upcoming client update! Alpha signs ups available here.
Patch Rundown 6.10With patch 6.10 out on live, check out the return of the patch rundown - join SmashGizmo, Statikk, Zirene, and Scarizard as they chat about the latest changes!
"The Rundown returns! Welcome to another episode of the Patch Rundown, a series where expert analysts and developers give you an inside take on the biggest changes heading into the game each and every patch.
This week, designers Wesley ‘SmashGizmo’ Ruttle, James ‘Statikk’ Bach and caster/analyst Aidan ‘Zirene’ Moon stop by to discuss the follow-up changes to Midseason coming into Patch 6.10!
Patch Chat 6.10 - Taliyah, The Stoneweaver and Mage Update CleanupThe playtest team has also returned to the boards to chat about the 6.10 patch changes:
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.
This patch sees the release of Taliyah, and Blake Soberanis (primary playtester of Taliyah) will be fielding questions about her. For in-game footage of Blake on The Stoneweaver, check out the VOD from our recent PBE stream!
Blake “Sobe” Soberanis
Taliyah is one of my favorite champions because she’s easy to pick up but difficult to master (I always feel like I learn a new way to play Taliyah each time I play the champ).
She has some very high base damage and ratios, particularly on the Q; its high damage and low cooldown is scary, and is only gated by exhausted ground. This makes roaming on her extra satisfying; you get more damage because you won’t have been exhausting ground in bot lane.
Taliyahs that get ahead can use the extra AP they have to snowball extra hard, but Taliyahs that fall behind will tend to suffer more than usual. It’s probably not super likely that Taliyah will get solo kills in most matchups, so to get the AP she needs to make an impact, she’s going to have to make plays around the map.Also, Patch 6.9 shook up the game massively with new items, champion reworks, and systemic changes. With so much new in the game, there will be consequences falling out for weeks to come. This patch has been our chance to see how 6.9 played out and adjust slightly. Feel free to leave any questions about the Mage Update or the 6.10 followup patch in the comments below!
What do you think about Taliyah? Curious what it’s like to work as a Riot playtester? Maybe some questions about Patch 6.10 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
Bao “Bao” Lam
Mattias “Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman
Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith
Blake “Sobe” Soberanis
Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes"
MSI In-Game RewardsWith the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational wrapping up over the weekend, a few in-game rewards are rolling out starting the 20th - a gilded winner's icon for KR and a Party IP bonus for TR, EU, NA, and KR!
MSI Winner’s Icon
Pick up the Korea MSI Winner’s icon in the store from May 20 through June 3 to commemorate the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational. To celebrate Korea's victory, the Winner's icon will be available for 1 IP in Korea and for 250 RP in all other regions.
Party (IP) Time
Six regions battled to see who would Own the Rift at MSI and at home. Check out the final standings for the icon tracking competition below:
The Party IP rewards you will receive based on regional performance and party size are as follows: (Example, for a party of 5 in the first place region, you’ll receive 300% bonus IP)
Party IP rewards will begin May 20 at 15:00 PT and end May 22 at 23:59 PT, so party up!"
[Riot Engineering] A Story of Fog and War
For all you Heimerdingers out there, Jaewon Jung has posted a new Riot Games Engineering blog entry on the fog of war improvements from the Summoner's Rift update!
Check it out here: [A STORY OF FOG AND WAR]
Meddler on Infernal Drake & Specific Dragon CalloutsMeddler explained:
Can we get some insight on the reasons you had to make the Infernal Drake's buff a % increase in Attack Damage and Ability Power? Right now, it benefits primarily autoattackers and champions with good offensive scaling.
Do you think the fuzziness of the buff (as it is effective against structures, minions and monsters rather than just for teamfighting) is in an acceptable level?
Were clarity concerns present around the fact that a +% damage against champions buff would be less visible, while AD/AP are displayed openly?
Did you think that affecting base damages on skills could have lead to less healthy gameplay?
Maybe there were balance concerns around champions that get damage from defensive stats, or a desire to make the buff attractive to champions with AP-based utility scaling?
Infernal Drake's % AD/AP scaling for a few reasons. The first is that it avoids pushing damage dealing champions (assassins and fighters especially) towards building tanky and relying on their base damage. We already see a number of cases where that's a bit too effective and don't want to exacerbate it. The second is that we want the dragon buffs to influence decision making somewhat. By not offering base damage scaling we can offer a significantly higher % on AP/AD, making it worth considering items that might normally be optimal when you've got multiple Infernal stacks (e.g. going an AD heavy build on some champs that might otherwise go on hit or tankier). Finally AP/AD scaling isn't as snowbally early game, since stats from items are contributing a smaller proportion of your total damage. Infernal Drake's already a strong indicator of success if you take it early, multiplying total damage instead would have increased the amount taking one first decides games noticeably too."
When asked about changing the chat call out for dragon kills to specify which type of dragon was killed, Meddler noted:
"Quote:Meddler continued, clarifying:
Update the dragon callouts to include the type.We're planning to. Not certain on exactly which patch though, it's not too large a task but it is behind a number of other pieces of mid-season followup in terms of priority."
"Oh, just in case my above post was misleading, chat text changes are what we're planning. Nothing currently planned that I'm aware of for different announcer VO."When asked about a new match history indicator for the different dragons, Meddler commented:
Can we also get an indicator in detailed match history that would tell which dragons were killed by which team?Once the new client's out we'll be able to look at making improvements to things like Match History. At present though it's both work that's difficult to do (the old client's challenging to work with) and work that's would be rendered obsolete fairly soon (updates to the old client won't carry over to the new, so anything we build today in the old client's going to have a very limited lifespan)."
Meddler on Yorick's champion updateMeddler also hopped on the boards to briefly answer a few questions about Yorick's future champion update, which should be out sometime in 2016:
Just a few questions i have about Yorick and his upcoming rework. Before i start, however, i'd like to say that even without any answers to this post, i'm still pretty hyped for his rework: he was, after all, the original "my whole kit is about summons" type of champion.
- Malzahar's update made his main damage source his minions. Annie and Zyra, to a certain extend, are also now based off their summons. Does that mean Yorick will be updated in a different direction? By this, i mean necromancer instead of minionmancer: instead of summoning minions who look like zombies, will his kit feature a "something happens when things die around me" ability?
- Will he still be tanky? Illaoi does focus on her passive summons, but is a juggernaut. Yorick being unkillable with a swarm of ghouls is still considered plausible.
- Shovel, hunchback and sadness. Will Yorick keep those? With the pretty neat Skarner story, Yorick digging right through our hearts is possible.
- Pentakill album. How's it going? Anything you want to focus on?
Yorick will still be pretty summons heavy post update, we see that as a core of his gameplay identity. We're also aiming for fairly tanky, or at least building a number of tanky ish items, with juggernaut as the sub-class he's closest to.
Thematic details, like his appearance, personality, backstory etc are things we'll talk about closer to the time. There's both some stuff still to be polished/finalzied there and that's the sort of stuff that's a big part of a major update's reveal (see Taric or Poppy for recent examples).
Not sure on the music side of things sorry, not my area of expertise in the slightest."
Lucian vs Thresh: WHO WOULD WIN?Next up we have Mhija with a community collaboration asking who would win between Lucian and Thresh!
"Lucian and Thresh have gotten a ton of love recently, from an enormous Thresh puppet to the reveal of an epic Lucian statue, but we all know that’s where the love stops -- these two have got some beef.
Who would win if they finally got the chance to duke it out?
We teamed up with the community to imagine a fight between the Chain Warden and the Purifier. Who knows if this is actually how it’d go down -- but it sure is fun to wonder.
Notice the cliffhanger -- you decide who wins!
Watch the beginning of the fight and cast your vote in the poll below by 11:59 PM PDT Tuesday (May 17th). We’ll reveal the winner on Wednesday, so check back!
and Andrew Martin
SFX by David Bowick
Music courtesy of Epidemic Sound"
Lucian vs. Thresh fan artHere's Riot Jynx with a collection of community Lucian & Thresh fan art!
"Continuing with the theme of this week’s battle between Lucian and Thresh, let's see if these inspiring community creations can help influence a victor in the war between sworn enemies. Don’t forget to click the artists’ names to see more of their work!
AthavanArt and CKibe
So, who would win? Don’t forget to cast your vote for Lucian or Thresh in this latest community-decided battle"