Red Post Collection: LoL Funko Pop! figures, Hexakill: TT in RGMQ, Meddler on PBE changes, Ask Riot, & more!

Posted on at 6:54 AM by Moobeat
[UPDATE: Added ZenonTheStoic discussing 6.14 Taliyah changes!]

Good morning! Today's red post collection includes a look at the upcoming LoL Funko Pop! figures, Meddler with context on the Fiora, Leona, Lux and Rek'Sai PBE changes,  Hexakill: Twisted Treeline returning this weekend in the RGMQ, a new ASK RIOT, and more! 
Continue reading for more information!


Table of Contents


ZenonTheStoic on Taliyah changes for 6.14 

With a set of Taliyah changes testing in the 6.14 PBE, ZenonTheStoic jumped on the boards to discuss the upcoming 6.14 changes to Taliyah's W cast type and a few other nerfs to go along with it:
"Hello friends of the rocky weave! 
Taliyah has been out for three patches now and we've had ample time to look at what worked and what didn't. Having looked at a stupid amount of games myself, I've come to the conclusion that I was wrong about the W. Here's the TL;DR: we're switching the W to a vector cast*, removing the spell lockout before eruption, and nerfing the E to go along with those changes. 
(* vector casting is the casting paradigm that Viktor's Death Laser and Rumble's Equalizer use) 
If you're still with me, let's talk about why we're making these changes, what I learned from the W, and what this means for the future of Taliyah. 
First of all, why are we making these changes? It comes down to one very simple thing: using the spell with the constraints I put on it in the interest of game health proved too frustrating for too many people. I made a bet that most players would be able to accept these constraints (particularly the lock-out delay), and I was wrong. So we're changing it! 
Let's talk for a second about what the lock-out delay was, why it was in there to begin with, and then loop around to double-cast vs vector cast. 
Right now on Taliyah as of patch 6.13, after you cast W you cannot cast further spells until after the W delay is over; this is what I mean by lock-out. The thinking was that the W-E combo would have been too strong if we allowed you to get it off whenever you hit the W. The difference here is that on live in order to toss people into your minefield, you have to cast the minefield first, committing more resources and putting the enemy on notice. There's no question this is healthier for the game as a whole as it provides the enemy with more of a chance to dodge, and it also allowed me to make the impact of landing a E-W combo much higher. (The math here is simple: the more infrequently an effect occurs, the stronger the effect gets to be, up to a limit). 
Feeling locked out of spells that should be available to you (because they're not on cooldown and you have the mana for them) just feels awful. Players have told us loud and clear, so after much discussion with other designers I made the call to remove this lock-out and look for ways to nerf the W-E combo. Before I talk about those nerfs, let's touch on vector cast real quick. 
Other than being fairer to the enemy, the W lock-out allowed me to design a version of vector cast that didn't put as much pressure on the player to chain their inputs together as quickly as possible. By saying "don't worry when in the delay you decide which direction you want to throw people to, you've got time" I wanted to give players something more learnable. It's hard to track this, but anecdotally the W seemed very easy to pick up and use. It's only when you start trying to optimize around it by chaining other spells into it that you run into the frustration of the lock-out. This new cast type of "press the button twice, but the delay starts after your first button press" was useful only in a world where there was no external time pressure on the player to execute quickly. Now that we're dropping the delay, it becomes the optimal play to input W as quickly as possible so that you can chain E and Q into it (you can cancel the E's animation with your Q). This means the double cast type becomes a hindrance, not a boon, to the player, so we're removing it in favour of vector casting. 
In this new world, a Taliyah who can hit her W can spike an enemy HARD. She can chain the E into it, getting the initial cast damage plus the combo damage out of it, and she can instantly start pelting the enemy with her Q. That's a LOT of burst damage for a character who shouldn't be mostly about burst damage (as a disruptor Taliyah should deny the enemy certain zones and bring a constant stream of damage). This means we had to nerf something. 
What we landed on for now is nerfing the maximum damage you can get out of a perfectly played WE combo. The way we're doing this is by introducing falloff damage to the E. Your first hit of the E will do the same damage as currently on live (so if you're just casting it on the backline of the minions to push the wave, nothing's different), but every further hit will do 10% less damage. So if you hit a unit with the initial cast of the E, then drag them through the maximum of 4 mines, each mine will do successively less and less damage. This works out to about a 150 damage nerf in the best case, but do keep in mind the best case situation of the rank 5 E has 720 base damage. 
We're hoping to ship these changes with 6.14."

League of Legends Pop! vinyl figures incoming! 

Riot has partnered up with Funko to produce League of Legends Pop! vinyl figures! These new figures will launch in August and are now available for pre-order in NA through Gamestop, available in other regions later this year!
"We're excited to announce our collaboration with Funko on a new line of League of Legends Pop! vinyl figures. You can choose from Vi, Braum, Jinx, Lee Sin, Ashe, and Thresh. 
The collection premieres today for pre-order at GameStop. For those who want to be friends forever with our favorite Sad Mummy, a limited-edition Amumu Pop! is also available for pre-order exclusively through the League of Legends Collector's Box. The box comes with a mini Lucian figure, a Thresh Pocket Pop! Keychain and a mystery three pack of mini Poros (Poro, Gentleman Poro, Draven Poro, PROJECT Poro, Shadow Isles Poro, King Poro) -- which three will you get? 
The Pop! Collection is launching in North America but will become available in additional regions later in the year. 
Pre-order now exclusively at GameStop in stores or online"
If you head on over to the Gamestop website, you'll find the following available for pre-order:
    • Limited edition Amumu POP!
    • Mini Lucian Figure
    • Thresh POP! Keychain
    • Mystery Mini Poro 3 pack
These items all have a release date of August 2016! Official FUNKO site announcement here. 

RMGQ: Hexakill: TT this weekend & updated schedule

Hexakill: Twisted Treeline returns this weekend in the rotating game mode queue!
"From the original clone-tastic One For All to the sand-strewn battlefield of Ascension, rotating game modes provide unique spins on the classic League formula. It’s time to kick things off with the next game mode in the rotation: Hexakill: Twisted Treeline is now live!
For a refresher on the mode, let’s go over the basics: 
  • It’s Twisted Treeline, so there are altars to capture and a nexus to explodify.
  • It’s Hexakill. So there are six champs on your team instead of three. 
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. 
Hexakill: Twisted Treeline is now available and lasts through the evening on Monday (we’ll shut it down very early Tuesday morning--usually between 1:00 AM and 3:00 AM).
    We’re looking for your feedback as we go, so let us know. GLHF, and we’ll bring a sixth man alongside you in the Twisted Treeline this weekend."
    As you may have noticed, July 15-18th and July 22nd -25th are both marked with mysterious question marks! Remember that the new NEXUS SIEGE mode has been testing on the PBE in the 6.13 and 6.14 PBE cycles! This is relevant as the two ? appear on the first two weeks of when 6.14 will be live and when Nexus Siege might also be ready for live! This is just a guess though, we'll just have to wait and see though!

    Ask Riot How You Get That S+ on Urgot 

    Next up we have a new edition of ASK RIOT, including questions on why Urgot has been hard to rework, mastery grades, and the long future of LoL:
    "Welcome to Ask Riot. 
    This is a space where we focus on your questions and give you answers. 
    Urgot, Champ Mastery grades, and the evolution of League of Legends are on tap for this week. 
    Have a question (or two...hundred) yourself? Head over Ask Riot and sign into your League account. Check out the Do’s, the Don'ts, and then ask us something. We’ll archive the answers once we’ve accumulated a few of them. One thing to note, asking the same question over and over again won’t help your cause. (Yes, I’m talking to you, who asked why you’re still banned from Hextech Crafting and did 40 times. Please don’t do that.) 
    ASK RIOT 
    We’re committed to reading every question but can’t guarantee we’ll answer them all. 
    “Okay, why not?” 
    Some questions may already be answered elsewhere or won’t be right for Ask Riot. For example, we won’t typically be launching new products or features here or talking about issues we’ve already gone into more depth elsewhere (but we can clarify individual points!). Even if your question isn’t the one being answered, we’re listening, and we’ll be sharing your questions with the Rioters who are working directly on the things you’re curious about. 
    Note: We will be off next week, but will return on July 14th to answer more of your questions. 
    Do you think there will ever be a point where League of Legends is "finished" and won't be updated but still maintained "skins, e-sports, etc." or do you think it will continuously evolve, the glorious League-olution? 
    Aspirationally, we operate as if League design is something we can theoretically finish. Realistically, that probably won’t happen within the lifespan of the game for a couple of reasons I’ll go into below. However, when we treat the design as something we can finish, we hope that helps us make decisions that zero in on great design instead of just bouncing around arbitrarily. 
    You might be asking yourself if we think it’s possible to zero in on a perfect game, why do we make so many changes every patch? First, evolution is one of the League design values. Riot was founded on a belief that developers should continually improve their product rather than operate in a “fire and forget” capacity, where you ship a game, maybe patch a couple of bugs, and move on to the next game. While there are truly some games that stand the test of time, for videogames in particular, it’s easy for a product to look and feel old if you aren’t out there constantly keeping up with the state of the art and player expectations. We feel the same way about game design. If a champion starts to feel like it uses old mechanics or can’t compete with more recent champions and all of their flashy movement abilities and 3-hit passives, we look at them for an update. 
    Second, we know that the game would continue to evolve even if we took our foot off the pedal and did nothing. Even in very old fighting games with little or no developer support, the meta (in this case, which fighter is considered dominant and what the most favored playstyles are) frequently continue to shift. A certain character or move may be considered unbeatable, until someone develops a counter-strategy, and then maybe that one becomes the new status quo. We think this would happen with League as well. The risk is that it could happen slowly. If the game hits a state where say tanks feel unbeatable or Ahri is used every game, or split pushing is all anyone does, then it’s likely players would eventually solve these problems and the meta would shift again. But that could take months or years and those players really looking for a dynamic experience almost every game (which is something we aspire to createoffer you) might get bored and move on from League. We wring our hands a lot about whether a new trend is a blip on the radar that will be gone next week or something that has ossified and requires us to step in with some hefty patch notes. 
    And as you point out, even if we hit a point in which we could minimize our updates for balance and game health reasons, we would still want to offer things like new champions, skins, and esports events, because those things are fun and help keep the game fresh. 
    -Ghostcrawler, Game Design Director 
    What is up with Urgot and why is he such a difficult champion to update?
    At his core, Urgot has both a very muddied thematic and gameplay fantasy. Half of Urgot’s identity consists of being a hulking heap of horror that intimidates and maliciously runs down anyone who stands in his way. At the same time, Urgot is also a high-tech weapons platform that has the ability to relentlessly bombard and terrorize his enemies from fairly long ranges. The dissonance between these two identities courses throughout his entire character, as a result, Urgot lacks a cohesive identity. 
    From a game design standpoint, Urgot has some cool toys that simply don’t mesh well together. For example, Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser is one of the coolest and most iconic abilities in the game, but it awkwardly forces him to move directly into the middle of the fray, a playstyle the rest of his kit doesn’t fully support. Urgot also has several low-satisfaction mechanics, such as the damage reduction debuff on his passive, that functionally get the job done but lack excitement. As a whole, Urgot’s gameplay is fairly outdated - his kit lacks nuance due to being somewhat simplistic and doesn’t allow for interesting interactions outside of trying to dodge E. 
    At the end of the day, we want to re-define Urgot with a clear and unified champion fantasy. This will likely involve figuring out the right way to wed his dissonant identities while also adding in new unique aspects that set him apart from the rest of the League cast. Lastly, we want fresh gameplay that really delivers on the fantasy of being a Zaun-Enhanced Abomination from Noxus that better matches our more mature game design standards. Urgot isn’t on the listed Champion Update schedule at this time, but these are the kinds of problems we will need to tackle with his design when we do get to him. 
    -Statikk, Lead Designer on Champion Update 
    What is in the champ mastery grades formula? 
    The grades you receive are driven by how you stack rank against all other players in your region who also played your champion and position across various performance categories. We don’t reveal the exact formula so that it can’t be min-maxed as we really want to avoid incentivizing playing for stats like CS or K/D/A rather than playing to win. However, the variables are fairly intuitive in terms of what you would expect to be important to winning. 
    -Riot Socrates, Lead Game Designer 

    Please feel free to hit us up in the comments. Each of the Rioters who answered will do their best to engage in a conversation with you."
    In response to comments about the grading system not being transparent enough, Socrates commented:
    "There's a legitimate argument that the transparency of the feedback is too opaque at the moment, especially for players who don't have enough game knowledge to understand where they had a shortcoming. 
    Frequently, when we see 'I don't understand why I got a (grade)' posts, we'll open it up and see the first response is someone outlining where they fell short. The fact that the player doesn't get this feedback directly is a shortcoming of the system and something we'd like to improve on. We've discussed a few approaches to this, such as possibly showing grades in performance categories. We are not locked into any particular solution yet, but none of the solutions would involve revealing specific stats. 
    For the most part, we're pretty happy with the grade outputs. In the case of supports however, the grading system is just not great at evaluating game factors correctly atm. We are targeting improvements to support grading with 6.14 and a general upgrade for other positions grade accuracy. "

    Meddler on PBE Changes: Fiora, Leona, Lux, & Rek'Sai

    With the 6.14 PBE cycle well underway, Meddler has been popping up on the boards and reddit to offer context on a few of the champion specific changes we've seen so far.
    When asked about the Lux and Fiora changes seen in the 6/30 PBE update, Meddler  explained:
    "Fiora - early game's a bit too punishing after our last changes. She's still very powerful, and sometimes hard to deal with, late game, so looking to add a bit of early power that doesn't translate directly into late game power. 
    Lux - Slight buffs intended, with power also being shifted a little bit towards riskier play (being in AA range versus fishing with Q). Should be quite small changes. 
    Both could still change, Lux especially has had a number of different tweaks in testing over the last week or two (not sure how many of those were PBE'd?)."
    Meddler also commented on the current 6.14 PBE cycle Rek'Sai Tremor Sense changes, explaining
    "Yep, we're going with a 1.5s CD per target (up from 0.75s) and an adjustment so that you'll need to travel a short distance for tremor distance to pick up your movement as well (more than 85 units from memory). Main effect of that will be that you don't get punished for adjusting facing as much.
    As for the large set of Leona changes currently on the 6.14 PBE cycleMeddler explained:
    "Quote:
    Why exactly are you significantly hitting her damage and backloading some of it onto her new ultimate effect? Leona's job is one of a peel tank without any disengage. Once she goes in, shes stuck in the fight. Meaning she is more likely to die than many other champions. You aren't providing her with anything more than a shorter cooldown on a single target stun and a minimal increase in zenith blade root duration. What is the goal here? From what I see, she does significantly less damage on every basic ability, including her passive, to the benefit of slightly more frequent use of a stun. Is that a fair tradeoff, or are you intentionally nerfing Leona? 
    I ask these questions because I used to play Leona religiously until I discovered that every other tank support does her job better than she does.
    We're looking to give Leona more stuff to do in a teamfight. At present she blows her combo quickly and then can't contribute much meaningfully until her CDs are back up. Given she's putting herself in the middle of the fight by necessity we'd like her to have things she can do there that matter, hence the auto attack reward on the ult and the CD decrease on the Q. 
    It's also worth calling out that the Q change is a pretty substantial buff. At max rank with 40% CDR it's a difference of a 4.2s CD versus a 3s CD. The stun's got a duration of 1s, so that means the time a target's unstunned drops from 3.2s to 2s. 
    Finally Leona's also looking very strong in the current patch (6.13). There'll be a mixture of things contributing to that, one of them though's the changes to XP that affects supports in particular. Leona's pretty level dependent to contribute, much more so than most other supports, so it looks like she may have benefited more than most. Fairly confident as a result that even if we're wrong about the power (as opposed to play pattern) impact of these changes that she won't end up too weak in the next patch."
    Meddler continued:
    "Quote:
    And what if she ends up too strong because of the 6.13 changes and her upcoming ones?
    If she ends up too strong we'll nerf her. If she ends up too weak we'll buff her. 
    Pretty sure at least in 6.13 she's noticeably too strong. Will have to assess again after the 6.14 adjustments though."
    When asked about the timing to apply each of her R's enhanced attacks, Meddler explained:
    "Timer to apply stacks resets each time you land an auto attack. That means it's not 5 seconds to land 5 attacks, but 5 seconds since your last attack to land the next one. Should make it very feasible to land all the empowered auto attacks if you're in going combat."
    While not PBE related, Meddler also commented on the Ardent Censor stacking, noting:
    "We're not convinced yet that Ardent Censor stacking is a problem. It certainly could be, given you get up to some really large heal/shield values. Requires both a pretty squishy build and quite a lot of gold to get there though, so for now at least we're just monitoring how it goes. Have seen a number of non supports using Ardent Censor for the self healing boost, haven't seen anything yet that seems clearly out of line though (some really effective games with it, but that happens with other builds too of course, sometimes players do well)."

    Design Stream - Games + Q&A w/ 20thCenturyFaux

    Scarizard returned Thursday for another League Design with special guest 20thCenturyFaux! Check out the stream VOD for Q&A, wacky stories from Zilean's rework, and more!


    Tune into the LoL twitch channel for livestreams nearly every day of the week!

    /ALL Chat | BWOOOOOOOOOOOOONG

    Last up we have a new /ALL Chat with Rioters & community members doing their best Bard impressions!

    "Open the box. Read the instructions. Be Bard. 
    We handed a mystery box full of Bard crap our friends and filmed their reactions. There is nothing magical about this."

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