[UPDATE 1/7 - Added in a few more posts! Master Yi changes,, Final days of Snowdown, and more!]
This morning's red post collection includes Meddler with current thoughts on Marksmen, an article on pro play moving to 10 bans and a new format, a new Ask Riot with very serious New Year's Resolutions, discussion on future Nidalee and Vladimiar buffs, context on several PBE changes, & more!
- 1/4 PBE Update: Additional 2017 Esports Icons
- Champion and Skin Sale 1/6 - 1/9
- Engineering the Nightmare [WW Teaser story]
Table of Contents
- Current Thoughts on Marksmen
- Ten bans in Pro-Play
- Ask Riot: New Year's Resolutions
- [UPDATE] Snowdown Ending Soon
- [UPDATE] Meddler Grab Bag - Nidalee Buffs, Vladimir in 7.3, & more
- Riot Axes Grab Bag - Aurelion Sol Changes, Aatrox, & Kindred
- Context on Zz'Rot PBE Changes
- Elementalist Lux clarity pass on PBE
- [NEW] Legends Rising Season 2: Episode 7 - Worlds
- [UPDATE] Quick Hits: FeralPony on Graves W, 7.1 bug fixes, & more
Current Thoughts on Marksmen
Following the winter break, Meddler dove on to the boards to share the team's current thoughts on Marksmen including upcoming changes and a few things they are looking into:
We’ve just got back from the holiday break and I wanted to talk about how we see the game at present. In the next couple of weeks we’ll be putting out a longer ‘State of the Game’ post. Right now though we figured it’d be good to share some thoughts on bot lane marksmen.
We’ve seen quite a bit of feedback that marksmen feel weak in bot lane, lacking power and agency. Thoughts on that below, along with some things we need to look into further.
Things we’re pretty confident in:
- We believe that the biggest priority right now is addressing jungler dominance, with junglers able to gank more often, and more successfully, than appropriate. Bot lane’s particularly targeted by those ganks and we think that’s a significant part of current frustration with marksman agency/power.
-> We’ll need to reduce jungler power beyond just the XP tweaking in 7.1. Not sure how exactly yet (working on that this week and next).
- Courage of the Colossus is still too strong. That contributes to some characters feeling unkillable for marksmen. Some of those champs are also too strong in general as well (hi Poppy).
-> We’ll be nerfing Courage of the Colossus. Investigating right now whether that’ll be nerfs to the best case scenarios primarily or more general nerfs.
- At least a couple of individual marksmen need buffs. Lucian’s the biggest example by a large margin, having been hit really hard by the pre-season changes.
-> We’ve got Lucian and Draven buffs in 7.1 and are assessing other candidates for 7.2 or 7.3 (e.g. potentially Ashe).
- We’d like to support non Marksmen as options bot lane if the gameplay created is healthy. We’ve long felt it would be good for the game for a variety of lane setups to be viable and the farming position bot lane’s been a particularly static one. Right now Ziggs is the only non marksman getting played there a meaningful amount (around the same play rate as Corki and Tristana). So far his impact on the lane seems reasonable, with a range of ways to respond to it and an appropriate power level.
-> We’ll be keeping a really close eye on Ziggs bot lane. Assuming it stays healthy and interesting it’s something we’d want to support if it looks like a viable thing.
- We want marksmen to be excellent choices bot lane. We’d like to see other classes there at least a bit, but don’t want to see them push marksman out or overshadow them at their core strengths. If they’re not really effective picks bot lane that’s something we’ll address quickly.
Some other things we’re looking at:
- General power level and agency of all positions in the game, bot in particular (both marksman and support).
- Whether marksmen power curves are appropriately tuned (e.g. Should we offer more mid game power rather than late game power for some champs/builds?)
- Whether we’re offering the appropriate tools to kill really tanky champs as a marksmen, something that should generally be a strength relative to other classes.
- What sort of changes we might need to make to the item system to reduce tanky champions from getting too much damage or some damaging champions from getting too tanky to deal with for their damage.
Hope that offers some useful insight. More details, on this topic and a range of others, to follow soon (gotta catch up on that communication quiet period from over the break).
Meddler"This follows earlier comments by Ghostcrawler on his tumblr & reddit -- which echoed similar plans.
I definitly agree jungler dominance is a huge problem to me as an adc main
it seems like the jungler can come bot 100 times with no punishment in levels or gold.
Theres just too much influence from other lanesYep. XP is probably the biggest culprit at present, given how powerful an edge a level or two can be in a gank, both in terms of raw stats and access to an extra spell (ult's particularly). We're seeing some champions who when they jungle are consistently at least a level higher than they were prior to the jungle changes after the first few minutes of the game. That's a pretty significant increase in power that's going to come at the expense of other positions.
Mid and top influence on bot might also be too high, that's something we're looking at at present to. First step though's to address the jungle situation."He continued:
"Quote:Meddler also commented they are looking into a few Lethality item buffs:
I don't think you can give everyone more agency. I believe its pretty intuitive that agency is actually a conserved quantity, what you give to someone here you must take from someone there.Agreed, hence that bullet point's about looking at agency for every position, not about trying to increase it for everyone. If both bot positions are low on agency for example that implies at least one other position is too high."
I read that lethality buffs are planned for the near future. Is that still the case and do you have any context?We'll probably be buffing a couple of items with Lethality on them (Duskblade and Edge of Night). Other sources of Lethality (Ghostblade especially) seem to be performing fine though."
Ten bans in Pro-PlayWith the regional competitive leagues starting up soon, Meddler has published an article regarding upcoming BAN PHASE changes for professional play - going up to 10 bans, a different type of banning order, and more! He also mentions future changes for regular matchmade games!
A while ago we talked about how we were considering changing to a 10 ban system. We’ve now got an approach we’re happy with that we’ll be using for Pro-Play in all leagues run by Riot. I’d like to share our thinking behind that system - what its goals are, how it will work, and why we’re changing bans in Pro-Play before anywhere else.
Why more bans?
In pro play we think pick/ban changes can lead to an increase in champion diversity and strategic play. We believe that offering more bans will encourage deeper champion pools with more individual champions seeing the Rift - and that it’ll make a fun and engaging draft phase for fans to watch. The plan here is to give each team two additional bans partway through the draft; this midpoint ban should encourage adaptability and reward teams who can accurately predict what strategies their opponents are planning then move swiftly to counter them.
We tested these theories in partnership with pros, trialed a few different solutions and took their feedback into account when introducing the new changes. As with every new change, we’ll be gathering consistent feedback from fans and pros as we roll out the extended bans.
Organized Play vs Matchmaking considerations
We think improvements to the pick/ban system can offer multiple benefits. Those will be somewhat different in pro play or other organized play, than in regular games though. In organized play you’re playing with a consistent group, you know who your opponents are and what they play, and you may even have played against them before. In matchmade games by contrast you’re adapting to a new group and don’t have any initial information about the team you’ll be facing. The needs and benefits of each context’s somewhat different as a result.
Organized play pick/ban - what does it look like?
The first part of champ select will be the same as at present, with both sides banning 3 champs then some picks. Blue picks first, red picks twice, blue picks twice and then red picks once again. After that there’s a second ban phase, where the two sides alternate bans back and forth, starting with red side. There’s then a final pick phase, where red picks once, blue picks twice and red picks one final time.
After iterating and exploring different versions of drafts with pros and semi-pros worldwide, we reached this version. We also made sure this change didn’t lead to an increase of time of the P&B phase.
What about regular matchmade games that use bans?
Revised pick/ban for regular play will come somewhat later than the changes in organized play. We’re still assessing what style of pick/ban changes makes the most sense for regular games, given the different circumstances (unfamiliar allies, lack of information about your opposition).
Shifting to 10 bans still has a lot of appeal, in particular because it allows one ban per player giving each person equal agency in the ban phase. Goals of bans are somewhat different though (e.g. you’re not banning the unusual pick you know the enemy team likes to run).
The amount of time it takes to get into a game’s also a particularly big concern for regular games, given we’re already getting a lot of feedback that time from pressing ‘Play’ to actually starting the game feels too long. Some of the options we’re looking at include reduced time in champ select as a focus as a result.
We should be able to talk more about our thoughts on pick/ban changes in regular play early 2017. In the meantime if you’ve got any thoughts on pick/ban, whether in pro or regular play, please do let us know!
Meddler"He repeated that changes are planned for non pro play but will be coming later down the line:
Am i led to believe that 10 bans for normal play is otherwise ready, and that once the new client comes out it will be a flip of the switch?No. There's work that also needs to be done on 10 bans for matchmade games, including exact choice of format."
"Bans in regular play are definitely a safety valve on balance, with you there. From what we've seen though they're very often used to remove champs people find frustrating, even if they're not overpowered, or champs that are really strong lane counters to what people want to play, even if they're generally balanced."
As for when we might see regular ban phase changes, Meddler noted:
"Not certain on timing yet sorry, new client leaving beta's the single biggest factor there. We're pretty confident changes to bans in solo queue are a good thing, still working on exact format though (it's unlikely to be exactly the same as this one for organized play however)."Meddler added:
"Live phases are already 30s, so that wouldn't affect total time there. There's also other stuff we'll want to look into for solo queue too (e.g. does it feel terrible having a ban that comes after a lot of people have already picked given solo queue's less about coordinated team bans and more about personal agency)."
As for the timing of changes in pro play, Meddler noted they will be reducing the phase time:
"There are. We'll be moving to 30s per phase rather than the current 60s."
When asked about separating parts of pro and regular play by not keeping the same pick/ban, Meddler noted:
"We do want to keep pro and regular play the same where possible. Given pick/ban's already pretty different however (pro has consistent teams + knowledge of your opponents and what they play) we think it's appropriate to use variants in pick/ban systems if that better meets the needs of each group."
When asked if they've run these changes by professional teams, Meddler commented:
"Yes, we've been circulating these changes past the teams in the different regions since around the start of December from memory (can't recall exact date off the top of the head). Feedback from that also lead to some changes in pick/ban order relative to the original proposal."Meddler added:
"Hoping so, very interested to see what impact this has. We've done a number of paper drafts with some of the pro teams, and sought feedback from a lot of others, there's no substitute for seeing it in action in a real competitive game though."
Ask Riot: New Year's Resolutions
To kick off 2017, our first Ask Riot of the year is a humorous set of New Year's Resolutions:
"Welcome to Ask Riot!
Happy 2017! This week on Ask Riot, League’s teams talk their very, very serious New Year’s Resolutions.
- We’re finally updating Ryze.
- Give Jax a real weapon.
- Re-tool Singed to better suit the support end-game fantasy.
- Ranked 2018: Seven ranked queues. Four clients.
- Launch global education initiative replacing school grades with solo queue rank.
PERSONALIZATION (AKA SKINS TEAM)
- True. Damage.
- Attempt first six-hit passive.
- Small goal: Three new Teemo skins. Large goal: SIX new Teemo skins.
- Start production on SKT Worlds 2017 and 2018 championship skins.
Make an obscure reference to an earlier patch note reference. Go deeper
- Write a literal novel for next pre-season’s patch notes
- See how far we can stretch the meaning of “at a later time”
- Change all red names to “Cactopus”
- Mute the actual Cactopus
- Purchase round table
- 1. Introduce new item. 2. Nerf champions who are too strong with this item.
- 3. Remove the item.
- 5 AD
- Announce full retcon of all lore; champions are now toys and Summoner’s Rift is your imagination.
- Reveal George the Frog’s dark and mysterious past.
- Shyvana X Ezreal: Chapters 1-3
- Clone Faker, create full team of Fakers to challenge original Faker, SKT wins anyway.
- Leak letter asking everyone to stop leaking letters.
- We’ll have an update on Honor as soon as our chat restriction expires
Have a question? Head over to Ask Riot and sign into your League account. Check out the Dos and Don’ts, then ask away.
We promise to read every question, but we can’t guarantee they’ll all get answers. Some questions may already be answered elsewhere, and some won’t be right for Ask Riot. This isn’t the best place to announce new features, for example, and we might skip conversations on issues we’ve talked about in depth before (though we can clarify individual points).
We are listening, though, so keep asking. We’ll make sure your questions are heard by the Rioters working on the stuff you’re curious about."
Snowdown Ending Soon[UPDATE: All the different types of Snowdown chests are now available in the shop for RP.]
Snowdown 2016 is ending soon! Be sure to get in your last minute legacy skins, icons, and more before the end of the day on January 9th!
"And now, a special announcement from His Royal Highness, the Poro King:
My dearest friends,
It has been a most wonderful Snowdown, and I thank each of you for joining in the celebrations from far and wide. There is still some time left before Snowdown’s end, so please continue to enjoy these festivities:
Legend of the Poro King: Play with friend and poro alike while trying out my four new poro snax flavors! Your last chance to play Legend of the Poro King this Snowdown goes from January 6, 2017 (12:00 PM PT) - January 10, 2017 (4:00 AM PT), and with it go all poro skins and emotes that came with icons.
Winter Summoner’s Rift: Enjoy the snowy landscape on the Rift in Co-op vs. AI, Normal Draft, and Blind Pick modes before it melts on January 9, 2017 at 23:59 PT.
Royal Poro Snax Factory: Create, deliver, and receive your own poro snax before the gates close on January 9, 2017 at 23:59 PT.
Snowdown Crafting: Make sure to purchase Winter Chests, Snowdown Chests, and Poro King’s Treasure Chest to craft special icons and loot by January 9, 2017 at 23:59 PT.
Legacy Content: Buy your favorite Snowdown Legacy skins, icons, and wards by January 9, 2017 at 23:59 PT so you can celebrate Snowdown all year.
Poro King"**For the final weekend of Snowdown 2016, all the various types of Snowdown chest are available in the shop for 295 RP each. Check out this post for a list of what kind of shards can come in each chest.
Meddler Grab Bag - Nidalee Buffs, Vladimir in 7.3, & moreNext up we have a series of posts from Meddler on Nidalee, Vladimir, and 7.1!
As expected, Meddler noted patch 7.1 (currently on PBE) should be out to live next week -
"7.1 will hopefully (we're still bug fixing) come out next week."
In a thread inquiring about additional Nidalee changes, Meddler noted 7.2 will likely include buffs:
"We'll be buffing Nid in 7.2. Not sure what changes yet, would be aiming for a fairly sizable power increase given her current state though."
He also noted that the previously mentioned Vladimir changes will likely be 7.3 rather than 7.2:
"Vlad's probably a 7.3 candidate rather than 7.2. Vlad's solo queue performance is poor, but around the same point it's been in the past when he's still been pick/ban in organized play. We definitely want to improve his solo queue state, but want to get a look at initial competitive play in the next couple of weeks to help guide changes (e.g. how much should we focus on mechanics changes that reduce the discrepancy between the two contexts versus just adding power?), hence 7.3 rather than 7.2."
** As for Master Yi, Meddler noted:
"We're about to start on some Master Yi work aimed at increasing his power. Unsure on which patch that'll be in, depends on how it goes (could be 7.2, could be later)."
Riot Axes Grab Bag - Aurelion Sol Changes, Aatrox, & KindredRiot Axes has also been on the boards discussing planned Aurelion Sol changes, Aatrox, & Kindred.
Riot Axes Permalink
"We had to delay it quite a bit for resourcing reasons, but yes, we're still planning something at around the Shyvana-ish scope for Sol. We're ramping up on it now, so it'll be at least a few more patches before we have anything to show."Axes continued:
Can you tell us anything on the goals you have with the mini-rework? Is it still about trying to make him more accessible and his skills more rewarding?Yes, with more emphasis on "feels rewarding" than "more accessible"."
any news about Aatrox changes ?We're testing a few ideas internally. Further along than Sol, but may have more art requirements, so still a bit out.
Worlds + Preseason is an extremely busy time of year for us so a lot of stuff was temporarily on hold or going slow."continued, noting they are also looking into Kindred changes following 2017's jungle change:
How about other champions that are in similar situations (e.g. Kindred)?I don't think Kindred's in a similar situation. They were faring pretty well before preseason - niche but pretty strong - but seem to have been hit pretty hard by the jungle changes. We'll likely do a balance pass on them once the jungle is a bit more stable (or sooner if that takes too long), and that might involve some small mechanics changes to get them feeling better about itemization or something like that, but I don't think we'd do any major work on their abilities in the near future."
"I'm not saying Kindred is fine - I'm saying that I don't believe restructuring the kit is warranted. I think we can get them where they need to go with primarily tuning changes - numbers changes and small mechanical changes."
As for additional changes for Azir and Kalista, Axes added:
Any word on the Azir and Kalista changes? Were the recent changes made to them enough or do you still have slated for themProbably more to do on them - those changes were intended to make it less painful to play them, not 'fix' them in any real sense."
Context on Zz'Rot PBE ChangesThe 7.1 PBE cycle currently has several Zz'Rot portal changes in testing. When asked for context, Riot Sotere explained:
"You're right. It's supposed to be a siege tool, and used for splitpushing. But it shouldn't be as good at autonomously splitting. If you are a tanky guy who wants to engage in splitpushing, the hope is that you have more success with this because it shores up your weakness (actually doing damage to the turrets).
It is going to be worse at farming and stalling out a lane."Riot Sotere added:
"Well, the hope is to make it more niche. It generated a lot of lane safety/pressure and generated quite a bit of gold. Those general strengths have been reduced a bit in favor of turret destruction."
Elementalist Lux clarity pass on PBE
Riot KateyKhaos lit up the boards with context on some clarity driven tweaks to Elementalist Lux VFX that will be going out in 7.1 and are currently on the PBE for testing:
We're working on a clarity pass, based on some of the feedback we'd received. At the moment, her (Q) issues (the fade out) has been pushed to live. We are in the process of adjusting her (W), (E) and her (R), which, if all goes according to plan and is clean, you should see the changes in 7.1. All changes are currently on the PBE, but here's a quick breakdown -
Original Elementalist (R) v. her base (R):
Updated (R) v. her base (R):
(Q), (W), and (E) updates:
As a heads up, updates were done on all forms, but I didn't take 10 screen grabs/make 10 gifs. :P
Hopefully this clears things up! I checked the hitboxes of her base v. this skin, and they're the same. :)"When asked about the R change, Riot KateyKhaos explained:
"Players noted that they couldn't "see" E. Lux ult until it was too late to react. We found a difference between the R indicator and the E. Lux indicator; when base Lux begins cast, the warning beam appears immediately -- with E. Lux, it started wider and quickly condensed into the warning beam. The R has been updated to display the warning beam immediately."
Legends Rising Season 2: Episode 7 - Worlds**Legends Rising Season 2: Episode 7 is here - following the 2016 World Championship!
"Relive the drama of the 2016 World Championship through the eyes of four of the world’s best pros. For Smeb and ROX tigers a fabled match-up with arch rival SKT does not go as planned and proves to be one of the last times that the Tigers compete together. While these titans battle for a chance at Worlds glory, EDG faces unexpected challenges in groups and Revolta comes face to face in competition with his Idol, Clearlove. Finally, Chawy realizes his dream of playing on the Worlds Stage.
- “Trailblazing” by Steve Jablonsky
- “Nostalgic Piano Prelude” by ATTLAS
- “Chinatown” by Starcadian
- “Demo” by Kraddy
- “Walking Heavy” by Oliver Winters
- “Maestro” by Enzo Bennet
- “Chenoot” by Joshua Pearson
- “Herr Ya Ya” by Ellis Island Sound
- “In the Flood” by Oliver Winters
- “Pale Fire” by Dead Light
- “Collide” by Hosaia and Luboku
- “Pace” by Joshua Pearson
- “Song” by Kraddy
- “Maestro” by Enzo Bennet
- “My Internet Live9Wav” by Mirror to Mirror
- “Sweep” by Joshua Pearson
- “How to Start a Band (Torpedo Boyz Inst Master)” by Fort Knox Five
- “Boom” by Joshua Pearson
- “Tokyo Rouge” by Mimegames
- “Shiva” by Joshua Pearson
- “These Days (Instrumental)” by Samuel
- “Pesh” by Joshua Pearson
- “Elysium (Instrumental Extended)” by Eekkoo & Casper Whirlin ft. Sailor and I
- “Clone and Dagger” by Kraddy
- “Contention” by Steve Gibbs
- “The Floppy Disc” by Starcadian
- “We Don't Know” by The Strumbellas"
Quick Hits: FeralPony on Graves W, 7.1 bug fixes, & more[Quick hits is our own mini news collection inside a red post collection, often including shorter or easy to digest stories and repeat information you may have missed in other posts!]
- **NA LCS Offseason, Scheduling, and more!
- "NA LCS Spring Split begins on January 20 at 3:00 PM PT. "
- "NA LCS Spring Split match schedule will be available on January 9. Weeks 5-9 could be affected by flex scheduling."
- "Tickets for Weeks 1-4 of the Spring Split will be available on January 9 at 1:00 PM PT."
- In response to a recent reddit thread requesting multiple key or multiple chest bundles, WizardCrab tweeted out they'd try this next month:
"In response to yesterday's Reddit thread, we'll try temporary buy 5 get 1 free only Chest or only Key bundles next month. Hopefully it helps"
- Over on his ask.fm, FeralPony dove into a discussion on how they designed Graves' smokescreen -
"What were your thoughts when you introduced the vision reduction mechanic with Graves' smokescreen and was it true that Graves was designed due to the lack of masculine ADCs at the time
He was not made specifically to address the lack of masculine ADCs but myself and IronStylus really cranked up the testosterone because of it. That's why he ended up with an absurdly sized shotgun, a bulky dad-bod and an excessive amount of hair.
For the vision reduction mechanic I had the rest of the kit complete at that point and I knew I needed a primarily utility move as he already had enough damage, and placing more damage on W meant I would have to pull damage out of other spells and reduce their impact and satisfaction. The reason I chose vision reduction was it was a suggestion from Coronach (former champ designer) as a CC type we hadn't used much. It fit reasonable well thematically as a smoke canister and fit with my idea that I wanted this guy to be in melee and scrapping with dudes.
In particular I liked the vision reduction was the one CC type in LoL that is more effective vs Ranged champions than Melee ones. This doesn't do much at all versus a Xin Zhao training on your face but absolutely lets you fight those other Marksman with 600+ attack range.
I know it's a pretty polarized mechanic on the frustration side, but I really appreciate the mental game that occurs with vision denial and I would take that any day over getting hit with a Root or a Stun or something that temporarily removes agency as opposed to something that limits my information available but still leaves me in full control of my character. As a Marksman archtype that generally have pretty low amounts of CC this felt like a good middle ground in regards to making a mechanic that was impactful and made a lot of sense on his kit mechanically."
- Fizz Enthusiast noted upcoming changes to Thunderlord's Decree regarding the specifics of how it interacts with spells that do multiple ticks of damage (such as Morgana W)
"When thunder lords first came out, didn't have the tech to do it. I believe we have the tech to do it soon.
The reason this occurs is that we have no way to determine spell origin. For example, on the second tick of Morgana w, thunder lords has no way of knowing if that instance of damage was from W, q, auto, r etc. As such, it has no choice but to treat it as a separate instance of damage.
This would mean that once the tech is out, any instance of damage from a spell will only refresh the thunder lords stack and not add one (morg w, mf e, etc.). Multiple cast spells will count as a separate cast for thunder lords, Eg. Ahri R. Effects that state "your attacks/spells apply X" will count as one spell including the auto attack (Eg. Teemo E). Recasts count as one (Eg. Anivia q, sejuani w). I believe aurelion passive will count as one for the game duration."
- RiotMEMEMEME confirmed on reddit 7.1 will include a fix for the visual only bug causing Nighthunter Rengar's leap range indicator to be larger then it should be.
- KateyKhaos mentioning a few skin related bug fixes for 7.1:
To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
- Snowdown 2016 is here! Through January 9th, tons of content and deals are available - new legacy skins for Braum, Graves, & Karma, Winter Summoner's Rift, over 100 returning legacy skins, a ton of new summoner icons, LotPK, new chests, and more! Click here for previews. Daily Snowdown chest content lists can be found here.