Red Post Collection: State of the Game January 2017, Feb Sales Schedule, 2017 Esports icons available, & more!

Posted on at 3:04 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection includes Meddler with a State of the Game for January 2017,  the February champion and skin sale schedule, a look at the new Warwick stories up on the Welcome to Zaun page, 2017 esports team icons now available in shop,  discussion on lore, and much more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents


Welcome to Zaun Page Update - WW Bio & Story

The Piltover / Zaun story page has been updated with new Warwick bio and story, both of which are housed on his updated Universe page!


See our S@20 coverage for full stories and more - keep in mind we will be updating that post as more comes out! There is room on the site for additional Zaun champion stories and a free Zaun icon!

February Champion & Skin Sales schedule 

The champion and skin sales schedule for February is now available! Take a look at the skins that will be on sale, and well as the early sales for some recent skins and chroma.
"Check out all the champs and skins on sale this February! Like previous sales schedules, we’re not posting the exact dates for each champ and skin, but they’ll all be on sale sometime next month. 
Just a heads up – since we’re publishing these in advance, we won’t offer partial refunds on champs and skins purchased before they go on sale."
January's champion and skin sale schedule can be found here.

1/20 - 1/23 Champion and Skin Sale Listing 

The January 20th through 23rd champion and skin sale has been published earlier than usual. Look for Elise, Sejuani, Nocturne, Twisted Fate, Heartseeker Ashe, Surfer Singed, Wicked LeBlanc, and Freljord Rammus to go on sale next!

As usual, we'll have a post up Monday morning with skin previews and videos! This is the second time the sale announcement has gone up early, if this continues we'll change the post timing of the sales here on S@20.

Fandom Favs: Unlock an esports team icon

As the regional esports leagues around the world start up their new seasons, a multitude of new 2017 team summoner icons are now available:
"As you’re counting down to the return of Spring Split, it’s time to equip your favorite team icon. If you’re an icon collector, your favorite player switched teams, or you’ve changed allegiances to a new team, you can grab an individual team icon for 250 RP
If you want to support an entire League or you don’t play favorites, you can purchase regional bundles for 20% off until April 30
With each icon purchase, 50% of the revenue from the team icons will be shared with the teams. For icon bundles, the 50% of the revenue will be evenly distributed among the teams in the regional bundle. 
Icons for Kabum (CBLOL), FlyQuest (NA LCS), and VCSA team icons will become available in the next patch. The CBLOL, NA LCS, and VCSA bundles will be delayed to the 7.2 patch for the final icons, the rest of their regional icons will be available unless noted above. 
The following bundles will be available from January 18-April 30: 
  • 2017 EU LCS Spring Icons Bundle - 20% off at 2000 RP
    • Fnatic, Giants, G2 Esports, H2K, Misfits, Origen, ROCCAT, Splyce, Team Vitality, Unicorns of Love
  • 2017 LPL Spring Icons Bundle - 20% off at 2400 RP
    • Edward Gaming, Game Talents, I MAY, Invictus Gaming, LGD Gaming, Newbee, Royal Never Give Up, OH MY GOD, QG Reapers, Snake Esports, Vici Gaming, Team WE
  • 2017 LCK Spring Icons Bundle - 20% off at 2000 RP
    • Afreeca Freecs, bbq OLIVERS, Jin Air Green Wings, KT Rolster, Kongdoo Monster, Longzhu Gaming, MVP, ROX Tigers, Samsung Galaxy, SK Telecom T1
  • 2017 LJL Spring Icons Bundle - 20% off at 1200 RP
    • 7th Heaven, DetonatioN FocusMe, Rampage, Rascal Jester, Scarz, Unsold Stuff Gaming
  • 2017 LAN Spring Icons Bundle - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • Dash9 Gaming, Gaming Gaming, Infamous Gaming, Infinity eSports, Just Toys Havoks, Lyon Gaming, Predators Esports, Zaga Talent Gaming
  • 2017 LAS Spring Icons Bundle - 20% off at 1200 RP
    • Furious Gaming, Hafnet E-Sports, Isurus Gaming, Kaos Latin Gamers, Last Kings, Rebirth Esports
  • 2017 LCL Spring Icons Bundle - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • Gambit CIS, M19, Natus Vincere, ROX, Team Just Alpha, Vaevictis eSports, Vega Squadron, Virtus.pro
  • 2017 OPL Spring Icons - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • Abyss, Avant Garde, Chiefs, Dire Wolves, Exile 5, Legacy, Sin Gaming, Tainted Minds
  • 2017 LMS Spring Icons - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • ahq eSports Club, eXtreme Gamer eSport Club, Fireball Limited, Flash Wolves, HongKong eSports, J Team, Machi e-Sports, Wayi Spider
  • 2017 TCL Spring Icons - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • 1907 Fenerbah├že Espor, Dark Passage.BKM Express, Galatasaray Esports, Galakticos, HWA GAMING, Oyunfor.CREW, SuperMassive eSports, Team AURORA 
After the next patch, these bundles will be available until April 30
  • 2017 CBLOL Spring Icons - 20% off at 2000 RP
    • Brave E-sports, CNB, INTZ, KaBuM, Keyd Stars, paiN Gaming, Operation Kino, Red Canids
  • 2017 NA LCS Spring Icons - 20% off at 2000 RP
    • Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, Echo Fox, FlyQuest, Immortals, Phoenix1, Team Dignitas, Team Envy, Team Liquid, TSM
  • 2017 VCSA Spring Icons - 20% off at 1400 RP
    • Cantho Cherry, eHub United, Gygabyte Marines, Next Gen, ROG Friends, Young Generation, Team Ultimate, ROG Friends"
You can find the new icons in the shop or previews in our 7.1 PBE coverage.

/Dev: On State of the Game, January 2017 

Meddler is back again with a detailed State of the Game article for January 2017 - covering thoughts on many current hot topics, plans for jungle and supports, what various teams are up to, pre-season follow up, what is on the horizon, and much more!
"We’re a few weeks into the new League season, so we figured it was a good time to share some thoughts about the game right now, including a look at some of the things we’re working on for the future. As with previous State of the Game posts, this will be focused on gameplay specifically — champions, the jungle, masteries, etc. — rather than features like the new client, skins, matchmaking and so forth. 
POSITIONS AND IMPACT 
We believe jungler influence over game outcome is too high. 
In the pre-season we made changes to jungle camp rewards and respawn times. Those changes were intended to cap total jungle farm potential, pushing some junglers with farm-heavy playstyles to interact more with other players (primarily ganking and counter-jungling). Looking at the game right now, however, we believe we’ve increased gank frequency too much and need to pull it back. 
We’re also seeing junglers at higher levels at the same time in the game (compared to last season), which wasn’t intended. Vi, for example, is one of the bigger beneficiaries — on average she’s half a level higher by five minutes than she was last season. That effect is multiplicative with the decreased time farming (as above) in terms of the impact on other positions, with the two effects even stronger together than just the sum of their parts. Further exacerbating the situation is that jungle sustain is also too high, resulting in junglers needing to recall less and being able to gank with less risk (coming out of the jungle at full HP). 
Additionally, we made changes in the pre-season to make some camps more single target or AOE focused. Our goal there was to get tuning levers to support a wider variety of junglers than we’ve been able to in the past. We’re still assessing those changes, so far though it looks like the current camps favor a particular profile of jungler too much (good single target damage, with just enough AOE to do most of the other camps fairly quickly). The XP and camp changes are also aimed at helping out junglers who are very AOE or very single target focused as a result. 
Here’s how we plan to address the above over the short-term: 
  • We’ll be reducing jungler XP back to similar rates as last season.
  • We’ll also be cutting sustain slightly (later Honeyfruit spawns, at least).
  • Finally we’re also investigating whether some jungle camps should do more damage, adding risk to ganking after doing them (Krugs and Gromp). 
JUNGLERS AND GAME AGENCY 
We’re still talking about how much agency over the game junglers should have in general. Even last season, there were some circumstances where jungler ability to decide the game felt out of line with the other roles, so it’ll be something we continue to discuss and evaluate even after bringing the current spike in influence under control. The core issue under debate is how much raw power junglers should have to trade off against other positions given the control they have over when/where conflicts happen and ability to force uneven fights. 
On top of all this, we’re working to assess the agency of other positions. We believe the main issues to solve right now are the imbalance created by the jungle being overly influential and Courage of the Colossus heavily favoring some champs (Divers in particular, who then crush squishy champs). There are some things we definitely want to look into for bot lane, in particular support XP and bot lane Marksman power curves, though whether those should be buffs or power shifts isn’t clear yet though. We’ve talked a bit more in-depth on bot-lane Marksmen — it’s something we’re definitely watching as the season moves forward and these changes settle into place. 
LOOKING AT SUPPORT 
We have some ideas about the support role and are actively experimenting. For example, we recently ran a test where we made 10 champions who are good choices for the support position free for four weeks, in addition to the normal free rotation. This resulted in a brief increase in interest in playing support (yay), but it fell off pretty quickly (boo). Looking at the data it doesn’t look like lack of access to the right champions is a significant factor in most people’s interest in playing support — the interest is tied more to the role than the champ. Not surprising, but still good to confirm, given it was a easy and low-pain test to run.
That said, feedback on the test was quite positive from players making use of the extra champions. Between that and the initial spike in support play, our conclusion is that temporary increases in free support champions could be a useful tool in the future to let people test out other changes that impact the position (e.g. major xp, gold or item adjustments). In other words, “we changed some support stuff, here are some champs, take them for a spin.” 
Next up, we’ll be looking at a couple of other things as part of our work to make support a position that appeals to a wider audience (here’s an explainer on why we think this is important). Short version is that we’d like to make support appealing to more players to give people a more enjoyable experience, reduce autofill, and reduce queue times. At the same time, we don’t want to compromise what makes it an attractive position to existing support players. 
First steps: 
  • We’ll be adjusting how XP is earned, with one goal being preventing champions who are doing useful things (warding, roaming, objectives help, etc.) from falling so far behind the average level in the game.
  • Next, we’re focusing on fixing some small, irritating situations that affect support play regularly (e.g. not getting full gold for wards killed that you reveal unless you get the final hit).
  • Long-term, we’ll most likely be looking at support recognition/ceremony and income next. 
NOTES ON NEW CHAMPS 
Camille’s been out for a little bit now. We’re still assessing how she looks overall, but a few things are clear. Her launch balance was definitely too strong, hence the hotfix after 6.24 and the nerfs in 7.1. That power was also such that it made her hard to respond to (shield duration too long, R CCing people knocked away for longer than needed, etc). That’s resulted in a high ban rate for a champion of her power, suggesting (when combined with feedback from Camille players) that she’s a champion that on launch was both quite appealing and quite frustrating to other players. 
Another important note is that it’s going to be important to keep her kit focused when possible on the things that make her distinct as a Diver. Camille’s got some noticeable overlap with Irelia, Jarvan, Vi etc. We want to focus power in things like her Hookshot as a result. So far Camille’s most effective builds seem appropriate for her intended strengths and weaknesses, with a mixture of offensive and defensive items, normally doing something like Tri-Force+Ravenous Hydra into defensive items. 
As for future champs: There’ll be a longer-than-usual gap between Camille and the next new champion. We’ll be more focused on other stuff early this year, then will get back to our past cadence for new champion releases. 
CHAMP UPDATE UPDATE 
We’ve got a blog coming shortly (next week or two) that will talk about champion update projects in a lot of detail. Topics covered include things like our thoughts on the assassin update (some things went well, some need more work), why we’ll be doing fewer mini-updates as part of class updates, the next class update we’ll be tackling, and upcoming major champion updates (VGUs) after Warwick. 
PRE-SEASON FOLLOW-UP 
COURAGE OF THE COLOSSUS 
Courage of the Colossus is still too strong, which has a lot of effect on the meta (who gets played, how fights go, itemization for some classes, durability outliers getting even farther from the norm, etc). As such, we’ll be nerfing it again, possibly paired with some changes to broaden its possible users. It’s also a good example of how really visible power creates more appreciation for the user and frustration for their enemies (compared to say a constant % reduction to damage taken that might be equally powerful in most circumstances). 
CotC does have a pattern we like, in the way it offers tankiness tied to CCing enemies that’s more beneficial to tanky champions. Some of the details aren’t right, but the concept seems solid. 
As for changes to stealth; changing Rengar and Twitch to camouflage has worked as we’d hoped so far, keeping their flanking effectiveness high while reducing their ‘just appear on top of someone from long range’ power. Invisibility not being revealed by anything but tower’s is a bit more mixed, given it has removed some counter options. We do believe, however, that it makes champions with invisibility much more balanceable long-term, since they can now be balanced around having it as a reliable tool. 
CONTROL WARDS 
We’ve found a few bugs with Control Wards where they’re not affecting as large an area as they should in some circumstances (should be the same radius as the old pink wards). Also, Control Wards are potentially serving as too strong a counter, in the item system at that, to at least Teemo. He’s on our radar for an assessment to see whether he needs some adjustments to keep up with the changed environment. 
REDEMPTION, LOCKET, AND OTHER ITEMS 
Redemption and Locket are both looking too strong, in terms of the degree to which they’re close to mandatory on some champs and the amount they shift focus from a champion’s kit to their items. They’re pretty good expressions of skill and visible power though, so we’re happy with their design as supportive items even if their numbers need adjustment. First likely change is a nerf to the health on Redemption; we might also adjust the amount Locket shields by level at some point. Paired with that, we’re considering some small buffs to Ardent Censor, the Chalice line of items, and Eye of the Equinox. 
PLANTS 
In regard to plants, we’ll be tweaking Honeyfruit spawn times a little to reduce sustain available to junglers early game (as mentioned above). A secondary benefit is that early snowball from laners using Honeyfruit will also be reduced slightly. Beyond that we’ve got some small quality of life changes underway (polish on indicators, pings etc) but no major changes currently planned. We’re fairly happy with how plants have performed so far, in terms of adding dynamism to jungle pathing and PVP. It’ll be really important to see how that changes over time though. With repeated play do those interactions get more interesting as people explore them deeper? Or less interesting as they get solved?
LETHALITY 
We’ll take an in depth look at how Lethality’s doing in the next patch or two. So far it looks like Ghostblade’s in a good spot, but Edge of Night and Duskblade are potentially too weak. We want to assess whether we should buff those, or whether Lethality in general needs a bit more impact at certain points in the game. 
PREVIEW OF THE LONG-TERM 
We wanted to offer some insight again into some of the things we’re working on, or planning to work on later in the year, given that seemed to be well received in the last blog. These are predicted projects, not things that will definitely happen, or definitely happen this year, so they could well end up changing or not happening. There’s also a lot of work underway or planned, that isn’t mentioned here because we don’t yet have enough confidence in its details to talk about it yet. 
PRE-GAME CHANGES 
Ten bans for organized play (tournament draft) is here. More bans for regular play will be coming when the new client’s completely replaced the old. The ban system in regular play is likely to be at least somewhat different to that used in organized play, given the context’s different (you don’t know your opponents nor are you consistently playing with the same teammates). Starting point is a desire to offer one ban to each player as a core goal without increasing time in champion select in the process.
Pro Play Pick/Ban
RUNES AND MASTERIES 
We’re planning work on runes this year, with the goals of addressing some frustration points with current runes, offering more interesting choices and making pre-game power more recognizable in game (less plain stats, better feedback on what stats are delivering). At the same time we’ll also be doing further work on Masteries, looking to improve pre-game as a whole. For a while now we’ve been working within the constraints of the existing mastery system (three trees, 30 points total to spend, points linked to account level) to test some theories around concentrating power, making power more visible, offering clearer choices, etc. Lessons learned from that that we plan to make use of include things like the importance of finding effects beyond damage and sustain when making appreciable masteries (e.g. vision or other utility) and that we’ll need more than three trees to offer interesting, useful choices to all the different classes (five is our current estimate). 
Timing on this work being finished is uncertain, best guess is “late in the year.” As with changes to pick/ban, major changes to pre-game require that the new client is being used by everyone. 
Given how big an impact those changes could have, we’ll be talking about them well in advance. 
IN-GAME SYSTEMS AND CHAMPION CHANGES 
We’ll be doing some work on defensive items Mid-Season, in part looking to improve long running problems with defensive items being too effective on some champs who aren’t healthy when really tanky (e.g. tank Fizz and tank Ekko). We’ll also be looking at how itemization makes tanks tanky, with the feeling being at present that they may end up being too resistant to sustained physical damage and too vulnerable to sustained magic damage. 
Additionally, Rift Herald just isn’t generating enough sufficiently interesting or appreciated play to justify its presence. We do like the value a one-time spawn puts on it; the reward at least isn’t making it a priority in the majority of games. Sometime this year (mid-season or pre-season, not sure which yet) we’ll be looking to either fix it, replace it or remove it as a result. 
OPPORTUNISTIC AND GAME HEALTH CHAMPION UPDATES 
We’ll be doing more updates like the recent Shyvana and Alistar ones in 2017. Unlike most of our other recent champion updates, these small to medium-sized updates are one-offs, aimed at developing an underutilized part of a champion further and/or addressing game health problems that don’t require the scope of a full VGU to be fixed. While we’ve always done some of these, they’ll be more of a focus during 2017 than previously, with more resources devoted to them. 
FEEL AND USABILITY IMPROVEMENTS 
We’re planning on testing a 15-minute unanimous surrender option this year. That’ll take place in a single region, initially. We previously hoped to have done that by now; the people involved have been occupied with other higher-priority stuff (new client, matchmaking, etc). 
Sometime in the second half of this year we’re looking to make some changes to how the LoL client sends commands to the server, making it easier to buffer multiple abilities on higher pings. That’ll likely be pretty subtle, but should result in a slightly smoother feeling game, especially on laggier connections. 
Finally, we’ll be continuing to work on a range of small to medium-sized clarity focused projects this year, like the invulnerability bar and “ping a whole bunch of things to chat” changes we made last year. Likely candidates include doing more stuff with the healthbar to communicate gameplay states better (e.g. Armor/MR shreds), removing unnecessary things from spectator (e.g. Bandit gold gain) and tweaking who hears which champion voice lines (not everyone needs to hear Super Galaxy Rumble all the time, for example)."
Following the initial article, Meddler and others hoped on boards and reddit to answer player questions:


For those feeling tired after the long read, Meddler suggested:
"Good summary elsewhere in this thread: 
https://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/5or9ya/dev_on_state_of_the_game_january_2017/dclfbrr/"
Meddler added:
"Nice summary! 
Few quick clarifications:
  • Rift Herald - Hopefully in mid-season or pre-season. Not sure which.
  • Masteries - 5 trees is our prediction as to how many you'd need to adequately serve all the different classes/champs. That's not quite the same as 'we're going to make 5 mastery trees' though (theoretical assessment versus committed work).
  • Support stuff - XP and ward gold are the shorter term projects, work coming later will be more impactful though (potentially mid-season)."

When asked about the timing of the next new champion, Meddler noted it would be AFTER end of February:
"Quote:
Out of context but i hope you answer cause i couldnt sleep now and its daytime for your timezone so thought to ask you .. could you guys please work on a champion with mastery over weather .. like lightining based (like Ao Shin) (or Storm from Xmen).. i really feel kenenn or janna dont capture this essence and the recent particles of Elementalist Lux in Storm form looked so awesome.. 
And i was really looking forawrd to a new champion by Feb end .. as 27th is my birthday and Veljoz, Bard, Aurelion who got released near it , are my most played champs . Please can u tell if Feb end release / announce is possible or not ? 
Also any chance of making a spell caster mage .. like who needs channeling for evry ability but has high rewards .. like a real wizard who says few mantras and gather elemental power before casting spells ?
Thanks !! I hope u answer .. good night
Apologies, but no, next new champ will be well after the end of February. 
Some form of weather mage is a concept we'd love to pull off, agree there's a lot of potential there that current champs don't deliver on. We don't currently have one underway though."

In response to a comment on the support changes referenced in post and what the next large scope class update might be, Meddler added it would fall to either DIVERS or VANGUARDS:
"Quote:
A mid season support centered update has piqued my interest 
Would this be something on the same scale as the assassin/mage updates?
We'll be doing some work on systemic stuff supports interact with in the mid season (XP, gold, maybe some items). The mid-season class update though will be either divers (single target mobile fighters) or vanguards (initiating tanks). More details on which in the next week or two." 
When asked about ideas for the support oriented changes, Meddler explained:
"Quote:
"Long-term, we’ll most likely be looking at support recognition/ceremony and income next." 
A highly undervalued mechanic that I really hope they're looking at for the new client. I know for my time spent playing Overwatch, it was always a motivator to play a Support class just to see my name on the leaderboard at the end and to look at "Points Healed" or "Revives". 
I really think some form of recognition that highlights the game impact Supports do have would bring forward more interest in the role. "Hitpoints Healed", "Shields given", "Wards killed", "Wards placed" all being public stats at the end of the game would be huge.
I expect we'll be trying that sort of stuff at some point this year. We've got similar feelings that making contributions more visible makes for a better experience for both support players and their allies. Probably going to spend a bunch of time looking at in game stats though, not just end of game stuff (additional stats beyond KDA to reflect ongoing performance perhaps?)."
Meddler continued:
"With you there's a lot of value in allowing champs played in the support position to support their team as a whole, rather than getting overly focused on just a bot lane carry.

Will have to disagree with you on providing post game rewards as the best way to incentivize the role. Would much rather make the role more fun for people so that they're happier playing it if they don't currently enjoy it than use unrelated rewards to make people play something they don't enjoy enough."
Meddler added:
"Quote:
I think anything you can do to highlight the relevancy and game impact (both during and after) will have a significant effects on uptake to the Support role. I'm glad to hear your team has identified this too. 
Are you alluding to something like having a "Wards placed" or "Wards swept" stat on the tab menu to give real-time feedback to Support performance in-game? Or something different entirely?
Would want to go a lot broader than just wards or similar things ideally. Try and capture clutch saves, contributions to objectives etc as well (what's the support equivalent of a pentakill and how can we call it out?)."

When asked about thoughts on Lethality/armor pen in the bottom lane, RiotMeddler noted:
"Quote:
What's Riots view on lethality/arm pen in the botlane? Healthy for the game or not so?
Somewhat debated. Consensus is ADCs need item choices that support both early game options and AD caster playstyles. Armor Pen previously did that. Whether the solution is to make Lethality fill that gap again or offer alternatives is where we aren't as certain."

As for holding off on specific nerfs while they finely tune things like the jungle, Meddler commented:
"Yep. We're trying to reduce cases of 'nerf the champion then nerf the other thing that was the real problem'. Not to say there won't be cases where a champion's too strong something they're taking advantage of is also too strong, but we're looking to hit items/jungle/masteries/other systems first where appropriate."
Meddler added:
"Quote:
If you plan to nerf CotC more and nerf jungle EXP further then what the fuck is your plan for jungle tanks? They're already under performing and these changes are huge net nerfs.
We've generally seen jungle tanks underperform, relative to other junglers, when the jungle itself is really strong. Champs best able to take advantage of plentiful jungle resources do best in that environment (Lee, Vi, Hecarim etc) at the expense of champs like tanks with less scaling and direct carry potential from personal damage."

When pressed more on the topic of the assassin updates, Reav3 noted:
"Quote:
what are you guys' thoughts on the assassin updates? Surprised to see it wasn't mentioned at all when it was one of the capstone changes of the preseason. Would love to hear your thoughts on the individual champions and whether or not the update as a whole was successful, or where it could be improved.
I will be going over our thoughts on Assassins in a blog later this month"

On the topic of RGMQ and upcoming additions, L4T3NCY chimed in:
"Quote:
I'd ask if they could add some variety to the rotating game mode queues. I, and I'm sure many others, don't enjoy playing Poro King or Ascension every other week, or even back to back. 
It'd be cool if Riot could incorporate different game modes once they work with the new client, or add in existing maps like the Bilgewater ARAM map just to switch things up once in awhile.
As you mention, getting modes to functional in the new client is taking up a lot of our time. :\ The Bilgewater ARAM map may also seem like it's comparatively 'easy' to implement, but actually would require more work than our regular modes to get working unfortunately. 
Running modes back-to-back for now gives us the chance to get those other modes working, but our goal is definitely to get back to more variety ASAP! >o<"
L4T3NCY continued:
"Quote:
Why is Butcher's Bridge so hard to reimplement?
It might look like just an asset swap for the art, but there's actually some underlying level scripts, foundation work, etc that was forked from regular ARAM, making it a unique beast from the code's point-of-view. This means a non-trivial amount of work to achieve parity with today's ARAM if we wanted to bring it back right now. Not saying we don't want to, it's just weighed against the opportunity cost of the other things we're working on (EG: game modes or Practice Tool)."


Meddler Grab Bag - Vlad changes in 7.3/7.4, Riven E bug, &more

The state of game post isn't all Meddler has been talking about! Here's a few more posts from around the boards:
In a thread inquiring about the Vladimir changes that were previously mentioned to be in the works, Meddler noted:
"He's looking like a reasonably likely candidate for 7.3 or 7.4 at this point, though can't guarantee that yet. Development on 7.2 stopped today apart from bug fixing, so there won't be any new balance changes going into the next patch beyond this point."

Meddler also commented on a recent Riven E bug that is to be fixed in 7.2:
"Info dump on this bug:
  • We've got a fix for it that should be going out in the next patch (7.2), assuming it passes final testing.
  • That fix address an issue where Riven's E could be used to negate displacement CC and the associated stun (and not just in the intended 'dashes/displacements can override other dashes/displacements' way). Timing was much easier if used in combination with other abilities on her kit (buffering), but could be done with just the E.
  • We don't have a repro on any other displacement cancelling effects besides that one with the E. It's possible there's something else, none of the bug reports we've got had demonstrated other cases yet however.
  • Similarly we've seen reports the bug could be used to cancel non displacement CC, but haven't seen a demonstrated case of that occuring to investigate (if you've got a good repro would love to see it).
  • This bug's been live on Riven for at least a year (probably a lot longer). Given that, difficulty exploiting it reliably in game, lack of increase in average power after the bug began getting discussed, attempts to exploit the bug often leading to Rivens just wasting their abilities mid fight and dashes/displacements in general being able to override existing dashes/displacements we concluded this was not a disable worthy bug.
  • The recent Teemo disable by contrast was due to a bug where Teemo would phase in and out of invisibility (passive proccing, AS included) while in brush even when in combat. That was a newly introduced bug that happened very consistently, had a noticeable power impact, could be reliably exploited and was very different from other normal behaviors. We made the call to disable Teemo over it as a result."
Meddler added:
"Amount of time on live isn't a justification by itself, but it can be a useful piece of info when assessing likely impact of a bug. If a bug's been live for a long time it generally gives us confidence that it's less powerful, or more difficult to exploit. It's harder to assess a newly introduced bug by contrast."
When asked why Tahm Kench can't use his R while an ally is in his mouth, Meddler commented:
"We did try that during his development. Different expectations lead to a lot of cases of allies jumping out just before Tahm's ult went off, resulting in Tahm's who were irked they ulted without company they'd been planning on. Swapping to an opt in model helped a lot with that."

Lore Discussion Grab Bag- Summoners, VO updates, & lore in client

Following today's debut of Warwick's new chmapion bio and story, several interesting lore and story related posts have peppered the boards!

When asked if there is a possibility of having future voiceover updates for champions who may have already received and update but no updated VO, Jaredan commented:
"Quote:
Since there has been a lot of champion updates in the recent years, are there any plans to give just voice-over updates to champions who aren't receiving full scale VGU's? You have updated numerous kits, visual effects, even splash arts for a lot of champions, but their voices don't seem to be on that list for updates unless its on a VGU.
Yes, depending on the opportunity. As Crewx explains, it is something that can be a challenge, but we do want to make adjustments when we can. This is something we're planning to do though I can't promise how extensive and predictable it will be from a timeframe perspective. 
But yeah, we want to do it, and we're finding ways to make it happen when we can."
Jaredan continued:
"Quote:
What about those champions who have had kit and model updates, but no VO work? Shen and Fiora immediately come to mind, but I'm sure there are others. Would the team ever potentially take time to go back and update these champions to bring them up to par with today's standards of a full VGU?
Reav3 is the person for this, but it's certainly something that's possible. It's just about timing and opportunity."
To the tune of older champion voiceovers mentioning "summoners",  Jaredan commented that summoners still exist in LoL's lore and that we'll find out what that means in the future:
"Quote:
Well...usually i read people talking about the lore saying that the summoner's are part of the old lore, am i mistaking? :o 
If yes then, my bad. But newer champs don't seem to have quotes like "you only need to click once fool" or any reference saying "summoner".
Summoners aren't quite the same as they used to be before the revamp, but they will exist in the new world. We haven't got to revealing them yet, so it's completely understandable that there is confusion (our bad). I just like to let players know Summoners aren't entirely gone when I get chance."

When asked if they have plans to integrate the Universe pages or stories into the actual LoL client, LeaoC commented:
"Quote:
I don't understand why Riot just doesn't just copy-paste these stories from Universe to the bio/story of champions in the actual game. I'd much rather see these long, intricate stories than the 2-3 sentences describing their dark, secret past.
We're looking into integrating Universe in some capacity with the new client. It's not as easy as it looks at the moment given that the priorities of our engineers are to make sure the new client is stable and working for the game. In the future we definitely want to bring more opportunities for players to engage around stories within the client as well as Universe (with our belief that even then Universe is the best way for you to engage around the longer-form content like /u/ZanesTheArgent mentioned below)."
As for more reliable lore releases, LeaoC commented:
"Quote:
I would say that it feels weird getting pieces of lore and waiting really long for the rest, but if the alternative was to wait even later for it all to get released at once then I would prefer the clumps of lore thrown at us at random intervals tactic.
What we want to eventually achieve is a regular cadence in how we deliver story-related content. It doesn't mean we will ship bios or short stories or comics or teasers like the ww one all the time, but what we want to is give players that enjoy the stories (and the ones that want to start engaging with them) something (a short story OR a bio OR a devblog OR a teaser OR a comic etc) with a more defined cadence. Hopefully then we get rid of random intervals, while still delivering stories to players consistently."

RG Engineering: A Trip down the LoL Graphic Pipeline

The Riot Games' Engineering blog has published a new article taking a technical deep dive into the LoL Graphics Pipeline - covering how exactly LoL builds and displays a frame

Here's a brief snip from the full article by Tony Albrecht:
"Hi, I’m Tony Albrecht and I’m one of the engineers on the new Render Strike Team under the Sustainability Initiative in League of Legends. The team has been tasked with making improvements to the League rendering engine, and we’re excited to get our hands dirty. In this article, I’ll provide a run-down on how the engine currently works - hopefully this will be the foundation on top of which I can later discuss the changes we make. It’s also a great excuse for me to step through the rendering pipeline myself so that we, as a team, totally grok what’s happening in there. 
I’ll be presenting exactly how League builds and displays a single frame of the game (remember, on high end machines this is happening over 100 times per second). The discussion here will certainly be technical, but I’m hoping it’s digestible even if you don’t have experience with rendering. I’ll skip some of the complexity for the sake of clarity, but if anyone would like more details I certainly hope you ask. 
First, a bit of brief context on the graphics libraries available to us. League has to work as efficiently as possible on a wide range of platforms. In fact, Windows XP is currently the fourth most popular OS version running the game (behind Windows 7, 10 and 8). There are over ten million games per month played on Windows XP, so to maintain backwards compatibility we have to support DirectX 9 and can only use the features it provides. We use a comparable featureset from OpenGL 1.5 on OS X machines as well (that should be changing soon). 
So let’s dive in! To start, let’s look at how computers actually draw things (yes, we’re going there)."
Be sure to check out the full article over on the Riot Games Engineering blog.

Over on the associated reddit thread, Riot JxE replied to someone asking about the improvements discussed in the post were relevant to something like map skins:
"We're essentially creating a new graphics engine with this refactor, so yes! 
The reason it's been harder for us to create map skins is because of our art style. The whole map is one giant painting, so when we want to make map skins we have to re-paint the whole thing. The reason we went with the painterly art style for the map is so the map never gets in the way of combat and gameplay, because that's the most important part of League. 
All that being said, we do think there are improvements we can make to create map skins faster and this investment in refactoring our code is the first step to getting there. Trust me, I want more map skins just as much as you all do!"

Quick Hits:  EU LCS is back, Snowdown icons, GC Stream, & 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!]


"They're back: the EU LCS Spring Split kicks off this Thursday (5PM CET / 8AM PST)!  
For more information around schedule, tickets and how to watch, head over to http://eu.lolesports.com"

"It snuck up on me again, but @RiotScarizard and I are doing our Twitch Q&A live stream tomorrow, Thursday at 5 PST Pacific! Ask us anything!"


  • In celebration of TEAM ICE's victory at the 2016 All-Star Event, TEAM ICE REGIONS (EU LCS, LMS, and LPL) have a party IP weekend through January 22nd! More information here.


  • If you are still waiting on your Snowdown summoner icons to come in, distribution continues through the 23rd!  Here's a reminder from Porocles on the boards:
"Snowdown icons are not done being distributed to eligible players. AS with the Poro King Icon, any earnable icons are aimed to be sent out by the 23rd. Hang tight until then!"

  • Over on reddit, RiotFeralPony made a brief comment regarding this thoughts on what is needed to get Fiddlesticks into  a better feeling spot : 
"Quote:
So, now the hard question. Given all you said, would you balance Fiddlestick with big changes or small ones? Do you think he's fine at the moment given decent winrate among mains 150+ games on average. Or would you want to address the low winrate of first tryer given it's a point and click champion? 
I think fiddle is an issue where I'm not sure "balance" is the actual issue in terms of just increasing win-rate. Despite what some sites are saying his W/R is really solid atm (49.5% overall), and he has a higher W/R than the majority of champions even after a few games (let alone 100 or more) and it doesn't fluctuate all that much across ELO (there is a small dip in very low and very high elo).  
I don't think any adjustments the team would be making to Fiddle would, or should, be just flat power boosts. I personally think adjustments to Fiddle should be targeted at satisfaction/moderization rather than raw power but that's a difficult thing to prioritize over, and usually much more difficult and complicated, than work that is more akin to raw balance."

REMINDERS

To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!

  • Week 1 of the he 2017 LCK Spring season started earlier this week! Click here for full schedule and you can catch the stream here

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