Red Post Collection: February Early Sales, Creating Zaun in WW teaser, Ask Riot, ARURF in RGMQ, & more!

Posted on at 12:05 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes the February early sales available in the shop through the 27th,, a dev blog on creating Zaun in the Warwick Teaser, Meddler with a set of gameplay thoughts for 2/24,  L4T3NCY with a ton of RGMQ discussion, a new Ask Riot, and more! ARURF is also live in the RGMQ through  2/28!
Continue reading for more information!




Table of Contents


February Early Sales: 2.24.17 - 2.27.17 

A frosty selection of skins and chroma are now on early sale through February 27th!
"The February Early Sale is officially here! To kick things off, the following non-Legacy skins from the past 4-6 months are going on sale from February 24, 2017 00:00 PT through February 27, 2017 23:59 PT!"
Looking forward, March's champion and skin sale schedule was posted earlier this month!

Meddler with Quick Gameplay Thoughts: Feb 24 

As he's been doing for the last week or two, Meddler popped on the boards to share quick gameplay thoughts for February 24th, including a look at the new Bond of Stone and PBE commentary, hotfixes that went out on the 23rd, and more!
"Hey folks, 
More stuff on our minds below. Will touch on current crit marksmen thinking (our bad on patch note phrasing/thinking on how 7.4 affects them) and lethality at least a bit on Monday or Tuesday. 
Bond of Stone 
Has been in a sad state for a while. We've got a new version that'll be hitting PBE soon (today maybe?) aiming to make it a better choice while still positioning it as a thing you take if you want to be tankier and keep your allies alive. Mechanics we're testing are:  
  • You get 5% max HP for taking it. 
  • Enemy champs you CC get a mark on them. Other allies who auto attack that mark get healed. Healing scales with your max health. 
Given the mechanics are pretty different, and it no longer directly absorbs damage, we'll also likely change the name if this approach continues to test well. Suggestions highly welcomed, in particular ones that thematically suggest big/tough (max hp boost/scaling) and helpful/protective (the heal). 
Quinn, Talon and Ashe 
We've been testing Quinn and Talon nerfs on the PBE on the assumption that after the Ghostblade, Edge of Night and Mastery nerfs they'll still both be too strong and will need individual attention. We're not confident we'll have a clear enough picture on that at this point by the time we need to lock 7.5 down (mid next week) so we'll be pulling those changes from 7.5 and reintroducing them into 7.6 if appropriate. 
For Ashe we're on the fence as to whether the E nerf is currently needed. Thinking's trending towards not at present, looking to get some testing on it both for a possible future change if needed and so we've got the option for 7.5 if we decide it is needed. Might vanish from the PBE at some point soon. 
Doran's Shield 
Change has potential, but needs more time than just the 7.5 patch cycle to be done properly. Will vanish from the PBE at some point, with possible return in the next patch or two or potentially in mid-season with other defensive item changes. 
Practice Mode and Bugs 
We're still getting some really good bug reports helped by practice tool. One thing I did want to call out though was that there are a number of spells that will behave in a buggy way in practice tool if you're using cheat CDs because the way they're set up doesn't behave well if their CD is shorter than it would be in an actual game (buffs/debuffs that normally time out before the spell could be available again still being around etc). The intent's highly appreciated, but calling out bugs that only happen in those circumstances is much less valuable than ones that can happen in normal conditions. It's unlikely we'll fix oddities like that if they're just slight practice tool weirdness - better to put that development time into fixing other bugs that affect actual games etc. 
Couple of Hotfixes yesterday 
For anyone that missed it the Edge of Night hotfix nerf went out yesterday (apologies for patch notes still representing older thinking), with AD dropping by 5 and CD going up from 30s to 45s. 
We also put out a hotfix to a Scuttle Crab bug where in some circumstances kill credit would be incorrectly awarded to the enemy team if they were nearby. Apologies for anyone that saw a bit of weirdness from that yesterday."
When asked about the new Bond of Stone and what CC it works with atm, Meddler noted:
"Quote:
Will this mastery work with non-item soft cc or is it hard cc only like CoC? Because I would very very much like to use it on nunu.
Any CC (hard or soft, kit or item) is what we're trying right now."
Meddler added:
"Quote:
The Bond of Stone changes look really cool, but I have a few question: 
Does the Bond of Stone change work on all forms of CC (ie. slows), or just hard CC? Also, how do you see this differing from Courage of the Colossus? It seems the basic premise is that CoC is for Vanguards/initiators, where BoS is for Wardens/defensive tanks, but I'm just wondering how you view things, so one doesn't completely overshadow the other in terms of stat/point efficiency. 
Finally, is there a cooldown/limit on marking people, since I think that could be a big deal in terms of distinguishing the two. For example, it may be more worthwhile for Leona to take BoS and just give her teammates a ton of heals on initiating, instead of shielding herself with CoC (especially since it synergizes with her passive), where it seems generally more fitting for Leona to take CoC since she initiates a lot of fights. Thanks!
Any CC. 
CotC is intended to be personal initial survivability for those champs, whereas Bond should be the thing you go to for a mixture of personal benefit and team contribution.
No CD on marking or triggering, most of the heal is a heal over time though so stacking, rapid triggering etc don't get nuts. I'd expect Leona to still gravitate to CotC more, someone like Braum on the other hand should have a lot of interest in this version of Bond (or whatever it ends up being called)."
Wav3Break also added:
"Quote:
The Bond of Stone changes look really cool, but I have a few question: 
Does the Bond of Stone change work on all forms of CC (ie. slows), or just hard CC? Also, how do you see this differing from Courage of the Colossus? It seems the basic premise is that CoC is for Vanguards/initiators, where BoS is for Wardens/defensive tanks, but I'm just wondering how you view things, so one doesn't completely overshadow the other in terms of stat/point efficiency. 
Finally, is there a cooldown/limit on marking people, since I think that could be a big deal in terms of distinguishing the two. For example, it may be more worthwhile for Leona to take BoS and just give her teammates a ton of heals on initiating, instead of shielding herself with CoC (especially since it synergizes with her passive), where it seems generally more fitting for Leona to take CoC since she initiates a lot of fights. Thanks!
Q1: Yep, works on all CC effects, including slows, blinds, grounded, etc. And yes this mastery is intended to be more powerful for more defensive champions who don't lean on initiation as much to express power. 
Q2: There is no cooldown or limit. You can mark whole enemy teams if you buy Rylais as Amumu, constantly and forever. Thoughts here are that if item interactions prove to be overly game wapring, we would tone it down to being based off ability driven CC effects, preserving the synergies we wanted. From our tests, it hasn't been too oppressive in the infinite case, but obviously we could be off. In the meantime, letting it synergize with item purchases is pretty cool from a play style stand point. I think we've actually enriched your strategies for winning on a champion like Leona if you can see a new item path that enables a more supportive style in a particular game by taking this new mastery. If this proves to be abusive however, we will have solutions prepared."
Wav3Break continued, discussing how the healing effect splits up over time:
"The heal over time effect doesn't stack, but it does front load a portion of it on activation. Currently it's tuned at 40% front loading, which means whenever you hit a target with the rune, you instantly heal 1% of the Bond of Stone user's maximum health, and then continue healing 1.5% of the user's maximum health as the HoT ticks down. 
Sooo in the dream scenario with Hurricane hitting 3 targets afflicted by the rune: You'd heal 3% of the user's maximum health per auto attack (each bolt refreshes the buff once), and just continues the additional 1.5% over 2 seconds after. This is intended to allow the mastery to have a degree of synergy with AS/Multi-hits/AA-resets, but not be completely overbearing when used with them. It's certainly possible that the front loading is too powerful at 40% though, but in practice, setting up the dream scenario has been pretty hard. Generally when you are multi-proccing it on people, it's because you had a sick AOE initiate, which happens at the beginning of most fights when your carries are probably full health and won't benefit from the healing. As fights begin to spread, it gets even harder for carries to reliably hit multiple people with it, but it can still certainly happen often for champions like Twitch."
[prior to 2/24 PBE] On the Miss Fortune Q changes on the PBE, Meddler commented:
"Quote:
Could you talk a bit about the miss fortune change on the PBE right now?
We're aiming to put some form of reward for hitting with bounce that first killed someone back on the kit (skill expression/mastery point). Probably won't be damage though."

RGM brain dump. ARURF death timers, RGM custom games and more.

With ARURF launching in RGMQ in 7.4, L4T3NCY jumped on the boards to discuss a variety of RGMQ related topics including ARURF death timers, why RGMQ modes are missing from custom games, experimental modes on the PBE, and more!
"Heya guys, feels like a good time for one of these again. <3 I've gathered a heap of common RGM questions in here, but feel free to hit me up in the comments with anything else. I'll be around for a while, give me a poke. o^_^O 
ARURF Death Timers 
While it feels like it might be fun to apply the URF buff to death timers as well, this would impact game length pretty severely. If champions respawned any quicker than usual in ARURF, games would drag on-and-on while turtling defenses could continue to hold out forever on the fountain. :( 
Death timers in ARURF are actually the same, if not shorter than regular SR right now. They're also unchanged from regular old URF. Average champion level is generally higher in URF though comparative to game time, meaning towers can feel a little weaker than usual. We'd still rather a snowballing game close-out than drag on forever though, so you can quickly get into the next match. 
The worst feeling would be bumping up against a stubborn, frustrating defense that isn't earned through player skill, just facilitated by unnecessarily short death timers. 
RGM mode custom games 
We still haven't been able add support for custom games in the new league client. This #feelsbadman. :( I was sad we didn't have custom games for the new Blood Moon mode. I'm sad we don't have them for ARURF. I hope we can get them working ASAP. We want to do our community games again with you guys. They are not missing by design, we're working to get them back. 
Old mode experimentation on PBE 
There's a few modes we've run quite a lot (Poro King and Ascension in particular). They're both quite popular modes with healthy engagement, which made them good candidates for filler in between our bigger new modes (like Blood Moon or the new Doom Bots) that we run! Obviously we can't make a Blood Moon mode every patch though (as much as we'd like to), so inevitably we enable modes like Poro King and Ascension to make sure there's still something light and fun to do on the weekends alongside ARAM, rather than nothing at all. 
We're interested in seeing if there's some unique twists we can put on these modes though to further freshen them up. Right now on PBE we have a version of Poro King with Doom Bots style Ryze portals everywhere. We're going to watch it very closely. PBE is a place for us to test and gauge. We might delete it. We might change it entirely. It's an experiment. #PBEthings 
This also doesn't mean we aren't still actively working on bigger new modes similar to Blood Moon that just released. We are actually focusing even more on modes like that this year, but in between those big mode drops, we still need to use reliable modes like Poro King to fill the gaps. Hopefully we can also expand the roster with modes like One For All once we get support for it in the new client too. 
Why not put 'Mode X' into the RGM queue? 
If "Mode X" hasn't appeared by now, it's probably because we weren't happy with the design of it and the outcomes (some exceptions are "One For All: SR" and "Hexakill: TT", which are currently blocked due to tech reasons on the new client). We're still building support for a few modes in the new client, but older ones like Showdown or One For All: Mirror Mode just missed the bar on what we expect from an alternate game mode. I won't say "never" in game dev because anything could happen, but it's unlikely we'll bring modes like these back. That also doesn't mean that the core idea might not still be fun (the idea of an intense 1v1 is kinda cool) but we wouldn't use that particular execution of the idea. We'd most like build a newer, better version, that better executes on that gameplay fantasy. 
-- L4T3NCY"

When asked about potentially adding bans to ARURF, L4T3NCY commented:
"Quote:
Hey L4T3NCY can i ask for your thoughts on adding bans to AURF since I know some people want it or does it defeat the Random purpose
I'm not against the idea of bans in ARURF. We should make sure they're for the right reason though. Our goal is never to "balance" alternate game modes, but if they play nicely with the reroll/trade system's existing mitigation of the champion RNG, then maybe."
L4T3NCY continued:
"Quote:
But you guys literally added the All random to urf to balance it...
ARURF does nothing to balance URF. If you roll an OP champ they're still just the same, their dmg, HP, etc is unchanged. ARURF tackles the stagnation and unhealthy engagement we saw with regular URF. It seemed to do pretty well the last time we ran it, so we're running it again in 7.4."

As for if NEMESIS DRAFT (teams picking champions for their enemies) will return, L4T3NCY noted:
"Quote:
Is Nemesis Draft still on the table for getting added into the regular RGM lineup?
I'll say "doubtful" on Nemesis Draft. We ran it again one more time last year just to check, and it didn't seem super compelling. Good maybe for a laugh or two but, not really a whole alternate game mode. :P"
L4T3NCY continued:
"Quote:
Any hope for nemesis draft as a spin on other alternate game modes, rather than a mode itself? e.g. Nemesis URF 
AR is pretty good I suppose, but still has the issue of people with small champ pools (unless AR picks from the entire champ pool now and I've missed it), and the implication that people probably know the champs they own. 
Adventures with champions you potentially have literally never played before makes for spicy adventures.
We talked about this one, "using Nemesis Draft as a mutator on other modes". 
The place we always landed though was, "ultimately you end up playing with a bunch of champs you don't like." This can be true in ARAM sometimes too, but at least the system is fair and you also had a relatively equal chance to also get a champ you like (assuming equal like/dislike champ proportions). 
When it's a human giving out the champs though, it's almost 100% champs that nobody likes (except that one Urgod). To be fair, that is the gimmick of the mode, but I'm not sure that would be an improvement on modes where you're rather just pick/roll something fun instead."
When asked about Bilgewater themed Butcher's Bridge ARAM map, L4T3NCY Permalink
"Quote:
what about butchers bridge?
That map was gorgeous.. I'm kinda sad we haven't used it even once since Bilgewater. Would love to find a way to bring it back!"
When asked if they plan to do updates to the PRACTICE TOOL over time, L4T3NCY commented
"Quote:
OT But since you are the game mode guy, will you guys also continue to improve upon practice tool as well
Yes, planning a light quality-of-life update to Practice Tool sometime soon(tm). :D"

Ask Riot: Malzahar Kills The Lady 

The latest edition of ASK RIOT answers questions on balancing LoL, Malzahar's dagger, and writing at Riot:
"Welcome to Ask Riot!

Do you think it’s a bad thing that there are champions who will never see pro play?

Holistically, it’s a bad thing. By which I mean, if it were possible to achieve total champion parity from Bronze to pro, with very few trade-offs, then I’d choose it in a heartbeat.

The problem we have is to achieve that today would take a lot of trade-offs.

We use one set of tuning numbers for every League player, regardless of skill level. A game like basketball has different point lines, and a game like golf has different tee boxes, but League is virtually the same for everyone. A lot of the feedback we receive from players is about how a particular change won’t solve a balance issue at Challenger or Pro. But that’s not the focus.

So if you take a popular lower ELO champion like Garen and vow that he needs to be picked at pro, you could end up with a monster with a 65%+ winrate in Silver. You could do a big rework on him so that his winrate in Silver was around 50% and close to that for pro, but he might end up so mechanically complex that he isn’t as popular as he is today (or more likely, probably wouldn’t stay at 50% in Silver for long).

There are a bunch of other factors that affect pro play. For example, as I mentioned recently, it’s challenging to tune any champion who has part of their power tied up in AI minions so that they are viable for pro without stomping non-pro. Channeled ults are something pros tend to always interrupt. Weaknesses aren’t necessarily weaknesses when you have teammates who can cover them up, versus a solo queue experience where you may be on your own. Skill shots, combos, and anything timing-related tends to be far more reliable in higher skill brackets.

TLDR we do value pro champion diversity, but not at the expense of everything else.

(We’re also thrilled that the 10 ban change seems to have led to higher champion diversity in pro so far.) 
GHOSTCRAWLER, Game Design Director 
Why does Malzahar carry a dagger if he doesn’t ever use it?

Little known completely non-canonical fact: Before staring into the Void, Malzahar used his seer abilities to wow Shuriman crowds as he toured with a traveling fair from town to town. In each new city, he’d ask for a brave volunteer from the audience to stand against a circular wooden target, affixing their wrists and ankles against it with snug straps. Hoisting the target into a spin, he’d turn and walk eighteen paces away from it, tying a blindfold around his eyes. Like lightning striking without warning on a cloudless day, he’d spin on his heels on his eighteenth step and fling five daggers at the target, each landing within a hair’s split from his volunteer’s body. Though he was a born seer and his ability to look into the future made it easy to know where the target was at any given moment, he breathed a sigh of relief as he counted the thwip, thwip, thwip, thwip, thwip of the daggers digging into the wood.

On a particularly lovely spring evening in Urzeris, Malzahar looked over the fluttering hands of the crowd, waving like kelp in the sea trying to get his attention, and chose a beautiful raven-haired woman with eyes like emeralds. He slid the straps around her delicate wrists, spun the target, and began to count… fifteen…sixteen…seventeen…eighteen…

thwip, thwip, thwip, thwip – thunk.

Malzahar keeps the dagger that ended her life with him always, to remind himself that even a seer can’t predict the uncertainty of the future. There is always a chance things can change – for better, and surely for worse. 
RIOT TIGER LILY, Editor, Worldbuilding Team 
Last week you talked about what Riot looks for in artists. What about in writers? How can I become a writer at Riot?

This one is a bit tricky to answer, because there are lots of different kinds of writers at Riot. I’ll try (off the top of my head) to list a few, with an apology in advance for how long this will be and for probably over-simplifying and explaining someone’s job wrong:

Narrative — these are the folks who write lore, etc., around Runeterra and its champions. A narrative writer might help build an alternate fantasy world for a skin line, or help the champion team as it figures out the story of a new champ.

Example: Ivern Bio

Worldbuilding — these writers work on stuff that’s similar to what narrative writers do, but are focused more on the “big picture” of the world of Runeterra. They focus on things like the backstory of the world itself and how people act and interact in Demacia, Zaun, Piltover, etc.

Example: Zaun Update

Comms — these writers are centered on how we talk to and with players, authoring messaging about new features, stuff that broke, patch notes, etc.

Example: Patch Notes

Copywriting — this is the specialty for writers who focus on campaign-like writing around major releases. Think taglines, skin names, and promotional sites.

Example: Star Guardian Microsite

Editorial — these writers create longer stories about the whys/hows of League, through semi-journalistic interviewing/reporting or by helping devs write dev blogs.

Example: Developing Dark Star Thresh

Esports — esports writers focus on (duh) esports. They write summaries, match-up stuff, player bios, and some work on the actual broadcasts.

Example: The Hai Road

What’s more interesting is that there’s a lot of overlap between these areas. A copywriter might write the script for a CG teaser, an editorial writer might pitch in on edits for a new narrative piece, a comms writer might sub in to help with a champion reveal, and so on. Writers at Riot need specializations, but also a bit of flexibility.

So, getting to the point. What do we look for in writers? Most important is a strong portfolio. Experience and education are nice, but both take a backseat to excellent writing samples. Ideally you’ll have several examples of the kind of writing you’re interested in. Your cover letter, by the way, is a pretty good indicator of your writing chops. It doesn’t have to be the next great novel (though creativity can be a plus if executed well), just clean, clear, and easy to follow.

Specific requirements vary by role. You’re likely not going to be a good fit for the gameplay comms team, for example, if you’re not level 30 yet and you don’t play ranked (we see hundreds of applications that say “I don’t play League yet, but I will learn!”), just like you won’t land a gig working as an esports broadcast writer if you don’t know what LCS stands for. The best way to suss these out is to read the job descriptions carefully.

Additionally, you need to be honest about what interests you. A writer with a deep portfolio of narrative writing applying for a comms or esports role sends up red flags — is this person truly interested in this type of writing, or are they hoping to use one open role to slide into something else? Plus, what if you get the job? Will you be happy doing this work, every day? I’d probably be miserable writing narrative, but I’m sure someone else out there would rather die than edit dev blogs. Find the thing you like!

Overall there’s no big secret to it. Writers at Riot have a wide range of backgrounds. Some are published novelists. Some worked in television and film. Some started in an entry-level games job (I started in customer support, for example) and built a writing portfolio over time by pitching in whenever possible. Some just had kick-ass cover letters and writing samples and were hired with no professional experience at all. Every person took a unique path to get here.

Basically the way you become a writer at Riot is the same way you achieve anything: Do the thing you love and work your ass off at it. Fight for opportunities. The people who show up, the people who do the work, these are the people who succeed. 
RUMTUMTUMMERS, Managing Editor
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."

Fun Where They Run: Creating Zaun in CG

Next up we have a new dev blog on creating Zaun for Warwick's champion teaser!
The Depths of Zaun
When we invited people to playtest Warwick’s rework, we’d ask what the most compelling part of the experience was. Turns out, it’s pretty terrifying to hear the gong of doom that indicates you’re likely to become his next snack. We decided to play off (and push) this fear in his release trailer. Instead of relying heavily on voice-over to tell the story, we created a moment where players could experience being hunted by Warwick in his natural habitat: the depths of Zaun. 
Depicting a specific region of Runeterra in a highly-detailed animation was uncharted territory, and it took some trial and error before the setting actually felt like Zaun. In other words, we made a whole lot of of what Zaun isn’t before landing on what Zaun is. But by learning from each misstep, we were able to portray the architecture, lighting, and technology of Zaun in a way that hadn’t been done before. 
SETTING THE SCENE 
Sometimes, Zaun is still seen as a place where mad scientists and augmented people run wild, but actually, most of Zaun is inhabited by normal people living ordinary lives. It’s a vibrant city, filled with innovation and people trying to earn a living
City of Zaun
But this is just one part of Zaun. As you travel down, past the reaches of the Gray-filtered light, the environment turns grim. Zaun’s deepest region is known as the Sump, where chem-fumes thread the alleys between crowded industrial buildings. It’s not all bad, though, and the people here are still proud of their city—but some areas are truly dangerous. The shadiest transactions and interactions occur in the Sump, where space is limited and the environment can be treacherous. 
This was the most likely place for Warwick to roam… and the most frightening. 
Distinguishing this precise location in the trailer was tricky because we couldn’t rely on the typical establishing shot, or faraway overview of the environment, because everything was portrayed from the Fleg’s perspective. Csaba Vicze, assistant director at Digic Pictures—the company Riot collaborated with to create this animation—says, “We felt like we needed something more, otherwise we’re just running in a hallway until the end in the gondola. We needed some kind of open space to serve as the establishing shot.” 
To solve this, we added a moment where Fleg looks up to the rest of the city, but it took several iterations before this scene felt right. In early concept art, Zaun continued downward, below the gondola station, falsely indicating that the setting was somewhere in the center of the city. Furthermore, the smog was evenly distributed throughout the chasm, but these plumes needed originate in the Sump and disperse as they drifted upward. Armed with this feedback from the publishing and Worldbuilding teams at Riot, Digic modified the concept art so it remained true to the city of Zaun. 
The Chasm: Digic Pictures’ Early Concept Versus Later Rendition
BELOW THE GRAY 
Before Digic could start working on the CG, we shared our visions of Zaun through stories, artwork, and conversations. We answered fundamental questions about the city, like: What do the buildings look like? Who lives there? What’s the technology like? How do people get around? What’s the economy like? What’s the city’s history? Some of it may seem frivolous, but cities are defined by their details, and this context helped our partners at Digic better understand Zaun.  
However, to complicate things, the setting wasn’t just Zaun—it was a very particular place in Zaun. It was tough to communicate the ways the Sump differed from, yet mirrored, the rest of the city, both to Digic and in the trailer itself. “Most people have one view of what Zaun is, because of Universe or the Ekko trailer,” creative lead Anton “RiotManton” Kolyukh says. “But we did the Sump, and a lot of people haven’t really seen that yet.” 
Early concept art from Digic felt too open; it became more condensed in later renditions.
Expressing the subtle ways the Sump resembles Zaun, but in a dingy, industrialized way, was a balance that took until the final edits to find. In early set designs, the pipes and hallways were arranged at right-angles, as if carefully planned. The gondola’s interior looked cozy, complete with a seat and plenty of space; even the gondola station looked like a rather pleasant place. 
Riot’s Original Concept Art for the Gondola’s Interior

Publishing lead Brandon “Riot cottonfxn” Miao says, “We brought the early concepts to a meeting at Riot, and the Worldbuilding team said, ‘This isn’t Zaun.’ We all had the idea in our heads of what it should be, even though we’d never created it in great detail.”

In reality, the Sump isn’t an orderly place. It has been built and rebuilt, and almost everything there now serves the chem-tech industry (or its workers) in some way. The early renditions were missing the dingy disorder of a city that was built on top of itself and upwards—multiple times. RiotManton says, “We explained this to our partners at Digic, and they said, ‘Oh, so you guys want us to mess up the environment? Got it.” 
Moving away from perfection, the landscape began resembling a decaying, dangerous mine shaft rather than an abandoned tunnel. Add in some familiar Zaunite features, like repeating metal bars and lots of glass, and it began to feel like the actual Sumps of Zaun. Bela Brozsek, Digic’s studio art director, says, “It was a challenge to tone it down and still keep the tone of the city, but we feel like we eventually hit that balance.” 
With each rendition, the environment became dingerier and drearier.
LIGHTING THE DEPTHS 
One of the most recognizable aspects of Zaun its green hue. It clings to every surface, emanates from windows, and colors the creeping Gray. Warwick’s signature color is also green, but tracking a glowing green werewolf in a dimly-lit, green landscape seemed like it’d be pretty difficult. It would be visually messy, and using too much green in the environment would detract from Warwick. And, ultimately, he’s the star—it’s his trailer, after all.
Warwick’s Green Glow: Work-in-Progress Animation
Furthermore, the lighting needed to convey a horror-esque atmosphere. Blue is often used for lighting in films and games in this genre, but it felt too generic and sci-fi for the Sumps of Zaun. We needed a color scheme that communicated the sickly environment that also felt spooky, while avoiding too much blue and green. 
Ultimately, we landed on a desaturated, green hue as the dim light, which is the light that softly illuminates the whole environment; this connected the area to Zaun without detracting too much from Warwick. Then, to amplify the fear factor, we implemented a mustard-yellow glow from the artificial lights. Riot cottonfxn says, “We were worried for a while if we made the right decision, because the lighting really isn’t green. It wasn’t until players commented that the setting felt like Zaun that we thought of it as a success.”

In the final version, there’s a clear distinction between Warwick’s coloring and the environment’s lighting. 
GUNS AND PHONES 
Technology in Zaun (and Piltover) is pretty advanced compared to the rest of Runeterra, but still, guns are an oddity. The tech exists, but it’s so rare and costly that only some wealthy people can afford it. It’s kind of like automobiles a hundred years ago—they existed, but they weren’t crowding the streets.

In early versions of the story, Boggin (the big guy) and Fleg (the POV guy) each carried guns. However, giving guns to such low-ranking characters seemed to imply that guns were pretty common in Zaun, or at least, in the Sump. Riot cottonfxn says, “If both of the main characters have guns, what does that say about the world at large?”

Riot’s Concept Art of Fleg’s Long-Lost Pistol (RIP)
Giving both Fleg and Boggin guns had implications for all of Runeterra: If guns were so common in Zaun and Piltover, why don’t they just take over everything? People in Demacia and Noxus are running around with swords and shields, and they wouldn’t stand a chance against gun warfare. In reality, the technology just wasn’t that prevalent. 
And thus, Fleg lost his gun privileges. 
Boggin’s gun was integral to the story, so his character had to be completely rewritten to justify his gun possession. Boggin was once all brawn and no brains, but narrative writer Phillip “KneecapPhilly” Vargas says, “We had to make him smarter, tougher, and a leader to warrant him having the weapon.” Once upon a time, Boggin and Fleg were buddies, but then Boggin was modified to be Fleg’s superior—a lieutenant thug. 
Riot’s Original and Modified Versions of Boggin’s Concept Art
BEYOND THE STREETS OF ZAUN 
It took a whole lot of teamwork between Digic and Riot’s publishing and Worldbuilding teams to create Warwick’s reveal trailer, and we’re excited about the final result. Through many rounds of feedback and iterations, we were able to portray Zaun in an authentic way. Using Warwick’s home turf as the setting made the experience feel more organic, as if we’re catching a glimpse his life outside the Rift, and it allowed us to share and develop the region in a new and dynamic way. 
Plus, stories like this show that Runeterra—and its inhabitants—exist beyond the champions in League: Even if we don’t see it, things are always happening across Runeterra."
Catch a rerun of the Warwick teaser here:


Recent PBE Context - Warlord's Bloodlust, LB, Aatrox, BotRK

In addition to Meddler's posts above, we have a few more notes on recent PBE changes in the 7.5 cycle:

On the recent LeBlancKindredBotrK, and Aatrox changes on the PBEricklessabandon noted:
[1] "still testing leblanc changes, but based on what we've seen so far i think shipping something on the 'extreme' end is likely" 


[2] "changes to kindred, botrk, and aatrox look to be pretty solid -- likely little-to-no changes before 7.5 outside of small tuning (if any)"

On the 2/24 PBE Warlord's Bloodlust changes, phroxz0n noted:
"Tentative numbers on warlords are 1-50% lifesteal on the energized attack (increasing per level exponentially) and 30% movespeed for 0.75 seconds. 
It charges at the same rate as static shiv and rapid fire cannon and kirchesis shard and they will all proc at the same time. Takes roughly 6-7 auto attacks while moving for an ADC to fully charge."

Patch Chat with the Playtest Team - 7.4 

With 7.4 out on live, the playtest team hit the boards for another patch chat!
"new "Minions" art created by inkinesss! 
Hey guys! Welcome to Patch Chat, a Dev Corner thread we make to talk about our new patches every two weeks: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/patch/patch-74-notes 

I'm Aesah on Riot's Playtest Team, a group of Diamond+ players who play with the new champions, reworks, balance tweaks, items, and map updates before they are released. It's our job to the test the changes that our designers come up with and ensure that we're introducing positive changes to LoL in terms of both balance and fun. We'll be watching this thread to answer as many questions as we can. 
7.4 comes with a variety of changes. On the armor penetration front, Black Cleaver has been too consistently powerful as an offensive first item, so some of the power is being shifted into defensive stats. Last Whisper will a lot more effective in it's tank-busting role as a base item without the upgrades. Lethality seems decent right now, so Ghostblade is getting a nerf (Lethality is likely to be looked at more in the near future). For masteries, damage is going down across the board. In the bot lane, we're making Fervor a more attractive option relative to Warlord's Bloodlust which should lead to more exciting high moments rather than farmfests. Champions with notable changes include a big change to Cho'gath's ultimate to encourage tank builds, nerfs to overperforming champions (Maokai, Jhin, Ryze, and Corki), and a roaming buff for Bard. 
All of us on the Playtest Team are avid gamers so feel free to talk to us as fellow LoL players! 
  • Adam "Afic" Cohen
  • Ben “Cezium” Burkhardt
  • Don “Aesah” Ding
  • Nicolas “Gleeb” Haddad
  • Dan “penguin” Hardison
  • Robert “ROBERTxLEE” Lee
  • Rob "King Cobra" Rosa
  • Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith
  • Blake “S0be” Soberanis
  • Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes
  • Arnor "TheLastAirbender" Halldorsson"

Cosplay Challenge Conquered! 

Recently over 40 League of Legends cosplayers took a trip to Riot's Cosplay Lab for an experiment fun and creation!
"For the first time ever, we invited cosplayers to a special lab crafted just for them! The Cosplay Lab, like its predecessors the Creator Lab and YouTube Lab, was envisioned as a three-day workshop focusing on the theory, craft, and art of cosplay. But, as is the case when you put a bunch of brilliant minds in a room, it turned into so much more. 
With limited space at the event and the hope this would be the first of many, we welcomed just over 40 cosplayers to Los Angeles for the Lab, chosen because of their positive impact on the community and range of expertise, so that they might support and learn from one another. In the end, first-time cosplayers and seasoned cosplay veterans had no problems mixing together to create one big, awesome cuddle puddle. 
The cosplayers wasted no time making the workspace their own, leaving their marks on the workbenches… 
...and on each other.
As soon as everyone was assigned a group, the work began. Speakers Ben Bayouth and Jake Corrick of Stoopid Buddy Studios presented first, giving the crowd background on one of their recent projects, the infamous Thresh Puppet. Going into further detail on pattern making, one of the techniques used for the giant Thresh, they taught a workshop wherein they created a giant foam sword and explored patterning for more organic shapes. 
    
Cosplayers were also briefed about The Challenge. Using their experience, varying skill sets, and the new techniques they’d learn throughout the workshop, their mission was to create a pitch and plans for an epic, pie-in-the-sky cosplay idea that would challenge them on the same scale as a huge Thresh. Because each team was given randomized constraints to amp up the stakes, they joked that some of them may end up having to create a ten foot Yordle -- lo and behold, that’s exactly what one group got assigned! 
  
  
Vensy of Vensy Props joined the Lab as one of the attendees, but her formal training made her the perfect choice to teach a class about molding as well! She gave the cosplayers an overview of her techniques, demoed pouring a mold, and then made a cast from it. The second half of her workshop focused on her famous light-up wards. She led the group in soldering the wires and assembling the lights, all while showing off her cat obsession with a cat kigu dress and a cat-infested presentation. 
    
The Lab concluded with a trip to Riot HQ, where the teams presented the concepts they’d dreamed up for The Challenge. Here the creators shined, showing off the depths of their imaginations and drive with out-of-this-world pitches for cosplays like a full-sized Skaarl puppet with Kled on it’s back; a giant Super Galaxy Rumble, complete with sound effects; a lifesize ‘Stargot’ to show off a fan-imagined Star Guardian skin for Urgot; a 10-foot tall “Little” Devil Teemo with floating crown; a realistic Master Chef Tahm Kench that could be assembled and operated solo; a giant Anivia puppet operated by six people; a portable Hextech Annie and Tibbers experience for players to interact with; and an immersive survival experience of being hunted by Kha’zix. 
  
  
After a tour and a few Rioters’ surprise Star Guardian transformation, the cosplay group treated the Riot campus to its first ever cosplay fashion show! Well-known cosplays and debuts graced the stage, showing off each creator’s technical craft and command of their characters. 
The event ended as all should, with hugs, happy tears, and budding friendships. We hope this is the first of many Cosplay Labs to come, and that we have an opportunity to include much more of this brilliant community. A big thank you to all who participated! 
Check out the list of cosplayers below and give them your love and support!

Who knows, maybe someday we’ll see one of these epic cosplay pitches come to life! 
Let us know which idea was your favorite in the comments below, or show off your own!"

Quick Hits: ARURF in RGMQ, QA at Riot, & NA LCS Finals Tickets

[Quick hits is our own collection within a red post collection, often including easy to digest stories, specialized information, and/or repeat info you may have missed in other posts!]

1) As mentioned in the 7.4 patch notesAll Random Ultra Rapid Fire (ARURF) is set to return to live in the RGMQ from 2/24/17 - 2/28/17 and from 3/3/17 - 3/6/17.
Be sure to use your emote hotkey in ARURF to see this super strong flexing URF Emote! 

2) Riot Games has published an article on their website talking about the role of Quality Assurance team - check out Assuring Quality in Today's Complex World

3) Riot has posted information regarding availability and pricing for tickets for the  2017 NA LCS Spring Finals in Vancouver - look for them to go on sale MARCH 3RD at 10:00 AM PT!

Reminders

To round out this red post collection, here are reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • As mentioned in the Festival Queen Anivia release post, the Festival Queen summoner icon is available for 1500 IP through 2/27/2017 at 23:59 PT!

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