Red Post Collection: /Dev On Launching 10 Bans, Ghostcrawler May Q&A, and more!

Posted on at 12:20 AM by Aznbeat
Tonight's red post collection includes a new /dev on launching the upcoming 10 bans in regular play, a VOD for Ghostcrawler's May Q&A, the Ezreal Nendoroid debuting on May 30th, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

/Dev: On  Launching 10 Bans

First up we have a brand new /dev article by Draggles on the upcoming 10 bans in regular play change. 
"Implementing more bans into regular play had us asking some tough questions: “How many bans is enough bans?“, “What happens if everyone gets the pro draft?“, “Should we just remove Yasuo and Camille from the game to save time?” 
In the upcoming system, everyone gets a ban and all 10 players ban simultaneously. After the ban phase concludes, each team’s bans are shown to the other, and the pick phase continues as normal. Bans can be duplicated across teams. 
YOU GET A BAN, AND YOU GET A BAN 
Our ultimate goals for 10 simultaneous bans are: to make champ select fairer for everyone, to give everyone more control over the ban phase, and if possible, to lower the time it takes to get to game. We didn’t go with the split draft format from professional games (six bans, six picks, then four bans, four picks) because we want to even out individual players’ power in champ select. 
When we looked at the perks of the system currently implemented in pro play, the split draft (particularly when you know your own team’s strategies and opponents’ playstyles) just didn’t copy-paste well to regular play. Check out the announcement post for more info, or keep reading below. 
Don’t wanna lane against Blitz? Take him out. Feel like running Tryndamere top? Ban Teemo. It also doesn’t matter where you land in the champ select order – everyone has an equal chance to ban something they don’t want to see. You won’t be able to ban the same thing as a teammate, but both teams can ban the same champion. 
Though some games may have fewer than 10 unique bans (in the case of duplicates), we’re hoping this eliminates the chance of some champions being permabanned – y’all know who we mean. We don’t think we’ll see many games with fewer total bans than before, but we’ll keep an eye on this if it becomes more than a wild edge case.  
OTHER 10 BAN FORMATS 
Let’s take a look at a few of the other formats we investigated before choosing the simultaneous approach, and some pros and cons of each. When we were deciding which best fit the bill for regular play, we were specifically looking for a few things: 
  • Equalize player agency as much as possible
  • Remove the random champ select order for bans
  • Reduce time to game, where possible 
We’re gonna get a little technical here, so bear with us:
Esports Draft

The one from your friendly neighborhood esports broadcast
✔ Everyone gets a ban
✔ Strategically high level for organized teams 
Everyone gets a ban (…potentially, see below), and the split draft keeps some consistency between regular and pro play. It’s very tactical, and great for organized five-person teams – when you have more information and prior knowledge of both teams, you can strategically group bans towards weaker (or stronger) lanes. 
We DO think this format is great in team situations, and we’re looking to bring the esports draft to other team-based competitive modes (buzzwords ugh) in the future – but we’re not quite there yet. You’ll be able to play around with it in custom Tournament Draft games when we turn it on in patch 7.11 – but things may look a little janky for the next few patches.
✘ Removes a lot of power from second ban/pick phase
✘ Ban power changes depending on order in champ select
✘ Much longer ban phase
The esports draft results in awkward situations in matchmade games where fourth and fifth pick on both sides can be heavily target banned by the second ban phase, forcing those players to have super deep champion pools. For example: if both teams ban multiple supports and neither locks a support in the first pick phase, then it would make sense to focus bans on supports in the second ban phase too. The available support pool can then become tiny (particularly if not all support champs are owned) – and most importantly, the affected player(s) would have very little say in those decisions. 
Also, in this format, it would be hard to call who actually gets each ban. If we give each ban to the corresponding pick (first player in order gets first ban, fourth player gets fourth ban etc) then each section of champ select would have different levels of freedom to choose what people actually want to. Outside of an organized team, you’d need a lot of notifications (“hey, you’re banning next!”, “hey, you’re banning now!”, “hey, you banned a thing!”, “hey, everyone’s picking now!”) just to keep the process smooth.
This is also the most complex and time-consuming draft, both of which lead to an increased risk of unintentional (and intentional!) queue dodges.

Alternating Bans 
Like the six ban style, but adding four extra before the pick phase
✔ Everyone gets a ban
✔ Consistent champ select order to now
This one is consistent with how things are now and maintains a similar strategic level, so it wouldn’t feel too different. There would be no need to change the champ select flow or add new UI elements, meaning light on development time. 
✘ Later bans are pressured into banning meta champs
✘ Certain champs at higher risk of permabans
✘ Much longer champ select
 
In this format, players later in the champ select order could be pressured into banning reactionarily, removing a lot of freedom and ban power. On top of that, certain long-haired swordsmen would be at the biggest risk of never seeing play again. It would also add up to two extra minutes to an already extensive phase of the game, making dodges feel more punishing. In testing, we tried shortening the ban window to compensate but that led to a lot of panic banning and dedicated attention from all 10 players.
Snake Draft

Either this, or the ban phase is mirrored, starting on red side 

✔ Everyone gets a ban
✔ Could be a shorter champ select
 
Everyone gets to ban a thing, and you can react to your opponents’ bans. This is very similar to the alternating ban draft, just potentially faster. 
✘ Later bans are pressured into banning meta champs
✘ Certain champs at higher risk of permabans
✘ Basically a worse esports draft system
 
If we implemented a system that had a snake format, frontloading all the bans before picks doesn’t make as much sense as using the split draft esports version. Using a split draft instead would still take up a similar amount of time as a snake draft, but with the benefit of strategic depth and more interesting pre-game plays."
Captain's Draft

One player picks all five bans for the team
✔ Reduces time to game 
Captain’s draft could be the fastest possible 10-ban phase (as it doesn’t require the full attention of the majority of the lobby), and sounds like a great experience… for two people in the game. 
✘ One player has all the bans
✘ Every four out of five games, you have no ban power
✘ Lots of abuse cases
This one removes agency for nearly everyone, and you’d need to put trust in your captain to make the right calls for your lane. You can imagine you’d likely see more salty dodges throughout your queues too, not to mention people quitting the lobby so they can try their luck at becoming the captain next time. #notmysoloqueue 
Another interesting downside is that you’d only get to be the captain in 20% of your games on average, so adding clear enough calls-to-action for the captain (and making sure first-time-captains actually understand wtf is going on) would be quite challenging from the UX side. It’d probably be a rough few weeks, is all we’re saying.
Blind Simultaneous

The one coming to a draft queue near you
 
✔ Everyone gets a ban
✔ Equal ban power for everyone
✔ Shortens champ select significantly
✔ Lowest chance of permabanned champs
 
Equal ban choice for all players, giving everyone an independent chance to take out something they don’t want to see. Simultaneous bans also remove ban order in champ select – meaning there’s less expectation to be forced into removing meta bans, and ends up being a faster phase overall. 
✘ Duplicate bans might feel like a waste
✘ Lower strategic intent
✘ Inconsistency to pro play
 
There’s a small possibility of only getting five bans and is ultimately a different strategic experience than what currently exists. Not being able to see your opponents’ choices does impact the strategic intent, but we’re confident this trade-off reduces the chance of permabanned champions across multiple patches. If players could see the enemy team’s bans before everyone locks, the strongest play would be to wait until the very end of the ban phase to bait-and-switch ban compositions. It sounded like a super unfun way to start the game. 
This is one of the only times we’ve ever made a fundamental difference between pro and regular play, and it’s not a decision we made lightly (especially considering we really want to keep the gameplay the same across both). We think the benefits of this system outweigh the costs, though, and hope that this post shows a lot of the thinking behind that decision.

In the near future we’ll be putting out some behind-the-scenes on matchmaking and autofill, because we know we’ve been a little quiet on that front. We’re excited to see more bans in your hands soon. Let us know if you have any feedback!"




May Q&A with Ghostcrawler VOD


Ghostcrawler hopped on Caffeine.tv Thursday evening to host a May Q&A  and the VOD is now available via Twitch.


MSI 2017 Video Content  - Eyes on MSI: Korea Ep. 4 & Mic Check

The MSI 2017 post event content continues with a new episode of Eyes on MSI and an MSI finals edition of mic check!
"Eyes on MSI is a four part series that follows the best teams in the world at the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational in Brazil. In this final episode heading into the MSI Finals, G2’s Trick and SKT’s Peanut both have their eyes set on international recognition and the MSI Championship after they both suffered heartbreaking losses at the 2016 World Championship. 
Soundtrack:
“Eyes on MSI Theme” by Riot Games
“Jungle” by Tash Sultana
“Unstoppable” by The Score"
"Mic Check is here to take you behind the screens and give you an inside look at the players’ comms during the 2017 MSI Finals."

Quick Hits - Ezreal Nendoroid, Summoner Showcase, & LLN on 5/29

[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) The Riot Games merch facebook page recently posted a picture of the Ezreal Nendoroid and suggesting it will be released on Tuesday May 30th at Noon pacific time.
"Tuesday. 5/30. Noon PST. gg Ez."

2) RiotSwimBananas returns with a new episode of the fan creation  focused Summoner Showcase - check out Summoner Showcase #118 on their official FB.
[1] "Featured artists this week, @plushiluv @Rossdraws @larviq Tangycorpse and Drogod (http://drogod.deviantart.com ) Thank you for your passion!"

3) The LLN, the Latin America North league, kicks off on May 29th and the LoL Latinoamerica page posted a short message translating to "The fire returns" and the start time for the event. While we currently don't know what the GIF is exactly, the LLN Spring kicked off with a unique animation featuring the teams earlier this year.
"Regresa el fuego. 
Regresa #LLN  
29/5/17 6:30 PM MX/CO"
A second post went up Saturday evening with a new image.
Sólo uno lo levantará. 
Regresa #LLN 
29/5/17 6:30 PM MX/CO

Reminders

Last up, a few reminders on upcoming and ending soon promotions and sales!
  • YOUR SHOP is up on the client through June 6th!  
  • As mentioned in the 7.10 patch notesAscension is returning in the RGMQ from 5/26 - 5/30!

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