Red Post Collection: Gameplay Thoughts June 2nd, Esports Icons, Origins: Azir, LoL MAC Support Changes, & more!

Posted on at 1:15 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for June 2nd, esports icons available in the shop, an Origins: Azir article looking at his concept and development, and more!
Continue reading for more information.



Table of Contents


Quick Gameplay Thoughts: June 2 

Here's Meddler with his quick gameplay thoughts for June 2nd, including discussion on the Runes Rerforged update coming in preseason, balance changes for 7.12, and more:
"Hi all, 
Longer post here catching up on the lack of a post earlier in the week. 
Usual Disclaimers 
These posts will often contain talk about future work we're doing, or planning to do, that isn't yet guaranteed to ship. The nature of the work could change or, depending on what we discover, projects mentioned may get put delayed or even stopped. 
If you'd like to see a Tweet whenever a new one of these posts goes up: https://twitter.com/RiotMeddler 
Runes Reforged 
As I'd imagine almost everyone's seen already we've got some big changes coming to runes and masteries at the end of the year, with the two systems getting merged into a new system that's still called Runes but free and modifiable in champ select. Detailed explanation of how the gameplay works from yesterday can be found here: 
http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/features/coming-preseason-runes-reforged 
A few other things important to note about the new Runes system: 
  • It's still pretty work in progress. We're talking about this stuff far in advance because we want to give you folks context into what we're doing and to get feedback on the design while it's in development. That means some things will change from what we show, some questions aren't ready to be answered yet (e.g. what happens to existing runes/runepages?) etc. 
  • Speaking of showing content in development we'll be continuing to reveal work in progress runes for discussion every couple of weeks or so. Goals there are to help people get a better understanding of the system and get feedback as we work on individual runes. Given how far out numbers certainly won't be final and other details, or even the concept of a specific rune could change. Feedback on how you'd expect a rune to be used, what sort of choices it offers/skills it tests etc's going to be really helpful. Comments like 'that's busted and will break the game' or 'I don't like it' by contrast need good explanations paired with them otherwise they're not very useful. 
  • The updated Runes system has been called 'Perks' internally for quite a while. That's never intended to be a final name, but we did want some way of clearly distinguishing it from existing runes while we were working on it initially. Mentioning that since it's all but guaranteed that someone (probably me...) will refer to Perks at some point while we're talking about Runes over the next 5 months. 
Some 7.12 Changes Context

  • Doran's Shield - Good to see it getting used when you want to give up lane offensive power for survivability. Looks a bit too strong though. We'll likely increase its cost a bit as a result, shift it to a 1 health pot start item instead of 2. 
  • Singed - We're testing some Singed changes at the moment aimed at letting him be a more meaningful damage threat later in the game. That means shifting some power later in the game, giving him better AP ratios to reward builds that mix some AP and some tankiness. These changes won't be ready for 7.12, so expect to see them vanish from the PBE at some point soon, we'll be continuing to investigate them in future though. 
  • Xayah and Rakan - Looks like Rakan's a bit weak and Xayah probably a bit strong. We'll likely buff Rakan (E CD probably) and might nerf Xayah a bit, now or next patch (most likely targets: W attack speed and/or ability to AA while Q missiles fire). 
  • Support Items - We're working on a big pass on Support items at present too, looking to allow more build diversity and iron out a range of smaller issues. That includes things like Locket having a smaller base shield but gaining a bonus HP ratio so it's more rewarded with some build paths than others, Athene's giving AP based off your % mana regen etc. That work's still going through some iteration, so expect to see ongoing changes over the next few days (e.g. Talisman's build path is likely to go back to something similar to its current one). 
Warded Ping 
Can't make any guarantees on timeline, we're gonna be looking at this though. 
Ancient Coin Hotfix 
We fixed a bug earlier in the week where the Coin line was giving non mana resources to champs with other resources. Most visibile with Rengar getting a bunch of Ferocity whenever he picked up a 'mana' coin. Script was set to restore resource, not mana specifically. Oops. 
New Champs and VGUS (full updates) 
Now that we're past Xayah/Rakan we should be back to generally alternating new champions and VGUs again for a bit. Up next's a new champ, then Urgot, then another new champ, then Evelynn."
When asked about the current keystone masteries and how many would transfer to new system, Meddler replied:
"Quote:
Do you think any of the current Keystone Masteries might find a place in runes reforged?
I'd expect to see updated versions of at least one or two in there."
On current state of Jhin, Meddler responded:
"Quote:
Nothing planned for Jhin? Some threads ago you mentioned he was being looked at, is he still or he is in a decent spot right now? 
Are you happy of how BotRK nerf impacted the game,only a few champs were building it after crits item were buffed and many had already switched to DD and BT, thereare even more of this now, pls do not make the mistake of slowly nerfing all the items and bring adc back to the awful spot they were in at the beginning of the season.
A Q buff (ratio probably) and an R buff (restoring a bit of base damage) are likely for Jhin. 
We're fairly happy with how BotRK has affected the game this year."

When asked if we would be seeing Urgot teasers, Meddler replied:
"Quote:
Hey Meddler, this might be a question for Reav3, but when can we expect teasers for Urgot (if any)? Any hints or tidbits of information of what he's like now? And I believe you or Reav3 answered this already, but when will the next state of the champion blog come out? I'm super curious as to whom the next two champs are slated for VGU's (fingers crossed it will be Pantheon and Nunu).
As above keep an eye out for Urgot stuff after the next new champ release."

On Rek'Sai's recent changes, Meddler responded noting they will be looking at her R timing:
"Quote:
Hi, have you heard that a lot of people are dissatisfied with Rek'Sai's new ult? It's very unreliable. It can fly through people, enemies can side step it easily, it just feels like an ability that cannot be relied on to do its job. Do you have any input on that?
The intent is that Flash/dashes/fast movement speed like powerball can be used to avoid the ult. Slower effects (e.g. boots + a small ability speed boots) shouldn't let you avoid it however. Current tuning's allowing people to get out it too easily so we'll be tightening it up."

On teasers for the next new champ, Meddler commented:
"Quote:
Any teasers for the new champ?
There will be, yes! 
Can offer that it's neither a marksmen nor a champ we'd expect to see much in the support position (targeting different player bases to Xayah/Rakan)."

Esports: Return of the Team Icons 

With the regional leagues starting back up, new esports summoner icons & bundles  are available in the shop. Here's Riot Talumar with more details, as well as a note on icons that will release in 7.12 and 7.13:
"As the dust settles from the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational, we can look back on some of the most memorable moments in the ups and downs of team fandom. Perhaps it was TSM borrowing your energy on Day 3 to wrest their victory over G2 in a dramatic Group Stage match
Unfortunately for TSM fans, that energy went to G2 on Day 5
Regardless of which side of this rivalry you’re on, the Atlantic Ocean rose a few drops higher with the tears of NA and EU fans alike after MSI 2017. 
Today, however, take a deep breath and relax as we journey from MSI 2017’s scarred battlefield to a more sunny Summoner’s Rift. With the start of a brand new split comes a fresh start for you and your favorite team; take a break from the LP grind, put down your bloodied weapon, and let’s rally together in jolly cooperation to support squads across the world with Summer Split esports icons! 
How much? 250 RP individually | 20% off in regional league bundle (see prices below!) 
When? From June 2-September 15 
When you purchase an icon, 50% will go straight to the team! When you purchase a bundle, 50% will be divided among all teams in that bundle. 
Due to sponsor changes or logo updates that missed Patch 7.11, the following icons will join us for Patch 7.12: 
  • TEAM ONE (CBLOL)
  • Burning Core (LJL)
  • HongKong eSports (LMS)
  • Raise Gaming (LMS)
  • SN Gaming (LPL)
  • GIGABYTE Marines (VCSA)
  • LG Red (VCSA)
  • Fighters Gaming (VCSA) 
For the same reasons above, these icons will cross the finish line for Patch 7.13: 
  • Mysterious Monkeys (EU LCS)
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas (EU LCS)
  • JD Gaming (LPL) 
Once these icons join forces with their respective league, they will take the form of bundles! 
Revenge of the Bundles 
Do you love your local League and can’t choose which team to support? Get some more bang for your buck with these discounted bundles below! 
The following bundles will be available from June 2 - September 15 
  • 2017 LCL Summer Icons - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • M19 | Vega Squadron | Natus Vincere | ROX | Vaevictis eSports | Team Just Alpha | Virtus.pro | Gambit CIS 
  • 2017 CLS Summer Icons - 20% off at 1400 RP
    • Kaos Latin Gamers | Isurus Gaming | Furious Gaming | Rebirth Esports | Hafnet E-Sports | Last Kings | B2K 
  • 2017 NA LCS Summer Icons - 20% off at 2000 RP
    • Cloud9 | Counter Logic Gaming | Dignitas | Echo Fox | Immortals | Liquid | Phoenix1 | Team Envy | TSM | FlyQuest 
  • 2017 TCL Summer Icons - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • Dark Passage.BKM Express | Oyunfor.CREW | BAUSuperMassive eSports | Team AURORA | 1907 Fenerbahçe Espor | Çilekler | P3P eSports | Galakticos 
  • 2017 LLN Summer Icons - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • Dash9 Gaming | Gaming Gaming | Predators Esports | Infinity eSports | Just Toys Havoks | Lyon Gaming | Silver Crows | Zaga Talent Gaming 
  • 2017 OPL Summer Icons - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • Avant Garde | Abyss | Chiefs | Dire Wolves | Legacy | Sin Gaming | Tainted Minds | Team Regicide 
  • 2017 LCK Summer Icons - 20% off at 2000 RP
    • SK Telecom T1 | ROX Tigers | Samsung GALAXY | kt Rolster | Afreeca Freecs | Jin Air Greenwings | Longzhu Gaming | bbq OLIVERS | MVP | Ever8 Winners 
After Patch 7.12, these bundles will be available until September 15:  
  • 2017 CBLOL Summer Icons - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • paiN Gaming | INTZ e-sports Club | Keyd Stars | ProGaming E-sports | CNB | Red Canids | T-Show | TEAM ONE 
  • 2017 LJL Summer Icons - 20% off at 1200 RP
    • DetonatioN FocusMe | Rampage | 7th heaven | Unsold Stuff Gaming | Rascal Jester | Burning Core 
  • 2017 LMS Summer Icons - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • Flash Wolves | ahq e-Sports Club | HongKong eSports | J Team | WAYI SPIDER | Machi e-Sports | Fireball Limited | Raise Gaming 
  • 2017 VCSA Summer Icons - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • ROG Friends | GIGABYTE Marines | Young Generation | eHub United | Cantho Cherry | UTM Esports | LG Red | Fighters Gaming 
After Patch 7.13, these final bundles will also be available until September 15:  
  • 2017 EU LCS Summer Icons - 20% off at 2000 RP
    • Fnatic | G2 Esports | H2K | ROCCAT | Splyce | Team Vitality | Unicorns of Love | Misfits | Mysterious Monkeys | Ninjas in Pyjamas 
  • 2017 LPL Summer Icons - 20% off at 2400 RP
    • Royal Never Give Up | Edward Gaming | Team WE | NewBee | Snake Esports | OH MY GOD | Invictus Gaming | LGD Gaming | I MAY | DAN Gaming | SN Gaming | JD Gaming" 
Check the summoner icons and bundles in the shop now!

Mac OS X 10.7 support stopping in patch 7.15 

Here's Koukakukidoutai with more on the changes to Mac support - in patch 7.15, the LoL Mac support will be increasing their mimum system specs from Mac OS X 10.7 to 10.8 )Mountain Lion.).
"We’re going to be deprecating support for Mac OS X 10.7.5 (Lion) during patch 7.15, and updating our minimum system specs for League from 10.7 to 10.8 (Mountain Lion). If you need the upgrade from 10.7 to 10.8, you can purchase the OS from Apple’s website. 
The current version of macOS, 10.12 Sierra (released last year), is also available. You can read about League’s overall minspec requirements for Mac and Windows on Riot’s support page
It’s been three years since we made a change to OSX minspec requirements, and we want to move ahead with it now for a couple of reasons: 
  • Continuing to support OS X 10.7 is becoming increasingly difficult as more third party systems and products are dropping support for Lion 
  • We’re unable to update our C++ compiler – the next update to the software will no longer allow targeting for Lion, and we will have to continue to maintain janky development workarounds to ensure stable Mac builds  
We'll let you know if there are any updates or changes to this plan. 
As a side note, we know that some Mac users have reported stability issues with the updated League client, and we hope that taking dev time from much older versions of macOS will improve our ability to raise performance benchmarks for Mac players overall."

Origins: Azir 

Origins: Azir takes a look at Azir's development from  concept until now! Check out the article by Bananabandit below:
"From pacifist junglers to gunslinging villains, each of League’s 138 champions started somewhere. This is the story of Azir. 
TYPHOONS AND SAND WORMS 
Most champs who make it through the development process eventually find a home on the Rift… but not all. And while lost-but-not-forgotten champs might not ever reach the promised land, they often inspire new designs and pave the way for future champions who do. Well the Hydrosoul is one of those characters. 
Well the Hydrosoul's Character Model
Well was a water mage developed during League’s Beta whose abilities summoned rainstorms, vortexes, and other watery things. He needed a ton of particle effects, but League’s technology wasn’t exactly the greatest back then. Unable to support such a VFX-heavy champion, Well ultimately met the dreaded fate of cancellation.
But a few years—and tech advancements—later, Well’s designs inspired a new champ named Seth the Sand Mage. Senior game designer Colt “Ezreal” Hallam says, “If you compare Seth to Well, he’s basically the same guy, but instead of controlling water, it’s saaand.”
Seth Animation Study
Seth was an aspirational fellow who wanted to turn everything into a desert, thus spreading the realm of Shurima across the land. In-game, his abilities left sand on the map for a few minutes—the more abilities you used, the more sand you created. If you landed an ability on an enemy standing on the sand, it had a bonus effect, like extra range or a knockup. In some iterations, Seth even had a friendly sand buddy: a terrifying sand worm that sporadically attacked wanderers above. 
It wasn’t long before Seth fell into developmental quicksand—adding so many particle effects to the game was causing lower-end computers to struggle. To counter this, the duration the sand stuck around for was reduced, then the number of particles was lowered, then the duration was hit again…until eventually, the sand-creeping idea was abandoned altogether. “To hit worldwide players, we just couldn’t go into this design space,” Colt says, “which still breaks my heart, because it was dope.” 
For a while, Seth’s ultimate summoned giant sand hands that shoved enemy champions together.
When Seth lost his sand-spreading privileges, he was left with a hodgepodge of abilities no longer united by their creep-spreading mechanics. Brad “CertainlyT” Wenban took over gameplay development, but he quickly became disillusioned. Concept artist Gem “Lonewingy” Lim says, “Brad was like, ‘What even is sand? Does it burn it like fire, or is it slow like ice? What is it?’ Then he went crazy and didn’t want to work on the champion anymore.” 
Seth the Sand Mage seemed quite lost. 
SHIFTING SANDS 
Seth’s character design was just as muddled his gameplay. Since Seth stopped spreading sand in-game, his identity as a “desert expander” no longer made sense. His kit change drove devs to reimagine the Sand Mage’s character, which resulted in a royal upgrade: Seth was now the long lost Emperor of Shurima. This shift also meant artists and writers could explore a region that (until the Shurima event) lacked a central story. 
Seth—make that Azir—was the last ancient Emperor before Shurima fell, but what exactly was his role in the kingdom’s demise? Did his malicious decisions lead to the downfall, or was he a well-intentioned ruler who made costly mistakes? The second option seemed like a more complex, dynamic approach, and Gem set out to redesign Azir from this perspective. 
Gem says, “I drew a range of characters from really chimeric to more humanoid.”
The Emperor’s new appearance was primarily inspired by Egyptian mythology, which seemed fitting because two previous Shuriman champs were already modeled from Egyptian gods. Nasus was inspired by Anubis, god of the afterlife, and Renekton was influenced by Sobek, a crocodile-headed god associated with military prowess. The foundation for soon-to-be-Azir was Ra, god of the sun. Ra was a powerful, falcon-headed god who was often pictured with a sun-disk, much like the now-iconic one in Shurima. 
Shurima, Arisen From the Sands 
SOLDIERS, ONWARD 
Azir had an updated backstory and new look, and now he needed fresh concept art for his abilities. Inspired by his position as the Emperor, Gem drew a picture that’s now recognized as the turning point in Azir’s development: Azir summoning sand soldiers. 
Azir Concept Art
After that, everything fell perfectly into place…except not at all.

Back then, the soldiers were assigned to just one of Azir’s abilities—an addition to sand hands and a newly-designed windmill of death, which was a summoned tower that shot four rotating beams of lethal light. When Daniel “ZenonTheStoic” Klein—Azir’s fourth and final champion designer—took over for Drew Marlow, he realized Azir’s current kit was dead on arrival. “Nobody could quite find a kit for this guy,” Daniel says, “And sometimes, that just happens.”
Before Azir made temporary turrets, he summoned windmills of death.
But instead of leaving Azir in dust, the champ team tried to reimagine him using the existing concept art and in-game assets: a character model, a sand soldier (and its dash animation), and the windmill of death. 
For three full days, developers worked in small teams, each trying to create a compelling character from the ruins. When it was time to share their designs, everyone’s had one thing in common: The soldier was central to the champion, both in gameplay and thematic. “Everyone thought everything else about this guy was generic,” Daniel says, “except for his soldiers. We knew then it had to be about the soldiers.” 
At long last, it was time for Azir, Emperor of Shurima, to rise. 
THE ORDER IS GIVEN 
Designing a champion centered around soldiers meant abandoning the sand mage’s kit completely. Instead, he became a minion-mancer, a champion who controls summoned things. “Deciding to go in this direction was scary,” Daniel says, “Because it was a very unresolved space.” They looked towards champs like Heimerdinger, Malzahar, and Zyra to see what about their kits worked… and what didn’t: 
Minions who automatically attacked (Heimer’s towers) weren’t very interactive, minions that acted on their own accord (Malz’s old, old voidlings) weren’t fun, and most minions could create oppressive zone-control (Zyra’s plants), so there needed to be a trade-off. All previous minions were also targetable, had HP, and blocked skillshots. In an attempt to sidestep previous balance issues, they approached the design space from a different angle: Azir’s soldiers were untargetable and couldn’t act on their own; rather, their actions and positions were controlled directly by Azir’s player. 
The resulting kit looked a lot like the one you know and love—or don’t love—today, but with one key difference: Azir had to personally auto-attack a target before his soldiers would follow suit. After one playtesting session, Colt said, “This is kind of cool, and I see what you’re trying to do, but wouldn’t it be better if you just commanded the soldiers to attack instead?” 
“That was the moment we were like, ‘Oh shit. We have an actual champion,’” Klein says. 
When playing Azir, you are the emperor. You make your own army and everything you do commands them, even your right-clicks. Azir doesn’t have to attack you; he just points in your direction, then his sand soldiers stab you to death. 
LESSONS FROM THE EMPEROR 
It’s no secret that Azir had one of, if not the, roughest champ releases in the last few years. We were fixing Azir bugs for months after his launch, which made an already difficult-to-play champion feel practically impossible. Part of the reason Azir was so buggy was because multiple teams at Riot (including Azir’s) agreed stuff related to the Shurima event would all be ready at the same time. Azir’s coding was really complicated, and when that date came, he still had problems. However, his release was central to the Shurima event, so he launched anyways. 
Since then, the champion dev team has been very reluctant to commit to a hard deadline. You never know what can happen in development, and we don’t want to release a champ that isn’t quite ready for live again. 
Aside from technical issues, balancing Azir has always been a struggle because the problem lies within his kit. “We completely underestimated how hard he would be to play,” Daniel says. The individual inputs, or buttons you hit in-game, seem easy enough—click on an enemy to do damage—but altering a fundamental system—right-clicking usually makes you auto attack (not soldiers)—caused the learning curve to go through the roof. Even though his strength was hidden behind really complicated inputs, it was only a matter of time until god-like players could pull it off. For awhile, if you could hit the all the right buttons, Azir was OP, but if not, he was basically garbage (and today he’s seen as rather weak across all divisions).

Throwback to when Azir was OP. 
Part of the reason Azir’s kit is so unique is because around the time of his development, the competitive pool kept shrinking. Devs thought it was because so many champs had overlapping strengths and weaknesses, so in 2014, devs set out to make champs that were really, really distinct. Creating a super original champion was a success, but it came at the expense of long-term balance. “Azir’s development is a cautionary tale of executing too well on bad goals,” Daniel says. “And in the future, we’d like to make Azir more possible to play by mere mortals.

ORIGINS is a new series where we deep-dive into the development of champions. Feel free to drop some thoughts and feels on the series below and let us know which champs you’re most interested in hearing about!"

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 7.11 notesDoom Bots of Doom returns to the RGMQ 6/2 - 6/6 and 6/9-6/13.

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