Red Post Collection: PBE Livestream: Invasion, Runes Corner: Guardian Soul, Thunderdome X: 48 Hour Game Jam, & more!

Posted on at 7:14 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes a streamed look at the new Invasion gamemode, a new Runes Corner covering a defensive keystone called Guardian Soul, info on what Riot is doing for this year's Thunderdome, and more!
Continue reading for more information!



Table of Contents


Mid-Patch Updates

A small mid patch update went out on 8/11, reverting Orianna's changes from the 7.16 cycle:
"8/11/2017 Balance Update 
Orianna
The change we made to Orianna's W cast range ended up having unintended effects on her ult as well, so we're reverting it. Sorry, Orianna! 
CHANGE REVERSION Orianna's W - Command: Dissonance and R - Command: Shockwave cast rules while The Ball is traveling now function exactly as they did prior to 7.16"
A second mid patch update went out to fix an issue on the Relic Shield line:
"8/16/2017 Bugfix 
Relic Shield line 
BUGFIX Fixed a bug where Relic Shield and Targon's Brace weren't granting their passive gold per 10"


PBE Livestream: Invasion


Over on the League of Legends Twitch, the team behind the new gamemode, Invasion, streamed some games and answered questions about making the mode! Check out the VOD below!
"The newest rotating game mode, Invasion, heads to Twitch. Join designer Riot Defaultchar and artist Sharkcromancer as they answer your questions and discuss developing the game mode."

[VOD HERE]


Runes Corner: Guardian Soul 

Here's gregab with a new Runes Corner. This week is covering a defensive keystone called Guardian Soul:
"Welcome back for another week in the Runes Corner! 
I’m Riot Gregab, a Technical Game Designer on Runes Reforged. Thus far in this series we’ve talked about a lot of runes that help champions deal damage. This week I want to switch things up and take a look at a defensive keystone. Also, this is a rune where we’ve gone through a lot of iterations trying to find just the right version. And, in fact, we’re still trying to improve it to get it to a state where we’d be happy seeing it in the the game.
We always mention that the design of the system is still very much a work in progress. 
Well here’s where you get a peek behind the scenes at what that work looks like. 
Guardian Soul 
We’ve known for awhile that we wanted a Resolve keystone that gave wardens and enchanters a way to defend their teams. And at some point we struck on an idea for a specific, simple mechanic: walk into an ally to give both of you a shield. 
We tried this out and found that the basic goal was solid. Warden and enchanter players liked the challenge of shielding their allies at just the right time. The rune created feel good moments of teamwork for both the shielder and the shielded. 
However there were a few problems with usability. People would trigger the shield accidentally by bumping into their allies. To avoid this they’d spend their time dodging their own allies as if they were deadly obstacles. Or they’d find themselves hopelessly chasing after an ally frantically trying to give them a shield when it was most needed. 
So how could we make this easier to use while still delivering on what was promising about it? Unlike champion spells or active items, runes aren’t associated with buttons. We couldn’t just have you press Q and click on an ally. How could we give you more control over when the shield triggered? 
To answer this we tried triggering the shield effect whenever you landed an immobilizing crowd control ability. The result was pretty close to the live mastery, Courage of the Colossus, but with the addition of a shield for a nearby ally. While this is something we know could work, we still saw some potential room for improvement. This version turned the shielding effect into a side benefit of landing a CC spell. If we could find an alternate control, it would give players an additional way to express their skill rather than increasing the output of something they already do. 
At this point we struck on a key breakthrough: what if you could right-click an ally to trigger this shield? We hoped this would reduce the number of accidental shields. 
There was only one catch: this was an interaction that didn’t exist in League. We didn’t have any code that let designers make this. Riot Reinboom swiftly rectified the situation by building the tech and we tried out the new version. 
The result was interesting: this version completely eliminated accidental triggers for some playtesters but not others. A lot of players click constantly while playing League. They click repeatedly for all the steps their champion takes to get to a destination. Others click more selectively, they click once and let their champion make their way to that destination. The Constant Clickers would still accidentally trigger this version by right-clicking their allies while moving around, particularly in the run-up to a team fight when teams tend to dance around the lane together. 
At this point we felt we were getting close to something good. But we really wanted to nail the usability. Instead of trying to avoid accidental triggers on allies we decided to try giving you a way to cancel them when they do happen. We tried adding a channel before it would trigger that you could cancel by moving. That helped the intentionality but made it less responsive. 
And this brings us to the best version we’ve found so far:
You can right-click an ally any time you want to mark them briefly. The shield will only trigger (and the keystone only go on cooldown) if they take damage while marked. This approach doesn’t eliminate accidental triggers, but it does remove their penalty. 
This version dramatically improved the usability for click-happy wardens and enchanter players without hurting the experience of the more selective clickers, but it’s still not completely perfect. Sometimes it creates the drive to constantly keep the mark on allies just in case they might be damaged, which could become a chore and reduce the skill expression involved it. We can still make this keystone better and that’s exactly the kind of thing we’ll be spending time on before the launch of Runes Reforged. 
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed this dive into some of the process behind creating Runes Reforged. We’ll stick around in the comments to answer your questions and talk with you about Guardian Soul."

gregab replied to a comment asking about a Stoneborn Pact replacement:
"Quote:
Are you considering a Stoneborn Pact replacement?
Nothing to announce yet but we're experimenting with runes in that space."

gregab commented on the Rune Reforged system as a whole:

"Quote:
Question on Runes Reforged itself: When Runes Reforged was announced, it was said to be a combination of runes and masteries. But to me this all looks like new masteries with a runes UI ( which manually moving masteries like runes doesnt make much difference than choosing option a b or c.). Maybe I'm just not seeing it... How is Runes Reforged a mastery and runes system in one???
Keystone Runes (like this one) are more like masteries. But you also get 5 non-keystone runes in each build and a lot of those are much more stat-oriented. If you look at some of our previous posts you can see some examples of these more stat-oriented Runes. For example, take a look at Stone Skin, Mirror Skin, and Discipline that we announced here."

Thunderdome X: Team PVC 48hr game jam 

For anyone interested in having a say in the development of a game, Pwyff and his team are participating in the Riot Thunderdome and are creating a game in 48 hours. Check out what they have so far:
"Hi gang, 
TL;DR: For Thunderdome X, a small team of Rioters - we're calling ourselves Team PVC (Player Voted Content) - are running a 48hr game jam experiment, where we'll take your votes as to what mini-game we'll build in 48 hours. Throughout this process, we'll be openly sharing developments, taking your input, and putting out a lot of fires. 
Development and concepting run from 8/16, 12pm PDT and end 8/18 @ 12pm PDT
You can hang out with us on Discord @ https://discord.gg/GgkSZvF Keep up on behind-the-scenes stuff on our Instagram @ https://www.instagram.com/riot_thunderdome_pvc/ 

Feel free to refer back to this thread as the "mega-thread" of major developments and a chronological rundown of what's going on. We'll also be posting whatever else we feel like on the boards, but will notify the Discord as well. 
UPDATES ARE CHRONOLOGICAL 
UPDATE 8/16/2017 1:53PM PDT: 
Check out our full editorial update so far! 
WE ARE MAKING A 2D PLATFORMING, ARCADE-THEMED MINI-GAME 
After an intense 1hr brainstorming session to kick off Thunderdome, the team has settled on a few things: 
- Ziggs will be our main character
- We'll focus on a few single-screen platforming levels vs. long side-scrolling dungeons so we can focus resources and depth of gameplay
- WE WANT DESTRUCTION!!! but don't want to scare the engineering team with too much destruction (and bugs)
- Ziggs is defined by tossing bombs and satchel hopping, let's try to get that in!
- We want enemies and boss fights!
- Ziggs vs. Brand sounds sweet 
UPDATE 8/15/2017 9:38PM PDT: 
So what's this all about? 
Every so often at Riot Games, we run an internal, 48 hour nonstop hackathon called "Thunderdome," where any Rioter can take on any role to tackle any challenge, provided they can finish their work within 48 hours. Every year, Rioters from all over team up and jam on a wide range of inspirational projects. 
This Thunderdome, a team of devs, artists, engineers, producers, and comms folks are attempting something new: a 48 hour, player-input driven game jam with open public discussion. We're calling ourselves Team PVC (player voted content). 
Typically the goal of most Thunderdome projects isn't to ship something to the public, and it's important to note that this is also not the main goal of this team. What we're primarily experimenting with is how open can we be with our development in a 48 hour game jam? Our goals are to kick off some interesting player discussions, build a good base mini-game, scope creep the hell out of everything, put out the fires, and then hopefully release said game once we're done. We have no guarantees we'll hit any of these, but we can certainly try. Come chat with us as we go, and let's learn something together!"

The team also provided an editorial update on where they are right now:
"REMINDER: We're taking feedback, showing extra behind the scenes content, and answering questions in our Discord channel and Instagram - Come hang out! Feel free to also comment here with anything you'd like to see from us. 
It turns out that a brainstorm in a room of fifty people blows up pretty fast. We set a hard time limit of one hour, which we somehow burned through in what felt like 10 minutes of idea slinging. Structure falls mostly to the wayside with everyone tossing out ideas for their favorite mechanics, character ideas, and storylines. We don’t have time to weigh each call carefully in a 48 hour game cycle, so ideas become canon based on how much momentum they drive the discussion with. Getting the rest of the team excited becomes the best way to be heard. The things that stick in our minds make it into the plan, and each individual team will need to iron out their own details as we get to work. 
We spend five minutes talking about how Kled could be the main character. We spend five more talking about how we don’t know where that idea came from and we don’t like it. “Ziggs” bubbles up from the other side of the room and inspires snowballing ideas. 
“But Ziggs is the bad guy in arcade.”
“He’s not our bad guy, he’s just misunderstood.” 
We’re making up this lore as we go, but whatever the reason we’re rooting for the mad little yordle now. He picks up a lot of steam because we’re all excited about bomb lobbing and explosions and destructible environments. “Hold on,” someone says, “That’s not going to be easy!” A lot of us (read: me) don’t know if that’s true, but we have to trust that when someone raises a roadblock in their area of expertise, we might not have time to knock it down. We pivot again. 
We talk about how to do more with less. At the end of these two days, what we will care most about is if we’ve actually created something functional and fun (...Fun-ctional…? As the hours go on these jokes are only going to get worse). Someone makes takes a sharp turn and suggests killing the sidescroller idea that has been bouncing around the room. 
“Making a 2D sidescroller forces you to fill the game with a lot of progression, environmental shifts, enemies, etc. [translation: we don’t have time for that shit]. Keeping it to interesting engagements with deeper mechanics in a smaller space, you can do more with less.” 
Artists rejoice. 
Now we have mostly accepted that we’re all thinking about Ziggs running around a single-screen environment doing…. something. Probably something with bombs. Our time is almost up so we try to tackle a few more specific questions - do we have a boss? “Yes we have t-No! We can’t in tim-I disagree!”. We don’t decide, but we do decide that if we have one it will be Brand because we like fire. That’s probably going to be an issue for someone in a few hours. 
“How hard is this going to be? Should everyone be able to beat it? How do we show if we’re good at this game?” We really like the idea of everyone being able to beat it after a few tries, and using high scores as a way to show mastery. We’re trying to create something that a lot of different players could enjoy, but we’re competitive folk after all. We reach the end of our hour and we feel as though some sort of vague shared vision ties us loosely together enough to set off running in the same direction (mostly). 
Artists set off exploring concepts for environment and character style. Designers band together and draft up initial mechanics. It’s markedly energizing to be in a room full of people doing what they do best under a cloud of happy chaos. 
With teams plugging away in exploration, we should know more about how successful our direction will be in a few hours. I’d say that we’re building the plane in the air, but I think we’re still figuring out ‘is this even a plane?’ while hurtling full speed ahead. More updates on this unidentified airship coming soon!"

The team provided a second update after Day 1:
"Reminder: check out our Instagram and Discord channel to stay in the loop with our whole development process. Discord is the fastest way to be a part of the conversation, provide feedback, and see our play-by-plays. 
We reach our first checkpoint just 4 hours after starting - an impossibly short amount of time. What can we possibly have gotten done? The coffee hasn’t even gone cold yet. 
The updates we have to share are exciting but not incredibly substantial. Some pieces are starting to fall into place - what will this game look and feel like? What kind of levels will players bounce through? Will we actually have a boss? (hint: yes). Gathered around the big screen, we share our progress and cheer for exploding Ziggs bombs and super rough level sketches, but there’s a bit of an impatient undercurrent. Many of us shift in our seats while we feel the minutes tick away - but this part is important. It’s the only way we know we’re all on the right track together before we get tunnel vision again. A few questions bounce around based on what we’ve come up with, and we quickly scatter to get back into it. 
On the rare occasion any of us look up, we see that it’s getting dark outside. We finally start to play music since the discussions have faded to a murmur, and something has to keep us awake in the coming hours. We’re still coming in under normal working hours, but everyone’s had to be on the entire time. No breaks, no meetings, just focus. 
And coffee. 
With the 7pm update now looming, a bit of frustration is brewing underneath the creative energy. There are, of course, some things we didn’t see coming. A lot of us are using tools and systems that we’re not incredibly comfortable with, and it’s taking time we don’t have to get into the groove. We’re pulling a lot of assets right from LoL and it turns out those don’t scale super well into Unreal so there’s still some heavy lifting to do - the things we thought were free are becoming more expensive. 
Coordinating between all these pods is also proving more difficult than we thought - where do we prioritize our art and vfx resources? What’s the best possible thing we could get done next so that other teams can leapfrog off that progress? Tracking and managing this is a process that takes up a huge amount of time - entire jobs - at Riot normally, and we’re boiling it down into a two day mad dash. As we get a clearer vision of what this game is, these questions become easier to sort through. 
There’s a little bit of history for this team that’s stirring up nervous thoughts - some projects from past years haven’t gone perfectly and no one is keen on rinsing and repeating. Most of the stories Thunderdome veterans recite as cautionary tales involve pods running in parallel for too long, excited by their own work but not having a great idea of the big picture. When the time comes to megazord all the awesome pieces together, they don’t always fit. If there’s not enough time left to make major changes, the result can feel disjointed or lackluster. 
This year the mantra instead is ‘playable version’ and we are driving as hard as we can on that goal. The idea is that if we can pull all the not-so-perfect pieces together first, we’ll be able to tell where we need to spend the most amount of time, instead of giving it our best guess. We keep hearing “is this MVP for playtest?” and the answer is often a toss-up. Do we need a turret? Why do we have a turret? Cut the turret! Noon tomorrow is when this project turns into the proverbial pumpkin and only the features that are done by then will make it to the ball (pretty sure that metaphor held up). 
7pm rounds the corner, and our final check in for the day brings a much needed lift in spirits. 
There are finally some bones. We can see Ziggs jumping around, tossing bombs, blowing up everything in sight like he’s meant to do. We’ve gotten some awesome input from players on the art and storyline and we’re feeling really good about both of those directions. We clap a lot more than we did at the first update and we mean it - there’s a game in sight! It’s clear that we’re finally starting to wade through the problems that were initially slowing us down and make some progress, but there’s still a long way to go. 
After the update, leads say things like “It’s fine to go home” but they also say things like “remember that anything not done by noon tomorrow has to be cut” so there’s some averaging to be done. It’s 9 right now and almost everyone is still here. I’m considering building a small fort from empty Red Bull cans. There’s still more to do. New enemies need rigging (think inserting a skeleton into a stiff body so it can animate), VFX can only work on things that have models and things to do, models need rigging so they can do the things, and we’re still in the process of not making a turret. 
We’ll check in next tomorrow afternoon when, barring complete failure, we’ll have a fully playable game loop."

Quick Hits


"Live by the big giant sword, die by the big giant sword. 
Animated by Nevercake: https://www.youtube.com/user/nevercak... 
**Created in Collaboration with Riot Games**"

"Pocket Picks is a series where pro League of Legends players share tips and tricks to help you master their favorite champions. This episode features CLG’s mid laner Huhi, and his Sol-mate, Aurelion Sol.

Watch Huhi play in the NA LCS Summer Split Quarterfinals on August 20 at 12PM at watch.lolesports.com. 
Follow Huhi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LOLHuHi
Main artwork by Christian Fell.
Artstation: https://www.artstation.com/coldburger
Download previous Pocket Picks artwork here."
  • A new weekly comic by artist Risu has been released! Look for Punches and Plants: A Piltover Police Story every Tuesday!


Reminders

Last up, a few reminders on upcoming and ending soon promotions and sales!
  • As mentioned in 7.16 notesARURF returns to the RGMQ from 8/11/17 12:00 PT to 8/24/17 11:59PM PT!
  • The Arcade Boss World event is happen now through 8/24! For all the details on the event, check out our event page!

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