Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts for 9/26, Champ Select Upgrades incoming, Pick'em is coming, & More

Posted on at 1:39 PM by Aznbeat
[Update: Added Janna Hotfix Context from Maple Nectar and Showdown 1v1/2v2 in Customs article from L4T3ENCY]

This afternoon's red post includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for September 26th, covering Runes on the and Item changes, Champ Select upgrades coming in 7.19 and future, Worlds 2017 Pick'em's impending arrival, and more!
Continue reading for more information!


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Table of Contents


Showdown 1v1/2v2 mode in Customs 

Here's L4T3NCY announcing a still far out new option for custom games: Showdown 1v1/2v2:
"Heya guys, while it won't be enabled anytime soon on PBE, we'll probably be adding the Showdown mode permanently to Custom games at some point. I wanted to quickly give some context on why specifically the Showdown mode, and to set expectations of any other modes coming to customs. 
Every year, events come around (EG: All-Stars, PAX) that either use or could benefit greatly from having the Showdown mode available. We want to help better support community events like these(or even just friendly trash talk between friends). Rather than having to run Howling Abyss customs with a "gentlemen's agreement", Showdown just makes it so much easier. The mode honestly wouldn't really hold up as a modern day RGM (it doesn't have the punch of a Dark Star or Star Guardian Invasion), but as an option available in the background for these kinds of events, we think it's worth. In which case, why not just extend it to all players as well. 
This is possible because the Showdown mode has vastly lower tech barriers in the new client to making it available (it rests on the ARAM infrastructure). It's also effectively zero upkeep from patch to patch, unlike almost every other mode that requires non-trivial attention to keep up with LoL's changes. 1v1 Showdown doesn't really have any special/custom logic, it's a just a 1v1/2v2 that triggers for the victory conditions, so it's quite future-proof. 
This obviously raises the question of, "Will any other modes be available in customs soon?" We don't intend to make any other modes permanently available in customs, so this will likely be a one-off. We do however still want to get Custom games working for each RGM while they're on during the weekend (they're not disabled by design, we do actually want them). 
Showdown won't be available anytime soon™, but just wanted to give a heads up if files or strings start popping up on PBE. 
insert obligatory "1v1 me bro" 
-- L4T3NCY"

Janna Hotfix Context 

Here's Maple Nectar with context on a Janna hotfix that was pushed to live on 9/27:
Hey folks! 
As you’re reading this, we just finished deploying a balance hotfix for Janna as follow-up on our changes to her on 7.19. The goals for the initial changelist were pretty simple, if a Janna wants to win lane, she has to interact and engage with her lane opponents in ways she didn’t have to before. We wanted to make playing as Janna feel more rewarding when played well while giving her opponents the opportunity to actually outplay her in lane, instead of just watching her sitting behind her ADC and shielding their way through lane. 
Before shipping, we took the deliberate approach of not over nerfing Janna considering that we were working on reshaping Ardent Censer in parallel to her kit changes. We judged that a world where both her and the item were nerfed substantially to be a worse world, and planned our changes to that. At the end of the day, we concluded that she had the potential to be strong on release, but firmly believed that when properly tuned, the direction of this new play pattern would result in a Janna that was healthier for League. In light of that, we made plans to quickly follow up based on her day one metrics if need be, which is why we’ve pushed out our balance hotfix to her today. We’ll also continue to be pay attention to both to her and Ardent Censer closely for the new few weeks. 
Ultimately, with how hot of a topic Janna has been recently, you might be wondering why we didn’t just hold off on Janna for another patch, or why we shipped her like this. To us, it felt more valuable to put a change out we were far happier with directionally than leave her in her current state for another two weeks. It’s important to note that the extra time of internal playtesting likely wouldn’t have resulted in a drastic increase in confidence in this changelist, especially not when compared to the millions of games we can get from around the world in a matter of hours once we go Live. So, if you’re a Janna main (or enthusiast, or someone who just bopped her in lane), feel free to let us know what you think about her changes! 
The changes that we shipped an hour and a half ago:
  • Base Stats
  • Base Movement Speed :: 335 >>> 320
  • Base Health :: 525 >>> 500
  • Base Mana :: 409.52 >>> 350
Zephyr (W)
  • Cost :: 40/50/60/70/80 >>> 50/60/70/80/90"

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 9/26


Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for September 26th, covering Runes on the PBE, changes to Jaurim's Fist and Sterak's Gage, and more:
"Morning all, 
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 on PBE inc! 
Short post today since, all going according to plan, we should have Runes and at least some other pre-season content hitting PBE shortly and we're working on both making sure that goes smooth/talking about all of those details. It's worth mentioning again that what hits PBE is still work in progress. Numbers especially are likely to change, particularly those on Runes themselves, but also potentially things like style bonuses, which additional base stats champs get, some early item stats etc. We'll have Runes on PBE for 3 cycles, rather than the usual 1, so a far longer period for things to change over as well. 
Probably tweaking Jaurim's Fist along with Sterak's 
Most likely adjustment is to pull some of its stats forward a bit, make them there from purchase, rather than as dependent on building up stacks so that it's gold efficient relative to component items (Long Sword/Ruby Crystal) quicker. 
More pre-season stuff coming to PBE over the next few weeks 
Runes is the biggest piece of gameplay content for pre-season by a huge margin. There are some other smaller bits and pieces also coming though that aren't all ready yet. Expect to see some of them show up over the next few weeks as they get to a ready enough state."

When asked if this patch would contain balance changes, Meddler confirmed:
"Quote:
Are they going to be any champion balance changes in this upcoming PBE, or will it be entirely devoted to Runes Reforged?
There will be balance changes in the next two patches (7.20 and 7.21). Runes will be on PBE at the same time as those, but will be shipping later (7.22). We're putting the system on earlier than other content normally hits PBE because it's large enough to need a lot more testing/feedback."

When asked about sightstone, Meddler replied:
"Quote:
Will you finally work on sighstone this preseason?
Not this pre-season at least, there's so much else going on that we need to polish, balance etc that we're making very few changes to items at all."

On the lack of a keystone rune similar to Deathfire Touch, Meddler commented:
"Quote:
I've noticed a lot of complaints about there not being a Keystone Rune similar to DFT that fits DOT mages or Battlemages very well. All of the keystones seem to either focus on basic attacks or burst damage instead of sustained magic damage. 
Do you have plans to add something for old DFT users? I understand that DFT felt really uninteractive and wouldn't really work as a keystone, but I'd like to see something that focuses less on burst and more on AP sustained damage.
We wouldn't want to add something exactly like DFT given its proven to be very mandatory on some champs without offering enough gameplay. Having said that if some of the DoT/sustained spell casting champs that currently use it end up struggling we'd certainly want to get something in that fills its niche, just in a better way. That's one of the more likely candidates for a not too long after launch additional Rune (4th Sorcery Keystone potentially)."

On Wukong, Meddler commented:
"Yeah, I'd agree Wukong's playstyle's a bit all in or nothing much of the time and that his theme could support a bunch of cooler stuff. He's not currently on our shortlist of likely immediate next gameplay updates, he is someone we've been talking about as a possible candidate though."

As for champion base stat changes this cycle, Meddler replied:
"Quote:
Will the champions' base stat changes be up alongside the runes on the PBE?
Should be yeah, though they're still work in progress, particularly for some classes."

On balancing with the new rune system, Meddler commented:
"Quote:
If the runes come this PBE cycle, wouldn't that affect the balance changes that will be tested in those cycles? As on live we still have runes/masteries and ppl on PBE will test it with the new runes.
Somewhat yeah, and that's an issue we're facing for our internal tests too since almost everything's being played on new Runes at this point. We think that's ok though because it's much better to adjust any balance changes in the context of the system that will be around long term, rather than balancing instead just for the next 4 weeks that will be left in the old system once 7.20 goes live."

Meddler continued on the subject, giving his opinion on Evelynn being balanced with the new Rune system:
"Quote:
How concerned are you that Evelynn will go through the PBE in a Runes Reforged environment, and then be released into the current Runes and Masteries environment? I know the PBE isn't used primarily for balance purposes, but it seems like there could be pretty significant problems coming from that.
Not concerned. Might mean her release balance is slightly off for a couple of patches, makes much more sense IMO to balance her for the system that will be live long term rather than one she'll only briefly interact with."

As for more active effects on the new Runes system, Meddler commented:
"Quote:
Will there be other active on effects on boots like Predator?
I think this ideia is so innovative that we need more keystones like this.
Possibly. We wanted to avoid adding a lot of extra buttons through the runes system, especially given the increase in average active items per champ over time. We made an exception for Predator though because its used in circumstances that don't overlap with as much other stuff going on (before combat/while moving strategically around the map). Other boot enchants like that would certainly be possibilities, would be much more critical of mid combat ones."

As for what was planned now that Evelynn was out of the way, Meddler commented:
"Quote:
Since there are Evelynn, Azir and Xin Zhao reworks done, what are you plans on doing next when it comes to update schedule ? Also when will LeBlanc and Rengar come when it comes to some type of update/rework ? Are they even in plan or not ?
Most smaller update work's currently paused, or progressing slowly, with a lot of people moving onto pre-season stuff instead. LeBlanc's still being looked at, though unclear when that will be something ready to ship. Post pre-season once we've got things settled down more we'll get back into more gameplay update work and see what's looking promising enough to talk about."

As for his thoughts on the Sorcery line's strength, Meddler replied:
"Quote:
Do you believe that sorcery may be too strong as a side path due to minor runes that in general seem to out value those in other trees such as gathering storm and ultimate hat? 
Isn't dominance hindered by the fact that the first line of minor runes are mainly support based? Considering its a tree for mainly assassins I find it strange to see little benefit there. The take down reward on eyeball collection in general seems pretty meh. 
Are number changes apparent for obvious offenders or is it still being tested?
It's possible some trees will be too appealing, or too weak, as secondaries, even if they're appropriately balanced as primaries. If that's the case we'll use the style bonuses (stats you get from a combination of trees) to balance that out. 
We don't believe vision's purely a support power, with assassins, junglers, and other champs who roam/hunt also benefiting a lot from being able to place or remove it. That's one of the reasons it's found in the domination tree. Another is that the trees aren't intended to map directly to classes. Domination should be appealing to assassins, but it's not the assassin only tree, inspiration's probably going to appeal to a lot of supports but it's not the support tree etc. 
I'm more suspicious Eyeball collector's too strong than too weak. It doesn't look that large at first glance, but numbers add up especially in longer games. 
Numbers are all subject to change."

Champ select upgrades incoming


Riot SapMagic is here to tell us about a few upgrades to the champion select process coming this patch as well as in future patches:
"Over the next few patches, we’ll be rolling out some quality-of-life changes to make champ select faster and clearer, including some long-requested updates like sorting by mastery points and adding position filters. 
Simultaneous draft picks [Patch 7.20] 
Two players on the same team can pick at the same time (when the draft calls for two picks). 
This feature is coming back. Spend more time conquering the Rift and less time waiting for your jungler to choose between Gragas and Elise. Simultaneous picks get you into games a minute or two faster. 
Filter by position [7.19] 
We’re replacing role filters (assassin/tank/mage/etc.) with position filters (top/mid/jungle/etc.). 
When you filter by a position, let’s say top, you’ll see the most commonly played top-laners from the previous patch. Since this is reactive (based on what people are playing), it might include unconventional picks—a few champions may rise in popularity during Worlds *cough, Ezreal jungle* and some “traditional” champs may not show up in a position filter at all. 
Every champion will show in at least one position, and new ones will pop up a patch after they’re released (since the filter needs a patch of play data to figure out where people are playing champs). 
Add favorites [7.19] 
Right-click champions to add as a favorite by position. 
Favorites show up in the grid with a special icon, and you can sort by favorites to push champs you’ve selected as faves to the top of the list. If you play Diana jungle and mid (and top and support and bot), add her as a favorite in those positions. When you filter by position, she’ll show up in any position you’ve added her to, even if the filter wouldn’t include her based on the previous patch’s play data. 
Sort by mastery points [7.19] 
Sort champions by highest to lowest mastery points. 
Find your mains quickly by sorting by mastery points. You’ll see your strongest champs side-by-side when deciding who to pick against Janna, again. 
Hextech chest filter [7.19] 
See champions you haven’t earned a Hextech chest with. 
Now you can easily find champions to play for Hextech chests. Since the temptation to try new champs in ranked queues is a leading cause of lost LP, this filter only applies to non-ranked queues. 
Look out for these features in the coming patches!"

SapMagic continued on Reddit:
"Quote:
Still waiting on 10 ban the way it is in pro play. 
The amount of repeat yasuo/janna/soraka bans is really unreasonable. I feel as though in order to have balanced soloq play especially given how MANY champions are strong/viable right now (which is indicative of balance, thanks rito) we need this feature. 
These are a nice start but id still like to see some upgrades.
We're constantly thinking about past features we've shipped and we're open to revisiting decisions or even entire designs if necessary. Right now we have no plans to change the way ban phase works in draft queues. 
We recognize there's some value in unlocking strategic bans and eliminating duplicates altogether. Almost all games have 8-9+ unique bans right now which is in line with what we expected, and we feel that the current design helps us achieve the three goals we had when we started working on this: 
  • Every player in the game can pick a champion they don't want to play against
  • There's minimal loss of champion diversity in games due to increased bans
  • Champion Select is dramatically faster for everyone when we can do bans simultaneously 
We originally weren't sure the third bullet mattered, but after releasing the feature we saw that was one of the outcomes players ended up valuing the most. 
Even though we aren't planning to revisit this particular feature for changes right now, what other things would you like to see us improve about champ select? "

Pick’em is Coming 

Starting 9/29, the Pick'em will be available again! This year adds two new icons for scoring points, as well as new ultimate skins for the legendary Perfect Pick'em. Here's TomMartell with more:
Worlds Pick’em Is Back! 
Pick’em is returning for the 2017 World Championship! Go head-to-head against friends, casters and the rest of the League community to see whose powers of prediction will reign supreme. If your picks pan out, you’ll walk away with awesome rewards exclusive to this year’s event. 
Pick’em will be live for the Group Stage and Knockout Stage, and each stage will have a corresponding mission in-game. 
  • Group Stage: Brackets and mission available on September 29 at 12:00 PM PT. Mission must be completed before the start of Group Stage games on October 4 at 11:59 PM PT.
  • Knockout Stage: Brackets and mission available on October 15 at 12:00 PM PT. Mission must be completed before the start of Knockout Stage games on October 19 at 12:59 AM PT. 
Prizes 
Pick’em Poro Icons 
Two new Poro icons are up for grabs. You’ll get the 2017 participation icon when you complete the Pick’em Group Stage mission. If you score at least 34 points during Pick’em, you’ll also receive the Worlds Master Pick’em Poro summoner icon. 
Worlds Tokens 
For completing the Knockout Stage mission, you’ll get 5 Worlds tokens that can be spent on Worlds loot in-game. For more information about how Worlds tokens can be used, check out this article. 
Ultimate Skins 
If you overcome the odds and get every single pick correct, you’ll be rewarded with a set of four Ultimate skins: Elementalist Lux, Pulsefire Ezreal, Spirit Guard Udyr and DJ Sona. 
Head over to pickem.lolesports.com or log into League and check out your missions on September 29 to get in on the Group Stage action, and remember to return for Knockout Stage picks on October 15!"

Patch Chat with the Playtest Team - 7.19

With a new patch fresh onto live servers, Riot King Cobra is back with a new Patch Chat for Patch 7.19:
"Header by inkiness 
Hey, everyone! I'm Riot King Cobra and it's time for another round of Patch Chat! These threads serve as opportunity for us to talk about the patches that come out every two weeks. You can find the most recent patch by following this link: Patch 7.19 Notes
I'm on Riot's Playtest Team, a group of high elo 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 League in terms of both balance and fun. 
7.19 premiers the updated Azir and Xin Zhao! We've also changed Aatrox, Caitlyn, Janna, Malphite, Orianna, Ornn, Vayne, and Veigar! We finally nerfed Ardent Censer and Bramble Vest and adjusted a few other items as well. Ask us questions about the patch, or anything else you're interested for that matter. We'd love to talk with you guys. :) 
  • Don “Aesah” Ding
  • Adam "Afic" Cohen
  • Dan “penguin” Hardison
  • Robert “ROBERTxLEE” Lee
  • Rob "King Cobra" Rosa
  • Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes
  • Arnor "Hjarta" Halldorsson
  • Brian "Madness Heroo" Pressoir
  • Christy "Ender L" Frierson
  • Chris "Auberaun" Roberts
  • Nick "Endstep" Frijia
  • Nabi "Novalas" Barak
  • Sigmundur "GangIeri" Helgason"

Quick Hits 

  • Reav3 noted that changes to the Tango Evelynn model were in the pipeline, after users noticed the discrepancy between the model and the splash art:
    "We will be adjusting the model to match the splash closer"

  • Draggles confirmed the existence of Insignias, a end of season reward in development. An image of an insignia was uploaded to the Preseason site, but then removed. Here is the example image (the bar showing the platinum colors under the summoner name):
"this is not the final design, and we're calling them insignias at the moment (to differentiate between these and other things like loading screen flairs). More on these towards the end of the season!"


Reminders

Last up, a few reminders on upcoming and ending soon promotions and sales!

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