7/31 PBE Update: New Skins, Experimental Mode - Nexus Blitz, and much more!

Posted on at 1:54 PM by Aznbeat
The PBE has been updated! As we start the 8.16 PBE cycle, today's patch includes new skins for Aurelion Sol, Ashe, Braum Lulu, & Xin Zhao, the new experimental mode Nexus Blitz, new chroma, summoner icons, emotes, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

(Warning: PBE Content is tentative and subject to change - what you see below may not reflect what eventually gets pushed to live servers at the end of the cycle! Manage your expectations accordingly.)

Table of Contents


New Skins

Following the PBE previews, Mecha Aurelion Sol, Mafia Braum, and Cosmic Ashe, Lulu, and Xin Zhao have all hit the PBE! Each of these also has a set of chroma.

Mecha Aurelion Sol

1350 RP
Here's Riot KateyKhaos with a bugs & feedback thread for Mecha Aurelion Sol:
"Mecha NurseFlan will be tackling the feedback portion of this skin, but I'm posting the thread for her while she's off wrangling those baby ships! 
Behold! The largest mecha to approach the Rift yet! 
*Mecha Aurelion Sol launcheswith:
  • New model and textures - The space dragon becomes a powerful mech, complete with new stars as ships!
  • New VFX for all spells - Full of electric energy! Note: Looking into bumping up visibility on (Q) projectile!
  • New SFX for all spells - Mechanical and of course, lasers!!
  • New recall animation - All aboard the mothership!
  • VO Processing - Fully operational mecha voice files!
Mecha Aurelion Sol is now available to play on PBE! As players who experience this content firsthand, your constructive feedback is appreciated. :) 
Mecha Aurelion Sol is set to be 1350 RP.
Prices are subject to change."

Mafia Braum

1350 RP

Here's KateyKhaos with a bugs & feedback thread for Mafia Braum:
"Stand behind Braum! Seriously, he needs someone to keep lookout while he secures the goods! 
*Mafia Braum hits the Rift with:
  • New model and textures for Braum and his shield...erm, safe!
  • New VFX for all spells: freshly stolen gems, coins, and gold!
  • New SFX for all spells, cha-ching!
  • New recall animation: With the help of his trusty poro, Braum attempts to pick the lock!
Mafia Braum is now available to play on PBE! As players who experience this content firsthand, your constructive feedback is appreciated. If you have any questions, you can also drop them below and I’ll do my best to answer them! ^-^ 
Mafia Braum is set to be 1350 RP.
Prices are subject to change."

Cosmic Queen Ashe

1350 RP

 Here's Riot KiWiKiD with a bugs & feedback thread for Cosmic Queen Ashe:
"Bow down to your Cosmic Queen Ashe. Those who don’t will get a 3.5 second stun from the stars. 
  • New model and textures - Cosmic Queen Ashe in all her royal splendor
  • New Spell VFX - Shining constellations in every ability.
  • New SFX - Now you don’t have to wait randomly at night to hear a shooting star.
  • New recall animation - Serene and captivating. 
Cosmic Queen Ashe is now reigning the cosmos on PBE! Report back here with any bugs that occured or feedback that you have. If you’ve got any questions, you know where to put them. 
Cosmic Queen Ashe is currently set at 1350 RP (subject to change)."

Cosmic Enchantress Lulu

1350 RP

Here's Riot KiWiKiD with a bugs & feedback thread for Cosmic Enchantress Lulu:
"Hello hello hello, says Cosmic Enchantress Lulu! Bring some whimsy to the Cosmic court.
  • New model and textures - AURELION SMOL. ‘ENOUGH SAID.
  • New Spell VFX - Featuring deep cosmic shades
  • New SFX - Celestial hits and enchantments.
  • New recall animation - A special constellation to guide Lulu home
Cosmic Enchantress Lulu is now available on PBE! A smol loves long walks on the Rift. Report back here with any bugs that occured or feedback that you have. If you’ve got any questions, you know who to call. Me! 
Cosmic Enchantress Lulu is currently set at 1350 RP (subject to change)."

Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao

1350 RP

Here's Riot KiWiKiD with a bugs & feedback thread for Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao:
"Watch out! Don’t get too close to his Queen, else his blade may strike you— -- Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao is here! 
  • New model and textures - Knight in shining, silver armor.
  • New Spell VFX - Featuring graceful cosmic attacks
  • New SFX - SFX on all spells!! Hear the cosmic blade with each strike.
  • New recall animation - Stave off the unworthy, and salute the Queen. 
Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao is now available on PBE! Go defend your Queen’s universe. Remember to report back here with any bugs that occured or feedback that you have. And of course: If you’ve got any questions, let me know! 
Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao is currently set at 1350 RP (subject to change)."

New Chroma Sets

[note: As of the first update of the cycle, store assets are missing! Enjoy the in-game screenshots for now!]

Along with the new skins comes sets of chroma for each of the five new skins debuting this cycle:
  • Cosmic Enchantress Lulu - 5
  • Cosmic Queen Ashe - 5
  • Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao - 5
  • Mafia Braum - 8
  • Mecha Aurelion Sol - 7

Cosmic Enchantress Lulu
[5 total]

Cosmic Queen Ashe
[5 total]

Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao
[5 total]

Mafia Braum
 [8 Total]

Mecha Aurelion Sol
 [7 skin]

Here's Riot Orphyre with a bugs and feedback thread for these new chroma sets:
"Hey everyone!

We’ve got some new Chromas coming up for a big variety of skins--Mecha Aurelion Sol, Mafia Braum, and Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao, Cosmic Enchantress Lulu, and Cosmic Queen Ashe!
Mecha Aurelion Sol:
  • New textures:
    • Mecha Aurelion Sol (Ruby)
    • Mecha Aurelion Sol (Catseye)
    • Mecha Aurelion Sol (Sapphire)
    • Mecha Aurelion Sol (Rose Quartz)
    • Mecha Aurelion Sol (Amethyst)
    • Mecha Aurelion Sol (Pearl)
    • Mecha Aurelion Sol (Obsidian)
Mafia Braum:
  • New textures:
    • Mafia Braum (Ruby)
    • Mafia Braum (Citrine)
    • Mafia Braum (Tanzanite)
    • Mafia Braum (Obsidian)
    • Mafia Braum (Emerald)
    • Mafia Braum (Rose Quartz)
    • Mafia Braum (Pearl)
    • Mafia Braum (Sandstone)
Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao:
  • New textures:
    • Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao (Ruby)
    • Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao (Obsidian)
    • Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao (Emerald)
    • Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao (Citrine)
    • Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao (Tanzanite)
Cosmic Enchantress Lulu:
  • New textures:
    • Cosmic Enchantress Lulu (Rose Quartz)
    • Cosmic Enchantress Lulu (Ruby)
    • Cosmic Enchantress Lulu (Catseye)
    • Cosmic Enchantress Lulu (Turquoise)
    • Cosmic Enchantress Lulu (Obsidian)
Cosmic Queen Ashe:
  • New textures:
    • Cosmic Queen Ashe (Obsidian)
    • Cosmic Queen Ashe (Rose Quartz)
    • Cosmic Queen Ashe (Emerald)
    • Cosmic Queen Ashe (Sapphire)
    • Cosmic Queen Ashe (Ruby)

The Chroma sets are now available on PBE! We hope you all will enjoy the new sets; as usual, we’re looking forward to hearing your constructive feedback. I’ll do my best to answer and reply to your questions and feedback!

Thanks!
Riot Orphyre"

New Summoner Icons

Six new summoner icons are also in here themed around the new skin sets - Cosmic Defender Xin Zhao Icon, Cosmic Queen Ashe Icon, Cosmic Enchantress Lulu Icon, Aurelion Smol Icon, Mafia Braum Icon, Mecha Aurelion Sol Icon
   
 

New Emotes

Three new emotes featuring Jinx - "Aww Yiss", "Wahaha" and "So Lame".

Experimental Mode - Nexus Blitz

[LIVESTREAM - Skin spotlights is live streaming the new mode - Twitch / Youtube. Check VODs for replay!]

NEXUS Blitz is now on the PBE and enabled for testing! This new experimental mode will hit the PBE for testing then go to alpha playtesting on live servers with 8.16.

From the Boards thread - Experimental Modes & Nexus Blitz :
"Hey Boards, SpaceNorth here with a heads up on a new addition coming to the PBE soon: Nexus Blitz! 
Nexus Blitz is an experimental mode we'll be alpha playtesting on live for a couple of patches, starting in patch 8.16, and we’re looking for your feedback. Let's talk about what you can expect from Blitz, the alpha playtest, and other experimental modes in the future. 
WHAT EXACTLY IS AN EXPERIMENTAL MODE? 
Experimental modes are gameplay prototypes designed to deliver a different kind of experience distinct from Summoner’s Rift, Twisted Treeline, or ARAM. They’re also different than rotating game modes like URF, Doom Bots, and One For All in a few key ways: 
With experimental modes, we're looking for something that could last a while—maybe even as a permanent addition to League. They’re not tied to a particular event, and our hope for each mode is that it's compelling enough to play over and over again, and to be a regular mode-of-choice for many players. If an experimental mode doesn't meet that bar, we'll set it aside and explore other ideas. 
Experimental modes are also about testing the waters and getting early community response before delving into additional months of development to get to a final version. They’re works-in-progress, so expect an alpha-style product with borrowed art that’s missing the bells and whistles—but also aggressive patching to evolve and balance the mode throughout the test
By contrast, RGMs are short-term experiences. They’re breaks from the regular gameplay or often higher pressure experiences of permanent modes. Sometimes they’re meant to deepen your experience with events like Star Guardian (Invasion) and PROJECT (Overdrive). Most importantly, RGMs are designed to be fun for the few weeks they're active, but don't share the same primary goal of being a compelling experiences you'd keep coming back to, even if we kept them around forever.  
RGMs are also polished, final products. Everything you experience in an RGM, from visuals to gameplay mechanics to music to user interfaces, has been fully developed and implemented. 
We also want to note that experimental modes won’t happen super frequently—at most, you’ll see a couple in a given year. This is largely because we’re designing them from the ground up instead of customizing and modifying existing modes, and also because we aren’t going to stop maintaining those existing modes (the vast, vast majority of the League team is still focused on SR, with a much smaller group working on experimental prototypes). 
Now let’s talk about the debut experimental mode: Nexus Blitz. 
THE DESIGN OF NEXUS BLITZ
We designed Nexus Blitz for those of you seeking fresh, exciting moments and low-pressure fun. It’s a fast-paced mode—around 15 minutes in our internal tests—that emphasizes exciting and surprising moments over intense competition, while still rewarding the skills you've learned from other League modes. 
In Nexus Blitz, each team consists of a duo jungle in close proximity to three laners. The compact map makes for constant action, and a roulette of new, unexpected events amplifies the frenzy even more. 
Events are map-wide, mayhem-inducing scenarios that kick off every few minutes, granting powerful rewards to the team that wins. Some events draw from familiar game experiences that many players will instantly get, and others are more unexpected. Both kinds should make for unpredictable and memorable plays and fights: examples include King of the Hill, Push the Payload, the closing circle of death from Battle Royale games, and so on. If we take Nexus Blitz past alpha, we’ll expand the possible events and explore different versions (we’d love to start hearing your ideas!). 
Winning an event unlocks one of the rewards Nexus Blitz has to offer. Some of these are straightforward, such as a massive shield for every team member. Others are wild and flashy, like arming your minions and turrets with Blitzcrank hooks or installing a base cannon that launches you and your teammates directly into the middle of the map (we’d love to hear your ideas for these too!). 
In addition to events and rewards, Nexus Blitz has another major mechanic. Champs who go on hotstreaks—getting takedowns without dying yourself—go on fire, gaining adaptive damage and shorter cooldowns, but also taking more damage and they’re worth a TON of gold to shut down. 
ENOUGH TALK, LET'S BLITZ 
The Nexus Blitz alpha starts in 8.16, and our current plan is for a four-week run as an open playtest on live servers—no invitation needed. Once more, we’d like to stress that you’ll be playing an unpolished prototype. We’re talking lots of reused models and textures from existing maps, and even the gameplay is up for iteration and development. We need you to play and tell us what you think about pretty much everything, from the core game loop to ideas for additional mechanics to map visuals and theming. If you see potential in Nexus Blitz, this is your opportunity to help shape its development! 
Ok, we’re done with the wall of text now. We’ll be watching the queues and your comments closely, so jump in and let us know what you think so far!"
Here's Riot August with all the details in Nexus Blitz PBE - Patch Notes and Feedback:
"/!\ GET HYPED SUMMONERS /!\ 
This will be the central PBE feedback thread for Nexus Blitz, our new experimental game mode, before it goes to live for a multi-patch alpha test (...yes, we're in a beta of an alpha). If you haven't read it yet, go to the [[dev corner thread here]] for the high-level context on experimental modes and Nexus Blitz! This thread's for us to talk details. 
REMINDER: Nexus Blitz is basically in "early access" right now, so it's kinda rough and unpolished. We'll be AGGRESSIVELY PATCHING everything from champ balance to the map itself it order to make the experience better over time, both here on PBE and when we begin the alpha on live. 
What’s different?
  • A New Map - Nexus Blitz is played on a small map that encourages murdering each other. A single lane splits into 2 in the middle, and the top of the map is a jungle with camps and buffs to fight over.
  • Duo Jungle - Each team will be required to have two junglers who will work together to secure camps and objectives. Jungle XP and Gold is tuned so that it is advantageous to split it between two people. No need to funnel (we hope).
  • Short Game Time - Games of Nexus Blitz average 13-15 minutes, and are guaranteed to end by 20. How can we guarantee that? You'll see.
  • Events & Rewards - Events are map-wide murder-encouraging objectives that bestow glorious rewards on the victors. Do you like payloads and pushing? We got that. Have a thing for circles? Same. LOOT TEEMO!?!?!?!? Kill it with fire. Just don’t INT yourself with the Cannonpult. We’re just getting started on these things and hope to add more events and rewards as the mode is developed.
  • On-Fire - Nexus Blitz rewards bloodthirsty players who manage to get kills and stay alive by lighting them On-Fire, granting tons of adaptive stats, CDR, and mana regen. Watch out though, you’ll be easier to kill while On-Fire and grant a large bounty to those who manage to shut you down. It’s lit fam. 
Hit the PBE and try things out! We’d love to hear your feedback. Tell us about the things you find enjoyable (or awful). What are things that would make you stop playing (or want to play more)? We’ve got a long way to go and are ready to make changes. Thanks! 
Below are more detailed descriptions of the map specific mechanics as well as any patches we release over the course of the PBE 
Updates will go here over the course of our PBE stay!

STARTING ITEMS
  • Only 1 starter item can be purchased. Doran’s, jungle, and support items all count as starter items.
  • The sustain aspects of the Doran’s items have been significantly buffed (Lifesteal, mana regen, health regen)
  • Added a new Doran’s item for Enchanters who want to last hit (Doran’s Lost Idol).
  • Support items have been changed:
  • Supports can buy Heart of Targon (Relic Shield) or Philosopher's Medallion (Ancient Coin). Spellthief’s line has been removed.
  • These items are stronger than their SR counterparts but do not upgrade into anything.
  • Support item quests are gone, as is sightstone.
  • Control wards have been removed 
JUNGLE
  • There’s a turret in the enemy jungle. It’s invincible. Don’t try to kill it. You’ll die. Your friends will laugh at you.
  • Jungle camps taken with more than one champion grant 150% XP and Gold split between the champions taking it (compared to 100% XP and Gold if taken alone)
  • Jungle items have been simplified:
  • All builds start with “Pridestalker’s Blade," a combination of Hunter’s Machete and Talisman, which then can be upgraded with an enchant.
  • Upgrading to the Enchant grants Chilling Smite along with the normal bonuses.
  • "Monster Hunter" XP and Gold mechanics have been removed.
  • Red and Blue buff are now located centrally and are much stronger. Taking a buff camp gives a supercharged version of the buff to the 2 nearest champions on the team who last hit it.
  • Rift Herald is stronger, granting Baron Buff AND Rift Herald for 2 minutes to the team who takes it.
  • Baron Buff only buffs minions, it does not give AP and AD. 
ON-FIRE
  • Getting X kills or assists without dying lights you On-Fire.
  • On-Fire stats:
  • 20% Attack Speed
  • 20-200 Adaptive force (based on level)
  • TONS of CDR (Does not count towards the CDR cap)
  • 20 mana/energy per second
  • 25% increased damage taken
  • On-Fire has no maximum duration, but is lost when killed and grants 800+ gold to your killer and 200+ gold to the each other champion on the killer’s team 
EVENTS & REWARDS
  • A random event happens every few minutes (average 2-3 per game)
  • Winning an event grants the victors a random reward
  • Many events have additional bonuses on top of the reward granted to the winner (like gold for doing a thing)
  • The final event happens at 18 minutes. It is not random. Its reward is arguably the best in the game. 
GOLD SHARING
  • All minion deaths (regardless of last hit) and monster kills share ~30% of the total gold value to every champion on the team. (Not XP, though.) As an example. If a cannon minion is worth 100g, everyone on your team gets 30g when it dies.
  • Last hitters (or nearby allies in the case of jungle camps) still get the full gold (and XP) value. So if you kill a 100g cannon minion you will get 100g and the rest of your team will get 30g
  • Gold from champion kills and assists is NOT globally shared 
NEW (old) ITEMS
A number of fan favorite items are returning for a second grasp at life in Nexus Blitz 
  • Wriggle’s Lantern
  • Ghost Walkers
  • Spectral Cutlass
  • Bloodletter's Veil
  • Deathfire Grasp
  • Spear of Shojin
  • Atma’s Reckoning
  • Force of Nature
  • (Heart of Gold and Philosopher's Stone have spiritually returned—see Starting items above.) 
GLOBAL MAP AURA
  • +30% Summoner Spell CDR
  • +30% bonus Mana Regen at level 1 
SURRENDER
  • Games can be surrendered with a 4 -1 vote after the 8 minute mark.

RUNES REFORGED 
Most time based runes (Like Magical Footwear and Gathering Storm) have been rebalanced for the mode. (Jul 31: CLIENT TOOLTIPS ARE BUGGED TO SHOW SR VALUES.) 
----Domination----
Taste of Blood
  • Cooldown :: 20 seconds >>> 10 seconds 
----Inspiration----
Kleptomancy
  • Switchover to late game drops :: 15 minutes >>> 6 minutes
  • Early game loot curve steepness :: First 8 drops >>> First 4 drops
Magical Footwear
  • Time available :: 10 minutes >>> 6 minutes
Perfect Timing
  • Time available :: 8 minutes >>> 4 minutes
Minion Dematerializer
  • Time available :: 4 minutes >>> 3 minutes
Biscuit Delivery
  • Time between biscuits :: 3 minutes >>> 1.5 minutes 
----Resolve----
Grasp of the Undying
  • Health per proc (melee) :: 5 >>> 10
  • Health per proc (ranged) :: 3 >>> 6
Conditioning
  • Time Available :: 10 minutes >>> 6 minutes
Overgrowth
  • % health per stack :: 0.2 >>> 0.3 
----Sorcery----
Scorch
  • Cooldown :: 20 >>> 15
Gathering Storm
  • Rank-up time :: Every 10 minutes >>> Every 4 minutes
Transcendence
  • Level Available :: 10 >>> 6 
We're really excited to get Nexus Blitz in front of you, and can't wait for you to try it out. As PBE testers, you can help us take the mode from promising to great and give it the best chance of succeeding when the live alpha begins. Even at this phase of testing, we truly hope Nexus Blitz is a great experience. Thanks in advance for all the feedback!"

Current loading screen / selection art:

Balance Changes

NOTE*: The PBE is a testing grounds for new, tentative, & experimental changes. Be aware that what you see below may be relative to other changes earlier this cycle! These are not official notes.

[Doesn't look like much balance today outside of the new Nexus Blitz specific stuff.]

Context & Notes

1) Rito Jinxylord has posted an updated Nexus Blitz change list for 8/1 focused around stability -

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