Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: January 16, /Dev: Position Ranks in Action, & More

Posted on at 4:06 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for January 16, a /Dev on Position Ranks in Action, the next issue of Ashe: Warmother being released, and more!
Continue reading for more information!


Table of Contents


Quick Gameplay Thoughts: January 16

Check out Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for January 16, including balance plans for 9.3, loading screen changes in 9.2, and more:
"Hi folks, 
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 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 
Why some stuff planned for 9.2's changed 
Wanted to share our thinking on why some things that we talked about for 9.2 and/or were on the PBE but won't be shipping have changed. Each of these cases is a potential candidate for change in 9.3 instead still.  
  • Akali - Work needs more time.
  • Camille - We're still discussing whether or not to pull the trigger on a change to Camille's E where it only CC champions (not monsters). On one hand it's likely to significantly reduces Camille's early jungle power, which we think is likely needed. It is a pretty heavy change that potentially pushes her out of the role entirely or in large part however, hence the caution and extended testing.
  • Irelia - Will have some changes in 9.2, also planning on further work in 9.3 or 9.4 to put some power back in to her ability to engage in longer fights (versus current skew towards strength in shorter, burst versus burst, fights).
  • Mundo and Shen - Are both going to be beneficiaries of the buff to Sunfire Cape in 9.2. It's a fairly small buff, but enough that we don't want to double down on champion and systemic change unnecessarily.
  • Relic Shield - Pulling back on the removal of the Relic + Dematerializer interaction. Biggest reason is to see how the combination of recent enchanter item buffs and upcoming crit item changes affects the bot lane ecosystem. Second reason is suspicion the change is potentially both unclear while not being that impactful even in the targeted context of hard pushing in pro play.
  • Viktor - Holding off on any nerfs at present, not currently convinced there's enough evidence they're needed.
  • Zoe - As with Mundo and Shen, we want to see where systemic changes (nerfs to Ignite and Oblivion Orb/Morello's) leave Zoe, then reassess both whether she still needs a nerf and where best to take power if so. Belief is both of those nerfs will hit her a bit more than the average user. 
Some Loading Screen Changes in 9.2 
As we talked about a little while back and as has been in testing on the PBE we've got an updated version of the loading screen coming. The first version of that should be in 9.2 and will include things like a revised layout, work to support the ranked 2019 changes and some performance improvements. Thanks to everyone who gave feedback on it, it's helped us tweak some stuff during the extended PBE cycle. 
Other features, including text chat and premade voice chat during the loading screen are still planned, they just won't be in 9.2. We figured was better to get some improvements out earlier and others later, rather than waiting until everything was done. 
Crit item changes and assessment of overall damage 
Crit item changes will hopefully be in 9.3. Should be able to talk with some certainty as to which changes we are/aren't going with later next week. 
In terms of overall amount of damage in the game and how we're assessing that, which cases we think are/aren't appropriate etc, should have some detailed thoughts to share soon. Might be late this week, might also be next week."

/Dev: Position Ranks In Action

Here's Riot Sapmagic with more on Position ranks - "We’re back to lay out how position ranks will play out for you this season.":
"Hey everyone! Ed “SapMagic” Altorfer here, back again to talk about Ranked. In our latest video we detailed how position ranks work, how we’re planning to roll it out in a couple stages, and how we’re preventing players from abusing the system. In this article, we’re going to cover what position ranks might be like for you based on how you play and how we tested position ranks. 
Simulation: Online 
A big problem with Ranked is how off-position games can feel less winnable, fun, and fair, especially since you can’t always get your main position. Even if we removed Autofill—which would triple or quadruple queue times for everyone—you might sometimes want to play a different position for a change of pace, which often puts your team at a disadvantage. We believed we could address both of these and give you a better picture of how good you are by tracking and displaying your skill by position—basically, position ranks. 
Position ranks required major updates to matchmaking, MMR, and Ranked, systems that require us to play thousands or even millions of games to reliably catch bugs. That’s not really possible to do without going to live, but at the same time we wanted the Ranked overhaul to be as smooth as possible. To deal with this, we built new tools to help us replay tons of historical games, allowing us to be more confident and—hopefully—reduce the number of bugs that make it into your games. 
Basically, with these tools we can simulate what your position ranks would look like this season if you played the same way as last season. Let’s run through a few examples, which should give you an idea of what to expect. 
A Gold V player who usually queues Mid/Top 
Your climb is pretty similar to last year, but your games feel more winnable and you have a clear picture of how good you are at the other positions you play. 
Let’s say you were Gold V last season and you usually queue for Mid/Top, which is the most popular position combination globally. Over your first 50 games, you play 34 Mid games, 13 Top, and three in other positions—thanks, Autofill. 
Your first Mid game nets you a provisional rank of Bronze I—a bit low, but you’ve got seven more games to go, and since you don’t lose LP during placements, you can only go up from there. By the end of placements, your record is 4-4 and you finish in Silver III. By your 50th game, you’ve crushed your Gold promos and you’re sitting at Gold III. 
Top plays out similarly, but you start your climb slightly lower than in Mid. You end up finishing your placements, plus a couple extra games, putting you in Silver II. You haven’t played enough games to place in the other positions, so your friends see your Mid and Top ranks in your profile. 
What if you throw your secondary and Autofill games? 
Splashing helps minimize the grind and keep Ranked competitive by allowing some of your LP gains and losses to “splash” over to other positions each game. On top of that, negative splashing changes based on your recent games in the position you’re playing. 
In the example above, if you throw many of those 16 secondary and Autofill games, negative splashing will become larger and start to hurt your progress in Mid. On the other hand, when you win secondary or Autofill games, splashing to your main position is boosted, so your best bet to rank up is to play your hardest and win as many of those games as possible. 
A Bronze V player who usually queues Support/Mid 
Your climb is similar to last year, but you can play new positions without hurting your team’s chances at winning.
Alright, now let’s say you’re a Bronze V player who typically queues for Support/Mid. After your first game, you find yourself somewhere in Iron Tier, and you finish your placements in Iron III. You get autofilled less often than other players, which means less bonus splashing, but since you’re getting your main more, you’ll still rank up just as fast. 
Eventually you decide to get better at Mid lane so you can play it when you queue with your other Support friends. You notice you’re facing easier competition than what you’re used to in bot lane, which makes sense. After all, we want you to play fair games, but what that means for you is different depending on your skill in the position you’re currently playing. 
What if you always queue for your worst position and then swap for your best? 
Since we matchmake you based on the position you’re assigned, swapping with someone in champ select can give you a momentary advantage. That’s not a big deal when it happens occasionally, but over time it can hurt match fairness. 
To combat this, we added some new tech—which we’ve been testing in Normal Draft since summer—to accurately detect which position you play and whether you swap. When you trade positions frequently, we can tighten the links between your position MMRs. This means you may end up facing opponents who are better than you if you ever have to actually play the position you’ve been swapping away from. 
A Silver III player who usually queues Fill 
You climb steadily across all positions, but a little more slowly in any one than you would’ve last year.
Ok, so what if you’re a player who hit Silver III last season by queueing Fill every game? It takes you a few more games before you finish placements for any one position since you’re bouncing around, but eventually you finish your Support and Jungle placements around Bronze III. 
Every game you queue Fill, you earn LP for the position you play, but you also get bonus Splash LP. Whereas a typical player might earn +3 LP to their other positions on a win, you’re earning closer to +7 LP. That means you’re probably climbing pretty quickly for the positions you play most often and you’re making progress in the others. 
A high Master player who usually queues Top 
Your climb is streamlined because, while your provisional rank is capped at Platinum I, you can climb into Diamond by the end of placements. 
Finally, imagine you’re a player who was high Master last season. Whereas previously the highest you could place was Platinum I, now that’s the highest provisional rank you can earn, meaning you have seven more games to make the push into Diamond. 
As you continue your climb toward the upper tiers, positional matchmaking has less of an effect on your games. Then, when you promote into Master, your position ranks combine into a single rank reflecting your spot on the ladder. 
Two weeks in, as Grandmaster unlocks for the first time, you claim your spot. Next up: Challenger. 
A player who has been too busy climbing to read our posts 
We’re doing some stuff to make your ranked experience better, like providing clearer feedback during placements, better matchmaking, more accurate ranks, milestones and meaningful goals regardless of skill, and new rewards for deep and ongoing engagement. 
If you want a quick refresher on our previous posts, check out the links below! 
This one was pretty dense, but thanks for hanging in there. As always, we’re open to your feedback, so share it along with your concerns and comments—or, better yet, hit us up by clicking the Ask Riot button below. We’re looking forward to you trying out all the Ranked changes when the season kicks off on January 24. Thanks for playing, and we’ll see you on the Rift!"

Check out this video from Riot Sapmagic and Riot Gortok with even more details:


Miscellaneous

"Hello, friends! It's me, Carnival Knights, lead skins writer and growing twitter problem. I've come to you today with a burning question only you, boards, can answer: what are you looking for in alt universe lore for 2019? Short stories? Long stories? Comics? Another 27000 words worth of skin bios (yes, last year saw 27000 words worth of skin bios, and we'll probably match it again this year)? Deeper legendary VO? Interactions? Tell me your heart's desire. This isn't a trick. I am not tricking you. 
But wait! Before you answer, this question comes with a couple caveats. One, I can't guarantee any particular skin universe is worked on, now or in the future. I don't make those calls, though I am part of the conversation and can at least advocate for certain lines to get more love. So if you want to see some really deep Leprechaun Veigar lore go ahead and ask for it. What's stopping you? Nothing, that's what. 
Two, time and bandwidth constraints are extremely real, so I can't always knock out a 5000~ word novella for every single skinline. I'm always looking at new styles of writing and applications of narrative storytelling for new and existing universes, and I'm keeping an eye on lines I get a lot of requests for (I've seen your Eclipse posts. All of them), but even if X universe shows up again in a product roadmap I can't 100% say it will see a story/comic/cinematic/etc. 
Three, I can't confirm anything that hasn't already been announced. You know the drill. Sorry, Spideraxe specifically. 
With those points out of the way, feel free to ask or request whatever you feel like, and I'll do my best to answer or elaborate throughout the day. Or you can check out the High Noon Gothic, Star Guardian, K/DA, Odyssey and Blood Moon stories from the last year. An equally good option!"
  • Riot Sapmagic went into detail on how they were addressing feedback for positional rankings:
"I can see why it might look like we're not paying attention to feedback or being open-minded if you're looking at feedback through the lens of Reddit/boards comments. I want explain why that might not be the entire picture: 
  • Reddit and boards are communities that tend to bias toward certain qualities (mostly western, etc), so they don't provide a clear picture of our entire player base even though they're large. As a result, we have to look at additional data from surveys to understand how players feel about things we're working on
  • Players are significantly less likely to post about how they like a feature. As a result, oftentimes neutral-to-positive sentiment gets under-represented compared to negative sentiment to a large degree
  • Hopefully we've shown through posts like /dev: Addressing Your Feedback on Ranked for 2019 that we're definitely listening and making changes
All that aside, we want to test out position ranks because we really think we're onto something. Right now, it's super frustrating to play off-positions because those games feel less winnable. As a result, even if you otherwise want to play multiple positions competitively, you feel like you can't because the games won't be fair and your rank will suffer. When we look at win rates for off-positions and how frequently players play off-positions in Ranked compared to other queues, we can see those are real problems. 
Positional matchmaking and position ranks gives us a shot at fixing those and giving players a lot more transparency and insight into how good they are at different positions. We totally agree there's a chance it won't work out as intended, which is why we're testing the ability to revert position ranks in case of any major issue, technical or otherwise. 
We're not afraid to scrap work if we make something that's genuinely bad, but we believe position ranks is a legitimate upgrade to matchmaking and the Ranked experience. We're open to being wrong, but we plan to see how the previews go before concluding it's not feasible. 
Thanks for your feedback, really appreciate you taking the time to write it up."
  • He also provided some reason why positional rankings weren't tested in Preseason:  
"We discussed running a preview during Preseason but we had a few concerns that led us not to do it: 
- Position ranks is all about competitive integrity and match quality, so to be confident we should roll it out, we need to see that it has a positive effect on those 
- Preseason is a time when typically players aren't taking Ranked games as seriously anyway because it doesn't have as much of an effect on their standing and it will be reset soon 
- We didn't want players to equate the diminished competitive intent of Preseason with position ranks since we know players are concerned about how the feature could affect competitive intent 
So, instead of running the preview during Preseason, we're doing it during the first split for a couple regions. We know it has the potential to be somewhat disruptive, but that's why we have the ability to turn it off if we run into major technical issues. 
We've been testing position ranks on PBE as well, and while we've discovered some bugs it looks like it's generally working as intended."

Reminders

To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • The Blood Moon is rising! Check out the new skins, chroma, and more in our Blood Moon coverage!
  • ARURF+ is now testing on the PBE! Here's Riot Wrekz with all the details on the changes! Get to testing!

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