Red Post Collection: TFT Patch 9.14b Notes, Fiddle & Voli Dev Update #1, & More

Posted on at 8:17 AM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Teamfight Tactics Patch 9.14b notes, the latest Dev update on Fiddlesticks & Volibear, this week's Ask Riot, & more!
Continue reading for more information!


Table of Contents


Teamfight Tactics patch 9.14B notes 

Here's RiotBeernana with the patch notes for the Teamfight Tactics 9.14B update:
"Hey Tacticians, welcome to the Teamfight Tactics patch 9.14B notes. 
In these B-side patches we'll be making changes focused on balance and bugfixes. This week, the biggest change is to critical strike modifiers with the aim of toning down the damage Assassins bring to the table. Additional highlights include: Volibear and Cursed Blade getting nerfs, while Sorcerer and Wild get buffs. 
Let's get into it. 
Blake "Riot Beernana" Edwards
Systems 
Critical Strike Damage 
  • Critical strike damage now stacks additively rather than multiplicatively. Paired with changes to Assassins and Infinity Edge, also in this patch, Assassins will deal around 25% less damage and IE will come out net neutral. 
Traits 
Assassin
  • Critical Strike Damage: 150%/350% ⇒ 125%/350%
Sorcerer
  • Bonus Ability Power: 35/100 ⇒ 45/100
Wild
  • Attack Speed per Stack: 8% ⇒ 10%
Elementalist
  • Golem HP: 2500 ⇒ 2200 
Champions 
Ahri
  • Ability Damage: 100/175/250 ⇒ 100/200/300
Akali
  • Health: 700 ⇒ 650
  • Attack Speed: 0.75 ⇒ 0.7
Evelynn
  • Attack Damage: 50 ⇒ 60
  • Health: 600 ⇒ 550
Kennen
  • Attack Damage: 70 ⇒ 65
Mordekaiser
  • Health: 500 ⇒ 550
Poppy
  • Ability Damage: 300/400/500 ⇒ 300/500/700
Rengar
  • Attack Damage: 55 ⇒ 65

Tristana

  • Attack Speed: 0.7 ⇒ 0.65
Volibear
  • Armor: 35 ⇒ 30
  • Attack Speed: 0.65 ⇒ 0.55

Items 
Cursed Blade
  • Trigger Effect Chance: 25% ⇒ 20%
  • For the curious, Swordbreaker has a 25% chance and Hush has a 50% chance.
Infinity Edge
  • Critical Strike Damage: 100% ⇒ 150%
Locket of the Iron Solari
  • Shield Amount: 300 ⇒ 200
  • This was micropatched last week.
Morellonomicon
  • Percent Max Health Damage: 3% ⇒ 5%
Bugfixes 
  • Raptors will now always properly drop a loot box.
  • The Guardian trait no longer fades when a guardian dies.
  • Redemption will now properly heal 1000HP.
  • Guardian Angel will now trigger in all cases."

Fiddlesticks and Volibear: Dev Update #1

Here's Reav3 with a progress update on the Fiddlesticks & Volibear updates - "The latest progress on the Volibear and Fiddlesticks VGUs coming in 2020!":
A few months ago, you all voted on which champion you’d most like to see updated in 2020. The poll was so close that we decided to update both Fiddlesticks and Volibear next year, and today we’re here to share the latest progress on their VGUs! 
We started early discovery on both champions around the same time. As of right now, we’ve found what we think is a strong, exciting direction for Fiddlesticks. He’s made it through ideation—which is where we lock down the direction of a champ’s gameplay, narrative, and art—and moved into early production, which is when we start moving towards getting the ideas into the game. Volibear is pretty close to early production as well, but we’re taking a bit more time to make sure we’re equally confident in the Freljoridian demigod’s direction. 
Let’s kick things off with the latest on Fiddlesticks. 
Designing the Most Horrifying Champion in League 
Blake “Squad5” Smith, Gameplay Designer: When approaching Fiddlesticks, we wanted to focus on highlighting the identity Fiddle already had—a teamfight-winning ambush mage. Crowstorm is such an iconic spell that we wanted to have the rest of the kit support what that ability tells Fiddle to do. That pushed us toward the idea of Fiddle being one of, if not thebest, “ambush” character in the game. 
For gameplay, this means giving Fiddle players tools to keep hidden and to find (or create) ways to ambush and trick their enemies. When a player succeeds in ambushing their opponents, we want to make sure they’re in a powerful position to win the fight. Fiddle’s going to have some fun new mechanics both inside and outside of teamfights that are going to give him a real advantage… especially if enemies refuse to face their fears and find the scarecrow before it finds them. 
Conjuring Pure Terror 
Fiddlesticks’ concept artist Sunny “Kindlejack” Pandita is temporarily out and wasn’t able to do a full breakdown today, but he’s still really excited to be updating one of his favourite champions of all time. Here’s the latest terrifying spread of concept art! 
Uncovering an Ancient Evil 
Jared “Carnival Knights” Rosen, Narrative Writer: During very early story development, we brainstormed where the “new” Fiddlesticks could fall and what faction or race it might fill. Demon? Ionian spirit? Cursed object? Angry Freljordian ghost? Fiddle doesn’t really look like anything else in the game, so it could hypothetically be placed in the rural wilderness of almost anywhere. Then there’s that name: Fiddlesticks. A necromancer probably wouldn’t call their bloodthirsty new creation Fiddlesticks, nor would a warlock read from the grimoire of Dread Lord Fiddle In The Middle. 
“Fiddlesticks” is a name a child would coin; something you might invoke around a campfire to scare your friends. 
When we look at truly ancient champions like Ornn or Tahm Kench, they have hundreds or even thousands of origin stories and tales surrounding them, with dozens of names depending on the individuals or cultures that came into contact with them over the centuries. Fiddlesticks could easily fit in among them, having preyed on mankind for godless ages, so it would make sense that there would be nursery rhymes and storybook fables and old wive’s tales about a living scarecrow. Monster? Harvest deity? Eldritch artifact, controlled by some other person or creature? Instead of settling on one, Fiddle could invoke them all, an ancient malevolence with unclear origins, gone from the world long enough for warnings to become stories, stories to become myths, and myths to become simple children’s tales… until now. 
Then there’s the question of what Fiddle could sound like. As an utterly inhuman entity (regardless of what its true origins are), Fiddle lacks internal organs, a brain to think, or vocal chords to form sentences. Any type of voice it might have wouldn’t sound like a person, but rather a projection: Just as a scarecrow is the crude facsimile of a human being, its voice could be a crude mimicry of people it has come across/killed. We’re still in the early stages of exploration there, but I did float the idea of having five separate voice actors all whispering at once, repeating odd, overlapping phrases as though Fiddle was trying to appear human at a distance, and a terrifying monster up close. 
Turns out that having a cacophony of random people saying things at you is extremely off putting in a gameplay environment (for the player as well as their opponents). Whoops. But on its face the concept was pretty well received, so there might be a way to execute on it more effectively… with one or two little tweaks I want to try, for when Fiddlesticks finally drops the mask, and the odd, thin man standing at the edge of the field turns out not to be a man at all. 
(Oh, and don’t worry. I’m also thinking about surprise-party-birthday-clown stuff. Honk honk.) 
Now let’s talk about the lightning-fueled Freljordian demigod. As I mentioned, we haven’t settled on a design direction for Volibear just yet, but the team has been exploring some exciting hooks to set him apart from the rest of the champion roster. 
What Does It Mean to Be a Bear? 
Nathan “Riot Lutzburg” Lutz, Gameplay Designer: “Feeling unstoppable” was one of the first goal statements I wrote when outlining the Volibear VGU. After trying several iterations which attempted to capture that feeling, the team encouraged me to push the envelope and really go for it. As a result, one of the concepts we’re exploring right now is the idea that Volibear refuses to be stopped by immobilizing effects. Instead, he converts effects like roots and stuns into self-slows, which scale based on the strength of the crowd control that hit him. My current challenge is figuring out the specific rules and balancing levers we’ll need to ship such a unique mechanic, but so far our playtesters have referred to it as “surprisingly fair.” 
Outside of that, I’ve been focusing on how best to preserve and enhance Volibear’s unique focus on basic attacks. While subject to change, I’ve moved his chain lightning ultimate to a passive effect to make room for a more explosive and variable high moment on his R. Finally, I’ve been experimenting with ways to modernize some of his other hallmark mechanics, such as his health regeneration and lightning roar. Over the next month, my plan is to keep pushing on Volibear’s relentless ability to chase down enemies as a unique gameplay hook—stay tuned! 
Concepting the Bear Necessities 
Justin “RiotEarp” Albers, Concept Artist: We’ve officially kicked off development since that first batch of initial concepts, and I was ready to really get into it. 
Things got a little dark at first—the bottom spread of Volibears went the more “demon bear” route. For D, I was thinking it’d be interesting if Volibear developed some sort of coarse, hardened armor, potentially on his head (forming the shape of a skull) and on his torso. I wanted it to give him a primal, ancient look. He’s wearing strips of bandages and ripped clothing as a way of breaking away or “hulking” out of his Freljordian parameters. 
For E, I wanted to get pretty ferocious with Volibear, with the weapons sticking out of his back and lightning striking all around him—I wanted to simulate him raging out against humans/civilization trying to bring him down with the only means they know. He wears a slight headdress/Freljordian embellishment to bring back a bit of that cold culture, and he has the lightning scar tattoos on his back. 
F Voli is maybe the most monstrous, simulating nature’s chaotic fury and death.
For the top spread, my aim was to explore a few different personalities for Volibear to try to find the right tone. In A, I was going for a more veteran, grizzled, powerful elder bear, with hundreds (thousands?) of years of experiences and warfare behind him. He’s got the storm mane, and after the innumerable lightning strikes, he’s developed a callous sort of armor on his skin. 
For B, I wanted to get super primal and feral without getting demonic, bringing back the weapons on his back and showing him in a roaring pose. I was thinking those blue shapes coming out of his head would be lightning strikes frozen into true ice to connect back to some iconic Freljordian characteristics. The fur on his back is burned Freljordian striped patterning where the lightning has seared across his back. 
For C, I wanted to go back to the idea of Volibear as a Freljordian deity, and bring back some of the armored “warbear” feel of current Volibear. I was referencing images of ancient Chinese deities with the floating scarves around their heads and shoulders, and thought it would be cool if instead of a scarf it was thundering storm clouds! I added in some braiding in the beard and hair to add a bit more humanity and emotion to the more bear-like qualities of this iteration. 
These are all directions we’re still exploring! I’ve been playtesting the kit when I can and have really enjoyed my experience so far—there’s been some super exciting kit ideas to go along with these visuals and the developing story thoughts. I think Volibear players will be excited to see where we are heading! 
Exploring the Complex Mind of a Bear 
Rayla “Jellbug” Heide, Narrative Writer: One of my current challenges is figuring out how to bridge Volibear’s personality as he appears in the game with Volibear as he appears in the stories on universe. His current voice has a calm resonance that gives him a certain honorable dignity. But he’s also a ferocious, ancient god of the Freljord and a literal bear who can overpower you in a fight with the wrath of a storm. In the lore, we’ve seen Volibear as the terrifying entity with many eyes, a monster whose back is studded with the swords of lesser men, people who have tried to take down the beast and failed. But I suspect Volibear is not the type of warrior to run away from his foe and get stabbed in the back—he faces his enemies head-on with fearless instinct. 
I’m also exploring Volibear’s relationship with nature and mankind. Does his power come from his human worshipers in the twisted Ursine, or from nature itself? Or perhaps he believes in the rewilding of mankind, that humans have become weaker and less true to themselves with the growth of civilization. I don’t expect that he wants to destroy all of mankind, but perhaps he thinks men need to pay penance for their mistakes. 
In some ways, Volibear has an opposite philosophy from Ornn, who crafts weapons for warfare but doesn’t care to meddle in human affairs and prefers to be left alone. Volibear does not seem to craft or create—instead he destroys human creations and their falsehoods and does get involved in their wars, and he certainly does not care to be ignored. Perhaps he resents the fact that humans have become less dependent on their demigods, to the extent that they have forgotten their roots. Perhaps he wants us all to return to the old ways of lost myth and unsung ritual. 
In any case, I seek to bridge these seemingly opposing aspects of his personality—his wisdom and wildness, his nobility and violence, his calmness and ferocity. We have seen how Ornn sees him, how tribes of the Freljord see him, but we have not yet seen Volibear’s tale as told from his own perspective. I’m excited to give a voice to the ancient demigod who will not be forgotten. 
We’ll be back in a few months with another progress update. Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below!"

Ask Riot: Ultimate Skin When? 

Check out this week's Ask Riot - "Bugs, Akali, Little Legends, and ultimate skins.":
Today we’re talking about Akali nerfs, fixing bugs, Little Legends, and whether we’re making more ultimate skins. 
Are you ever going to make another ultimate skin?

The short version: We’d like to, but it won’t be this year. 
The long version: Let’s go back a couple years to really answer this question. When we have thought about what makes a skin an “ultimate” in the past, we considered the whole experience of the skin, including both the depth of experience and the novelty factor. Every ultimate skin created an expansive new fantasy for a champion and raised the novelty bar for skins in some way—like DJ Sona’s in-game music and Elementalist Lux’s expansive evolution tree. 
With Gun Goddess Miss Fortune, we felt like we were delivering on the immersive experience expected for ultimate skins, but we weren’t necessarily creating a never-before-seen moment, especially since we were able to take advantage of the tech we’d already built. This is why we placed her below the typical price mark for an ultimate skin. 
What we learned from Gun Goddess Miss Fortune is that the novelty factor is actually really important to y’all when you think about what makes a skin an “ultimate.” Players generally expect ultimate skins to break the boundaries of the game in some way, shape, or form, and this is something we’ve carried forward when considering potential new ultimates. 
We did explore some possibilities for ultimate skins for 2019, but we didn’t land on anything that we felt all-in on, and we don’t plan on releasing one this year. We want to make sure the next one we commit to really exceeds your expectations, and this takes more than just an innovative idea—it takes extra dev time to get there. It’s important to us that the next ultimate skin we make for one champion feels more worthwhile than if we were to have spent that time creating Legendary skins for multiple champions. 
All of that said… yes, we are still searching for the next ultimate skin for League. There’s a few ideas we’re exploring for 2020, but we haven’t committed to anything as of now. As always, we welcome suggestions and ideas from you on what you’d like to see for the future of ultimates. 
Lead Producer for Personalization 
Why are there so many nerfs to Akali?

When a champion is nerfed, it’s usually because they’ve crossed our predefined thresholds for measuring when a champion is too strong or too weak. These thresholds are broken down into four groups of players (average, skilled, elite, and pro), and these groups have pretty disparate player needs. Some champions, Akali included, exhibit extreme effectiveness differentials between the best of the best League players and everyone else. When that differential is massive, we may need to make larger changes to the champion so they’re at least viably playable for other audiences. Unfortunately, this can take a lot of time and result in a lot of pain—for both that champion’s players, who are constantly having their champion changed, and for opponents who may be facing a champ who remains overpowered for long periods of time (or when a champion bounces in and out of being overpowered repeatedly). 
For Akali specifically, there were patches where she simultaneously had a 90+% presence in professional play while maintaining around a 43% win rate in solo queue brackets. In this case, our framework says Akali should be nerfed for pro play, but it also says she’s already very weak for most players. In situations like this, we don’t typically do a simple nerf. Instead, we aim to do a combination of changes that include solo queue-impacting buffs and pro-impacting nerfs. When working in this territory, it can be challenging to nerf a champion for its strong audiences, while ALSO buffing it for its weak audiences, while ALSO trying to preserve the fun components of their kit that may be impacting their performance disparity. 
Situations like these have been a significant challenge for us over the last couple of years, with champions like Galio, Aatrox, and Irelia falling into a similar bucket. Managing champion performance disparities—both by resolving the issues quickly and by better anticipating them—is something we’re actively trying to get better at. Massive champion performance disparities can put a lot of pain on players, and the amount of time it takes to resolve them detracts from other work we could be doing on the game. 
Game Design Manager 
Why do some bugs sit on live longer than others?

We constantly have to make priority calls about where our dev time is best spent, and there’s a lot that goes into that decision. Our first step in deciding whether we need to prioritize a bug starts with an analysis of the issue’s severity versus frequency. In other words, when the issue happens, how impactful is it? And how often does it happen? 
If something is both high severity and high frequency, we generally prioritize it highly. We’ll put our other work on pause to immediately investigate the issue, like when Morekasier’s abilities stopped working during his ultimate in patch 9.14. Conversely, low severity and low frequency bugs are generally only fixed opportunistically and when we have extra time; one example of such a bug is on Arcade Qiyana, where the VFX on her weapon during her recall animation can be misaligned if you enter a movement command in the opposite direction immediately before casting recall. We also tend to have a myriad of issues that are of varying severity and frequency, and they’ll fall in the middle of our priority list—these things might be very impactful but happen rarely, or they may be small annoyances that happen all the time. 
In addition to the severity and frequency of a bug, there are some other variables to consider, such as… How difficult is this to fix? How likely will this break other parts of the game if we fix it? Do we need someone specific to fix it who knows more about that area of the game? Ultimately, the decisions around bug prioritization comes down to, “Would a developer’s time be better spent working on something else right now, whether that be new content, other bugs, or another thing entirely?” It’s a constant juggling act, where we’re trying to introduce new content and develop the game to exist for many years to come. 

Nexus Author 
Why didn’t you make Teemo, Yuumi, Tristana, or Lulu Little Legends? 
We checked in with Bandle City and they aren’t sure whether they should be offended or honored by this question. 
When creating Little Legends, we have certain design pillars we want to adhere to. We want them to be diverse and have their own niche within the Little Legends line-up. We want them to have a cohesive theme; for example, if they are “referential to League” like the Runespirit, then we want to ensure its theme is communicated throughout the entire character. We also want them to be expressive and identifiable, like our grumpy Furyhorn. And lastly, but critically important, we want them to be aspirational. 
Making Little Legends out of characters like Lulu and Yuumi, or even our non-yordle champions, could hit those goals. However, we don’t yet know enough about what types of Little Legends you want to have, and what types of feelings and emotions you associate with or channel through them. There is a wide catalog of things from the League universe to pull inspiration from, and we want to explore wide ranges of Little Legends, both in reference to League and brand new things. So keep bringing your feedback, because we’re paying attention to what you’re asking for and looking for opportunities to make new, awesome stuff. 
Delivery Lead for Little Legends 
Have a question? Click on the button below, sign into your League account, and ask away. 
We’ll do our best to read every question, but we can’t guarantee they’ll all get answers. Some questions may already be answered elsewhere, and some won’t be right for Ask Riot. This isn’t the best place to announce new features, for example, and we might skip conversations on issues we’ve talked about in depth before (though we can clarify individual points). 
We are listening, though, so keep asking. We’ll make sure your questions are heard by the Rioters working on the stuff you’re curious about."

Miscellaneous

"Your semi-weekly dose of server problem-os, NA League news, and other! 
9.14 arrived with the non-smoothest of bugs, TFT ranked says hello, and the mid-season changes kinda shifted the meta around. Just a little. Smidgen. You know, a tiny amount. 
Follow-Ups:
  • Mac voice still not working properly Bug assigned to a specialist. (Core bug is still being worked on).
Ongoing
  • None
Server Stuff:
  • Server reboot causes problems (7/23, ~20 minutes) Automated comp mode has issues with a single server. The server is rebooted, but that server doesn’t reconnect to the cluster after the reboot. NOC has to manually force it to reconnect and start accepting games again.
  • TMS installation cause issues (7/22, ~7 minutes) Game starts dip on NA, and start to recover after a few minutes. NOC checks and finds network rerouting was being done due to a device being replaced and new device activated in a datacenter. The installation completes and routing tables are updated, dropping everything back to normal.
  • Elevated non-unique reconnects after redeploy (7/22, ~90 minutes) A server redeploy rolls out, and non-unique reconnects begin to climb. However, after an hour (during the duration of the redeploy), reconnect events fall back to normal levels.
  • Players attempt Personalize Offer purchase after P.O. disabled (7/22, ~30 minutes) A change to the servers complete earlier that day. Rioter notifies the NOC that there may be an issue with PO disables. NOC uncovers that the issue only affect players who left the client open for a long period of time (lots and lots of hours).
  • Delay with Missions (7/12, ~17 minutes) Automated monitoring flags an alert that the missions system is being overloaded. Looks to be a brief surge in data, which caused the alerting flags to activate.
  • Non-unique reconnection spike (7/18, ~90 minutes) Reconnects begin to spike in various regions. Automated compensation mode kicks on for the affected game servers. Before an investigation can find any root cause for the problem, the non-unique reconnections recover and fall to normal levels.
  • Non-unique reconnection spike (7/18, ~80 minutes) Reconnects begin to spike in various regions as a change is pushed to the main servers. The reconnection spike continues during the duration of the change being pushed to all servers, which originally had a small risk of causing reconnections. Reconnections stop as the change is completed, and the change is slotted for investigation to see why it caused reconnects.
Game Stuff:
  • Ryze disabled (7/17, ~14 hours) The bugfix in 9.14 caused his Q to be disabled if Ryze died while he was casting it. Not quite intentional.
  • Annie/Qiyana/Morde bugs causing ranked queue disable (7/17, ~14 hours) Annie, Qiyana, and Morde seem to be the major connection for a bunch of bugs. Quick triage and investigation leads to a series of probable ares, which narrow down to red buff’s interaction with death as well as Morde’s R, all combined with death recap. A hot fix pushed out to solve those bugs fix the problems, and ranked is re-enabled.
  • Increased Bug-Splats due to Anticheat (7/17, ~45 minutes) Updates to 9.14 and anticheat roll in on the 17th. This coincides with a small increase in bugsplats that remain constant over time. Anticheat implement a first bugfix, which doesn’t quite solve all the problems. A second bugfix rolls out, which solves the problem completely.
Morgageddon"

Reminders

To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • Make sure to check out the LoL Twitch Prime rewards! - "Get up to 3 Legendary Shards, a full Legendary Skin, 7 Skin Shards, and 4 Exclusive Emotes as long as you stay a Twitch Prime member."

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