8/2 PBE Update: Skin Tweaks, Little Legends Updates, and more!

Posted on at 2:03 PM by Aznbeat
The PBE has been updated! As we continue the 9.16 PBE cycle, today's patch includes tweaks to Dragonslayer Pantheon, a look at each new Little Legend in game, tentative balance changes, 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


Skin Tweaks

As noted by Dankyart, Dragonslayer Pantheon's sandals have been changed into boots:
[Old]

Little Legends Updates

Here's a post from Riot Stephiroth with more details on the new Little Legends, as well as notes on VFX changes now testing on Silverwing:
"Hey everyone, 
In patch 9.16 three new Little Legends and their variants will be available in their own egg series (series three for those counting). They're on PBE or will be soon, so let us know what you think as you get a sense of how they look, move, feel, and most importantly, taunt. 
Formally introducing:
  • Moontipped Hushtail
    • Mistberry Hushtail
    • Fae Hushtail
    • Untamed Hushtail
    • Monarch Hushtail
    • Eternal Hushtail
  • Jade Paddlemar
    • Rosebloom Paddlemar
    • Tidepool Paddlemar
    • Glamorous Paddlemar
    • Caldera Paddlemar
    • Yuletide Padldemar
  • Jeweled Protector
    • Shadowgem Protector
    • Reigning Protector
    • Skygem Protector
    • Fierce Protector
    • Sunborn Protector
Some totally canon information about the new Little Legends: 
The Moontipped Hushtail has come to explore Runeterra. The Hushtail can take on many forms… It can be difficult to spot the Hushtail unless you know to look for its three iconic bushy tails. 
The Jade Paddlemar aspires to someday sail the skies with the adult Paddlemars. But he’s just… so sleepy. 
The Jeweled Protector is a fierce winged beast. He has gems embedded along his spine that glow with a mysterious power. 
A note about VFX: 
You may notice that the Series 3 set of Little Legends has a slightly different visual styling at three stars than our previously released sets. 
Our original intent with the 3-Star Little Legends was to make them feel special and cool. When making our new set, we wanted to explore a different direction for the VFX that we thought would push it even cooler and sparklier! 
If everyone likes the new styling, we’ll go back and update the Series 1 and 2 Little Legends! We updated the Silverwing on PBE, so take a look and let us know what you think!"
For a look at each new Little Legend in game, check out this spotlight video from Skinspotlights:


And here's a look at a tier 3 Silverwing with the new VFX:

Miscellaneous 

  • Assets for Honor 5 Grey Warwick and Medieval Twitch chroma added:

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.

Champions
Kayle
[Kayle has other experimental changes on the PBE!]
  • Attack speed changed from [.667 + 2% per lvl] to [.667 + 2.5% per lvl]
  • Divine Ascent (Passive)
    • Level for evolve reverted from [7/11/15] to [6/11/16]
  • Starfire Spellblade (E)
    • execute damage changed from [8-14% (+1% per 80 AP)] to [8/9/10/11/12% (+2% per 100 AP)]
    • Passive damage AP ratio increased from 20% to 30%
    • Passive damage AD ratio increased from 100% tAD to 120% tAD
  • Divine Judgement (R)
    • AP ratio increased from 80% to 90%

Pantheon
[Pantheon's champion update is now testing on the PBE!]
  • Grand Starfall (R) AP ratio increased from 50% to 100%

Context & Notes

1) Make sure to check out Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for August 2nd:
"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 
Rate of Balance Changes in TFT 
We're at the point now where we're planning on slowing down on rate of balance changes in TFT. Until now we've been making pretty frequent and large changes trying to get everything broadly in line. From what we're seeing balance is getting close to a point where natural meta evolution's going to counter a lot of things though. Changing too quickly undercuts ability for that to emerge and can make it feel like whenever you're starting to master things that expertise gets reset too much with new patches all the time. 9.15b next week's likely to be pretty small as a result and current thinking is 9.16, while it will introduce new content with the Hextech Champs, shouldn't be as heavy on raw balance as 9.15. Plan is to still act swiftly on anything really degenerative or straight out bugged of course. 
SR Balance 
As mentioned previously we're now in the part of the year where we'll be making few balance changes for a while, keeping the game in a stable state. That means in particular fewer mechanics changes to existing champions and limited systemic changes to things like items, the jungle, runes etc. We'll still have regular balance changes each patch of course, though they'll tend to be more at the level of tuning than big swings at things. 
Looking at 9.15 things landed pretty much as expected. We don't have any significant followup planned yet for champs changed that patch as a result. For 9.16 we'll be keeping an eye on Yuumi, Irelia, Karma and Ezreal as all potentially too dominant, especially in a pro play context. Only specific change we're testing for 9.16 so far though is a nerf to jungle Sylas where his Q2 damage will also be reduced against monsters, not just minions. That's aimed at reducing the extra value he gets from being a strong flex pick, hope being that trimming that down will let us leave more power in him in other ways. 
How we think about maintaining multiple versions of a feature 
Given recent discussion around the Legacy Cursor I figured a bit of visibility into our thought process when it comes to offering multiple different versions of a feature might be of interest. Before diving into that though, for anyone who's missed it the option to use the Legacy Cursor's back in again. 
So, first off, general thoughts on benefits and costs of maintaining prior functionality when we update something. I'm assuming here that the output of the feature in question is the same (e.g. a cursor you use to control the game, a patcher that updates the game for you, a particular UI etc). Things like old and new versions of a champion by contrast are a very different case because what one player chooses impacts others. 
The benefit side of things is pretty straightforward - it lets us give different groups of players what they want. The cost side by contrast tends to be more complex, particularly depending on what the feature in question is. Meaningful costs we think about include: 
  • The ongoing extra time that will be required to support multiple versions going forwards. Tends to mean things like having to make additional new pieces of art, fix the same bug in multiple places, additional QA testing each patch. For some features that time cost's trivial. For others (e.g. maintaining multiple versions of the in game HUD after its update a few years back) it adds a lot of extra time.
  • Some improvements that would be great for most users can end up being blocked by the need to support older functionality. Supporting really old operating systems for example can block improvements to things like memory usage for everyone else.
  • The total size and complexity of the game's code base has some impact on how quickly we can develop new features. Removing anything unnecessary gives us future efficiency as a result, which is particularly important for games like LoL with long lifespans and regular updates. 
Looking at the Legacy Cursor as an example: 
  • We shipped an update to LoL's cursor in July 2018. Our belief was that the updated version would be a better experience for most players. That generally seemed to be true, testing did indicate that a subset of players indicated they found the cursor change really disruptive though.
  • In response to that we added a Legacy Cursor option to allow players to opt into the old functionality. Cost, both upfront and ongoing, of doing so was pretty low and audience asking for the old cursor seemed to be of a meaningful size.
  • As with any legacy feature we made a note to reassess at some point, see if it was still worth supporting or no longer necessary.
  • Somewhere along the way we got some wires crossed in our internal communication and the need to assess the Legacy Cursor was assumed to instead be a need to remove it a year later. Cursor gets removed, players get understandably sad.
  • We then take a look at who's using it, see that it's around 10% of the LoL playerbase, and add it back in. Cost of maintaining it's low and value seems pretty meaningful."
Check out [THIS PAGEfor a comprehensive list of the new content & changes currently on the PBE as a part of this cycle or catch up with the individual update links below !

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