Red Post Collection: 9.16 TFT Patch Notes, /Dev: Exploring Eternals, & More

Posted on at 12:24 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes the 9.16 TFT Patch Notes, a /Dev on the new Eternals feature, Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for August 9th, and much more!
Continue reading for more information!


Table of Contents


Teamfight Tactics patch 9.16 notes 

Here's Riot Beernana with the Patch 9.16 TFT notes:
"Hey Tacticians, welcome to the Teamfight Tactics patch 9.16 notes.

The headliner for this patch is the introduction of the Hextech origin bringing Camille, Jayce, Vi, and Jinx to the Convergence. Building Hextechs into your team composition will provide answers to enemy teams relying on a single champion stacked with items. On the flip side, when playing against Hextechs be prepared to spread your items out between your champions to mitigate their disruption.

In addition to the fun new stuff, we're also making a few less flashy (but hopefully just as satisfying) improvements to a few systems in Teamfight Tactics. The randomized round-by-round matchmaking system will no longer pit you against the same player multiple times in a row. Additionally, we're limiting the number of round ties by adding the whole new URF Overtime buff that activates at the end of long battles. We've been pretty happy with the player damage changes from patch 9.15, but we've added some base player damage to keep close end games from going too long. Last but not least, three new Little Legends and the second beta pass round out the new stuff in this patch.

Take this portal if you're looking for League's patch notes!

Now, let's get into it."
Blake "Riot Beernana" Edwards

[Full 9.16 TFT Patch Notes here!] 


TFT Update: Hextech Heroics 

Here's Tummers and Riot Beernana with details on the new Origin for TFT, Hextech:
"Hextech has entered the game. 
The Hextechs are a group of champs specializing in knocking your well-equipped enemies down to size. At the beginning of combat, they'll throw out a bomb that disables enemy items in an area for a limited amount of time. This bonus kicks in once you've deployed two Hextechs and becomes stronger once you've deployed all four
Take down the enemy team before their items come back online! 
The Champions:
  • Camille
    • Camille is a Blademaster that excels in taking down single targets with her allies. Camille's ability, The Hextech Ultimatum, roots an enemy and forces her in-range teammates to target whomever she's fighting. Think about Camille's positioning carefully to get your team to focus their firepower on a specific enemy.
    • Class: Blademaster
    • Cost: 1
  • Jayce
    • Jayce is a shapeshifter who excels at disrupting the enemy frontline by knocking back an enemy unit with his Thundering Blow. Once the defenses are open, he switches to his Mercury Cannon bringing increased attack speed and ranged damage to the battle.
    • Class: Shapeshifter
    • Cost: 2
  • Vi
    • If you absolutely have to get to the enemy backline, you better bring Vi. This Brawler targets the farthest enemy and charges towards them, knocking aside and damaging every enemy along the way. Once she gets there she knocks her target up and damages them.
    • Class: Brawler
    • Cost: 3
  • Jinx
    • Jinx is a high risk, high reward Gunslinger that ramps up through the course of a fight. She Gets Excited after her first takedown, gaining bonus attack speed. If she scores a second takedown she pulls out Fishbones, her rocket launcher, causing her attacks to deal AoE damage. Keep Jinx fully equipped and supported and she'll carry your team to victory.
    • Class: Gunslinger
    • Cost: 4"

TFT Beta Pass V.2 Coming Soon! 

Tummers and Beernana also provided details on the TFT Beta Pass v.2 coming with 9.16:
"The second Teamfight Tactics beta pass is coming! For the next eight weeks, you’ll earn icons, emotes, and arena chromas by completing missions and playing TFT. 
Here's how it works: 
Timing: You can start earning beta pass XP in patch 9.16 in all regions. The pass ends with the start of patch 9.20. 
Rewards and XP: By leveling up your pass you'll be able to unlock six icons, three map chromas, and four emotes. There’s 9280 XP available to earn over the course of eight weeks, and it’ll cost 6800 XP to unlock all of the rewards. 
Orb of Enlightenment: We reworked the Orb of Enlightenment to reward you for playing multiple games. You'll receive 70 XP just for logging in, and 10 additional XP for each of your next five games. Not including the missions you complete, you can earn 120 XP every day by logging in and finishing five games. 
Missions: Every week, you'll get six missions that you can complete to earn XP. Two will be relatively easy and should be completable in one session. Two will be based on completing a certain number of games. The last two will be more difficult, requiring you to complete something challenging or stretch your understanding of rules or strategy within Teamfight Tactics. Three missions will be active at any given time, and once one is completed another will automatically take its place. Missions rotate every week around the same time that a patch would drop. 
Best of luck in the Convergence!"

/Dev: Exploring Eternals

Here's KenAdamsNSA with a /Dev blog on a new feature, Eternals:
"Hey everyone! Eternals, our new champion-based achievement feature that lets you showcase personal accomplishments for your favorite champs, is heading to PBE for release on 9.17. You can read all about how to unlock and equip Eternals in the FAQ. In this post, we’ll be talking more in-depth about Eternals, including details on our goals, how we designed these new achievements, and what the future holds. 
Why’d You Want to Make Eternals? 
Every couple months, we send surveys to players all over the world asking what types of new personalization features they’d like to see in League. One of the top requests is always for champion-based achievements. We decided to explore what we could do in the space, knowing that we’d have to push through some challenges. Not only is it tricky to add meaningful achievements for 140+ champs, but we also wanted to push the envelope on what this kind of game system could deliver for League. 
After a lot of exploration, we landed on a few core goals that we wanted to hit:
  • Provide players a way to show off their achievements in and out of game
  • Give players a new progression system beyond Mastery and Ranked
  • Reward players with unique perks for their success 
With these in mind, we invited players to Riot to help lock down some of the details. For example, we worked with players to find the right balance between broadly-appealing accomplishments, like kills and takedowns, and unique, champion-specific moments, like Sylas’s “Stop Hitting Yourself,” an Eternal which tracks how many times Sylas kills an enemy with their own ultimate. 
Will Eternals Encourage Bad Behavior? 
We do a game design review for every Eternal we create to ensure that, on paper, it’s not incentivizing a suboptimal playstyle. Then we follow this up with playtests to validate “in the moment” feels. This process has been hugely helpful in refining our designs to hit the goal of Eternals—they should reward positive play patterns that are exciting and meaningful to achieve. Balancing positive intent with satisfying Eternal design has been a challenge, so be sure to give us feedback once you’ve played with them if you feel we’ve swung too hard in either direction. 
Additionally, we’ve taken several steps to minimize objective-setting with Eternals in game. You can always check how close you are to the next Eternals milestone with the hover tooltip in game, but a tracker isn’t always front-and-center. (At one point, we actually tried removing all ways to track your milestone progress in-game, but that felt pretty bad, so we compromised with the tooltips.) 
Much like the Missions and Mastery systems in the past, we expect we’ll refine Eternals over time and tune them based on your feedback. We’ll keep an eye on how things are going after launch, and if you see players acting in bad faith to min-max their Eternals, feel free to report them in game and let us know. 
Why are Eternals Only Available for RP? 
We took a look at how other games have tackled similar systems to see what felt good and what could use some improvement. Existing systems like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s loot boxes for StatTrak weapons and Dota 2’s subscription model for Hero Relics showed us that rarity was a core component for these types of systems. As a result of what we were seeing, we initially designed an early version of Eternals with a loot-based system, but it felt overly complicated and too punishing to be a satisfying approach for League. As a result, we went back to the basics: We’d package sets of three Eternals for players to get with RP. 
Additionally—and for complete transparency—Eternals were a huge undertaking to build. The system has a significant amount of new tech powering it to ensure that it works consistently and reliably. We also want to support and expand upon this feature for years to come, and with so many champions to build and maintain Eternals for, the only way we could justify supporting the feature was to attach an RP price to it. 
What’s Up With All the Statues? 
We wanted to create different visual representations of the types of achievements you’ll be showing off on the Rift. To do that, we explored the idea of appeasing ancient Runeterran gods that responded to your accomplishments, which allowed us to create multiple types of Eternals, with each representing different gameplay pillars. 
Here’s a breakdown of each Eternal and the accomplishments they represent:

The Warden
  • Controlling champions in fights via CC
  • Motto: “You play on MY terms.”
  • Sample Champions: Sejuani, Nunu
The Protector
  • Damage / CC mitigation via tanking, shielding, or prevention
  • Motto: “Not today.”
  • Sample Champions: Braum, Shen
The Empress
  • Superior micro / macro; flawless play or decision-making
  • Motto: “Big brains. Big plays.”
  • Sample Champions: Fiora, Ezreal
The Guide
  • Enabling teammates to make plays and stay in the fight
  • Motto: “TAKE THE LANTERN.”
  • Sample Champions: Soraka, Sona
The Warrior
  • Harm in the most brutal, straightforward way possible
  • Motto: “Rekt.”
  • Sample Champions: Mordekaiser, Darius
The Trickster
  • Deceitful, manipulative mind games
  • Motto: “/all ?”
  • Sample Champions: Shaco, Teemo
It’s important to note that these aren’t hard and fast rules. There were several Eternals that we heavily debated when assigning their alignments, like Shen’s Eternal, “Party Crasher.” 
“Party Crasher” is a Protector Eternal that increments when you ult to an ally then taunt an enemy within a few seconds of arriving. You could make the argument that this is actually a Trickster Eternal, since in some cases a low health ADC is used as bait to turn a fight. However, we decided that in most instances, Shen’s intent for this particular moment is protecting his target and mitigating damage. There are a number of different Eternals that went through similar processes, and we weighed as many factors as possible in our decision for alignments. 
Additionally, our launch set of Eternals has a healthy mix of different achievements to track, some of which are fairly skill-based and others less so. Our Player Labs indicated a wide-range of desires from this system, so we wanted to experiment a bit and see what resonates for our initial set. We’ve already got a list of potential Eternals for Set 2 that we’re playing with, but we’d love to hear what Eternals you’d want to see for your favorite champions going forward! 
What Do I Get for Leveling Up My Eternals? 
When we decided to add progression to Eternals, we wanted players to have moments where they felt especially awesome with rewards that felt unique. One of the ideas we were inspired by came from the fitness world: Personal Bests. We loved the idea of Eternals being a way for you to capture an awesome game on your main, and let you show it off to everyone in the moment. 
We didn’t want everyone to hit their Personal Best in their first or second game, though, so we made it a reward that’s revealed after rekindling an Eternal. Rekindling is when you hit the 5th milestone on one Eternal, and it has a ramping progression that takes roughly the same amount of time as it does to get Mastery 5 on a champion. Once you’ve rekindled your Eternal and unlocked your Personal Best, the time between milestones flattens out so that you can see your achievements more frequently! 
Here’s an example of what the progression might look like: 
Here’s how the progression for an Eternal might look through Milestone 5: ramping in the beginning, then easier and flat afterwards!
Additionally, beating your Personal Best in a match has a special milestone callout in-game that highlights the moment to everyone, and it will also be mentioned in the end-of-game screen! 
A personal best milestone in action.

We also wanted to find a satisfying set bonus reward for rekindling all of the Eternals in a set that could scale over time. Like most great ideas, the answer came from players in early playtesting of the system: an upgraded Mastery Emote! This idea was really exciting for the team because it meant expanding on something that players already understand and use, rather than introducing a new keybinding. Now when you rekindle all of the Eternals in a set, your Mastery Emote will upgrade with special marks and an evolving flame effect to indicate how many sets you’ve rekindled!
The first Mastery Emote upgrade from rekindling a set. 
What’s Next for Eternals? 
Launch is just the beginning for Eternals! As we said earlier, we’re already in the process of making Set 2 for all of the champions in the game, but we want your feedback after you’ve had a chance to play with the first set. We’ve also been tossing around a few ideas for additional features for Eternals, like letting you skin your milestones (e.g. Star Guardian or PROJECT) or seasonal leaderboards, but nothing is set in stone just yet.
A fully upgraded Mastery Emote (5 sets rekindled).

We’re super excited to get Eternals in your hands and can’t wait to see you all flexing your achievements to the world. See you on the Rift!"

FAQ: Eternals coming in Patch 9.17

Still have questions about Eternals? Check out this FAQ from shio shoujo and Tummers:
"Show the world what a real main looks like. Eternals are new, champion-based achievements that let you prove your Mastery and stunt on your opponents. Track your per-game personal bests and rack up lifetime milestones for things like hooks hit, dunks dunked, and more. 
Eternals are heading to PBE soon and rolling out to players in patch 9.17! Read more about the design and function of Eternals in this /Dev post."

[Check out the Full FAQ here!] 


Quick Gameplay Thoughts: August 9 

Check out Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for August 9th:
"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 
Some 9.16 SR Balance Context 
Looking at some of the changes coming in 9.16. 
Buffs:
  • Jax - We're looking to give Jax a little bit of early power, aimed in particular at top lane play against ranged opponents (Q CD 8-6 from 10-6)
  • Lux - Now that the 9.14 nerfs have had some time to settle we're confident we took a bit too much power out of support Lux. We wanted to hit fairly hard, hit her harder again than intended though. We're putting a bit of power back into the W rank ups as a result.
  • Shen - Some buffs aimed at giving Shen a bit more split push power mid-late game, especially against tanky opponents (buffs to Q % health damage and E damage). Intent is they should benefit top Shen more than support, given top Shen maxes Q earlier.
Nerfs:
  • Azir - Going for just a small nerf here that gives slightly larger windows against him late game (Q CD 15-7 instead of 15-5). We originally tested some larger nerfs but given he's not highly OP and we're buffing other champs who tend to play mid conclusion was a light touch here made sense.
  • Corki - Here by contrast we're looking to take noticeably more power out of. We're hitting his reliable damage specifically (base AD and AD per level). Changes look small on paper, we've seen small looking base AD changes have large impacts historically though.
  • Riven - Riven we're targeting due to her High MMR solo queue performance being really strong. In retrospect lowering the Q CD significantly in 9.10 wasn't necessary. Going back on most of that buff as a result. 
Honor 5 Chromas 
We've got some chromas coming this year Medieval Twitch and Grey Warwick. Goal there is to be able to give Honor 5 players who've already got both skins additional rewards. How that will work is that your Honor 5 capsule will contain two Honor 5 tokens, each of which can be exchanged for Medieval Twitch, Grey Warwick or one of the chromas for those skins. When we revealed the chromas a couple of weeks back we originally stated players would only be able to get one. We've since corrected the plan so folks can get both as originally promised earlier in the year. 
For those of you who've already opened Honor 5 capsules for the year we'll send you tokens separately sometime during 9.16. 
TFT Ranked 
We've got some work underway looking at ways to improve how Ranked works for TFT. While we did a fair bit of tuning of the existing system to adapt it to TFT we think, based off what we're seeing and feedback received, that there's a fair bit of room to customize it further to better meet TFT needs. Don't have details ready to share yet, will do so as soon as we've got some specific tactics in mind though. 
RNG in TFT: Item Drops 
I'm aiming to cover this topic in detail in a post within the next couple of weeks. Was hoping to do so this week but would like to give the TFT team a bit more time to map out their upcoming item work first. Short version for now though: 
  • We think high game to game variation is very important for TFT given adaptability is one of the most important skills TFT tests
  • We don't think solutions like exact same number of items per player every game are the way to go
  • We don't think the current drop system gives sufficient options/alternatives to players who aren't getting many items either though, so are looking to make some changes. Details, or at least planned direction, to come once we've got something solid enough to share"

Ask Riot: Most Popular Skin? 

Check out this week's Ask Riot - "Plus who’d win in a fight: Featherknight or poros?":
Today, it’s all about skins and Little Ledgies. 
What’s the most popular skin or skin line? 
It’s hard to narrow down the single most popular skin or skin line in League because there are a lot of ways of looking at popularity. You can look at sentiment, total purchased, total use time, fan art created, use by players who main that champ… the list goes on. But if we try to take all (or most) of these things into account, we can get a pretty good idea of what’s the most popular. 
In no particular order, the most popular skins of all time are Elementalist Lux, Star Guardian Jinx, and PROJECT: Vayne. So far in Season 2019, Dark Cosmic Jhin has been the most popular. One surprising—or not so surprising, depending on how you look at it—skin that did well this year is Corgi Corki. (But who doesn’t love a guy riding around in a corgi-shaped plane?) 
As for skin lines, it’s probably no surprise that K/DA is one of the most popular, alongside PROJECT and Star Guardian. In general, the most popular skin lines tend to go hand-in-hand with the overall popular skins. 
Lead Producer of Skins , Personalization 
Nowadays, every skin and splash art is much nicer than they were in the past. What changed? New software? Techniques?

Skins 
So much has changed over the past few years that it’s really difficult to pinpoint any one turning point. If I really had to boil it down to just two areas, it’d probably broadly be tech improvements and a maturing team. 
We’ve made a huge and deliberate effort over the last few years to overcome a lot of the “tech debt” that a game as complex and old as League has built up. Through these efforts, we’ve created better tools that empower us to create new features and push the experience of skins—rather than feeling like we’re creating these things in spite of the tools. One example is our VFX software, which went from a text editor a few years ago to a really robust tool that now allows our artists to not only make better looking effects, but also to make them faster. This time we save working with the tool can then go towards trying new looks or adding new art and features. 
The second big reason for the gradual improvement is that the skins team has matured in a healthy way. This is most clear when we’re working on long-term projects like Battle Academia, where we can iterate on our process throughout development. Everyone on the team wants to grow and improve, and that shared commitment builds a high level of trust among the team, which encourages us to try wild new ideas or styles. Battle Academia is a great example of this in action. While developing this new thematic, we asked ourselves questions like, “Are we pushing the animations too far? Do these VFX break our style guide? How do we make something feel both ‘League’ and anime at the same time without compromising both?” By taking the chance on brand new skin styles and having a deep respect and trust for each other, we’ve been able to really evolve the look and quality of skins. 
Also, the team is just overflowing with extremely talented devs who are deeply passionate about both surprising and delighting players as well as pushing their craft and the skills of those around them to the next level. 
Splash Art 
I agree that splash art has evolved tremendously over the history of League. Some of us remember the days of painted-over 3D models, followed by the first fully handcrafted illustrations, then the rest of the evolution that led us to today—although the software is largely the same. We use Adobe Photoshop, with a sprinkling of 3D modeling depending on the artist and the need. 
I think the first big part of the more recent evolution came from a change in our philosophy. We now see splashes as a really important part of a skin—kind of like a movie poster or the box cover to a game. Splashes aspire to be the most iconic and vivid representation of a champion or skin, to give a sense of the rich fantasy world they could actually exist in. It should make a strong first statement and deep lasting impression. That means we think a lot about the storytelling and impact an illustration can bring to the champion or skin, on top of the exciting things a player would experience in game. 
I think the other big thing that defines modern splash art is something we’ve been calling “cinematic believability” (I’m open to suggestions on that one). When designing skins and champions, gameplay clarity and functionality are the most important things to consider, so we have to respect restrictions on how much memory a skin can take up in the game. Things like the 3D models are limited in detail and size. Splash art doesn’t have these same technical considerations, so we can dream bigger and in high-fidelity, and we express this with invented details in costume, armor, textures, environments and materials—like that next-level detail you can see in superhero costumes or big-budget CGI scenes. We use tons of reference throughout the splash process to push the realism in our materials. 
The “cinematic” part of “cinematic believability” means we take a lot of inspiration from the movies that we love. Being a splash artist is almost like being a movie director. For just one still frame, we are focusing on things like the moment and acting, lighting and set design, cinematography and camera angles, and even things like lens distortion, depth of field, and film grain. I find this particularly resonant because so much of what we see of the world is through the medium of film, and we can replicate that feeling to make a splash illustration so much more believable and impactful. 
Skins Art Lead
Riot Owleycat  
Illustration Art Lead 

Who would win in a fight? Featherknight or Poro?

Well, as I am sure we all know, poros are made of the purest source of love, truth, valor, and innocence, and as such they wouldn’t be able to fight anyone. 
Stepping back from that, though, if we imagine an alternate universe where a crazed fluft of poros have decided to ravage Runeterra and take their anger out on the poor, beady-eyed Featherknight… 

Poro Pros:
  • Travel in flufts, so they have a numbers combat advantage
  • Who knows what is hidden under their fur? Armor? Weapons? Are they made of pure steel?
  • Small and hard to hit
Poro Cons:
  • They don’t have hands or thumbs
  • Even though they’re small, their legs are so stubby that they are not very fast
  • Easily distracted by Poro Snax
Featherknight Pros:
  • Fully trained swordsman (who somehow holds a sword without thumbs… )
  • Has armor to fend off attacks
  • Dabs
Featherknight Cons:
  • Dabs
In the end, I think it’s pretty clear who wins. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 
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

"A few weeks ago we announced that State Farm was sponsoring a Cosplay Contest at Summer Finals. Over the past month 64 different cosplayers have been crafting and creating their own cosplay creations for a chance to win $5k and a round trip ticket to World Finals. 
Last week the submission window closed, and the finalists were selected. 5 talented cosplayers will get flown out to experience the LCS Summer Finals live in Detroit, where they will also be featured as Cosplay Guests onsite. 
While at the LCS Finals, the 5 cosplay finalists will compete for the grand prize: round trip tickets to the 2019 World Championship Finals for them and one friend, and a cash prize of $5,000! 
Runners up will receive prizes as well! 2nd place will receive $2,000, with 3rd place being awarded $1,000. 
Congrats to following cosplayers who will be joining us as our Finalists!"

[Full Winners list here] 


"It's Sona and Bard, but remixed. Only you can hear this, summoner. Check out the song on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/neet/mutemix"

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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