Red Post Collection: BIG Update on Rengar changes, Arcade Hecarim's death animation, and more animation references + concept art!

Posted on at 7:12 PM by Moobeat
Update #2: Added in a response from Scarizard about his thoughts on NOT removing stealth from Rengar's ult.

Update: Added in some more Rengar discussion and a blurb about the timing of the previously discussed Skarner changes.

This evening's red post collection features a BIG update on the Rengar changes currently in internal testing, discussion on what Arcade Hecarim's death animation is a reference to, Ohmikegoodness with another animation reference video, and Grumpy Monkey sharing even more concept art!
Continue reading for more information!

Big Update on Rengar Changes
( Note: This is an on-going discussion on future Rengar changes. Be sure to read up on the previous comments here: 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Scarizard has returned to forums with a GIANT update on the Rengar changes are currently being tested internally, revealing what he considers "pretty close" to what he'd like to see in the final version.
"Update time! 
So, after some tests, the big changes i've made are pretty close to what i'd like to see in the final version. I'll go through some of the core changes to my current changelist here, the reasoning behind it, and then update the main post with the differences as well. If i don't make mention of a mechanic from Live or from my previous post in these updates, it means they haven't changed. 

Bonetooth Necklace 10 AD, 1 AD/Level Recipe: Hunter's Machete + Long Sword + 100g
PASSIVE: 20% Increased damage to monsters 
3 Stacks: Rengar gains Flat Movement Speed while out of combat, or while in brush
6 Stacks: Leap range increased
9 Stacks: Thrill of the Hunt lasts X seconds longer
14 Stacks: Rengar gains % Movement speed for 2.5 seconds upon exiting brush 

Direction with Bonetooth as i've previously stated is to reduce the 'Stat bonus' focus on Bonetooth, and make it more Rengar-specific and use it as a tool to embrace and enhance Rengar's stalking/hunting gameplay. Feedback on this direction has been going well and people are digging the direction, i'll give my specific feelings about the bonuses. 
3 Stacks - Enjoying how this is playing as an early-game reward that enables Rengar's roaming, jungle or otherwise. Live Rengar has the Movement Speed bonus at Tier 2, idea is to move it to Tier 1 and make it less-permanent (Boots of Mobility) while being able retain the Flat MS while chasing targets through brush. Basically, ganking sidelanes and using the brush or fighting in the jungle keep Rengar speedy even if he's flagged as in-combat.

6 Stacks - Really simple. *slightly* nerfed the leap range due to it moving to Tier 2 from Tier 3 and thus more accessible, but hitting this threshold really makes him 'turn on' in terms of midgame power. Liking this.

9 Stacks - Mostly placeholder, but i enjoy the effect. Likely could just add a bonus together with the increased duration to give a fixed power spike that Rengar can rely on for making it this far. Totally agree with any of you that this falls a little short on expectations especially at Tier 3. This is the only one i have less-than-high confidence for as a rewarding effect. 
14 Stacks - very powerful. Not only does it synergize with Rengar's 3 stack for out of combat brush darting/chasing, this -also- means that Rengar has access to bonus movement speed after leaping from brush. Haven't gotten to this threshhold except for once, which when combo'd with the updates to Thrill of the Hunt that you'll see below made for some -really- epic hunting experiences. Might tune this up, might slightly change, but this is the type of thing i want to see from Tier 4 Bonetooth. 
Battle Roar 
-No Longer grants Armor/Magic Resistance 
-Enemies hit with Battle Roar have their Attack Damage reduced 
If you've read my prior posts, you know my feelings about Battle Roar - specifically that it doesn't especially inform who Rengar should be effective against, and thus just gives up a lump of power that's hard to tune while remaining satisfying. Feedback from this thread also has been consistent that Battle Roar's allure is Renga 
r imposing his will/intimidating opponents, not I AM LOUD AND TANKIER NOW.
Attack Damage reduction allows him to handle jungle minions pretty well, but also makes him a monster in fights vs champions that rely on basic attacks/physical damage abilities (like carries, or other fighters), while still keeping him vulnerable to magic damage abilities from tanks/mages. Overall, the goal is that if AD reduction can work out you can reach a spot where leaping onto Physical Damage dealers and roaring makes you feel more like you're actively shutting down their damage potential rather than just being beefier than usual. Before you guys start biting my head off about how he won't have the tankiness to survive , i totally see this as an opportunity to introduce better base stats if it shows that he desperately needs the durability. 

Bola Strike 
-Is now a skillshot 
-Increased Range 
Wav3break was always pushing for this and i was always pushing against it, but after having played around with it i really, really like it. Making E a skillshot allows the skill to generally have more power (Range, Damage, Effect are all vectors to tune, though i'd rather lean on the first two) - but also gives Rengar the feeling of 'i have an option at all times'. Even when out of brush and in a siege situation, a traditional weakness of Rengar, the ability to harrass or create picks with Bola/Empowered Bola grants him more flexibility. Similarly, playing against feedback has been great (Got first blood with a jungle gank using Empowered E - felt like a boss landing the clutch shot, opponent felt it was much more fair due to being able to dodge). 
In general, making Rengar's pattern once he leaps on a target require more play/interplay and less guaranteed allows him to feel much better when he -does- succeed. This change has been trending well, but is something that we'll be watching across future playtests to tune to appropriate power. 
And for the big one: 
Thrill of the Hunt 
-Cooldown decreased 
-No longer plays Voice Over or gives an Icon to enemies within Rengar's sight/detection range 
-Consumes current Ferocity on cast 
- each point of Ferocity consumed increases the Duration of Thrill of the Hunt by 1 second. 
-No longer stealths Rengar for the duration 
-Duration greatly increased, scales with ult rank 
-Movement Speed increased 
-Rengar's first basic attack while in Thrill of the Hunt will cause him to leap at his target 
- Rengar retains the Movement Speed increase from Thrill of the Hunt for 3 seconds after leaping. 
So, we tried something crazy with the ultimate when concerns came about that the VO/Icon gameplay, while functional, was removing a lot of Rengar's threat because people knew his gameplan. By taking -off- the stealth entirely and just overloading the parts of Rengar's ult that people were appreciating (Ferocity Generation, Insane Mobility, True Vision) and let him have access to it more. Mid and end-game Rengar's spend a majority of their time being predatory in nature, stalking brush and being opportunistic upon chasing down low-health targets post-fights - which is also made easier by giving him movementspeed post-landing, allowing him to execute his Q-train combo/Bola strike without just failing to keep up to his prey. On the other end making Rengar's gank + ult combo reliant on 'brute forcing' a gank ala Hecarim's E or Rammus' Powerball gives your opponent ways to play against it either by seeing them coming on wards and running or by otherwise predicting the gank paths a Rengar may take. 
I agree that it sounds insane...but the more we've played with it, the more people have realized the Stealth part of Thrill of the Hunt is perhaps the least-appreciated part. You still run insanely fast, you still leap. Removing Stealth also allows us to pull back slightly on some of the damage nerfs we've done to Rengar, as he telegraphs his intent very easily by being an insanely fast rocket cat. 
(Bonus Round - To give you an idea of what we're dealing with, Rengar with no Boots, 14 Stack Bonetooth, Rank 3 Thrill of the Hunt and 5 Points of Ferocity can run from the bottom lane brush to the toplane's river brush before the Ultimate's duration times out, as long as you make clever use of all the brush inbetween. 
That's with no boots. It's pretty awesome to see. 
So, be sure to let me know what y'all think about this version. When Rengar goes to PBE (SoonTM), this is likely very close to the one that i'll throw up for players to mess around with. A lot of your feedback has helped a ton in shaping the versions of Rengar in testing and lot of the conversations we've been having, so don't stop now!"

He also responded to several summoner concerns and questions on the changes:

[ source ]
Well to be perfectly honest I neither like the bola change or the ult change. I get you guys don't like stealth as a mechanic but i'd rather have had the "They know i'm coming" than losing it. Thrill of the Hunt isn't even going to give him an AD boost or anything while its active? Not going to generate Ferocity anymore? 
 To be frank its hard to look at these changes as anything but massive nerfs. Movement speed is great and all, but it doesn't mean anything if Rengar can't do the damage he needs to do to be effective. Not to mention that the Bonetooth is about as cost inefficient as anything i've ever seen. Consuming Ferocity on the ult as well seems unnecessary as well, given that is just providing a longer movement speed increase.
I sincerely hope you're at least planning on buffing the **** out of his base stats because without it, I can't see him being effective in any situation. 
Edit: For clarity, given that you're referencing Rammus Power Ball (When was the last time anyone saw a Rammus) and Hecarim as an inspiration.. Given that we already HAVE both of those champions, why do you feel the need to introduce that kind of mechanic on another champion?
To your first point, it still generates Ferocity. As i said before, if i didn't mention it changing it stays the same - that's the reason the 'consuming' ferocity on cast part exists to an extent. If you Ult with Rengar at 5 stacks sometimes it feels like you're missing the Ferocity Generation part of the ultimate - so casting R with Ferocity stacks pre-built allows to you 'Empower' it by giving it more duration, and you'll buyback the Ferocity anyways over the next few seconds. 
My reference to Rammus/Hecarim may have also been a tad unclear as well - these champions due to their incredible speed make it such that standard ward placement isn't near as effective to prevent ganks as other junglers - Seeing a powerball in your river brush isn't giving you at all the time necessary to react - Rengar's ultimate functions the same way, but gives flexibility to go from different locations due to the Leap associated with it (from behind tower wall is an example of a place Rengar could get to an leap from with relative ease). This wasn't to say that Rengar plays similarly to them or serves the same role, just that they share the same Gank strengths. (say what you will about Hecarim or Rammus's power levels, but you can't deny that ganking is kind of their thing.) 
As for seeing them as nerfs, i entirely understand. I'm not posting numbers here so it's hard to really feel the impact the changes will have, especially when so many of them (Bola strike, R) require playing to get the feel of. While i'll continue to iterate internally, i'd like to get this on PBE within the next few patches so that you and others who share your opinion can get a few games on and see if you feel the same way.

But...can we still get the VO clips? And the Predator vision? Those were the best parts!

Unsure about getting the VO - Predator vision is staying the same as it is on live. In fact, increased duration means you get longer time in Infrared! My comments about removing VO/Icons is referring specifically to the VO/Icons that theEnemy would see when Rengar ulted in my previous iteration, not the ones Rengar himself sees currently on Live..

Wow I might actually have to play Rengar now because these changes look amazing. And now I feel like he is really different from Kha'Zix. And is the bonetooth necklace 20% increased damage passive a unique one?
At present, it's a unique passive but doesn't share the Maim/Butcher keyword like Wriggles or the Spirit Items, meaning you could very easily double-up on them if you so desired.
i LOVE what you guys done with th ult.
but imo this version of the bonetooth nec isn't worth an item slot :P (maybe change the 9 stack ?)
or like at 14 stack he gets like a leap reset on kill like kha ? 
Effects have been testing positively, would like to tweak the stats so that the item feels appropriately slot-efficient statwise, but not by too much - the vision for Rengar isn't that this item is a 'must-buy' - it's still a risk/reward item, but retuned so that the item itself is appealing to those who want to really embrace and play up Rengar's identity as a hunter.

I'll echo my previous post and say that i'm not super stoked about the Tier 3 as a standalone, but everything else feels really powerful/enabling for Rengar."
He continued:

[ Source ]
Bonetooth feels bad in like 90% of situations. 28 ad at level 18 for some utility upgrades doesn't seem worth it. E change seems nice. 
Between losing tankiness on w, lack of extra damage on empowered q, and no stealth on his ult, how do you expect him to perform in teamfights? He can't get through the front line by force. He can't sneak through the front line. Even if he gets through he can't put enough damage out to instagib them, and for him to have a chance he'll be squishy enough to die to AOE in two seconds. He can't triple q from his ult. AD reductions are not very effective lategame, unless it is a percentage. I feel like this will be new Yi all over again, he will stomp at low elo where no one wards, and splits up and is out of position all the time, but in high Elo where no one goes into an unwarded jungle alone, he just is going to split push, because that's all he can do. And similar to Yi, he will be nerfed until he isn't in any better spot than he was before, except worse now that everyone who played him for stealth gibs won't be able to. Just like Eve, Kat, and soon-to-be Yi, no one will improve their opinion from now and you just spent a ton of resources on a circle that actually lost fans.
On bonetooth, i'm definitely looking to make it feel better for Lane Rengar as well, and if this needs more stats i'm more than willing to give them, as long as it doesn't end up being a must-buy or too good for its stats. 
His damage itself hasn't been reduced -that- much, it's just spread out over a slightly longer period of time so that opponents have a greater time to react. If Rengar needs more damage, i'll easily put more damage back on to the kit. In general though, damage dealers aren't really expected to jump into the middle of 5 people, kill their target and then live. Rengar still has to be opportunistic, and his ultimate gives him a large window of time to capitalize on enemy mistakes and mispositioning, especially when fighting near Dragon/areas with a lot of brush. 
We'll be keeping an eye on his performance in teamfights (nothing out of the ordinary so far), but this is not a champion where you should expect to dive in alone to a team with no backup and carry out an assassination. When played appropriately however, you can really flank/control an area with the amount of mobility he has access to and kill people out of position one-by-one.

I would like them to stay...and maybe have it so that nearby allies/enemies with vision of him hear it. I like those signature quotes upon activating an ult, and Rengar's are all very intimidating. And since he doesn't stealth, it should be pretty obvious he's activating his ult, so what's the harm in hearing that? 
What I'm saying is that I'd like to hear the Ult VOs for Rengar without having to actually play Rengar. Kha'Zix is much more my thing. 
Also there are special VOs for Thrill of the Hunt that interact with Kha'Zix that are already in the game. Those MUST stay.
As i mentioned previously, Rengar will keep all of the VO he currently has that opponents can hear in and around Thrill of the Hunt that he has on live. Adding -more- VO as a warning that he has activated his ult to people that can't even see him is something i can't guarantee.

Could tier 3 maybe extend the vision radius? Also, can you use empowered battle roar or empowered bola without breaking ult?
Unlikely to do this -exact- change (Since sight radius increases with rank, and could very easily just be flat but a big number if we wanted to etc), but something around this powerlevel to couple with R duration+ is a good fit."

Update: He also posted a respon about the possbility of NOT removing stealth from Rengar's kit
"Quick post because i woke up way too early, read the last 10 or so pages since i passed out 4~ hours ago, going to pass out again but - 
- 28 AD/lvl is not final and i've said across many posts i'm looking to increase this. Damage numbers were kept low to see 'How worth it is this item for these types of bonuses without a heap of AD forcing you to get it?' I have less issue with this getting more AD - this is generally why i don't post numbers because they're constantly in flux. Seeing so many people saying 'I like it/could like it but the AD is so low it seems useless' is why numbers are a tuning point. 
- I don't want to seem stubborn when i say that i'm going to continue to test this no-stealth version (Testing is testing, and i'm going to see how it goes) but you guys are pretty loud and clear about needing stealth in some form for this to be anywhere near what you want. I've seen enough posts/feedback that 'Like the changes, concerned/worried about loss of stealth' that i think there are some solutions to have it be back on the kit.

Previous iteration to this (Full stealth + Warning) had issues. Current iteration (Much longer duration, Much higher MS, Much shorter CD + No Stealth) seems to be hitting the gameplay that we want but loses the Stealth that you guys really want. I think there's a way to introduce Stealth back in - i have a cool idea that might be really dumb but it's too early in the morning to know. Gonna go back to crashing, but i'll be back when i'm up to talk more. 
(To those of you who actually like the No Stealth changes - this isn't about me buckling under pressure - if the 'No Stealth In Any Form Whatsoever' Ult is best for our game, i'll do it in a heartbeat. I just want to do some more exploration/prototyping on some ideas that may reincorporate Stealth for those fans who feel it makes/breaks his uniqueness.)

Thanks for continuing to post - you're all very passionate about the changes, and i am never someone to turn down feedback, even for those of you who don't care for me or where i've taken it so far. I'm listening. I hope the next time i have an update it will be something that most of you can agree with!"
He continued:
"I have an idea that i think can really capture the best of both worlds, as well as make Rengar players feel their ultimate is unique. While i can confirm this iteration of the ult has tested well in terms of functionality for the champion, i totally get the whole argument that his identity would be changed and that has a lot of value for players. 
I'm going to head in to the office tomorrow and see if i can't get it hooked up before the playtest on Monday, and also pick the brains of other designers to see if i'm not walking into some obvious missteps - just skyped Wav3break about it and he's super pumped about it as well.

As soon as i have it hooked up and functional i'll post a tooltip here for y'all to see and get your feelings. Have to say though, i think this could be really cool."

No GAME OVER on Arcade Hecarim Death Animation?
When asked why Arcade Hecarim doesn't have a GAME OVER on his death animation, Bitsplosion replied:
"Hoy, folks!

I was toying around with this idea during the skin's development and tried a few different forms of "thing that pops up on death", but the more I experimented with it the more it felt too much like Arcade Sona. Hecarim's death DOES still pay homage to a specific retro game trope, and in cases like this where we get to make nods to a culture as rich as video game history, I'll always opt for adding more variety! Ultimately, I think an arcade skin should be defined by its love for gaming culture, not necessarily a specific type of game over."
He continued, sharing what Arcade Hecarim's death animation is actually a reference to:
"It's a reference to when a boss monster dies and freeze-frames, exploding gratuitously as it holds the pose. Obviously the process has to be abridged in our game for readability's sake, but that is the intent here :]"

Ohmikegoodness & friends are also Ryze
Ohmikegoodness is back with another animation reference video, this time for the epic Ryze statue you may have seen traveling around at events.
"Happy Friday summoners! 
Today I'm happy to share some video reference Tom Jech created to find the perfect pose for our HUGE Ryze statue! You'll see Tom Jech, myself, and RiotBamdragon trying to find poses, with RiotSilver taking what we did and finding the PERFECT pose!

Sometimes, you have to try a bunch of ideas that you just throw away to finally land on something you like.

I hope you enjoy!"

More from Grumpy Monkey's Art Thread
Grumpy Monkey has posted up a few more concept arts over on his art thread.
"Hey dudes, I am getting ready for Gamescom in Germany, then Pax Prime in Seattle! If any of you guys are around stop by the riot booth and say hi! I might even have an Arcade Hec or Riot Blitz for you!

And before I leave here are some older production art stuffs Here is some stuff from Varus's production. He Before He was Varus, He was known as Jubei the Demon Archer. The writing department and creative teams came up with a story and his direction changed a bit.

Also here are some of the first reworks,Gangplank and Ashe. I don't think Ash's face was that jacked up on live, I think it was just an error on my viewport. It's fun to look back sometimes.

I also dug up some old feedback notes on Nautilus. He was initially a bit more colorful, we toned a few things back to make it feel more deep sea/ scary, and made the Anchor darker to separate him off the body. One of the first Champs I worked on.

And lastly my very first skin ever, Scarlet Hammer poppy. (used to be called Abyssal Armor, but then we made it red :) )"

Update on Skarner?
When asked if there is anything new on the Skarner changes we've been hearing about, Riot Scruffy commented we likely won't see them before the world finals.
"Don't have many specifics about when the rework will go out to live. It will most likely not be before world finals so that Skarner doesn't disrupt the competitive scene."

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