Red Post Collection: New Skarner E in internal testing, Diana Portrait, Comments on Phage changes, Taric on VU radar, and more!

Posted on at 5:01 AM by Moobeat
Today's red post collection features Riot Scruffy with another update on the Skarner changes that are currently being tested internally, IronStylus with a Diana portrait, ricklessabandon commenting on the recent Phage / Trinity Force changes currently on the PBE, mention that Taric is on the radar for a VU, a few notes on the enviromental team, and more!
Continue readin for more information!

More on Skarner
( Note: This is an on-going discussion on future Skarner changes. Read up on the previous posts here: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4)
Riot Scruffy is back with more updates on the future Skarner changes that are currently in internal testing.

This time he brings news of a new iteration of Skarner's E!
"Hey all, back with some more details. We're trying out an iteration of the E that is a bit more like the old E in usage but there are some other changes that help it fit nicely into his new gameplay pattern. 
-It is now a free cased line nuke like the E in game currently
-The range is increased by about 20%
-The width of the projectile is decreased by about 20%
-Deals magic damage to targets hit and now slows them for 30/35/40/45/50 for 2.5s

The goals here were to retain the fun and diverse gameplay of the line nuke. The free targeting and skillshot feel of the E is a nice change of pace from Skarner's other melee focused abilities. We're also trying a longer/slow/less wide projectile so that targets of the E have the opportunity to dodge it (counterplay)."
 He continued:
"Two more pieces of clarification about the E we are currently testing. 
-It slows immediately (not on the mark proc)
-The mana cost is significantly lower than the old E

Also, thanks for the feedback, I read it all. This new Skarner is very strong in our playtests so far. I am personally very excited about the skillshot E because it adds a bit more thought and precision into his gameplay."
He continued even more, responding to several summoner questions about the new changes:
"Sightless66 I really appreciate your thoughtful post. You are pretty spot on with a lot of your predictions. Keep in mind that with any of the losses in power there are gains in other areas. (we want him to be played more) 
-His pre 6 ganks seem to just be all around better. Even in the case where you are ganking a lane with good initiate, you can just save the E for when their CC wears off.

-There is a noticeable hunger in the midgame for ability points because he now uses 4 abilities instead of 3. Choosing to max W or E first is viable, and it depends if you want the more consistent speed/defenses or stronger damage/slow. It is a good thing that he doesn't max out around level 12, and can keep growing all the way into late game.

-Like you thought, his ability to permanently slow and stick to tanky characters is less. This isn't actually a big problem because his brawling ability with Q and attack speed is still very strong, and when your target tries to run, you can use E to close the gap. The power of having a ranged slow makes his chasing ability as good if not better than before.

-As for late game teamfights we have seen that the ranged slow is actually very useful for peeling because Skarner can actually dive on the back line and still throw Es in any direction to peel for his back line. It seems like a net neutral change in his ability to peel for his team. The more significant difference in late game teamfights is the R, which is now much more reliable once you have gotten in range of your target.

These changes are still being evaluated, and everything you all say is very high on my radar. I'll let you know if we make any other changes.

Diana Portrait
IronStylus has another treat for forum goers, this time in the form of a Diana portrait
"Howdy. Was doing some color practice tonight and thought I'd share the outcome. This is HEAVILY influenced by reference I was using of this awesome painting of a lady.. but I can't find the source.. Also heavily referenced from one of the initial sketches Knockworst did while doing Diana's splash.

When asked about the cracks surrounding the mark on her head, he noted:
"So, the super-secret head-canon I have, which I have no idea if it'll be actually integrated, but it's something that Team Diana talked about way back in the day.. is that her mark is a physical brand. The Solari elders literally took a tool and burned that mark into her face. Though, they were so blinded by ignorance, or maybe they liked irony so much, that they branded her with the ancient symbol of the moon. This scar burned her hair, giving her a larger forehead. After she flipped out, surrendering all her humanity to deep sadness and pain, that's when this thing became full of fancy. That's when her bond with the moon began. The marks on her eyes weren't makeup, they were burn marks and scorches coming from the magicalmoonlight affecting her eyes and causing her tears to boil on her face.

Soooooo yeah. A little emo."
Phage getting Health Back?
ricklessabandon has been chatting about the current set of PBE changes for Phage and it's associated items.
"so, the changes on the pbe are old and don't reflect what we currently have in testing. the current version of phage (iirc) is still ruby crystal + long sword and still has the same stats. remember that anything on the pbe is very much subject to change. the most up-to-date phage should be in the next pbe udpate.

anyway, just wanted to clear up potential misunderstandings based on old info."
He continued:
"well, i don't want to get too much into details right at this minute because i'm at home and i'm kind of falling asleep at the keyboard (i've been up for over 20 hours), but here's a quick tl;dr of the changes we want to test on the beta environment: 
-make cheaper
-remove the slow effect
-add a movement speed buff effect 
trinity force
-carry over the phage changes
frozen mallet
-keep mostly the same as on live, replacing the phage in the build path with basic items (e.g., a pickaxe and a ruby crystal)

and yes, those changes would (at least for the time being) leave phage with only one upgrade path. i'm sure people will want to chat more about this, but seriously…i'm having a lot of trouble typing this post out as is. i'm so sleepy right now and need to go pass out… sorry. ; _ ;"
All this information syncs up with the most recent PBE iteration, which has Phage back with health over just armor.

Taric on Radar for VU
While it's no surprise, Riot Dudebro briefly mentioned Taric is on the radar for a visual update
"Yes, Taric is on our radar for a redo. I'm saving up all my puns for when he's announced."
More from RiotForScience
RiotforScience has been busy on the forums continuing his discussion on Summoner Rift's aesthetics and the enviroment team

When asked what exactly the Enviromental team does, as they don't appear on the forums much, he noted:
"No problem, I love talking with you too! The Environment Team is in charge of all of the visual elements that go into a map. We have some guys on our team that primarily do concept drawings (The really rough pencily stuff, not the super painted up promotional stuff). We have some guys that primarily paint. We have some guys that primarily model. We have some guys that primarily world-build (which is taking the models from other artists and arranging them into a level). We have a couple guys that really focus just on the technical side of things, trying to make sure the map runs fast and the artists have functional tools. 
At the end of the day we all do a little bit of everything. We spend a good bit of time training every member of our team to be a solid generalist with a really deep specialization. I am a Worldbuilder, but I spend a lot of time drawing, painting and sculpting; in addition to my layout-artist duties. 
We work very closely with the Character and Animation teams for the creation of creeps and shopkeepers. We frequently do the initial concept drawings for these assets. But we do not usually handle modeling characters or animating them. We do provide a lot of feedback to the teams that do work on them though. 
We work very closely with design, but we do not really push back on design ideas. We want to make sure that our art always improves gameplay clarity, so map-design input is crucial. 
We frequently start the conversation about the narrative that is shown in an environment. If you think about the story that is happening in Howling Abyss, we started pursuing those ideas, then showed them to our writers. They took those ideas and expanded on it and developed it into the Howling Abyss lore.

It is a really fun process. I work with very talented people that really know how to push quality. It is so exciting to see these worlds come into existence."
He also shared his personal opinion on Summoner's Rift's overall appearance and theme
"That is a really good question. Understand that this thread is just to gather community thoughts about how they feel about SR. At some point I may start one for each of the maps. I have not said that there is any work going on for SR at all. However... 
I think that the theme "Summoner's Rift" is really important. I would not abandon that name or that concept. I would want to enhance it. 
I think the general motif of SR being set in a magical forest is important. 
I think the Tone of SR being beautiful and inviting is also important, though there are a lot of ways to convey beauty and I would explore that idea deeper. 
I think the core gameplay of the map is sacred. The Environment Team would only make changes to a map (Whether that map is TT,SR, HA, or CS) that they felt enhanced the existing gameplay. Things that improve clarity are our highest priority. I would not make an alteration to the navigable space unless it was absolutely unnecessary.

I think that anything beyond that core is fair game.(again just my personal opinion about what is the most important parts of the map) I think a brief cinematic adding some drama to the beginning and end of the match is a really good idea. I hope that answers your question."

Additionally, he made some comments on why certain regions don't have access to every map type, such as the Latin America servers not currently having access to Twisted Treeline.
"I actually looked into this. The thing stopping us from publishing these maps to all regions is the relationship between concurrent users on a server and que times. In order to ensure that people don't need to wait in long ques to get into matches in the maps that they have available; we clamp the amount of available modes just until that problem resolves itself. The short answer is that TT and CS will be coming to LatAm soon..."

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