Red Post Collection: Lucian Discussion, Darius not forgotten, new Community platform, and more!

Posted on at 8:21 PM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection features a ton of discussion on the current state of Lucian and some upcoming plans to nudge him in the right direction,  a note that Darius hasn't been forgotten, Kungfu Gopher commenting on the rate at which Login screens are put up and taken down, and a reveal of the new Community platform! 
Continue reading for the latest news, straight from the official forums!

Lucian Context and Discussion

In response to some of the recent Lucian changes on the PBE, ZenonTheStoic threw up a brief context post on how the he currently feels about Lucian and which direction they'd like to move in:
"As you say, these are tentative.

To give you a little more context on our current thinking around Lucian:
  • We want him to be mana constrained if he goes ham, but he shouldn't feel so punished for missing the occasional Q in lane. Hence the mana regen buffs.
  • We're changing his Q to be more narrow, but it will now also lead champions if cast primarily on a champion. This is so people don't just accidentally walk out of your lasers without noticing what they did. This means counterplay will become more necessary, but if you're paying attention also a little easier: if you're moving to the left, Lucian Qs you and you immediately turn around and walk to the right, the laser will miss you.
  • We're also updating his recommended items. While this won't do much for informed players such as yourselves (judging by the fact you're active forum users you're probably above-average in terms of game knowledge) it'll be a huge boon for people trying him for the first time. Out with the BotRK, in with the Trinity Force BT.
  • Finally, we still feel good about the ultimate's overall power level. Yes, the damage it does at rank 1 is pretty underwhelming, but think of it as your autoattack, only less reliable but much extended in range. That said, we've got a set of buffs ready for the ult should it become necessary, but those will NOT be in the next patch."
He continued, explaining more on the Q change:
"We were thinking of nerfing the Q ratio because Q does become a little more reliable, but then I had the brain-think of making Q narrower as well and thus enable more counterplay. This should keep it at roughly the same reliability vs decent to good enemies and thus makes a damage nerf unnecessary. 
We actually have ratio BUFFs planned for the ultimate, but I'm really not convinced they're needed. Will let the ult sit as is for this patch and watch the impact of the mana regen and Q aiming changes."

On the mana regen buff ( ready for testing thanks to today's PBE update ) specifcally, he noted:
"He goes from 3rd lowest to one of the highest base mana regens. With the mp5/lvl his level 18 regen is also up there with the best now. The only ADCs with more mana regen are Urgot and Kog'Maw (Kog'Maw has absurd mana regen at 7.5 (+0.7)) 
I feel it's potentially too much of a buff. We will test him and adjust if necessary."
When suggested that Lucian get mana cost reductions instead of regen, ZenonTheStoic explained:
"A reduction of mana costs would make it so your burst combo could continue for longer. This makes it so your total combo length is the same, but you're not as punished for fishing for those elusive minion-lined up Qs."

He also lead a big discussion on Lucian's ult and why he chose to avoid it ramping up in damage over time:
"We tested the ramp up damage in production and it did not feel good at all. You see, in the single target duel case where you land all your shots it becomes massively overpowering, to the point where we had to nerf the base damage so much the normal case felt horrible. There's always trade-offs! 
There is already a lot of counterplay to the ultimate and sometimes strafing a teamfight with it is the only thing you get to do. I want you to feel good about getting your ult dmg out, even if it's spread to a bunch of targets.

Another change we considered very late in the game was to let the ult do more damage the further it travels, to signal very clearly that this is meant to be used at max range, not point blank. Having watched an ungodly amount of Lucian games, I have come to the conclusion that neither of those changes are currently necessary. When people know how to use The Culling, it works exactly as intended: as an unreliable, blockable extension of your auto attack.

The goal of your changes seems to be to make The Culling feel more impressive beyond level 6. I wonder what data you base this goal on, because level 6 is precisely when the ult is at its weakest. Currently with a normal level 6 build (berserker's greaves, doran's blade) you do 791.5 damage with your auto attacks, abilities and passive over 3 seconds, while your ult does 735 damage over the same amount of time. This corresponds to a dps of 245 for your ulti at rank 1, which can easily go up to 1000 at rank 3 (for instance 341 Bonus AD and 1.35 AS make for 1016.7 dps on the ulti, while an AS focussed build with 171 Bonus AD and 2.5 AS, clocking in at 15k gold cost, boosts you up to 1130 dps). Unless you have a lot of crit, your ult will outperform your AAs + passive + abilities at ranks 2 and 3. However this is not the best comparison; a good Lucian will use his Q and W and the Lightslinger procs that come along with them BEFORE turning on The Culling, if he can. If he can't, for instance due to positioning concerns, the ult outperforms the basic kit BY DEFINITION: if you can't use your abilities and your passive, they do no damage. 
Okay, we're definitely in too much detail land now, but if you feel as strongly as I do about Lucian, this might tickle your fancy. Here's a full spreadsheet that calculates his ultimate's damage, along with the buffs we've got planned SHOULD THEY BECOME NECESSARY: 
If you make a copy of this spreadsheet you can play with the numbers yourself; everything under Spell values and in the three builds can be tweaked and the sheet will calculate the resulting values for you. Once again, the formula for number of shots is: 
((AS * AS scale) + AS const) * 3, rounded down. 
So if you have an AS of 1 and your ultimate at rank 2 (AS const 2.5 and AS scale of 3), this is the calculation: 
((1 * 3) + 2.5) * 3 = 16.5, rounded down to 16. 
Each shot then has a base damage and a Bonus AD ratio (also an AP ratio, but I decided to focus on realistic builds).

At this point, if I'm changing the Culling, I'm definitely going to keep the current structure of the spell (unless I hear a really really good reason to change it; I'd be most partial to the more-damage-the-longer-shots-travel idea, because that solves the twin goals of educating players and making the ulti feel more clutch) and I'll probably just tweak the numbers for AS scaling, AS constant, base damage and Bonus AD ratio. Play with the sheet if you're interested and let me know if you find other constellations of values that buff the ulti by a reasonable amount at lower ranks without making it go crazy at rank 3!"
He continued, responding to claims that the AS scaling on Lucian's ult mismatches with his need for AD.
"AD/AS is not a mismatch. AD is definitely Lucian's primary attribute, but for every point of AD you invest in, every further point of AS becomes more cost-effective. The ultimate supports this paradigm in much the same way as auto attacking does. True, dps for gold-wise, the ulti benefits a little better from AS, but this is a marginal difference. Once you've built a little AS, more AD quickly becomes more cost-effective even on the ult. This is just the nature of multiplicative stats."

As for some of the other change that we may have seen on the PBE but Zenon didn't mention, he reminds:
"These are not changes that will go out. Remember that that's not how the PBE works."
He also noted an upcoming fix that will stop Lucian's ult from benefiting from Sword of the Divine:
"Nope, but I'm a baddie. So what's happening is that the buff gets stripped immediately, but the AS itself can linger for up to 0.25 seconds, and since I check the AS immediately after stripping the buff, it still gets the old AS with SoTD factored in. TL;DR: should have checked more carefully!

Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention. I've got a fix in for next patch."

Darius is not forgotten

Responding in a forum thread about Darius players being unhappy with his current state after the ult changes several patches ago, ZenonTheStoic commented that he is still on Riot's radar:
"Hey! Without going into whether or not the full list of things you claim happened in your original post actually happened, Darius is definitely on our radar. He was simply in a bad place where when he was doing well it was super frustrating to play against him. We've been testing some changes internally (with no guarantee of when they're coming, of course, as always!) and I think we found a very good direction. 
Worry not, Darius players, your favourite chopman is not forgotten."

Login themes coming and going too fast?

While we all love the awesome login screens and music, they come and go pretty fast. Kungfu Gopher shared his thoughts on this, saying:
"Thanks guys! Glad you like 'em! 
Yeah, it's tough to see them go sometimes, but the show must go on! It's just the nature of the game. Tough not to get attached especially when you work on a project for so long. But they're around if you look for them. :) 
You can always catch most of them on the official LoL youtube channel.

In addition to LiquidStripes's page, I usually upload all of the screens I work on to this channel"
"We've got a ton of talented people working working here in all different departments. Some are relatively cross-discipline, but most specialize in one area of game development or another.

Personally, my primary focus is on login screen animations but there are plenty of other artists, designers, and engineers working on all other aspects of the game. Typically, the login screens are created in parallel to the rest of the development process, so when one is more complex, we slot in more time for it. It's not necessarily taking time away from other areas of development or lengthening the process, just supplementing it. We know that not everyone is going to sit and watch the login screen for any long period of time, and we're totally fine with it not being your cup of tea! We still do it for those who enjoy it. :)"
When asked for a way to select past login screens, he commented:
"Totally hear you guys- would love to find a way to make the past screens more accessible and give them a longer shelf life. It's definitely something in the back of our minds when we make these. For now though, I'll just link back to LiquidStripes' response to this question:"

New Community Platform

It seems Riot has been cooking up a new way for players to communicate with each other and Rioters!

Here's Pendragon's info post on the new Community Platform that entered beta earlier today!
"Hey folks, 
For the last little while a small team of Rioters have been thinking about how League of Legends players interact online outside of the game itself. Players have conversations, they share awesome content, and they form communities. 
A lot of that interaction happens here on our official forums. Traditional forums are pretty great at fostering discussion, but with a community as large and talkative as ours it can be truly overwhelming to find the content you want or the conversations you want to add your voice to. We've also heard a ton of feedback from you guys with ideas on how to improve the official forums. 
So we took a step back and thought about how we could best serve the community's needs. We looked at other thriving community and social platforms, we talked to players about what they want, we drank a lot of coffee, and we started building a new community platform with this goal in mind: 
We want to create a player-driven platform that brings the community together around awesome content and discussions relevant to your interests.
  • You should be able to find awesome content that you care about
  • It should be easy to have great conversations with other players and Rioters
  • Your actions should influence the community
  • You should be able to form friendships and build communities with like-minded players
  • Your feedback should shape the future of the platform
So we've been working on this for a little while now - but we can only get so far on our research and assumptions. We need you to participate - post, upvote, downvote, discuss, debate, and test what we built. 
What we really need the most is for you to tell us what you think so we can move forward and work with you to build something great for the community. We're excited to share what we've got today, but it's important for you to know that this is an early look - it's gonna change and grow and evolve based on the community's direction.
Go here and play around - community pls: 
Oh, and go here to ask us anything about the project: Community Beta AMA 
Will this replace the forums? 
Maybe one day. I can't state this strongly enough, though: this is at a super early stage. We're asking YOU to shape the direction of this platform to be the best possible place for League of Legends content and discussion. 
Is this available globally? 
For our first round of testing, to keep things focused, we're just launching this for the NA region, but anyone with an NA account can participate. Based on community feedback, we'll think about the right time to bring this to other regions and languages. 
Will posts from the current forums appear here? 
Nope. It's a brand new platform and the way discussions work is fundamentally different so it'd be pretty messy to try to copy and paste things over. 
Can I give feedback? 
YES! GIVE FEEDBACK! Go here and tell us your thoughts: 
When will it be done? 
Short answer: never. Just like with League of Legends, we're committed to constantly improving this based on your feedback. 
Is this inspired by Reddit? 
We took inspiration from a variety of community and social platforms that have been extremely successful at serving community needs. Reddit's a big one, for sure, but we're also looking at Facebook, Disqus, and a dozen other discussion and social sites. Keep in mind, that got us to where we are today - now it's your opportunity to help shape this. 
Why couldn't you make improvements to the existing forums? 
The current forums use off-the-shelf forums software (vBulletin) that's really great at what it does. However, the changes necessary to accomplish our goals would basically mean rewriting the whole platform anyway, so we decided to build something new ourselves. 
Where will you keep us up to date on changes? 
We'll let you know when we're implementing changes based on your feedback by responding to threads on the site. We'll have constant update threads in the Beta Feedback subcommunity with the latest updates." 
If you didn't catch the link in the post, click here to check ou the new community platform.

 There is also a whole bunch of Rioter activity over there, so I'd expect an influx of red posts in the near future!

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