Red Post Collection: Tons of Preseason Info, Challenger Tier Immunity Discussion, Pros on PS Changes, and more!

Posted on at 2:01 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's massive red post collection features a TON of discussion on the recently announced preseason changes, an official statement regarding the Challenger tier immunity issue, a note on a recent visual only PBE change for Fizz, Morello and ManWolfAxeBoss sharing their thoughts on Dominion's popularity, additional comments on the new icon crediting method on the PBE, and more! As a bonus, I've also included some of the info pro players have been posting regarding the preseason changes.
Continue reading for a smorgasbord of red posts!

The Preseason Draws Closer

Before we even get started in this red post collection, be sure to read the "The Preseason Draws Closer". It's a quick overview on the numerous changes coming to League of Legends as we transition from Season 3 to Preseason 4. There are massive changes on the way and most of this red post collection won't make sense unless you have read up on what's to come.

Discussion Preseason changes for Jungler/Support Gold

In response to the lengthy preseason changes that were previewed earlier today, Morello jumped into a big discussion on Jungler and Support gold - one of the biggest and most debated changes announced.

( Note: As there are a ton of posts, I tried to sort these into topics to make them easier to digest )

Gold / Income

He started off my responding to a question on if supports will earn more gold that junglers with the upcoming preseason changes:
"No details yet, though junglers likely won't be outearned by supports unless they have an amazing game or the jungler has a weak game. Some variance based on performance is intended (since that's something the other roles deal with too)."

He continued, mentioning total gold is going up.
"Well with support gold going up, all gold will be comparatively less to the supports, since they get so little now. Total gold is generally going up, but we're still tuning how much and how you show skill to get it."
He then clarified that:
"My statement was for supports - jungler gold is being tweaked a bit, not overhauled. Support gold is a big systems change that has a bigger impact."
Facing some criticism based on previous season changes, he also clarified that jungle gold will be increasing:
"No, increasing."
In response to someone upset that supports and jungles will earn the same as solo lanes, he  commented:
"We're giving supports a lot more gold and ways to use it. That does not mean they need 20k gold at the end of a game to do that, anymore than the jungler needs the exact same amount.

Gold disparity creates meaningful strategy in roles/positions. I think that's important to the game."

Morello also commented on jungle xp and his intent that the jungle items could be better:
"Not in this update - though I'd like Lizard and Wraith to be better. 
I think the jungler should get more XP if they farm the jungle (requiring less lane-stealing to just meet an average level) and be able to farm heavily if they're a Yi/Trynd style jungler. 
There will be a gold disparity between solo lanes and non-solo lanes to make sure there's some strategy and tradeoffs to where you put champions, but that doesn't mean we can't improve it!"

Continuing to discuss XP, he noted a clear desire to fix both support and jungler xp:
"I think this applies to support and jungler (they're highly incentived to kill snowball or steal lane XP), and it's something we want to fix for launch. If not on launch, before preseason is over."'
Jungle Items

On the topic of new jungle items, he commented:
"We're going to add a few new items (and adjust non-Spirit Stone ones) to try to bring carry junglers as a realistic opportunity. They'll have to farm hard and gank less, but we want to provide tools for that."
When asked what will be done to prevent laners from buying these new carry specific jungle items, he replied with a hint on what a new item mechanic will be:
"+X gold from Monsters. If you buy it on a laner, well good for you :)"
He also commented on a "Wriggle's 2":
"We're trying to get a Wriggle's 2 that cashes in the growth. Not sure if it'll be in the initial patch."
He elaborated on "Wriggle's 2" by saying:
"It means an item that upgrades from Wriggle's, and then adds PvP power after jungle farming has ended."

On a complaint about "being forced to buy jungle items to be a jungler", Morello commented:
"If you want to farm the jungle, then you should choose a character who wants to farm the jungle and buy an item that makes you super good at that. With that gold, choose what new items you buy. The choice lives in the income expression, not the acceleration method. You need Smite because it's something we added to the game that players found invaluable - should we force that out for the sake of directionless variety?

As long as the construct is "objectives matter," then Smite will always be a must pick. A guy who kills monsters with high health will like that spell."
Responding again to this particular summoner's idea of feeling restriction when it comes to junglers - having to buy specific items and use smite, Morello launched into larger reply:
"* Full freedom does not make a more strategic game. In fact, restrictions can create strategies that optimize and use those restrictions. Is football a strategically shallow game because it has a single Quarterback? Is Chess an unstrategic game because you can't freely modify your pieces? Is Magic a weak strategic game because of 4-per deck limits and mana curves? 
Full freedom, instead, says that the experience is about discovering and trying a large variety of strategies, and how they interact would be emergent. This creates a very chaotic (which can be very fun!) experience that focuses on that chaos as the primary engagement point. The cost of that is a completely unbalanced game where there's no expectation of having a good or fair experience. Chances to lose before the game starts. Lack of satisfaction from not having any clarity around what success might look like. This is fine, but is not what League of Legends is or wants to be
Instead, we think it's not OK to tell linemen they don't get to be on a team, and embrace that if you sack the guy with the ball, you made a big play. Teamwork, strategy and tactics are not a myopic definition of "complete, total freedom to do what I want" anymore than Counter Strike should embrace GTA-type fun to increase options and variety.

Strategy is important, but League's expression of that differs than previous MOBA purposefully and unapologetically.Smite on Cooldown? That's a new decision set to make when thinking on Dragon. Enemy bought a Wriggle's to farm up on Yi? We better go deal with him. IMO, far more actually interesting than "Yi bought a Blasting Wand instead of a Pickaxe."

So I don't think we've been lost for three years, I think you've wanted a different game for that long. And that's OK, but this is always been how League's been different, and we're not going to shy away from that - and instead add strategic depth in ways that actually create meaningful in-game decisions."

"Carry Junglers" vs "Tank Junglers"

With all this emphasis on "carry junglers", Morello also commented on the "tank junglers":
"They don't need that much - in fact, it wasn't long ago that they ere pretty good picks. In competitive, they have a weakness of collapsing teams being hyper-aware, and require the right environment to work.

Rammus, Nautilus, Amumu, etc are meta-dependent on if they're top picks. That's fine as your team comp and opponents are directly related to their power offering overall. Fighters are more self-sufficient overall and be a big deal in the dive-heavy teams we see now."
He continued, addressing concerns that carry junglers being able to farm all day will just outclass other types of junglers with the new item support and gold icome.
"We're not expecting solo-lane gold here, just a lower disparity than currently so it's not so gold-starved. This also will require a lot of tuning, but we want to allow this "you fight weak early, but this guy late can be quite strong. 
Let's say you're Rammus (NOT BECAUSE I'VE BEEN SPAMMING HIM IN RANKED OR ANYTHING) and enemy Udyr is free farming. You're not going to exactly go beat him up. 
So, some options, to me, look like; 
1) Use your superior early-game ganking power to snowball lanes and take advantage of their jungler's low gank play
2) Ward for him, and coordinate with your team to collapse on him/steal his buffs
3) Match him for farm and use your CC to shut him down in mid- and late-game.

There's probably more, but I tend to think those strategies are reasonable choices."

"NonSupports" vs "Traditional Supports"

When asked about "nonsupports" ( that is, non traditional supports ) taking over the support role now that there is more gold available, he commented:
"We're still tuning around this, but we agree this is a major issue to avoid. 
We want flexibility in the duo-lane role, but we think it's imperative to avoid making core support characters (defined as Sona, Janna, Soraka, Lulu, Nami and Taric) have a primary role in League. Since the roster's a bit smaller, though, we want occasional mage and tank members down there, but not at the cost of supports being there. 
While we have to see how effective our tuning is, this is a #1 priority issue for fixing if it's not good. More on this soon."
He continued:
"Yes. We want to avoid shoving supports out (and there are changes that address specifically this - I think Xelnath is going to make that article) - since at current balance, this would happen without changes."
When asked what some of the specific plans are, he commented:
"The detailed post coming up will explain more specifics. *Evil laugh*"

On this same trend, he replied to someone noting that a problem with supports currently is someone like Annie will always scale better than someone like Sona if they both have increased gold.
"We have a solution that will be grossly mistuned to address this when we launch. More when Xelnath posts on it!"

Other Preseason Tidbits:

As for the new camp coming to the jungle, Morello confirmed it is the fourth SMALL monster camp:
"Correct - fourth -small camp-. We've been calling it 4th camp so long internally, I totally forgot to explain that!"
When asked what this camp will look like, he commented:
"For now, not a new asset. We want to change that, but no time for it right now."

When asked if there are any plans to do a "mid season update" to address any issues that crop up immediately from the preseason updates, Morello noted:
"Perhaps - we're talking on how to do this. Right now, the season is something we try not to disrupt that heavily, and the resource allocation is a nightmare (though this is getting better right now!)"

When asked about the vision based "trinkets" mentioned in the preseason post, Morello noted:
"This is correct. Trinkets are a new item type that get their own slot!"

When asked if there will be any upcoming changes to how percentage based armor and magic penetration function, Morello commented:
"These will have to be post-launch due to scope and time, but we generally want to move % pen to a "bonus armor/MR" system. LW and Void should counter stacking, not be fantastic damage items against all targets."

ZenonTheStoic also commented on Twitter that the "assist streaks" mentioned in the Preseason post are:
"they're not really streaks--they don't reset on kills. Instead, an assist is worth more the larger your kill - assist gap"

As for slowly releasing the info and all these little tidbits from above, Morello commented:
"Hehe, I wish we were done and could just release. These next few weeks are gonna be crazy in here."

Concerns regarding Challenger tier immunity

If you frequent reddit or the general forums, you've more than likely come across concerns regarding Challenger tier and a subset players who are ( allegedly ) waiting to complete their promos until the very end of the season in an attempt to abuse the temporary demotion immunity - i.e they can't be kicked out of Challenger for X days afte entering - and guarantee they end the season as Challenger.

Here's Riot Socrates with a response to these claims:
"Hey Summoners, 
We've seen a few posts recently about concerns with Challenger tier immunity that we wanted to address. These concerns largely seem to be the result of some misconceptions about how the system works, so I wanted to clarify: 
Here are some of the top issues that have been raised:
  1. There are over 50 people sitting in a promotion series in right now and they're going to break challenger tier at the end of the season when they all get in. This is simply untrue. As of this writing, no region has more than 10 players sitting in a Challenger promo series. Furthermore, the difficulty of getting into a Challenger series automatically increases based on the number of people already in one (given our qualification criteria), so it's literally impossible for more than 50 people to be in their Challenger series simultaneously. And it's unlikely that will there ever be more than 15 or 20. 
  2. Players can get in a Challenger promo series and then just stay there until the end of the season. This won't work as Challenger promotion series have always expired after 5 days.
  3. Players who wait to enter Challenger right before the end of the season will have an unfair advantage as they can exploit the immunity period. Waiting until 5 days before the season ends to try to qualify for a series is risky as it will be incredibly difficult to get into a series at that point, and there's no guarantee that the player will even win that series. In other words, it's a gamble of risking it all on one promo series (competing against others who are doing the same) versus maintaining a challenger rank earlier.
  4. It's likely better to just get into Challenger now and then attempt to defend your spot, with clear feedback on how you're doing since the (non-immune) player with the lowest LP is always kicked out of Challenger when a new player enters. Also in any ranked ladder there will always be some gaming of the system around a cutoff point as players vie to ensure they can keep one of the top spots. In the case of leagues - because of immunity - the end of season rush is just spread out over the last few days instead of the last few hours.
  5. Teams can exploit the immunity period by intentionally tanking a team's MMR and then inviting less skilled players in order to give them the necessary wins. We will investigate any reports of this and will strip rewards from teams who engage in win trading and/or intentional MMR tanking. It's also worth noting that because our Challenger tier is exclusive by nature, then tracking exploiters will be much easier.
  6. Players can invite a bronze player to duo queue with them during their promo series to ensure that they will win. This is far from a ticket to easy wins. We are aware that people have tried this technique in the past and have appropriate adjustments built into the system to compensate. At this point our data show win rates between solo queue and duo queue players to be within 1-2% across the MMR spectrum. If a Diamond player duo queues with a Bronze player (and the Bronze player is in fact playing on that account), then the Diamond player earned that win.
  7. Why not reward all players who hit Challenger within a specific time frame at end of season? If Challenger is meant to represent the pinnacle of competitive play, we don't ever want to create a situation where players no longer have an incentive to try their hardest once they reach that tier. If we create any longer time frame for players to receive a Challenger reward, there may even be incentive to fall out of the tier so friends and other high level players could earn the rewards as well. With that being said, we are increasing the size of the tier next season, which should alleviate a bit of the pressure.
To reiterate: if we feel that Challenger represents the pinnacle of competitive play, there are a lot of symptoms coming from what a competitive league is - namely the rush at the end of the season to qualify and/or hold your standings while also trying to do it as efficiently as possible. That being said, if hundreds of other players are trying to do the same, it obviously becomes that much more difficult. 
Final note: we also have some additional improvements to the league system that I'm looking forward to sharing with you in the near future.  
- Riot Socrates"

Fizz "CastRange" change on PBE not a buff - only visual

Meddler dropped off a small comment on the Fizz change seen in the 10/22 PBE update, noting it is only a visual fix to that targeting indicator and is not a buff.
"This is actually only a fix to the targeting indicator. Fizz's E is already that size and the radius indicator on mouse over undersells the AOE size at present."
He continued:
"The circle you see when you mouse over the skill icon is smaller than the actual damage area so we're changing how large that indicator circle is to match the actual area the skill effects. Since Fizz's E is automatic smart cast you never see that indicator when using the spell normally, so this change has pretty much no impact on normal play (which is also why's it's been unnoticed for so long, not like anyone's mousing over their skills constantly to check the range on a PBAOE)."

Thoughts on Dominion's Popularity

ManWolfAxeBoss posted up a few of his personal thoughts on Dominion and why it isn't as popular as some of the other LoL game modes.
"Let's clear some things up. 
These are my personal thoughts in regards to Dominion's lack of popularity relative to Summoner's Rift. I think the lack of phases turns a lot of people off and I believe that's what Morello was referring to when he said "flattened." In both game modes, winning is the obvious goal, but how you do it never really evolves in Dom the way it does in SR. In Dom you rush to the point and hold the point. There are no other meaningful secondary objectives (I'm obviously over-simplifying things so don't be upset here). The quests and stormshields never become focal points. In SR you have a laning phase that evolves into skirmishes over Dragon. Laning eventually completely disappears and is replaced by 5v5 team fights over baron and other objectives. There are clear transitions that empower players in ways that Dom does not.

This is my analysis. 
As for future Dominion changes, I just want to make it crystal clear that those are all just conceptual. I think solving some of the phasing issues could be one by reworking the quest system and adding a meaningful objective mid-map. Again, CONCEPTUAL.

Stormshield is a cool buff, but the objective itself is lacking. Best case scenario is "you got a buff." Worst case is "you got picked and died." Sometimes you fight over it, but rarely. It's not very compelling.

CDR enchant has been finished, but I'm still not sold on Dom needing it. It's open for discussion.

This was hastily written and probably convoluted. Apologies. Will hopefully have a better response later."
He contined:
"As for explanations, attitudes, support, etc. that's difficult to analyze and I feel like the conversation will just degenerate into arguing over a ranked queue. In the end, I think it's the players that decide whether or not something is popular. I know this isn't the response you want to hear and I'm sorry."

In another thread, Morello also commented on this :
"The biggest problem with this is that it creates a flat experience as opposed to a well-paced ones where you can have high moments. Flattening the game out is one of the biggest reasons Dominion is unpopular overall."
He continued:
"If a core part of the experience of League of Legends for most players is the feeling of growth based on actions, that is flat on Dominion. That's factual because we purposefully flattened it! 
The problem is that the good elements of Dominion are hard to resonate with player because that core reward loops is a primary satisfaction method that League promises. Dominion players are motivated by other cerebral reward loops and high action. 
In this case, I speak to gold growth."

More on the new icon Crediting Method currently on PBE

When asked when we can expect this new icon crediting method or the new icons to hit live servers, Bluefire noted:
"The event will launch with the harrowing which should come in the next patch. Since patch days change, I can't say when that will happen. With no crazy circumstances, it should run for the duration of the patch."
As for the lore implications of his post ( noting the male and female icons as "Greyor and Senna" ), he commented:
"@Lore Questions: To be perfectly honest I don't know the answers. I just wrote down the names I was given then gave my own explanations of what they were. It was mentioned in a meeting but it could be misinformation that they are the TT ghosts. Based on your deductions I would guess they are not the TT ghosts. I'll try to get to the bottom of it tomorrow at work but no promises."

Remember this icon crediting method is up on the PBE for testing and MAY CHANGE when the Harrowing event hits live servers.

Bonus: Pros on Preseason Changes

Since the preseason announcement was published, all sorts of professional players have been commenting or teasing some of the changes they've been at Riot testing all week.

On Twitter, Mandatorycloud commented that the item that looks like Madred's Bloodrazors ( seen in this screen shot from Doublelift )  is "for carry junglers but just does bonus damage on how many camps you've killed, not % damage"
Mandatorycloud also mentioned on stream ( ~58:00 minutes ) that the new 4th jungle camp is located near blue buff on each side, as illustrated in this picture

Snoopeh also posted this on his FB,
"Having been at the Riot office for a few days with a bunch of pros from Korea, China, Oceania, Europe, South America, NA - had a bunch of fun.. Ultimately we were there to give input on Riot's plans of restructuring/balancing the game going forward. While the changes are still a while away from being implemented, I'm extremely excited about them! 
Bringing Jungler/Support more in line with other roles not only in terms of experience and gold is something which I'm sure every Jungler and Support will welcome! The 4th camp in the jungle allows for more routes and adds to the Jungler being less predictable. Allowing Junglers to invest in bigger items and have much more influence mid-late game than previously.

Also very integral to the changes is vision.. is changed dramatically - it might be a bit daunting at first but overall it is a much better system. Obviously it needs some fine tuning and tweaking but I'm looking forward to it!"

As for the new jungle camp, Scarra mentioned it was "a ranged minion that hits hard as a truck" on Twitter.

TSM's Xpecial also put up a small vlog talking about some of the changes, check it out! One of the most interesting bits is he notes Riot is allowing support champs to scale their utility up and gives example that AP on Janna would scale up the AD on Janna's shield (which Manclould also mentions on this stream around 54:00 mark)

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