Red Post Collection: Sivir's attack range, What went into the Sivir VU, Champion Stories & Mediums, Sivir's dance, Updates on Ahri changes, EUW updates, and more!

Posted on at 8:34 PM by Moobeat
Update: Added in Morello's thoughts on Sivir's attack range remaining at 500.

Tonight's red post collection is a big one, featuring Morello on Sivir's attack range, IronStylus on the work that went into Sivir's VU, a discussion on what goes into stories and the mediums used to express them, a discussion on Sivir's VU dance, ricklessabandon with some upcoming updates to Ahri's PBE changes, Scarizard with an update on Rengar's future changes, a feedback thread for the PBE Morgana changes, an update on the EUW servers, and MORE!
Continue reading for more info, straight from Riot's forums!

Morello on Sivir's Attack Range

One of the biggest complaints on Sivir's post relaunch kit is that she has her low attack range of 500, well below other marksmen. Here's Morello addressing this concerns and giving contecxt on what the team thinks about it:
"There's a lot of moving pieces on the Sivir rework, for sure. Let's talk about a couple of points (this is a well-reasoned, if long, post so I want to highlight it as a good way to have a discussion). 
For reference, our rationale for the current changes are well-explained in Statikk's post from yesterday: 
I do want to address the "the only way to fix her is to make her have equivalent attack range". My core stance is that Sivir now has a number of levers we can use to tune her correctly. I'm actually not terribly interested in what the current tuning is because that can be fixed quickly as long as the core gameplay is good, but we'll talk about where that's true and not on the new kit. 
1) Sivir's short range is largely a cost she pays to allow ricochet to be more aggressively tuned. This wasn't the case before the VU because of ricochet being more basic and not adding a ton of pressure on its own, but the new ricochet allows for higher-pressure haraass while wave-clearing to create a more claustrophobic lane for enemies. Original Sivir had a long range and an uncapped ricochet, which basically prevented her from exposing herself to opponents at all. It was like a super-Caitlyn! 
The new W looks to go back closer to that paradigm. While not uncapped still, ricochet is core to Sivir's power and should be tuned as aggressively as we can manage - it is, afterall, the most defining, non-power feature of the character. The nice part of the new one is that its built as a variable number of shots.

For example, let's say 3's too low. Sivir is likely insane if we made that number "your next 300 shots." There's a number between 3 and 300 that makes this skill satisfying and balanced, and we'll be looking for that number (along with other tweaks that make Ricochet do its job better). It has a cooldown window and resets attacks, providing at least basic decision-making and counterplay to use. 
2) Sivir's core strategic strengths are pretty unique; marksman-level AOE damage, high mid-game burst thanks to Q double-hitting, and a team-based engage/disengage skill. That means we should (and are) going to embrace those unique factors, while providing costs in other things other people do well. This likely places Sivir in a place that's more niche than a Vayne, but that's part of what having a a character stand out and be something that feels different is about. Balancing Sivir through homogenization is very possible, but not the direction we generally want to go wherever we can avoid it. If she's not doing these things, then she has the hooks to tune them.

3) Sivir might be bad in some metas, and good in others. This is not only fine, but preferable. This goes a lot in-line with my above point, but this is more similar to Kog'Maw - other game states and comp choices will change the viability of that champion, especially as we're thinking Sivir's likely harder to play than some other characters.

So is Sivir perfectly balanced? Probably not - but that's not the meaningful issue, especially as a character like her who has needed some work to be usable for quite awhile. Now, however, we have tuning points available to us to make sure we get her in the right spot, for the right reasons, all while making sure she has a space that's all-her-own within LoL."

When asked why we can't have the old toggle version of Sivir's W back, he noted:
"That version was untunable, because mana is not a good enough gate in both early and late game. X shots is, and allows us to give her an AA reset that can improve overall damage in all situations."

As for removing the attack speed from her ult, he commented:
"We talked about that, and this was a tough choice here. We agree the AOE AS buff gave her really cool synergy with certain team comps. MS is more universal, and thought that might also help her be useful on a wider variety of teams (something we thought she could use with her other specific power set)."

In response to someone asking "why don't you listen" to player complaints, he noted:
"We did listen - we removed the cast time on her ult and allowed her to fill the lanes with bouncing missiles again, commonly-requested Sivir changes.. We just don't do every single suggestions because we've given a laundry list of reasons why we're choosing not to.

Remember we have a whole ecosystem to think about, and what "X champion players want" can be at costs to overall good health. We do what we can, but it's rarely "everything."

Facing a lot of feedback, he questioned:
"OK, forums. Let's talk. 
I've seen more weird downvoting of informative posts lately, and in this case the message that sends to me is; 
We want homogenized power, stop trying to carve out unique spaces for stuff because it might not be super powerful."Just make it strong!" 
Because if you're telling me "don't do what you just did," that IS what is left over by default. Every single piece of power has a cost, and 50 range is a lot of power budget. 
So what is the alternative? We can make Sivir "not quite as good Corki" at 550. Her ricochet would need to be nerfed, her ult less fight-changing, and ultimately, a pretty flat character who would be easy to replace with other marksmen.

I know that cost isn't apparent because power is apparent, and there's a lot of examples of powerful characters that do this. It's like saying a mage is weak if it can't burst."

Returning to his point of creating "tuning points" - getting the abilities in a good space where they can be buffed with numbers  rather than functionality changes - he reiterated:
"No, you need to read the posts. Her kit is good now, and perhaps not tuned correctly. Therefore, we should tune it correctly. 
And this is why so much thrash happens on GD. There's little understanding the difference between balanced and balancable. If it's not the strongest, it's trash, and its design is trash.

FFS. The disagreements don't bother me (those can be very good!) the anger doesn't bother me, it's that I don't have time to teach 10's of millions of people about game design, but they want to tell you how much they know about how to do it. And without it, it will be a lot of posts like this that taunt me into posting on them instead of something good."

IronStylus on the work behind Sivir's VU

IronStylus jumped into a thread to explain some of the work that went into Sivir's visual upgrade, particularly the behind the curtain type of things we aren't normally privy to.
"We went through roughly 2 months of concepting, not counting work I did on her for style guide purposes, or some internal fan art RiotTeaTime did. We went conservative, as in close to her old base, to wildly out there, as in covering her up a whole bunch, throwing nearly everything about her away. Creative and Art worked heavily to decide on a thematic direction for her and how we wanted to best serve that. We decided what to keep or change and how to maintain what the expectation of Sivir players were. 
We went through 2 iterations of her base model, as in 2 high-poly sculpts that Grumpy Monkey did. We threw out 1 entirely finished versions of her.

Once the base was complete, Grumpy Monkey and I concepted her skins out in a big batch, and we broke the sculpting work up to him, another 3D artist and myself. We sculpted out the 5 skins from scratch, based on the base's blank body form. VFX begin exploration around this time. 
Models were retopo'd, AO baked, and made into low-rez assets fit for texturing. We have 2 dedicated texture artists on Relaunch. After a couple other artists did really basic color passe they came in with their knowledge and made the paints gorgeous.

As the textures were being started, rigging began. Each skin, in its order, rigged custom to the skin that it required. VFX now has a model of the weapon to work with. 
We threw out her weapon 3/4's the way through her base completion. RiotPenguin did a really neat version which we liked better than the one I had done. Due to that, we had to re-rig her weapon. VFX has to throw out some assets due to the weapon being new. 
We then decided we should change all her weapons to not be copies of her original weapons. Grumpy Monkey reconcepted and remodeled each of them. They were then independently rigged. 
Animation progresses on the base. Meanwhile, Garen was in full production along with 2 other relaunches at various degree of completion. Garen is near 95% when we go to PAX Prime for the Relaunch Panel where we show Sivir, at approximately 80% finish on only her base. Additionally, our texture artists were working on the Rammus TU as a fun side project.

Right before PAX, I spruced up her concept to reveal at PAX but decided to re-design her face. We re-textured her face on the base, then did a unification pass on all subsequent skins.

A few weeks ago we began to wrap her up mostly with polish, bug testing, coding wizardry and other stuff that's way beyond my area of expertise. Splash is currently in progress as I type this. Countless playtesting, bug squashing, QA, promotional and other work is done as we finalize. Now she's on PBE for public testing and potentially more changes if there are issues identified. 
I'd hardly call where she ended up as "We flipped her bra." We took Sivir, flipped her upside down, shook her, broke her apart, and put her back together in a few ways before finding the right way. Then we fashioned the correct parts brand new, glued them together and put her up for show.

Consider it like being on a spaceship, travelling at relativistic speeds. What appears to the outside observer is relative to how time passes to the traveler. What might seem like a short time to you, was a full plate of work for us, with it's own fair amount of planning, concepting, production and polish.

Think, act, create, reflect, learn. Over and over. It's a fun job."
When questioned about scrapping the old totally complete Sivir model, he noted:
"Might be a skin later."

In another thread, IronStylus responded to criticism on the time it takes them to develop and release these visual updates:
"Also, short list of reasons: 
Decision making, planning, concepting, production, tracking, balancing, promotion, testing, QA.. 
Additionally, it's not one model. It's, in essence, an entire, be it small, game. Think of a champion as essentially it's own game. It's packed full of art, design, story, and a ton of other features that affects everything around it. That's the whole picture. Art is one section of that package.

I'd really like people to stop looking at content development in a dismissive way of being just making a widget. We're making encapsulated systems that have a lot more layers on them than what you have at face value, from many different angles. Those systems take a lot of effort from many different people working together on many different levels. It's not as simple as it might appear."
He continued:
"That said, development has changed a lot. A whole lot. More goes into champions in terms of mechanics, art, story, everything. More craftsmanship goes into a VU or a rework. It's a global rise in quality/involvement/standards/etc and therefore timelines are pushed.

There are benefits for reducing the cadence of release, and costs. No one is going to deny that. But throwing more "resources" at the problem isn't always going to make things more efficient. Still takes 9 months to make a baby no matter how many mothers you have."

"More goes into Champions in terms of Story"

Building off a comment from the previous posts, a summoner created a topic asking what exactly IronStylus meant by "More goes into champions in terms of story" when referencing the work put into relaunches.

JesterCapp was the first to respond, saying:
"I'm not an art parrot, but my two cents: 
I think our writing dept is doing amazing things with the new characters. The difference I think you're speaking to is that we aren't delivering that story as (only) pages of text - we're delivering it in very detailed voice-over, animations, visual design, etc. I think that's what IronStylus meant by "story." All of these things combine to communicate a believable, memorable character, and our lore dept has a strong involvement in all of that. While there's less explained explicitly in text in some cases, I would say we're showing much more character development in game. I feel this is a good thing. First, it's positive in that "show don't tell" is a strong principle for engaging character development. Second, the majority of our players only experience our characters in game. I would argue the average LoL player doesn't know that Katarina and Cassiopia are sisters, for example, but most players familiar with Jinx probably know she has a rivalry with Vi and Caitlyn. She has lots of memorable (and hilarious) voice over alluding to this.

TL;DR - developing LoL's characters and world is still super important, but you might notice our methods of delivery changing to fit how players engage with that content."
He continued:
"Thanks for the replies. Totally reasonable. I recognize that there is demand for written stories as well, and TBH I don't know what our plans are for expanding that as we move forward. We definitely recognize that we aren't 'done' and will continue improving as time goes on. As someone on the in-game content team, I can just speak to the efforts we've been making to develop character and story on that front. Maybe I can lure some writing folks here with my suggestive eyebrow waggling. *waggles in Runaan's direction* 
I know there are internal discussions about the stories of the world, not just individuals. I think we're being cautious here and taking our time in laying out the really definitive stuff, as we really, really want to get it right. The forces that drive Runeterra and all the conflicts therein pose the framework for everything we develop. It's always been regarded as “a big deal,” but it becomes more and more important as the game grows and matures. I'm as eager to see where we go with it as you guys are, but unfortunately I don't know much more than that in terms of our definite plans.

I have some errands to run but I'll check back later. Cheers and thanks."

IronStylus also swooped into the fray, building on the previous comments by saying:
"This guy, this guy knows what he's talking about. 
I'll add a couple of things. Stories currently are encapsulated inside champion releases (VO, interactions, bios, etc) or events, like Freljord. What's needed, and what would satiate those interested in story, is currently not as facilitated by our releases as most would like, including myself. The challenge; what is the best way to release those stories, to continue telling the ongoing epic of Runeterra? We've decided that blocks of text are not optimal, hence the discontinuation of the Journal of Justice. We're trying to figure out the best way to get our stories out there. Should we make books? Animated series? Cinematic trailers? Comics? We have to explore and find out what the best medium is. Maybe they're all good, but used for specific champions or purposes.

Second, we need to figure out how to release whatever content we decide on. Do we make webpages every time? Do we post to YouTube? Maybe we need to figure out some stuff with our client in order to make it sort of a "portal" for such media. I'm not an expert in that, so I don't know how feasible it is.

Main takeaways however are, what medium do we use to release and tell story, and how do we distribute it when we've completed such content.

The JoJ was not optimal, and should be understood widely that it wasn't digestible to the majority of our players. That's just a straight up fact. If our goal is to give players story, which is indeed the goal in a wide sense, then we need to make that content as widely appealing and widely accessible as possible. Right now the template and infrastructure for that isn't in place. We need to explore that infrastructure and delivery."
Building on the JoJ comments, he also posted:
"Blocks of text are an option, but not a cure-all. Also, it simply sitting on a buried section of the website was not optimal. Yes, it had a small dedicated following, but it was consuming a lot of internal resources at the time for not a whole ton of ascertained value. It became cumbersome to keep up with on the Creative dev side of it, it also taxed some art production resources. In the end the payoff simply was not worth the process.

Text based lore might be useful in the future as part of a larger whole, but right now it's not the best way for us to tell our stories from a holistic standpoint."

When Jinx's music video was mentioned as one of these mediums to share character stories, he noted:
"Yup, great case-in-point. This was good for Jinx. Will the same type of content and delivery be good for all champions? My gut feeling is no, not for every one across the board. Other champions and releases will be served by very different mediums which I think is best."

IronStylus on Sivir's Dance

When asked why Sivir's post VU dance was rather simple ( you can check it out here around the 15 second mark ), IronStylus gave an interesting response:
"In certain cases, we've de-prioritized dances in trade for more comprehensive animations elsewhere. Smoother quality in more often seen animation sets, recall animations, and other places where polish can really go a long way. It's a very simple cost/benefit. Relaunch recently has been critically evaluating dances. Dances are places we've used a lot of resources in the past. Remember, we hand animate everything. No mo-cap, no cutting corners. Every animation is made at a cost of another animation. It's just how you assign the cost and the benefit in relation to each other. Currently, as the pipeline stands, we feel animation muscle could be used more impactfully where you see animation most frequently. Runs, spells, etc.

In the end, simplified dances, especially for VU'd champions, means we can spend resources differently, and we feel, more appropriately."

When asked why Riot hand animates everything rather than using motion capture, he commented:
"Mo-cap gets you exactly what you "pay for" in that it's just that, capturing motion. Works great for games like GTA, or many 3rd/1st person games. It doesn't do much for an RTS, Moba, or even most MMO's. Basically, the more fantastical your game, the less you can rely on mo-cap. The more realistic, or movie-ish your game, the more mo-cap works for the given situation. 
We've got a lot of guys who used to do a ton of mo-cap, Ohmikegoodness being one of them. He not only worked with the motion captured rigs, but he actually used to DO THE STUNTS. It's pretty crazy.

In our game though, mo-cap doesn't deliver the exaggeration, impossible moves, and a whole lot of craft execution that hand animated assets do. Mo-cap is fine for a lot of games, just not League."
He continued:
"A lot of companies, games, films use hand animation. It'd be pretty difficult to mo-cap a creature from Monsters Inc, or a raid boss in WoW. Again, it's about the medium. One is not necessarily better than the other, it's about what's right for the product."

After some criticism on his earlier comments, he explained how hard it is to actually find qualified animators:
"We want this: 
They are extremely hard to come by. So, despite you being skeptical, it is indeed the case.

And no, we're not being too strict. Just like any craftsman, or specialized skilled worker, we need extremely specific skill sets, personalities, and experience levels to fill the roles we need. We interview and bring in people from around the world and yet we only have so many people to do the work. Our guys in all disciplines, crafts, whatever are amazing, but we need more. The people we have, they're the best at what they do, they are awesome people, and they are rockstars in their field. That's why they work here. They're the rarest of the rare."

< Editor's note: I snipped a bit of discussion in this thread and moved it into the heading above since it fit better with that topic >

When asked if 1) We could see Sivir eventually getting a new dance and 2) if Motion capture could be used for humanoid champion's dances, he responded:
"1) Could happen, but the team has moved onto the next priority relaunches. Again, we don't find that our resources are best spent in dances, we find our resources are best served burning through our priority list and backlog to get our older champions up to snuff ASAP so more people can more widely experience the upgrade.

2) We can't utilize mo-cap as far as I know. I'm not a technical animator but I'm pretty sure we don't have the tools for that, nor would want to. Mo-capped animation would not blend well with what's hand animated. That's a style and quality choice we've chosen to commit to."

Update on Ahri PBE changes

( For the previous discussion on the upcoming 3.13 Ahri changes, check out the 10/10 PBE update and this red post collection giving which includes more context on them )

ricklessabandon has popped back up with an update on the recent PBE changes for Ahri and shared a few things he's looking to change in the next PBE update.
"hey guys, another quick post: 
sorry that i didn't properly set expectations for my posting cadence—i have really awkward hours that i post during since i try to keep up on feedback a lot of sources, so i'm not functionally able to maintain a fully engaging conversation here if i want to also do things like spend a real amount of time reading feedback from other regions, talking with subject matter experts in person, playing/spectating games, implementation, and occasionally do things that don't directly involve ahri (like eating, sleeping, etc). again, sorry i didn't say this in the initial post but to cover that now: 
1. i wanted to get the first round of changes on the pbe as soon as possible so i had ample time to gather feedback, digest it, iterate, repeat. these changes/discussions aren't fire-and-forget, nor are they going to be rushed. 
2. as far as posting cadence is concerned, i'll likely make a post or two each weekday as needed to answer questions that come up all at once (it's easier to follow the thread that way i find) as well as give updates to changes i push to the pbe. of course i could certainly post much more in a day, especially the day of/after an update to the pbe, but days during which i post 10+ times will be the exception and not the rule. 
3. if you're reading this from eune, euw, or oce i'm really sorry i haven't posted on those forums yet, but until i can get my accounts sorted out i'm stuck in 'read only' mode.

back to talking about ahri, if you've been following the thread you've probably noticed that i've started a list of things i want to change for the next pbe update. here's a quick summary of those items plus a few others:
-revert the change to spell type (i.e., gets full effect from rylai's again) and update the tooltip
-slight reduction in mana cost 
-damage amp now works with the true damage from orb of deception
-slight reduction in mana cost 
spirit rush 
-revert the change to the timer (i.e., up to 10 seconds again)
-add a visual effect that shows when ahri has at least one stack of spirit rush (i.e., vfx turn on after using 1st dash, turn off after 3rd dash or the spell times out)
i'll update the 1st page with numbers and such once the changes hit the pbe (which i believe is monday)."

Timeframe on Scarizard's upcoming Rengar Changes

With their absence from the current PBE patch, Scarizard left a reminder that his previously mentioned plans for Rengar are still on the way.
"No worries dude - it won't take years. If you read my previous post i stated 'Soon, not SoonTM' which is my way of saying 'Not sooner than you'd like, but probably sooner than you'd expect.' 
A lot of the designwork (implementation) is finished and direction signed off, all we need is a dedicated QA sweep so it's not the buggiest thing ever and a signoff to help me with balancing (Bonus Live Design Fun Fact: Every champion/rework has a 'Live Signoff' that helps balance the champion's strengths/weaknesses alongside the designer). With the system changes we're testing/working on i mentioned in my previous post, i simply can't spare the time to work on this let alone rope more people from my team into making it a priority. 
Decided to respond to you here as a refresher for anyone else who may have been hyped to see Rengar hit PBE and try out his changes. I want this to come out pretty bad too :P"

Ricklessabandon looking for feedback on PBE Morgana Changes

ricklessabandon has created a forum thread seeking feedback on the tentative changes to Morgana's W that are currently being tested on the PBE

"i made an update to morgana's tormented soil in the 3.13 patch, and wanted to hear how it's playing out. mostly interested in post-game feedback (on a game-by-game basis if you've played multiple) and bug reports. thanks in advance!

quick summary of the changes:
Tormented Soil
- No longer applies a Magic Resist reduction debuff
- Base damage per second decreased slightly (to accomodate other changes)
- Additionally deals a percentage of an enemy's missing Health as magic damage every second (capped at a flat amount versus minions and monsters)
- Damage application cadence increased"
He later added:
"thanks for the feedback so far, all! for those that remember, could you also let me know what you're running as runes, masteries, and start items (especially for those commenting about low-level minion clear). we've tested with a few different sets and i want to make sure don't miss any variables. 
i'll make a post with some substance to it on like, monday or so. i'll talk numbers, theory, etc then—probably won't post a ton more this weekend since i need to make sure i actually reset and sleep some before diving back into work. :3

thanks again for the info/insight thus far!"

LoL Antivirus Compatibility on the PBE

RiotRayanami has posted a note about testing about an antivirus compatibility improvement currently testing on the PBE:
"Greetings Summoners,
Today we are testing new technology on the PBE to improve compatibility of League of Legends with antivirus and firewall programs.

What benefits will improved compatibility bring?As we evolve League of Legends to deliver more enjoyable gameplay experiences, it is crucial that these updates work as expected with each player's machine.

Sometimes, as new executables and code libraries are introduced to League of Legends, antivirus programs will flag these files as 'suspicious' until verified by either the player or Riot. We can assure you that these files have nothing suspicious in nature. Going forward, we will sign all updated files with the Riot Games Verisign security certificate to confirm authenticity.

What does this mean for me as a player?
These changes will reduce the number of pop-ups that players may experience from antivirus programs asking for user permission to run League of Legends.
It will also significantly reduce false positive 'suspicious file' detection from these programs.

As front line Summoners on the PBE, please let us know if these changes cause any unexpected interactions with your antivirus programs so we can refine our approach for a LIVE release. If you have any issues related to firewall or antivirus during this update, please give us your valued feedback on this forum thread."

Xelnath looking for Feedback on Shard of True Ice

Xelnath is over on EUW poking around for feedback on the support item Shard of True Ice!
"Hey guys,

I'm looking at tweaking a couple items to help supports who want AP out.

I want to improve Shard of True Ice for this category of player:
  • In lane, I am an AP dependant harasser player
  • In teamfights and tower sieges, I use this item on an ally to help and support them
Do you feel the current active effect - click on ally, they gain aoe slow - is appealing? If not, what do you think it should have instead?

Keep in mind, I want it to be used to buff or assist an ally."
He continued, reminding those leaving feedback that the item is intended to remain a support item:
"It's very important that this item be focused on use cases targetting allies. This item should be used to empower an ally, rather than debilitate the enemy.

It is not meant for mages, end of story. :)"

EUW Server Status Update for Saturday

Following Friday's status update on the EUW problems ( which revealed One for All mode as the root of some of the previous problems ), Riot tmx has posted another update saying that EUW 's latest changes look promising and the server is starting to remain stable!

This Saturdays's peak is just over and here I am delivering you news from EUW Fields of Justice. 
The changes we have performed to the network look very promising. The platform has been stable during the day. Your contribution with useful data is helping us determining what is causing issues for you all.

As you probably noticed, we experienced 5-10 minutes login queue in the peak time, you may see a little login queue time tomorrow as well as we continue to dig the root cause. 
We still have some work to perform but the change we made has helped us rule out some other variables and provided stability during peak times today. 
We will keep working at our best to help you solving this problem, keep posting your network data over here:

Have a nice Sunday Summoners."
If you want to help Riot out with these EUW issues, see this thread on how to download and submit results with their network diagnostic tool!

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