Red Post Collection: Relic Shield Hotfix, 3.14 Soraka Discussion,Yasuo Tidbits, and more!

Posted on at 11:34 PM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection features a note on Relic shield after the 11/25 hotfix, a chunk of discussion on Soraka after her 3.14 changes, CertainlyT chatting and answering questions about Yasuo, a notice that Riot is looking for Summer 2014 interns, and much more!
Continue reading for more information!

Recent News

Relic Shield Changes in the 11/25 Hotfix

Xelnath dropped off a small update on the Relic Shield changes now that they've been applied in the recent hotfix
"Hey guys, 
Just wanted to close the loop on this, by mentioning that today's hotfix has applied the nerfs to Relic Shield - reducing the recharge rate to 60 seconds and making it so only melee attacks can proc the execute.

Ranged characters who want to use Relic Shield are expected to stack auto-attacks and spells to proc the effect, avoiding the frustratingly high-pressure situation where double relic shield shoves under the tower. 
This was the change we could apply on short notice, and will keep an eye on the new Relic Shield. If Relic Shield stacking is still an issue, we'll address it again. 
The 11/25 hotfix was delayed due to other service impairing issues in multiple regions which needed to be handled first. 
Thanks :) 
Bringer of Chaos"

3.14 Soraka

Meddler popped into a forum thread to discuss the state of Soraka now that her patch 3.14 changes have been able out for a bit:
"We've been keeping a close eye on Soraka after the support changes went out. Current thoughts as follows: 
1. Soraka may be slightly underperforming at the moment. 
2. The Targon line of support items have been quite dominant, at least until the recent hotfix (might still be, we're watching that at the moment). This has made melee supports and non core support champs in bot lane stronger than intended, surpressing core supports a bit (other supports like Lulu, Janna, Sona etc are also affected by this). 
3. Taric's too strong at the moment and that's also suppressing other support picks a bit, particularly since Targon's is a great fit on him. 
4. A variety of different champions are being experimented with bot lane. That's expected, interesting, and healthy for the game so far, things have still yet to settle down though, particularly with a couple of really strong outliers as above.

So, what does this mean for Soraka? 
1. Most important thing is to assess her power in light of the Targon's changes/the upcoming Taric nerfs.

2. We do believe her early game's a bit weaker than it should be and are looking into adding a bit of power there. That will most likely start with some really small survivability buffs in the short term. Additional buffs might then follow if, once we've got the overpowered cases brought in line and duo lane play's settled down a bit, she's still underperforming."
He continued:
"Couple of more general comments: 
1. Soraka as passive healer who just tops up health/mana bars from a safe distance and doesn't engage much with the enemy is not healthy for the game and so not something we're happy having be a strong pick. Soraka as a protector of her allies with powerful healing spells is great, and a cool character type to have in LoL, but she needs to be an active part of the game, not effectively a PVE style of healer who results in passive, low engagement laning phases.

2. The changes to Starcall's MR shred were to remove power from that part of the spell in order to balance out the Ancestral Blessing CD reduction effect added to it. Watching the numbers on that one closely at the moment - they're very different effects, so the comparative value of each is harder to assess than a straight damage trade off for example."
He continued on, this time discussing the reasoning behind the Q hits on champs reducing W's cooldown mechanic:
"Couple of reasons for the Q hits on champs reduce W CD mechanic: 
1. We want Sorakas that are engaging in combat to be able to heal more than Sorakas that are just hanging out at the back (risk/reward, active play incentivized over passive). 
2. Spreading the amount of healing Soraka can do over two different spells means she doesn't get access to all of it by level 9 (assuming she's maxing W first). Consequently we can give her more healing output (or at least potential output) than we otherwise could for the mid/late game, because it's not all coming at once during the laning phase.

As far as Starcall being a PBAOE goes we did do some experimentation with different Starcall targeting types while testing these changes. Didn't hit on anything that worked well enough to release at the time though. A Lay Waste style cast did offer some positives (more control for the Soraka player r.e. target selection, range, avoiding lane pushing etc, better counterplay) but also generated a lot of 'This doesn't feel like Soraka' responses in internal playtests and reduced her reliability significantly in short range fights. It's something we will look into again, very much an exploratory 'Is there something better possible here' process though at the moment rather than a 'This will definitely be changed' thing."
 He also replied to a question on why the traditional supports who also functioned as mid laners had significant changes as a part of preseason:
"Supports being effective picks in solo lanes is not inherently unhealthy for the game. What we've seen happen in the past however is supports that, because of the tools they've needed to function without any gold, are able to create really negative experiences in other lanes. Mid or Top Lulu on intial release for example was an incredible lane bully in a way that we'd also have nerfed a solo laner for (and, in retrospect, also way too strong in bot lane as well, though that wasn't as immediately apparent). AP Janna was able to clear entire incoming waves, extremely safely, with little requirement for engagement with the enemy. Given that we're now giving supports in a duo lane a better income it's possible we may be able to better balance them for single lanes as well. In some cases however because of the amount of power in their kits that's dependent on having a nearby ally to buff that may not be an option though."

More on Yasuo from CertainlyT

As Yasuo's designer, CertainlyT is continuing to discuss and answer questions about Yasuo over on the PBE community.

When asked for a clarification on Yasuo's R range, he replied:
"Yasuo's R finds the closest airborne champion to his cursor and ults them and all airborne units within 400 range of them."

He also shared what the balance team currently thinks of Yasuo, why letting Yasuo dash the same target twitce is a problem, and noted the team tried a breakable wind wall at one point:
"Resolve charges by percentage, so it is no harder to charge later than it is early. In fact, if you buy MS items or put more points into W, it becomes easier! 
A few additional points: 
SmashGizmo, Statikk and I agree that Yasuo is scaling a bit too hard at the moment, which is forcing us to make his early game really poor. Yasuo shouldn't be a lane bully, but he should be a threat. Similarly, Yasuo should be an imposing late game force, but he shouldn't leave the enemy team without a feeling that they have any plays the can make against him. 
Letting Yasuo dash to the same target twice is out of the question. He's a totally different champion at that point. I really like the model that Yasuo can effectively get two dashes onto someone by using the environment (minions and other enemies). that's something that savvy enemies can play around through careful positioning. 
We toyed with a breakable Wind Wall, but it always posed a problem: The counterplay of waiting out or moving around/through the wall is clear and compelling. The counterplay of shooting a ton of spells intentionally into the Wind Wall to break it is not; I generally dislike designs where the best response is the worst response repeated several times."

In response to criticism for Yasuo's ultimate "Last Breath", CertainlyT commented:
"Thanks for the feedback. As for your crticism of Last Breath -- the unreliability is a big part of the skill's design. I'm aware it will turn some players off, but am comfortable with that. Let's think about melee carries for a bit. I find that Tryndamere too frequently is either a monster that kills everyone or kind of useless. So he's an unreliable teammate and pick. But that unreliability doesn't lead to a lot of fair fights. Yasuo by contrast is designed to be strong when he and his teammates execute a plan better than their opponents can disrupt the plan. The result, I hope, is enjoyable moment to moment gameplay."
When suggested that Q be normal cast instead of an auto-smart cast, he replied:
"*As far as auto-smartcast, we've tested it the other way. The ability is non-functional when not smartcast. I would love for smartcast with indicators to work on these abilities and will look into getting that for you all. Hopefully that is a good compromise. 
*As to the Q casting immediately during your dash, I'm sure that would feel awesome. However, it denies the enemy counterplay. Yasuo's Q has a 0.4 second cast time and a small area. Yasuo's EQ hits a bigger area but requires you to telegraph where you are going to EQ 0.55 seconds prior to it happening (the dash's total travel time). This is the approximate delay time I find allows the enemy a chance at dodging (I use 0.5 seconds as a handy rule of thumb for reaction time+latency+time to act). Hope that clarifies."
When asked about the design for YasuoCertainlyT commented:
"Intuitive design is not my strong suit. It's an important value for a design, but not the only one. Yasuo is about many things as a design, but one of them is exploring the notion that we can dispense with cooldowns if we make skills situationally powerful and situationally weak. This puts a burden on the player to think before they act. That sounds condescending, but it's actually the opposite -- it's really hard to retain a clear head during a fast paced fight. Mastering that is a big part of the fun of Yasuo."

Post GameSurveys

davin, a senior user researcher, replied to a thread asking if Riot actually does anything with the in-client surveys you may see in the post game screen from time to time:
"Yes, the "help us improve" gets looked at :) Running a survey without caring about the results would be shenanigans, that's not really our jam. The in-client pop-up surveys are much more specific and limited, they won't replace our random sample web surveys or opt-in surveys like the feedback link.

And in terms of live vs. PBE, they're both valuable! We're trying to ramp up how well we can collect feedback from PBE."
He continued, mentioning the wealth of preseason surveys going around:
"There's a whole lot of post-preseason 2014 evaluation going on (and not just via in-client surveys!). When it comes to those in-client surveys, we just keep the sample size around what it needs to be to have a representative view. We don't want it to be spammy or annoying."
When asked if Riot has ever considered an open invitation type system for players to leave feedback, he commented:
"We've talked about things like that before. There's a natural tension between doing fully open response stuff like that (which seems like it's more "fair", though it has fairness issues) and getting representative data (which requires random samples and is more "true").

In order to be actually fair and not drive things based on a vocal minority, I personally think random sample is the way to go for representative data (remove more selection bias, more validity concerns, etc.). More open things like the opt-in feedback survey, the forums themselves, what you suggest, etc. are good for deeper qualitative data. Combining those is very important to getting the full picture (for example, there was a long Xerath thread as well as a Xerath survey, Xerath lab studies, etc.)"

Ransom on Riven & Yasuo

When asked about his thoughts on Riven's lore now that Yasuo has been introduced, Ransom, a  creative designer, replied:
"Riven caught my interest from the day I first spotted her splash in the game. Her play style isn't something that resonates with me, but I immediately thought she was an intriguing character. The massive broken sword paired with a young woman suggests a big story, although I was a bit disappointed she didn't have more lore. (I also think she comes off as a bit emo in her VO script.) Regardless of what happens in this conflict with Yasuo, I think she gains a bit more dimension when we reveal a bit more of her past and provide her with a foil. As a team we don't have the biggest tools to tell stories with these characters, but we do what we can."
He also responded to a question on if Riven would eventually be getting audio updates for her new rival Yasuo:
"Also, audio updates and new champ interactions for older champs is something that is on my personal wishlist as well. Often these things happen when a champ gets a rework - Ashe, for instance, has new interactions with Sejauni and Lissandra. So yeah, it's totally plausible. It's just a matter of when, and the answer to that is mostly "when a good opportunity presents itself.""\

Riot is looking for interns!

Riot Games is currently looking for interns for Summer 2014!
"It’s that time again! We’re looking for a few great interns for the summer of 2014. If you're an ambitious undergrad or grad student who shares our passion for games (especially League of Legends) and are eager to get into scrapes with challenging work, think about spending your summer with us. 
We’ll post all the infos about upcoming internships in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime, read this page to get informed and to see the list of teams that’ll be hosting interns this summer. Each hosting team will supply its interns with meaty projects, honest mentorship and lots of opportunities to get to know Riot Games overall. Interns will playtest new champions and features, gain first-hand experience serving on the front lines of player support, attend leadership seminars and industry education via Riot U, and enjoy events with the rest of Riot including Show and Tell, Riot Rumble, LoL skills training and early new movie screenings. 
Read on for info on available internships, deets on how to apply and answers to frequently asked questions."
Click here for the full article and more information on requirements, how to apply, positions available, and more! You can also check out this linkedin discussion for more info!

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