Red Post Collection: Post-incident message on EUW Lag, Info on recent PBE problems, Phreak explains Magic Pen, and more!

Posted on at 1:00 PM by Moobeat
[ Update ] - According to Scarizard, Garen's E bug is set to be fixed in 3.15!

Today's red post collection features Riot tmx with a post-incident message on the recent EUW server lag, more info on the recent PBE problems, Showdown mode feedback from the PBE community, Phreak explaining how magic pen works, an IronStylus with some quick armored lady sketches!
Continue reading for more information!

Recent News

Post-Incident Messaging: Lag on EUW

Here's Riot tmx with a post-incident report on the recent lag on EUW.

( You can find this message both on the EUW forums and on reddit )
"Hey guys, 
I want to take the time to shine a light on our recent live service issues. This is going to be pretty dense but it's what you want and deserve so here it goes...

To start with. We are aware of the poor experience that European players have endured this past week. Since I can’t change what's happened, I want to apologize and give some additional information on the reasons and scope of the monstrous lag on our servers hosted from Frankfurt. 
As we pointed out before, the issue is actually related to the hardware problem our partner had earlier this week. This was related to an unstable piece of network equipment that failed over to back-up on several occasions and caused some periods of network instability and bad player experiences. We have been working with our partner for the last couple of days on a fix. This resulted in 2 separate maintenances and finally the faulty piece of hardware was replaced on Wednesday/Thursday night GMT. Initially, we thought that we had the problem fixed. However, the next day during peak hours, we continued to get reports of lag from players. We quickly got the team together and realized that we still had an issue.

We contacted our partner and they too started their own investigation. The problem only appeared during the peak times and worse yet affected only some of our servers spread out across the 4 environments (EUW, EUNE, TR, RU). EUW and EUNE were the most heavily affected platforms so we disabled ranked games because of the degraded state of the service. As our combined efforts continued, we examined every piece of the multiple circuits that connect us with to our partner and finally found an issue in one of them. It was a faulty link that had been accidentally enabled during the maintenance on Thursday and was the issue underlying all the issues over the last few days. This circuit has been disabled and has cleaned up the lag issues players had been experiencing. 
Moving forward, our next step is to ensure that we can more effectively control the traffic coming into our data centers by plugging directly into the internet backbone. With the new Amsterdam data center (still on track for Q1 2014), we’re going to introduce RiotDirect – a new dynamic routing system managed by Riot network engineers, where we will be responsible for every single aspect of our own traffic in Europe. Although, this will be essentially invisible to the player, the results will help provide a better quality of service for our players. In the meantime, during the upcoming week, we’re finalizing deals with multiple ISPs and will be getting them directly plugged into our data center. This will allow us to move some of our game servers away from existing connections and onto this new system. This plan should provide smooth holiday gameplay for our European players.

Again, I want to say that it truly troubles us when our players experience poor service. I promise you that we hear and feel your pain. We also commit to keeping you updated as our new systems and data center plans unfold so that you can see how we are trying to constantly improve and evolve the quality of our service for you."
As for the problems extending to other realms, he noted:
"Well, it's really hard to argue with you here, although Europe is not the only one suffering from problems. We're not neglecting any of our territories, this is just a very dynamic business and other companies struggle from similar problems. Korea was heavily hit few months ago, Taiwan got their capacity problems as well, Brazil had some degraded period too. Turkey/Russia are in the same boat as EUW/EUNE, as they are also dependent on the same provider. Their communities are not that vocal, but we're really working hard on making everything and everywhere good again.

The 2 weeks period before the lagging problem occurred was very stable in EUW (100% Uptime, 99.5% of Quality Uptime) and there weren't many of negative posts on forums. Sure, there are players' local ISP problems here and there, but we can clearly tell if a problem is global or not. We're aiming to give you more and more stats like these in the short future."

He continued, commenting on the Loss Forgiven improvements that were mentioned in the 3.13 patch notes:
"Yes, this might be depressing. We did some additional improvements to Loss Prevented system that will probably go live in 3.15 (still fixing some last bugs in that feature). Again, the new system will let us react quicker and defend your scores during instability periods."

Team Builder ETA? 

When asked if there is a tentative date for Team Builder's release, Riot Natural20 commented:
"(This is not the answer you want, I know.) 
It will be ready when it is ready. We never want to tell you a specific date and then miss it, OR hit a date with a feature that does not meet the right quality bar. This is why we generally do not publish launch dates. 
I know that I want this feature to be Live ASAP! I love what TeamBuilder does. Keep checking back on these forums for more updates."

Info on recent PBE Problems

Yakaru posted earlier to give us a bit of insight on the problems that lead to the PBE needing to be rolled back a few days ago:
"Hey guys, 
Just wanted to give an update on one of the big problems that led to this rollback: the blind minion problem. It took a bunch of us investigating, so don't let me take all the credit, but we are fairly sure we've found the problem as a bug that's actually been lurking for a long time but finally became exposed. Without getting technical a setting which gathered valid targets for our AI controlled units was reading some bad memory for if it needed to update and we finally had enough changes that the bad memory read went from consistently on to 'randomly disabled'. 
For safety we're putting only the safer items back on PBE so we can make sure that the next patch is solid and that we won't have any unexpected problems right at the start of winter holidays for both you guys, our players, and many Rioters, because we want everyone to be able to play and so Rioters don't have to cancel plans with family -- unexpected game breaking bugs would put a kink in that. But look forward to any lost features being back in PBE once that patch is out :) 
Thanks for all your help on this guys
He continued:
"The target validation code checked if a player was connected and didn't waste time updating them if they weren't. Minions, bots, pets, turrets all have a player of "-1" (no player), and the code which was checking didn't go through the interface which sanitized input and didn't validate the input itself -- for 2 years that index returned "connected", by chance, consistently. Lurking bugs are the best bugs. One thing I did as part of the fix was sectioned off the connection information so not going through the interface is a compiler error now and this bug can't happen again :)"

Showdown PBE Feedback

Now that the new Showdown mode has had more testing time, feedback is starting to roll in on the PBE community!

We'll kick things off with BuffMePlz replying to a very well constructed chunk of feedback on multiple parts of the Showdown :
Thanks for the feedback and the well thought out post! Let me take a bit of time to address some of these points individually:

Champion Select: While I agree the drafting mode might work better in a 2v2 situation, the ability to hard counter somebody in 1v1 almost 100% of the time makes the idea of duelling seem a bit impractical. By making it blind pick, the strategy in champion select comes more from banning as opposed to simply hoping to be the second person to pick. That said, I think looking into making 2v2 draft pick in a future rotation is a definite possibility.

Spawn: We actually did try starting the game both at level 3 and with more gold, both as individual starting changes and as combined. We felt that this greatly skewed the notion of early-game laning - there's definitely something different to be said when the first time you see the other champion you have (potentially) three different abilities to cast and/or an unexpectedly high amount of power behind those casts. Unlike ARAM, the ability to recall to base is a tactical decision available to players - starting with that much extra power made the early game feel significantly worse, particularly against characters with high burst damage. We ended finding that having champions start at level 1 with SR gold made the laning experience feel best overall.

Health Relics: This appears to be a bug on the PBE. =( For exactly the same reasons you outlined, we put health relics in the game, as an additional point of contention. The spawn time has been increased from ARAM and the amount of HP and mana restoration has been scaled down, but they should still feel impactful when you get them without completely breaking the laning phase. We did remove the health packs that were behind the first turrets on either side - they weren't able to be contested and the additional sustain was particularly punishing for a pushed champion, given the lane length on Howling Abyss.

Extra Map Assets(and Lane Length): We actually left the base assets in because taking them out makes the map feel really empty. We did experiment with the MS buff on the way out of base, but ultimately decided against it. We wanted Recall to be an intentional choice when laning - should I keep pushing and press the lane advantage (pursuing the lane superiority objective), or should I go back and itemize (pursuing the kill objective)? The extra MS buff greatly favored a champion who was winning in lane, as you wouldn't need to make a choice - you could itemize and keep pushing at basically no cost, turning Recall from a key decision to a prerequisite motion, where not Recalling when winning in lane would almost always be the wrong thing to do. We ended up shortening Recall times instead - it should still take you less time overall to get back into lane, while preserving the goal of making Recall a strategic decision point.

Thanks again for your feedback, and thanks for mentioning the bug about Health Relics! I'll try to get these fixed for tonight's deploy.

When asked why the team chose Howling Abyss for this game mode instead of SR, Brackhar replied:
"We went with this because of some of the feedback we received from the all-star event, and also because so many 1v1 tournaments were being run on HA instead of SR. As for the lane layout, consider this perhaps more like dueling in top lane than mid, since the brush play makes for a more similar experience."

When pointed out that Showdown seems to be a lot less appealing to the masses than One for All, Brackhar commented:
"Yeah, this mode hits a much different demographic than One For All, so I expect for a number of people who enjoyed O4A this will not be as entertaining. However, for really competitive folks this should be a pretty good win."

Responding to feedback that one summoner preferred the rules to the All-star's event's Magma Chamber map to Showdown's rules, Brackhar commented:
"The rules between this map and Magma Chamber are the same, save Magma Chamber was a direct copy of the mid-lane layout for SR. Is that the feedback then, that you prefer SR's layout to this?"

How does Magic Pen work?

Over on the general forums, Phreak took a bit of time to explain how the math behind magic penetration works to a summoner looking for some answers.
"You're asking for some math as well, so here goes: 
First, % penetration works first. So if I have a Void Staff/Last Whisper, I pretend your MR/Armor is only 65% of what it really is. Then I factor in things like Brutalizer/Sorc Shoes/Haunting Guise. Those things work additively. So for example, if you had 200 MR and I had Void/Sorc/Haunting, Void reduces 200 to 130, then Sorc/Haunting reduce that 130 to 100. 
So instead of dealing 1/3 damage (fighting 200 MR) you deal 1/2 damage (fighting 100 MR). Thus, the passives result in you dealing 50% more damage than before.
Note that penetration can only go so far. What I mean is that, if you have exactly 100 flat magic pen, it will only give you at most 100% bonus damage (your opponent has 100 MR). If your opponents have any more or less than 100 magic resist, you will get slightly lower returns. 
Example: You have 100 MR, so I deal half damage. With 100 magic pen, I deal full damage, aka double what I would have before. If you have 200 MR, I deal 1/3 damage. I reduce that with my 100 magic pen to 100 MR, and I now deal 1/2 damage, so 50% more than before. If you have 50 MR, I deal 2/3 damage. With 100 magic pen, I deal full damage, or 50% more than before. 
I hope those all made sense."

Leona and Diana Sketches

Deep within a thread sharing fan art of Leona, IronStylus dropped off two quick sketches of his lovely, armored ladies - Leona and Diana!

Garen E bug fixed in 3.15

According to Scarizard, the bug that's currently cutting off a tick of Garen's E  damage is set to be fixed in 3.15!
"This is fixed and will be included in 3.15!"

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