Red Post Collection: 2014 Season has arrived, MMR Boosting in the 2014 Season, Morello on 4.1 Turret Changes,Tidbits on Warwick Rework, Xerath rework back to PBE tomorrow, and much MORE!

Posted on at 9:50 PM by Moobeat
While we wait for patch 4.1 to get here, why not past the time with a red post collection! Tonight's collection features a look at the new 2014 Season promo site, Morello with context on the 4.1 turret changes, Riot Rhojin with information on how the behavior team is handling MMR boosting in the 2014 season, ricklessabandon clarifying his earlier comments on Cassiopeia, ZenonTheStoic mentioning one of his thoughts for the future Warwick rework ( + potential VU ) and that Xerath's rework will be back on the PBE tomorrow, Zileas and Nome discussing hitboxes and spell indicators, and MUCH more!
Continue reading for more information!

Recent News

The 2014 Season has Arrived  -  2014 Season Promo Site

With patch 4.1 on the way, Riot has published a beautiful promo site to celebrate the start of the 2014 season.
Check it out for:

4.1 Turret Changes

As you may have noticed, Turrets are getting a few changes in patch 4.1:

  • Outer turrets no longer gain bonus armor and magic resist for the first eight minutes of the game.
  • Top and middle lane outer turrets now have 20 damage reduction from champion basic attacks
Here's Morello with a bit of context on these changes:
"This is all true. I think we didn't clarify this well in our messaging:
3v1 basically eliminates the laning phase and is defining pro play - and the reaction to this is to 3v1 a different lane. This cuts out an entire, important, part of the game and makes things fatalistic and very predictable. 
Reminder that this does not lower minion damage in those lanes. For mids, a lot of the tower damage already comes from minion attacks for an early tower, and the DR falls off in most cases before it matters in a 1v1 case. For MOST play (ie non-LCS), this will have almost no effect if you don't try to 3-man-fast-push a tower.

Sorry for the lack of clarity on this. I also am fine with this beign a hold-over method until we get some more underlying work done." 

On MMR Boosting and the 2014 Season

Riot Rhojin, a player behavior specialist, has posted an update  regarding how the player behavior team will be handling incidents of players boosting other players in the 2014 season.
"Hey Summoners,

With the 2014 Season quickly approaching we wanted to take a moment to talk about how the Player Behavior Team will be handling MMR Boosting for the new season. MMR Boosting has been and continues to be one of our primary investigation points throughout the year. We spend every day looking into reports from concerned players on the matter.

To start, we identify MMR Boosting as an action where a third party logs into a player’s account and plays in ranked games, thereby raising the account’s MMR and rank to a level that the account owner did not earn on their own. The Leagues system has been carefully tuned so that players are placed in a proper tier with others at a similar skill level. Abusing the system degrades the game experience for everyone involved.

On top of the damage it does to ranked play, MMR Boosting is a major account security risk. Many players shared their information with a potential booster hoping to get a higher MMR in Season 3, only to find their account stolen and sold or traded to another player.

Boosters are not only limited to those who sell their abilities. Someone can be tagged as a booster simply by playing ranked games on a friend or family member’s account. Maybe they wanted to help a friend, or maybe the account is shared between two or more people (or maybe your little brother jumped into a ranked game even though he promised he was only going to play normal games on your account); either way, the moment someone other than the account owner steps into ranked play, the violation shifts from account sharing (another major ToU violation, but we’re not talking about that) to MMR Boosting.

That said, what about what we DON’T consider to be boosting? From the reports we see on a daily basis, it seems there’s one misconception that stands out: players of different rankings playing together in a duo queue. As long as both players are playing on their own accounts, we don’t consider it to be MMR Boosting. While we ask that players make responsible decisions on whom they duo with, we don’t punish for using the Duo Queue option we’ve provided for everyone.

Punishments for the 2014 Season will be the same as they were for Season 3. Punishments for anyone convicted of MMR Boosting will include:
  • A 2 week suspension on all involved accounts
  • The removal of all previous Season Content (Seasons 1, 2, and 3)
  • Ineligibility for any and all current Season Rewards
  • Permanent Suspension for repeat offenders (this will include any players who have been punished in previous Seasons)

Near the end of the Season 3 we began to receive multiple reports of Team Boosting. Due to these reports we ended up punishing 19 challenger and diamond teams in Season 3. We identify team boosting as: 
  • Win Trading
  • A fellow team member playing ranked team games on the account of another team member.
  • A third party playing ranked team games in order to help their client achieve the requirements to obtain their team’s ranked rewards

Since Team Boosting not only affects the rewards and standings of the boosted player but the ranking of the team, we will be issuing the following punishments and taking the following steps in instances of team boosting:
  • MMR Boosting punishments for the Booster and the Boostee
  • Disbanding of the Team(s) involved in the Boosting

Me and my fellow Player Behavior Specialist, Keyru, will be around to answer questions or concerns you may have about MMR Boosting in the 2014 Season. Please don’t hesitate to ask us anything on your mind; we want to put all confusion about boosting to rest."
Riot Rhojin continued, answering questions about specific scenarios

When asked if an extremely high ranked player duo'ing with a low ranked player with the intent to carry them out of their current rank is punishable, he commented:
"While others may consider it to be a "scumbag" move, it would be allowed, as long as both of your were playing on your own accounts. Our matchmaking system takes both your rankings into consideration and the larger the difference in skill, the more weighted a match can become(it's not completely stacked, but it does take this into consideration). So queuing with someone close to you in skill and rank almost always ensures a more fair and even match."
One summoner requested a post game report option for eloboosting, to which Riot Rhojin replied:
"At this time the in game report system gathers reports from the Tribunal, since the tribunal does not handle MMR Boosting investigations or bans, adding a report option would be counter productive." 
When asked if it was ok to get on a friends account as long as you don't play ranked, he commented:
"Under no circumstances should you play games on an account you do not own. Playing normals will not get you punished for MMR Boosting but it could be grounds for an account sharing punishment."
As for playing on a VPN, he commented:
"Simply using a VPN will never get you banned for MMR Boosting. Our investigation process makes sure that only those who have participated in MMR Boosting receive punishments."

When asked if "playing on a friends computer" will get you in trouble, he commented:
"Playing on a friend's computer for a day will not result in a ban. Our investigations go deeper than just looking at what computer you were playing on."

On the topic of boosting and higher visibility players boosting, Wookie Cookie commented on forum witch hunts and what to do if you have information regarding someone breaking the rules:
"People were not simply reporting someone, but actively witch hunting them. Our forums are not a place to publicly prosecute someone based off of incomplete information and we will not tolerate any form of witch hunting even if a person ends up being determined guilty inn the end. 
This is no secret. I had a rather long conversation in one of the threads at the time explaining this stance.

If you have information on anyone violating our rules or Terms of Service then we are more than happy to accept a support ticket with information. Attempts to name and shame will just result in forum banning."

Clarification on Cassiopeia

ricklessabandon popped up on the forums to clarify some yesterday's comments on Cassiopeia:
"sorry, phrasing was a little off. i should have said that competitively, cassi should be more of a pocket pick (not remaina pocket pick)."
He continued:
"working on her in earnest is a bit further off, so there aren't any details to go off of yet, but one idea i really want to try out is making twin fang's cast time get shorter over the course of the game—i feel like her ability to 'orb walk' gets awkward later in the game when everything tends to happen very quickly. not sure if it'll be a good change or not, but i do want to try it along with some other adjustments."

Why featured Game modes aren't available all the time

RiotForScience dropped off a few comments on why featured game modes - like Showdown or One for All - aren't be available all the time.
"It does hurt the other game modes by fragmenting the play-base resulting in longer ques. Additionally even our really successful alternate modes like ARAM, TT, and CS have an initial spike in play then really quickly dissipate. By having rotating modes we are able to keep the map around during that honeymoon period, then put it back on the shelf before you are completely sick of it. And then, potentially, bring it back again at some point when you are ready to see it again. Since we do not stack multiple modes up at a time it prevents the player-pool from getting too sharded and keeps our overall que times shorter."

ZenonTheStoic on future Warwick Rework and Xerath Rework returning to PBE

After today's EU LCS games and an appearance by Warwick, ZenonTheStoic ( aka @Danielzklein on twitter ) tweeted that Hunter's call - in it's current state - will not be present on the reworked Warwick.
"So a thing that will definitely 100% be gone on the new WW is Hunter's Call. Zero decision make and huge amount of invisible power."
He also noted the TENTATIVE plan is to eventually release him with a kit rework and a VU:
"We haven't started work on the VU yet, but current plan (remember: can change!) is to release the kit rework with a VU."
He was also sure to mention that this is all far in the future, saying':
"Hold your horses. This is MONTHS and MONTHS from releasing."

ZenonTheStoic also tweeted out that Xerath's rework should be back on the PBE tomorrow:
"Hey Twitter! Let's talk Xerath! We're getting really close on the rework. He'll be back on PBE tomorrow. Got questions? Ask!"

Thoughts on Map Skins

RiotForScience, a Senior Environment Artist, commented on a thread about map skins - such as the Winter Summoner's rift from a few years back - saying that they are not currently on the radar and sharing his thoughts on them
"Right now map skins are not on the Environment Team's radar. Personally I get much more excited about completely different thematic takes on a map rather than just a season shift. Like, for example, an SR that is set in Piltover than I would a winter. If you would prefer Autumn or Winter I would love to hear why. Like I said, skins are not currently on the radar, but when they are I would love to know what you would prefer. It is always possible that I like this idea better because it would be much more fun to build."

The Team's Thoughts on Mobility Creep

Morello also commented briefly on the team's seemingly contradictory opinions on mobility creep, saying:
"We haven't discussed this in-depth recently - my own thoughts are above, but not the team's. We'll round up and discuss what makes sense and diagnose in-depth before taking action.

Designers disagree A LOT - and that's great. It makes for a much better marketplace of ideas."

Follow up on Featured Game Modes Stats

Following his earlier posts regarding the popularity of Showdown and One for All , Brackhar answered more questions regarding featured game modes.

When questioned about Showdown being shown as a failure in light of his latest statistics, Brackhar commented:
"Don't misunderstand, we don't view Showdown as a failure. The player response around it was positive, and it delivered on a fun and unique experience. The issue at hand is that we don't feel that it was a highly engaging game mode, which is a separate issue entirely. "

Indicators and Hitboxes

Zileas, Riot's VP of Game Design, took to the forums to discuss and answer a few questions about visual indicators and hitboxes.
"We need to tune some of this up, but in general, skillshots and AOEs are supposed to marginally go beyond the displayed range in the UI (but correspond exactly to the particles). The reason we do it on the UI side is because we found early on in developing LoL that the game felt a little better with some 'forgiveness' there and that players learned into the controls anyway after a few games on a champion. Specific issues with particles are things we should fix however."
He continued, elaborating on hitboxes:
"This is a tough one. I believe we have 3 sizes of hit boxes -- small/medium/large, and almost no characters have small -- if I recall correctly. We see hit boxes as primarily a play balance thing, NOT an art and clarity thing, and have taken a sacrifice as a result. We did try to reduce some of the weirdness on large champions and tiny champions by having a few sizes, but our goal is to make it so that for a given class of characters, skillshot landing and evasion feel consistent in difficulty at various ranges. If we went too crazy on hitbox consistency, there would be a lot more situations where a skillshot in-lane was either usually dodgable or never dodgable, and we wanted to instead create consistent counterplay. So, this is honestly more of a feature than a bug. If there's an particular champion that you think is a huge outlier though, let us know."
He continued,
"Morello could likely get more specific, but in general, tankey characters and fighters trend towards 'large' while most other characters are 'medium' and a few characters are small (which is only slightly smaller than medium) because they'd look ridiculous otherwise. I think Annie is one of those. 
The thought is that because the sizes sortof correspond to roles, we then get consistent counterplay in typical situations involving those roles. If we have a lot more drastic roles, we have more potential for a given skillshot to have really bad counterplay (or non-functionality) in a matchup. By reducing the variables, we can guarantee that most experiences will be positive.
Put another way, we don't want to tweak values for the sake of it, but for a purpose, and we think that the tighter set of values here allows us to get some game design value and ensure that skillshots are consistently satisfying on the giving and receiving end.

Hope that makes sense..."
Nome, who is now going by HOT NOME ACTION, also popped in the thread to share more info and an example image:
"Howdy, I'm one of the dudes on the aforementioned team that handles game clarity issues. In your screenshot, Twisted Fate's run animation skews towards his facing direction, while his collision circle does not. I've attached a screenshot that shows a comparison between his idle and movement animations. Remember that collision is resultant of both the character and the missile's circles, so while it does appear that Nidalee's Javelin Toss hits thin air, the collision circles are properly interacting."

Nome continued,  clarifying his original explanation:
"I should clarify, as it's a big more complicated than my initial explanation. Our collisions are all calculated along the ground plane--the circles in my screenshots depict the collision radius of the units, while the 3D box depicts the selection box (As an aside, it's worth noting two things--the box does not depict the full selectable area, as we've added pixel-perfect selection in addition to the box. Also, Poros could be targetable and block spells in some old Howling Abyss prototypes.). The ground-plane calculations go for projectiles as well. This means that your perception of what hits and what doesn't is susceptible to camera manipulation like panning from side-to-side or hypothetical rotations around the centered character. A full-on, true overhead camera would be the most accurate, while the actual in-game camera will always result in distortion and subjectivity in what hits what.

Back to your query--if the collision circle simply moved with the model, that would cause a lot of jankiness, like spamming move/stop in order to manipulate collision. Think of it like the fuzzy guard in fighting games, except mostly bad."

Morello's current thoughts on Soraka

In a thread requesting Morello's presence for a discussion on Soraka, Morello shared his current thoughts on Soraka and why she's weak at the moment:
"Soraka is weak right now, and much of that is because Soraka has one job, heal others. 
I think I'll respond with a link to my dev blog (still rough) where I talk about the concept of dedicated healers in PvP games;"
 When criticized for not leaving a longer response the original posters long, detailed analysis of Soraka, he replied:
"Will do - long posts are not something I can read in-depth at work as I have 2 minutes to look at the issue.

I didn't fight his idea, I provided additional thoughts - because I hadn't had a chance to review his specifics. If then, he's trying to move her away from that, then my article supports that direction, right?"

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