Red Post Collection: DDoS Attacks, Context on recent PBE Changes, eCommerce, Community platforms, and much more!

Posted on at 3:49 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection is a big one! It's a busy time on the forums and lots of conversations are stirring - including: RiotGradius shedding light on the recent DDoS attacks, if Olaf could use visual improvements, Morello commenting on the state of Aatrox, a large discussion on community frustration, WizardCrab discussing skin pricing and other eCommerce topics, and WookieeCookie with some real talk on the various communication platforms

We also have oodles of PBE related discussion, including what happened to the Miss Fortune changes that were removed from the PBE, the goal behind the recent  Ryze changes,  Vel'Koz feedback, and a note about some unintentional changes included in the 2/18 update.

Continue reading for more information!

Recent News

Recent DDoS and Malicious Attacks

Riot Gradius, an Associate Information Security Engineer,  hopped into a forum thread to shed some light on the recent DDoS attacks that have been causing disruptions of service lately:
Hello, just wanted to see if I could drum up some conversations about the nature of DDOS attacks and what kind of scale we're seeing. The attacks that have recently taken place on many different Internet services are quite large because of a very specific flaw in the NTP protocol. These attacks are called reflection attacks. ( 
What's difficult to deal with when it comes to DDOS attacks is that the larger the attacks become, the easier it is for the attacker to completely consume all bandwidth available for a specific provider. What this means is that any Internet service that this provider has under them is also unable to communicate back to the Internet. As the attacks become larger, we block them farther and farther up the provider levels, until we're working with Tier 1 ISPs to implement access control lists that prevent these attacks. Here's some more information from Cloudflare about the recent NTP Reflection DDOSes (
Us networking guys at Riot are not only working internally to find a solution to this problem, but we're also working with the Information Security industry as a whole to improve the situation. We're working to find a tech solution to block the attacks as they're ongoing, and fixing the underlying problem of open/unpatched NTP servers on the Internet. 
Please feel free to toss any questions my way that you might have, I would love to have a chat with everyone about this and answer as much as I can. :)
He continued:
"Yup, I've wanted to find the right post to start a conversation in... but so many of them are "RIOT FIX YOUR SERVERS" .. and I really wanted to have a dialog, rather than a storm of that sort of message.

I don't mind chatting with you all (I'd actually prefer it over staying quiet), and I'd really like to address any questions that I can. I'll be honest, it's a ****ty situation to be in, and myself along with a lot of other Rioters, as well as other industry professionals are trying to solve this problem as a whole rather than slowly crawling our ACLS up our provider lists. It really does make me sad that any of your games get ruined because of a DDOS, which is even more motivation to kick our butts into high gear and get this problem solved."

Riot Gradius also commented that Rioter isn't always the one being targeted, it's usually their providers:
"The problem with that is a lot of the time it's not even our network that's being destroyed by the malicious traffic, it's usually our providers or even their providers. This is why as a whole, network operations is moving towards a solution of being closer to providing their own Internet connections to our players. I'll find the post on the EUW forums that references things like the AMS datacenter and Riot Direct and edit it in here."
He continued:
"The biggest problem with blocking NTP at the provider level is that we're still working up the chain. The amount of traffic coming through is so huge, that it's taking down multiple provider links. This is why part of our attack strategy is building up relationships with multiple providers and others in the industry. This isn't something we're going to solve overnight, and definitely not something we'll solve by ourselves. Working with many parties can cause inherent lag in the process, but we're kicking ass and taking names in terms of making friends all over the industry."

When asked about the role loss prevented plays in these situations and an ETA on a fix, he commented:
"Loss prevented is intended to be an automatic thing when our service level goes below that of what we'd expect. You should see those changes apply fairly quickly (though, I'm not an expert in that area, I mostly just see the emails fly by with "Loss prevented is being enabled")

As for a timeline, that's hard to say since we're looking at a problem that's a huge scale. Just know that we're working tirelessly to get this under control. We want the network to be stable as bad as everyone else does"

When asked "why can't Riot just throw money at it", Riot Gradius explained:
"It's not that this a new issue, it's an old issue with new scale. Technically, we could throw money at it and buy more bandwidth, but that's only a temporary solution, and doesn't buy anyone much in terms of stability. As your bandwidth grows, so does the attacker's. This is why we have to find more solutions than just throwing money at it. This is why we have to work with other companies and groups in the Information Security industry, because of the magnitude of these recent attacks. We want this to be more complex than a bandwidth arms race."

In response to a summoner concerned about account security due to all this, Riot Triggs offered some general advice but noted DDoS attacks aren't an attempt to access personal info:
"You should always use a secure, long, hard to guess password. Using this site: want to get past 1 month.) Also, use two factor auth anywhere you can. However, this has nothing to do with them access your personal information. DDoS attacks basically jam too many packets into a pipe. Like trying to put too many cars on a freeway."

Olaf Could use work but not high on the VU Priority List

When asked about his thoughts on giving Olaf some visual love, IronStylus commented:
"I think Olaf is a good opportunity for some thematic cohesion passes. Like.. just what you're saying. Make him feel Freljord, not just some barbarian dude. 
One of our internal artists did a really cool treatment of him that made him feel a little more savage, but still fitting in with the overall Freljord theme. It was extremely cool. 
Currently, he's not high on the priority list and I don't feel he's in particularly bad shape in terms of rig, but I'd have to check on that. I think his feet slide a bit, but maybe that can be dealt with without making an entirely new rig. I'd have to check. 
He's far down the list, however, sometimes what that means to me is that he might be an "easy win" in that we don't need some drastic overhaul to make him feel better, it's more about upping quality and making him feel more thematically solid."
 He continued:
"Indeed, your questions are on theme and art, something I have a decent understanding of. I very much like the idea of him having a better interaction or feeling of being inside the Winter's Claw."

Plans for Aatrox

Morello briefly commented on Aatrox, noting that he hasn't been forgotten about:
"We made some big game health mistakes on Aatrox that put him in a problematic spot - there's accuracy in the fact that if he's buffed, he'll be a problem.

We've had some Aatrox changes to solve this (as a soft rework sorta thing) that could fix this, and then let him get back into the game. I'll have to check on the details to see which direction we've taken with it (there were a lot of ideas on the table for it, originally)."
He continued:
"Quote: I'm not asking for direct buffs, I'm asking for a redistribution of power. Maybe nerf his self sustain/revive in exchange for better base stats? 
Yeah, that's the idea here. Not specifically that one, but moving power and mechanics around to basically serve the character better."

Miss Fortune PBE Changes Reverted but coming back

Regarding his tentative Miss Fortune changes that were reverted in the 2/18 PBE Update, ricklessabandon commented that they will return soon and will likely ship in 4.4.
"yeah, pulling the changes for now as it caused some technical issues for another team (and i had already gotten some good feedback and bug reports). i'll make some changes and get her back on the pbe for 4.4 which is looking like when the changes could ship assuming all goes well~

if you have any thoughts on the changes and don't have access to the pbe forums, feel free to drop them here and i'll take a look when i get a bit more spare time. :3"

Ryze Buffs on PBE

Continuing with red posts concerning the 2/18 PBE update, Meddler commented on the new changes to Ryze's Q - which now restores 30 mana when it is used to kill a minion.
"Looking to add a bit of farming capability to Ryze's early game for match ups where he doesn't dominate lane basically. Even when Ryze has been dominant in the past his early game's often been pretty punishing for him, so it's a good place to test a bit of extra power."

Unintentional Changes in 2/18 PBE update

In regards to the numerous unexpected item cost changes that we saw in the 2/18 PBE updateXypherous commented:
"These aren't intentional. Sorry. I probably screwed up on my batch promotion. :P 
I'll make a note to fix these as soon as I can - feeling slightly under ze weather at the moment."

This includes Aegis of the Legion, Locket  of the Iron Solari, Ohmwrecker, Overlord's Bloodmail, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, and the Lightbringer - all of which will NOT be getting price changes.

Vel'Koz Feedback

Riot Repertior popped on the PBE community to respond to some of the communities feedback on Vel'Koz!
"Hi guys, thanks for the Vel'Koz feedback! We appreciate the time you put into playing him and writing it up. I'll try to go through most of the stuff here and respond to your feedback/concerns.
Quote: His early game mana costs are really low. I'm not necessarily complaining, but facing off against a Vel'Koz being able to constantly spam his skills is going to be a nuisance sooner or later.
I'll agree that the mana costs on Q and E are definitely closer to the too low than too high side, but we're pretty comfortable with this at the moment. Because Vel'Koz's Q and E are generally difficult to land regularly, he will be left vulnerable to being approached while on cooldown. If this proves to be a bad approach, we'll probably look at adjusting rank 1 E specifically, as Q is his most interactive lane ability and we want players to feel comfortable throwing them out there on enemies without their mana bar suffering too much. His W is actually fairly expensive if used a lot.

Quote: Ultimate is ridiculous. Keep in mind that this updates 5 times over the channel time, applying up to two passive stacks. This gives Vel'Koz up to 1300 base damage on his ultimate. What the hell? Damage per half-second (the interval in which the passive is applied) is 100/140/180 (+,12AP). If this'd be changed to 50/75/100 (+,20AP) per half-second interval, that'd give way less free damage. It's like a Lux lazer. 300 base damage is a whole lot, and Vel'Koz needs only 1,5s of his ult to accomplish that at Rank 1 ult. Changing the damage would, in my opinion, give him a lot less free damage, and have him work for more of the damage, both in terms of getting AP and hitting the ult.
Yeah, his ultimate does a lot of damage. Since he doesn't have much in the way of mobility outside of high base MS, we're pretty okay with him melting people if he sets up properly and safely channels a full ultimate on someone. If it turns out that damages are too heavily allocated to the base and too little to the ratio, that's tuning that we'll certainly be able to make.

Quote: His e hits if the enemy isn't in the target location.
This shouldn't be the case. It's pretty important that what the player sees is what they get, so I'll make sure this gets looked into and adjusted as appropriate if a problem.

Quote: I feel his power is a bit too high right now. The burst potential he has, especially late game, is incredible.
To this, and others like it, it is our intention that Vel'Koz will put out some crazy damage if allowed to do so. However, because his weakness to heavy dive/assassination are so evident, we think that his success cases should be really powerful. 
Gotta run, but I'll be running through the PBE posts for Vel'Koz stuff over the next few days. Keep this good stuff coming. Thanks!"

Community Frustration & Trade offs

Morello joined a discussion to share what can frustrates him the most about community interactions: "the conspiracy theories on intent"
"I'll acknowledge it :P 
Sometimes we get frustrated - we're human beings too. But I think the scale and growth of the community has made all this really hard (for me, at least) to wrap my head around. 
Back when I started (MF patch), it was pretty easy to have a good Red-to-player post ratio, get on hot threads, etc. Now, we've grown a lot, but the community has grown more. 
Additionally, people like myself are less in-touch with the details as we're trying to manage the direction and strategy, meaning questions of "why you nerf X" aren't things that we give as much context on these days. 
And that's just for NA. Imagine Korea, or EUNE where we might only have one or two people on the development teams with relevant language proficiency. 
If I picked what actually frustrates me, it's the conspiracy theories on intent. I don't mind people yelling at the design team, and sometimes there's good info there, I get pissy at the "ROIT IS GREEDY" or things like that, because it's such a ridiculous notion. Another one is "THEY BALANCE ON PREFERENCE OF THEIR CHAMPS" or other basically other things that have no value to even say. We make enough real mistakes that I think talking about those, and focusing there, is a healthier conversation, even in the face of really harsh critiques or upset players. 
Some of this is me being 35, though, I imagine. I did very similar things when I was younger and just got on forums and was SURE I knew why things happened, and had this really complete world-view in my mind. Likely the most important thing I learned that allowed me to get into game development was when I understood how much I didn't know." 

He continued, using Skarner as an example of tradeoffs in feedback:
Because we take and understand the feedback, but ultimately have to decide what direction we're taking the game. Again, tradeoffs.

For example, here's what a player must consider about Skarner:

* Do I like old Skarner more or less than new Skarner?

* Do I think this is a good change for my experience?

Different players will have different answers. One set will be more popular than others. This is all valuable on what players feel and think.

As developers, here's what the considerations are:

* What do players feel about Skarner (both in what they say and what the underlying reasons are).

* Does Skarner make the game richer by being in the game for all players/game health?

* Does Skarner match or detract from the direction of LoL?

The core difference is Skarner players will be concerned with one (important) aspect: "Is my character strong, fun and useful?" That matters, but it's one slice of a pie. Some of this is informed by history (IE: if I was attracted to this character originally, what's there is what I expect to be there).

Again, tradeoffs. We're willing to make some players unhappy to enrich the game's overall interactivity, counter-play and depth (yes, Skarner having more clear weaknesses allows more depth!) While each case requires its own analysis, I'll generally favor the tradeoff that makes the game better in year than one week.

Invested players of a champion will ALWAYS dislike adding weaknesses to existing champions. I don't need new feedback to tell me that's true because it's well-known. I think it's more important to make sure League is still good for the next ten years than to adhere to history of what's existed before. "It's fine" isn't an argument, it's a feeling. When we define why it's not, why we're changing something, then change it like that, being upset is a fine response to have - just don't expect that response to be new information, it's a tradeoff we're willing to make in a lot of cases.

One view I've not changed in my time here is that the game as an entity is more important than the experience of one player, and the game is more important than the developers. So, if some Skarner players are upset in the short-term, to get gains in the mid- to long-term, that sucks, but is a cost that needs to be paid.

This is why design-by-consensus doesn't work. Our job is to massage these changes in the way that's LEAST painful, not to eliminate the pain. Xerath's rework is the same. So will every other one. I'm hoping understanding more about our articulated (SoonTM) design values should communicate this stuff better to more players, too.

In short, you have to choose a direction to take a game, and each direction has tradeoffs associated. We think an interactive experience (as opposed to one where making a few choices early in a fight or game heavily dictate all the future decisions) is the right direction for LoL. There will be areas to improve and get feedback on, and no design is above critique, but we have to make tough decisions regularly, and we can't operate on "any tradeoff means we can't do something."

Morello also commented on the criticism of Riot "being lazy", highlighting the choice between Magma Chamber and more stable servers:
"Frankly, lazy is equally asinine - you attribute intent to results. The last has more validity.
We mess up. Riot's never like "let's **** it off!" Tradeoffs involve every decision. 
Magma Chamber was hard to understand on this regard. "Well, work harder to make it happen" is just...what? You can choose between these two things: 
1) More stable servers
2) A new map 
To us, it's a no-brainer which of these is more important. You can't "work harder" because the problem isn't that people aren't setting things up, or doing the work. Here's a good example of the "server problem" some of the ops guys were sharing. 
In the time it takes normal businesses (like vendors ordering hardware, flying it to the physical location and setting up the hardware) due to player login growth, the servers are full before we even get them set up. If each game holds 10 players, and a server holds X games, then each server holds X times 10 players.

If you add a 1v1 mode, then each server holds X times 2 players. Each 1-v-1 game means 8 other players have a laggy experience or can't log in. 
So, this is why I flare at "lazy." Call us incompetent or get mad at us for failing. Calling people who bust their ass (often to unreasonable degrees) to improve the experience lazy might be the most offensive thing of all."
 He continued:
"Yes, but the idea of 2 players per game instead of ten players per game means the map takes up more server room, because each game has 8 less players (due to 1v1 vs 5v5). This is a natural side effect and cost of making the mode live (and not the only consideration, but an example)."

eCommerce: Skin Pricing, Tiers, and more

WizardCrab also jumped into the conversation to talk about the criticisms of "too many 1350 skins!", "not enough 750 skins!", and more eCommerce topics.
"A couple of you here seem upset that Morello hasn't touched on the skins pricing issue that's been brought up. That's not his department, but I can fill in a little. 
We have been trying to figure out what our strategy is for 2014 regarding which skins we are going to put out for each tier and at what frequency. There are a lot of conflicting motivations for pursuing one strategy versus another. One side is that some players want cheaper options for skins. Another side is that most players enjoy the 1350 skins more than the 750s, even if you factor in the difference in price. Those players would prefer that we focus only on the higher priced skins. 
The idea that we are focusing more on 1350s than 750s out of greed is a little off base. I'm not fully convinced that this even makes us more money to begin with, and the shift towards those skins was not borne out of any information even related to money. To put it simply, the skins team started making more awesome skins that were closer to legendary quality (and took more time/resources than 975 skins). We didn't want to make all of these legendary, so we held them back a bit and made the new price tier. But in general, it's hard to discourage the skins guys from making the best freakin' skins they can. 
We have limited resources to make skins, so there will end up having to be a tradeoff between making skins of different price tiers. We haven't solidified which ones we are making for 2014, but we'll keep you updated. I can tell you that right now there are skins of all tiers (including 750) in the pipeline."
He continued, elaborating on why there isn't a plethora of plain recolor skins available:
"There is an argument to be made for the overall feel of the game. A silly example:

Let's say we made a Hecarim skin that was just a brown cube and sold it for 1 RP. You get into the a game and one of the guys on your team is just a monochrome cube. OK, not the worst thing. Now imagine that 10% of all skins you see end up being simple 3D shapes because they're cheap. Now a friend, who has never played LoL, is watching over your shoulder. And he says "WTF are all these ****ty looking shape characters?" Now he doesn't want to play LoL.

Obviously recolors are not that bad but you can see a scenario where a lower quality skin can have a negative effect on perception of the game as a whole. I'm not saying recolors would cause this effect. But there's always a potential any skin could.

Maybe recolors are a worthwhile path for us. I haven't seen that data yet. We'll look into it."

 WizardCrab also reminded players to make sure they share what they are interested in:
"Yes, if you want 750s, recolors, and skins for certain champions, please continue to tell us! We want/need to hear what the players want.

You just have to not get angry if we determine that just because you as an individual want it (or even a group of like-minded forum goers), it doesn't mean that everybody in the world wants it or that it's the best direction for our game. But please keep asking for it."

As for criticism on rune pricing and the struggle to earn enough IP to afford multiple sets, he noted:
"Yeah, runes are a sticky point right now.

But I think there is merit in having the pricing argument, at least on some level. I'm okay with people disliking us for the things we do that they don't agree with. I'm not okay with people disliking us for some imagined intent that they've put onto us in their own minds. I also like people to see that a lot of thought goes into every decision we make, and I hope some of these discussions show that. If I can even convince a couple people, that's pretty cool. And sentiment might spread!"

When asked about the fate of Double IP weeksn and skin rewards, WizardCrab commented:
"My guess is that we're hesitant to do a double IP weekends with the server issues we already have. Double IP weekends create a ton of traffic, which could be problematic. Just a thought.

We don't like to give out skins as rewards because we've found that most players use skins to show an affinity for a certain champion, but rewards for events are usually valued due to exclusivity. We have noticed that there ends up being a lot of pain surrounding players being unable to obtain exclusive content for their favorite champion, so skin rewards have been used less and less."

As for upcoming options for summoners with large banks of IP just sitting around, he commented:
"Yes. Stay tuned. It won't happen immediately, but I have conversations about how to give something back to players like you every week. Lots of ideas have come and gone, but we will figure out the right one."

Responding to claims about greed fueling skin prices, WizardCrab used launch sales as an example to refute that claim:
"There is far more to business than "Getting someone to pay more then something is worth for it." Especially for us. Maybe if you're a car salesman you might think that way. We're not car salesmen.

Case in point: for what unearthly monetary reason would we ever sell Ultimate skins at a discount on release. Read any case or text on pricing, and you'll see that skimming is the dominant strategy. By skimming, we charge as high as possible, get as many sales as we can, and slowly lower the price until everyone has paid the most that they'd be willing to pay. We're just giving money away by releasing at a discount. And we know this for a fact. But we do it because it's a gift to you guys. And because we think it makes our game cooler. PFE was just so ****ing awesome that we wanted as many people to be able to get him as we could, so they would be happy and so people would get more opportunity to interact with this awesome piece of content. Again, we did this by purposely losing money."
He continued:
"Okay I'm not going to keep arguing this point with you guys, because it's not going to get far, but I'm not referring to sales discounts. Sales discounts are great. That's what that article says and it's the truth. I'm talking about discounts on product release. It's a terrible pricing strategy for profit across the board. I'm not saying a lower overall price point for one product or another isn't better. I'm not saying that discounts aren't good ways to make profit because they are. I'm saying that discounting a product on release will lose you money compared to releasing at full price and then discounting. Basic demand curves show this. And this is what we do."

He continued, sharing an example of creating value between Riot and players:
"So there is also such a thing as creating value.

Imagine us in an auction house. We both want to buy a rare egg; only one of it exists in the world. The egg will go for $1,000,000. I need the egg because it can be used to cure my mother's disease. You need the egg because it can be used to cure your father's disease. We are both willing to pay $1,000,000 for this egg, cause that's all we have. There is one scenario where I end up with $0 and the egg and a healthy mom, and one scenario where you end up with $0 and the egg and a healthy dad. Only one of our parents will survive, right? It sounds like we have really competing goals, right?

But what if the egg's yolk cures my mom's disease and the egg's shell cures your dad's? We can now end up in a scenario where we each end up with $500K, the part of the egg we need, and a healthy parent. We've just created a ton of value. By communicating, we figured out that we don't really have competing goals. We could actually work together to achieve a result EVEN BETTER than one we could have done alone. Even when we seemed against each other.

This is what we can do, Riot and players. You guys want to have the best game ever, in our understanding. We know that. We, as a company, want to continue to exist to make awesome games. Part of that requires financing. People don't like spending money. These seem like conflicting goals.

Our theory is that if we can get you what you want, then the money will follow and we'll be able to continue existing. Sometimes getting you what you want requires leaving money on the table. We do this, and we do it more than you know and more than I could ever tell you (and I don't care if you don't believe me here, it's the truth). We feel that with this strategy we will be able to create value, and by giving you things, we actually benefit as well. It's just like if I gave you the egg shell you needed. Everybody can win.

So yes, when we're being "nice," we ARE being nice. You don't have to lose at all. But that doesn't mean it doesn't also benefit us."
"We are running a business for profit. And we are nice because we don't run it for MORE of a profit. I don't think it's a poor argument. I think none of the world is black and white. Profit or not profit. There are better and worse ways and amounts. I suppose we have to agree to disagree here."

Community: Forums, Reddit, and Community Beta

WookieeCookie, a Player Support Lead / Player Behavior, commented in a thread begging for a "real talk" about the communities that Rioters interact with summoners - particularly on the general boards, reddit, and the new community beta.
"Want to real talk it up?

I think both Reddit and our General Discussion forums have their ups and downs. It's a bit sensationalist to say that Rioters don't post on General Discussion forums anymore about the game or anything relevant to game design, riot initiatives, etc etc.

A quick look at the Dev Tracker will show that it's quite the opposite.

Our forums are the best way to get to our core fans, but they are also incredibly dated and lacking essential features from keeping the community stagnating. That's really the core reason behind our new forums that we're working on. It's really unfair that we don't care about criticism of the new forums and we're just going to shove them out half-ass because the team behind it is actually working hard every day taking into account feedback and criticisms from the community. It would be silly of us to invest so hard in a new set of forums only to have no one use them. If we didn't care, we would have released the forums as is 6 months ago.

Another downside to our general discussion forums is that a vocal minority can hijack the "topic" of the day by re-posting the same kind of post over and over again. Unfortunately these players often have multiple level 5's that allow them to upvote, reply, or re-post that topic over and over again. Most of these threads are what I would consider "low-effort". To be blunt, they are simply not worth responding too because they are either mindless insults, or low quality criticism of a feature or champion. The system of Reddit is pretty cool because these "low-effort" posts are filtered out by the community itself. Users get to decide what's worthy of the front page, not the guy with 20 smurf accounts trying to complain about how stupid OP riven is and is literally only played by bronzie nobos, or the guy who really wants to show his Zac hentai porn with all of the community to see.

This isn't really about censorship. We see quite a few negative threads on Reddit about League of Legends and Riot all the time. Threads hit the front page all the time which call us out on missing features (replays where?); they criticize some terrible mistakes like the recent Esports contract (hearthstone where?), or poor customer support (beep boop robots).

These are all fair and just criticisms and we see them a lot on our own forums here as well. But the difference is that the post which makes the front page of reddit are often of a much higher quality then what we find on our own forums. That's not because the posters here are less valued, or less talented with feedback. It's because the room here is so much louder with low effort posters and threads being thrown around. Trying to get your really cool post full of awesome criticism or feedback to stand out in our forums is very difficult here because there are a bunch of other posters who would rather post off topic nonsense like porn, sexy pictures of girls, talk about their bathroom habits, dating advice, anime, complain about girl gamers, call out bronze players, call a champion terribad without actually contributing suggestions, etc etc.

Again, I'm not trying to lay the blame on our quality members here. And if you are, feel free to call me out on it! This is our failing, and our own forum's failings for not providing you guys to get your awesome threads to stand out among all the lame posts.

The other truth here, is that many Rioters are reluctant to post as much as they used to because some among the community can be vicious. Unfortunately there is a correlation between some of our most vicious players and their ability of free time to post on smurfs to try and derail threads or start off topic conversations. So when someone wants you to know how stupid/terrible they think you are they can take advantage of our poor forums to stand out and get their voice heard. Where as in a system like Reddit's players who are particularly vicious and unproductive are either ignored, or downvoted while constructive contributions are upvoted to the top to be responded to.

I'm not sure if this really gets to the heart of the matter here but I don't want you guys to feel ignored. I'll be checking the thread for feedback so feel free to let me know what you think."
He continued:

A quick look at Reddit will tell you that every single one of those "features" leads to a community stagnating. 
Respectfully, I don't really agree. The format of Reddit prevents a small group of users from re-bumping the same thread over and over again to try and control conversation for everyone else. In order for a reddit thread to stay relevant and come to the front page it needs to be bought in by the majority of the community, not the user who has all day to reply to their own thread on multiple smurfs.

How do you plan to combat the common situation of the top (and only visible) comments becoming short quips and witty memes as seen on similar comment rating formats (using the comments on this website's news section as an example)
I can't speak for the Dev team here, but I can give you my own opinions. First, I completely agree with your criticisms of Reddit.

I absolutely hate low-effort content, replies, memes and stupid puns you find on default subreddits that gets voted to the top of a thread. "OMG DID ANYONE SEE THIS LE GEM OF QUOTE BY NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON WHICH PROVES THAT X VIDEO GAME PUBLISHER IS LITERALLY HITLER?" 
The default subreddits on Reddit are some of the worst places to go to for informed conversation on anything you truly love, and we should all do our best to avoid having our own forums turn into them. One thing we have, which defaults on reddit lack is the backing of passionate employees who care about the subject matter at hand. If low effort content, puns, and memes is being upvoted to the top of the thread, then Rioters here are not doing their job responding and commenting to worthwhile conversations to highlight their value for everyone else.

I'm not sure how familiar you are with Reddit, but when I think of the value of Reddit I don't think of a subforum like r/askreddit or r/funny I think of more qualitive subreddits like r/askhistorians which have a lot more moderator interaction. r/askhistorians is an extreme example because they have very strict moderation, but in my opinion it's a good step forward to having constructive feedback and discussions on Reddit compared to the more lax subreddits."
He continued, responding to more comments:

My vote is to have a sort of bicameral forum 
One uses the GD system, one uses the Reddit system 
The Reddit style will provide an easy to read, positive place 
The GD style will provide the untamed jungle, but it has the raw feedback of the gamers, so if you sift throught it with a thick skin you'll learn more than from the Reddit style. 
As a fun experiment I've debated what would happen if we created a new forum for the kind of low-effort untamed jungle threads some of our players like on GD, and then restricting General Discussion to level 30 accounts with stricter penalties for abusing moderation guidelines. It's just a thought experiment for now though, I'm not sure that the community in GD would be prepared for... that level of moderation.


Can't gd be as equally good if we have some moderation actually applied in to it?
currently the reason Gd is in its current state is back it lacks proper moderation that it needs. 
this is why you see all this hentai threads/omg wtf threads rather than constructive feedback 
Reddit is effective because they have a set rules that actually enforced rather than GD where mods takes 5 days to locate the porn thread that has been around. 
When a champion becomes stale or not working as intended you guys bring it up to date by reworking it not throw it out in the trash. This place would be and can be a lot better if some effort is put in to it 
I think you and some of the other posters here make a good point about moderation. It's something that we could do better, even if we had new forums. But one thing to not understimate is the size of the community here on our Forums. While I personally would love to see us re-evaluate our moderation methods the forums here are HUGE.

And right now, without greatly expanding the size of our moderation staff there is no way we would be able to successfully moderate the forums as they are currently. There are some tweaks we could do here and there I think. Take for example, my thought experiment up above. But we have to balance that with staffing needs and priorities vs other projects in the works too.
Again, that's one of the reasons we're spending time on the new forums. Essentially our current foundation is terrible to build upon, and the team is looking for ways to create a new one from scratch which will give us a lot more power in the future. Having better tools will allow us to do a lot more without needing an entire department devoted to cleansing the forums of that riven thread with the carrots that keeps getting posted.


That's why I hate Reddit and have low expectations for the new forums. 
Wookie, what are your thoughts on the #1 thread on the Community Beta being about how we do not enjoy the new forum format? I mean, if the whole idea is to allow for the good ideas to rise to the top, why hasn't this been addressed yet?
Milan Mane and Flytrap you both bring up another excellent point about the downsides of the reddit system. A subforum where everyone is just agreeing with each other is terrible and uninformative. r/politics and r/atheism immediately come to mind. I don't really agree that all of Reddit is like that though. A big part of preventing that lies with the community within the forum and the interactions by people running the forums with everyone else. 
Take r/leagueoflegends for example. A lot of you seem to think that it's just an echo chamber of positive Riot circlejerking. And perhaps we here at Riot are just being a bit too sensitive here, but we see negative posts on the front page all the time. We like negative posts when they are constructive because they provide us with real feedback that low effort posting doesn't.

On a similar note, I feel like the link you provided feeds into my point. It's a highly negative and critical post about the new forums which is not buried among useless threads, or being bumped endlessly with spam. It stands out for it's merit and it's well thought out construction, not it's memes or lame puns or sexualized pictures. And most importantly, it's being read by people at Riot. I don't feel like it's evidence at all that the new system would bury constrictive and valid criticism."
and, finally:

Yes I do, but do you really want to? I doubt it. 
I can solve your "Vocal Minority" problem - albeit that is a very...subjective and tenuous word considering the historical examples in which the word proves to be based on silencing the minority for the benefit of a majority i.e. White slave owners told blacks to stay quiet and they were just the vocal minority complaining about nothing. 
I get it. You're passionate about this topic. But... really bro? The plight of the GD Community is similar to that of American Slaves in the 1800's? I mean, do you even history?
I think you bring up a good point later in your post, but this is the kind of over reaction that will make Rioters ignore you.


Is it possible to give restrictions to accounts that are only at level 5 and ease up on said restrictions as they attain higher levels. 
For example at level 5 you can do all basic features except creating X amount of threads every Y minutes. 
As you play more of the game and eventually level up ease up on the amount of thread creations you can do. 
As it stands right now people can have an army of accounts with the sole purposes of bombing GD with useless threads. At least with a cap on the amount of threads you can make in a certain amount of time they wont be able to flood with front page with "Raise your dongers, 1000 RP or we Riot, Poppy to stronk nerf please, etc". 
MeowmixWarrior, I think you and a lot of other posters are all on the same page because this has been brought up a lot. Why not place restrictions on accounts? Why not bring the hammer down? 
We can and can't do this. I would love the ability to mute people. To place restrictions on their posting ability dependent on their level in game, to track someones disciplinary history quickly and efficiently to identify and remove troll posters etc etc. But this comes back to that foundation argument about our current forums. We can't do that right now. It's terrible because it limits a lot of cool abilities we would love to have. A lot of you are probably tired of hearing that; but it's true. The good news is we're doing something about it with our new forums. I'm not trying to sell you on the new forums as they are now, I'm trying to highlight the big reason we're looking forward to them: a new foundation to work off of. 
But, you and a lot of other posters have mentioned raising the level cap to 30 to post on GD. Could we do this? Easily, but there is still discussion on whether this would hurt more than help. 
By raising the level cap to 30 we would be pushing out a lot of level 5 smurfs from creating low effort posts. Players would also begin to value their level 30 accounts more because once their posting privileges are gone, they would be effectively locked out of participation. 
On the downside, would we be directly encouraging players to troll their way to 30 for the lolz? Remember they don't actually care about their account, they just want the funny name and ability to post on the forums. For some users getting to level 30 is a daunting task, for others they wouldn't break a sweat if it meant they could get a quick troll off.
Another downside, are we excluding newer players from participating and providing feedback?  
Perhaps this isn't as relevant a point as it would have been 2 years ago. The player base has matured and a lot of players posting have been around for awhile and have level 30s. But it's still a concern people within Riot would have.
Another, if we raised the level cap to 30 would the low effort posters just ruin the other sub-forums instead? 
If we raised the level cap to 30 would we be locking out players with main's on other regions that sometimes want to participate on NA? 
I don't want to make it seem like I'm saying NO. I'm actually in favor of raising the level in general. But a lot of these are not as simple as let's do this, let's not do this. And like the community at large, a lot of people in Riot have different opinions on the best way to tackle this problem.

And in the end? Why not both? Hate to sound like a repeating record here, but there are a lot more options our new forums will provide us to handle these issues."

Over on the actual community beta site, Pendragon commented on a few concerns:
There are a few issues at play here and I think each warrants a different solution to some extent.

A high volume discussion doesn't earn a place on the home page if it's controversial

I think the right way to address this is actually to just factor more than just upvotes, downvotes and time into how we sort things. We want the default homepage view to be a list of relevant and interesting topics to whoever is viewing the page, (which could mean that the home page is different to some extent for every person. We definitely want to build a more sophisticated sorting model that could help with this.

If I don't post circlejerky nonsense then nobody will see my post

I think that right now this isn't a problem because there isn't a enough content for some to be "never seen". in the future I think the way this gets solved is varying contexts where in the right context any content can be relevant and highly viewed. If you use reddit as a comparison which a lot of people seem to be doing - you can't just look at /r/leagueoflegends but instead at reddit in its entirety. The #1 post on the LoL subreddit is about streamers crushing low elo players. In the context of LoL it's the most important topic, but on all of Reddit it doesn't break the top 200. I think our plan for this community platform is that there are eventually tons and tons of different communities each with their own cultures, rules, and moderation styles. If your content is not relevant one place, maybe it will be somewhere else.

He continued:
" Quote: 1) That would be fine, and I would be totally down with that. How would you do that, then? It's great to say 'we'd like more then just these few things to be important' but what else could you add to it? Number of times seen? Number of posts? That might solve that problem, but it opens up the additional problem of 'how do new threads get seen?' 
We're having the same folks work on this problem who work on lots of other complex data model problems at Riot, and over time I think we'll get better and better. I'd love to get to a place where you genuinely want to read every single thread on your front page, and hopefully the people who are smarter than me can work with you guys to figure out what that means.

Quote: 2) That's fine, I guess, but if a community in, say, champion balance forms of support mains who hate 'glory hogging adcs' then people who post 'hey, maybe adcs are too weak' will get downvoted while a bunch of 'adcs are op, nerf' will get upvoted. And maybe one or the other is right, but it'd have nothing to do with how well the arguments are made, simply what arguments are made. 
One idea we're considering is that people can make their own communities and moderate them however they choose. That would mean that if you don't like the one that exists, you can just make your own with better rules.

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