Red Post Collection: Lunar Revel ends soon, Skarner & Xerath reworks, Changes on the way for Jinx & Kha'Zix, and more!

Posted on at 2:36 AM by Moobeat
While we wait on patch 4.2, let's enjoy a nice selection of red posts! This morning's red post collection feature a reminder that the Lunar Revel ends at 16:00 PST on Feb 11th, a few comments on both the Skarner and Xerath rework now that they are headed to live, ZenonTheStoic commenting changes are in the works for Jinx and Kha'Zix, context on some of the PBE-only systems, and much, much more!
Continue reading for more information!

Recent News

Lunar Revel ends at 16:00 PST on Feb 11th!

Here's a reminder that the Lunar Revel ends on Feb 11th at 16:00 PST - be sure to earn your icons and purchase Dragonblade Riven or Warring Kingdoms Tryndamere, and pick up any ward skins you may want before it's too late!
"At 16:00 PST on February 11, the Lunar Revel event will end. One day remains to call upon your allies to vote for the warrior’s path you want your region to walk in the new year. If you haven’t had a chance to vote, there’s still time to make sure your voice is heard. Head to the Lunar Revel experience now to cast your vote! 
As a reminder with the event ending, there’s only one more day to earn the 2014 Lunar Revel summoner icons. Also, while Lunar Goddess Diana will remain available in the store, we’re locking Warring Kingdoms Tryndamere and Dragonblade Riven away in the Legacy vault for when Lunar Revel returns. 
Don’t miss your chance to vote for your region’s path, nab the wards and skins you want and earn your favorite summoner icons! We’ll see you on the battlefield."

Changes for Kha'Zix and Jinx not ready for 4.2

In response to some frustration over patch 4.2's lack of Jinx and Kha'Zix balance changes, ZenonTheStoic commented:
"We're working on changes for both Jinx and Kha'Zix, but they weren't ready in time for 4.2. Sorry!"

Skarner Rework

Patch 4.2 includes a rework to Skarner and some players are a bit concerned if this will be a "nerf" or a "buff to his kit.

Riot Scruffy, the designer behind the work, commented:
"To be clear, Reworks are never intended to nerf or buff characters. The goals is to improve the mechanics of the character and create more rich gameplay/counterplay for the game overall. If post Rework Skarner is not balanced, we can follow up with some power tweaks to bring him in like.

PS - Skarner loves spirit stone <3"

Xerath Rework

Likewise, Xerath's rework is also included in 4.2.  ZenonTheStoic also popped on the forums to address player concerns about the rework being a "buff or nerf" Xerath and the changes to his playstyle.
We don't do reworks based on pick, ban, or win rates. Prioritizing work based on numbers alone would be rather silly.

We do reworks when champions have a play pattern that, while sometimes fun for the player playing as the champion, is very hard to balance in the playing against case. Case in point, Xerath: a good player on Xerath could stun an enemy and kill them before the stun wore off late game with some reliability. Tweaking numbers on a kit like that means that you either HAVE access to the 100 to 0 play pattern or you don't, and when you don't you feel bad because you don't do all that much else. 
Secondarily, sometimes our older champions don't deliver as well on their gameplay fantasy as they could. Again, Xerath: he's supposed to be this incredibly skillful magic sniper, but he gets armor so he cares less about keeping his distance than other squishy mages, and he gets spell pen so he doesn't even have to fish for those hard to hit squishy kills in the enemy back line.

There's a longer devblog coming but this is the TL;DR of why we picked Xerath for a rework. I hope you'll give the new Xerath a try."

Updated Patch Note Layout

RiotAether is currently looking for feedback on the new and improved patch note layout!
"You guys have probably noticed that the Patch 4.2 Notes look significantly different from our previous releases (4.1 Notes for comparison). We've changed a lot, particularly in how we handle balance changes. 
The team (myself, RiotPwyff, MoltovCarrot and Azrael) would love to get your thoughts on the revamp and where we still have room for improvement. Feel free to get super granular and super specific - we've been going through the changes with a fine-toothed comb, so you won't lose us in the details. 
And for those of you who can't quite put your finger on what about the change you like or dislike, I've added a basic poll so you can still let us know how you feel overall."
Head on over to the community site beta and let them know what you think!

[ Lore ] Summoners vs Champions during a crisis.

In a chain of tweets,  Christina "kitae" Norman, Lead Designer, responded to the question "With the possibility of a global freeze or Void invasion on the horizon would summoners be able to stop the events from unfolding?"
"I would say you want to look at good story principles there. To tell exciting stories we need serious threats. 
we are developing several serious potential threats to Valoran, we want to focus our stories on champions 
if you look at super hero stories usually they are about a few heroes facing a terrible threat 
superman doesn't always save the day, so when we explore threats it makes sense that we will want champions to 
play a key role. That doesn't mean that other power groups in Valoran won't be involved, but if Runeterra 
is threatened, and powerful forces clash, champions will be key to determining the out come 
the cool thing is we have champions on all sides so this isn't a simple champions are good guys thing"

Speed of PBE Deployment

Riot Feithen commented on the PBE's frequent downtimes for daily updates.
""Riot just changes stuff whenever they want"

So cruel! It is true, though, that we push out content really quickly. We like to keep the PBE as close to our internal development as humanly possible, meaning you get changes fresh off the keyboard. It allows us to very quickly determine if something is broken, get good coverage on our bug fixes, and ensure you guys aren't reporting bugs we already know about (and may have already fixed).

The side effect is... you get changes fresh off the keyboard! And if that includes a bug, then we might need to disable champions, skins, game modes, or items to try and keep the service up. It also means we can patch out at weird hours of the day or night. Which is why I'm here now. :)

Ultimately we want you to be looking at exactly what we're looking at."

[ Updated ] Summary of PBE Leveling, IP/RP, and Pricing Updates

While the original posted was covered a few days ago, Riot Aether has made some serious updates explaining the PBE leveling process, IP/RP, and pricing updates on the PBE. Check it out:
"Wanted to give you guys some more information about why we made these changes. In sections:
On removing the RP/IP stipend
  • The weekly stipend was conceived as a way to allow testers to continue to access new content as it was released - keep in mind this was back when our content cadence was much faster.
  • The stipend was never intended to be a salary or form of payment. It was chosen so we could avoid confusing players over setting PBE prices at different levels than live. Given the increase in communication by the ecommerce team over the past year+, this is less of a concern today.
  • This isn't because we want you to spend real money on RP instead - as always, RP purchases remain disabled on the PBE.

Why we don't unlock all content for testers
  • Just as most players don't play every single champion (or skin) on live, we don't expect that PBE testers are going to play every single champion (or skin) on the PBE. The new Champion starter bundle and initial 40,000 RP/100,000 IP is enough to establish a content base on top of new content to be tested, which will be available for 1 IP.
  • The PBE isn't meant to be a trophy case where testers have every skin. "Previewing" content is a side effect of the testing process but has unfortunately become the main appeal of the PBE for some testers.
  • Skins are fundamentally different than champions since they can't be earned through IP, nor can they be temporarily accessed through the weekly Free to Play rotation. This is why we’re alright with offering a champion starter bundle but not an all-the-skins bundle.
  • If we determine that we need to go back and test old content (the legacy Snowdown skins, for example) we'll temporarily drop their price as well.
  • From a technical end, Runes are freaking weird. They don't play well with bundle tech, hence the multiple-purchase problem, and we aren't able to auto-add runes to accounts in the same way that we can auto-level new testers to 30.

Why we don’t create a redesigned PBE economy
  • We want to keep the PBE as similar as possible to our live environments for accurate testing purposes - every change we have to suppress from live with each patch is another opportunity for a bug to slip through the cracks.
  • So not only would we need to justify the development resources to create these tools (versus something that can be used by all players), we would also need to justify creating stability risks by making the PBE even more different from live than it already is.
We know that for longterm testers this is a tough pill to swallow, but one of the stickiest PBE perception problems has been the notion that the PBE is the place to go if you want free stuff. This leads to a lot of other problems such as increased tendency to dodge, AFK, or refuse to communicate. Hopefully over time the reasons behind these changes become a bit clearer.
We'll let you know if these systems change again in the future. Thanks guys,"

Pywff on Replay Holdup

In a reddit discussion thread about the removal of the lore tab in patch 4.2, Pwyff offered a lighthearted explanation of what's holding up the release of the replay system - which has been on the PBE for nearly a year now.
"Off the record (lol) my understanding is that replays are still in the garage. The way someone explained it to me (analogously): 
Under the regular strain of games we're still trying to keep up with our load demands (buying equipment fresh out of the factory, moving to bigger data centers, etc). Adding a replay system where players could get all of that information on their game would exponentially multiply our traffic. If the feature proves popular, you're essentially playing the game once for 10 people, then playing it again for all 10 people individually as they download all of the information of the game. 
Very loose analogy, but when you get to our levels of scope you hit some pretty weird situations that most haven't considered. It's like saying "this recipe makes pie for 20" and everyone's like YEAAAAH THAT'S A LOT OF PIE. But imagine if you're making pie for 1,000 people. Now you're like "JUST TAKE THE RECIPE MAKE IT x50 RIGHT," but then everyone's like "BUT WHAT KIND OF OVEN CAN TAKE THIS!?" and then electricity comes into play and pie tins of incredible scope and even finding fresh filling to fill all these pies and it's complicated man."
 He continued:
"If I had any insight into how our game is engineered I'd maybe be able to illuminate that, but I can say that's probably something that's been considered and maybe dismissed for other reasons. The TLDR here is we got a huge scope thing to create and we're trying to solve it. 

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