Red Post Collection: European Service Update, Rise of the Dragonslayers, and more!

Posted on at 2:11 PM by Moobeat
This afternoon's red post collection features Errigal with a EU Service Update regarding the Amsterdam data center and recent DDoS attacks, the "Rise of the Dragonslayers" skin preview, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

European Service Update

Errigal, the managing director for EU, has posted a European Service update, touching on DDoS issues and  the long awaited Amsterdam date center.
Today I‘d like to give you some context around recent DDoS trends affecting EUW and other LoL territories. If you want to learn more then be sure to check out this post - drophacks are mainly used to take down single games or individual game servers. Relatively few players used this exploit, but worst offenders dropped multiple games. We won’t tolerate anyone seeking unfair advantage and have permanently banned most of the accounts involved. We’ve also built an automatic monitoring system that will help identify further abuse. To reiterate, drophacking is a permaban offence. 
At the same time, our game developers and engineers (Security, Networks and Systems) are working to prevent this exploit. We’re adding additional security checks on our devices and we have also implemented some regional restrictions. Many attacks on our platform and game servers came from outside Europe and we decided to limit the traffic from certain regions. This should not negatively impact your experience, and it should lessen reconnects and in-game lag. 
Something a lot of you have been asking for is improved Loss Prevention. We’ve made some changes that will trigger this automatically on given game servers any time pre-defined thresholds are met. This won’t be perfect, but it should make the whole process a lot smoother. 
You’ve also been asking about Amsterdam: I’m happy to say the datacenter is built and configured and we’re now in the final testing phase. We were aiming our original launch for the end of March, but the bad news is we ran into issues during load testing which took some time to fix. The issue was with a message queue on our game platform; this stopped us from reaching load test goals and slowed us down. However, the good news is that this is now fixed. As a result, we were able to reduce extra latency in our platform message queues which translated into improved performance. Regarding timelines, we gave an estimate of March before, which we missed, and this solution needs to be properly tested so we don’t want to give a solid date.

Finally, even with the improved security and infrastructure mentioned above, DDoS attacks are a reality. For every solution we come up with, attackers also evolve. This is an ongoing worldwide trend but we're absolutely doing our best to minimise the impact to you."

Rise of the Dragonslayers 

A teaser, for Dragonslayer Braum and the upcoming Dragonslayer Pantheon skin, titled "Rise of the Dragonslayers", has been posted! The short story features a tale of a city being sieged by ferocious dragons and the two brave men that stepped up to defend them.
"They arrived at sundown. Five of them. The attack was methodical, brutal. The keep’s defenses were useless. For an hour, the sky rained fire. 
There aren’t enough survivors to tally our losses. 
Before we fled, I examined a section of the south wall, liquefied by the dragon’s breath. No stone could have withstood that heat. Could anything? 
I had never witnessed a dragon before today. Now, I see nothing else.

The dragons didn’t want the city. They wanted us. 
We fled through the melted stonework, but an old one hunted us. When all seemed lost, two extraordinary men came to our defense. Their valor bought us time to escape, but even they could not leave unscathed. 
If men like these cannot defeat these beasts, we are truly lost.

The dragon tracked us down. 
This time, the heroes were prepared. One distracted the beast while the other waited high above. From a cliff’s edge, he dove upon the creature. His spear was true. 
We studied the thing hoping to find a weakness. Instead, we took its strength. The scales are more resilient than any material I have ever known. They remain cool even when put directly to the flame. 
With its hide, I will armor our heroes. 
We may now stand a chance, but to wage a war, we will need more scales. And those with the courage to wear them."

Riot's stance on LoLCamera Mod

Due to recent policy changes regarding third party mods, the popular LoLCamera mod, which aims to create a third camera option between unlocked and lock, has been deemed not compliant with Riot's policies.

Here's Riot Sargonas breaking the news:
"Hey all! Sorry for jumping in on this thread so late! 
First off, I wanted to say this app, as it is, is pretty slick. Some great development work on it. That being said, sadly it is not compliant with our policy. As others stated above, the core expectation is that nothing can interfere with the players experience from Play to end of game, and this unfortunately does just that. While we can appreciate the work you've put into this, it is sadly not something we can condone, and I have to officially advise players to avoid using it at this time.

If you want to work on other great stuff for League however, I'd be more than happy to chat with you more over on the developer forums at about ideas you might have, and how to make them fit in with our philosophies. You definitely know your stuff, and I'd love to see that skill channeled into something players can use!"

Over on reddit, the Spl3en, the creator of the mod,  posted up a few examples of the program and gave a humble farewell to the project.

 ( Examples of LoLCamera #1 and #2 )

Boourns, a UI designer at Riot, also popped into the thread to chat about LoLCamera:
"Thanks so much for all the work you (and the other folks involved) have put into LoLCamera. I have a lot of empathy for the pain that players who use locked camera feel. I've talked to many people about improving that experience and would love to work on this feature, but the truth is that there are so many worthwhile things that we can focus our time on and only so many teams that we have. It breaks my heart when I read posts from our players about this, but I also see how exciting and impactful the other things we're working on are. For example, the new player features my team is working on have the potential to really help a lot of our new players. When I see new players in our player research labs having problems knowing whether to right or left click to attack (this is a really common problem when you start!), I see that there's so much we can do to improve the experience of someone starting our game for the first time. I know that's not very comforting, but rest assured you still have a someone inside Riot trying to find the right time and place to work on this. 
To address a post further down: We actually do have people working on small wins (e.g. the game clarity team and their changes to minion aggro, health bars, etc). Others have posted about this in the past, but creating and shipping features for an international service is a lot harder than the average person would suspect. We have to consider audiences with different languages, cultures, etc. Making the right features that  can span so many different groups is always a challenge.
Thanks again for taking the time to try to improve the lives of locked camera players, I really appreciate it when our community is so passionate about the game. I'm sorry you ended up running afoul of the new 3rd part mod policy."

He continued, responding to someone commenting that Riot will never fix the issue with the camera system:
"Hardly so, many people care about this problem and would love to see it fixed. However, we also see how valuable the things we're working on are to our players. Within our disciplines we're all trying to work on the most important and impactful things for our players (I'm not going to try to fix a champion balance issue, for example). It's one of the hardest things we do here, we know we can't do everything so we try our best to choose the best features we can to work on for you."
boourns also replied to one of the other users behind LoLCamera, discussing the implementation and coding of the mod:
"Thanks so much for your work on this, and for having the source be open. Having concrete examples really helps the conversations happen. 
I can see how this implementation is pretty straightforward. I tried to evaluate it on a clean machine in-house before, but couldn't get it work. One of the challenges is that this is a good approximate solution, but we wouldn't want people to have to try to find the right weightings to get the right balance for them. Also depending on the situation the "ideal" weightings probably change from moment to moment. The spectator directed camera is good for spectating, but not necessarily for playing (it also has "future" information on what happens because of the spectator delay, so it can actually position the camera based on what it knows will happen). I think to make it a general purpose solution we'd have to do a lot of experimentation to find the right weighting. 
However, my intuition is that we would want to do a semi-locked camera that still let you manipulate your view, but keeps it locked to your champion and doesn't let you move your champion off screen. If we did that we'd have to find a good feeling way to manipulate the camera as well. 
I don't think the actual coding is tremendously difficult, I think getting it to feel right is where a lot of the work lies and a lot of the hidden polish that might come up in that. For example, the smart pings system seems pretty straightforward and natural, but there is actually a bunch of stuff under the hood to make it "feel" right and select the right thing (or cancel) when you do very rapid movements or very slow movements."

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