Red Post Collection: Riot's Stance on 3rd Party Mods, Poro Community Creations, and more!

Posted on at 3:51 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection features Sargonas with an update on Riot's stance on 3rd Party mods and Curse Voice, a heads up that the Reply UI is temporarily being removed from the PBE, Fearless with more discussion on Sona, a round up of the communities best poro related creations, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Recent News

Riot's Stance on 3rd Party Mods ( and Curse Voice )

After much discussion ,   Riot Sargonas has posted an update ( including a summary at the bottom ) regarding Riot's stance on 3rd party mods, such as Curse Voice.
"Hey everyone,

We wanted to give you an update on our stance on third-party mods, since it’s been an ongoing subject of discussion and debate in recent weeks. (If you just want a TL,DR then hit the bottom).

Here’s how we look at things:

1. Our top priority is to preserve the consistency of the in-game player experience.

League’s a competitive game, and it’s critical that players have a level playing field. We’ve definitely heard your passion on this point and we agree.

It’s also important that the game experience you get when you download League of Legends is the complete experience - you shouldn’t have to go digging for other apps and addons just to stay competitive.

Finally, it’s important that the games you play are stable and secure. If any third party can potentially affect the stability of the core League experience, we’ll always act in the best interest of all players.

2. We strive to make League of Legends the most sportsmanlike competitive game.

Programs or applications that warp your first interactions with other players have a direct impact on the sportsmanship of the game, and everyone deserves a fair first handshake.

3. We want the community to be empowered to contribute to the League of Legends experience (as long as it doesn’t clash with the above!).

There are a bunch of awesome resources out there for the League community: websites that have champion guides, stats, videos, fan art, wikis, mobile apps – you name it. We like that, and we think these resources are responsible for tons of growth and nurturing in the League community.

Riot’s Policy on Third-Party Apps

With the above points in mind, we’ve recognized that our existing policy on third-party apps needs an adjustment. Currently we’re just too ambiguous in some areas (what constitutes an “unauthorized” app?), and too restrictive in others.

So here’s our clarification - we’re still working on properly wording it for a potential TOU update, but we wanted to share it with you as soon as we had a clear direction:

No software should interfere with the League of Legends player experience between when you press “Play” and the end of game screen.

This policy allows for all the cool stuff we mentioned before, like websites and apps that don’t interfere with or grab data from the player’s actual game client. This also allows us to explicitly disallow anything that directly integrates in between the in-game experience and after-game stats.

We think this is a hell of a lot closer to an ideal policy, but we don’t think it’s completely locked down. We are taking a hard stance that nothing should interfere between pre-game and post-game, but we’re always open to improving the player experience.

The Riot Games API

Part of of this plan will be continuing to focus on developing the Riot Games API, which is our official channel for the developer community to gain access to League of Legends data in a secure and reliable way. This is just part of our ongoing effort to respond to players' and developers' requests for data and to arm the community with more ways to contribute in a stable and healthy way.

To date, we’ve given out several hundred API keys to developers who are working on awesome stuff. If you’re a dev and want to contribute, visit to sign up and learn more.

So, what does this mean for Curse Voice?

Two elements of Curse Voice aren’t allowed under this new policy:

1. Automated timers: while our design team is still exploring whether we’d want to add any kind of built-in timers to League of Legends, we agree with many of you that having it accessible only through a third-party app is a clear competitive advantage between those who download it and those who do not, and isn’t acceptable.

2. Automated voice calls: We have no problem with players hopping on Curse Voice (or any other voice chat client) to coordinate with their friends in-game, but when the application begins directly connecting you with dozens of other people in unfiltered (and untrackable) voice chats, it can make for a huge negative player experience in a space where we can’t help.


A summary

Ultimately we recognize that our initial third party application policies were unclear, so we’re clarifying them in line with a few core philosophies:

1.) The League of Legends in-game experience should be consistent and fair.
2.) We strive to make League of Legends the most sportsmanlike competitive game.
3.) We want the community to be empowered to contribute to the League of Legends experience.

This has allowed us to formulate a more comprehensive policy for third party applications:

No software should interfere with the League of Legends player experience between when you press “Play” and the end of game screen.

We always want to improve League of Legends in the best ways possible, so this will be an ongoing project, but we think that as long as we adhere to our core philosophies, we can uphold this policy.


I’ll be hanging out in this thread to answer questions and hear your feedback and ideas. Hope this clears things up!

When asked if punishments are going to be handed out for players using the service right now, he commented:
"Fear not, we will not be going through and punishing anyone who used it in the past, or even 5 minutes after we posted this. This is just the first stage of messaging on the matter, and we will have more to come in the coming days next week as we update other points, like our TOU and other channels. In the meantime we will not be immediately punishing anyone as we make the policy clear, though we do encourage those using it to stop. The door always remains open for Curse to modify the app in ways that do not violate the above policy as well, at which point it would no longer be a concern."

In response to criticism that the decision was only made due to people "whining on reddit", he noted:
"I can rest assure you, we don't make player-wide affecting changes based on just Reddit sentiment along. ;) (Though we do value their input!) This has taken the time that it has because we've been hard at work discussing things internally, and making sure the steps we take are the right ones for all players. When doing that, this is something that requires time and careful thought to make sure people from all parts of Riot and various areas of expertise get a chance to come together and discuss things fully."

As for if this pertains to LoLReplay, he replied:
"LoLReplay pulls from the spectator data, which is something separate in our context from the client. When we draft the more "formal" wording of the policy in the coming days it should help clarify this."

When asked about using a mobile phone app to time buffs or objectives, Sargonas replied:
"Mobile apps live "outside" the context we described of the game client experience from "play" to "end game" above. Obviously they are *used* in this time frame, but they do not interact directly with the client during this time. We consider this to be beyond the scope of our policy. (Also, we would look pretty silly if we tried to tell you what you could and could not do with your cell phone while playing our game on a PC! ;) )"

He also replied to someone asking if any of these sort of features offered by 3rd party apps could make it into the game officially.
"In one of the older threads, Ghostcrawler himself dropped by to shed some light on that fact. he said the design team indeed is taking a long hard look at the possibility of adding in these timers as well. He agreed it had some potential Quality of Life improvements. The crux was the fact this benefit was only available to players who elected to download and install the app, and not those who did not. At that point there is a disparity we felt was detrimental to the experience."

PBE Client Test Code Cleanup & Update on Replays

Here's RiotAether with info on changes to the PBE's code which will sync it up more with what goes to live, which will result in the removal the replays menu .
"Hey testers, 
Today's deploy will prune out a lot of unused test code that's accumulated on the PBE version of the client to bring it more in line with what we ship to live each patch. This is an under-the-hood adjustment which shouldn't change much for you guys - basically, the patch will tell your computer "Hey, we aren't using these files any more." The main difference is that the Replays menu will be taking a leave of absence from the PBE client. 
WE ARE NOT CANCELLING REPLAYS! The big problem we're still facing is that we need to make sure every region worldwide has servers that can handle the strain before Replays can be released. Taking them offline for a while gives us a few more options to explore in terms of getting to where we need to be (such as adjustments to how our servers might need to interpret or access Replay data). You can expect Replays to return to the PBE further down the road when we're globally better positioned to support them. 
Keep an eye out for more information - when Replay testing resumes, we'll let you know here. 

[ Continued ] Let's Talk About Sona

Fearless  returned to his "Let's Talk About Sona" thread to reply to a fresh back of feedback  on how to improve the Maven of the Strings:
"There are a lot of points in this that I want to address.

One thing I don't understand is the mentality of "She's not broken, she's balanced, but we need to fix her anyway" 
"Fix" is actually kind of a loaded word in this context, but I do understand the trepidation at hearing a champ that you love is up for any sort of changes. The goal really is to make improvements here, not a drastic change to the kit. We're hoping to keep what you love about Sona, while making sure is as satisfying and clearly communicated as well as other supports in the game.

If people don't appreciate Sona, fine! I don't appreciate champs like Eve or Talon; I just don't like their playstyle. This does NOT mean that you need to fix them to make them more "satisfying" to me. 
Every champ is going to have a niche and, imo, you shouldn't shoehorn champs into appealing to other niche groups just because you can. 
Different uses of satisfying. We're not talking about changing the core of Sona's play style. If we commit to changes, Sona won't turn into a skill shot based burst mage. Sona already has a really cool identity, and we're going to make sure she stays that way.

Those who play Sona regularly appreciate what she brings to a fight. I really don't care if my carry doesn't because I know that I'm making an impact, and that the only reason why he survived that teamfight with 10 HP is because my heal did just enough and the extra Armor/MR aura made him take less damage. He feels strong, I feel useful. Everybody wins. Except the other team. F*** those guys. 
So please, other players and I really do appreciate Sona the way she is. She has just enough power and she's under-appreciated enough that she isn't FotM. Please don't take that away from us. 
One of the consistent points of feedback from this thread has been that many Sona players do recognize they have big impacts on allies and do save lives, but teammates don't see the impact. This means that Sona players are very likely to feel less impactful, even while having significant impacts. This is almost always a pretty big red flag when it comes to design. When an element of gameplay has significant impact and power, but still feels like **** when you use it, we've screwed up. In this case, we might have a great window to make this better.

Lastly, I just want to make sure you know that we are listening to the feedback, even if we don't agree on every detail of what makes Sona great and what players deserve to have improved. We are very mindful of how many players love Sona, and how each Sona player does love different subsets of what she does. Your feedback is shaping each and every change we consider."
He continued:
I am sure what people are concerned with here Reckless is that you guys sorta mishandled the Skarner rework, you seem to have the same thoughts as most of us do on the current Sona 
I really hope you show us something great in the future and am very optimistic about it, at this point I can't help but feel even if she does land in a very weak spot after the rework that it is much better then leaving her in a state where people over level 10 say "Oh, that boring champion"
Agreed that much of the concern is based off previous changes, and the perceptions they created. The cool thing is that the only way to make sure players react with optimism instead of anxiety is to do better each time and to communicate our goals and reasoning more effectively.

[ Continued ] Low Level Team Builder Experiment 

Speaking of returns, Lyte also continued to replied tofeedback on his Low Level Team Builder Experiment.

He kicked things why replying to a summoner upset that low level players no longer have an option of immediately queuing for TTL and Dominion, as they currently require level 10 to queue for while the experiment is running.
"Sorry for the delay, been a busy few days locking down some new features for Team Builder next patch that should greatly improve the queue times. The point wasn't to ignore Dominion players, it was just that it takes more time to give this response the attention it deserves.

There's a lot that's been brought up about Dominion, especially in the context of this experiment. There's a few things that we clearly agree with:

1) There's a playerbase of players that love Dominion and Twisted Treeline, and this experiment does make it much harder for them to bring new friends into the game and play their mode of choice.

2) All players should be treated equally.

However, the experiment is testing things that are more complicated and nuanced than just agreeing to those statements. I'm going to take a brief moment to talk about some psychology, and a pretty classic study that had to do with choosing jams. In this experiment, two tables were set up, one with 6 jams and one with 30 jams. Which table did you think performed better?

It turns out that when people are given an overwhelming amount of options, it's much harder to make a choice, and it could be less satisfying even when you do. Right now if you sign-up for League of Legends as a solo player and don't have any existing League of Legends friends, you quickly run into a situation where you face an overwhelming amount of choice--Howling Abyss, Dominion-Blind Pick, Dominion-Normal Draft, Summoner's Rift-Blind Pick, Summoner's Rift-Normal Draft, Co-op vs Bots, Twisted Treeline-Blind Pick, Team Builder, etc. There's too many choices, and we currently offer too little context on what the right choice might be for you.

But how do we figure out what's the right choice to offer a new player? How do we know which modes might be better first-time League of Legends experiences? How do we know if you would love Dominion or Summoner's Rift or Team Builder as your first League experience? These are the types of questions that we can answer through this experiment, and we think this experiment has huge implications on the new player experience.

Does this experiment screw up the ability for Dominion/Twisted Treeline players to invite new friends into the game and play their favorite game mode for now? Yes, and that sucks, and we apologize. However, experiments like this will help us figure out and better understand how much fun players have when they experience League of Legends in a different way than it was before--specifically, when they discover different queues in a different order. This experiment will also help us see what happens when a potential "Dominion-lover" plays Summoner's Rift first, then "discovers" Dominion. These are all important questions, and ones we think are worth answering. It's very possible that playing Co-op vs Bots first, then Summoner's Rift might be the most fun that players have. It's also possible that playing Team Builder, then Dominion creates the most number of Dominion-lovers which would help that community grow.

Let's give the experiment a chance. In 3 weeks, I'm happy to evaluate the results with the community and determine what worked and didn't worked."

He continued, responding to the comment "My problem is that with this experience you enforce that Summoner's Rift is THE mode."
"Well, to be fair, just because your experiences might be different doesn't mean it doesn't happen. 
We might be enforcing a mode right now, but if one mode turns out to be the better experience for brand new players by far... then should we not make sure players experience the best possible experience? I agree on it being a problem when a high-level player wants to invite a new friend into their new game mode and can't and we should solve that separately. But, for a brand new solo player, if we see that some mode is the best first experience in League, why wouldn't we set it as the option?

Again, I'm saying even if Dominion happens to be the best first-game experience, then should we not enforce it as the first experience?"

He continued, commenting again on the issue of brand new players not having a choice in what they can queue for outside of Team Builder and that Team Builder isn't friendly to new players who aren't aware of the meta.
"I want to address two specific points:

Yes, there isn't a choice in the experiment, but that's just for duration of the experiment.

Two, there's some assumptions about Team Builder that you are making that aren't true. One, the data already shows that Team Builder is actually a better (and smoother) new player experience than Summoner's Rift-Blind Pick. The new player might not know the meta, but who cares? Other low level players don't know the meta either, so they just try stuff (which is awesome, and it works for them and is fun). In the data, the new player has time to read all the champions they have, choose a position and role (and even if they don't understand the role, it doesn't really matter). This turns out to be a much better experience than entering a Summoner's Rift-Blind Pick game and having someone yell at you with "We need a jungle. WTF not a Marksman, we need a JUNGLER." In that scenario, players don't know what a jungler is, and it actually becomes a negative experience.

There's obviously some things we could do to make the low level Team Builder experience (like default some choices), but right now we're seeing time and time again new players are having an easier time in Team Builder than Dominion or Summoner's Rift-Blind Pick.

Secondly, when the experiment is over, we'll figure out next steps on how to get new players into Dominion or Twisted Treeline if that's why their friends want. Maybe the solution is allowing high level players to invite low levels into any type of game whether it's Team Builder or Dominion; but, if a player enters the game alone, we craft the best experience possible."

Poro Community Creations Round Up

Following "The Origin of Poros", Riot Preeti has returned to share some of the best poro related fan art the community has to offer!
"To celebrate the one year anniversary of the Howling Abyss, we’re sharing some of our most-loved poro community creations! Grab some Poro-Snax and cuddle up with our favorite tongue-wagging furballs as they dress up as League champions.

Spot some other adorable poro artwork prancing around the Rift? Clue us in to the cuteness in the comments below. If you want more poro love, scope out our Origin of Poros post for a glimpse of some original concept art and insights from the creators of the poro!"

CaptainLx also popped in to answer the question : "Do poro's inhabit all of Runeterra?"
"That's a great question. We haven't fleshed this out with our creative department, yet, but as someone deeply invested in the Poro lore and character I'd like to think that they have, at least, some relatives in other places. They have just not been discovered yet, since they might be more shy in nature. But should I ever get the opportunity again, I'd love to expand on that universe."

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