Red Post Collection: 6/20 Hotfix, Context on Maokai PBE Changes, Direction of Soraka rework, and much more!

Posted on at 3:03 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection features documentation of the recent hotfix to fix the Draven and Ardent Censer bugs, SmashGizmo with context on the PBE changes to Maokai, Vesh with a few comments on direction the future Soraka rework, more discussion on the Summoner's Rift update, Gypsylord clarifying this Diana comments from yesterday, and much more!
Continue reading for more information!

June 20th Patch Updates

The official 4.10 patch notes have been updated to reflect a hotfix that went out on the morning of June 20th!
Just in time for the weekend! 
  • BUGFIX Fixed a bug where Draven could no longer throw a spinning axe if he caught it or primed it in the middle of an attack animation.
Ardent Censer
  • BUGFIX Fixed a bug with Ardent Censer where it was passively granting bonus movement speed to all teammates on the map (don't ask how it happened, it just did)."

SmashGizmo with context on  PBEMaokai Changes

SmashGizmo popped on reddit to provide context on the Maokai changes included in the last PBE update:

"Totally get this confusion and I'll do my best to clarify how we got to where we currently are on the W changes. 
Essentially the start of the changes to the character were centered around the ult and making it more usable and the initial proposal for ult change was a slightly less polished version of the change you see on PBE today. We liked most of what we saw with this version of the ult, but it left a fundamental flaw in the character where he had an ultimate that made him want to stick by and protect his teammates that was constantly at odds with the 650 range snare dash that screamed "initiate on the opposing backline." The two mechanics didn't make sense together, so we set out to re-focus the W around shorter range, but faster teamfight positioning that was most effective vs. the opposing front line to keep Maokai closer to his allies. This is also the reason why the damage paradigm shifted from flat damage to % damage; we wanted Maokai's W to be more target agnostic so that you can feel good about W'ing to that opposing Vi rather than always feeling compelled to dive the opposing squishies. 
The results of these changes have been pretty promising in playtests. Maokai still has decent ability to start fights by opening with Sapling slow to make up the extra range lost on the W, but it doesn't feel quite as inevitible and frustrating when playing against, and meanwhile Maokai gets to feel much better about using the W to get in useful positions for protecting other members of his team. I want to continue to monitor this and test my assumptions about how this is playing out on PBE, but as I said, thus far I've been pleased with the result that this change has on it's kit alongside the other changes that support it (the E for giving him some reach in ganks/initiation scenarios and the R for preferable teamfight positioning). 
Hope this helps you understand where we're coming from on this!"
He continued:
"Couple of notes here on the Maokai changes that aren't immediately apparent from looking at the tooltips on PBE. 
W no longer has a cast time, essentially this makes it easier for him to reactively use this ability for either the fast snare or to duck a spell with the untargetability. 
Sapling movespeed starts lower at 450, but now scales with Maokai's movespeed, this is why we had to hit the damage on the skill, the damage is more reliable throughout the game and thus the 460 total base damage was a bit whacky." 

SmashGizmo also reiterated that, as mentioned in the 4.11 Live Gameplay Patch Forecast, additional tank jungler itemization changes are on the way:
"Yes, as we've said in the forecast, itemization is also being looked at and improved for Tank Junglers this patch, which involves some changes that I won't go into on the Golem line since we're still hashing out some of the details before sharing them with yall. Still not sure when they'll be ready for PBE, but I can tell you that the benefits that tanks are seeing from these changes in internal playtests have been very promising."

As for how these changes will effect AP Maokai builds, SmashGizmo noted:
"Hard for me to tell what exactly it does for AP Mao. Q is essentially unchanged for AP Mao. W is better as a 1 pointer due to the base damage scaling naturally with game time, but the AP ratio doesn't catch up to live until the target hits 2K HP, sooooo kinda tough to tell? E retains it's high ratio, but takes a base damage hit, BUT also gets extra movespeed off your movespeed and slows the opponents, so his poke game becomes more reliable, but less punishing in terms of damage. Ult is probably strictly buffed for AP Mao since now he can follow his target to nuke them with it. I think it's a small net positive for the AP build, but enough parts are moving around for him and we've gotten pretty limited testing on it since it is an off-build, so I can't really say with confidence where it all puts him. It's a neat little off-build though, and I'd love for it to still be as effect as it is now, so I'll be keeping an eye on how AP Maokais perform with these changes and adjust ratios around for him if he's struggling compared to the current power (or if by some chance I'm missing something and he goes crazy with it :p)."

How is Soraka's rework coming along? 

When asked about the status of Soraka's rework, Vesh popped in to comment:
"Actually, Morello has been the one who has really been driving the vision of her remaining as a healer above all other things, at any cost.

pls nobody tell him i told u dis. it would ruin his reputation of hating healerz"
He continued:
"That's the goal :) We sat down and said "what would we be willing to sacrifice to make Soraka the best healer we can" and we decided the answer was everything (if we had to)."

In response to a comment that "she better not be just like sit way far back and auto heal everyone to full", Vesh replied:
"This is absolutely the biggest risk with a healing champion. Heals undermine action and make it feel pointless to engage with the enemy. One way we are looking at solving this is the idea of the "infuse healer" who martyrs herself by giving up her health to an ally. Ideally, she has some interactive way to regenerate her health if she is successful (for instance, some form of offensive spell with adequate counterplay). If you make the healer more at risk as they heal (by making them at lower and lower health) then the "kill the healer" gameplay becomes much more realizable."
He continued,
"It would probably also need a mana cost to make Soraka not feel bad about buying all the mana items that we push supports towards. I'll be able to talk more about what is working and what types of things we're trying as we build more confidence in the direction. Right now we are really just exploring whether this healing pattern can work and feel fair and impactful for both teams."
When suggested Soraka's heal range be reduced significantly, he commented:
"Haha, don't want to talk about specifics too much while we are still uncofident, but that's literally the change I made for this week's testing. It solves that problem to some degree but feels realllly bad as Soraka when people are over walls or running from you and you can't help them. (trying a new passive that might help with this though)"

As for Starcall, Vesh noted:
"Starcall is literally just a stat-check. It also tells Soraka to build tanky and stand in the middle of the fight. These things directly conflict with the goals of making an interactive character who can also be a best-in-class healer as her unique support niche"
He continued, addressing concern that this means Soraka would no longer have the power to push:
"Didn't say she wouldn't still have that aspect. The auto-target starcall that just hits stuff for damage can't stay though. Can still find ways to preserve the pushing aspect without sacrificing interactive gameplay."

[ Continued ] Gypsylord's Diana Discussion

Following up on his comments from yesterday, Gypsylord returned to reiterate he was only brainstorming on Diana and pointing out the communities most prominent feedback for the Scorn of the Moon.
"Hey guys, 
Thanks a ton for all the feedback. Am reading through the whole thread. 
Again, it's unlikely these changes will happen. I'm just spitballing with you guys to better understand Diana's identity and what could be done with her. 
Some general trends I'm picking up:
Assassin pattern would be missed.
What's a "fighter" anyways and how does that help define a champ's identity?
R damage spike at 6 would be important to laning and sorely missed.
Maybe switch R and E?
If she doesn't just kill a guy how does she survive in a fight?

Will try to respond to some of this stuff later this evening when I get more time. Gotta get back to work on next champ D:"

The status of Sion and Sona

When asked how the extensive Sion rework ( gameplay and visual ) and how the Sona rework Fearless mentioned a while back is coming along, Meddler replied:
"Actively in progress is about all I can say at the moment. For Sona timing's going to depend on availability of art support once possible design changes are locked down. Sion on the other hand's a really large job (same amount of work as a new champion in many regards, but with more skins) so he's coming along well but a mammoth project."
He continued, speaking to Sona specifically:
We're investigating ways to address some issues with her auras at the moment (how can we can that power more appreciable, get some additional skill differentiation). Some more details/discussion at

[ Continued ] Summoner's Rift Update Discussion

We also have a few comments on the Summoner's Rift update, which is currently on the PBE for testing!

RiotforScience also commented on the end of game nexus explosion, noting that it is still a WIP:
"Yup I can though I am certain that the end-of-game-ceremony is stilll work-in-progress"

When asked about updates to the red and blue buff indicators you get after slaying the Red Brambleback and Blue Sentinel for their buffs, Nome noted:
"We'll be creating new ones later in the process :)"
Nome also commented that Baron pit will have it's own music:
"We do in fact have a layer of music for the Baron pit. It's creepy, rather than epic though."

Morello on Darius Rework

Morello briefly commented on the future Darius rework, replying to a summoner's concerns about his bleed damage, if he will get any additional innate tankiness, and if he will get anything to address his vulnerability to being kited:
"These are very specific and not ready to talk in detail about those (I always think the details are pretty mutable anyhow!). But I can answer a few questions: 
  • What about bleed damage? I think Bleed Damage should be rewarded more in the skill damage ramp than the bleeds. Maybe at higher levels is could go up over the current amount, but I'd imagine the bleed damage itself wouldn't be seeing huge increases.
  • Will he get tankiness? In this Darius model, he actually needs to be very tanky - agreed. We're requiring him to spend more time in combat to score kills, so more tankiness is required to get him to be able to do that. Some of this would be itemization, some maybe in skills, or base stats.
  • His kiting issue will NOT be addressed - on purpose. This version of Darius would eventually win any long fight. The key play to deal with Darius is to peel him and keep him off you. I think being kitable is a fine weakness, and there's quite a few champs with moveblocks who can be played for those players who hate being kited :)
Does this help?"

Headhunter Caitlyn Discussion

[ Check out our PBE coverage for a better look at this upcoming skin! ]
In a thread discussing the upcoming Headhunter Caitlyn skin, Riot Whist dropped off a few comments:
"Headhunter Cait is just the headhunter line (which is heavily predator inspired) and is not made to be a future-tech skin. 
This doesn't close the door to a future/mecha/battlecast/pulsefire/whatever kind of skin at all. I'd love to work on a future tech Caitlyn skin, though I'd prefer to wait until after her VU.

Also in defense of cleavage/miniskirt... 
That's Cait. Take a peek at the base model, big boobs and a miniskirt. You're noticing her boobs more probably because the texture work is better and they look like boobs, not a shelf. Part of the task of Skins team is to make sure skins still look like the base champion. We are looking into addressing some of the concerns though.

A lot of the complaints about the skin seem more like a discussion about Cait as a character and would fit more into a VU discussion. We here at Riot all agree (at least those I've spoken with) that a Sheriff probably shouldn't have a miniskirt."

"It is NOT ok to use Curse Voice yet. " 

Riot Sargonas, the Developer Relations Manager at Riot, stopped by a thread on third party mods, advising players that it is "not ok to use Curse Voice yet" as they have not yet complied to Riot's stance on third party mods.
"Hey guys, I just wanted to pop in here. It is NOT ok to use Curse Voice yet. Yes they removed timers, but there are still other concerns we had outlined in our original statement regarding voice chat and overlays. (timers were only 1 of three issues we had with the application at that time.) We're working closely with Curse to help them make changes that will fit within the guidelines of our ecosystem, so hopefully in the future it will be in the clear once more, as we DO want this to work out well for everyone. However, at this time nothing has changed since our last posting about the issue a few weeks ago."
[ More info regarding Riot's stance on third party mods and Curse Voice ) can be found here. ]

Sargonas continued:
"Since this is a hot topic again, let me outline some clarity on why programs like Curse Voice, Razer Comms, and others are considered against our policies. 
We do not have an issue with people using voice chat, per-say. Skype, Ventrilo, Teamspeak, we know these things are used regularly and that's fine. Our concerns are when programs interact with the game (during the champion select lobby experience for example) and prompt you with overlays that say "Hey, people on your team are running XYZ software. Click here to chat with them." That's where our concerns come in as this is doing several things, including breaking the "should not interfere with the player experience from Play to End of Match Screen".

I also want to point out you're perfectly fine to have curse voice installed and use it with other games, we wont ding you for simply having it. We're even working with them to hopefully find a solution where everyone, especially the players, win."
and in response to requests that Riot add in-game chat of their own, he noted:
"Adding our own is something we are researching. Not saying we definitely will, or wont, but we are sincerely taking the community sentiment into consideration and investigating possibilities. What may come of that, who knows.. but it's not something we've closed the book on."

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