Red Post Collection: IronStylus on Scope Creep, VUs, & Morgana, OCE SR VOD, UI Feedback, and more!

Posted on at 1:21 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection features IronStylus chatting about "scope creep" and future visual updates, Meddler confirming Zed's Ult bug is set to be fixed in 4.10, Nome looking for feedback on the UI, and a VOD of the recent OCE Summoner's Rift stream!
Continue reading for more information!

Scope Creep

IronStylus swooped into the forums to answer a summoner's question asking which champion will look the most badass after a VU, explaining the team's concept of "scope creep":
Interesting question.

Funny thing is if you look at the roster, just imagine what you could do with some of these champions. 
We have this thing called "scope creep". It's how the scope of a project inflates for whatever reason. Maybe an idea becomes more awesome, maybe features are piled in, maybe it's not something that's on fire so time can be taken to make it better.
Who would you scope creep the hell out of? 
Some interesting choices are the ones which have big opportunities to add something extra, or push something further. When I think of champions that have that capability I think of those with model changes, big VFX laden spells or other really punchy aspects to them. Also, unique characters that aren't just a person with a weapon.  
Honestly, and this isn't saying that we have anything slated, but I think when all is said and done, Cho'Gath might be the one that has the most potential. He has, literally, a huge presence when fully stacked, his model changes in size, he has tons of visual real estate when full size, his spells are really thematically cool and fit in a unique niche, and he could be TERRIFYING. Sure, Kha'zix is jumpy, hoppy, slicy bug scary. Vel'Koz is creepy professor eye-beam scary. Kog is just a puppy. Cho could be SOME ****ING NIGHTMARE KAIJU ****. 
So yeah, on that note, I think I'm going to ask someone to make some concepts for Cho'Gath on Monday."
He continued on Cho'Gath, saying:
This kind of annoys me as Cho'Gath should already be in progress.
There's a couple of concepts around.. but dude's got like.. 6 states, is a melee mage and gets huge! We're talking evolving models or potentially entire model swaps. When I talk about scope creep, Cho is the definition of potential scope creep."

Future VU's & Morgana

IronStylus also replied to a summoner's request for a list of champions who are up for a VU in the near future, which was hidden in an old thread discussing a potential Morgana VU:
"I wish I could share such a list, but most likely not. Our priorities can sometimes change, or something could explode, get re-slotted, etc.

There's a lot of factors in how we consider candidates for VU's or even more overhaul. If it's mainly art, each discipline will go in and grade at what level they feel the current execution is. So in someone like, let's say, Morgana's situation, concept, 3D, animation, etc, will give her low marks. That will decide how much in need she is from an artistic standpoint. Now this need could be really high, but cross reference that with how much of the champion we see in the game, is that champion in need of a gameplay overhaul, etc. That will slide up or down the likely hook of us devoting resources to a character and in what order in front of or behind other characters.

Other things to consider are opportunities, or "low hanging fruit" (I hate that term). Which means, is the bang for the buck substantial? Will the proposed changes really enhance how much love this character gets from players? Is this character thematically a home-run and doesn't need much ideation? Those factors can dictate whether or not we take on something which is merely fidelity, like Karthus, versus something that's akin to making an entirely new champion, like Sion.

Further variables arise when the team itself is taken into consideration. How much work will this character need? Is it excessively animation or VFX heavy? How many skins does the character have? These factors can be mitigated by bandwidth, resources on the team, team excitement, etc. Right now, I think the team is more interested in tackling Eve than Morgana honestly despite them needing about the same amount of work.

All of these factors fluctuate. As we dig into our roster and analyize them by plugging in these data points, we sorta get this order of priority spat out. However, we don't just stick with what an excel spreadsheet tells us. We're going to weigh costs and benefits.

So, while we currently have our "fantasy slotting" of champions on our hit list for the rest of this year and the next, we're going to go back in and analyze our decisions and see what's actually possible to make and at what cadence. I'd love to be able to post that up, but I have a feeling my producers wouldn't really be cool with that. Heh. 
I think when we have it more or less locked down, we can start talking about characters we really want to tackle without spelling out specifically what we're doing in what order. I'm very wary of raising expectations.. I also don't like ruining surprises when we have some potentially in store ;)"

He then shared a few of his thoughts on a POTENTIAL Morgana VU in the future.
When asked if a potential Morgana VU would "have legs", IronStylus noted:
"Are we talking about like.. visible legs in a potential new design? Or legs modeled, rigged, etc, but still under the dress? 
Personally I'd like her to show some leg in a VU. The animators aren't a fan of full blown dresses. The Karma example is a decent parallel in terms of geometry separation. The cloth difficulties are abundant with hand animating cloth of that volume. I think it should still have a distinct, big silhouette, but I'd like there to be cuts in her dress personally. 
As for whatever design we do choose, we'll build legs in there regardless just in case future skins require them." 

When asked if there were any specific Morgana VU concepts floating around, he commented:
"Welp, right now we just have a cool concept that Zeronis did. It's the only one sitting around, but we haven't had any open meetings about it to discuss if it's where we want to go with her. I mean, it's ****ing cool, but maybe we want to add something, or push it in a particular direction. 
I'd be interested as to what people would associate a good example of her trope in popular media. Right now she's a bikini-torso-angel with runny mascara atop a no-legged, metal, swank-moving Christmas tree. Is there a better execution we could do? I'd like to think so. Is there a fallen angel trope that we could glom onto? I'd like to hear suggestions if anyone has ideas.

I personally think she could be awesome."
He continued, responding to a request to show off the concept and what he thinks of Morgana's walk animation:
"I agree with the above points about her. I think those are the bare minimum to retain. Though honestly, I think Kayle could use a bit of updating herself. I'm really interested how to tie those two together more. I'd like to define them and really set them as antithetical to each other. 
Showing off the concept won't be possible, unfortunately.

I was wondering about the walk myself. If it should stay the sort of trudgey, heavy walk, or should she have some sort of floating effect like Karthus or Malz. Personally there's something sorta cool about her walk, I think we just have to find a way to make it just not look so low fidelity. But who knows, we might experiment with floating, or maybe sometimes floating, or just a different walk cycle. That'll be a whole lot on the animators for that job."

As for Morgana's ( particularly Ghost Bride Morgana ) long flowing dress remaining iconic, he noted:
"I really like GBM, and I understand the iconicism of the dress. I'm cool with it quite honestly, we'll have to see what sort of challenges it presents to the animators or what the best interperetation is in whatever concept we end up at."

In a hypothetical world where the team had a concept for a Morgana VU, IronStylus commented on "how much work" it would take in comparison to our previous VUs:
"I'd say she's probably a similar amount of work as karthus. That's a HUGE generalization, but both are mages, they've got lots of VFX heavy spells, cloth animation, and have the same number of skins. I think we finished the concept for Kathrus sometime in February. So theoretically, if we dropped everything, yeah, it could be done before the end of 2014, but unless you'd like to hand over a fresh 3D modeler, 2 more animators, and 1.5 VFX artists it's not going to get done any faster :P"

When asked again if he could provide some sort of list on what champion VUs to expect coming down the pipeline, he reminded:
"I had mentioned in a previous post.. somewhere.. that this is eventually where I'd like to get in terms of our team's messaging. I'd like to say who's directly in the pipeline and who's sort of next on the priority list in no particular order, as well as what candidates we have, what's in scope, what's out of scope, etc. What you've listed above is something I had planned on talking to the team about actually. I think it's valuable to show players what it takes to get through the various types of updates and how we track on them in a general sense. a) I think it's a fun insight, and b) considering the champions are already out, there's not as much secrecy needed, at least that's how I see it. 
All that would be laden with a heavy dose of "**** could change any minute, mind you." kinda talk. 
As they say..."
[ For anyone who may have ignored the previous warnings, I'd like to reiterate IronStylus is talking ab out PRE CONCEPT - this isn't a promise for a Morgana VU or even a hint that it's on the way. ]

Zed Ult Bug fixed in 4.10

When asked if the bug that causes Zed's ult to teleport him to random parts of the maps after use will be fixed any time soon, Meddler replied:
"Fixed in the next patch."

UI Feedback and the Buff Bar

Earlier today, Riot Nome tweeted asking for player feedback on the League of Legends game ui:
"Tell me EVERYTHING wrong with the League of Legends game UI. We'd love to make improvements."

He continued, answering a question about improvements to the buff bar:

"Fellow Rioter @onidavin asks about the buff bar. 
I know Davin mentioned he'd be OK with a private answer, but I do want to validate some of my assumptions with players, even if it's only on Twitter. The buff bar's a bit of a mess right now, and the entire Clarity team has done some exploration on potential ways to clean it up. 
Among the issues: 
- We use the buff system for a lot of things--only one of those is buffs. Among them, we have buffs, stock counters, timers, auras, global-state indicators, easter eggs, and more. At some point we'll need to do a re-evaluation of what actually belongs there--and I'd argue that it's "combat-relevant, time-sensitive states." Goodbye easter eggs :( 
- On the game design side, we tend to favor exceptionalism over consistency, which often results in buffs and tooltips tanking the decisions. UI is subservient to gameplay, so I don't know if we can do much here. 
- What you see on your buff bar shouldn't necessarily be what others see when they select you. Corki missiles are one of these things; we currently store stock and Big One information on the buff bar when they should live on or near the skill icon itself. The same goes for countdowns like Annie's passive. However, other players need to be exposed to that information, so it should perhaps still show for them.  
- There's some simple improvements like standardizing to countdowns, instead of count-ups. Simple reasoning here--consider Kassadin's Force Pulse, which requires 6 spellcasts to activate. A count-up paradigm goes from 0 (no icon) > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > X, where X is the active state. A count-down paradigm goes from 6 > 5 > 4 > 3 > 2 > 1 > X. What's the difference? The count-down provides more information--you always know how many spellcasts are left, whereas the count-up requires you to know the total number of casts necessary.

...And lots more! We want to make sure we get a good understanding of all the challenges a system faces before tackling it. Lots of work to be done :)"

OCE Summoner's Rift VOD

Here's a VOD of Oceania's recent " Update to Summoner's Rift Live Show", featuring Rioters and OCE pros battling it out on the updated Summoner's Rift!

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