Red Post Collection: Fiora Rework Delayed, Morello on Soraka and the Jungle, Hint on Ultimate Skin, and more!

Posted on at 4:59 PM by Moobeat
[ Update: Added in more from Vesh on Soraka's ult ]

This evening's red post collection features comments that Fiora's rework has been delayed, Vesh and Morello discussing Soraka's upcoming rework, Morello sharing his thoughts on the current state of the jungle, Lyte explaining the high count chat restrictions that are going out, and a small hint on the next ultimate skin.
Continue reading for more information!

Fiora Rework Delayed

Earlier this year, Guinsoo shared quite a bit of information on a Fiora rework he was working on.

Morello returned to the forums today to deliver the news that this rework is currently delayed due to "unforseen circumstances".
"Indeed poor Fiora :( 
We've had to yet-again delay Fiora's rework due to some unforseen circumstances on resourcing. I have nothing of worth to say about that except for my apologies that we've let down Fiora players with promises on this stuff."
He continued:
"If you rate on power, we'd not need to do many reworks - I think Fiora is a pretty same-y melee carry who misses to opportunities to provide a really high-skill fencer fantasy. That's on us as a champion team."

When asked why they shared new of the rework so early if it wasn't near completion, Morello explained:
"We get excited and want to tell people, then normal development stuff occurs and we're like, "well, ****.""

As for criticism on design choices, Morello commented:
"Haha, well I don't mind being called out for stuff - I tend to open my mouth before things are locked in, which lets people down. Something I've tried to avoid much more in the past year as a result.

I'd also hope that we've learned a lot since then, though this preseason will be telling."

[Continued] Soraka Rework Discussion

[ Be sure to read up on Vesh's earlier Soraka Rework discussion : 1 / 2 ]

Morello jumped into Vesh's discussion on the upcoming Soraka rework to share a few of his thoughts on Soraka's identity:
They aren't going to do that because you can't have a character be the "best healer" with any ability to solo aka not be around people to heal. Then she just becomes an unkillable mage and does the exact thing that Vesh was talking about before with making it so she plays less like a tank or Q spammer. It's just like how they had to strip away potential power from Braum's kit in order to make him the best Defender support so he wasn't capable of solo laning and becoming OP. In other words, they are going to give Soraka a **** ton of power as long as they can confine it to one place. Soraka was designed as a niche character to begin with and they failed the first time. 
Honestly they shouldn't balance and design characters based on supports being unfavored.
Well said. If we want Soraka to be a great and healthy healer (and we do!), then she can't also be durable. The tradeoff on her is that she becomes vulnerable in order to help allies, and be someone who can have rich gameplay while providing healing.

If there was one common thread in the feedback concerning Soraka, it was how much her identity means to players - that of a healer. With the challenges around making that work, we're actually trying to define a good healing paradigm in a PvP game to meet that identity. With that as the goal, the details of old Soraka be damned - we can't improve and evolve the game if we constantly shy away from changes that might not be desirable purely because they're different.

Also mark your calendars - Morello is saying Soraka should be a healer, and is a huge advocate of it. :)

I think the actual healer problem has lied in the paradigm of the pure MMO healer who lacks the right tradeoffs and weaknesses. Not healing yourself well is a great one to have that allows us to make her really bonkers in certain situations."

When asked what sort of communication players can expect regarding Soraka's rework, Morello noted:
"I think Skarner's story is representative of what I want to see. We made a mistake and corrected that by continuing to work on it until it was right. This is an important metric of both being bold with changes, and allowing us to not release things that don't satisfy their objectives and satisfy players. 
Much of this is due to the holistic Champion Updates (reworks) team being its own effort with focus on nothing else. So when something doesn't go well, instead of having competing priorities (**** BETTER WORK ON THIS NEXT PATCH), they can support their work. This should have huge implications. 
That being said, it still does mean there will be change and disagreement with the details - I'm fine with that. We have an obligation to earn your trust...I believe in that a great deal. I don't concern myself with short-term anger or change-aversion as those are a simple cost of passion and engagement."

Vesh also popped back in to clarify that Soraka's MR shred ( which is currently on her Q ) will not be sticking around with the rework:
"Heals mark assists just like they always have. You don't need to actually damage someone in our game to get an assist. Most buffs on allies work this way.

Also for all the people talking about MR shred, it's not going to remain on the kit. Shreds are extremely powerful but somewhat problematic because they are almost unnoticeable for how powerful they are. There is no good representation of how "shredded" you are, especially with one that stacks. In general, I think it would be a lot better for Soraka to have power that is really cool and noticeable than an equal amount of power that, while understandable intellectually, doesn't translate to exciting gameplay."
Vesh continued, sharing that Soraka's rework will feature a new passive:
"Passive is different and quite cool. Internally we've nicknamed it "astral ambulance" or just "ambulance" for short. 
Q won't necessarily make her healing more powerful but it will affect how much healing you can do safely ;)

Anyone who has read Morello's post on the idea of an "infuse healer" will start understanding what this pattern would look like."
He also noted her ult would remain mostly the same:
"Star theme is kept. If anything we will try to increase it a bit with the new vfx where we can. 
Ult is the same. It will be less powerful on higher health targets and more powerful on lower health ones. We want to minimize the impact of "incidental" healing on other lanes while really making Soraka feel powerful for healing those low-health targets."

Morello on the Jungle

Morello also had quite a bit to say about the current state of the jungle and the champions who are succeeding in it.
He started off by replying to a summoner frustrated with the current state of junglers:

I don't think this can be addressed so long as the jungle is an easy to place where any one with smite and a hard leash can "jungle". Actual tanks will be stronger top than in jungle. Look at what they did to warwick. Lanewick was freaking broken so now he is trash everywhere (currently being reworked by riot zion). 
Remember in season 1 where there was no leashes and actually clearing the jungle made you keep up in levels with the solo lanes? Ah, that twin golems for lvl 2. 
When playing gankers like Lee Win meant you had a dangerous clear susceptible to counter ganking. When Udyr was the clear master and Warwick the sustain master and nunu and fiddles were top tier too? 
Edit: Its thanks to this **** jungle now jungle ADCs are viable, Gragas became a tier 1 jungler and most original junglers are now trash tier. 
Why? "There is little risk for jungling so it should also have less reward". You know what that did? It made gp/5 0 clear camp a lane junglers. "wow, totally not what we were looking for, time to get rid of gp/5". Bring high base stat champions like Lee Win and Vi so that the non-existent gold in the jungle won't affect them and the can just do buffs and ganks. "Wow, this is getting stale, lets try tanks now". 
I totally agree. In fact, I think our jungle direction has been completely backwards over the last few seasons. That's our bad and I think the results are clear. 
To that, returning different ways to succeed at the jungle is key to restoring choice, and making it not a chain-gank fest in lanes. I'll give more details on this in the coming months, but directionally we're totally in agreement."
He continued, commenting on Feral Flare's introduction:

like giving us flare then nerfing it immediately
Definitely wrong way to solve the problem - the jungle itself needs to allow for these styles, THEN we support them."

When asked for his opinion of how to buff certain tank junglers ( such as Nautilus ) without  buffing them into higher tier picks in lanes, Morello noted:
"I think by making it so that things other than just gank/duel/clear speed can matter in jungle. :)"

As for what Morello specifically contributes to the design, he explained:
"I don't pay attention to details of balance - I'm not really focused on that level of stuff (though I know statikk and his team is). Our roles are to provide guidance on larger-level strategy for the game design, so I tend to not read the balance-specific stuff as much since I feel out-of-date in that realm. 
Things like "we need to solve the jungle" as a design project priority, for example :)

EDIT: To add, it's because I largely trust the details-level work to that team. They do a good job as long as we all know WHY we're doing what we're doing. So my job is to clarify where we're going and what our objectives are, and working with the Live Gameplay guys in that way is my focus."

Morello continued:
"Well, in this case, I think the jungle direction we've set (and that IS my bad completely!) previously has lead to a greater whack-a-mole state. In the interim, getting the long-standing dominant picks to have some competition was a goal, and fixing the jungle systemically is how we can make REAL progress towards variety.

And much of this is undoing some previous work, and adding new ways to master League."
When pressed for more details, he noted:
"I don't want to share yet - but I will around pre-season. Mostly because I want to beat them up and catch anything that's not right first"
He continued:
"Preseason is my target for real serious change. Competitively, we won't see much past 4.14, but might see more QoL/buffs as needed.

In non-competitive, tanky junglers are LORDS - and with Worlds being on a patch around next couple of patches, I think we'll have to look at the state in more regular play too."

When asked what made the team realize the jungle could use more work, he noted:
"It wasn't hard to admit once we dug down into it more - being wrong is a huge part of design, and I think Riot DETECTS problems well. I think we have a hard time executing fixing them in a timely manner - especially big problems. 
Watching our intentions have results that were completely opposite of our goals was a pretty clear roadsign :)"

In response to criticism regarding broken promises with jungle changes in the past, Morello commented:
"I don't think you should trust me on jungle. I've made big mistakes there. 
This is a huge problem for me, and the reason I talk a lot less on here is because I want our actions to show if we've learned, then to talk. I don't care much about player anger - people get mad at good changes frequently - I do care a great deal about trust.

Skarner and Soraka are a couple of efforts I want to point out as good on this front, but we have more to do systemically."
He continued:
I'unno, hun, you say that pretty often... What about the top lane bruiser thing? Supports? Immobile mages? I just haven't seen the confidence in you guys to really make Big Broad Changes even at the optimal time.
We've been pretty conservative - I agree on that, especially in the jungle.

I'm not going to make promises here much based on that fact, I'd rather get it right and be like "hey guys!" :) But I did want to acknowledge the problem as agree-upon and important, so that you guys get that we think we've gone backwards and are looking to fix.

Previous jungle stuff has been lightweight."

When asked if red and blue buff functionality is being looked at, Morello noted:
"Definitely. I think they're an easy lever to tune."

Lyte on severe Chat Restrictions

By request, Lyte jumped on the forums to explain recent high count chat restrictions that certain players have been seeing:
"The chat restriction system is going through some tuning. Before, players were confused when the chat restriction system would under-give chat restrictions, so you'd get 10, finish 10 games and get another 10 when the system should have just given you 20 to start.

The chat restriction system now tries to hand out the right number of chat restrictions in the initial waves. For players that have racked up a lot of consistently negative offenses, it's now possible to basically be "permanently" chat restricted. For many players with 500+ chat restrictions, it's effectively a super harsh, long-term chat ban. Some players say they'd rather be permanently chat restricted than permanently banned and lose their account, so we'll see what's more effective in improving behaviors."
He continued:
chat restriction is just a bad idea for a game base around teamwork and if the team want to keep that they should remove the not communicating report since i am pretty sure that it count toward chat restriction and not toward a ban with the new system.
This is a pretty common misunderstanding. For players that are being chat restricted, a lot of their communication wasn't enhancing teamwork, or improving player experience anyways. In fact, players being chat restricted tend to do the opposite--they inhibit teamwork, create negative experiences, and frustrate teammates.

Furthermore, we see about 75% of players improve their behaviors after their 1st set of chat restrictions, and many toxic players win more games during chat restrictions... so I don't agree that chat restrictions are a bad idea."
I'm a big fan of chat restrictions as a system, and I think they're an excellent way to pursue reform, but I'm really unconvinced these 500+ game restrictions are a good idea. If I had a 50 game chat restriction, I'd look at it and realize that it was going to suck, but if I actually made an effort to improve my behavior, I could get past it and move on. 
With 500 chat restrictions, I'd be effectively permanently restricted. I would have no incentive to improve my behavior because my reform cannot better my situation. In fact, rather than continue to play on a permanently crippled account, I'd probably just make a new one. Is there some factor I'm missing?
The factor you're missing is that only players that have shown they haven't improved with smaller sets of chat restrictions will get huge "permanent" sets of chat restrictions. 
75% of players tend to improve after a smaller set of 10-20 chat restrictions, but those that don't improve tend to get chat restrictions repeatedly. Sometimes, we'll permanently ban these accounts if they show high severity offensive behaviors, but if the behaviors are low severity, we're going to try permanently chat restricting the accounts instead of just permanently banning them."

In a differnt thread, Lyte spoke with a summoner who, after receiving a 14 day ban, took to the forums to figure out how to adjust his attitude:
"A 14-day ban is basically a "last chance." If you improve your behaviors after this point, your account can be "fine." In your case, over 25% of your games show excessive behavior... so you do have a lot of work to do.

Good luck, I hope you make a big effort after the ban."
When asked if it is possible to return to a good account standing after being banned, Lyte noted:
"It's possible to reset an account to "clean slate" if you improve your behaviors and sustain it."

A Hint on next Ultimate Skin

Earlier today, Morello tweeted out a very small hint regarding the next ultimate tier ( Pulsefire Ezreal and Spirit Guard Udyr ) skin.

When asked what that the fourth letter of one of the spells of the champion who is going receive the ultimate skin, Morello replied
Interested in which champions fill this criteria? Check out this or this thread for lists compiled by reddit users.

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