Red Post Collection: Gnar Changes Next Patch, Patcher & Landing Page Refresh on the way, and more!

Posted on at 9:08 PM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes gypsylord with context on upcoming changes and bugfixes for Gnar, an update on the Patcher & Landing Page refresh that is on the way in the next patch, ArmiesofZNight with information on the recent NA server instability, and much much more!
Continue reading for more information!

Gnar changes incoming!

Here's gypsylord with a rundown of the Gnar changes we can expect in patch 4.15
"Figured I'd take a moment to go over the Gnar buffs that are coming out next patch and the reasoning behind them.

After playing and watching Gnar for the past week we've identified 2 key areas where he's failing:  
A) Consistency of Contribution 
Gnar is having a hard time contributing to his team's success even when he's winning. The problem we'd want to fix up here isn't that his transform is unreliable (that's intended) but instead that his contribution once he does transform (be it big to small or vice versa) can't be depended on. Mini Gnar can't consistently hit boomerangs and instantly dies when anyone looks at him funny so while his sustained damage and CC are decent you can't depend on him to pump it out. Mega Gnar has great CC but he's slow and all of his spells have massive telegraphs. So while his best case is quite good it's very hard for him to ever achieve it compared to someone like Amumu who just pushes R and auto-magically wins any team fight.

B) Lane phase is hard 
Gnar has a hard time in lane. His base stats and damages are quite low and his cooldowns are high which make it very hard for him to trade favorably with his lane opponent. One mistake and he's out. Even when he gets a lead his early stat scaling in comparison to other top laners makes it hard for him to maintain his advantage. A 3-0 Irelia chuckles when her lane opponent tries to fight her and 1v2's the jungler should he have the gall to show up top. A 3-0 Gnar is still quite fearful of death by crocodile and might as well start /dancing when the jungler shows up for all the chance he has of surviving the gank.

ALL THAT SAID GNAR'S WIN RATE IS STILL TRENDING UPWARD. According to our internal data top lane Gnar started at 39% in ranked play and is currently @ 44.5% and rising.

With that bit of info in mind we've decided to be more conservative with this first set of changes as we feel people still need time to learn Gnar's true strengths and build paths.

This patch will be mostly targeted towards Gnar's consistency of contribution all while asking the question, "What do we want this guy to feel like regardless of his power level?" What I mean by that is these changes are as much "feel adjustments" as they are buffs and should they make him too strong I'd rather hit Gnar in other places than keep his boulder width such that it looks like it phases through people.

On to the buffs!

*Increased hp/5 at level 1 to 5 (from 3)
-Buff to lane sustain to help him recover from mistakes and ganks.

P - Rage Gene 
*Fixed a bug where Gnar would sometimes not gain his bonus health immediately on transformation.
-Currently on live Gnar gets his Mega bonus health up to .25 seconds after he transforms. Not so great when you're relying on it coming up to not die. Fixing that.

Q - Boomerang Toss and Boulder Throw 
*Adjusted boomerang logic to better track Gnar's movement when he's closer to its turning point.
*Increased boomerang return width, making it easier to catch.
*Improved readbility of Gnar's self only boomerang return particle and made it appear sooner.

-This stuff should hopefully make Gnar's boomerang much easier to catch and additionally lower the occurrence of uncatchable boomerangs due to the "right angling" people are experiencing on live. More boomerangs caught = more up time = more boomerangs thrown = more contribution in fights and control over rage gain.

*Increased the missile widths and speeds of both Boulder and Boomerang
*Boulder now does its damage and slows in an AoE around its landing zone if it fails to hit an enemy.
*Reduced time Mega Gnar is locked out from picking up his boulder to .3 seconds (from .5)
*Boulder now checks if any enemy champions are standing directly inside of Mega Gnar when thrown and hits them. -Should no longer miss boulders on champs like Xin and Irelia who dash to your center point.

-This is the big stuff right here^^^^^. Improving the reliability of Boomerang and Boulder means Gnar will be consistently outputting more damage, more cc, and most importantly be better able to control his rage gain through boomerang poke in the mid game. Additionally, the particles on those things are just straight up lying to you on live right now. They freaking look like they're warping through targets! Should be much better now.

W - Wallop 
*Fixed a bug that would allow enemy champions to cast spells (like flash) if Wallop's stun was overlapped with the stun from GNAR!.No longer will Lucian be able to reposition in the middle of Gnar's epic CC combo. He's gonna stay right where he is for the full 3 seconds.

R - GNAR! 
*Fixed a bug where the knockback on GNAR! would end too early, allowing enemies to cast spells (like flash) upon landing, even if they hit a wall.
-This effectively increases the CC duration of the knockback to .5 seconds from a variable time between .3-.4. So you get longer CC in the worst case (no wall hit) and can be sure that no one is going to flash in the middle of your stun combo.

*Decreased Mega Gnar's self lockout time on casting the ult to .4 seconds from .5.
-This will let you start moving sooner after using the ult. Will make it a tad easier to position for a follow up Wallop or Boulder.

*Added a .5 AP ratio
-Cause Sheen and Baron Buff D:

Finally Rec items are being updated to shift some emphasis on to tankier builds which seem to be having the most success.
-Honestly, Gnar's a little weirdo when it comes to build path and as such his rec items are a work in progress. As we all hone in on what's most effective on him I'll continue to update what we're suggesting to newer players."

When asked how Gnar's transformation and his health increase works, gypsylord clarified:
"Gnar gains HP from transformations but, unlike Nasus ult, he doesn't get to keep all of it. When he goes from big to small he takes his current % HP and then sets his new HP% (after the health is removed) to whatever it was before he turned small.

Example: Say Gnar's health total while small is 300/800 and then transform gives him 200 bonus health, putting him at 500/1000. When he transforms back he'll calculate his health % (500/1000 = .5) and then put his new health to that % (800*.5 = 400). When all is said and done he gained 200 health when he turned big but his net gain was only 100 health after turning small again."

Patcher & Landing Page Refresh on the way

Here's Ventropy with details on the upcoming Patcher & Landing Page refresh that is making its way to live in the next patch
"Over the next week or so, we’ll be introducing the first steps of an extensive and ongoing development process to the client. We’re pushing the visual changes to the patcher and client landing pagewe recently shared with you on PBE to the live experience along with some new core client technology. 
When we talk about “the client,” we’re referring to the technology that supports your pre-game experience. Every interaction you have as you’re getting ready for a match is based on interconnected systems and, as a result, maintaining League’s stability outweighs almost every other priority we have when making changes. 
So, we chose our first targets for development by looking at the least risky pieces of the client. Updating the look and feel of the patcher and client landing page means we can add new tech, minimize risk, and deliver some neat stuff. 
Our first few releases are starting points that’ll provide insight into how we should update additional systems. We’ll be refining and improving the pre-game experience as we go. But let’s look at the new visuals you’ll encounter in the patcher and client landing page.
Share your feedback below and if you’re looking for a deeper dive into the rationale behind the patcher and landing page changes, check out our longer explanation here."

Regarding Recent Instability on North America

With the recent server problems on NA, ArmiesofZNight jumped on the forums toexplain the situation and what is being done to eliminate the problems.
"Hey Everyone,
Over the last couple of days, many of you have experienced some problems while playing the game. You’ve seen reconnect spikes, issues with game starts, and very large login queue in many occasions. We wanted to take some time to give you all a little more information on what’s going on, since we haven’t spoken much about this since the issues started occurring.

In the last couple weeks our datacenter and game have been the target of some DDOS attacks. The results of these attacks have caused instability in our service. We’ve been experiencing large attacks that have been filling up a significant chunk of bandwidth and causing parts of our system to lose connection to each other. The end result is a poor play experience for you all. While we’ve been able to turn on our loss forgiven feature as soon as the attack is detected, this does not equal a good play experience.

While we can’t share the details of the work we are doing internally to combat this (since it would give the attackers information to circumvent it), we want you to know that we are tackling this from many different angles. This includes working with our datacenter and internet service provider partners, as well as developing tools and services internally to make our service more robust against these types of attacks. Defending against DDOS attacks is an arms race that we will always be engaged in, and we are committed to reducing the pain you all feel as swiftly as possible when the service is being impacted by malicious attacks.

We want you to know that this is the top priority for the Live Services team. We share your frustration at the impact of these attacks, and we are working to make sure you can play the game every time you want to.

He continued:
"So just to clarify for everyone, the attacks referred to in the stickied post by RiotGradius are a very different issue. Those are the drop hack attacks that have been impacting individual servers and games. What we're posting about here are the issues we've been having over the last week or so have been much larger and have impacted almost every player on the game when the attacks occur.

While we've been able to take steps to improve the drophack issue, these new sets off DDOS's that have been impacting us require different tactics."

ArmiesofZNight also reiterated the nature of DDOS attacks when asked if more servers across the region would help: 
"East Coast or Central servers won't help this particular type of attack. These are pipefilling attacks that cut off the ability for services to talk to one another. The location of our servers has very little impact on the ability to execute that type of attack.

As mentioned before, DDOS prevention is an arms race. We've done a number of things to make our game more resilient to many of the types we've experienced over the years. There are many things we can do to prevent some DDOS's, but those prevention methods also have a major negative impact on the play experience for everyone. It impacts our ability to give solid timelines. We also shy away from the timelines in this instance because we don't want to give information out to potential attackers."

When asked why Riot doesn't utilize some sort of third party DDoS solution, Riot Gradius commented:
"These services may be successful for other games, but there's one thing you have to take into consideration. Any time you add a DDoS protection to a network, you have to consider the implications of doing so.

We're already in the process of adding multiple different levels of protection, but each step of the way, we have to ensure that we've accurately tested these services. If we didn't test them thoroughly, we could shoot ourselves in the foot before we even start protecting our servers. One large problem we've seen is once we turn on mitigation, latency increases by a large amount. With this latency increase you have essentially taken down the service yourself.

Another thing that I've mentioned in previous threads is that when you have such large attacks against your network, you have to work with many different ISPs/groups to ensure traffic is being properly blocked. I can't give too much detail, but this is something we're always actively doing, as well as making network changes to give us more control over our network service as a whole.

If there are any specific questions, I'll do my best to answer them, but remember, one of the reasons we can't share a lot about what we're doing is because it's always a game of cat and mouse. We don't want to show our hands about our defense, just as much as the attackers don't want to share too much about their attacks."

Lyte on "Drawing the Line" with toxic behaviors

When asked to elaborate on what exactly constitutes as bad behavior ( be it language, attitude, or what not ) for reports and punishments, Lyte commented
"This is a really challenging topic, and there's no answer that will make every type of player happy.

In real life, there are laws for almost everything. However, one of the biggest problems with this model is that changing laws takes a lot time, and it can almost never keep up with the rapidly changing trends in the world. So, an example of what happens in real life is that some behaviors become "unacceptable" by society, but it can't be enforced for years.

In online societies, trends change even faster. We could write a Summoner's Code that lists out every single behavior that is allowed or not allowed in League of Legends, but would it actually do anything? Most human beings don't know about every law in real life societies, and only some lawyers have a robust understanding of all the laws while most are specialized in some niche of law. You can Google "random laws" to find a huge list of things that are "illegal" depending on the country or state, or sometimes even depending on the city. For example, one random law in a city is that you cannot wear cowboy boots without owning at least 2 cows! Similarly, most players aren't going to be able to memorize every single Summoner's Code item or keep updated on new additions to the Code.

To give an example of how rapidly online societies change, a lot of players are using the phrase "rekt" now, but this phrase didn't even exist in matches as recent as 6 months ago. Is this phrase offensive? Is it considered verbal abuse if you spam it? What if you said it once in a game? If we wrote a new "Summoner's Code" to include this phrase, how many players would visit the Summoner's Code frequently enough to see the new addition?

At the end of the day, most people get along fine in real life societies just using common sense. They don't know all the laws, but they have mutual respect for one another. As gamers, we already have a pretty bad rep from those outside the gaming community. That's our fault. We're actually a pretty awesome community, but we need to respect each other more; after all, we're all gamers and we have something in common that only we understand. Why is "Definitely Not Blitzcrank" a hilarious skin? Non-gamers have no clue what we're talking about.

It's not about being babied. It's about respecting the fact that we're all here to have fun. No one deserves to be b*tched at just because they play the game differently than you. You know what? A lot of us play soccer or basketball differently too. Some players believe in half-court ball, and prefer bigger line-ups in basketball. Others believe 100% that fast-paced run and gun strategies are king. If players disagree with you on the court, do you start going "moterf*cker why are we doing a 3-guard lineup that sh*t is whack, you're f*cking retarded for even trying that." No.

The majority of the world doesn't tolerate random acts of jerk. I'm not sure why online societies need to either. People don't always play nice in real life, but the answer isn't "If you can't handle it, go find another activity." Maybe the people should stop being aggressive jerks. On a separate note, let's stop spreading rumors that we're banning things like "gg ez" or banning things like "plz stop feeding." Right now in League, only the worst offenders (the bottom 1%) have been hit with any penalties at all. In a recent survey, a majority of players thought the penalties were too light.

We've said this time and time again: the community agrees that excessive verbal toxicity isn't tolerated here. It's not tolerated in real life societies either. If a player doesn't agree, they need to take their time elsewhere. They don't have the right to tell everyone else to leave, when they are the outcast in the community."
When asked how they decide what the community tolerates, Lyte explained:
"Actually, we've (almost) never drawn the line. 
Players have always informed exactly where the line is. We use information like Reports, Honors, Tribunal, LeaverBuster and more to determine what the community agrees is OK or not OK. 
Every time you report a behavior, you're voting."
He continued:
"The current "rulesets" the systems use are all based off data from Tribunal and other systems. We're working on ways to incorporate the current AI and machine learning systems to be efficient and automated in the new Tribunal.

Part of the reason we're using this Tribunal downtime to test these systems is to test how accurate these systems are, given that they are learning only from player-initiated data like votes in the Tribunal."

Attending Pax Prime? Want to work at Riot?

With PAX Prime up at the end of the month, Dannamoth has announced that several Rioters will be on hand at PAX to discuss the Gameplay QA position that Riot will be hiring for later in the year.
"We are currently looking for high skilled players (platinum+) to help us build out a Gameplay QA group. This is a great opportunity for someone looking for an entry level job who is bright, passionate, and wants to help shape League of Legends. Working with others and being able to give effective feedback are critical components for this role. You will have the opportunity to work with design, engineering, and art to influence the creation of new game modes, champions, and champion updates, among other things.

The QA Recruiting team will be at PAX Prime at the end of this month. We will be setting time aside on Friday and Saturday(29th and 30th) to meet up with interested folks. We will be spending time somewhat close to the Esports entrance. If you aren't attending PAX Prime, but will still be in the area, also reach out! I'll do my best to answer any questions in this thread in the meantime."
EDIT: Just to clarify expectations, PAX will be more of a meet and greet to hang out and chat about the position with those interested. We will have a Job description for this position later on in the year."

Gnar on Soundcloud

When asked when the full track of Gnar's login music would be made available, Riot Eno stopped by to drop off a link to Riot's soundcloud!

In the event you've never checked out their soundcloud before, you can also download and listen to other login themes, Get Jinxed, Vi's theme song, and more!

"No mode is off the table to be brought back"

When asked if there is a potential to see the featured gameplay mode Showdown ( 1v1 and 2v2 ) come back for another round, Robolions reiterated that every featured gameplay mode can return.
"No mode is off the table to be brought back. If we do bring Showdown back we will want to better understand what made some players enjoy it and what turned other players off. Our goal is to evolve modes that we bring back so that its not just the same thing as before (it should be better the subsequent times). 
All that said, not all game modes will be nexus knockers."
Robolions continued, explaining why they are rotated out instead of left up:
Maintaining the bugs and balance across many game modes is definitely part of it. Also, cool game modes, even ones as cool as URF, will suffer from player fatigue over time. 
What we're most excited about, though, is that this gives us the opportunity to put out new modes without feeling that we have to perfect it. We can put out interesting ideas as experiments and improve upon them later."

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