Red Post Collection: Gnar Q&A on August 5th, Update on Soraka rework, and Much More!

Posted on at 11:24 PM by Moobeat
[Update: Gnar's Q&A is now up on the boards! Creative, Gameplay, and Art & Sound ]

Tonight's red post collection features a heads-up that there will be a Q&A on everything GNAR on August 5th, Vesh with an update on how Soraka's future rework is coming along, xShiroix  on the problem of bots in Dominion, Lyte continuing his discussion on player behavior systems, a brief update on the OCE server skin, and much more!
Continue reading for more information!

Gnar Q&A coming on August 5th

Gnar's design team will be on the boards tomorrow ( August 5th ) to host a Q&A on LoL's next champion!
"Gnar’s throwing yet another tantrum, so the team behind him have temporarily set their grooming kits aside and agreed to a Q&A session at 11am PST on 8/5. If you have any questions about what went into making Runeterra’s cutest AND most terrifying champion, come along! 
Learn more about Gnar here:

Update Soraka Rework

Vesh popped on the forums today to give a brief status update on Soraka's rework:
"Hi guyssss.

Sorry for the radio silence. Been heads down trying to get Soraka's kit ready for production for new effects and such. While I really appreciate you guys taking the time to make this thread, the kit is pretty close to design locked ^_^.

I'll be sharing lots more details soon, but the core of this rework was to make Soraka the core healer of League of Legends. We really wanted to capture the feeling of a healer who is constantly managing their resources and attention to keep their teammates alive. We want the core button you're pressing in a fight to be a heal, not spamming a pbAoE spell constantly."
Vesh continued, replying to a summoner asking if Soraka will be forced into the support role with these changes or still able to function as a solo laner:
"To be fair, how many times has support lulu had to suffer because she is so dominate in solo lane? Supports that have reliable CC and also decent damage have a hard time not being problematic in other lanes (especially mid) and undermining the less reliable but higher gameplay mages/etc that live there.

I will say this though, a champion whose core strength is healing allies will probably not be very good by herself, since the majority of her power budget is dedicated to being the best healer in the game."

Vesh also answered a few more questions:
I am really excited to hear that Soraka is going to be The dedicated healer. It sounds like you are going to create practically a Braum kit (I.E Sacrifice everything to do just one specific job.) and I am really glad to hear that. 
Now I hope you can answer a few more question while you are here so here I go: 
1.Will you be getting rid of her mana-battery capabilities? It does not define Soraka as who she is but it was still a unique ability. 
2. Please tell me you replaced her Q with something less...stupid. If anyone likes Starfall, sorry that didn't really help me as a support. If anything, I accidently steal cs from my adc just so I can decrease my CD on my heal. 
3. Do you have a definite time as to when Sorakas kit rework will be released in the PBE?
4. This is a scary question for much did Morello help in remaking Soraka?
Alright, thats all the questions I have to ask. I can understand if you can't answer any of them yet. So I will eagerly await her appereance in the PBE.
1. I went back and forth on this one a lot. The mana battery thing doesn't seem very cool on paper but it was a cool unique output that only she had. It's probably going to remain, but the spell as a whole will have a much larger cooldown (and thus a bigger choice) since her silence aspect is also getting some more changes that will make it more impactful 
2. Q is now a spell with more gameplay that will be the driver of her healing engine. Without going into too much detail, you will need to be successful at landing these if you want to heal to your full potential

3. No. We still have to make some new vfx for her and tune/balance her appropriately with the new kit

4. Morello was actually the one who told me not to give up on her core healing identity. He pushed for the high-level pattern we ended up going with, and I honestly believe Soraka is a much better character for it. He's a great leader and really good at identifying what things are cool at a high level."

Dominion Botters

In a thread asking for an official response regarding the influx of players using automated bots to farm IP in starter Dominion elo,xShiroix, a Fraud Analyst, commented:
"Hey, all.

You're right. Bots have been a growing plague, especially in Dominion. It's something we've been working on for a while, but it's been a complex issue. Botting is like a hydra - cut off one head and two more spawn in its place. Recently, it's become clear to us that in order to tackle this issue, we have to get at the root cause, rather than just attacking the bots. Simply banning/deleting bots would be akin to cutting off a hydra's head, and we need to sear the stump so it can't regrow. We need to address the motivation for botting and punish the beneficiaries, not just the bots.

I'm sure you guys can understand that the more we talk about our plans in detail, the easier it is for botters to "level up" their game as well. So, even though we can't share our specific plans, please be assured that we are taking this seriously, and we're aggressively working toward slaying this beast."

[Continued] Lyte on Player Behavior Systems

As we've come to expect, Lyte has returned to the forums to talk more about the current set of experimental player behavior systems, answer summoner questions regarding them, and clearing up misconceptions.

On the topic of troll reports, Lyte reiterated:
"Troll reports or false reports are filtered by the Report System. If you got a punishment, it was because a legitimate report came through and the behavior was verified.

Without checking into your accounts I don't know what the specifics are, and I'm currently only focused on the severe bans (14-day/perma)."

When asked about his thoughts on a system that informs players when someone they've reported is punished, Lyte commented:
"It's an idea we've talked about for awhile, but just comes down to priority.

Is it higher priority to improve the systems that address toxicity directly (with better punishments, rewards, etc), or should we just do a feature that improves the experience for a reporter?

We already can extrapolate proper usage of the report system, so the only advantage we'd get is better feedback for reporters, and the "re-assurance" experience. Still worthwhile, but not #1 priority over other things."
When criticized for how easy this would be to add, Lyte replied:
"Nothing is easy when you're dealing with the scale of League. Nothing is easy when every server has slightly different rulesets or are at different evolutions of the League patch cycle. Nothing is easy when every server has different policies about what information you can reveal to players about other players."

As for ways to address toxic gameplay behavior's ( such as intentional feeding ) in ranked, Lyte commented:
"We're working on measures to identify intentional feeders and "gameplay" toxicity in Ranked; however, I'll be honest. The majority of a time a player complains about intentional feeding, it's not accurate--the player is just having a bad game"
When asked about leavers and AFKs, he reitereated:
"I agree, but that's a different problem. We're going to be talking about a new system soon for addressing Leavers/AFKs."

When asked why "Refusing to communicate" is a report option despite players not commonly being punished for it, Lyte explained:
"A punishment can result from Refusing to Communicate reports; however, there's never been a case where a neutral or positive player doesn't chat, gets Refusing to Communicate reports, and then gets a punishment.

In fact, most players in League don't really chat beyond saying "mia" or "gg"--we're a pretty quiet bunch."

Lyte also shared that Co-op vs Ai has the least punished players while ranked has the most:
"Yes, if we observe on a per-queue basis, Co-op vs AI is the lowest % of players that end up punished, and Ranked is the highest."

Lyte continued, replying to a player's misunderstanding that the new ban systems are automatic:
"The system isn't automatic, that's just something a negative player likes spreading. Every system in the game has multiple checks and balances, especially when they are dealing with actual consequences to player accounts. If you think the system is much easier to exploit, then give examples. Secondly, when Tribunal does come back, it'll use all of these systems and be much more accurate (and faster) than before."
When asked why the Tribunal was so slow to hand out a punishment, Lyte noted:
"Actually, part of the reason the Tribunal was slow wasn't because of player voting--it was because we required too many cases to be reviewed by a human in Player Support before the Tribunal could hand out the punishment. There were 3-4 other reasons, but player voting was never a blocker--there were way more voters than cases."

In the heat of all this player behavior discussion, Lyte also shared what he and the team considers to be a "neutral" playaer:
"A neutral player could come in a variety of forms actually:

1) A player that is sometimes mildly toxic (no excessive racism, sexism, homophobia, death threats, etc) and sometimes positive would be considered neutral.

2) A player who generally never uses chat is considered neutral.

3) A player who uses chat only for gameplay elements like "mia" or "ward here" is generally considered neutral too.

4) A player who only says "gg" at the end of game and never uses chat for anything else would be considered neutral+ I guess."
He also commented on how many players are actually currently punished:

so how often does it happen that neutral players get dunked by chat restrictions or smited by account ban
Almost none. 
A lot of toxic players will spread rumors about how "everyone is chat restricted" but it's just not true. Right now in NA, only about 1.0% of active accounts have received a chat restriction, and less have been escalated to a 14-day or permanent ban." 
Lyte also shared that EU has a slightly lower overall % of Toxic players but...
"Actually, EU is about 0.5% right now. But, let me caveat this. EU being 0.5% and NA being around 1% doesn't mean EU is less toxic. 
Because Player Support reviews chat restrictions, and EU has multiple languages, it's much harder to go through the cases so less players are being restricted at the moment."

As for how to handle frustrating team mates, Lyte warned against verbally attacking them as it never helps!
"One, we know that if we resort to verbal attacks like this, we guarantee that the player will play worse, which means the team performs worse and you'll be even more frustrated. But, here's one thing we should remember: we all have bad games. We all lose games. It doesn't matter whether you're LCS, Challenger or Bronze... no one wins 100% of their games. Here's the second thing: sometimes, we lose because of things outside our control. That's the nature of competitive team games--sometimes we lose, but it isn't our fault. But you know what? Sometimes you win games, and it isn't because of you either. We lose as a team, we win as a team, and rarely are both a direct result of our own actions.

The average League player believes they are more skilled than they actually are, and they believe that they carry when they win, and someone fed when they lose. This isn't a League of Legends personality flaw, this is just being human and decades of research in cognitive biases explains why humans are this way. 
If you understand that sometimes things are out of your control, maybe you'll have a better time controlling your emotions when things slip out of hand. You should go into every match knowing that you are going to lose some and win some, and that that's OK. You should know that even in losses, there's something you learned from the game that makes you a better player. You should know that if you are skilled enough, you'll come out on top in the long run. Whether it's sports, games, or business, many successful people tend to have above average impulse control. For example, the top Poker players in the world don't get pissed and go on tilt making reckless decisions just because they lost a hand due to somebody else getting lucky--they know that in the long run, their skill will shine through and they calm their emotions to ensure the best decision-making. 
At the end of the day, if you can control your emotions, you'll just be a better (and happier) player. I bet you know inside that you don't play better when you start raging at that other player, so now you (and that other player) are now just playing worse due to heated frustrations. But, I know how it feels to feel helpless--like the game is out of your control and there's simply nothing you can do. But, that's why the best players learn to overcome this feeling and play on. That's why the best players learn how to comeback, by supporting that other player having a bad game and not trashing them into the ground."

Riven's Resource Bar

FeralPony stepped into a thread regarding adding Riven's Passive's charges to her resource bar, commenting they have considered and decided against implementing it.
"We did give this a try and ultimately ended to not do this as it causes a number of consistency issues. It was a while ago and my memory on it is a bit fuzzy since I wasn't working directly on it but iirc what is came down to was the resource bar is fundamentally meant to function as a resource bar, doubling up on the buff bar goes against a pretty solid rule of thumb in UI/EX design which is limit special cases in UI and avoid duplication. Breaking consistency here has a huge long term cost that can be difficult to quantify. 
From a gameplay perspective, the resource bar is meant to be a relatively stable and slowish moving bar showing a characters relative strength, current threat level, and reveal their general flow of attrition (how long it takes to be exhausted). Seeing a champion low on energy or mana means they have limited casts available to them and is a moment of weakness enemies can exploit. In this case for the opponent this bar would be incredibly misleading with Riven being most dangerous but also most vulnerable when this bar is empty. With some weird middle ground of when partially full you're most likely being killed. 
The second important gameplay element is that there should have some level of consistency and flow in the resource bar. Rarely do mana or energy users dump their entire bar in one go, while Riven can cause the bar to fill and empty in only a second or two. It can be incredibly tempting to see an open spot on a UI and want to fill it (believe me I've been there, as a mechanics designer I want to cram as much information as I can pretty much everywhere) but there is a steep clarity and readability cost which increases exponentially each time you break. Sometimes this cost can totally be worth it, in this specific case we didn't feel it was. I would love to explore the space of custom UI elements only the player controlling the character can see/interact with though, and this seems like a logical candidate for that."

Are Sound Proof Booths needed in the LCS?

In a thread asking if Riot will ever implement sound proof booths into the weekly LCS matches, Riot the Flash shared his thoughts on the matter as someone who has spent time on the stage during events:
"From my experience on stage, the crowd may encourage the players, but the noise itself doesn't help the team's play.

Most of the live game runs on a delay of several seconds. Actions in the moment occur well before the crowd can possibly react to it, and by extension, if a player could pull any information from the crowd noise it would not be useful. That information (noise) isn't actionable.

A few people (including OP) mentioned pro players who set a dragon timer when they hear a commotion in the crowd. The crowd noise/chanting is too unpredictable to be realistically used this way. Think about all the "BALLS" shouts you've been hearing lately on the streams. If you're on stage as a pro player, all you can really pull from the crowd is a binary noise vs no noise, because even something like "BALLS" usually comes across as "edowifjndos!"

Thirdly, the teams that do try to secure an advantage from 'bad data' through audience chatter usually pay for it in the game. With the boss headphones and white noise, its not terribly hard to ignore the external chatter, especially when you roll into the same studio every weekend. But occasionally I hear a player asking their team about what the crowd noise was for, and each time they get punished for paying attention to external factors instead of the live game happening right in front of them. The teams that trust their teammates and their own skill get by much better than those trusting the audience for guidance on plays.

I'm not the Rioter who makes the call on whether or not to have a booth or deflection screen, but if that person came to me for my thoughts, I'd say that since noise vs noise is still an issue with these sound mitigation options, installing them is an unnecessary detriment to the overall LCS experience."

[Continued] Sona Rework Discussion

Fearless again returned to the forums to address feedback on Sona's 4.13 rework, this time defending his justification of the rework against aggressive claims that he was not qualified.
"One of the coolest things about Riot is how awesome our support structures are so that we don't have to be experts at everything. I'm not a high elo player, though not due to a lack of love for the game. It's mainly due to the fact that for the last ten years, I've been building games. Throughout the entire process of updating Sona, I relied on the feedback from multiple Challenger and diamond players that work at Riot, many of whom have played a very large number of Sona games and identify as former or current Sona mains. Never did I imagine that my experiences as a player would be enough for this work, nor even my experience as a designer. The reason I could have faith in the Sona work came down to the fact that Rioters don't get in the door without being pretty awesome at something, and are really good about sharing what they know to make other people around them more awesome.

That doesn't mean we won't make mistakes, and it's entirely likely that Sona may still need some adjustments in the future. We don't have enough data to make that call yet, but I'll be very open when we do, and make sure you all know where we'll be going with her and why. I understand that the lack of communication at the end of the PBE time has really upset people, but at no time have I ever suggested that anyone should not question the choices we've made, or that anyone should just "trust me." I'm happy to explain every change we made on Sona, or at least point to where I've already done that."

Fearless also commented on Sona's new E:
"One of the reasons we gave E the scaling it has was because we knew that it is extremely likely to be a one point wonder, especially if we were going to give Sona reasons to level W more often. We've also had E values as high as some that you've posted, and it was infuriating to play against. It simply didn't matter how squishy she was, because she flew around like a race car. That being said, we've made other changes since we had those values in that directly impact E, both on the cooldown of the spell, the rate of decay, etc. 
It's possible that if we needed to give power to Sona, but didn't feel good about giving her more damage or more sustain that something like you suggest would be possible. That being said, it's harder as a player to get satisfaction out of movement speed when compared to satisfaction in damage or heals/shields. it typically takes a lot more of an increase in MS for players to value. Not ruling anything out, but this was something I hit a lot during experimentation with her kit."

Oceanic Skin Update

CptStupendous dropped off a small update regarding Oceania's long awaited server celebration skin ( much like Ghost Bride Morgana for LA or Special Forces Gangplank for BR ):
" Hey party people! 
A lot of threads have been popping up which lately and I've been called out for an update (rightly so!) I responded in another thread but I thought it made sense to create a new thread here as well. It's been a journey I can assure you all of that. We have been quiet about where it's up to and to be honest the reason why we haven't said much is we haven't had any meaningful updates. As a Player, when I hear a company say 'we're working on it' my initial thought is always 'yeah, bulls#@t'. We're working on it sounds like such a cop out even if it happens to be true. 
Sadly though it is the truth. We are working on it. It's not something I spend all day every day working on, but it's definitely not something we've forgotten about. In fact, each time a new forum thread goes up the other Rioters in the office print out the thread and pin it to my desk just in case I forget: 

So Stupendous, if you're 'working on it' why haven't we produced an Oceanic skin? It doesn't take that long to create a skin!

You're absolutely right about that, but what does take time is coming up with the concept. Oceania is many countries and we don't feel it would be right to create a skin with an Australian theme or a skin with a Kiwi theme. We've chosen to run with concepts that appeal to multiple countries which is where things get complicated. Then mix in the quality control factors designed to ensure all new skins reach a certain bar and it's really hard to come up with a skin design which ticks all the boxes - a) relevant to Oceania as a whole b) works with a champ who's due for a skin c) ticks the quality assurance guidelines. We've had a few ideas that we thought were cool, but the champions they applied to were too far down the pipeline to wait on. 
So what? Does that mean you're going to give up, sissy? 
No, no it does not. We have a discussion pencilled in for tomorrow (already on the books before this post, believe it or not) to discuss a few new concepts we've come up with. From there if we think they tick the boxes we'll submit them to the skins team go from there. There are Rioters in the office as passionate about this as you guys and girls are, so I can honestly say we feel the pain! All I can do is give you my assurances that I'll continue to do my best.."

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