Red Post Collection: Patch Rundown 4.17, Mystery Skins back, Name Change Sale, Soraka discussion, and more!

Posted on at 8:55 AM by Moobeat
[UPDATE: "Hexakill: Twisted Treeline" coming soon to the PBE!]

This morning's red post collection features the Patch Rundown for 4.17, discussion on Soraka's gameplay update, the return of Mystery Skins for a limited time, a reminder on the name change sale, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

[Update] HEXAKILL Twisted Treeline

Here's  L4T3NCY with a chunk of info for our latest featured gameplay mode Hexakill: Twisted Treeline, which will be headed to the PBE soon!
"Heya everyone! ^o^/ 
We’re back with the next Featured Game Mode, Hexakill: Twisted Treeline! We listened to feedback from you guys after Hexakill’s first outing, and this time around, you can earn a Hexakill on the Twisted Treeline. 
Some design notes:
-- It’s a tight squeeze for 12 players in there there, so be alert for ganks. Lots of ganks.
-- Gold & XP values have been tuned to sustain double the population of a normal TT game.
-- Controlling both Altars provides an additional HP & dmg buff for your team’s minions.
-- Scaling for minion health and damage has also been tuned for the higher population cap. 
Known issues: 
Play flow artwork and description text are still placeholders. 
Hexakill: Twisted Treeline will be live on the PBE soon™. As always we want to hear any feedback from you guys! We also want to say “Thanks!” to all you guys on the PBE who are really quick to spot bugs and report them for us each time. It’s really helpful when we’re first testing these modes out. 
So.. what lane setups is everyone running? 1-1-4? 2-2-2? 0-0-6? ^_^"

Patch Rundown - 4.17

Patch 4.17 is out on live and we have another edition of the Patch Rundown! This one features Scruffy, Scarizard, Seb, and MsPudding discussing the recent Soraka and Viktor updates!

"Patch 4.17’s discussion is focused on champion updates and features the newly-updated Soraka and Viktor! Join MsPudding alongside Riot Scruffy, Riot Scarizard and Riot Seb as they discuss the patch and the Champion Update team’s philosophy!"

Soraka Gameplay Update Discussion

With Soraka's gameplay update out and healing everyone on live, Vesh has created a feedback thread to answer questions and take in feedback:
"Now that Soraka's update page is out ( I wanted to make this thread as a place to both answer questions and get your feedback when the patch goes out (it's convenient to be able to read/respond all in one place). 
So yeah. fire away fiiiiree awayyyy."

When asked why the update page contains no base values or ratios for any of her updated abilities, Vesh commented:
"Numbers don't really mean a lot without a baseline. It's really easy to jump to conclusions about things without seeing things in an actual game state. Also the core of what we wanted to talk about here is the gameplay implications, not power. You can check out the numbers on surrenderat20 though if you're really curious."

As for if the mana restore on Soraka's old E would be reused in the future for a new champion, Vesh noted:
"Can't say for sure. I don't think mana-restore is bad for the game actually, it just didn't really have a place with Soraka's new kit. I don't know if anyone will put it on a kit in the future, but I don't think it's entirely out of the question either (casting spells is fun!)"

Vesh also commented on Soraka's increased HP/5 and the difficult of balancing this new type of healer:
"Her HP/5 regen per level has been buffed, so as the game moves out the lane phase it will be easier for her to recover between fights (burst damage also increases at this point, so it's not going to negatively effect how hard soraka is to kill during an actual fight).

This number is definitely subject to change though. We don't have other characters who do things like this in our game right now so balancing her has definitely been a challenge and we will be very reactive with changes depending on if she ends up being too weak/strong."
He continued, answering a set of a questions regarding the removal of Soraka's armor/MR conversion passive from her original PBE build, why her heal costs her health, and the color changes he previously mentioned:
"1) it wasn't needed to keep her in line with desired squishiness. Just having to be close to allies to heal was enough to keep her accessible and kill-able throughout the game. 
2) we wanted to make a healer that could do a lot of "unfair" feeling things, so we had to give her plenty of points of weakness so that she's allowed to be unfair in some circumstances because she is even "more than fair" in others. Clear weaknesses allow champions to have clear strengths, and clear strengths means you get to do awesome and powerful things when fighting on your terms.

3) it ended up not working the way art team wanted with her current palette, and with the massive texture update we're doing we didn't have time to readjust the whole thing or make a clear decision about whether it was good for the character artistically. in the end we decided it was better not to fiddle with small things without a clear reason."
Morello also jumped in to the Soraka discussion, explaining:
"I think there's a misconception that this Soraka is not about healing, and is about doing damage. This is very far from the truth. 
Historically, Soraka has been very problematic in how she effects the game and what she does - problems with the old model of healing and its overlap with saving people and sustaining them. We wanted to deliver on the healer (and that comes with a lot of change, and a new way of viewing a healer) to make work. 
Maybe we missed this in the context-setting here, but this whole Soraka overhaul is to solve "how do you make Soraka into a successful healer above all else?" The answer is to make it so her healing into an ally is unassailable when she's doing it and give her vulnerabilities or costs that are meaningful for doing it (the counterplay is "kill the healer," which changes how you typically approach a fight or lane in LoL).
Some key points: 
  • Starcall is there primarily for Soraka to get some HP back after sacrificing it to heal (the damage wasn't and still isn't great).
  • The reason to pick Soraka is because she heals. It's her key contribution to the team.
  • E is there because the heal is great at sustain, but mediocre at big saves. The E allows some peel ability too.
  • Giving people mana was a previous identity of Soraka because she couldn't actually sustain super well. Over years we've gotten feedback that people wanted Soraka to be strong at healing. We agree! So we did that!
  • This does differ from the blue priest of just "click and heal" and heal yourself and be hard to kill. You want to support? Like REALLY support? There's little more pure than new Soraka at doing that. Soraka can't kill or damage much anything. 
To wit, if you try to do trades or attack a character Soraka is healing, she will just heal them through it. if you ignore her and focus her friends, she will undo it. If you try to wear them down, Soraka will sustain it. This has been true in a lot of playtests and the numbers are tuned as such. I'm sorry if that message is lost here somehow, but Soraka's one and only goal was to "be League's real dedicated healer.""
Riot Scruffy also added in:
"To give some more context here, because not seeing the numbers may lead you to some wrong conclusions, her healing output after the update is dramatically increased. Where as other supports like nami or sona bring cc or poke along with their heals, soraka is best in class for keeping her team alive. 
This is true at all phases of the game: lane, mid game, and late game. 3 of the four spells on the kit (q w and r) restore health to her team and this is no accident. She is one of the more focused champ designs that we have done in a while because we think there is a role (healer) that isn't being served in LOL."

Pick up a Mystery Skin for a short time!

Here's Udyr with details on the return of Mystery skins, the treat yourself version of mystery gifting!
"Mystery Skins are back for a limited time so get them while they are hot! 
Purchasing a Mystery Skin will unlock an unowned skin worth 520 RP or more. As with the previous rounds of Mystery Skins, you can only unlock skins for champions you own. 
Mystery Skins will be available in the Skins tab of the store for 490 RP and are limited to five per day. Check out Mystery Skins from September 25 to September 28 23:59 PST!"

Here's the regional versions of each:

[Continued] Ranked Restrictions in NA and EU

Following up on the discussion from yesterday, Riot Socrates returned to the ranked restrictions thread to answer a few questions! Below is his original thread and his answers to common questions:
"Hey all, 
For a while now, the Competitive and Player Behavior teams have been working together to create features that foster both a fun and competitive environment in ranked play, and we recently tested a new feature on PBE. Known as Ranked Restrictions, the experiment restricted the in-game chat of negative players and prevented them from joining ranked queues until they’d completed the required number of games. With the feature proving successful on PBE, we’re rolling it out to live servers in NA and EUW in the coming days. Depending on the results of this, we’ll continue to add regions globally. 
When Ranked Restrictions go live on NA and EU, restricted players will be unable to queue up for ranked until they complete a certain number of games in Normal Draft. One thing we specifically wanted to address is that Ranked Restricted players will be Chat Restricted in other queues, and they can and should still be reported if they continue to display negative behaviors while playing through their restrictions. As with Chat Restrictions, after they finish the predetermined number of games, we’ll perform a final evaluation to make sure they've actually improved their in-game behavior. Players who haven’t shown improvement will continue to be restricted from playing ranked. Related to Ranked Restrictions, we’ve determined that Ranked Rewards should reward positive sportsmanship just as much as they reward great play, so the most negative players who are Ranked or Chat Restricted at the end of the season will be ineligible to earn ranked end of season rewards such as the loading screen borders or Victorious Morgana champion skin. While the majority of players will not be affected by this ruling, we wanted to message it well in advance so that players concerned about their behavior have more than enough time to adjust and reform before the end of the season. 
-Riot Socrates"
*Update 9/24 - Hey all, thanks for all the feedback on this. Wanted to further clarify a few points that I saw come up 
Q: Will all chat and ranked restricted players be ineligible for rewards at the end of the season?
A: No, of the chat and ranked restricted players the ones with the worst behavioral records will not earn rewards. 
Q: Do you expect to see the quality of normal draft decline from this?
A. We see that a players behavior shifts pretty dramatically based on the queue they are playing in. Since normals are less stressful and players who receive ranked restrictions will also receive chat restrictions, we don't expect to see an impact to the quality of the queue. That said, we'll be closely monitoring the health of the queue to ensure there isn't a negative impact. 
Q: Won't these players just feed, troll, and AFK their way through the games?
A: Players have to win a certain number of games to lift the restrictions, so this would work against them. Also we'll reassess players as they near completion of their ranked restriction games. If we still see a pattern of negative behavior, the restrictions will be reinforced. 
Q: Can players decay while they are ranked restricted.
A: Yes."

[Reminder] Summoner Name change sale

As announced earlier this month, name changes are now on sale through October 2nd!
Here's Wizardcrab with more details:
"With the 2014 Season almost coming to a close, it’s a great last chance to show off your skills and creativity. From September 25th to October 2nd, summoner name changes will cost 650 RP, which is 50% off the normal 1300 RP price. 
We can’t wait to see your stunning new aliases on the Fields of Justice!"

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