Red Post Collection: Texture Rebalancing Update, Status of Lifetime RP rewards, Cassiopeia Rework Feedback, and more!

Posted on at 6:28 PM by Moobeat
This evening's red post collection features Ququroon with an update on the recent set of texture rebalances to hit the PBE, Hippalus with a status update and background info on the lifetime RP rewards project, Lyte discussing positive reinforcement and an upcoming system to handle AFK players who never connect to the game, and Riot Stashu responding to feedback on the Cassiopeia Gameplay Update.
Continue reading for more information.

Texture Rebalancing Update

With the first set of texture rebalances hitting the PBE in the 9/12 update, Ququroon returned to the PBE community thread to hit on a few follow up changes we'll be seeing soon!
Thanks for all your feedback, both positive and negative. There's been an overwhelming response to this, so I'm sorry that I haven't been able to reply to everything. I assure you that I've been reading through this thread (as well as many many others). 
So to let you know what's coming up during this cycle. We had a large response to two characters in particular, and we're looking to bring your feedback in. Namely, Akali and Nautilus. 
Akali will be receiving a few more details back, in response to her being too simplified. She's being modified with our goals still in mind, but we agree that we went too far. We will also be returning the Silver kamas on Silverfang Akali. 
Nautilus is being grundged up, and will be getting more rust. We're also looking at an opportunity of placing a shader on his base as well, to really help it feel like metal, and not the commonly quipped plastic. 
Finally, we're looking to finish Corki with the Red Baron and Ice Toboggan skins."

On Twitter, he TL;DRed this as:
"tl;dr: Akali everything, Silverfangs silver again, Nautilus grunge + possible shader on base, and the last two Corki skins. "

Be sure to check out that 9/12 PBE Update post for a better look at the tentative texture rebalances!

Background and Status of the Lifetime RP Rewards

Hippalus popped onto reddit earlier today to comment on the status of and give some background information on the Lifetime RP rewards, a program mentioned yesterday ago that aimed to reward summoners who had purchased RP.
"This has not been forgotten and is still discussed internally. Here's the tl;dr of the history.

The original plan, back when high quality summoner icons were rare, was to give out Riot Supporter icons that evolved in coolness based on how much lifetime RP was spend on an account. It was intended as a simple thank you to players who could then choose whether or not they wanted to display it to show they had supported the game and made it possible for so many to play for free.

We ran some surveys to make sure it would be well received, and the feedback from RP spenders was that it wasn't enough of a reward and didn't feel good. So we went back to the drawing board and came up with plans for scaling rewards that we also tested by survey. While those scored better with RP spenders, they were negatively received by the majority of the player base that hadn't spent money. They also felt bad to some Rioters who take pride in treating all of our players the same whether they have bought zero skins or 100.

The only reason to launch this kind of program is to show appreciation to players and create good feelings all around, and so the interest in moving forward dies quickly when we realize that just as many bad feelings will be created. So more recently our discussions have focused on what we can do to benefit all players and not just spenders. This has resulted in the return of double IP weekends and an increase in summoner icons that can be earned without spending. We continue to evaluate other ideas (like cars and wives/husbands for all!), but if they happen, they likely will not distinguish between RP buyers and non-buyers."

Lyte on Positive Reinforcement and AFK Restarts

In a thread asking Lyte is they plan on fleshing out the honor system and offer rewards for positive players instead of only punishments for negative players, Lyte replied:
"1) Thanks for taking the time to write this post. Unfortunately, as many players know, we had plans to return to Honor and flesh out the system but we got side-tracked to work on a few punishment systems (such as the new escalated ban system and chat restrictions for both verbal and gameplay toxicity). We've been jumping back and forth between punishment and positive reinforcement systems, and are currently wrapping up testing of the next suite of punishment systems.

In addition to working on the punishment systems, we've been working on some really neat positive reinforcement features in the new Tribunal, where players can now also review positive behaviors and hand out cool rewards. These features will give Honor renewed purpose, as being Honored will make you eligible to enter the Tribunal for a "positive" review to hopefully net some cool stuff!"
The conversation continued on with a summoner asking if we will ever see the Santa Baron icon, an icon featuring our fearsome Baron wearing a festive hat, return:
"It's not off the table, we're figuring out what types of rewards we can give for positive behaviors in the new Tribunal, and it's possible we'll bring back Santa Baron icon. Maybe if you get a positive review during Christmas in the new Tribunal, etc. Not sure yet!"

When questioned about positive reinforcement and the current lack of rewards for well behaved summoners, Lyte explained:
"I think part of the problem is that some players think the problem is binary--that we have to choose either punishmentor positive reinforcement. The truth is, there are a diverse spectrum of behaviors in League of Legends (and any other context whether it's other games or real life), and we need a diverse spectrum of systems to address them. For example, we're always going to need a few sophisticated punishment systems in the game because some players are so toxic that they need to be removed from the system to avoid damaging the experiences of thousands of players.

For players that are neutral, punishment systems do a good job illustrating what behaviors are deviant in our community, while positive reinforcement systems illustrate what positive behaviors look like and potentially nudge players from neutral to positive. For players that are positive, positive reinforcement systems do a good job sharing their stories and reinforcing that they should continue these behaviors over time.

When it comes to actual rewards, it's actually really tricky. The obvious answer is always "just give out skins" or "give RP!!!!" however, if the goal is to actually encourage positive behaviors, these rewards aren't ideal. For example, if we choose to give out skins, the approach is only successful until the player earns the skin. For toxic players, they'll be positive until they earn their skin and then resume being toxic so we have no choice but to use punishment systems to remove them anyway. If we want to use skins forever to maintain positive behavior, we'd have to release a new skin just for positive behavior every few months which requires a monumental effort just to keep up with the pace. This all has to do with a concept in psychology known as extrinsic versus intrinsic motivations for doing things, and there's hundreds of studies on why for some behaviors, extrinsic rewards (like RP or skins) are great, while for other behaviors, you really want to use intrinsic rewards instead.

In saying this, just like systems, our "rewards" need to be diverse too and include some extrinsic and some intrinsic options. However, we wouldn't tie these directly to receiving a specific amount of Honors or commendations. There's another concept in psychology that suggests that variable reinforcement (rewards that are somewhat random in nature over time) tends to be the most effective at reinforcing the behaviors we want, instead of doing a fixed rate approach such as getting 1 RP for every 1 Honor you get. Explaining the research behind this is an entire post in itself :)"

In response to a summoner claiming that they need to do "less talking about doing things, more doing things", Lyte explained:
"Happy to comment if you want to stay constructive. Your first two points kind of conflict with each other because part of the challenge we face is that we are testing new systems that haven't been tried anywhere else before, and they may not work. However, some suggestions have a lower probability of success, so all we can do is choose the risky ventures that we think have the best potential for success. 
Secondly, we're working on a bunch of stuff that you're starting to see--the escalated bans, Ranked Restrictions, and the new LeaverBuster are all pretty recent updates (or in the case of LeaverBuster, coming up next). You're also consistently seeing updates to Team Builder to improve the experience there. 
Tribunal has been in development since it went down, but have you ever tried creating a product that has to scale to 65+ million players world-wide? It's a pretty difficult project because every region uses slightly different tech when it comes to the Tribunal and part of the effort is unifying a lot of that.

Some players want to have discussions and updates on what's going on behind the scenes. Some players don't care until the products are released. Telling me to do "less talk, and do more work" isn't constructive nor is it helping the teams work faster--the projects are simply complex beasts of immense scale."

Lyte also commented that there is a system in the works to allow players to restart outnumbered games where a player never actually connects:
"We agree that starting a game 4v5 is an incredibly frustrating experience, even if it happens rarely. Right now, we're working on the LeaverBuster system which addresses leavers/AFKs more aggressively; however, we do have some work in the pipe to allow players to restart a match if a player fails to connect or is AFK at the start of a match. The leaver/AFK would of course receive leaver/AFK penalties, but the rest of the players in the game can just restart the match."

[Continued] Cassiopeia Gameplay Update Feedback

Riot Stashu also returned to the community boards to reply to summoner feedback on Cassiopeia's gameplay update that went out in patch 4.16.
"Hey guys! Sorry for being so MiA. Been reading over some of the posts since I last posted here (and boy are there a lot of them haha). Thanks for continuing the discussion! A few major points have come up:

1- Cassio is the weakest champion in LoL
2- No, seriously, she's really bad
3- After playing her, most of us agree that her playstyle has significantly changed, despite what you said.
4 - Readability

1/2 - Yeah this surely seems to be the case. Lots of pieces here that can be contributing. Low Q/W ratios, particularly mid/late game. High mana costs throughout the game (mostly seems to be a problem early/mid game, though). E bug (0.7s reset). Stacks too high. We're in the process of doing a deeper dive on her data today, and I'll plan out some changes based on what I find.

3 - I suppose I can't argue with this :P . Thanks for giving her a fair chance (despite her being undertuned!). Since it seems like some balance changes are in order, I'll definitely look into changes that at least addresses this a little bit.

4 - This one was less popular but has been on the cusp of the discussion pretty much since the beginning. For example, playing a notable sound when Cassio lands a Q, or making poisoned targets really pop out to the Cassiopeia player. This is something I'll be slow-burning on, but I really hope to make some strides here at some point. It's definitely on our radar.

Now, with all that said, I think some stuff is being a little overstated. There's still an adjustment period underway, and I believe that we can expect to see Cassiopeia do better over time. Her mana and stack management are both acquired skills largely specific to this champion, so I expect as people become more familiar with it, they will become more successful. Of course, this might not fully account for her low win rate, so as I mentioned above, we'll need to do something (likely more than just bug-fixing her E).

I've been reading many of your suggestions, and I do really appreciate it. We may not act directly on them, but I'll definitely keep the target concerns behind your suggestions in mind as we conduct further analysis.

Getting Cassiopeia into the right spot will be an ongoing process, and I'm glad to have all all you contributing here. Thanks so much!"

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