Red Post Collection: Context on Katarina PBE nerfs, Champion Update discussion, Mini Lore Q&A, and more!

Posted on at 9:48 AM by Moobeat
This afternoon's red post collection features ricklessabandon with context on the current Katarina PBE changes, a note that the champion update schedule has been updated,  IronStylus chatting about all sorts of tentative or potential champions updates,  a mini lore Q&A with Carnival Knights, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Context on Katarina PBE nerfs

In a thread discussing the recent PBE cooldown increase and damage reduction to the early ranks of Katarina's ultimate  on the PBE, ricklessabandon shunpo-ed in to explain:
"i wanted to pop into this thread to briefly talk about the katarina changes. i work on the live gameplay team and i'm owning her changes, so if you have any follow-up questions after this just let me know~

addressing the topic at hand, katarina's nerfs have nothing to do with maps or game modes other than classic 5v5 on summoner's rift—i cannot stress enough that we'd never use fgm data to influence balance changes—her changes have to do with her rise in power due to environmental changes (i.e., shifts in the meta) and some very relevant changes in the upcoming preseason patch. regarding the former, marksmen tend to spike in power earlier than they did earlier this season, which has both encouraged earlier team fighting (and champions that 'turn on' early for those fights) as well as roaming bot to get your duo going earlier. regarding the latter, changes to base stats and what we anticipate will be an increased focus on roaming and early team fighting/skirmishing (likely on the bottom half of the map) will be particularly relevant.

katarina loves all of this, and has been working hard toward 'perma-ban' status in various regions and divisions. given all the data we have, as well as some conservative predictions of how the preseason changes will affect the game, we've decided to implement the nerfs that should be testing on the pbe right now.

again, if you have any follow-up questions feel free to ask!"
He continued, mentioning there will be "no compensation" changes to go with the nerfs and briefly touching on Fizz.
"the katarina changes won't come with any 'compensation' alongside them. it'd be nice to find time to do more work on her at some point in the future though.

re: fizz, we're not entirely sure how the preseason changes will affect him at the end of the day—there are some things that indirectly buff him as well as nerf him—ultimately we don't have conclusive data suggesting we take preemptive actions for him. a lot of champions are in the same boat, to be honest. kat was one of the exceptions in which we felt we had several signs pointing to making a change in the 4.20 patch."
When asked about Fiddlesticks, ricklessabandon briefly noted:
"he's on our radar for sure, but we don't currently have anything planned for fiddlesticks in the 4.20 patch."

In response to players asking if these change had anything to do with Hexakill:TT, L4T3NCY added:
Just to clarify, FGMs have zero impact on champion balance changes, and we wouldn't want them to. This is one of the advantages of FGMs being temporary. If there are balance changes coming to Katarina, it was for different reasons. I'm sure the guys on that team will speak to their direction of thinking at some point. 
Also, as mentioned in the original post, Katarina didn't actually do that well in Hexakill: TT. ^_-

Champion Update Scheduled updated

Following the recent developer blog on champion updatesMaokaiPoppy, and Tristana have all been added to Riot Support's Champion Update Schedule:

  • Maokai (Visual update )
  • Tristana (Visual and Gameplay)
  • Poppy (Visual and Gameplay)

In the reddit thread discussing these additions, IronStylus replied to someone concerned that Riot would "rather change Maokai Tristana ahead of WWPoppy, & Urgot":
"You're looking at it wrong. 
We work smaller scope projects in tandem with high scope. Just because low-scope is in production doesn't mean high-scope isn't also chugging along."

Champion Update Discussion

Speaking of champion updates, IronStylus also flew around the forums and reddit to answer a few questions and chat about future visual updates for a few champions!
As for Poppy's eventual updates, IronStylus noted her complete visual & gameplay update would include a new VO.
"Warning: 100% chance of her VO changing. This is a complete Visual & Gameplay Update. Just sayin'.

I think dedicated, hard working, and loyal are all apt descriptors. I'm in agreement, about yordle emphasis but, hey, currently she's a potato. So I can guarantee she's gunna get "yordlified"."
He continued:

"By yordlify I mean give her proper anatomy to make it evident she comes from said race of yordles."

When asked if a new voice actor is planned and if she'll keep her serious tone, he noted:
"Currently we don't even have lines. She's still in pre-production and kit ideation. We're mostly dealing with foundational pillars of her character at the moment. But as we've talked internally, I think the serious tone, and yes, I think "gruff" is a good term, will most likely be something we pursue. 
I mean.. unless we make Lollipoppy into the base.. 
Then only the heart of darkness itself would serve as VO."

On reddit, IronStylus mentioned that Poppy's update is still too far out to go into specifics:
"Too early to go into specifics, a lot can change. But we're still looking at Poppy as "Big punch from a small package" sorta thing in character, look and play."
As the conversation turned to Taric and his long discussed visual update, IronStylus noted:
"Working on it. Collected a shit-ton of info from the community.

He's really complex. You have no idea how many different opinions on him exist since there's literally nothing tangible for people to latch onto in his base form and it all becomes what psychological manifestations individuals project upon him. That's an interesting place to be.

We're still in early ideation for him but have probably two decent directions. I've taken a lot of notes from the community and continue to have some really in-depth discussions with people internally. My hope is to get a concept locked down in the early months of 2015, but we'll see."
He continued:
Pretty sure I know what the two main directions are, the flamboyant stereotype and the serious knight.
"You're not far from the truth. It's been an interesting discussion. Though "serious" probably isn't a term I'd use in terms of our goals for him. I think "noble" or "genuine" is more on target. But yeah. Personally I'd like to stay away from flamboyancy. I would like to walk the fine line between beauty and over-the-top.

That's my personal feels at least. We'll see how it pans out."
When asked about Lux and his thoughts on any future plans for her, IronStylus noted:
"I would argue her animations are actually ok, though could use some love. Usable though. If anything we might be able to do a Renekton-level MTU on her if we put our heads to it. That said I want her to fit into Demacia heavily. Right now the whole skin-tight body suit with boob-plate isn't doing it for the team, and we have the opportunity to make her something that still sweet, charming, really lovely, but smarten up the design a bit. Make her feel like she's garbed up in Demacian fashion for the nobility-level, light-hearted battle mage that she is.

I have some iterations lying around that we might put into pre-production. She's in a bucket of champions which we consider "high value", in that they might not need huge overhauls and the rigs are mostly healthy."
IronStylus continued:
"Not screams Demacia as in military garb, but something evocative of Demacian motifs, worked into something that's elegant and classy but has a bit of flared armor-like elements. In this case, I am NOT for adding armor in terms of bulk, and I wouldn't want to see just like.. girl-Garen or something weird like that. I squint my eyes and to me Lux reads as a super-positive color guard teenager. That's gotta stay I feel."
As for Urgot, IronStylus mentioned he's been working on extremely early concept work!
"Urgunna(?) be happy that I'm starting VERY EARLY concept ideation for him."

As for visual updates for SwainIronStylus noted nothing has been put into pre-production:
"He's not up for a total VU for a long time, most likely. Personally, and you can ask The Bravo Ray about this (biggest Swain fan NA), he wanted that skin to almost be a replacement for the base, which I think it achieves. That said, Swain needs a re-imagining. We've been toying with some stuff, (mainly The Bravo Ray has been.. because.. Swain..) but nothing official has been put into pre-production."

When asked about the fate of Evelynn's future visual updates in relation to the new skin, IronStylus noted she's still on the list and that the new Safecracker skin is on her old rig:
"Yes, it's on the old rig. We didn't want to block what happens to be a really cool theme for her just because we don't have the VU complete."

As for his thoughts on Malzahar, IronStylus noted:
"If I was gunna make a gut call, I'd say MTU, just because.. well.. he floats.."

Mini Lore Q & A

In a forum thread requesting a Q&A from the narrative team, Carnival Knights offered up his services to answer a few questions floating around!
"Can't speak to an AMA with the entire team (we've talked about this, however), but I'm happy to answer a few questions if you'll have me. :3"

When asked about some of the lesser known locations in Runeterra such as the Voodoo Lands or the Kumungu Jungle Carnival Knights commented:
"They still very much exist. The prevailing wisdom is 'we need to flesh these out a lot more,' as even when we revealed them they were ill-defined. So to answer, they'll very likely (nothing is ever 100% certain) get some more fleshing out."
As for if that means champions who lack a home ( like Fiddlesticks) could potentially hail from those locations, he continued:
"It's possible, but for Fiddle in particular I doubt it."
He continued, replying to where Fiddlesticks could possibly be from then:
"Valoran is full of lost, dark places. May luck be with those who find them."

When asked if the old map of Valoran is still correct, Carnival Knights noted:
"Considering the Shadow Isles are on the complete other side of the continent from Bilgewater, I'd say some things are probably different. Recent Harrowing nautical map posted for clarity."

When asked for his opinions on adding new major factions, Carnival Knights commented:
"I mean, we just made a new one (Shurima). Never count out the possibilities!"

Lastly, we have a few multi part questions:

Sorry if, for whatever reason, these questions come off as confrontational. If they do, I really don't intend them to be.
  1. Just a more personal opinion question, but which region/faction of Runeterra interests you the most?
  2. Is there anything on the radar for the fact that Singed's lore still refers to Warwick as an Alchemist?
  3. For champions that are intrinsically tied to the League and Summoners (Jax, Nocturne, Orianna, etc.) do you think your close to deciding the direction you're going to take them, or are you still thinking things over? You don't have to say what said direction is if you want it to be a surprise.
  4. Are you still having technical issues with the 'short bio in client, longer bio on website' thing? I will say it is an interesting idea, but I'd like to know if some of the longer bios are already finished, and you're just waiting for the technical issues to be resolved, or if they're still in the rough draft stage (Which is totally fine, by the way, if they're still rough drafts).
  5. It seems like most lore developments coincide with a major event (even if it's just a new champion getting released); I'd like to see if it'd be possible to start releasing stories that don't necessarily have to do with a major event or a new patch. For example, say a new champion gets released, but you also present a short story involving, I don't know, Kassadin and Malzahar's rivalry, when that has nothing to do with the new champion (The rhetorical new champ doesn't have anything to do with the void at all!)
  1. Icathia. Huge Lovecraft fan, read The King in Yellow a dozen times, have written cosmic horror professionally. I love the idea of it, I love the execution, I love that it's a massive reference to Iram of the Pillars, and I love the possibilities as a writer as well as a reader. It's just really freaking cool.
  2. Ugh, yes. My old deskmate used to pummel me over this and the Voodoo lands on a daily basis. We are aware he needs and update and are looking into it.
  3. We've all talked about this a lot. I'd like to personally thank everyone who participated in the biographies thread, as it helped a couple cool ideas get off the ground. Can't reveal more than that, I'm afraid!
  4. When stories start going up on the site, you'll know the tech has been fixed.
  5. Answered in another post, but we're hoping to approach storytelling this way as soon as we can."
1.) Will you expand on Lux and Ezreal's relationship? It was one of the only champion interrelations we had and is a fan favorite, edcluding those Ez x Taric fanatics we pretend dont exist. 
2.) Where are you planning on putting Kayle? As a writer myself, I've written 2.75 short stories on Kayle and her world, and it would be heartbreaking to find that she has become some weird bird lady from Targon... (the .75 is for the third installment I nearly have finished). 
3.) You say all events happened. 
CarnivalMnights. Please explain to us all how Kalamanda works without the Institute and the High Councilor's interferance, and why it worked, LeBlanc impersonating Jarvan IV to cause Demacia to look bad in the eyes of the League?

1) Most likely, yes. Almost all, if not all of the old champion relationships are being preserved and expanded upon in new and interesting ways. As for Taric... I have so many feelings about Taric (all good). One of my favorite (human) characters lore-wise.

2) Can't say (spoilers). But we're not making her 'a weird bird lady from Targon.' We are absolutely hoping to preserve the core aspects of Kayle as well as Morgana - and expanding on their connection.

3) Kalamandra I'm not entirely sure about, so I'm going to have to avoid answering your question for now. I'm sorry."
So a few questions. 
1) so far since the announcement you've had mostly giant lore events, sion's event(swain,vlad,leblanc,sion,elise?,others) or shurima(azir,sivir,cass,renek,xerath) or the harrowing with everyone from Bilgewater and the shadow isles. 
Are there plans for smaller scale pieces involving some of the less political players like nidalee,Ahri, or zac? 
2) Its seems the retcon of the league started before you guys announced it, there were hints of removing summoners back when the freljord event happened would it be fair to say that event is completely canon? 
3) Thoughts on Udyr's friendship with Nidalee? 
4) When you update the in-game lore to the small "preview" text thing, do you have a longer story ready for the characters?
For instance do you have a direction ready and something written up for skarner?

1) Besides the 'long lore' pieces, we're looking into providing ongoing story content for less politically connected characters as well as the major players of Valoran.

2) For any event that happened, approach it as though the IoW never existed. Poof, you have the event.

3) Grrrrrrowl.

4) We always know the updated story and direction of a character before we put in the short lore. As for Skarner, I'm not 100% sure (if we have something ready for release) so I'm not going to answer for risk of inaccuracies."

Sion's Passive in 4.20

Meddler also popped on the forums to note  that patch 4.20 will feature a tweak to the decay rate of Sion's pasive:
"Yeah, we're on the same page that the current health decay numbers scale too steeply by level. We'll be reducing the decay rate in patch 4.20 (final numbers not certain yet, but from memory the values we've been testing have been around 60% of current for example)."

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