Red Post Collection: First Light after the Harrowing, Preseason 2015 - Forging a Diverse Armory, Evelynn VU still on the Table, and much more!

Posted on at 4:18 PM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection features the "First Light after the Harrowing" which explains the history behind the Black Mist, preseason 2015 dev blog covering the upcoming itemization changes, IronStylus noting that Evelynn's VU is "still on the table", a look at concept art for Kalista and the upcoming Battlecast skins, CertainlyT answering questions on Kalista, and much more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

First Light After the Harrowing

With this year's Harrowing event behind us and the Black Mist has passed, we have new post detailing the events of Harrowing past:
"Though the Black Mist fades and the souls it claimed will soon forget their past, the threat of the fell tide will not be forgotten. Worse than all previous years, those who lived are left to wonder where it will return, and whether anyone will survive when it does.
I -  1 Year. The Battle of Knife Straits. An armada from Bilgewater, led by Miss Fortune and Captain Gangplank – sailing together under an uneasy truce – meets the Black Mist head on. Heavy casualties sustained. Fleet scattered.
II -  1 Year. The Drowned Anchor. One element of the Harrowing stalled. Reports of a large figure encased in a rusted diving suit seen in the heart of the fighting.
III -  1 Year. The Reaping of Smuggler’s Cove. No survivors.
IV - 3 Years. The Battle of the Serpent. A Blue Flame leviathan is goaded to the surface by a serpent caller to face the Harrowing. The Black Mist is dispersed before it reaches Bilgewater, but the giant from the depths is slain in the process. 
V - 9 Years. The Shadow Falls. The Black Mist overcomes the defenses of the Southern Beacon, and it sinks beneath the sea. Its guiding light is now lost to Bilgewater.
VI1 - 4 Years. The Wild Hunt. Hecarim marshals a spectral host and lays waste to the port of Grey Harbor. Despite valiant resistance from the fishing fleet anchored there, all souls are lost. Grey Harbor remains uninhabited to this day.
VII - 21 Years. The Death of the Conqueror. The mighty galleon Conqueror is lost to the depths, along with 30 battleships. Some have claimed to have seen the Conqueror riding the Black Mist in subsequent Harrowings.
VIII - 32 years. The Battle of Port Mourn. The revenant Mordekaiser leads the Harrowing on a night of slaughter, and Port Mourn falls to darkness. It is said that specters now haunt its empty streets.
IX - 17 years. The Crimson Armada. A Noxian war fleet is caught in the Black Mist. Over 30 vessels lost. No survivors.
X - 37 years. The Maelstrom. The frigate Light-Bringer’s Bane is swallowed by the sea while sailing to outrun the Black Mist.
XI - 49 years. The Shroud. Up until half a century ago, this was the furthest extent of any known Harrowing.
XII  - 33 years. The Flower of Ionia. An Ionian fleet of unknown size lost to the Harrowing.
As evinced here, the Harrowing has grown bolder and stronger over the last half century. I fear for the future should this trend continue"

Intrigued? Don't forget to take another peak at the Tales of the Black Mist: The Harrowing video!

When asked why the years mean exactly, Icosahedron commented:
"I think the "Year" numbers are "Years Ago". So the MF/Gangplank stuff was just last year, where The Maelstrom was 37 years ago."

[Dev Blog] Preseason 2015: Forging a Diverse Armory

The preseason information dump continues and this time Ypherion is back to talk about item diversity as we head into the 2015 Preseason!
"It’s preseason, and that means changes to items! When we looked at all of the high-level strategic opportunities in League, some questions arose. Through items, could we follow the same path as objectives in allowing teams to opt into different strategies? Where would the meaningful choices be found? What would they be? Could there be a method to protect yourself against opposing strategies? 
Ultimately, the philosophy we’re pursuing with preseason items feeds into the same goal: strategic diversity - increasing the paths to victory your team can take. As such, we want to create and retune items with a specific focus on macro-level value (meaning pre-fight, or out of combat value) over micro-level contributions. If more teams can pick up the items they need to change course in a game (by which we mean switching to split-pushing or sieging through item purchases rather than relying purely on champion composition) we hope to provide the right tools for strategic innovation to prosper in League of Legends.  
Diversifying Item Strategies 
Many items in League just add champion power with passive stats. This is important because it's one of the key ways teams have to leverage gold advantages. However, in addition to these kinds of items, we think there is room for more strategic items that allow you to support a particular strategy or counter an enemy strategy. By their very nature, these items won't be must-buys every game, but in certain situations they should be very useful. 
As we mentioned in the first Preseason Dev Blog, we want to make sure that most team comps can react to specialized strategies brought by the enemy team. In that blog we mentioned an item that would help you engage on a slippery opposing team: enter Righteous Glory. In addition to giving a pile of health / mana / health regeneration, Righteous Glory’s active gives a large movement speed bonus to both its user and nearby allies when moving toward enemies (or enemy turrets!) before emitting a large, high-impact shockwave that slows all nearby enemy champions. 
By granting high toward-enemy movement speed (think Vayne’s Night Hunter passive) to your team at the right time, you can quickly position for a fight. Add to that a powerful area-of-effect slow and your ability to force fights becomes formidable against all but the most evasive teams. 
We’re also looking at existing items and seeing what we can improve. For example, Ohmwrecker is an interesting item that occupies a unique strategic space but seems a little undertuned relative to its cost. We think Ohmwrecker has the potential to be a powerful tool to fight against teams that are able to endlessly leverage the power of the new inhibitor turrets to stall out games, so we’re re-doing this item (yes, again…) as a pure tank initiation purchase. In addition to granting bonus health, health regen, cooldown reduction, and its active turret disable ability (we’ve upped the duration by 0.5 seconds), Ohmwrecker now builds up to +30% bonus movement speed over 2 seconds when near enemy or ally turrets. This movement speed bonus isn’t cancelled by combat, so whoever owns an Ohmwrecker will be a significant tower diving threat at all times. 
It’s worth calling out it’s not only active items getting a pass with strategy in mind. We tuned Warmog’s Armor so it’s a bit less about being an unburstable meat-wall and more of an anti-poke buy. We’ve kept that +1% maximum health per 5 second regeneration, but it’ll triple to regenerating 3% of the holder’s maximum health if they haven’t taken damage within 8 seconds. The intense out-of-combat regen allows for powerful sustain in long standoffs, helping teams adapt against strategies that rely on endless posturing and poking. 
These aren’t the only changes incoming, but are solid examples of the design philosophy we’re following. We’re looking forward to seeing their effect on games as players develop strategies and counter-strategies, and we’ll use the early results to inform future changes and new items.  
Drink Up Me Hearties! YO HO! 
Because consumables are relatively cheap and last a short duration, we thought they were naturally suited to support dynamic strategies. As your team changes strategies, you can also change which consumables you’re buying. 
Elixir of Fortitude and Elixir of Brilliance have been replaced by a set of mid/late game consumables: 
  • Elixir of Ruin 
  • Grants bonus health, bonus damage to towers, and the “Siege Commander” buff 
  • Siege Commander: Nearby minions gain bonus damage to towers. Minions also gain movement speed based on your own movement speed. 
  • Elixir of Sorcery 
  • Grants bonus ability power, mana regeneration, and the “Sorcery” buff 
  • Sorcery: Damaging a champion or tower deals bonus true damage. This effect has a cooldown against champions but no cooldown against towers. 
  • Elixir of Iron 
  • Grants increased size, slow resistances, tenacity, and the “Path of Iron” buff
  • Path of Iron: Moving leaves behind a path that boosts allied champion movement speed
  • Elixir of Wrath 
  • Grants bonus attack damage and the “Bloodlust” buff 
  • Dealing physical damage to champions heals for a % of the damage dealt. Scoring a kill or assist extends the duration of this Elixir by 30 seconds.
These are more expensive than the Elixirs they’re replacing and you can only have one active at a time. These new Elixirs are primarily a choice of what is most valuable to your team’s strategy. We’ll be watching these carefully to gauge their effect on the game and will react accordingly. The power level and/or effects of these will almost certainly change over time while we all learn what strategic consumables do for League.  
Streamlining Reactive Builds 
When you’ve just been evaporated by LeBlanc or cut down by Riven you tend to want to adjust your build appropriately by buying Armor or Magic Resist as soon as possible. However, with the current state of items there’s often needless complexity in deciding what to pick up. Depending on the final item you’re going for, you should be building Cloth Armor instead of Chain Vest (Glacial Shroud vs. Warden’s Mail) or Negatron Cloak instead of Null Magic Mantle (Banshee’s Veil vs. Hexdrinker). Depending on how much gold you have on hand, this can force strange decisions around what is ultimately a reactive purchase. 
To smooth this out, we’re changing Chain Vest to build out of Cloth Armor and removed Negatron Cloak from the game (replacing it with Null Magic Mantles earlier in item build paths). This makes the “I need Armor NOW” case much cleaner, no matter what final item you’re aiming for with minimal loss of depth in the decision making.
A number of recipes have been tweaked accordingly but overall the power level of these items is largely the same. 
Health and Mana Regeneration: Not Just for Early Game! 
Making regen a more regulated stat is important for us to be able to properly support and control poke / siege comps (and any other fight / flight comps that players may create) as well as defenses against them. However, it has been historically challenging to create and maintain compelling health / mana regen items in League for two reasons: 
First, flat values that are relevant late are super-oppressive when rushed early, and values that are fair early aren’t that interesting in the late game. 50HP/5 if rushed on a first big item would be absurdly powerful but would be interesting later; 10HP/5 is reasonably strong in lane but once you’re a tank with 3500 health, it just doesn’t mean much. Second, flat regen affects all characters equally, making it hard to target on champions where it can be strong and healthy (as opposed to strong and silly-overpowered). 
To address the above problems, we’re changing regen items from flat values to percentages of a champion’s stats. The benefits of a design like this are twofold. By having regen scale throughout the game we can create items providing meaningful benefits early while still remaining relevant late. We also get the benefit of being able to tune regen more effectively champion-by-champion, meaning we can focus strong regen items onto champions where they can be powerful and healthy. This’ll be a new balance and tuning point for us, and will almost certainly be a bit wonky at first. We believe that percentage-based regen will ultimately address the problems we’ve had with regen items, but we’ll need to iterate on these significantly with your help. 
Iterating Toward a New Season 
We’ll be looking to keep exploring this space in the future, so expect more items along these lines and changes to existing items in this vein. 
We’ve mentioned this in the previous Dev Blogs, but it probably can’t be said enough: all of these changes are subject to a lot of tweaking which’ll be heavily informed by player feedback and what players are able to do with these new tools. It may happen between now and when they hit live servers and it’ll happen over time as we all learn how to best use items (as well as the jungle, objectives and other areas) to enhance strategic diversity in League of Legends."

Looking for more on the upcoming Preseason 2015 changes?

Evelynn's Visual Update "still on the table"

As you may have noticed in the last update, Evelynn has a new "Safecracker Evelynn" skin up for testing on the PBE! Given earlier comments that Evelynn would be unlikely to receive a skin until after her eventual visual update, this has lead many players to be concerned that it has been cancelled.

Here's IronStylus with additional context on the situation and confirmation that Evelynn's future visual update is still "on the table"
"Still happening, but this was an appropriate choice given her limitations."
He continued:
"We're still in ideation phase for an Eve VU, but we didn't want that to block this akin which is appropriate for her given her current limitations. It's a simple enough concept that lets us work with what we've got effectively.

VU is still on the table."
Ququroon also added in:
"Eve is still up for an update. This skin isn't affected by her rig, but does give a thematically fitting skin that accepts her limitations."

Kalista Discussion

Following Kalista's champion reveal and PBE debut yesterday, CertainlyT jumped on reddit to answer a few questions

When asked about Kalista's unique the Black Spear  item and if she can remove her binding to an ally or rebind during the game, CertainlyT confirmed:
"Kalista's choice is permanent. We tried models where Kalista could change partners mid-way through the game. It actually felt less interesting, since it was very obvious when (and to whom) you should swap."
He continued in a separate thread, talking about the interaction using Nami as an example:
"Thanks for the feedback Kouya. I see who you bind with as a strategic choice, akin to selecting your champion. It would certainly be odd to be able to change from Lee Sin to Master Yi at 30 minutes in exchange for 1000 gold. 
While Nami diving into the enemy team is indeed risky, I think the ability is structured in such a way as to not make that action a trap. If she chooses the right angle and follows up properly with Bubble, it's a powerful combo. I actually LIKE the fact that Fate's Call encourages some risky plays. High variance is a good thing when implemented with care. It tends to make the experience more memorable to all parties involved and allows the game to continue to be interesting across a wider spectrum of starting points -- example: being behind against Ryze (a low variance caster) is "gg", being behind against Brand is still a position from which you can win, since you might just dodge his combo."

As for the range on Kalista's R, CertainlyT noted:
Yes, it has a range limit. Presently that limit is 1200 range (natural champion vision range is 1400), which might be too generous.

As for how Kalista's R interacts with her bound allies spells, he noted:
"Kalista disables their ability to cast spells. Ongoing spell effects still happen.

And yes, Fiddle is a fun combo (except when it all goes horribly wrong)."

CertainlyT also noted that in a future PBE build, he's going to try out making it so LEFT clicks trigger Kalista's dash passive instead or RIGHT clicks;
"Good ideas. 
Tomorrow, we'll try:Can left click to trigger the dash;
Larger grace period after attack launch (this is in but seems too small...)"
He continued, commenting on her lack of an ability to cancel auto attacks:
"It is an intended weakness that Kalista cannot cancel her basic attacks. At an abstract level, Playing against Kalista is designed to push both players' (Kalista and opponent) decisionmaking forward in time so that they are operating less on reaction and more on their assessment of what the battlefield will look like in a half second. Kalista players have to commit to their attack, Kalista opponents have to take into account a fast dash in a direction that is not telegraphed."

You can find more information, including tentative stats & abilit ratios, lore & voice over, and a look at her release skin Blood Moon Kalista, by checking out our PBE coverage!

Regarding Scripters / Cheaters

In response to concerns regarding players who cheat or use illegal 3rd party addons to gain an advantage in game, Dromaius has posted up a reminder that Riot is taking action and why silence is necessary for this sort of thing:
"Hi guys,

We’re very aware of the existence of programs that are giving a definite advantage for players using them. This is obviously something we do not tolerate and not only are we taking measures to address the programs, we are imposing sanctions towards the players utilizing them.

League of Legends is a competitive game, and players that resort to these programs do not belong on our game. We understand that not seeing or knowing when sanctions are applied to players may give the impression that we do not act, but rest assured that a ban is generally just around the corner for them.

In general, we will not speak of what we are working on for these programs, as revealing the smallest bit of information can lead to the entire work becoming fruitless. It can be compared to an arms race - where trying to preserve a lead is paramount. Note that this is not a problem that only affects League of Legends, but any online games (even single player ones…) where a small fraction of players simply can’t play competitively without being assisted by external means.

This is overall a continuous work, and we will keep on closing in and sanctioning players that do not follow the League’s terms of use."

Kalista and Battlecast Concept art

TheBravoRay has shared several concept art pictures for both Kalista and the upcoming Battlecast Alpha Skarner and Battlecast Kog'Maw skins over on his personal deviant art page!

Remember that these are CONCEPT ART and may not reflect what ends up making it into the game! Check out our PBE coverage to for previews of these three in-game!

Elixirs accidentally removed from Howling Abyss

Here's FeralPony with a  comment regarding the accidental removal of elixirs from the Howling Abyss map in the recent 4.19 patch:
"This was unintentional sorry :( . Aram should be getting the new Elixirs with the Preseason changes which would mean disabling the current elixirs. Seems we got a little trigger happy and disabled the current elixirs before we added in the new ones. I'm unsure if we'll be able to do a redeploy to fix this issue specifically or not (a lot goes into the call to redeploy) but Elixirs will return to ARAM. 
Thanks for reporting the problem!"

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