Red Post Collection: Maokai Champion Update, Dangers of the Black Mist, IronStylus VU thoughts, and more!

Posted on at 1:06 PM by Moobeat
[NoteThe NA maintenance has been extended to ~3 PM PST.]

This afternoon's red post collection features a look at the champion update for Maokai coming in patch 4.20, Carnival Knights chatting about the Black Mist,  IronStylus sharing more of this thoughts on champion visual updates, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Champion Update: Maokai

With the upcoming 4.20 patch, Maokai is receiving significant visual updates to his model/textures, VFX, skins, and more!
Here's fizznchips with more information:
"Maokai’s the latest champ to go into the champion update workshop, and has come out the other end with some fancy new bark to wear on all of his skins!
Just like Singed, Maokai’s rig was in a fairly good spot while the rest of his look was a bit… well… old. So we changed it up, updating his model, textures, spell effects, and a few of his animations on his base model and each of his skins

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!"
Still itching for more on the Maokai champion update? Check out our video preview videos for his updated base and skins!

The Black Mist

Carnival Knights also jumped on the forums to weigh in in a thread concerning what exactly the "Black Mist", a new story element introduced during this year's Harrowing, is and the danger looming ahead for the rest of the League of Legends world:
"I can add a little context here.

Like everything else on the Shadow Isles, the Black Mist was at one point a lot less black (it might not have even been a mist, though no one's old enough to remember). With the corruption of the Islands it transformed into the Black Mist, which is now a kind of traversal mechanism for the growing number of ghosts/spirits/creatures that inhabit SI. They can 'hitch a ride' on the mists, as it were, and travel inside them to populated areas brimming with unharrowed souls - souls which the things that inhabit SI are preternaturally drawn to. The mist only comes off the island during The Harrowing, though no one yet knows why.

The Mists are a local problem, but they're a growing local problem - every year the mists get bigger as more and more people/things are consumed and integrated by the Isles. Like Graves said in that bookend piece, the mists are likely powerful enough to travel anywhere at this point, not just the closest most populated region (Bilgewater for you cartography fans). That means far-flung population centers like Demacia, Piltover, and even Shurima are all potentially at risk. And while concentrated drives against the things lurking around in the mists can kinda-sorta repel the stuff (thus decreasing the spread and therefore the risk), it only staves off the threat for so long.

So in conclusion, no, it's not a military invasion. It's more like an El Niño... full of skeletons.

Skel Niño."
For more on the Black Mist, check out these links:

Champion Visual Update Discussion

Once again, IronStylus spent part of his night flying around the Story & Art boards to share his thoughts (no promises!) on the start of several champions visuals and where their eventual visual updates might take them.
In a lengthy thread about Mordekaiser, IronStylus noted:
"Lots of good stuff here.

Mainly what I'd want to do, (and yes, he is on The List, but isn't prioritized at the moment) is to bring in to Mord what we're established with newer Shadow Isles champions like Hecarim, the new Karthus and now Kalista. He's absolutely ripe for that sort of treatment. Animated suit of armor, a tortured soul, or other such thing, inside.

I think what we've sort've done with with the Shadow Isles is to turn them from what they used to be, into a twisted embodiment of their past. Hence Hecrim having the centaur/cavalry thing, Karthus looking like a ceremonial death-pope, and Kalista being literally impaled.

That fits right in line with the direction we could take Morde. I think he'll be a lot of fun to work on, he's just noisy as hell right now, and also sized completely wrong. I do believe he needs a gameplay overhaul though before we can proceed on any production work."
As for where Teemo's visuals stand in terms of other yordles, IronStylus commented:
"I agree that he needs to be adjusted, which pretty just means, ya know, anatomy. Right along the lines of Hiemer. This'll probably mean giving him a larger torso and an actual neck. This would certainly help in giving him similarities to other yordles but also help give him better animations and more room to play on any subsequent skins...

...god help us."
Finally, he briefly touched on Warwick who we've known for a while will received a visual update along with a gameplay update at some point in the future:
"Well, we have a few concepts, but as far as I know he needs a gameplay overhaul before we do anything major with him. Not quite sure how that's tracking. We're in a holding pattern with him until gameplay is hammered out."

Lyte on Positive Behavior Rewards

In a reddit thread regarding the 4 win IP boosts that are being given to players who have not been punished by behavioral systems in the 2014 season, Lyte stepped in to comment on the nature of the IP boosts and what rewards like these hope to accomplish:
"IP Boosts are a light reward, and really a first gesture for us to test what kind of scale it would be if we started rewarding positive players every once in awhile. 
We know that IP doesn't matter to everyone, but it does matter to some players who are still trying to expand their champion pool. Our next gesture might be something that more players care about--our goal is to explore a wide range of rewards over time because we know that different rewards matter to different players. Will toxic players change their ways because of a few rewards? Probably not. That's why for toxic players, not only will they miss out on being in the positive spotlight and not get cool stuff once in awhile... they'll be hit with punishments over and over. 
Our punishment philosophy is also focused on a nice diverse range of options--not every player reacts the same to the same type of punishment, so we want to create a nice mix of chat restrictions, ranked restrictions, ranked reward removals, game bans, low priority queues, etc."
He also commented that the IP boosts are being handed out now:
"They are going out over a few days, so keep your eyes peeled!"

Updated SR Jungle Camp Positions

Riot Aeon also jumped on reddit to comment on the minor position changes made to the jungle monsters on the updated Summoner's Rift, which is now in open beta on all live queues:
"We did make some minor position changes on many of the jungle creatures to fix bugs or improve the use of some skill shots on the larger creatures. For instance, the hitbox on the blue/red buff monsters was hidden behind the minis in the previous setup, this made hitting either of them with a skill to engage them nearly impossible, which when looking at the visuals looked like a visual bug. We did lots of minor dialing on hitbox sizes and nudged many of the creature positions to handle cases like this. We consistently tested these changes with our live balance team and while there are cases like this where a particular champion will be affected, we're hoping the net result is a jungle that rewards skilled play a bit more, but mostly looks less bugged.

If we find cases we need to adjust further to keep this balanced (both ways) we totally can, and will. And updating the champions affected isn't off the table either. :)

Oh and also, in much of our testing, we found that for many AOE skill cases, players can reposition while engaging the creatures to get much of the same behavior as before. It is a change those players may have to learn, but in only a few cases (actually Xin's dash engage is an example of such an exception) does this impact their clear speed much."
He continued:
"Just to clarify, we did a lot of nudging the other direction when we could. We had cases early on with Vi not being able to use her punch on the raptor camp, so we repositioned those more closely to the old positions. As you say, it totally is a balance and if we find cases we need to adjust further we totally can, and will."

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