Red Post Collection: The Pledge Cinematic, Kalista's "Invocation" short story, Upcoming Cassiopeia PBE changes, New LeaverBuster System, and more!

Posted on at 11:56 AM by Moobeat
[~5 PM PST Update: Added in info on the new LeaverBuster System to the bottom of the post!]

This afternoon's red post collection features a new "The Pledge" cinematic and "Invocation" short story for the recently released Kalista's, as well as Stashu with a list of upcoming PBE changes for Cassiopeia, a reminder on champion price reductions now that Kalista is available, and Lyte discussing the newly updated LeaverBuster system!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

The Pledge

With Kalista now walking the Rift, check out Riot's latest cinematic - The Pledge.

"A pledge and a soul
Escape his final breath 
His offer accepted
And her spirit summoned 
A soul for a soul--
His betrayer’s life


Kalista Short Story - Invocation

Ant in Oz has also published Kalista's short story , which is meant to eventually dwell on her champion page as her long form lore entry! 
"Hey guys 
We are still running into some tech issues with putting up our new Champ stories where we want them to live going forward – on the website's champ info pages. However, we didn’t want this to mean Kalista’s story didn’t go out with her launch… so, we are putting her story up here on Boards for now. We hope you like it! 

The sword-wife stood amid the burnt out ruin of her home. Everything and everyone that mattered to her was gone, and she was filled with fathomless grief... and hate. Hate was now all that compelled her.

She saw again the smile on his face as he gave the order. He was meant to be their protector, but he’d spat upon his vows. Hers was not the only family shattered by the oath-breaker.

The desire to go after him was strong. She wanted nothing more than to plant her sword in his chest and watch the life drain from his eyes... but she knew she would never be able to get close enough to him. He was guarded day and night, and she was but one warrior. She would never be able to fight her way through his battalion alone. Such a death would serve no purpose.

She took a shuddering breath, knowing there was no coming back.

A crude effigy of a man, formed of sticks and twine, lay upon a fire-blackened dresser. Its body was wrapped in a scrap of cloth torn from the cloak of the betrayer. She’d pried it from her husband's dead grasp. Alongside it was a hammer and three rusted nails.

She gathered everything up and moved to the threshold. The door itself was gone, smashed to splinters in the attack. Beyond, lit by moonlight, lay the empty, darkened fields.

Reaching up, the sword-wife pressed the stick-effigy to the hardwood lintel.

“I invoke thee, Lady of Vengeance,” she said, her voice low, trembling with the depth of her fury. “From beyond the veil, hear my plea. Come forth. Let justice be done.”

She readied her hammer and the first of the nails.

“I name my betrayer once,” she said, and spoke his name aloud. As she did so, she placed the tip of the first nail to the chest of the stick-figure. With a single strike, she hammered it in deep, pinning it to the hardwood door frame.

The sword-wife shivered. The room had become markedly colder. Or had she imagined it?

“I name him twice,” she said, and she did so, hammering the second nail alongside the first.

Her gaze dropped, and she jolted in shock. A dark figure stood out in the moonlit field, a hundred yards in the distance. It was utterly motionless. Breathing quicker, the sword-wife returned her attention to the unfinished task.
“I name him thrice,” she said, speaking again the name of the murderer of her husband and children, before hammering home the final nail.

An ancient spirit of vengeance stood before her, filling the doorway, and the sword-wife staggered back, gasping involuntarily.

The otherworldly being was clad in archaic armor, her flesh translucent and glowing with spectral un-light. Black Mist coiled around her like a living shroud.

With a squeal of tortured metal, the spectral figure drew forth the blackened spear protruding from her breastplate — the ancient weapon that had ended her life.

She threw it to the ground before the sword-wife. No words were spoken; there was no need. The sword-wife knew what was being offered to her — vengeance — and knew its terrible cost: her soul.

The spirit watched on, her face impassive and her eyes burning with an unrelenting cold fury, as the sword-wife picked up the treacherous weapon.

“I pledge myself to vengeance,” said the sword-wife, her voice quivering. She reversed the spear, aiming the tip inward, towards her heart. “I pledge it with my blood. I pledge it with my soul.”

She paused. Her husband would have pleaded for her to turn away from this path. He would have begged her not to condemn her soul with this course of action. A moment of doubt gnawed at her. The undying specter watched on.

The sword-wife’s eyes narrowed as she thought of her husband lying dead, cut down by swords and axes. She thought again of her children, sprawled upon the ground, and her resolve hardened like a cold stone in her heart. Her grip tightened upon the spear.

“Help me,” she implored, her decision made. “Please, help me kill him.”

She rammed the spear into her chest, driving it in deep.

The sword-wife’s eyes widened and she dropped to her knees. She tried to speak, but only blood bubbled from her lips.

The ghostly apparition watched her die, her expression impassive.

As the last of the lifeblood ran from her body, the shade of the sword-wife climbed to her feet. She looked down at her insubstantial hands in wonder, then at her own corpse lying dead-eyed in a growing pool of blood upon the floor. The shade’s expression hardened, and a ghostly sword appeared in her hand.

An ethereal tether, little more than a wisp of light, linked the newly formed shade to the avenging spirit she had summoned. Through their bond, the sword-wife saw her differently, glimpsing the noble warrior she had been in life: tall and proud, her armor gleaming. Her posture was confident, yet without arrogance; a born leader, a born soldier. This was a commander that the sword-wife would have willingly bled for.

Behind the spirit’s anger, she sensed her empathy — recognition of their shared pain of betrayal.

“Your cause is our cause,” said Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance. Her voice was grave cold. “We walk the path of vengeance as one, now.”

The sword-wife nodded.

With that, the avenging spirit and the shade of the sword-wife stepped into the darkness and were gone."

More information on Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance, available here.

Upcoming Cassiopeia PBE Changes

Stashu has returned to the boards with a list of upcoming Cassiopeia PBE changes he is planning to test!
"note: copying this here because the Cassio thread got lost 
Hey guys, sorry I've been afk for so long! I've been waiting to get some PBE feedback. I'm finally able to make that happen now that 4.20 launched, so let's get to it =D 
I think we had some amazing conversations in that last thread thread. We're keeping the changes to a medium scope for this patch, but I think we've gone a long way in the right direction. I know there are still many concerns, but let's let this shake out on live for a bit and see where she ends up, then revisit the conversation. 
Our thinking for this current changelist is
  • Bring back poison as a core part of Cassiopeia's damage profile
  • Curb the overly exaggerated hyper carry curve so that she can function early game
  • A few different things are happening here, like adding straight damage to her early game with the Twin Fang debuff, increasing Twin Fang's ratio early game, and increasing Q's movement speed boost early game. We're also bringing down her late game a touch with some of these changes, but her DPS should still be off the charts.
Looking further into the future, hopes are to turn Aspect of the Serpent bonuses into more exciting, lateral-power points instead of super direct boosts to power which make it feel as if Cassiopeia can't be strong until 30 minutes into the game. There was some pretty serious brainstorming towards this end, and it was a huge help for thinking about where we could take the passive, and that was super awesome. 
However, for now, here's what you can expect for 4.21:
  • Aspect of the Serpent
  • No longer stacks on poisoned unit kill or on Twin Fang casts on enemy champions.
  • Now, stacks once every 6 seconds (10 times per minute) and for every second that an enemy champion is poisoned.
  • Stack breakpoints adjusted to 100 / 250 / 500. Overall, these are hit sooner than the old 75/200/400 based on the new mechanics, but are definitely still up for discussion.
  • Noxious Blast
  • Delay changed to actually function as intended (previously hitting between 0.25 and 0.5s). Now has a 0.4s delay.
  • With the reliability changes, it was a bit too reliable, so we set the delay at 0.4.
  • Movement speed buff changed to a flat 20% (from 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30%).
  • Twin Fang
  • Mana cost changed to 35 / 45 / 55 / 65 / 75 (from 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90)
  • Now adds a debuff on the target which amplifies further poison damage by 25% for 5 seconds, stacks up to 2 times (50%).
  • Ratio changed to 0.55 (from 0.4/0.45/0.5/0.55/0.6)
  • Since we're adding damage elsewhere on the kit (mostly through this debuff), we decided to take a bit out of Twin Fang's late game.

[Reminder] Champion Price Reductions

With Kalista's release, both Viktor and Amumu will soon be permanently reduced in price.

  • Viktor reduced from 6300 IP / 975 RP to 4800 IP / 880 RP
  • Amumu reduced from to 1350 IP / 585 RP to 450 IP / 260 RP

More info and a schedule of champions who will received a price reduction with the release of future champions can be found at the Riot Support article.

Introducing the new LeaverBuster system

Following light testing during the last PBE cycle, the new LeaverBuster system is rolling out to live!

Here's Lyte with more information on the updated system, including a new kind of penalty for leavers/afkers.
"TL;DR We’re rolling out a new LeaverBuster system to help reduce the frequency of AFKS and leavers that is also significantly more severe in ranked games.

LeaverBuster is our system for detecting players who frequently leave games or AFK. In the past, we’ve generally erred on the side of caution, and for that reason, many of you have given us the feedback that LeaverBuster hasn’t always seemed effective and some players seemed to just switch to a smurf to dodge the leaving penalties.

With this new update, we’ve implemented a significantly more strict design while providing a clear feedback loop. Our goals are to better educate players that AFKing or leaving a game is not acceptable in League, and punish leavers faster and more severely.

The first time a player leaves a game, they’ll see a pop-up explaining that leaving is not okay and then have to manually agree to not leave future games. If they continue to ruin other players’ experiences, they’ll enter lower-priority matchmaking for a number of games. While in low priority queue, players will experience queue times that are 5, 10, even 20 minutes longer than a player who hasn't left games.

Players will know how many games they have in lower-priority, and if they join a premade group, that group will be notified they are playing with a chronic AFK/leaver and they’ll face the same lower-priority time penalty.

While we hope it doesn’t ever happen, if a player fails to stop AFKing or leaving while in lower-priority matchmaking, continued offenses will result in bans. Leave us your feedback below, and we’ll see you on the Rift!

I'd also like to take a moment to thank the Rioters who worked on this particular feature:
RiotLobster, RiotId, boourns, RiotComplex, RiotWorldPeace, RiotTantram, davin, RiotChomey, stochasticmx, Fr3nch T0ast, Scezumin, Ryedan, RiotNeurocat, RiotZulu, RiotJayway, RiotBlackrook, Christokkies, RiotStopthief, DoctahWayne, RiotNoyz, and RiotExLibris.

Finally, thanks to the players who helped test the LeaverBuster and find some bugs! The ones who completed the tests will be sent a RP bump in their main accounts over the next few days.

RaXSpIkE123, iSPZ, ZedRex the 1, T0MMYNAT0R, James Franko, BrandonJamYo, FlashnFuse, IEGP, johnc12369, The British, Grinzpilz, iMNAZAL, Murishani, The Feeder, iPuddingPie, iivan, DotZip, TheCosmicWave, TorretDunker, Yaknose, Tacoworld501, Saerus, edstars101, Wolfeur, Feichti1996, ALEXKOND, Hakaisha89, Ayowel, Lao Fu the Tiger, RendingSaber, Dwark, unknownXX, shrimpp0123, quincymccoy, Intilink, CCkeebs, Zehel72, xStah, xonra."
Lyte also mentioned the system is rolling out to all servers over the course of the next 24 hours
"All servers have LeaverBuster, although we're turning it on one server at a time over the course of 24 hours."
He also confirmed all matchmaking queues will use the new system:
"That's right, all matchmade queues will be affected by LeaverBuster."

When questioned about the penalty for unintentional disconnects due to things like internet issues or something of that nature, Lyte explained:
"Whether a player DCs or intentionally leaves, it's still a ruined experience for 4 to 9 other players in the game. Although it isn't the player's "fault" when they unintentionally DC, it's even more unfair to penalize up to 9 players per game while a player figures out their connection issues. 
If you DC from a game, fix your connection first before playing more games."

When asked if this new system will punish players who need to relog or reconnect to a game, Riot Tantram commented:
"The system is designed to punish leavers and AFKers. It is not designed to punish people who need to relog."
Lyte added in:
"If you DC and relog into the game quickly, you'll be fine."
When asked how quickly, Lyte elaborated:
"In these scenarios if you end up reconnecting in a reasonable time, you won't be flagged at all. If it takes 20 minutes and the majority of a game to re-boot the client and reconnect, you might be flagged for that particular game; however, the system probably won't punish you for that single game. 
If you repeatedly do the above in numerous games and always take 20+ minutes to reconnect, you'll be hit with a penalty because you still are ruining the games of 100s of players."
He continued:
"It really depends how often you leave. For example, leaving 10 games in a row will still flag your account even if you had a perfect history of no leaving. If you leave in just a few games, you might still get a light 5 minute low priority queue penalty (which is light, and something we're OK with)."

Lyte also mentioned the team is exploring the idea of being able to "reset" matches when a player fails to ever connect to a game:
"We'll keep an eye on how leaving/afk rates change as a result of the new system and more aggressive penalties. If the frequency of these incidences remains higher than we are comfortable with we'll investigate some more solutions. 
One idea that we're tinkering with is if a player fails to connect to a game, we allow players to "reset" the match without any penalties to the players in the game. However, the player that failed to connect gets the same LeaverBuster penalty."

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