Red Post Collection: Ryze's Future Gameplay Update, Why Blood Moon Kalista, SR Icons for TB only, and more!

Posted on at 6:14 PM by Moobeat
[Note: ~11 PM PST: A small PBE patch was deployed but only contained bug fixes and that sort of thing, not enough for a stand alone post.]

Tonight's red post collection features Scruffy and Meddler discussing the future plans for Ryze, Ant in Oz explaining the concept behind Blood Moon Kalista, a clarification that you can only earn the new Summoner's Rift icons on TeamBuilder, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Ryze's Future Gameplay Update

In a popular reddit thread discussing the effect that the 4.19 balance changes had on Ryze, Riot Scruffy popped in to comment that they are currently looking at a few gameplay changes for Ryze:
"We're in the early stages of working on some gameplay changes that will both:
  • Increase his counterplay
  • Increase his skillcap and allow him to win or fail more based on skill
  • Emphasize the cool things that make Ryze unique (rapid fire spells, mana babyyyyy)That said, we still want him to feel like Ryze and we want these changes to directly appeal to current Ryze players. 
No dates yet for when we can release this, but we are committed to improving Ryze."

In response to comments on Ryze's current power top lane, Scruffy continued:
Good to hear, as a top laner playing against him is so frustrating. He has more range than you, he deals more damage than you and he is tankier than you most of the time. Another thing is that mana items give tank stats which causes him to be a semi-tank while still being a burst mage. Frozen heart gives 400 mana and 20% cdr(which Ryze scales well with because of his flat cdr passive) but also 100 armor which makes him unbeatable for AD's all for only 2600 Gold.

This is good analysis, and I think we agree on all of these problems. The tricky part is that if you just remove stuff from a champ it will become unviable all together, so we are working out ways to keep Ryze's strengths without these negative impacts on the other players."
He continued:
"We think that it would still be ok if Mana = Mana + damage or Mana = Mana + Tanky for ryze, but I think that when he gets all three (like with frozen heart) so easily is when we run into trouble."

Scruffy also commented that Riot Repertoir is heading up the project and will have more details when the time comes:
"RiotRepertoir is working on the changes in detail. He will have a bunch of details to share once we get a more solid direction."

In response to a suggestion about adding some sort of interaction with one of his numerous "point and click" skills, Riot Scruffy noted:
"This is definitely part of the conversation. Not committing to anything yet but we are operating under a goal that while Ryze overall should feel reliable, there needs to be atleast 1 spell on his kit that allows for missing/mitigation from his opponent."

In response to a comment about the goals laid out for Ryze sounding a lot like what they say about every other rework, Scruffy noted:
"Yea, in some cases these are just things that we have learned and gotten better at over the years. Though it's not always the same tactics. 
Take Sion, Soraka, and Viktor as an example. The work done on those three were all for totally different goals."

He also briefly mentioned Warwick's future gameplay update, nothing they would also like to add in more of these goals:
"Eventually when we get to Warwick we will definitely do the same. He doesn't have enough room right now in his kit to make big plays (or bad ones)."

In a different thread, Meddler also offered his own comments on Ryze:
"Yeah, Ryze's combination of high reliability, tankiness and eventually really high sustained damage isn't something we're happy with, given it leaves some opponents without valid options against him. Short term we've taken some power out of him as a result, longer term we're going to rework a skill or two to address those core problems (which will probably mean we can then put at least some of that damage back in)."

Why does Kalista have a Blood Moon skin?

When asked why Kalista has an Ionian themed Blood Moon skin as her release skin despite not being connected to Ionia, Ant in Oz explained:
"We liked the idea that the story of Kalista is known all across Runeterra... but different cultures may tell her story differently, as well as have a different idea of how she looks, since most of them - the lucky ones, anyway - have likely never actually seen her. 
For example, how the people of Freljord tell the story and picture her may be quite different to the people of Bilgewater... And perhaps in some Ionian versions, this is how they might portray Kalista. 
Look at the way the idea of dragons is different in different cultures in our world, though they all come from a similar mythic place. 
So that... and it looks cool. 
Hope that helps!

New SR Icons for Team Builder, not Bots

For those still trying to earn the new Blue and Red side icons available during the Summoner's Rift open beta, Hollymonster has clarified that they are ONLY available from Team Builder and not from bot games.
"You don't get the icon from playing Co-op or custom games. You can only get them from playing Team Builder for now. 
I'm trying to get that clarified in the main post because it's really unclear."
As mentioned, the original announcement has been updated to clarify:
"You can earn each icon by winning a game on each side of the map in Team Builder."
and includes :
"The icons will be available for the next several weeks and may take a few days to show up on your account."

BotRK Exploit Clarification

Building on the earlier communications regarding bans being handed out for abusing an exploit with Blade of the Ruined King to activate it multiple times in quick succession, Meddler commented that this is not something for your average player to worry about "accidentally" doing as it requires file manipulation.
"Play normally with it and you'll be fine. The exploit in question requires file modifications, it's not just people taking advantage of a bug."

Riot Triggs also noted that a fix is currently being rolled out one server at a time:
"The fix gets rolled out shard by shard, which is why you may have still encountered players abusing this."
[Update] He followed up around ~`6 PM PST, saying:
"The fix has been rolled out to all shards with no errors. Thanks for bearing with us folks!"

The service status page has also been updated with this message:
"We have been able to identify and fix the recent item exploit and are handing out additional permanent bans of players who abused it. Please continue to inform us for any sightings of hacks or exploits that harm the game play experience in any way. Thank you"

Champion Strengths and Weaknesses 

Meddler also jumped on the forums to answer a question regarding how the balance team manages to preserve a champions strengths and weaknesses, as well as how they attempt to wedge in counterplay:
Once a character has hit the ground, be it in internal alpha, PBE, or live, how do you keep track of the peaks and valleys of a character's game play? How do you present these things for you or someone else to digest and how do you archive it so that certain issues are accessible? 
There's a character that has less counterplay than I'd like and has few meaningful fallback strategies when doing poorly. How do you communicate those issues to other designers on the project in reference form (i.e. documentation) so the problem is always clear? 
While I'm at it, do you feel that every champ needs a fallback strategy. Why or why not? I've read that you consider Yasuo a well designed champ in terms of the "levers" that can be pulled to keep him in line while also having a strong defensive tool (his Wind Wall) to keep him relevant in teamfights when he's doing poorly. Does every champ need this or should certain champs stay behind if they don't secure an early lead? 
Finally, what are ways in which you attempt to create counterplay where there's very little?
"Internally we work with a combination of documented strengths/weaknesses, both in terms of intention and observed, that are kept in a shared file on a per champion basis, and a bunch of discussion/consensus building. Generally we're focused on the conceptual level (e.g. Braum should be strong against ranged threats and work well with auto attacking allies, weaker against divers etc). That's all very much a perpetual work in progress, not a rigid locked down set of laws though of course. As new information comes in, from player discovery, changes to game systems/meta etc it's often necessary to revisit existing assumptions and then sometimes adjust the approach you'd been taking. 
Fall back patterns are something we generally want to offer to champions. Being behind should put you at a significant disadvantage, but shouldn't effectively remove you from the game. There are some champions where that's not really the case and that's something that's occasionally worth tolerating if it lets you do enough other valuable things with the character (game design's a series of trade offs basically). 
Adding counterplay's all about giving other players ways to interact with a skill, champion or whatever. Some of the most common approaches we'll look at include range limits or changing abilities to skillshots (positional counterplay), requiring buildup or expenditure to use abilities (resource costs, whether mana, buff building, ammo etc), substantial CDs (windows of strength and vulnerability), dependency on other elements like extra enemies/other allied champs etc."
He continued, elaborating on the concept of fall back patterns and counterpicks:
Most ADC champions would like to have a work with you as would a few champs facing certain counterpicks.
Having a fall back pattern doesn't mean you're still really effective regardless of your past performance that game, but that there's some way you can continue to play and be useful if you get sufficiently far behind you can't perform your normal actions successfully. For ADCs that often comes via poke to harass/still farm somewhat (e.g. Ezreal, Kog, Corki, Jinx, Lucian) and/or spell based contributions that aren't too dependent on game performance (e.g. Ashe and Varus especially, Jinx, MF to lesser degrees). Some ADCs do have much weaker fallback patterns certainly and that's one of the risks you take when picking them (Vayne and Draven for example). 
Counterpicks can invalidate a champion's primary playstyle and, especially if they don't have a fallback pattern to shift to, potentially shut them down really hard. Late game that's not such an issue, since LoL's a team game where your allies can cover for your weaknesses and there are other enemies to focus instead, early game (laning) however that can be pretty game deciding, hence our desire to avoid hard counterpicks in the early game. Are there particular champion match ups you have in mind as major problems?" 

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