Red Post Collection: Extra Bonus RP coming mid January, Aatrox and Shen discussion, and more

Posted on at 12:58 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes a heads up on the extra bonus RP promotion coming in mid January, Meddler chatting about Aatrox and Shen's theme and abilities, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Extra Bonus RP is coming for a limited time!

In January, Riot will be hosting another extra bonus RP promotion!
Here's WizardCrab with the NA version of the promotion announcement:
"Celebrate the new year with bonus RP! Between January 12th and January 18th you’ll get extra RP on your purchases. 
Here's a breakdown of how much RP you'll receive for purchases during the Bonus:
  • $5.00 – 650 RP
  • $10.00 – 1460 RP (1300 + 80 standard bonus RP + 80 extra bonus RP)
  • $20.00 – 3000 RP (2600 + 200 standard bonus RP + 200 extra bonus RP)
  • $35.00 – 5450 RP (4550 + 450 standard bonus RP + 450 extra bonus RP)
  • $50.00 – 7900 RP (6500 + 700 standard bonus RP + 700 extra bonus RP)
  • $100.00 – 17000 RP (13000 + 2000 standard bonus RP + 2000 extra bonus RP)
Extra Bonus RP does not apply to mobile payment methods, and because of the advance notice, there will be no refunds for RP purchases made prior to the announcement or the promotion. Extra Bonus RP applies to prepaid cards (the $25 card is worth 3750 RP) redeemed during the period. 
Take this chance to pick up your favorite champions and skins and take on the 2015 Season!"
Check out your specific regions announcement for more information!

Aatrox and Shen Discussion

Holidays or not, Meddler has been bouncing around the forums touching on the fantasy vs gameplay of both Aatrox and Shen.

First up, Meddler jumped into a thread questioning the point of Aatrox's current ultimate - explaining why his ult feels a bit stale due to doubling down on attack speed steroids and musing the suggestion of adding a AoE Fear but also underlining his commentary is not promising any sort of rework.
"Yeah, Aatrox's ult is not as satisfying as an ultimate should be and that's something I'd like to see us address at some point. Two attack speed steroids on the same kit diminishes the amount either's felt, especially when one of them's variable (Olaf suffers from this problem too). Splitting the ability's power between a PBAOE nuke and steroid also leaves both feeling somewhat unsatisfying when balanced. To top it off, the increased attack range is certainly useful, but not sufficiently different to really shake up his play while it's active (compare it to Kayle's E for example). 
A PBAOE fear would feel great for the Aatrox player by contrast and has some decent grounds for a thematic tie in. It's very much a tank ability though and putting that sort of ability on a character that also expects to have all of a fighter's strengths has been pretty problematic in the past on game health/balance grounds (see J4, Zac, Wukong at various times). I could see an argument for reworking Aatrox into a tank (first into the fight and all), personal feeling though is that a fighter's both what his theme's a better match for (he'll personally cut you down, rather than primarily setting up his team to do so). Fighter's also his current playstyle and where possible maintaining what people currently like about a champion's definitely something to strive for. Curious to hear other people's thoughts on tank versus fighter though just in case I'm making some poor assumptions here. 
Also, just as a general note, this isn't any sort of indication of an Aatrox rework or upcoming changes to his ult's functionality. He's overall in an ok spot (balance might or might not need adjusting, that's just number tweaking though) and there are a lot of champions with a much greater need for ability overhauls. Thought this was an interesting discussion though and wanted to get involved in the conversation."
He continued, elaborating on Aatrox's role as a high sustain champion:
"Aatrox is intended to be a high sustain champion as is Warwick. This is somewhere where gaming terminology gets a bit messy though. 'Drain tanking' is generally used to describe characters in various games that keep themselves alive in fights over extended periods of time by stealing health from their opponents and that's definitely Aatrox. That's not to say that he's a good fit for the LoL definition of a 'tank' though. LoL tanks are generally champions with strong team initiation, inherent tankiness/rewards for building tanky, team utility/CC who take a long time to kill the enemy. Aatrox by contrast fits the fighter mold better, with his non damage effects being more selfish (Revive, gap closer), rewards for building damage when he can get away with it, kit suited to individually fighting enemies more than setting a group up for his team etc.

Additionally the definition of tank's further muddied by 'tanky' being used to describe a character that's hard to kill. Any champion with sufficient mitigation/health can be tanky for example, that doesn't necessarily mean they're a tank however. The term 'support' has somewhat similar problems, referring both to a position and to a class of champion that's often, but certainly not always, the type played in that position. In theory it'd probably be much clearer if we used different terms for those two classes as a result (e.g. 'Initiator' and 'Enhancer' - those are bad and misleading, but you get the idea), tank and support are pretty established terms though."

Meddler also answered a question about Shen and his sort of mismatch between his in-game role as a tank and his ninja theme:
"Shen's an interesting one. There's definitely some mismatch between his theme and his gameplay. Mechanically he's a health stacking tank who gradually grinds you down, bit of a contrast to his image as a 'traditional' looking ninja and the expectations of speed, damage, stealth, assassination etc that go with it. We'd aim to avoid such a mismatch if making him today, he's got an established playstyle and players though so it's not necessarily appropriate to try and change that at this point. There are also some elements to him that are pretty ninja like as well to be fair, the sudden appearance from out of nowhere with the ult and the 'surprise, caught you off guard as I went past' of his E.

I can't speak with certainty as to how the mismatch between his theme and gameplay came about, that was well before my time at Riot. Normally I'd ask a colleague who's been here a while, I'm out of town visiting family at the moment however. At a guess though it was probably a combination of a desire to ensure the three ninjas all coming out close together (with a month and a half of each other) were sufficiently different (with Akali doing a lot of the 'standard' ninja stuff) and kit development that showed a really promising, fun tank direction in playtesting.

In terms of fixing him at this point I'd be really hesitant to just try and make him into a fighter, that'd require we stripped off an awful lot of what makes Shen Shen. I'm also more inclined to put the blame for the balance problems he's had on the lack of counterplay the damaging parts of his kit have. Shen's Q's guaranteed ranged damage, without significant cost or CD in a 1v1, on a tanky, somewhat mobile champ. His passive, especially against enemies unable to quickly break his Feint Shield, can be another source of low interaction damage. Addressing those issues might allow us to put power into other parts of his kit, get him into a better spot (note though, this is just speculation on my part, would need to do some testing to figure out if this is a direction that actually has realizable merit)."
In response to the suggestion of making Shen a sort of tank / assassin, Meddler commented:
"While I can see the appeal as the Shen player I don't feel tank/assassin's an appropriate combination for the game. Tanks go straight into a fight, have natural survivability, sustained damage patterns, team utility/CC and are usually not attractive targets to try and take down if you've got any better options. Assassins by contrast tend to flank, have extremely high target selection and burst, low team utility, lack constant survivability (instead relying on other tools like mobility, untargetability, stealth etc) and are usually great targets to kill if you can focus them. Combining those two categories risks creating very tanky, mobile champions with high CC/utility that set up their own kills, are extremely hard to take down and will happily chew through an entire team. When that goes wrong you get things like release Xin Zhao. When balanced you get a character that's ok at a lot of things, lacks clear strengths or weaknesses and isn't well distinguished from other similar champions (the fighter problem basically). As per previous posts there's certainly an argument Shen could be a fighter, that'd require some very large changes to who he is and how he plays though."
He continued:
"Ah, right, I see where you're coming from now. A tank that's able to remove a target from the fight for a period of time, without killing them or setting them up to be killed (so not a pick tank like Nautilus or Skarner) is something I'd agree's got potential as a concept (and is one of the options we've talked about exploring for a future tank at some point). Would be hesitant about putting that sort of effect on a kit with high mobility though - sort of thing that decides fights so can't be too accessible/reliable.

How would you see that concept pairing with Shen out of curiosity? Must admit ninja's not the first theme that leaps out with that gameplay (binding chains, banishment, devouring a target whole etc are the sort of things that come to mind for me)."

When asked if there is any plans to add a ninja marksmen to the mix, Meddler noted:
"No current plans for one."

No set date on Refer a Friend Changes

When asked when the previously announced Refer-A-Friend changes would be going into effect, HollyMonster replied:
"There isn't a set date yet. We'll post about it when there is. :)"
She continued:
"The email was just a future heads up. We didn't set a hard date because things on the backend were still being QA'ed and we weren't sure if there were going to be any outstanding issues (which there ended up being.) We figured it would be fine to say "30 days" even if we couldn't hit that 30 days because it gives people more time to earn rewards in the 2.0 system. 
All players old referrals transfer over to the new system, so even though it's been over 30 days it's not really a problem because players are still going to get all the rewards from the old system AND the new system when it comes out."
"The release date isn't 100% confirmed yet, so I'm not sure. I do know that as soon as all the issues are sorted out with the new system that we want to switch over asap."

No Rek'Sai in the F2P Rotation?

This week's free to play champion rotation is out and Rek'Saiour latest champion, is not in it.
When asked about it on reddit, WizardCrab reminded that typically it is 3 weeks after a champions release that they appear in the free champion rotation.
"It's ~3 weeks, but since F2P rotations start at the beginning of the week and champs often come out in the middle of the week, it ends up usually being between 2.5 and 3.5 weeks. Although it's always possible that extenuating circumstances can change that (e.g. major bugs)."

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