Red Post Collection: Battlecast Poro Ward now available, Confirmation on upcoming skins, DJ Sona VO, and more!

Posted on at 4:22 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection features the release of the Battlecast Poro ward, confirmation that the upcoming Lunar Revel skins and Sweetheart Annie are not legacy, the launch of the EU Boards beta,  Galetta commenting on DJ Sona's voiceover, and much more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents:

The Glorious Evolution Battlecast Poro Ward Skin!

The Battlecast Poro Ward skin is now available for purchase!
"Poros were merely the field mice of the Freljord before Viktor’s potent augmentations. With the sight-granting power of these mechanized menaces, the Battlecast army will rise. Now the Glorious Evolution is truly unstoppable. 
You can add it to your arsenal until 23:59 PST on February 13th for 640 RP. Augment your vision with the Battlecast Poro Ward Skin!
Check out your region's announcement for more information:

Let's take a look at this adorable yet menacing addition to the ward skin line up:

Battlecast Poro Ward

640 RP

Sweetheart Annie, Warring Kingdoms Katarina and Warring Kingdoms Nidalee not legacy.

Riot Katey Khaos tweeted out earlier today saying that  the upcoming Warring Kingdoms Nidalee and Warring Kingdoms Katarina skin will not be legacy skins and will be permanent additions to the store.
"Warring Kingdoms Nidalee and Katarina are NOT legacy! #LeagueOfLegends"
For those who may have missed it, Firecracker Jinx will also NOT be a legacy skin.

She also confirmed that Sweetheart Annie will not be legacy:
"Sweetheart Annie is NOT legacy! #LeagueOfLegends"

To clarify, she explained:
"They won't be available for a limited time. They'll be in the store all year."

Previews for these upcoming skins can be found here and preview videos blow:

EU Boards Beta Now Live

Riot Draggles has posted up an announcement regarding the launch of the EU boards beta and the forums migrating over to the boards at the end of February.
"As League of Legends evolves (hello DJ Sona), we strive to develop new features and environments to enrich your out-of-game experience too. I’m here to talk to you about Boards, a successor to the current forums and a discussion platform built from the ground-up. 
A bit of backstory: the current forum was put in place (and had a redesign on the UI a few years ago) when League of Legends was just getting started – a time when the playerbase was considerably lower – and as time has gone on, we’ve had to make some considerable compromises when using the current platform which has resulted in negatives on both sides of the build - in security, moderation, and feature development. 
However, with freedom to develop our own software and backend (manifesting recently in the NA Community Beta, comments in news posts and so on), I’m pleased to announce that the EU Boards are now open in beta and ready for posting! 
With a new layout and easy-to-use subcategories (known as Communities) – the “General Discussion trap” of having everything funnel to one subforum is an issue we’re trying to combat. Having specialised areas for like-themed posts will help you make sure your content will find the right audience.

The Community list will be combined on your front page so if you’re still a GD enthusiast, it provides a similar experience, especially if you set the mode to “recent” for the Boards homepage, and “chronological” in the comments – and there’ll be more on how you can get the most out of Boards in the coming weeks. Below is a taster: 

Something else to put on your radar is that with the Boards launch, we will be closing and archiving the current forum (meaning you will still be able to access your posts and link them around, but no longer comment) on February 24th. This deadline is close, but recent security issues have surfaced and we need to make sure that we have a platform available where we can mitigate these issues as they arise - something that is not currently possible.
Another new development is the merging of EUW and EUNE English to have one English-speaking forum for all European players. This should eliminate the disparity between the two platforms and ensure that we give the same level of interaction without one feeling maligned. We get that server issues and individual initiatives will remain independent but most conversation topics will be very similar. A cool piece of art is a cool piece of art; balance changes are worldwide! 
If you want to see what a fully-populated Boards looks like, check out North America’s forum - but for now, go explore the Boards Beta! 

DJ Sona's Voiceover

As you've likely heard, DJ Sona is currently spinnin' on the PBE! When asked about DJ Sona's voiceover, Galetta explained why it is a little hard to understand:
"Hey guys,

I just wanted to jump in and comment on this. We intended for her VO to not be understandable. This VO change was made in order for the VO to not distract or interfere with her music. She has an obvious Daft punk/EDM feel and we wanted the VO to harmonize with that. 
The VO is also supposed to be heard with her music. I would hold off on final judgement until you get the whole experience. :D"

When asked if [this youtube doubler] simulates the intended sound, Galetta noted:
"Oh yeah this is very very close to what you get in game! One small difference is that the VO will not play as often as it does in the VO preview. We have scripts in place that staggers the VO. So Vo can only be triggered after a rest period, this is how VO works on all champions. :D"
More information on DJ Sona, including radio edits of her three music tracks, can be found here.

Ghostcrawler on The Fighter Problem and Assassins 

When asked about fighters and diversifying our current roster, Ghostcrawler commented:
"Ah the fighter problem.... :(

Yeah, we'd agree with both of those comments. If assassins and mages typically bring burst, and fighters and ADCs bring sustained damage, then there needs to be something fighters can do better than ADCs, or they are just always going to be inferior. If you make the argument that the fighter has to do even more damage than an ADC to make up for the fact that they aren't on target as much as a ranged champ, they tend to be really frustrating for both sides: they either die before they can close the gap, or they erase the other champ when they do. This, in a nutshell, is the fighter problem.

We are working on it. We think there is room for a class of champions that are as tanky as tanks, but with higher damage to make up for the engage or control of the tanks. Many fighters don't deliver on this at the moment -- they are squishier than tanks, with lower effective / realized damage than ADCs. In addition, there are several mages that play like fighters, and several fighters that play like assassins. Finally, on top of all of that work, we think fighters just need to bring more utility. It's going to be hard for guys like Darius to find a comp if what they're offering is bringing tons of damage when other champs potentially bring that as well as some kind of team benefit or buff.

It's a lot of work, which is why it has taken us so long to fix the problem. We have built up a lot of "design debt" and it takes time to dig our way out of that. We're not happy that it has taken this long, but we are happy that we feel like we have a pretty good understanding of the problem and how to fix it now."
He continued:
"The first thing we did was spell out explicitly what each role is supposed to be good at and bad at (and with more granularity than just that). Perhaps surprisingly, we had never really done that before. Roles up until recently were more of a designation of theme than function in a fight. We had vague ideas that tanks are good at initiation and bad at burst damage, but we hadn't gone through the exercise of comparing their initiation (Best in the game? Not as good as an assassin?) and otherwise defining what they are weak or mediocre at doing. 
Step two is to identify which champions break those guidelines, typically by not having the weaknesses they should. To be clear, it's okay to have some "rule breakers" in the name of diversity and it helps keep the champions from feeling too generic (which is a big problem among the fighters right now IMO -- again talking about function not their art or story or personality). But at least we will go into these rule breakers knowing that they are breaking rules instead of stumbling into it sideways, and we can find other weaknesses to compensate. If Ryze is going to be a tanky mage, that's fine, but he can't just be a mage with no weaknesses. 
Step three is to go through the entire champion roster and adjust those champs that don't have the correct strengths or weaknesses (including the possibility of rule breakers in here). Items would have to be a part of this, because there are definitely items that let you capitalize on your strengths or help mitigate your weaknesses. It's cool when items do that, and we're fine with it, but it needs to come with trade-offs. It's really hard to have counterplay when you can just itemize your champ out of its weaknesses without giving up anything. 
This is the kind of thing I think you guys would be really interested in hearing more about, because it's kind of cool, because we hope it will fix some of the long-standing problems we've had with champion design, and because you will no doubt have strong opinions on it. First we need to make sure everyone internally is aligned with this strategy. It would suck for them to see a few of us post it publicly before they even had a chance to weigh in."

Ghostcrawler also shared a few thoughts assassin's given the recent changes to DFG and where they are headed in the future:
"We've been talking about the assassin role a lot lately, as you can probably imagine as part of the whole DFG discussion.

While counterplay is a League design value, assassins probably deliver on it less than some roles, and to some extent that's okay. I say that because playing an assassin is often about getting the drop on someone and taking them out before they can respond. That lack of response can feel like lack of counterplay, but we're okay with it as long as assassins still have some weaknesses. (The alternative is that we conclude we can't really support an assassin play style at all, which we think would be unfortunate). High mobility and burst damage are pretty important for assassins so they can accomplish what they are supposed to, but that means assassins have to give up something elsewhere, such as CC and of course tankiness.

We're also talking a lot about which champions fit in the different roles. Some of the champs you guys mention in this thread play more like mages (lots of control) or fighters (more tankiness than the typical assassin). Historically as we developed champions, we were pretty fast and loose about which role a champ filled -- often it had more to do with theme or even art as much as it did the function the champ filled on the map, especially in team fights. We're now in the process of trying to be more explicit about what makes a champ an assassin vs a mage or whatever. This might mean reclassifying some of the more ambiguous characters, or at least understanding when they're breaking rules that they are in fact breaking rules and may have to pay for that somewhere else in their kit.

I mention this because it should provide some context for the kinds of changes you're going to see us make, and also because it's a chance for you guys to talk about what you perceive as the strengths, weaknesses and roles of the various champion types."

Meddler on the Original Intent for Ahri

In a thread discussing the recent Ahri changes in 5.2 and her intended role on release, Meddler stepped in to comment:
"Nice post. Some additional context below on our thoughts on Ahri, both now and in the past.
  • The original intent with Ahri was to create a mage with strong (windowed) mobility and single target pick potential. That does result in a mage with assassin like elements, goal was to put her in a spot that was mage first, assassin second (in contrast with Le Blanc who's more assassin overall). 
  • The idea was that Ahri would have longer combat/kill times than assassins. Less bursting you down in a second from full if she caught you out of position, more having to make a multiple passes or poke you a bit first (hence the multiple dash ultimate and Q with decent poke potential). 
  • While understanding original intent behind something's extremely valuable we don't feel initial vision's something that's sacred and shouldn't be challenged. If a different approach seems more beneficial overall it's worth looking at. That mentality lead us to make some changes to Ahri a year or two ago that pushed her into more of an assassin role (the charm damage amp primarily). 
  • Our conclusion, after seeing those assassin changes play out, is that we were wrong there and that going back to a more extended combat pattern's best for Ahri (particularly in terms of the playstyle her ult's multi cast best matches)."

Mystery Gifts for Good Behavior Still Being Handed Out

The Riot support site posted a reminder today that the Mystery skins for good behavior are still in the process of being distributed as of February 2nd, 2015.

Here's Nancymon with more information:
"Hey all, 
Sorry about the wait! Mystery Skins are still coming. We know some players are still missing their gifts, and we're currently working on a solution. It may take one or two more weeks before all skins are successfully distributed. 
Please keep in mind that the requirements for receiving mystery gifts still apply. Learn more about those requirements here."
You can also follow the distribution on this boards thread.

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