Red Post Collection: Dragonslayer Poro Ward Now Available, New AP Item on PBE soon, Nemesis Draft Q&A, and more!

Posted on at 3:38 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection is massive! It includes the release of the Dragonslayer Poro Ward, ricklessabandon with a peek at a new AP item that will be hitting the PBE soon, Meddler discussing the 5.3 bug with Xin Zhao's Q, the last set of Poros as Champions from Fiesta De Máscaras // Semana da Folia, and a Q&A with the team behind Nemesis Draft!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Burn the dark with the Dragonslayer Poro Ward Skin

The Dragonslayer Poro ward is now available! As this little guy is a legacy ward, be sure to grab him before he leaves the shop on the end of the day on February 27t1h!

Here's DontHasttleDaHoff with more information:

"This brave little poro is fighting back against the onslaught of aerial assault alongside the other Dragonslayers. With his vigilance, you’ll never be surprised again whether it’s an impromptu dance of dragons or a sneaky attempted gank. 
Rise up against the dragon horde with the Dragonslayer Poro Ward Skin available now until 23:59 PST on February 27 for 640RP."
Here's a preview of the Dragonslayer Poro Ward in-game:

Dragonslayer Poro Ward

640 RP

[PBE] New AP Item Available for Testing Soon

Following Xypherous' experimental Mandrake Ward testing on the PBE, ricklessabandon has come forth with his own item that will be up for testing soon - a new AP heavy item akin to Statikk Shiv!
"hello friends~

so, the title pretty much covered this but we've got a new ap item hitting the pbe soon! as we mentioned in the 5.2 patch notes, we've been spending some time exploring a few different options to add another "late-game mage item" into the game. we're now at the point where we want to share one of those directions with our pbe testers and see how the item is received with a wider audience. one of the goals of these explorations was to discover something that is especially exciting to a particular mage play style, and as you'll quickly notice, this item takes the basic actions of moving around the battlefield and repeatedly slinging spells and rewards them by casting its own spell into the fray! we have some initial thoughts on which play styles are in want of something like this, but more importantly we're interested in seeing what the community does with the new item.

alright, let's talk about our current timeline! this item should be on the pbe soon (tomorrow if everything checks out okay) but will not be shipping in the 5.4 patch—we've still got a bit of testing and number crunching to do on top of getting non-placeholder art and sound. if you're wondering exactly when this would be shipping, the honest answer is that right now we're focused more on getting the item into the hands of testers and confirming that we're happy with this direction than we are about shipping anything by a certain date. the classic "when it's ready" shipping date, if you will.

with all that out of the way, here are the item stats of the first pbe iteration!

Item 3285 (3100g)
  • Needlessly Large Rod + Aether Wisp + 650g
  • +120 Ability Power
  • +7% Movement Speed
  • UNIQUE Passive: Gain charges upon moving or casting. At 100 charges, the next spell hit expends all charges to deal 100 (+15% AP) bonus magic damage to up to 4 targets on hit.

Please note that this is a work in progress and that its name, as well as any art or sound assets, is to be considered placeholder. 
that should do it for the item's introduction (i'll update this post if i forgot something). looking forward to the discussion about the item!
He continued:
"it's a bit different since one of the triggers is spell casts instead of basic attacks, so the cadence depends more on which champion you're playing. 
i believe the tuning in the first iteration that should hit pbe gives 20 stacks per spell cast, and gives a little bit less from moving than statikk shiv does."

[Bug] Mecha Kha'Zix missing particles

In a reddit thread inquiring about the still missing jet pack particles for Mecha Kha'Zix, Riot Paradox commented
"Hey all! Yeah, we dun goofed. This is a bug that's taken longer than intended to fix and we're working on putting the particles back in. Sorry!"
He continued:
"Just asked around to get some more info. Part of the reason this is taking so long is that we've tried a few fixes and none of them have worked yet. :/"

[5.3 Bug] Xin Zhao's Q not knocking up

Speaking of bugs, Meddler also commented on the Xin Zhao Q bug introduced in 5.3:
pretty much the title. Was playing xin as jungler and noticed that the third q cannot knock up anymore, anyone have the same problem?
That's definitely a bug, not an intended change. I'm 99% sure we've got a fix for that in the next patch already, will double check tomorrow though."
When asked why this bug hasn't been hotfixed, Meddler explained:
"Hotfixes (making quick changes to the servers without taking them down for a longer maintenance period) have extra risk associated with them. Hotfix changes do get tested extensively, but it's over a shorter period of time so it's not completely equal to a full patch cycle of testing. As a result in order to justify the risk involved hotfixes need to be really high value (e.g. X champion is currently disabled because they crash the game) or be at least fairly high value and really low risk (e.g. changing a single number in a text file that corrects a major damage bug). In this particular case Xin Zhao's Q doesn't knock up if the target isn't moving at the time of the third hit. That's definitely a significant bug, but it's not crippling him and the fix involves code changes, which are much riskier than just changing data values. As a result (as far as I'm aware, server patches aren't my area of expertise) we're not currently planning to hotfix this bug. 
In terms of how often we update we're currently putting out a patch every two weeks generally (major exceptions around things like Worlds, Christmas etc). I can understand your frustration that fixes like this can take a bit of time to come out, that's the same cadence of patches as in Season 1 back in 2011 though."

[Coming Soon to PBE] Jungle Data Gathering

Here's Riot Reinboom with details on a new PBE ONLY buff that will be implemented to better track early game Jungle Data:
"Hey guys, we have a change coming soon to a PBE near you meant to help us improve our understanding of how people jungle (especially early game).
When we tried to poke into some of the responses we got it became very apparent that people address the jungle in very different manners. Lots of small changes add up to huge swings in what champions look like coming out of their first clear.

What this means for us is that it's hard to balance early jungle without some more insight, so we're calling on you guys to help.

We're putting a change that is PBE ONLY to help build this shared understanding of how junglers jungle individually: A set of buffs that track your jungle progress in the first portion of the jungle.

By giving us a direct peak at how you interact with the jungle you give us a chance to improve it. Maybe by making a mechanic more clear, rebalancing a camp, or many other systems. But first this type of information would help us know which systems.

Here's what the buffs look like:
(The primary buff)
(After taking 1 camp. In this case, Krugs)
(After taking 2 camps. Krugs and then Razorbeaks)

It would be super useful to get these value from you guys from champions you expect to play in the jungle. I'm especially interested in the contrast of: 
The results of these after you tried it how you normally play the jungle.
The results of these after you tried to optimize beyond what you normally do (possibly with the help of these buffs)."
As for if this is data for specific champs or just for the jungle in general, Reinboom clarified:
"Specific champions. Specifically: "champions you expect to play in the jungle"."
Reinboom continued, explaining what they are specifically interested in data wise:
"Only the first 4 camps are shown in the buffs. That's beyond the barrier of the check for "can jungle" versus "can't jungle" 
Note: these don't try to figure out if a champion can "Jungle well" - there's a lot more data than this required for that."
Reinboom continued:
"This experiment isn't prescriptive. I'm not saying that it any specific champion should never be able to jungle if they can't reach four camps now. 
Four camps just happens to be the point that identifies how well a champion can continue to jungle right now. If we discover something like "A lot of players struggle with even the third camp on Jungler-Champ-X and have no realistic hope of continuing their jungle", then now we have something very specific that we can act on. Making that champ not be wrecked early so badly (as well as the specific numbers required to most accurately change)."

When asked if the buff takes into account sustain and healing, she noted:
"It infers sustain. The buffs show HP percent after clear as well as damage taken.
The output (I can stay at high life) tends to be more valuable than the input (I have a 40 HP heal every couple seconds) in this case."

When asked about the possibility of this coming to custom games instead of only on the PBE, Reinboom noted:
"I would want to make it toggleable if we were to do that. It's not out of the question if there's value in it beyond this gathering of data, just not right now since such a toggle would take a bit of work (so we would have to judge it versus other things as always)."

Last set of Poros as Champions from Fiesta De Máscaras // Semana da Folia

As it is the last day of the event on LAN/LAS/BR, we also have the last set of poros dressed up as champions from the LAN/LAS's "Fiesta De Máscaras" and BR's "Semana da Folia"

Check 'em out:

In addition to this last set of twelve, we they've also put up a wallpaper of all the champion poros!

Haven't had enough poros? Check out this imgur album for a 1920x1080 versions of all sixty of the champion poros!

Nemesis Draft Q&A

With Nemesis Draft out on live through the 23rd, the Featured Game mode team popped on the boards to host a Q&A on our latest mode!
Here's L4T3NCY with an introduction to the Q&A:
"Yo Everyone ^o^/ 
The latest Featured Game Mode, “Nemesis Draft” is currently live, and the Play team is here to field any questions or suggestions you guys might have! We make all of the Featured Game Modes, so feel free to ask us anything about Nemesis Draft (or any previous modes). What are the weirdest team compositions you played with so far? What's your favourite comp or strategy for giving champs to the enemy team? Are there any new champs you've discovered that are kinda fun to play? Tell us the story of your most epic match yet! ^_^ 
We’ll be online from now for 2 hours, from 10:00AM ~ 12:00PM PST. 

On to the Q&A, which is lightly sorted based on theme:

When asked how they came up with the idea for Nemesis DraftL4T3NCY     replied:
"Nemesis Draft was an idea we had when Featured Game Modes had just begun back in 2013. There was just never a good window of time between modes until now to polish and release it. It's a pick type that's been historically popular though in a variety of other genres since the beginning of time (fighting games, beat-em-ups, RTS's, etc). It was nigh time that League had some fun with it too. :)"

As for a few goals of the game mode, L4T3NCY noted:
What was the goal of this game mode? I read a post that proposed that you (RIOT) were trying to encourage teamwork in game rather than relying on one person to carry the game through a mode where a single carry would not be likely to emerge. Is this anywhere near true? What are your thoughts on teamwork oriented metas vs. protect the carry oriented metas.
There's a few things we're were looking to try with Nemesis Draft. It's the first time we've done a purely 'pick-type based' mode, that has only meta implications for the gameplay. It's a chance for the community to be in control of how the mode and meta plays out with who they pick & ban. As you mention too, when no-one on your team knows how to use their champion, teamwork becomes even more important. 
As to 'teamwork metas' vs 'protect the carry', I'm not sure which would be best in Nemesis Draft. You could certainly try funneling all the gold into 1 or 2 champs, but only if they know what they're doing. :P And that might not even work anyway given the weird team comps. o.O"

Riot Beastfu also commented on the challenges they ran into during Nemesis Draft's development:
"One challenge we faced was clarifying the reversed champ select process, so that you knew who was doing what for which side. These changes couldn't diverge too much from the general Draft mode experience to maintain a sense of consistency. Tech-wise, for Featured Game Modes we always want to make manageable modifications to the code while we can continually, and quickly, crank out new experiences. But, this gets a little tricky for modes like Nemesis Draft, where we touch critical areas of code like champ select! "
When asked about how hard it was to create the mode, Riot Beastfu  explained:
so i feel that nemisis was like an easy one to code as far as game modes go, was this more of a get bye game mode oro was this really compicated? Also why has yorick never been free??? E-V-E-R benn free?

While Nemesis Draft didn't really affect the in-game play, it did require changes to other systems not originally meant for how we flipped things around. Typically, there are several parts of the software ecosystem that need altering in one way or another for each of the Featured Game Modes. Overall, I'd say that while there were definitely challenges in champ select, Nemesis Draft ended up being not too crazy though."
When asked if they ever planned to do an open chat between both teams during champion select, Riot DefaultChar commented:
One question I have is will there be the option of all chat in champion select? The reason I ask, my favorite match to play so far was completely one sided. My team got Master Yi, Yasuo, Katerina, and Darius that I remember and they had Galio,Nami, Zyra, Nautilus, you get the point. I believe having the opportunity to give the enemy Champs based on fun team comps is better than what I've come to know Nemesis mode as so far.
Interestingly, we had actually originally discussed doing that for One For All: Mirror Mode, so it's something we've considered twice now. For Nemesis Draft (And to a similar, but lesser, extent, OFA:MM as well), our biggest concern was design side: 
Nemesis Draft's "strategy" was, in our eyes, largely about planning a composition, and you might lose some element of team planning with all chat. Some of my most enjoyable, and I think the most interesting Nemesis Draft games overall, have been when the team has coordinated the opposing team's composition. Giving away 5 ADC, or coordinating a composition consisting of purely magic damage champions is much less effective (and quite a bit harder) when the enemy team sees you typing that in chat. Although we could have done an all vs team chat, our strong suspicion is that at least some people would get distracted by the All Chat option, which would hinder that to varying degrees. 
There's definitely ways this could be mitigated, and it’s not something we’re permanently saying is off the table, but there’s… actually a surprising number of considerations (Beyond the one listed above, we’d basically be teaching players a new chat paradigm. Not an insurmountable obstacle, but definitely a number of challenges, and that’s before we discuss possible player behavior… let’s say “issues” ;) )

As for why Nemesis Draft is on Summoner's RiftL4T3NCY  explained
i think this mode would've worked way better with the Howling Abyss map .
why did u go with Summoner's Rift instead ?

Summoner's Rift has WAY more strategic options than Howling Abyss, making it a much more interesting choice for this kind of meta gameplay. Howling Abyss only has 1 objective (the next building) and your only option is essentially "to push" (making it not much of an option). Summoner's Rift affords the opportunity to let teamwork and strategy prevail over team comp, pushing multiple lanes, objectives, etc. Compared to Howling Abyss, Summoner's Rift is a candyland of strategic choice. :D"

As for why they went with Draft mode vs Blind Pick, L4T3NCY  explained:
What made you guys decide to go with the draft pick on Nemesis instead of blind pick?

Being able to see what your opponent is planning is the main point of Nemesis Draft (or similar pick types in any game genre). Without that cruicial information, reactive decisions can't be made. Having the bans is also nice, to let players remove certain champions they don't want to have to deal with."

Riot Mixtli also commented they never planned to add any custom summoner spells to the mode, such as they did with Poro King:
Did you think about adding Summoner Spells to Nemesis Draft like you did for the Poro King game mode?

There were no plans to add additional Summoner Spells to Nemesis Draft. We wanted to maintain Summoner's Rift traditional game play with the focus on playing different champions and compositions players were not use to."

When asked if any of the "least popular" picks from Nemesis Draft is of any statistical value, Riot L4t3ncy  commented
I'm curious as to whether you guy (and gals!) over at riot are recording data on this gametype and finding an interest who (in terms of champs) is getting picked the most and how they are getting played. 
Is any pick information from Nemesis Draft of any statistical value to you?
Do you think the champions picked the most during this event also prove to be the most misunderstood?
Will this draft help point out champions that would benefit from better clarity in their kit? 

There's nothing new that Nemesis Draft can show us in terms of balance, popularity, etc that the Balance Team won't already know. 
What is interesting though is the mirror this will hold up to players and the community reflecting their ownperceptions of what is strong or weak, and how they deal with those reactions. ^_-"

As for a champion/build that has surprised them in the new mode, L4T3NCY noted:
"If there is, we won't know until the mode has run its course. Any data set is currently still too small and only anecdotal conclusions could really be drawn. 
In other news, AD Janna. Goddammit. :D"

L4T3NCY also commented on why Nemesis Draft was on the PBE for two cycles:
Why was nemesis draft on the pbe so long before it was released? Did you guys run into some problems?
Sometimes it feels like modes aren't on PBE long enough. :/ While there weren't any problems with Nemesis Draft, it never hurts to have more soak time for testing in game development. ^_-"

When asked about things the team would like to change for the next iteration of Nemesis Draft,  Riot Mixtli noted:
I love every mode that you guys put out, but Nemesis Draft feels overall underwhelming. Going forward, what are some things that you guys are looking to put into the next round of Nemesis Draft besides putting it on a different map? Was there anything difficult or otherwise challenging that you guys learned to work around while developing the mode?
I would love to revisit the champion select process for this mode and clean up any remaining confusion around the concept of picking champions for your opponents. Clarifiying the change to champion select for Nemesis Draft was a challenge for me as a designer because players have become so use to the natural process of how champion select works and what they expect to happen during each phase. Outside of hitting players over the head with messaging, we needed additional cues to alert the players as to what was currently happening and who was currently taking action. I'd love to improve on those so that next time around any confusion when entering the mode for the first time is obsolete."

When asked how to obtain the Nemesis Draft summoner icon,Riot L4t3ncy commented:
My question is pretty boring and dumb, but I can't find an answer anywhere: how do we earn the reward icon for Nemesis Draft? The FAQ wasn't very clear on that point. 
The reward icon for Nemesis Draft is for not dodging or AFK'ing during the course of the mode. We're also leveraging the new LeaverBuster system to help us with this. ^_^b 
The icon will be awarded after the game mode has finished (as always, could take up to 2 weeks to show up in your account).

Riot L4t3ncy also commented on the return of Battle Boosts for this mode, explaining:
Why did battle boosts return, and only for this mode.
Battle Boosts make the most sense when you don't really know who you might be playing. If it was a regular pick type, you might already have skins for your favourite champions, so the Battle Boost wouldn't really feel necessary."

As for where they draw inspiration from when creating featured game modes, Riot L4t3ncy noted

Hello! Where do those ideas of game modes come from? Community, rioters, or just ideas from events (Lunar Revel) and champion releases? 
Game mode ideas can come from anywhere! Sometimes they're legacy ideas, sometimes they're taking flavours from other game genres and injecting them into League. We've had prototyped mechanics that turned into a fully fledged mode because they felt super-fun. We've worked to bring parts of our event stories to life through gameplay. We're never sure where the next one will come from. ^_-"

When asked what their personal favorite game mode has been, Riot Mixtli shared:
"For me personally is was Legend of the Poro King mainly due to the fun nature of the mode and providing summoner spells that provide melee more viability in ARAM."

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