Red Post Collection: Updates on Mandrake Ward & Luden's Echo, Discussion on Veigar and Party Rewards, and more!

Posted on at 6:15 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection includes updates on the experimental Mandrake Ward and Luden's Echo items, Meddler on Veigar's recent PBE changes, Lyte and Chomey with more discussion on the recently enabled Party Rewards, and much more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Update on Experimental Mandrake Ward

After being up on the PBE for over an entire cycle without being enabled for testing, Xypherous posted an update regarding on his experimental Mandrake Ward item:
"Updated the original post with the slightly altered functionality.

It now runs to a point, providing limited sight checking while running. It's completely vulnerable while running and has a pretty short sight radius - but it can be used to spot check brushes that are far away and provides limited safety while warding deep in enemy territory.

Additionally, I think it should actually work on PBE now - unsure when we'll swap PBE over from testing the latest patch to testing experimental content - but stay tuned."
The bottom of the original post also now includes:
"Next time the PBE tests future content, Mandrake should be enabled."

As for why Mandrake Ward has yet to be enabled on the PBE yet, Xypherous commented:
"Our internal teams were reporting that it wasn't really distinct enough in the initial tests and I really don't want to waste your guy's valuable time on PBE to confirm that something isn't distinct enough - I mean, there's so many things to test on PBE so I'd prefer it if the content had a little more substance. 
That said - the feedback on the thread was helpful - even if they didn't have a chance to test it in game. People's gut reactions to reading it are just as valuable because people's intuitive first reactions are super enlightening. 
Sorry for the rapid turnover though - I know it's disorienting. :( I just want to make the most efficient use of everyone's time." 
Check out Xypherous' PBE post for Mandrake Ward for more information.

Update on Experimental Luden's Echo

ricklessabandon also tweeted briefly regarding Luden's Echo (formerly Item 3285), the other experimental item that is currently testing on the PBE:
"for anyone curious, next pbe update should have a much more polished version of the new ap item~"

While it hasn't been updated for a while, more information and context on Luden's Echo can be found on ricklessabandon's PBE thread.

Veigar Changes on PBE

In the 3/3 PBE update, Veigar received several tentative balance changes, including increased missile speed on his Q, his E stopping dashes that collide with his walls, and his E's delay starting before the abilities cast time rather than after.

In a thread discussing about these changes, Meddler commented::
"Our conclusion after looking at Veigar in 5.4 was that we'd reduced his reliability more than intended. We're looking to correct that, give him some control back, hence the increased Q missile speed, reduced time till stun on E, and the E stopping dashes/jumps in progress (that one also plays up the 'trapped in a cage' gameplay and thematics as well).

Once those changes are out we'll then assess again, see if he needs further work still."

As for the intent behind the changes in 5.4, Meddler reiterated:
"Addressing Veigar's counterplay problems was always on the cards (example post talking about this from about a month ago here, including mention of insta stun and two point and click nukes being problems [ Link ] 
Nerfing him overall wasn't a goal."

When asked if we'll see the dash stop mechanic used on other abilities, Meddler commented it will tentatively be used in Ryze's future rework:
"It's likely dash/jump stops will crop up on a few more spells. The Ryze rework (timing unknown, but the gameplay side's coming along well) includes Rune Prison stopping dashes/jumps in progress for example. That's not a guaranteed change, but places like Veigar's E and Ryze's W are where we think it's got the potential to be an appropriate mechanic."

As for potential changes to Veigar's W now that E has a delay, Meddler noted:
"I'll have to pick the brain of the folks working on Veigar and get back to you on the W. I agree it's pretty tough to land it on an enemy champion at present without allied assistance."

As for if the current PBE changes are all we'll see for Veigar in 5.5, Meddler noted:
"Not sure yet, we're getting really close to the point where we need to lock gameplay changes for patch 5.5. We'll be actively testing, and potentially modifying changes, right up until lock though."

Check out our comprehensive PBE post for specifics on Veigar's current set of PBE changes.

Kassadin's Updated Model

When asked if the Kassadin visual updates currently on the PBE were done by  the same artist who made this model back in 2013, Riot Tokkelossie commented:
The older Kassadin model was done by ChaosEidolon, a Kassadin fan at Riot. I assume that he did have a part in Kassadin's update. I think that the new model is made out of the one ChaosEidolon, if you ask me.
Ding! This is correct. I had worked on the model as a personal project a while back. (changed my rito name fyi :) 
The opportunity presented itself on ChampUp to do a rig/animation update for Kassadin, so Fruity Sebbles asked if we could use the mesh as the new base. There were some tweaks to both the model and texture after the fact, but it's the same model for the most part. 
The rest of his skins were then based on the new proportions but were done by the Champ-Up team."

IronStylus also popped into a thread asking if Kassadin will receive a new voiceover with the update, saying:
"Currently Kass is a Model and Texture update, with a new rig and animations. Voice over was not in the scope of this project unfortunately, nor was a major redesign/reinvention of his character."

Check out our comprehensive PBE thread for a better look at Kassadin and his updated skins.

Tentative Trundle Buffs on the PBE

With Trundle seeing a buff to his Frozen Domain (W) on the PBE recently, Meddler commented on two other tentative changes that are also up on the PBE for him:
"Couple of other tentative changes in there too that probably won't get picked up by datamining:
  • Fixing a bug with his ult where the final damage tick wouldn't occur (well, that one's not tentative of course)
  • Increasing the range on his passive."

As of the 3/2 PBE update, Trundle's passive's range is tentatively increased to 1400 from 1000. and Frozen Domain (W) increased healing on the ice has been increased to 20% at all ranks from 8/11/14/17/20%.

Gangplank's Passive vs Dragon & Baron

Meddler also dropped in to a thread about Gangplank to comment on why GP's passive doesn't apply damage to Dragon or Baron:
I noticed this when playing Gangplank but when I solo'd dragon, it wasn't taking any damage from my passive for some reason, same thing happened with Baron. 
Darius can apply his passive on Dragon and Baron. 
Twitch can as well. 
Cass can poison both of them. 
Why can't Gangplank?
Yup, that'll be the problem. Debuffs have different types in spell scripts, and Dragon/Baron are set up to reject all the different crowd control types. In this case the logic for the DoT is included within the slow debuff file, which never gets applied to CC immune targets (that'll include Olaf and champions with Black Shield on them as well, not just Dragon/Baron) and as a result the DoT script never gets run. Normally we split damage and CC into different files to avoid this exact problem, looks like someone missed that with GP at some point though. 
TLDR: Bug, we'll fix."

[Continued] Party Rewards Discussion

With the new Party Rewards currently up on live for a two week test, Riot Chomey alsopopped into the associated reddit thread to address a few points that were continuously coming up:
"One of the most common feedback we've gotten so far is the bonus IP doesn't match the expectations. This is very valuable feedback, and exactly why we monitor these channels of communication =) 
Just thought I'd help clear a few things up: 
  1. It's a non-integer multiplier on top of your IP earned. For example, you can get bonuses such as a 10% extra IP! You can earn up to 1600% bonus IP if you get the jackpot playing with 4 friends! The actual reward you earn may not be a nice round number, and you could end up with something like a bonus 70% (or .7x)
  2. Since you earn more IP for winning than losing, do your best to win! It's a direct multiplier on top of how much IP you would have gained.
  3. It stacks (multiplicatively) with IP boosts
  4. As /u/riotsocrates stated here, "For example, Summoner’s Rift queues award more IP than Twisted Treeline or Howling Abyss queues." Summoner's Rift will give you the best rewards. Definitely looking into cleaning up this messaging for the next iteration.
  5. No you cannot get the 5-man rewards in Twisted Treeline.
  6. This was not meant to be a farmable feature. The purpose is to reward people who regularly engage in games with their friends. Go about your regular game habits, invite a few friends, and enjoy the free IP.
  7. Yes, you can get no party reward, even if you queue up with friends. It's all chance.
  8. This is all just round one of the experiment. We'll be taking a look at the numbers in 2 weeks, and at the end come to whatever conclusions we may. 
    Example maths, because "yay, numbers!": Party of 5 wins a match on SR. In normal circumstances, they would have won 110IP. Party wins .7X bonus IP (70% bonus), and they have an IP boost (2x). ((110IP + (.7 * 110 IP)) * 2) = 374 IP earned from the game. 
    Hope this clears some things up."
    Lyte also jumped on reddit to elaborate a bit more on the features and it's impact on the existing IP economy of League of Legends:
    "Although this is seemingly a simple feature, it actually is quite complicated behind the scenes. If we were launching a brand new game, we could try a crazier, more dramatic test because there's no relative expectations of what normal currency gain is, or what the IP economy will be like. We could give huge % bonuses to premades, but solo players get huge % less as a baseline--that's what many other games do, actually.

    When dealing with a game that has launched and been out for awhile already and has an established economy, we have to be very careful with additions to the game that could throw the economy off, or even collapse it--this is especially true in MMOs.

    There's a few things that we have to be aware of:

    1) Players are always going to want more. We're giving out free currency which means some players will say "Awesome, thanks!" and some players will say "What? Why not give us 2x that?" That's the nature of the beast. We can't cave in and try to please everybody at the cost of the integrity of the game's economy.

    2) It's always easier to test with smaller numbers first when you are dealing with something that could change the entire game's economy. We plan to iterate on the numbers until we find the sweet spot, but it's much harder to start big and have to reduce the numbers if necessary.

    3) Features that add bonus currency can change player behavior. It could be for the better (more friends play together, and have more fun), but it could also be for the worse. We have to tread carefully, and be sensitive to changes in play patterns.

    Now imagine if we launched with bigger bonus rewards, and in the analysis, player behavior has become worse, and players are having worse experiences. I can guarantee you that players are going to be pissed that we then had to remove the rewards entirely.

    There are definitely some wording issues that could be clarified in the feature, and we'll patch these up after the beta-test. At the end of the day, when the feature did not exist, players were getting no IP for playing in premades. We want to test carefully and reward players for playing in premades, but we're not going to completely destroy the IP economy in the process."

    IronStylus on Urgot - Horror vs Gross

    In a reddit thread about Urgot's visuals, IronStylus swooped on to reddit to share this thoughts on the eventual Urgot visual update and his opinion on the differences between "Gross" and "Horror":
    "Hijacking top comment for visibility.

    I think there's a difference between "horror" and "gross". Currently I think Urgot is more gross than horror, but he simultaneously wants to sit in the same place and that's a problem.

    Horror is an emotion, it's something we feel when we're faced with something horrific, which can be many things. Anything from dismemberment, the shock of something unexpectedly bad, something that gives us an immediate visceral reaction of revulsion. That can indeed be gross, gross can be horrific, but horrific doesn't have to mean gross, though gross is often horrific.

    My feeling is that yes, we want him to be a horror. I'd classify him more in the line of 40k "tech-horror" version of horrific. The emperor plugged into his throne. The tech priests with machines going in and out of them. Brutal technology keeping him alive and augmenting him.

    I don't so much view him along the lines of let's say, a Cenobite from Hellraiser. Are those guys horrific? Absolutely, but that's torn flesh and membrane. That's pretty gross.

    You might classify Baron Harkonnen from Dune pretty horrific, but much more on the side of gross. Boils, stitches, heart plugs, etc.

    With all of this, there's appeal. My personal feeling is that we can still get appealing, and horrific, if we go the first route of tech-horror. Versus necromancy-horror ala Sion. Yes, stitches are fine, apparatuses plugged into his body, dripping green toxic fluids, totally. Sort of like the Borg, but more terrifying. Zaun-tech is much more in that vein in my opinion, and offers the greatest most fun place to have him occupy, if he's essentially a walking weapon's platform of sorts.

    So yeah. Gross is ok, but gross is a term that I don't think is completely applicable here from a foundational sense. I think horrific, menacing and severely off-putting are key. Not so much revulsion.

    We still want him to be appealing but mainly to the people who dig that look. Right now he's just a pile (literally) of nothing. That's not compelling, even if it is unique. We can still have unique and occupy a fun space."

    New Player Tooltips disabled until ~5.5

    The updated player tooltips  thatwere enabled on NALAS, and LAN late last week are set to be shut off until patch 5.5 due to a bug.

    The NA service status page explains:
    "We’re shutting off new player tooltips due to a rare but very nasty bug. We’re already investigating and are aiming to get new tooltips back in the game in 5.5."

    When asked about the limited server release last week, Riot Ninja Tabby noted it was an effort to "keep an eye on any issues that may come up and isolate them without affecting other regions."

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