Red Post Collection: Meddler on Azir and Laners using Smite, Friendly Reminder on Account Trading, and more!

Posted on at 7:42 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection includes Meddler commenting on Azir's current balance and the team's thoughts on laners taking Smite, a friendly reminder from Riot's Risk team on account trading, Riot Eno elaborating on how some of LoL's sound effects are made, a community feature on U.S congressman and fellow League player Jared Polis, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Meddler on Azir's balance

When asked what the live balance team's impressions are of Azir, Meddler commented:
"Current thought is that he's in an okay spot. He's not currently dominating play, but can be extremely effective when played well in an appropriate team comp and lane match up. We would like to help out his early game slightly at some point, in the form of making his last hitting a little easier. We're being cautious about how we do that though, to avoid re-introducing his lane bullying, since that wasn't an intended strength for him and lacked sufficient counterplay for some opponents."
He continued:
"Sustained damage is definitely the space we want him in. Giving him more base AS, or AS/level, and, if needed, trimming power elsewhere, is something we've talked about, and was the rationale behind the buff to his base AS a few patches ago. Certainly possible we might go a bit further in that direction at some point."

Meddler on Lane Smite & Why Cinderhulk has + % Bonus HP

As for what the balance team thinks lanes taking the summoner spell Smite, Meddler explained:
"So far at least we don't think there's a problem with Smite being picked on laners. There's a really interesting choice there in terms of giving up PVP power for PVE objective control power. There is a problem there however if one spell's the best choice for both PVP and for PVE, and it's looking possible that Challenging Smite is in that spot at the moment. We're going to give Skirmisher's Sabre a look this coming patch, see if it needs any adjustments as a result."
Following his earlier comments of some tentative Cinderhulk changes in testing, Meddler also elaborated on why Enchantment: Cinderhulk was given + % Bonus HP:
"We put % bonus HP onto Cinderhulk because we wanted to address a discrepancy between jungle tanks and other junglers/laning tanks. Tanks that jungle tended to fall behind other junglers in terms of gold earned and on average were down noticeable experience and gold relative to laning tanks. As a result we wanted to offer them, specifically, significant survivability that wasn't easily accessible to everyone else (they needed more help basically)."

Creating Sound Effects

When asked how the sound team creates sound effects for champions and skins, Riot Eno replied:
"Firstly, thank you so much for your interest the in sound design aspect of LoL!

The answer to this question could be insanely long, so I'll try to distill it down a bit.

Much the same way that concept artists, animators, VFX artists, etc at Rito approach any new piece of content that goes to players, it all starts with a WHOLE lot of love. We're gamers and we try to think like gamers.

Sound designers are afforded the awesome opportunity to be in on the ground floor of any new Champ or skin, and it all starts with group brainstorming around trying to define who and what we're trying to create. From a sound perspective, we treat sound design very much as an iterative process, trying new things, recording new things, putting things in game, realizing what works, what doesn't and building on that. We play-test quite frequently, trying to understand what might get annoying in any phase of the game, and trying to optimize for that.

That always involves recording original content that we can slice and dice to use as pieces/parts for the sonic palette that will eventually define who and what a Champ or Skin is. Sometimes, those single recordings alone are enough to sell the fantasy of that character, but more often than not, it requires layering those recordings with other bits we have that might not have made the cut on an earlier Champ or skin.

For something like Bard, he was such an unknown entity in the the League universe, and as such, his sounds were primarily constructed out of new content created specifically for him. For Champions that come from factions that are more established, some of their sounds might evolve out of earlier recordings created for a previously released Champ from the same faction, but might not have worked have worked out for their kit and share similar tonal qualities that lend themselves to the new Champ. Those sounds get re-worked and sculpted alongside new recordings that are unique that that Champ.

Does that shed some light on it? I'd be happy to try and elaborate on any particular questions you might have. =)"
He continued:
"When it comes to recording new sounds, that usually either happens in the studio or out in the field. 
For recording sounds in our studio, we use Pueblo and Avalon mic preamps and an assortment of different microphones from Neumann, Sennheiser, Earthworks, etc. 
For recording sounds in the field, we use Sound Devices field recorders, Fostex and Zoom field recorders and an assortment of different microphones. 
When it comes time to edit all of that material, our team uses a variety of different DAW software, all depending on the personal preference of the sound designer. Those programs include Pro Tools HD, Nuendo, and Reaper. 
We also use a great program called Soundminer to catalog all of our recordings, and organize them into custom libraries that we can re-visit for future projects."

Selecting who gets a new skin

When asked why the skins team doesn't produce a wealth of skins for the most popular champions,
Galetta elaborated on some of the decisions that go into choosing who is next in line for a skin:

I appreciate it when the skins team comes to the boards and talks to people about their product. I don't know many other companies that would care to do so with their customers. 
My biggest question for the skins team is why they don't make more skins that cater to the desires of the players. For example, I rarely see a Galio or Zilean in game but I see loads of Zeds. Wouldn't the public be happier with a legendary Zed skin instead of Galio wearing a tuxedo? This would also increase the profits of your company so it seems like the only downside is that the artists of the skins would not feel as artistically free to create what they want and players of fringe champions would feel left out. 
I'm not saying make every skin solely based on what the majority of the public wants, but at least try to cater once or twice a year through either a poll or some research within the community.

So when we make skins we try to make a skin for ever champion rather than 3-4 skins for the most popular champions at the time. If we just wanted to make a ton of money then yes we would only make skins for the top 20 champions at any given time. That would leave over 110 champions without skins for years at a time(yes that still happens now). There are mains for ever champion in the game and they deserve skins just like everyone else. We are trying our best to get out as wide a range of champion skins as we can, but it can take time with over 120 in the game currently.

As far as Zed skins goes, I can't really speak on whether or not we're working on a skin for him (legal reasons obvi). What I can say is that there are situations where we have an awesome idea that we can't use right away. A good example of this is event skins and champion updates. Let's say , hypothetically, that the community has been crying out for Pool Pary Zed, and we say yeah let's make this! But let's say it's Sptember and we want Pool Party Zed to come out with 4 other pool party skins in a huge in game event. We would hold into the idea and slot it for say June/July so we can have a huge awesome event! The idea isn't thrown away or rejected it's just slotted for a later date.

Additionally major kit changes and/or visual updates can extended times for new skins. We don't want to create a skin that will be remade in 3-4 months by the champion update team, that just creates unnecessary work for both teams.

Hopefully this was helpful. :P"

Friendly Reminder on Account Trading

BananaBrad from Riot's Risk team has posted up a friendly reminder on the rules regarding account trading:
"Hey Summoners - it’s the Risk team here, looking to grab your attention for a few minutes to discuss account trading. We’ve long been aware that League accounts are available for trade or sale on a number of websites or services. These can range from individuals advertising on social media to highly professional-looking multi-game account-selling websites.  
We’d like to pass along a friendly reminder - any kind of account trading is dangerous. Buying, selling, gifting, trading - it’s all against our Terms of Use, and we’ll go into a little bit of detail as to why in just a minute. The TL;DR of why we don’t support account trading is that it causes bad player experiences for our player base as a whole, but let’s talk about what makes that so. 
First, we want the Fields of Justice to be a place of competitive integrity. We want each League of Legends account to reflect all the skill, hard work, and determination of each of us. Many teams at Riot strive to ensure that competitive fairness in League in maintained. On the Risk team, we want to make sure that players aren’t purchasing accounts that don’t reflect their own abilities. Purchasing accounts causes people to miss out on the learning experience of leveling, and can impact other people in ranked play. If I (a silver god) bought a diamond account and queued up for some ranked games, I’d be ruining the experience for my teammates. 
Additionally, account trading clouds the issue, as many people (understandably) feel like they have a right to own an account that they “bought.” Trades cause a lot of pain when it comes to ownership and recoveries. The account creator is responsible when it comes to payments and in-game behavior, and they’re the only one that can gain access through an account recovery. To learn more about how an account seller can scam you, check out our support article.

Finally, account trading indirectly harms everyone, just by existing. The “black market” incentivizes people towards tons of toxic activities - botting, phishing, Elo boosting, and hacking to name a few. As long as there’s a potential buyer, people will be willing to ruin games with bots and boosters, or to hack your account and sell it out from under you. We want to attack the root cause of these problems. 
It’s for these reasons that we ask our player base to refrain from selling, buying, trading, or gifting accounts. We’ll always strive to provide the best player support possible, but we can all help each other by following the tenets of account ownership that are laid out in the Terms of Use. 
We would love to know what other topics you’d like to talk about, so please let us know in the comments. We will be sticking around a bit to answer questions. "

When asked about account sharing, BananaBrad noted:
"We currently don't suspend accounts solely for sharing. When we do suspend accounts that are being shared, it's usually a result of other activities (e.g. compromise, Elo boosting, etc.). Often times, one person using the account will do something shady without the other person's knowledge. Ultimately, the account creator is responsible for all activities occuring on an account. We know this is frustrating, and this is why we discourage account sharing."
He continued:
On the same note**. account sharing goes against the summoners code too? Like if two brothers or friends happen to share a smurf account let's say on EU-NE when they both have a main account on EU-W?
Yes, this is still discouraged. Even if there is no nefarious activity occurring, a skill gap between players on the same account can have an adverse effect on other players in their games.""
The Wolff also commented:
"It is a bannable offense, and sharing accounts is against our Terms of Use. To clarify, we're currently choosing not to pursue suspension of accounts for this reason alone. 
When you share an account, you're taking a huge risk. I see a lot of cases where a player put a lot of time and money into an account, then they permanently lost it because they shared it with a friend / relative who then did something to get the account banned."

As for smurfs and if there are any ideas to create an easier way for players to obtain an alternative level 30 account, he noted that they are not against the rules but not encouraged:
"We understand that a lot of players have smurf accounts, but this is not something we want to encourage either. We would rather come up with solutions that allow you to continue enjoying your experience without creating a secondary account.

There are some pain points that drive players to creates smurfs that we are trying to solve (practicing a new role, playing with friends who are new to the game). Team Builder is an example of a feature that allows you to practice new champions and play with friends at varying skill levels."

Upcoming LP Calculations Tweak for Diamond

In a reddit thread inquiring about around 25% of all Diamond 5 players being 0 LP and if this was due to some sort of issue, Riot Socrates jumped in to share that this is typical across most divisions and note that where are tweaks coming to the LP calculations in Diamond - Challenger:
"Hey all, have seen a few posts on this recently. While we know there is an issue with low LP gains in diamond 5, looking at the number of players with 0 and low LP scores doesn't show there is an issue with LP gains. If you look at any division you will see a similar pattern. In fact, 25% of players in every division are at 0 LP and all those players experience healthy gains. There is two reasons this pattern occurs: 
  1. Players are driven by standards. This dictates engagement patterns around reaching new divisions. In other words, nobody is setting a goal of reaching 97 LP then taking a break. The goal is always the next division or tier. Similar groupings appear in most systems structured in this way (for example, grading systems with minimum pass criteria).
  2. The system is very lenient about demotions, and players cannot fall below 0 LP except by dodging. This means that any player who is technically below 0 LP will still be displayed at 0 until they fall far enough to be demoted. This also means that players climbing back out of an MMR technically below the amount expected for 0 LP will get smaller gains while they climb back up. 
Why is this important? While we do have a fix on the way in the coming patches for this issue, it won't change the number of players who are at 0 LP in diamond 5 or any division. That isn't the problem or really even a symptom of it. I want to make sure the community understands the actual issue being discussed here. 
The real issue is that LP calcs work differently d5 to challenger. Right now it's tuned too aggressively, so if you're out of sync from going on a losing streak after getting in it can feel really painful to climb out. The change we're implementing smooths out the gains over all of diamond instead of just immediately hitting full force in diamond 5, so it's less noticeable in any given game."

Jared Polis: Community Congressman

A new community video has been posted highlighting Jared Polis, a member of the United States Representatives and avid League of Legends player.
"You may remember Congressman Jared Polis from a few years back when he hopped on our forums to talk about SOPA/PIPA. As an avid gamer since childhood, he brings his unique perspective on how different legislation could potentially impact gamers. 
When he's not representing Colorado’s 2nd congressional district on Capitol Hill, however, Congressman Polis takes time to unwind with his favorite champions in League of Legends: Maokai and Anivia."

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