Red Post Collection: Ryze Champion Update, Venues Announced for 2015 World Championship, Dark Horses: Solo Lane Assassin J4, and more

Posted on at 12:38 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes an overload of information on the Ryze champion update that is now on the PBE for testing, a new Dark Horses article highlighting Solo Lane Assassin Jarvan IV, Scruffy with a grab bag on champion updates,  Gypsylord with a small tweak on Dr. Mundo's passive & R tooltip displays, the venue announcement for the 2015 World Championship, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Champion Update: Ryze

First up we have the announcement and subsequent discussion and context surrounding the Ryze champion update that is now testing on the PBE!
To start things off, here is the Champion Update: Ryze heads to the PBE announcement:
"One of League’s original 40 champions, Ryze’s gameplay has been largely left alone over the last five and a bit years. Welp, time to change “has” to “had”, because the champion update crew just finished creating a Rogue Mage fit for 2015’s champion aficionados. Alongside his new ability and sound effects, a couple of Ryze’s abilities have undergone some pretty hefty changes. But before we get into how new Ryze plays, here’s a quick look at his shiny new kit:

Passive: Arcane Mastery 
Ryze builds up stacks of Arcane Mastery as he casts his abilities. After reaching max stacks, Ryze becomes temporarily supercharged and gains a couple of powerful buffs: casting an ability significantlyreduces the cooldown of his other abilities. Ryze also gains a shield based on his max mana.  
Ryze’s damage dealing abilities scale in part with his maximum mana. 

Q: Overload

Ryze fires a ball of rune energy out in a target direction, damaging the first enemy struck.

W: Rune Prison

Ryze traps a targeted enemy, damaging them and rooting them for a short duration

E: Spell Flux 
Ryze targets an enemy unit, blasting them with a slow-moving ball of energy that, after striking the target, splits to damage all nearby enemies before returning to Ryze’s original target, dealing increasing damage based on the number of bolts.

R: Desperate Power

Passive: Ryze passively gains cooldown reduction.

Active: Ryze channels immense power, gaining significant spell vamp and movement speed and turning all of his abilities into area of effect abilities.
While Ryze’s general role has stayed consistent (he still absolutely has the potential to be a late game powerhouse), our update brings both the blue man and his opponents sizeable windows of power to play around. It’s a term we introduced with Gnar, and basically means that, where old Ryze was largely consistent with his damage output, new Ryze alternates between moments of relative weakness and power. For both Ryze and his opponents, learning to play around Arcane Mastery is crucial: Ryze’s power spike is colossal as soon as it’s triggered, so he’ll likely start to move in to engage as his passive stacks near completion. Once Arcane Mastery kicks in, Ryze can quickly cycle through abilities which, in turn, help reset the cooldown of the spells he's already slung. Provided he has the mana - and this is important - Ryze will at least win the trade, and at best, utterly destroy his target. 
Aside from his passive, some of the biggest changes have hit Overload and Spell Flux. Overload is no longer targeted, so while there are benefits to his new Q (its new range is much longer, for example), it’s much harder to land against targets who sit within or behind their minion wave. On the other hand, Spell Flux now works best on targets who’ve buried themselves amongst friends. Essentially, Ryze’s opponents now have to decide if they’re best off hiding behind their minions and dealing with Spell Flux’s potentially brutal damage, or moving off to the side and hoping they can dance around multiple Overloads. 
Champion Insights 
Ryze, gameplay by RiotRepertoir 
Old Ryze had a number of problems, but first and foremost, he just wasn’t all that interesting. His damage output was predictable and his damage windows were pretty much always open. He’d build a tear and catalyst as early as he could, then pretty much sit back and hope to reach his final late game hypercarry form. This turned him into an all or nothing champion in competitive play - he was either 100% pick/ban or never seen at all depending on where his numbers were - and while consistency isn't usually a bad thing, Ryze just ended up flat and predictable. Changes were needed. 
Which brings us to the update. As we mentioned earlier, the update revolves around the notion of windows of power. When his passive is down, Ryze will actually be notably weaker than old Ryze, but by giving him that period of weakness, we’re able to really amp up his power when his passive triggers. These windows give both Ryze and his lane opponent(s) a bunch more to think about, and can even dictate the outcome of entire late game teamfights. We still want Ryze to get into the thick of things and melt faces from his limited range, but now he has to judge his timing and make sure his team fights when he’s good and ready to ramp up. 
Ryze will hit PBE soon, so give the new blue man a spin and let us know your thoughts!"

Riot Repertoir also jumped on the PBE boards for a discussion thread and change list for updates:
"Hi guys, 
Now that Ryze is ready to go on PBE, I'll be here to talk openly with you about his changes as he approaches release to Live servers. 
This update definitely isn't a complete character overhaul, so a lot of what you know and love about Ryze is still there. Arcane Mastery (P) still reduces cooldowns, Overload (Q) is a spammy nuke, Rune Prison (W) is a targeted root, Spell Flux (E) is a bouncy spell, and Desperate Power (R) is mostly unchanged. While this stuff is all true, most of the abilities have been changed in one way or another to help create a package with more engaging gameplay for both Ryze and opponents. I'll save most of my talking for responding to your feedback, so I'll give a quick description of the abilities and let you guys drive questions from there. 
  • Passive (Arcane Mastery) 
  • Casting a spell grants a stack of Arcane Mastery for a long duration.
  • At 5 stacks, Ryze gets a Mana shield and goes into hyper cooldown mode where spellcasts reduce cooldowns by the cooldown of Overload (Q).
  • Ryze's abilities still scale with his maximum Mana.
  • Note: by turning Ryze's passive into a model that has uptime and downtime, we can let Ryze be really strong within that window, and allow opponents a clear opportunity to fight against him outside of it, or cc him during it. 
    • Q (Overload) 
    • Short cooldown skillshot line nuke that deals damage to the first target it hits.
    • Note: by turning Overload into a skillshot, Ryze can operate at an increased combat range, and opponents have more opportunities to minimize the damage they take from Ryze. 
      • W (Rune Prison) 
      • Targeted, zero travel time root + nuke
      • Note: this spell is mostly unchanged, and although it's a low counterplay ability, it emphasizes one of Ryze's strengths at reliably shutting down mobility, so we've kept it. 
        • E (Spell Flux)  
        • Targeted nuke and Magic Resist shred that bounces from the primary target to nearby enemies
        • After hitting the secondary targets, they bounce back to the original target.
        • Note: we really wanted to reduce some of the random nature of Spell Flux, giving it clear uses cases (especially in lane) that aren't just throwing it at a target and hoping it bounces to the right guys. 
          • R (Desperate Power) 
          • Steroid that grants Movement Speed, Spell Vamp, and area damage on spells for the duration
          • Additionally passively grants 10/20/30% Cooldown Reduction with rank in the spell
          That's the basics. I'm looking forward to watching him on PBE over the next couple weeks, and I'll do my best to keep up with any questions/concerns/feedback you guys have during this time. 

          Following the two announcements and the Ryze update hitting the PBE for testing, Riot Repertoir jolted around reddit and the PBE boards to answer questions!

          As for Ryze's new passive and how it interacts with CDR. Repertoir noted:
          "It's not so much that his passive becomes less effective as it just stays equally powerful throughout the game regardless of CDR levels. This contrasts with his Live passive which scales incredibly well with CDR."
          He continued:
          "Try not to think of it as the passive becoming less effective with CDR, and try to think of it this way... 
          During your passive regardless of your current CDR value: 
          Q's cooldown gets reduced by 100% when it gets reduced by other spellcasts
          W's cooldown gets reduced by ~20% when it gets reduced by other spellcasts
          E's cooldown gets reduced by ~50% when it gets reduced by other spellcasts
          R's cooldown gets reduced by ~5/7/10% (based on spell rank, since its cooldown goes down with rank) when it gets reduced by other spellcasts 
          If the amount the cooldowns got reduced was unaffected by CDR, W's base cooldown would have to be something like 25 seconds so that W's weren't overlapping, Q's cooldown would have to be closer to 6 seconds, etc."
          When asked to clarify if his new passive allows a Q cast to reduce the CD of his next Q, Repertoir noted:
          "It means that while he is supercharged from his passive, casting a spell will basically reset his Q, so you can perfectly Q every other spell."
          He also laid out:
          "Correct. It's like the old passive, but an amped up version. 
          Q reduces W/E/R
          W reduces Q/E/R
          E reduces Q/W/R
          R reduces Q/W/E"

          Repertoir also elaborated on what the "to a minimum of .25 seconds" part of the passive tooltip means:
          "This part of the tooltip just means that if Q has 3 seconds of cooldown left on it, and it would get reduced by 3.5 because of the passive, it will instead only get reduced by 2.75 (down to 0.25 seconds) so that he still has small periods during which he can move during the passive."

          As for the reductions to his base HP and armor as well as the addition of a mana scaling shield to his passive, Repertoir noted:
          "Yep, he's intended to be a bit tankier with passive up, and a bit squishier without it up. If he gets on you during his passive, prepare to feel bullied. If not, try to push him around."
          Repertoir  also commented on the reduction in Q's consistency, explaining:
          "One thing we've done already to accompany Ryze's reduced reliability and reliance on charging his passive is to reduce the cost of his Q and increased his Mana Regen per level. These changes should actually be a net buff to Ryze overall, so if it seems like they just make him worse, we will have to adjust upward. With a long duration on his passive stacks (12 seconds currently), he can roam to mid from top, or bot from mid, spamming a few Qs along the way, and have his passive ready to go when he gets there. Until very recently, these stacks were infinite duration (Annie/Malz style), and he would just sit on them forever and people could never approach him. I still want him to be able to threaten opponents by sitting on high stacks for awhile, just not forever."
          When asked why the cooldown of Rune Prison was increased slightly, Repertoir explained:
          "W cooldown was a change made so that he could keep the spell with his new passive. Earlier this week in playtests, Ryze could hit you with Rune Prison while you were already in Rune Prison if his passive was up."
          When asked about Ryze's E's secondary targets being capped at four targets, Repertoir noted:
          "Since we are in balance mode right now, we are currently trying a model where the number of secondary targets is capped at 4. Maybe 6 is the right number. Maybe infinite is okay. Let's just say that R+E on a champion in the middle of a stacked minion wave was making people disappear."
          As for if he thinks maxing E first while leveling is viable, Repertoir noted:
          "Maxing E is probably a bit of a gamble because of the 60/70/80/90/100 Mana cost on it, as well as the fact that Q's base damage and Mana ratio both increase with rank in it. That said, if the opponent wants to stand in the middle of the minions and eat multi-hit E's, it's probably an effective strategy."

          He continued, touching a bit more on how the CDR itemization interacts with his new passive:
          "Ryze's old passive worked extremely favorably with CDR (flat 1 second off cooldowns on cast), but the new one doesn't to the same extent (because the reduction scales with Overload's cooldown). Because of this, the CDR is now built in and you can choose a different item in the place of Frozen Heart without feeling like you're missing a core item, or you can just go over the cap a bit and build the FH."
          He continued:
          "With his current core build, he will. It wouldn't be too surprising if his core build changed from Frozen Heart to something else in its place following this update."

          As for how these changes will play into his itemization, Repertoir  noted:
          "It will only negatively impact his itemization insofar as Frozen Heart will be a little less attractive and other AP items will be a little more attractive. He's also had some AP ratios boosted to further make AP items a bit more attractive."
          He continued:
          "We are trying to make Frozen Heart somewhat less attractive, yes. We like Tear+RoA as core items on Ryze, but with having a third core item in Frozen Heart, he really had very little build flexibility whatsoever. This gives him a bit more build flexibility to build things like Zhonya's, Abyssal, Luden's Echo, GA, etc. without just spamming the same three items for his first ~9k gold."
          As for the big question on everyone's mind,  Repertoir also commented on why Ryze isn't receiving a visual update alongside these gameplay changes as implied here:
          "We hope to hit model and animations at a later time, but due to some unforeseen issues, we couldn't yet do them, and we didn't want to hold the VFX/SFX/Gameplay until whenever that might be."
          He also commented in a different thread:
          "He won't be getting a VU at this time, but is still pretty high on the priority list for one."

          As for Ryze's rework coming before Poppy'sRepertoir teased:
          "Solcrushed is on Poppy, and she's looking really good right now :)"

          Looking for a closer look at the Ryze update, including tentative numbers and ratios? Check out our PBE coverage for more!

          Dark Horses - Solo Lane Assassin Jarvan IV

          Next up we have Luqi with a new Dark Horses article on the fearsome Solo Lan Assassin Jarvan IV!
          "We're back with another installment of Dark Horses! This time, we'll be digging into Jarvan IV -- while we're used to seeing him do his princely duty in the jungle, he's also very viable as a solo laner built for assassinating high-damage squishy targets.

          Fear the flag 

          Jarvan IV is most commonly played in the jungle, built as a tank with high mobility and crowd control to keep his enemies in line with strong gank pressure. While the idea of tanking damage for his people is all very nice and princely, we're going to focus on Jarvan IV's ability to do the dirty damaging work by himself. 
          Lane bully of Demacia 
          Jarvan can get off to a strong start during laning phase, thanks to his threat of constant poke with Dragon Strike (Q) and the damage from his passive (Martial Cadence), which adds 10% of the enemy's current health as bonus physical damage to his auto-attack. If you can use his tools wisely in lane, it shouldn't be too hard to grind down your opponent's health low enough to force them to go back to base or risk giving up a kill.

          Tools to dodge ganks or set them up 
          The tools that make Jarvan a powerful jungler also serve him well for dealing with enemy junglers; specifically, his E+Q combo (also known as the Flag 'n' Drag) quickly puts him in position to avoid trouble (or start his own). When he's out of position in lane and the enemy jungler comes to gank, he can use this combo to knock up the jungler and escape without using Flash. Of course, he can also use his E+Q combo to quickly roam the map and gank other lanes, just like he does in the jungle.

          Turn the enemy carries into a squishkebab 
          We’ve talked about his damage and how strong Jarvan can be, but to really make a difference in the mid game Jarvan will need offensive items, especially the ones that have Armor Penetration. After laning phase, your job in teamfights is to jump onto the carries and explode them. 

          Not yet ready for the throne 

          Can't deal with damage 
          We're used to thinking of Jarvan as a solid tank in his standard jungle role, but if you go for a full damage build, he won't be able to handle taking damage very well. His W gives you a shield that slows enemies, which can be useful for buying you time and space to survive long enough for your teammates to help, but don't expect this Jarvan style to do well in longer fights. 
          All-in on teamfights 
          If you blew your full Jarvan IV combo and your team didn’t follow up, or your team didn’t win the team fight and you’re out of cooldowns, you can consider yourself pretty much dead. Jarvan's assassination potential lies in his ability to burst a single enemy and hold him behind, especially in the early game. Remember: Princes don't live long enough to become kings unless they only pick fights they know they'll win. 
          Need to manage your mana 
          Jarvan is very mana-reliant, so make sure you keep a reserve pool of mana handy or you might have a problem finishing a combo or escaping a gank. If you need a little more safety in your laning phase, consider picking up a Crystal Flask to quench Jarvan's mana thirst.

          You can add Jarvan IV to your champion pool for 616 RP (30% off), and his Warring Kingdoms skin for 945 RP (30% off) from April 9 until 11:59 PM PDT April 13
          As mentioned in the tail end of the post, Jarvan IV and Warring Kingdoms Jarvan IV are on sale for 30% off through April 13th.

          Scruffy grab bag on Champion Updates

          In a thread proclaiming "It's Okay to have simple champions" in response to the addition of a skill shot to the Ryze rework mentioned above, Scruffy stepped in to share his thoughts:
          I've noticed a scary trend with recent champions and reworks (the ryze rework is what prompted me to finally say something), and it's that new champions are getting more and more needlessly complex (see: azir, gnar, bard, etc.). I'm entirely okay with that, just not when every single addition is new player-unfriendly and old champions that would be new player-friendly are meanwhile being reworked in the same way. 
          Like... can I just get some assurance that not every new champion from here on out + reworks is going to consist of extreme attempts at trying something new to the point where there are only <5 pick up and play champions in the game? 
          PS: I don't even think the ryze rework is bad, it's the fact that Riot is moving towards unnecessary complications in champion kits as a whole; innovation is fine, just not when it applies to both new champions and champions that were previously new player-friendly.
          "I totally agree. Some of the best designs are the simplest. A lot of rich decision making and very complex play can come from something as simple as Singed Q. I hope that rather than try to add more mechanics we can improve our designs in the future by getting more value from less ("elegance" in a nutshell). 
          This will be especially key on some of our historically simple mechanic champions (Taric for example). We are making it a goal to add more depth and interest to his play without over complicating the kit or increasing the mechanical floor."

          He also popped into a thread praising the Sion rework from last year to comment on larger scale updates and some of the team's goals:
          "I'm really glad you're enjoying the new Sion as much as we are. We definitely hope to try and build on the learnings from what we did with him for future large champion updates (see poppy, urgot, taric, yorick etc). 
          The goal is to take the core of what was really resonant and good about the old champion and try to enhance and deliver on it rather than discard. This often doesn't mean that you keep the exact abilities and art details, but everything we make for the updated champion should feed back into that core theme. A coherent and consistent champion leads to the most fun and compelling character. 
          All of the feedback we get from the community (positive and negative) helps us improve and find inspiration for how to keep elevating LoL to be a more fun and competitive experience."
          As for if the team will ever return to take another swing at champions reworked in the last few years, Scruffy replied:
          "The possibility of taking a look at champs that we have already reworked in the past is there for sure. Most likely it won't be for a while as there are some other champions with much bigger problems that we hope to solve first."
          When asked about the scope of the Gangplank rework that was mentioned earlier this month, Scruffy noted:
          "It's somewhere between Ryze and Sion I'd say. There are some iconic abilities that we wanted to preserve on GP's kit so it's not quite as big of a change as Sion. Not much concrete info to give out right now but look forward to it, it's gonna be really fun."
          Scruffy also replied to an inquiry about Warwick's rework, explaining:
          "Warwick is not currently getting worked on. Zenonthestoic had some good ideas in the work he did about a year ago and we will definitely pick it back up some day but he's not currently in flight."
          In a tweet about Scruffy's comment, ZenonTheStoic also noted what he's currently up to:
          "I'm making a new champion :)"

          Dr. Mundo's Passive and R HP Regen Display

          When asked if it was possible to have Dr. Mundo's passive - which regenerate .3% of his maximum HP per second - show the exact amount of HP it restores instead of just the %, Riot Gypsy noted:
          "This thread reminded me that I've been wanting to do this. I'll go take a look. No promises, some of the older passive are hooked up in really strange ways..."
          He later returned to note the deed was done:
          "Welp that was easier than expected. Took a look at Sadism's TT as well. Look for updated passive and R tooltips next patch with dynamic recovery amounts :)"

          Automated Chat Log System

          In a thread with a user demanding to see their chat logs after being chat restricted, Lyte "smited" his way into the thread to share a set of unsavory chat logs and note they are working to automate the process when punishments are handed out:
          "We're currently working on systems that will deliver these chat logs automatically with your punishment, so apologies for the inconvenience for now. I will also note that your mostrecent chat logs have queued you up for an escalated ban review. Please try to tone it down in your next matches."

          Ghost Bride Morgana R Chain Sounds

          In a thread asking if the chain sounds could be readded to Ghost Bride Morgana's R after the recent vfx/sfx updates in 5.7, C3 Sound commented:
          pls pls pls put the chain sounds back on ghost bride morgana's ult
          Already done - t'was a bug. (It will go out with next patch)"

          2015 World Championships Venues

          The venues that will be playing host to the 2015 World Championship all across Europe have been announced, with the  Finals being located in Berlin, Germany!
          "We’ve been counting the days until we could share final details of our stops on the path to the final. The venues are locked in and we’re hyped to confirm our full line-up of host cities for this season’s grand finale! 
          This fall, we’re bringing Worlds through Paris, London, and Brussels for group, quarters and semifinals before landing in Berlin where the two remaining teams will battle it out at the World Championship Final 
          We’ll be starting our journey with Group Stage games spread over two weeks in Paris at Le Dock Pullman. Along with the qualifying teams, next we’ll jump on the Eurostar to London for Quarterfinals, where we’ll be making our return to Wembley Arena, home of our 2014 LCS event. Once the top four teams emerge, we’ll head over to Brussels for the Semifinals at the Brussels Expo before hosting the Final clash for the cup in the home city of the EU LCS, Berlin, at the Mercedes-Benz Arena (currently the O2 World - Berlin). 
          Choosing locations for the 2015 World Championship was a complex and time-intensive process. We began our search in earnest over a year ago, looking for venues and cities that gave us enough flexibility to customize live esports experiences for fans in the seats, as well as creating entertaining backdrops for players watching along at home. In the case of Paris and London, we’re thrilled to return to the major metropolitan cities that helped us blow the roof off 2014’s All-Star Game and LCS. We’re also looking forward to bringing high-level international play to Brussels for the first time, and reaching a new group of fans with live esports action within easy access of fans throughout Western Europe. 
          Berlin has been an amazing home for the 2015 EU LCS, and we’ve chosen a World Finals location that celebrates this unique city and its esports fan community. We’re looking forward to welcoming fans from throughout EU and beyond to this final show, and can’t wait to unveil a finale to the 2015 Season that celebrates the dedication and skill of pros and teams throughout the year. 
          We know we won’t have hit every city that fans were hoping we’d include in our journey. We count ourselves incredibly lucky that so many fans throughout Europe were passionate about us visiting their city - and we look forward to bringing live action to more fans with our EU Spring Finals in Madrid and another Summer Finals event to cap off the LCS season. 
          Here’s the full list of dates and venues. We’ll be announcing ticket information within the next few weeks, so keep an eye on Lolesports for information on how to be a part of Worlds live later this year! 
          Group Stages: October 1-4 and October 8-11 - Le Dock Pullman, Paris 
          Quarterfinals: October 15-18 - SSE Arena Wembley, London 
          Semifinals: October 24-25 - Brussels Expo, Brussels 
          Finals: October 31 - Mercedes-Benz Arena (currently O2 World - Berlin) 
          Halloween costume optional. 
          See you in Europe!"

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