Red Post Collection: URF Q&A on April 6th, Urgot rework still planned, Meddler on Azir, Kha'zix, & Rumble, and more!

Posted on at 12:28 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes a heads up on the U.R.F AMA on April 6th, Lyte discussing the idea of voice chat in LoL, confirmation the Urgot rework is still planned,  Meddler briefly discussing the upcoming Ashe changes and his thoughts on current balance several champion's such as Azir, Kha'Zix and Rumble!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Join the team for an URF Q&A

Interested in more on U.R.F? Still mourning N.U.R.F? The  team behind the return of the fan favorite featured game mode will be hosting a Q&A on the boards on April 6th!
"Now that you've had a chance to play a few URF games, stop by the boards and join the team who rebuilt the game mode all better and stronger if not necessarily faster (the fire can only get so rapid). 
The game mode gurus will be on the boards April 6 starting at 11 AM PDT. Head to the hecacopter!"
More information on URF, which is available until April 13th, available here:

Lyte on Voice chat 

In a high profile reddit thread discussing if voice chat has a place as a default feature in League of Legends, Lyte jumped in clear up a few misconceptions floating around the thread:
"There's a lot of misconceptions about voice chat, so hopefully going to clear some of them up here.

First, just comparing your anecdotal experiences to other games is not valuable. We (and other companies) have done research on voice chat, and one of the first things you realize is that there is a huge difference between:

1) Opt-in voice chat (so you have to use a 3rd party) versus default voice chat (available for everyone in-game)

2) Voice chat between strangers versus between friends

In our research, (which you can read here ), players in voice chat showed 126% more toxicity in text chat. Players in voice chat with strangers also received 47% more reports compared to players not in voice chat.

In a study by Ohio State University (which you can read here), they show that female players receive 300% more harassment compared to male players just for being heard as a female voice.

However, our research does agree that voice chat between friends is a great experience. When you think to your stories of 3rd party voice apps and why they are more positive, it is because of something called selection bias. Players that generally want to voice with strangers may have a different personality and be more open to chatting with strangers, so they actually go out of their way to download a 3rd party voice app. However, if you made voice chat available by default in games, the behavior would not be the same at all and would match all the research above suggesting that it would increase toxicity in games.

More and more, games studios are doing this type of research which is why you see newer games have limited voice chat that is usually tied to just friends or premades, and quite a few AAA games no longer have default voice chat between strangers."
He continued:

"To put it simply, all companies should be learning from the lessons of other companies. To create and test everything yourself would be extremely time consuming and not an efficient use of resources. 
The whole point of generalizable research is that you can do research that generalizes to other contexts, and so we can understand how things work across different contexts be it games or platforms. There's very, very little chance that voice chat would miraculously be different behavior in League compared to all the studies out there."
In response to a claim that "99%" of players would prefer voice chat as the default communication in league and that "personally-held beliefs" from the team are holding the idea back, Lyte replied:
"Well, we know that it isn't the case that 99% of players want voice chat as a default option for League of Legends. Reddit isn't really a representative sample of the overall playerbase. 
I wouldn't say we have personally-held beliefs either--if we did, we probably wouldn't have bothered doing the research. We did the research to determine what the impact of voice chat was because although there are anecdotes and stories everywhere, very few companies truly understood the impact of voice chat on games and all the nuances associated with it. 
If we do voice chat, we'd just design it differently than other games have done so in the past. We'd encourage voice chat with friends, make it harder to voice chat with strangers unless both parties opted-in, etc."

Minor Hits on upcoming Ashe changes

Meddler popped on to boards to briefly comment on the Ashe changes Riot Repertoir and himself have mentioned over the past few weeks.

When asked about some of the things they experimented with but didn't necessarily end up using , Meddler noted:
"Short version: We looked at a number of different ways for crit to affect Ashe's play (in particular, should crits do the same thing on all champs) and for her to slow targets via her basic attacks. 
The longer version I'll leave to Repertoir who'd I'd imagine will talk about the changes in detail once they're close to release (he's the designer who's been working on Ashe, amongst other things)."
When asked if Ashe's R will be changed at all, Meddler noted:
"Odds are extremely high we'll leave the ult as is (or slightly tweaked). Also pretty likely the gold generation passive will be removed in order to add more interactive power somewhere."

Urgot Rework still planned, Sion Level Project

With Urgot sittin' pretty after several changes in patch 5.5, Meddler commented on the boards they they are still planning an extensive rework in the future (which has the plan since last year):
"We're still planning to rework him. There's the low counterplay/binary performance you mentioned plus his passive lacks significant gameplay, his ult's not a good fit with the rest of his kit much of the time and there's a bunch of thematic space he's not taking full advantage of"
As for the expected scope of this project, he noted:
"Odds are very high he'll be a Sion level project. As far as really large gameplay reworks go though Poppy's almost certainly going to come out before Urgot."

Meddler on Azir, Kha'Zix, Lee Sin, and Rumble

Meddler also hoped around a number of other threads, sharing his thoughts on the balance of several other champions.
In a thread asking about Azir, he noted:
"We're currently letting him sit as he is for a while, to assess both the impact of the 5.5 buffs and to see how the changing state of the game (tank jungler return and Athene's buffs) affects him. 
As far as win rate goes that's a data point that needs to be treated with caution, particularly on an extremely high mastery curve champion like Azir. A 46% average win rate for example could be associated with a champion that's weak or with a champion that's balanced (or even strong), whose average performance statistically gets dragged down by players new to that champ. 
As far as being able to be picked into any team comp that's something we'd like to avoid where possible. It suggests a champ lacks sufficiently clear strengths and weaknesses which results in a champ that gets picked all the time if they're strong, leading to games that feel very similar to each other."

As for the current state of Kha'Zix, Meddler replied:
"We think he's a bit weak and from memory he's on the list of champions the balance team are planning to look at, see if there are some appropriate buffs we can give him. Not sure where he is priority wise though, so can't give you an ETA off the top of the head."
When asked if they have balance plans for Lee Sin in the immediate future, Meddler noted:
"No current plans, he's not crowding out other jungle picks now."
As for current thoughts on Rumble's balance, Meddler commented:
"Don't think we've got any current plans, so most likely just balance adjustments as needed. He's a champ we've been watching in case he's too strong for a long time, doesn't seem to be too oppressive for now though."

Two Different Resources on a Champion

When asked about his thoughts on a champion who utilizes two different types of resources, Meddler replied:
The Demon Hunter in Diablo 3 uses two different resources: Hatred and Discipline. Hatred fuels the DH's offensive abilities, while Discipline is for defensive, evasive, and utility abilities, creating some very interesting gameplay. 
Do you think it'd be possible at all to create a Champion who uses two different resource bars? Maybe one is mana, while the other is a unique resource that applies to the Champion itself. Just a thought.
Could certainly be done of course, I'd be inclined to start at the outcomes end of things though. Define what decisions and gameplay a 2 resource bar champion allows you to offer that you couldn't do with one resource bar (or one plus an ammo system). If that looks compelling could be worth an investigation, if not it's probably just adding extra complexity for low depth."

He continued, replying to the idea of a passive that caused spells to use health as a cost instead of mana when the champion was out of mana:
I actually had an older champion concept who could expend Health if he lacked adequate mana for his spells, and his ult was a toggle that radically amped up his spells but caused them to cost Health on top of their mana cost. 
Good times...
Oh, nice, we kicked around that same idea (Passive: Spend health instead of mana when OOM) a year or two ago for a champion that never went anywhere. Imagine we'll give it a another try at some point, offers some cool gameplay and great opportunities for strong thematic connections. Guessing if we do find it a home it'll be on a beserker (champs that gain bonuses for being low on health) of some sort."
As for what sort of champion might house that sort of strictly theoretical passive, Meddler noted:
"I'd be more inclined to try it on a squishy, ranged champ. Imagine a moderate range mage with high mana costs, who, once they run OOM, has a real tension about how many extra casts they can afford to get off (how low can you go?). Like an offensive focused Soraka in some regards."

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