[Updated] Red Post Collection: 7/14 Patch Update, July Bundles, MMR Boosting Punishments, Context on TK PBE Buffs, & more

Posted on at 12:38 AM by Moobeat
[UPDATE: Added in additional posts on Tahm Kech & Boosting punishments, as well information on the 7/14 patch update and Pwyff on player communication.]

This afternoon's red post collection includes a look at the new July bundles available through July 22nd, Rhojin on a wave of MMR Boosting punishments going out, ZenonTheStoic with context on recent Tahm Kench PBE buffs, Jaredan on Gangplank's background changes, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

July 14th Patch Update

The official 5.13 patches notes have been updated following a hotfix for Tahm Kench and Zed bugs:
Tahm Kench
  • BUGFIX Fixed a weird interaction between W - Devour'd allies and Tahm's summoner spells
  • BUGFIX Zed no longer kills minions before they spawn"

July bundles now available!

A new set of July champion and skin bundles are now available in the shop through July 22nd!
"Attack your problems head on, step back and chill out, or explore new terrain. That’s right, July bundles are here! 
Grab these limited time bundles now through 23:59 July 22.

Born to Kill Bundle - 50% off at 2623 RP (4423 RP if you need the champions)
Skins included:
  • Dragonslayer Pantheon
  • Dragonslayer Vayne
  • Headhunter Caitlyn
  • Headhunter Master Yi
  • Ravenborn LeBlanc (Legacy)
Champions included:
Coldies but Goodies Bundle - 50% off at 2584 RP (4593 RP if you need the champions)
Skins included:
  • Arctic Ops Varus
  • Ice Drake Shyvana
  • Frostblade Irelia
  • Glacial Malphite
  • Snow Bunny Nidalee (Legacy)
Champions included:
Groundbreaking Bundle - 40% off at 3015 RP (5241 RP if you need the champions)
Skins included:
  • El Tigre Braum
  • Arclight Vel'Koz
  • Warring Kingdoms Jarvan IV
  • Haunted Maokai (Legacy)
Champions included:

MMR Boosting Punishments for the 2015 Season

Here's Rhojin with an announcement regarding MMR Boosting  - when a player plays on another player's account with the intent to improve the account's match making rating - punishments that are going out:
"Hey Everyone, 
Through past seasons we have been dedicated to the detection and punishment of players who have been involved in MMR Boosting in one way or another. Over the past seven months the Player Support Player Behavior team and Risk team have been working together on vast improvements to our detection methods to ensure even more of a strain is put on Boosters and those they are boosting. 
Now after months of hard work and dedication we are able to aggressively go after players who have participated in MMR Boosting. Over the following weeks we will be rolling out MMR Boosting punishments to over 70,000 players who have had their accounts boosted in the 2015 season. These 70,000 are not the only ones who will receive MMR Boosting punishments this season; starting today we will be rolling out normal ban waves punishing anyone who has had their account boosted this season. 
For those who are new to League of Legends and for anyone who needs a little refresher, a MMR Boosting punishment is not something to disregard. Anyone punished will face the following punishment : 
  • A two week suspension
  • Removal of all previous Season Rewards (Victorious Skins, Borders, Icons, Ward Skins)
  • Ineligibility to receive the 2015 Season Rewards
  • A second offense will result in the permanent suspension of the account 
If you have any questions or concerns regarding MMR Boosting or the punishments please share them in the comments, I and members of the Risk team will be here to answer them. Please remember the Boards rules on naming and shaming, if you feel a player is involved in MMR Boosting in any way please do not post your report here. You can send a report in through a support ticket and we will begin investigation."
He continued:
"This wave of punishments are going to hit players from the NA, EUW and EUNE servers."

Riot Cluvie also reiterated that this is for players logging on other player's accounts, not smurfing:
"I think there might be a little bit of confusion here on what boosting and smurfing is -- boosting is sharing your credentials with someone else with the intent of them playing on your account to raise your rank up. Smurfing is something that has come to mean creating an alt account and playing. 
If a case is brought to our attention and confirmed that it has not actually been boosted, but was detected for boosting, we will take a look and see what caused it to be flagged and adjust the system accordingly."
Slumber Jack added:
"The definition of boosting requires someone who is not the account owner to log onto the account and play ranked games on it. 
In this case, you own both of the accounts, so there's nothing wrong here so long as no one else is logging onto them. 
EDIT: small clarification"

Rhojin also reminded that simply duo queuing and playing with friends is IN NO WAY BOOSTING:
"Exactly this. We do not punish players for playing games (ranked or otherwise) with their friends."
He continued, noting there is nothing to be worried about for players using VPN or playing from a friends house:
"Using a VPN will never result in a MMR Boosting suspension, nor will playing from a friends house. We know players like to play from locations other than home all the time. Our methods take this into consideration. The last thing we want to do is punish someone for hanging out with friends or family."
Rhojin also reminded that these punishments are for players sharing accounts:
"Simply going on a win streak will not get you punished for MMR Boosting. We understand that players may go on win streak, try new builds and playstyles. The only time we punish anyone is if we detect someone else was playing ranked games on their account."
When asked about smurfing (specifically losing games intentionally) and account trading, Rhojin noted:
"While smurfing in itself is not something we would ban for, it would take some work of intentionally losing games for a diamond player to get their smurf into Bronze. We have different punishments for instances where a high level player intentionally loses games on their smurf account to be placed in a lower division for whatever reason (Bronze to Challenger runs, helping low ranking friends by stomping in games as a higher ranking player, etc) 
Account trading is never allowed for any reason. Trading accounts or allowing others to play on your account falls into Account Sharing, and the moment they step into a ranked game you're looking at a MMR Boosting punishment. While this may sound like a good idea to get around being punished for MMR Boosting, it will not work."
As for playing at a friends account or on the same IP as another player, Rhojin reminded there is nothing to worry about as long as you are playing on your own account:
"As long as everyone is playing on their own account you have nothing to worry about, this sort of thing won't even make a blip on our radar. I hope this puts your concerns at ease and you make it into Gold :)."

As for why those caught boosting are not permanently banned on the first instance, Slumber Jack noted:
"The goal here is education and reform, not just eradication of a type of behaviour/player. Extremely few players who are punished for being boosted ever repeat the behaviour again, so there's really no reason to permanently suspend players if they're almost definitely going to stop boosting. 
...and for the few cases where they don't, we do remove them altogether :P"

More on MMR boosting can be found here via Riot's Support site.

Between Two Turrets - Chat with Saiyaka

Visual designer and classical vocalist Lisa "Saiyaka" Thorn is currently hosting a Q&A on the boards!
"Welcome to the latest installment of Between Two Turrets, a new Q&A series from the NA Community team in which we'll connect you with various Rioters to chat about League, life, and anything in between. You can expect an installment every couple weeks or so, with Rioters from all over jumping in to spend some time with you on the boards. 
This week, we've got visual designer and classical vocalist (that's her in the Diana login music) Saiyaka!
Hi there! I’m Lisa and I’m a Visual Designer. Sometimes I sing, make funny voices and always fail at beatboxing. 
I’m a classically trained vocalist, and from time to time have the opportunity to work with the music team on a number of League of Legends pieces like Diana’s theme - Daylight’s End, Orb of Winter from the Pentakill album, The Freljord theme and one of my favorites - Demacia Rising. 
As a visual designer, I work on layout, composition and building style guides for the web experiences of everything from the Urfitational to more serious events like Shurima. 
My favorite champ is Vayne. I’m currently playing Final Fantasy XIV - Hyperion server :3 I love classical music and good web design. I’m always looking for new music for my daily commute, playing League or just to listen, so send me your favorites~ 
I keep up with a small music blog and post some of my League and non-League related music projects up on my YouTube channel. Looking forward to chatting about design, travel or random music recommendations! 
Lisa, “Saiyaka”"
Check out the thread and get your questions in! Saiyaka's answers can be found conveniently in the Rioter Rundown.

Jaredan on Gangplank & Champion Bios

When asked about the changes to Gangplank's background and his new short form lore entry on the PBE, Jaredan commented that we'll have more to see coming up!
"As others have stated, we wanted to push Gangplank in a direction that matched his original lore and put him as a more starkly formidable character. We feel the character you see in his new bio (which you'll see in full before the end of the month), drives Gangplank in a very slightly new direction that makes sense in contrast (and conflict) with other denizens of Bilgewater and beyond. 
The short character introduction in the client is one of the first steps (along with his new art) in conveying a character who you can very quickly understand as being a dominant force in a city full of dangerous folk."

Speaking of the promised bio & display changes at the end of the month, Jaredan elaborated on the issue thus far and reaffirmed that we should see changes by the end of the month starting with a test that includes the previously published Azir and Xerath stories:
"The problem concerns the text due to the system by which it's published and how it fits with the process for localization across regions. We're looking to do a test run on the system this week by publishing the Azir and Xerath stories. They're not examples of the new bio format, but it's just a way to get any kinks out of the new tools we're using."
He continued:
"Yes. As I said, it's a test run to make sure the system works in advance of the first new bios before the end of this month."

Context on Tahm Kench PBE Buffs

In  a boards thread discussing the latest PBE changes buffing Tahm Kench's Q damage and R passive damage & cooldown, ZenonTheStoic popped in to explain:
yea, winrate of players that have more than 10games on him already is >50% - buffing him now will only lead to major nerfs in the future.
Where are you getting that number? Our internal data suggests win rate after 10 previous games experience is 45%. To hit 50%, you need an average of 30 games on Tahm. Usually you're at something like a 52-53% winrate after 30 games. 
Remember, too, that we aim to be data-informed and not data-driven. We don't make changes to the game because the data says one thing. There isn't a Rito design metagame where we try to nudge certain numbers into certain ranges. You look at numbers like these to guide you in examining play patterns. Armed with these numbers and many more (something else we like to look at is both win rate over game length and win rate by ELO) I examined a frankly unhealthy amount of live games featuring Tahm. Based on these, I have come to the following conclusions:  
  • Tahm is very strong in games where one ally particularly takes off. Say a mid-lane Talon that goes crazy, or a Draven ADC who got a bunch of early kills. In these games, Tahm focuses on ally devour and ally ultimates to both bring the high performing allies where they need to be and to get them out of trouble when the enemy team tries to murder them. In these games we see Tahm hang out near his allies, choosing for the most part NOT to run up at enemies and attack them, and instead devours his high value allies and carries them to safety. 
  • In games where Tahm's team is behind and no lane is doing particularly well, his pattern shifts subtly. He now spends a lot more time interacting directly with the enemy front line, stacking up An Acquired Taste and looking for impactful devours / stuns. In this role he becomes a tank weakener who helps his team actually burn through the enemies that get in their faces. 
  • In games where Tahm does not have a strong ally to protect, his protect pattern changes too: instead of eating and running, he eats and fights. If the enemy spends a lot of resources on an ally who has an average power share, Tahm can safely protect the ally for some seconds and then spit them into danger again. If the enemy spends two rounds of high impact cooldowns on someone who's not exceptionally valuable, Tahm has created a small advantage for his team.
All of the above suggest to me that in the support case, higher base damages will disproportionately buff the losing / even case, which is in bad need of buffing, and will do less to the "we are already super winning" case, because in THAT case Tahm tends to exit combat with his high value ally. 
Additionally, in lane, Tahm tends to land Qs mostly when the enemy aggresses on him; due to the range and speed of the spell and due to the fact it stops on first target hit it's not a great opportunistic poke spell. So it feels to me that putting damage into this spell is again help his behind case more than his ahead case. 
As for the R CD, we felt that the spell might become oppressive in lane if the jungler makes himself available for a tele-gank every time the R is off CD. This has not manifested in any games I've watched; between the spell's CD, the fact the jungler has two other lanes (and his jungle) to look after, and the fact that bot lane is not always gankable, we rarely see more than one Abyssal Voyage gank before the laning phase ends. We were too cautious with the 160s cooldown on a spell that requires so much ally cooperation and have consequently backed off the very high 160s rank 1 cooldown. Do note that in the end game the CD is unchanged. "
When asked about the state of Top Lane Tahm Kench, he continued:
"Top Tahm is suffering like LongPanda. He is sitting at a 36% winrate with little sign of improvement. I'm actually very concerned we trapped players into playing him top by promising viability in the champ spotlight, and the R % dmg buff is definitely aimed at top lane, where you can afford to build a lot more health more quickly, where you hit level 11 and level 16 much more quickly, and where you're often in a position in the team comp where it's not your job mostly to keep the ADC alive, so you can attack a whole bunch more."

Pwyff on Communications

In a fairly involved reddit thread discussing Lyte's recent ask.fm comments, Pwyff offered context on the situation and why communication and action can seem slow going:
"Since I'm doing some work at my desk, I can hop in for a bit and clarify some discussion points. These are by no means excuses, but they provide context for the situation.

First, I think what Lyte's core point was that we've scaled in very, very large ways, and we're still dealing with the repercussions of that. I could go back to all of those old examples we used in the past - "building the plane in the air" or the concept of tech debt - they're still applicable because... well, we've got a lot of tech debt. I think communicating that is scary for us, but in reality I think it's fairly apparent anyway.

The second challenge is when you have 67 million players and you're trying to work on some very, very, very shaky foundational pieces of tech without fundamentally undermining the current experience. I'm not talking about small (or large) bugs in the game, I'm talking about trying out new item iterations on a developer environment, and having every game shut down the moment that item interacts with something else.

Maybe a better point of conversation here is transparency and how we can build that. In the past we were pretty bad at figuring out timelines and product promises because we were scaling so quickly that those things that 'sounded' easy ended up being crazy - and got crazier each time we revisited the topic. I'm going to give an analogy and it's going to be about pies and it's going to be long, so if you don't care about pies but just want to yell, maybe go to the TL;DR.


I've used this analogy before, but I'll expand it this time around so you get an idea. Imagine you want to make pies for the world, so you make 100 pies and distribute them and everyone's happy so they donate money to help you make more pies. So you're like "ooh I can make 1000 pies!" and you do that. It now takes you a bit longer this time around, but everyone expected that because 1000 pies > 100 pies and everyone knows the timeline there. There's a built-in communication expectation. Nobody needs to tell you that making 1000 pies is probably like 15x harder than making 100 pies. (I'm ballparking that 15x because I've never baked a pie.)

But now you hit 10,000 pies. Now it's not so simple as just adding another 0 to your pie count and then multiplying your costs and timelines by 10. What used to be a small affair with small costs now has pie chefs, pie quality inspectors (because that's the most important to you), pie distributors, even pie warehouses. But you're still in the realms of expectations of other pie makers, so when you're like "we're making 10,000 pies," everyone knows that's a Pretty Big Deal. Additionally, maybe they also know you started on some pretty flimsy foundations when you were making 1,000 pies - you were building ovens to support maybe 2,000 pies at a time, as orders for 5,000 pies were coming in. So there's some understanding.

And then it gets weird.

Let's say you want to make a million pies. There have been a few other companies who've made a million pies before, but they all did it in their own way and went through their own unique challenges. No two pie making companies hit their 'stride' or success at the same time, in the same way, and at the same velocity. Riot's was particularly challenging.

Now you run into the weirdest things that nobody could expect, like running out of ovens, or not having enough dough in the world to sustain your pie making operations, or learning that your pie quality degrades if you make more than 700,000 of them, so now you're in this weird space of trying to explain to people what's going on, but they're like "just make 700,000 pies twice." And you're like "Holy hot damn you're right," so you go do that, and the two pie factories form a singularity that collapses on itself so you've lost 1,4000,000 pies and can't really explain it, so you instead go to solve it, and...

TL;DR: Well, there are no communications expectations here. We can say "we're going to tackle X!" but that doesn't mean anything in the timelines, the scale, the tech debt, the broadness of our player base and their machines, the international rammifications, the internet support, etc, because we probably haven't done a good job setting up those expectations. In some cases, we actually can't (ie: what we're doing with security). In other cases (see: when we started talking about working NA's ISP issues -[link] ), we can and are just really bad at articulating ourselves. In other cases, we have no idea what we're getting into - notbecause we have a 20 year old intern tackling the problem, but because it's completely unknown territory for a game company, and that's scary to communicate. In other cases - and this happens - it's completely on us for mis-prioritizing, mis-understanding the problem space, or just straight being inefficient. That last one is pretty very scary to communicate.

Anyway, I use this pie analogy because I really don't want to get into the weeds of discussing particular tech barriers and why they can or cannot be surmounted. There are so many tiny details involved with each point - I'm sure each has a great case study for why a particular solution will or will not work (or both at the same time).

What I'm focused on here is the fact that this is the realm we're in and we're becoming more and more focused on it as a priority to communicate. Do we need to get back to foundational conversations? How do we get into the nuanced complications of development? What stories can we tell that teach timelines, the work we've done, and continue to build trust? How do we admit mistakes?

I have some ideas of my own, and we have a few teams hauling ass on these projects, but there are a lot of layers involved. Please don't think of this as an excuse, but communication for us has also scaled pretty exponentially, so maybe we should focus on being iterative rather than designing holistic solutions. You've seen a couple of those with like the Design Q&As, but perhaps in the future we can do more. My guess is that ongoing conversations are probably the best way for us to build accountability and trust, but then you get into international scale - not discounting anything but these are things we're always aware of.

Man, I can't get over how far that pie analogy got me."
He continued:
"Maybe we haven't done a good enough job of highlighting the teams working on this then. I really don't want to turn this into some kind of checklist of "here's what we've done," but as an example we have a full-on team called CUTS (clean up our... stuff) that's focused on straightening out certain behind-the-scenes code in the game. Doing so has a lot of inter-dependencies and has introduced some rather... interesting bugs, but they've been pushing through so we can get some consistency behind our code. 
Our ISP changes and negotiations may be another example - but the point I'm making is tackling tech debt takes many, many forms. I do wonder how easy that conversation is to have - do we start with teaching why tackling certain issues over others is necessary?"

Higher Resolution Splash Arts

Good news for those who are looking for higher resolution versions of the champion and skin splash arts, Riot Curing tweeted out they are looking on find a better solution to share them:
"To the players who asked for wallpaper-res version of splash art; we are working on finding the best ways to deliver them to you!"

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