Red Post Collection: T3 Rune Price Reductions, Socrates on Champion Mastery, Shadowfire Kindred Load Screen fix,& more

Posted on at 1:27 PM by Moobeat
This afternoon's red post collection includes a reminder that select T3 runes have had their prices permanently  reduced by 50%, a heads up that the Shadowfire Kindred load screen slice is being updated to include Wolf, Socrates discussing the next level of  the Champion Mastery system, a Worlds Collide video for the start of 2015 World Champion Group Stages, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Starter T3 runes now on permanent discount 

As announced earlier and mentioned in the 5.19 patch notes, a selection of T3 Runes have had their price permanently reduced by 50%.

This includes:
  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage: 205 IP ⇒102 IP 
  • Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: 410 IP ⇒205 IP 
  • Greater Seal of Armor: 205 IP ⇒102 IP 
  • Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: 205 IP ⇒102 IP 
  • Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: 1025 IP ⇒512 IP 
  • Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: 1025 IP ⇒512 IP
"Two weeks ago we said that we'd be putting some starter tier 3 runes on permanent sale for 50% off.

Well...they're on sale now.

This is an update to let you know that.

Read here for slightly more information. Or just go check the store."

Kindred Q&A

[Still working on a round up! Sorry for the delay! As usual, we'll have a standalone post when it is ready!]
While we're still working on a roundup for the Kindred Q&A, be sure to check out the RIOTER RUNDOWN for a look at over 100 comments on our upcoming champion!

In addition to all the juicy lore and gameplay discussion bits, one important take away is Kindred should be released NEXT WEEK Wrekz mentions it here , Riot Stellari mentions it here, and a few others bring it up during the Q&A.

They are coming... 

Champion Mastery Improvements in the works 

In a reddit thread inquiring about the next set of Champion Mastery levels, Socrates commented they aren't ready to share details yet but it is in the works.
"We haven't announced plans for when we'll unlock level 6 or 7. We do have a team working on the next iteration for champ mastery but aren't ready to reveal the details quite yet."
When asked if they had goals to make 6 and 7 feel more momentous than getting to 5, Socrates noted:
"We want to make the whole system feel more awesome and worthwhile rather than just increasing the level cap."
He continued:
"We're focusing on creating new goals and rewards. We're not confident that just making the level grind longer in the absence of that would result it a better experience."

Shadowfire Kindred loading screen fix on PBE

When the Shadowfire Kindred splash art hit the PBE, lots of folks were disappointed to see the loading screen only included Lamb and Wolf was no where to be found.

Here's Meddler commenting  that a new loading screen will be headed out soon that includes Lamb and Wolf in the Shadowfire Kindred loading screen.
"We're with you, both Lamb and Wolf should be clearly shown in the loading screen for Kindred skins. We've got an updated loading screen ready, that looks pretty similar to the example you've got there. Not certain if it made it into 5.19 in time, if not it'll definitely be in 5.20. 
For anyone interested in context on why we missed this originally the splash art ended up being cropped by someone other than the artist who'd worked on the splash in the first place (who was temporarily unavailable when we came to create the loading screen). That meant some context on Kindred, and the importance of capturing both of them in all their pieces of art, got understandably missed by someone unfamiliar with the champion/skin, leading to the previous crop."
Here's what the updated Shadowfire Kindred loading screen looks like on the PBE: 

Worlds Collide: Group Stage

The 2015 World Championship Group stage starts in LESS THAN 24 HOURS! Check out the 2015 WC website for more and enjoy this WORLDS COLLIDE video for the Group stages!

"In Paris, an open battleground awaits the top League of Legends teams in the World. On October 1st, they will fight to advance through the Group Stage and to keep their World Championship dreams alive. Sixteen teams enter, but only eight will move on."

With WORLDS so close, don't forget to lock in your pick'em vote ( to earn free summoner icons!) and get ready for the upcoming Worlds merch to be released. There are also a ton of new WC and legacy content available for purchase, including Championship Kalistsa!

Experimental Guinsoo's Rageblade Changes on PBE

As you may have seen in the last update, an set of Guinsoo's Rageblade changes were recently pushed to the PBE. Axes has confirmed these are experimental and will be reverted soon.
"That change was part of a set of experimental changes - we accidentally sent only a small part of it to PBE. It's certainly not going live in that state - we're not even testing the version that the PBE picked up (we had more changes in the version we tested to prevent the kind of case you're talking about, and even that needed a lot more work)."
Meddler also added:
"That is indeed how this version of Rageblade was intended to function. Goal there was to explore a version of it where your ability to keep stacks up, not just build them in the first place, was a bigger part of the item. Experimentation into a version of Rageblade that synergized with other attack speed items effectively. 
As Riot Axes mentioned in another thread though this change going onto PBE was unintended, this is an early internal test change, not something close to public release."
He continued:
"Too early. This is very much still at the 'Rageblade's underwhelming, let's investigate some possibilities' stage rather than the 'we'll committed to making Rageblade changes, we understand the direction and now we just need to sort out some details' stage."

FeralPony Ask.FM Roundup

Next up we have a batch of responses from FeralPony!
[Link] The bigger a champ is; the bigger his hitbox and spell hitboxes are; am I rite?

Correct. This also applies to basic attacks (attack range is edge of model to edge of model)

[LinkWould you say Zileans rework has failed?

Depends a lot on how you define success and failure and it's always going to be a bit nuanced. I'm also not on the Champion Update team and haven't really been in tune with the project, and how they've viewed the response, so I'll break it down into a few different categories as I personally see it.

The rework in general was pretty low in scope (all skills close to the same, no visual upgrade etc) so it's important to treat it more as a smaller scope/general balance update rather than a Sion-esc project.

Did the update make Zilean a popular champion?
Nope. But I doubt that was the goal. I think it'd be cool if he saw more play but my guess is a lot of the reason people don't play him is more thematics/visually driven. Ekko is a cool time guy, Zilean is an old kinda derpy time guy.

Did the update improve the characters overall game health?
Yes. The 600 base damage click target damage wasn't a great skill to fight against. The current double bomb has some feel/satisfaction issues which 20thCenturyFaux has been looking into, but can be really rewarding for skilled Zilean players and has some cool ally interactions. (Stun Bomb Delivery Service!)

Does his Passive still sux?
Yup. We're looking into a new passive for some point in the future. Not sure when/if it'll happen but we'd like to do a cool change there.

[LinkI have a question, do you think Katarina is a really hard champion to balance because of her reset mechanic ? I'm not saying she needs buff or stuff, but since she got released she got probably the most changes in the game.

I think it makes her more sensitive to balance and game state changes than other champions. A Kennen who is a little too strong doesn't pentakill the team and snowball games beyond recognition. Inversely when slightly too weak Kennen isn't viewed as useless either.

Katarina lives on that razors edge where a little above or below pushes her into unhealthy territory. I don't find her more difficult to make changes to than other champions though, just more frequent. In some cases she is easier because despite her volatility she's a very known quantity and is predictable in how she performs. Beyond the very silly full tank Katarina builds of olden days she is pretty easy to quickly assess and iterate on when either too strong or too weak.

[LinkWill Swain ever be looked at again? I feel like he is decently balanced to some extent, however i find his AA animation very wonky much like Karthus's AA was before it was cleaned up in patch 5.6. Any plans for Swain in the near future? 
At some point yes, I would really like to work on him. He's one of those champs I feel is maybe even too strong but feels really lackluster. There is definitely some room for feel improvements and kit adjustments on the character. I know Swain is someone that Bravoray on Champion Update is personally really passionate about. Swain is his fav champ and he's chomping at the bit to try and do an update. Anything we do gameplay-wise or otherwise though we couldn't start until after the Preseason. We simply have too many other projects we're tackling atm.
[LinkWhats the difference between Game Design and Live Balance

Live Balance is a specific subset of Game Design, focused around shorter design projects and game balance for League of Legends

There are a lot of teams working on League that include Game Designers, some of them are
- Live Gameplay
- Champion Team
- Champion Update/Rework
- Competitive (Ranked System, Champion Mastery etc)
- Player Behavior
- Game Systems (Preseason work, Item Changes etc)
- Events (Game Modes like One for All/Urf and events like Bildgewater)

[Link] In my opinion Jarvan should gain an armor on his active on flag. It would help him a lot in early clearing.
This used to be the case, and you are absolutely right that it would help his early clearing a lot. The downside is that looking at the game as a whole the moment you give Jarvan strong reliable early clears he becomes the one of the most, if not the single most oppressive jungler in the game with basically no weaknesses.

He's incredibly durable, ganks better at level 2 than many junglers do at level 6, and post level 6 has one of the most powerful ganks as he has two sets of skills opponents need to flash over to not die, and scales well into the late game if he builds defense or offense. His weak early clear is really the only thing holding him back currently. We could remove this weakness but we'd most likely have to a pretty drastic nerf elsewhere on the kit.

[LinkWhat do you think about letting Ekko press Q again (after a short delay) to make the device back a little earlier if he wants? Sorry for the english

This was an intentional design decision by GypsyLord to ensure that there was enough of a time window to make it difficult to reliably land the double hit part of the spell. Making it return whenever you'd like would increase the reliability a lot but one of the themes we wanted to go for on Ekko was powerful, but unreliable abilities you get to feel clever about using to maximum effect. The more we increase his reliability the more we need to reduce his damage output or utility.

In general, I'd like us to move more in a direction of less reliable but higher impact abilities. I think it'd be healthier and more exciting for the game overall.

Also your English is fine so no need to apologize. I guarantee my efforts at any non-English language would be far far worse. :D

[LinkDoes Riot have offices all over the world? Do those in other countries have a hand in champion design, or are they mostly about localization? I know this isn't specific to you, sorry.

I can totally answer it though!

The international offices generally don't have a direct impact on the design decisions for the game. The vast majority of the game content is created and iterated on in the main office, but has many employees from all over the world. The non-Los Angeles offices often will provide feedback on new content, and usually the folks making new champions show them to people from the various offices to avoid any largescale issues. (Ex- If we wanted to make a Beachball champion but Beachballs were illegal in Australia for some reason we'd want to avoid making that champion).

The offices across the world all have some variation in function but generally do more than localization. You can get a good idea actually by looking at the page and searching by specific office. But some of the common ones are
-Region Specific Features (Example- How PC Cafes work in that region)
-Network Operations

So a lot more than just localization but it varies from office to office.

The individual offices also provide us folks in Central better on the ground visibility and relay player feedback since the majority of Rioters in the LA office don't speak the local languages it can be difficult to get feedback without their help.

[LinkWhenever you guys talk about reworks you always use the term "A Sion level" rework. Has that been your most successfull rework and the one you're most proud of?

I think Sion was really successful, though I'm a little biased as I was involved in the beginning of the project. Generally we use it to reference how holistically the champion was changed. Generally with Champion Updates we don't tackle all elements of the character. We specifically focus on one or two of the following Gameplay, Lore, Art, or Animations, etc. Sion we changed almost everything about the champion.

As such, Sion's the most extreme version a champion update we can do so it's a useful comparison point for us, it's more about the scale of the changes and less about the success of those changes.

[Link] Somebody mentioned that a group of Rioters are working on resizing a number of champions, would you like to elaborate on that? Like "why are we doing it" and "what are the challenges?"

Mostly it's a visual cohesiveness thing as far as I'm aware. Making small champions who are too big feel smaller (Tristana) and big champions who don't feel big bigger (malphite).

I've been tinkering with some attack ranges on melee champions for pre-season as there is cool space there to make melee champs feel more distinct from one another in lane, and slight size increases or decreases could be warranted there to make attack animations behave as players would expect.

[LinkWhat's the point of working on champions that just stay permabanned? When 5% of players get to use it don't you fell like it's a waste?

The fact that a champion gets banned a lot isn't usually that important in our decision making. There are a few reasons for that. Bans tend to be correlated power, which we'd be targeting anyways, and they are disproportionately distributed across champions based on type, kit, and current trends. Assassins for example have a high ban rate because when they impact a game it is very noticeable. On the flip side defensive supports like Soraka will almost never get banned regardless of how strong they are. That said bans can be a good data point for what players are currently frustrated with or don't want to play against though, which we do give some weight to. It's just never something you want to act on in isolation.

Two other points I'd call out on bans and why we don't weigh them super heavily in our balance prioritization.
- Bans have a strong herd mentality to them. Some people just tend to ban what they see being banned and will continue to do so even if a champion gets adjusted unless something drastic happens. This creates a default scenario where when a champion is deemed "banworthy" they are essentially permabanned. There is very little middle ground in bans between 0 and close to 100%.
- More of our games are still played blind pick rather than draft pick. If a champion like Darius is stomping on people's games the fact that "Eh, folks can ban them" isn't a good reason to not address a problem because the majority of folks actually can't ban the champion in their games.

[Link] You were saying Jarvans weakness is his early game clear. However with the introduction of double jungle ive been seeing a lot more Jarvan's, they simply hit level 2 with max health and no pots used, then they can do red and gank with almost full health. A lot of champs have benefited from this.

Yup, that's one of the risks of that particular weakness and why it's not a bulletproof solution. Early game clears is one of the easiest weaknesses for players to mitigate and play around. Not a bad thing that folks can optimize but if we're relying on it to give a champion a weakness that enemies can work around it has some flaws.

A more stable weakness example would be someone like Brand, who is immobile. It's a lot harder for players to completely mitigate the fact that he has no speed ups or dashes. They can work around it to some degree though good positioning, team synergies etc though.

Riot Calad on Champion Spotlight Videos

In a reddit thread discussing the champion spotlight videos and asking why recent champions like Fiora or Mordekaiser didn't get an updated video, Riot Calad popped in to comment:
"On the surface, I think we want to make as many helpful spotlights as we can. So I think your request is a good one. But the phrase "rework" is a tricky thing, since it encompasses a lot of different changes of varying degrees. For instance, barring total disaster, we're always going to release a spotlight for a new champion. It's a great celebration of their entry into the game and (hopefully) gives a lot of players who haven't been closely following PBE a good foundation for their first game as that champion.

For the big Champion Update projects, like Sion and the upcoming Poppy, they'll also get new spotlights. Artwise and Gameplaywise, they're practically a new character in terms of scope. Things are a little less clear when you look at the juggernauts. Garen and Darius play pretty similar to before, Skarner has some more major changes, and Morde is very different.

And now we get into our bandwidth. My team is pretty small, and, contrary to popular belief, champ spotlights don't just take one guy a couple hours to create. We have to make decisions based on our schedule and what other videos we're making at the time. I suspect the main culprits OP is referring to in his post are Fiora and Mordekaiser, and I think those are both fair criticisms. I'll try and offer some of our thoughts, though I hope it doesn't end up just sounding defensive.

Fiora kind of snuck up on us (us being in this case, the gameplay video team.) We didn't quite realize how big her changes were until we no longer had the bandwidth to make a high quality spotlight for her. To give a little more background, designers are iterating on champions while artists are still working on models, still working on vfx, etc. Meaning that if we want to create a spotlight to go live when the champions releases, we have a pretty small window where everything's final enough to really dive into production. For Fiora, this was all going on while we were working on some Bilgewater content, so we deprioritized her. Looking back now, I think she definitely needed one. So I'm with you on this.

Morde was part of a group of updates that weren't as much about full kit reworks as they were focusing on making those champions unique, and I think we need to figure out how we can support that level of changes going forward. I'm still not convinced they need spotlights, but I don't like doing nothing either. I'd be curious to hear your opinions...

Oh, and there's a final point that a few people have mentioned already. League changes every two weeks, sometimes in small ways, sometimes in big ways. Our videos can never keep up with live. We've sort of accepted this. Every video we make will go out of date at some point, and it's not feasible for us to chase them down all the time. Hopefully spotlights are super helpful when they launch, and continue to hold some value for a while after that. But old spotlights/videos will never be completely accurate.

I'm happy to keep talking through this or answer questions/critiques, so I'll check back in this thread a little later.

TL;DR "Reworks" covers a lot of different changes of different sizes. Full-scale champion reworks have had and will continue have spotlights. Smaller reworks we don't really support well with video at the moment, and we'll probably have to look into that if they continue. As a general rule, video content will never be able to fully keep pace with the game, since it changes so frequently."
Calad continued:
I'd like to address a couple of points. 
1) You said that "Fiora kind of snuck up on us." How? Is there no one on your video team that's part of the meetings with ChampUp? Did no one from the ChampUp team give you any heads up and said "We're doing some big things with Fiora and Mordekaiser, you might want to prepare yourselves"? I mean, there are enough communication problems from Riot to the players, are there just as many communication problems within the company's departments as well? 
2) The champion spotlights are, more often than not, a player's first introduction to a champion. They should also be the main introduction to a champion whose gameplay has been significantly reworked. In the case of Juggernauts, you could have combined them into a large "Juggernauts Champion Spotlight" and highlighted the small and large changes to the champions.
Hi Terra! 
1) We do keep in touch with ChampUp, and we knew Fiora was on the way. I think what snuck up on us was how comprehensive the update was. We knew gangplank was a big rework, visuals, gameplay, VO, model, etc, and that Fiora was mostly focused around gameplay. When she progressed a bit further, and we realized she was more involved than we thought, we'd already committed to other projects. 
Of course there's the occasional miscommunication around the office. Departments are big and constantly busy, changes happen fast. It's more important that Fiora feels thematic and awesome in game than it is that she get a spotlight on release. 
Out of curiosity, how would you feel if Fiora had gotten a spotlight after she had been out for a few weeks? Would it still feel useful, or just late to the party? 
2) We've kicked around similar ideas. I think grouping changes of this size together into one video makes a lot of sense. It's less of an "evergreen" asset than spotlight, but could provide a lot of immediate information to people who want to know what changed."

Hippalus on Pricing & Revenue

Amid conversations of content pricing and new skins surpassing older skins from lower tiers in quality, Hippalus jumped on reddit to discuss Riot's motivations when it comes to content & revenue:
Especially the new skins on the PBE for Brand, Kass and Vi are so much better that Pulsfire Ezreal, SG Udyr, Gentleman Cho'gath, Brolaf etc. Its really nice to see how far Riot has come with the creativity and quality of newer skins, but also kinda sad that the older skins dont get an update or at least a price reduction.
We often update old skins when we update a champion, but because we try to keep raising the bar on how much value we put into new skins at each tier, it is inevitable that some of the old skins will fall behind. But we think that outcome (more quality and value each time you spend money) is much better for players and Riot than holding back on quality and/or reallocating that time to old skins.

Also I’ve been noticing a lot of questions popping up lately about why we charge what we do for skins, wards, icons, etc. And a lot of answers implying that it’s because it’s all about making the most money. So let’s talk about that.

First of all, does Riot care about money?

The TLDR is that of course we do, because it lets us invest in the future of League and Riot, but it’s never our first consideration.

Riot was started to do games differently; we want to put the player at the center of all the decisions we make, we want to keep improving and building out a game (even 6 years after launch), we want the community to keep growing, and we want to actively talk with players about League. Our first consideration in any new piece of content, feature or project we start (whether in eSports, League of Legends, or any area of the company) is “What will this do for players?”

To answer that question, we read the boards, Reddit, Twitter and, well, everything we can get our hands on. We survey players (not just by email, there’s always a live survey in our client, we ask single questions after some games, and everything in between), doing labs with current LoL players, flying out pros to test stuff, and a lot more. We also are relatively hard core players ourselves (gold in my case, but my 13 year old is diamond) and we try to put ourselves in their mindset.

There are many other things we look at to help determine how we’re doing in serving players – like looking at how many people are playing, how many hours they’re playing for, how many months or years they play for and yes, how much are players spending. All of these are important to us. We need enough people to play to allow matchmaking to find good opponents and to keep the community vibrant and growing. Players who choose to support us by spending money on cosmetics allow us to make big investments like LCS and worlds, build a new client, upgrade summoner's rift and improve server infrastructure.

Many players never spend money and we are committed to the fundamental premise that they can still reach the top echelons of LoL and have a great experience even if they never buy anything. And that is why we charge real money for cosmetic items in almost every case. Because they are completely optional and because they make everything else we do possible. We put a lot of thought into our pricing and it’s not just about maximizing $; it’s about selecting a price that both works for Riot and that players who buy it will feel good about their purchase over time. Other players won’t buy cosmetics because it’s not worth the price to them and that’s OK.

Ward skins are 640 RP because most people only buy 1, since it can be used across all champions. We could charge a lot less if they were limited to a single champion but we didn’t think that was best for players. Summoner icons at 250 RP are the most affordable type of permanent content we offer but they still add up to a meaningful contributor to our ability to invest in the game. Every time we allow earn-able or IP purchasable cosmetics, we lose that contribution. But even so we have slowly increased the content that is accessible without spending, including player gifts like the free mystery skin earlier this year.

This is getting too long, but to summarize, making money is important, but it’s never the first thing we consider. We won’t do any project that we think is bad for players, and much more important than money to us is that you continue to play, enjoy and engage with League of Legends for months and years to come. Sometimes we get it wrong. Hopefully then we can have a conversation about it, learn, and do better in the future. Thanks for your support, patience and helping us get better - GLHF!"

The Climb: ADC Teamfight Positioning 101 | Phylol

Last up we have RiotOpti with a video from community creator Phylol on team fight positioning as an ADC!

"AD carries are true glass cannons in League of Legends. While having a ranged attack helps keep them safe, their low base health and lack of defensive items make their positioning crucial for survival in teamfights. In this video, Diamond ADC Phylol demonstrates the decision-making and mechanics it takes to deal the maximum damage possible in a teamfight while minimizing the risk to your squishy little life. 
When has your positioning won or lost a team fight? Let us know in the comments below, and please recommend your favorite community guides or videos!

Creator Background

EU West ADC main Phylol has been making educational League of Legends videos since 2013. While much of his content deep dives into the ADC role, his videos also go over top solo queue picks, team compositions, and methods for climbing the ranked ladder.

Special art credit to Sizow for his work: "Blitzupdate"

Learn more about Phylol via the links below!

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