Red Post Collection: 2016 Ranked Season Starts Jan 20th, LCS Rule Changes, Warsongs album, and more!

Posted on at 7:53 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection includes the announcement that the 2016 ranked season will begin on January 20th, the new Warsongs album, discussion on the Shen champion update, Utora elaborating on Jhin's VO, a reminder that the Lunar Revel skins will not be out in 6.1, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

The 2016 ranked season kicks off soon

First up we have an announcement that the 2016 ranked season will start on JANUARY 20TH!
"Gather up your teammates and get your gear ready, because on January 20 we’re opening up the 2016 ranked season! Missed the preseason updates? You’ve got a few days to catch up on the latest and prepare for a whole new year of GGs. Check out some highlights below:

As usual, you'll have ten placement games to fight through before settling in to your tier and division, ready for the climb. Your placement is still heavily influenced by where you ended up last season and what you accomplished during preseason. If you’ve never played ranked, then your placements will be all that matters! 
Preseason brought some substantial changes to the game (learn more about preseason here, so we’re again running a soft reset before placements kick off. As with previous years because of the soft reset, you’ll likely place lower than where you ended last year. 
New Champ Select and Dynamic Groups 
Now each player chooses two positions (or fill!) before queueing up to find a team. We’ve also replaced the solo/duo queue with a dynamic group queue, where you'll be able to climb the ladder with any number of teammates. You'll still need to be of similar rank to your queue-buddies, and we designed the system so groups will almost always play against similarly grouped opponents. We’re watching this very closely, but we’re confident this change makes it easier to compete with friends of similar skill levels and better emphasises the team nature of League. 
Check out more on new champ select and dynamic groups at the Season 2016 update.

Promo Helper and High MMR Queue Time Adjustments
Promo Helper means when you're in a division lower than Gold 1, if you lose a promotional series, the next time you enter your series, you'll start with at least one win.
We're also optimising high-level matchmaking to identify epically skilled players faster and widen the MMR range for finding games at the pinnacle of amateur competition.
Learn more about Promo Helper and high MMR adjustments here.

This year we’re exploring new possibilities for ranked rewards, but we don’t have anything ready to share just yet. 
That’s it for now! Learn more about ranked play here, and we’ll have more updates as the season develops, but for now, get practicing, because the 2016 Season begins next week on January 20!"


Riot has releasaed a new WARSONGS album consisting of 11 remixes!

From the WARSONGS page:
"Amp up your in-game plays by injecting new beats into classic League tunes. Warsongs is a new collection of remixed anthems to accompany your competitive climb during the 2016 Season, and it's yours to download below."

The album is also available on Soundcloud, google play, itunes, spotify, and youtube!

Here's the youtube links for each song - playlist available here.

They've also added a high quality wallpaper of the art used in the tracks:

In addition to the album, they've put up an article on the album and it's creation - "More than Game Music: Making Warsongs"
"Music has the power to tell incredible stories, and we’ve always been interested in finding new and exciting opportunities that harness this power. Smite and Ignite was a celebration of all things metal. DJ Sona was our way of exploring music that impacts gameplay (and vice-versa). So when we finished work on The Music of League of Legends, Vol 1. and started thinking about our next project, we knew we wanted to go big. 
Riot Records, our internal name for “the team that does album stuff,” had just the idea: an album that could serve as the soundtrack to the 2016 ranked season. 
Playlist origins 
Warsongs is meant to be music that amps players up for League and puts them in the ladder-climbing mindset. Riot Records producer Tyler Eltringham explains its origin: “We released a metal album, and a soundtrack. So then everyone started thinking, ‘Okay, what next? What’s the next big idea?’” Those conversations took the the team toward the idea of an album designed to evoke a feeling of competitiveness and forward momentum. “What, we asked, would inspire players to push harder, to queue again?” 
"...Riot Records actively looks for musicians who love games and can find inspiration in League for these cool collaborations. "
Electronic music felt like the natural choice, both because of its popularity in the League community and because of the number of EDM artists with close ties to games and gaming culture. “We’ve seen so many streamers listening to EDM while they stream,” says Eltringham, “and we knew there were tons of artists in EDM who are either huge League fans or huge gamers. It already feels like a natural part of the game.” 
Dev manager Toa Dunn adds, “A lot of EDM musicians trace their influences back to hearing music in games—it seemed cool to have it all loop back around on itself this way.” 
“Besides, part of what makes Riot Records unique as a team,” says Eltringham, “is that most of the effort is focused on finding people to work with externally. We have amazing in-house composers working on music for the game, but Riot Records actively looks for musicians who love games and can find inspiration in League for these cool collaborations.” 
With the genre decided, the Riot Records team was ready to move into production. 
For games, but not for a game 
The team started by building a list of potential artists for the project. Says Dunn, “It was basically a blue-sky collection of people we’d love to work with.” From there, the team vetted each artist based on their gamer creds, musical style, and understanding of the project. Dunn says that the team asked questions like: “Do they play League, are they part of gaming culture, do they ‘get’ the League community? Will this person be accessible, and does it feel like an authentic fit?” 
"What would be the point if artists were forced to match some sound the team imagined? It would be an insane waste of talent and probably would limit the album, quality-wise." 
Eltringham emphasizes the importance of finding artists with genuine connections to gaming, saying, “It wasn’t about finding big names for the big names. It had to be musicians who really connected to what Warsongs was trying to do, who had a sense of ‘This is how music gets me excited and hyped when I play games I love.’” The team also placed a big emphasis on the idea of variety—with “EDM” being more of an umbrella term than an actual genre, it was important that Warsongs run the stylistic gamut from big room anthems to dirtier dubstep, progressive house, and more. “Good gaming music to one person might be the opposite to another,” says Dunn, “so the team focused on sound diversity within the album.” 
The Riot Records team also stresses the importance of letting each artist’s sound shine through in their tracks. “It was tricky,” says Dunn. “A lot of artists are used to working with companies who are like, ‘Take this and make a video game song.’ That wasn’t the goal here.” Artists needed to take the core idea and run with it for Warsongs to hit its full potential. 
"What would be the point if artists were forced to match some sound the team imagined?" Eltringham adds. "It would be an insane waste of talent and probably would limit the album, quality-wise.” 
Getting hype 
Riot Records designed Warsongs from its foundation to be something that exists outside of League while still being inextricably connected to it. “It would be so cool if players take the album and bring it outside of the game, to their workouts or wherever they need to feel amped,” Eltringham says, “and to have this very League thing end up in places far beyond a second monitor or tab.” Riot Records, as a team, is just hopeful that players like the album as much as they do, and that it provides players the extra energy they need to climb the ranked ladder. 
“If you go to a basketball game, you hear jock jams, right? Those songs say, ‘It’s game time.’ Hopefully, Warsongs can be that for League—fuel for the fire,” says Dunn."

Patch Rundown 6.1 – Season’s Start ft. Meteos 

With patch 6.1 out to live, Scarizard and crew have once again convened for the latest patch rundown!

"Scarizard and Zirene are joined by Meteos and gypsylord to talk about the start of season 2016, the new AP jungling item Runic Echoes, diversity in Keystone Masteries, and some spooky, spooky ghosts.

Patch 6.1 notes"

Lunar Revel skins not available in 6.1

While they were introduced and tested during the 6.1 PBE cycle, the Lunar Revel skins for Wukong, Caitlyn, and Morgana will NOT be released during 6.1.

In addition to their absence from the 6.1 patch notes, KateyKhaos reminded:
[ICYMI] Lunar Wraith Caitlyn, Lunar Wraith Morgana and Radiant Wukong WILL NOT be available in Patch 6.1. [link]
This was always the case, but wanted to clarify, as they aren't listed in the patch notes. :] [link]
Previews and coverage of these upcoming Lunar skins can be found here.

New "True Caster Mage" in 2016

Over on the boards, Meddler has confirmed we'll see a "true caster mage" champion released in 2016!
"Generally we prefer to avoid making two of the same class in quick succession. In this case though we felt Kindred was an unusual case, since they're generally strongest in a position many marksmen players won't play. Kalista was the marksman before that, and she's got a playstyle that can be pretty love it or hate it too. We felt there was a good case for another marksman in the spot after Illaoi as a result, feeling there were a significant number of players who hadn't had a marksman that worked for them since Jinx. 
As far as mages go we're with you though that, depending on what type of mage you like, it may have been a very long time since a new mage came out that fit your playstyle too (traditional caster types, rather than hybrids like Azir). We concluded getting a true caster mage into the lineup for 2016 was important as a result, and have one under development at the moment. Not appropriate to say anything about timeframe besides 'definitely this year' yet, working actively on filling the need for such a champ though."
He continued:
"Yeah, a mage this year's no big surprise. Thing I wanted to clarify was the type of mage - a more traditional take on the class, rather than something that's a mage/something else hybrid like Azir." 
When asked about a time frame for the mage class changes discussed in the past, Meddler noted:
"If you're concerned about mage changes coming out close to the Worlds patch then no, these changes will be June ish, so substantially earlier."

Shen Champion Update Discussion

With Shen's champion update recently announced and now on the PBE for testing, several Rioters have popped up on reddit, twitter, and the boards to discuss the update!

When asked about spirit blade's idle behavior, Riot G-Mang noted:
"To clarify Spirit Blade idle behavior:
  • Spawns next to you at game start and respawn
  • Despawns on death
  • Snaps to your position when using any global teleport (Shen ult, recall, Tahm ult, etc.)
  • Snaps towards you (but still pretty far away) if you move very far from it (talking off-screen distances here--keeps Q cast times manageable without affecting on-screen play)
  • Q turns it into a homing missile towards you, and it lands on the ground when it reaches you"
Scruffy added:
"Spawns in the fountain with him at lvl1 -> follows him every time he Q or Rs"
Regarding Shen's energy resource, G-Mang noted:
"Shen has slightly unusual Energy. Energy pool is 400 and costs are about twice what they would be usually. His energy regen is not increased, but his E passive replenishes a lot from Q attacks. 
Basically if you keep fighting stuff you will probably keep up energy. If you keep whiffing engages or just disengaging, you will oom."
On the increase to 400 energy and high costs, Scruffy added:
" the end result is him having "slower" energy regen so he has to use his energy refund mechanic on ability hits."

As for who can see Shen's Spirit Blade, G-Mang commented:
"No, tether is Shen only. Other players that can see Shen will see a little arrow on his model pointing in the direction of the spirit blade, so they know what direction to dodge, but that's it. Enemies that can see the spirit blade but not Shen get no directional hints at all, though if he casts Q they will see it fly away of course."

When asked about how Shen's W interacts when no allies are around, Ququroon explained:
"Drops a zone. After a few seconds (I think it's currently 2?), or after Shen or an ally steps in it, it triggers."
"Shen W can be used solo or with an ally, no worries."

As for W's duration, G-Mang noted:
"Currently 1.75 seconds, subject to tuning of course."
and how long it waits for an ally:
"Currently 2s"
and if it will follow if active and Shen uses Q:
"W is hard-attached to the spirit blade. If you Q, the zone will move with it. And both are instant-cast."

As for Shen's E, G-Mang noted:
"More or less. Small tweaks. Currently has a bonus HP ratio but higher cooldown."

As for intended roles for Shen's update, Scruffy noted:
"Top > Jungle=Support I think for Shen" 
G-mang added:
"Top and Jungle have been his strong roles in our playtests. Support doesn't Q super well TBH, tho players might make it work."

Scruffy also commented that Shen's skins will be getting new splashes (except TPA) !
"Shen base and all skins are getting new splashes! Praise ninja sun."
He also added:
"Shen will have updated lore, yes."

As for his  current ability scaling, G-Mang noted:
"Currently: Passive BonusHP, Q AP tho not great ratio, W none, E BonusHP, R AP."

When asked about the removal of Shen's Q sustain and how he will survive in lane,G-Mang noted:
"He can proc shields a lot to avoid damage and his base HP regen was buffed a lot."
More information and previews available in the 1/13 PBE post.

5 Faces of new champ select 

Next up we have RiotJaws and RiotArie with a community spotlight on five funny faces you might run into using the new champion select!
"Draft is full of interesting characters; here are a few you might meet in the new champ select! 
The “Superstar”
Primary Role - Mid, ADC
Secondary Role - ADC, Mid
Video by RHrealism
"I woke up like this." 
The Babysitter
Primary Role - Support
Secondary Role - Mid
Video by Crazy Boris Productions
Saving you from yourself since 00:00 
The Commander
Primary Role - Jungle
Secondary Role - Support
Video by RHrealism
“Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.” - George Washington 
The Recluse
Primary Role - Top
Secondary Role - Mid
Video by RHrealism
“I played flawlessly.” 

The Swiss Army Knife
Primary Role - Fill
Video by TheBNShow
He’s got a tool for every occasion...hopefully he picks the right one 
What does your playstyle say about you? Let us know in the comments below!"

2016 LCS Spring Split Rules Changes

With the LCS season starting up this week, Riot has announced several rules changes coming to the 2016 LCS Spring split!
"TL;DR: As we kick off each new LCS Season, both in NA and EU, we take a close look at our LCS ruleset to ensure that we are addressing issues that might affect competitive integrity, players, teams or any other element of the game. You can keep up with these detailed changes via our change log and the 2016 LCS Official Rules but in this post we’ll be outlining a few of the most significant changes and what they mean for the 2016 LCS Season.
The 2016 LCS ruleset contains updates to a few policies including:
  • Playoffs: During Playoffs, matchups will now be reseeded in the semifinal round so that the #1 seed will face the lowest remaining seed and the #2 seed will face the highest remaining seed. This is designed to reduce the incentive to place lower in the regular LCS season to set up for an easier run to Playoff finals. We’ll also be closing a loophole so that going forward, any player who has competed in the CS Playoffs will not be allowed to compete in any phase of the LCS Playoffs - and vice versa.
  • Competitive Patch/Tournament Realm: Champions who have not been available on the live service for more than one week (previously two) will be automatically restricted. We’ve lessened this time due to a couple of factors, but primarily because a shorter break from release helps to preserve a connection between the Live environment that fans are playing at home (and pros are using to practice) and the Tournament realm.
  • Subs/Loans: We’ll be limiting each player contractually to one organization, but also adding a formal loan process by which players can be listed on more than one roster - allowing for movement between CS and LCS rosters.
  • Revamped Promotion/Relegation System: Auto promotion/relegation will be replaced with a Bo5 tournament with double elimination after round one. We believe that over time we can gradually reduce the relegation risk that LCS teams face to encourage greater stability of the league year-over-year, as well as helping LCS organizations attract longer term sponsors. Please read on for full information."
Check out the full article for more information!

Utora on Jhin VO 

Next up we have Utora elaborating on Jhin's voiceover:
"Thanks everyone for the kind words re: Jhin’s VO! I’ve seen alot of questions and a few misconceptions so I thought I’d take some time to answer questions, clear up a few things, and provide you guys with some info about how we made the voice for this creeper! 
First off - Jhin’s VO processing. Jhin has two different processing “recipies” for his VO kit. One for the lines only Jhin can hear (Move / Attack / Recall ) and the other for lines that everyone can hear (Spell Efforts, Taunts, Emotes, etc). 
Only Jhin can hear the lines infused with the choir. The idea here is that this is how Jhin hears himself - the choir music plays in his demented mind. You’ll notice he has several lines referencing opera, the stage, performance, music, etc etc. The choir background was done to support all of this. So hopefully players after a few games playing as Jhin and then playing against him will understand he’s thinking to himself instead of actually speaking. The choir sounds come directly from the choir used in the promo teaser music as well as the upcoming login music. 
All of the other lines - taunts, spell efforts, emotes - anything allies and enemies can hear - are all processed with a more standard “normal dude behind a mask” filter. This was done intentionally to create contrast between lines Jhin actually speaks vs lines Jhin thinks to himself - the thought here is that this will further solidify his sadistic and psychopathic mentality. There is actually one interaction with Jhin’s kit where an enemy champion will hear Jhin’s choir infused VO - i’ll leave that for you guys to discover. 
The idea for the choir came very early on when EdtheConqueror (Kindred’s composer) and I had our first talk about Jhin. I asked “What are you thinking for his music?” Ed already knew and immediately replied “24 piece choir”. And that was that. That was the hook and I knew from that conversation that the choir was going to play a critical role in his SFX and VO package. 
Like all Champ VO - it’s a group effort. Jhin’s writer Odin (Tahm Kench, Illaoi) wrote some incredible lines. Actually let's be honest - he wrote a bajillion lines because when we went to record - we didn’t have a complete kit from design and we had a tight deadline. So normally we’d write like 70-80 move lines and pick the best from that pool leaving us with 40-50 of the best lines. Odin wrote HUNDREDS so we could cover our bases when the kit was finally complete and then pick and chose what worked best. 
There are also lines for abilities that didn’t exist after we recorded them and lines written for abilities that were too long or just didn’t work. Now every champ has lines that are cut, but I think it’s safe to say that Jhin has the largest pool of unused lines and I’m wondering if we couldn’t do a director's cut type thing where we process them all out and just release all of them for fun. And obviously our voice actor nailed the character perfectly in every way. 
While all of Jhin’s spoken lines are finished - I still have some fun non-verbal easter eggs in store for him that’ll I’ll be adding during his run on PBE. I really love watching people experience new champs on PBE because I can identify some cool places to implement these little polishing tweaks. 
Now for some background on how the choir sound was achieved. Sorry if this gets too technical or too rambly - hopefully some of you will find this interesting. 
The choir sound in the lines were achieved through an audio design process that has been around for awhile but this was my first time trying to use it. So this was very much a grand experiment for me - and it almost didn’t happen (for reasons we can maybe get into later.) The process involves Reverb and utilizing things called Impulse Responses (from here on out we’ll call them IRs). An IR is a recording of the reverberation caused by an acoustic space. So really what we’re talking about is a recording of how fast a sound travels across a space, how quickly it travels across a space, and how many times the sound bounces around, resonating across a space before finally diffusing, ending it’s reverberation. Think about the difference in reverberation if you were to clap your hands in your bedroom versus clapping your hands inside a cave or concert hall. The ringing out - or reverberation is immensely different. 
Audio Designers nowadays have access to very, very powerful reverb applications where we can import our own IRs and “fake” a sound playing in any space we want. I can record the sound of myself clapping in my studio and then import the impulse response from Radio City Music Hall or the impulse response from the Sistine Chapel, making the recording of my hand clap sound like it was emitting from a particular location in those spaces. 
Now for Jhin we did something a little weird and imported various processed clips of the choir music from the promo teaser and the upcoming login music as the IR. These are not typical IRs, they’re pieces of music. But hopefully you guys can hear how the choir kind of ebbs and flows and wraps and weaves around his dialogue. We’re not playing choir samples on top of his voice. It’s literally as if the sound of the choir is the space, and Jhin’s VO is being played inside of that space. Does that make sense? 
Jhin has seven different choir IRs that yield vastly different effects. “And now...the curtain….rises”. This IR is a choir sample pitched waaaaaaay down to create that ominous dark atmosphere vibe. The other IRs sound, well, more like an actual choir. I think 70% or so of the lines use the same IR because it was just so good. The way the choir sound bends and wraps around the words change so much from line to line. It’s almost as if the choir is singing specifically to those exact words. It's difficult to explain - hopefully this makes sense. 
Ok this is way too long - sorry guys. I hope you enjoy his VO as much as I enjoyed working on it."
Looking for another listen? Here's Jhin's VO from the PBE: 

Hextech Crafting & Loot Q&A

Unfortunately, we're still working on rounding up the Hextech Crafting & Loot Q&A for the next red post collection! Until then, feel free to browse the over 70 responses on the thread so far!

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