Red Post Collection: Hextech Crafting and Loot Q&A, 2016 Season kickoff sale, LCP Ep. 5 Gmang on Shen's Update, & more!

Posted on at 9:33 AM by Moobeat
[UPDATE: Added in Lyte's discussion thread on Dynamic queue!]

Today's red post collection includes a heads up on the 2016 Season kick off sale, League Community Podcast episode 5 with Gmang talking about Shen's champion update, Hextech crafting and loot Q&A, new 2016 esports icons now available, info on the new champion select, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Let's talk about Dynamic Queues and ranked play

Following player feedback on the Dynamic Queue system intended to go live for the 2016 ranked season, Lyte has started up a discussion thread on the dev corner boards:
"Hey everyone, 
We’re seeing a lot of feedback for dynamic queues, so let’s take a moment to talk about what’s going right and wrong behind the scenes, and how we’re feeling about the current state of the queue. We saw what you saw. Scarra had some massive queue times--even worse than the old Ranked system. Pro teams were outfoxing teams made up of high skill solos and we’re seeing some awful matches at the Challenger level. We also ran into matchmaking and implementation issues. Beyond this, dynamic queue raises philosophical questions about what it means to be a ranked player in League of Legends, so we’re going to talk about that as well. 
First, we failed to communicate that new champ select came with a brand new matchmaking system built to handle position selection as part of matchmaking. We tested on PBE and with simulated matchmaking for weeks, but there’s nothing quite like going live. We knew matchmaking would require tuning, which is why we launched this preliminary test during preseason and not the day the ranked season starts. 
Implementing this system came with a number of matchmaking tuning issues and hardware failures, some of which have already been fixed. We’ll quickly run through them and how they impacted you:
  • The matchmaking feature ensuring premade teams were facing other premade teams was configured too loosely, and allowed premade teams to match against teams of solos too often.
  • Our new matching making system didn’t account for hardware failures and left players stranded in matchmaking with giant queue times.
  • The matchmaking feature that tried to reduce queue times for high-skill players was too aggressive, and matched pro-level players against Diamond players rather than other Master and Challenger players.
We are taking steps to address these issues. Specifically, we’ve adjusted how aggressively we match top-tier players and have started enforcing the premade matching rules more strictly. We are collecting data and will continue to adjust matchmaking every day until the season starts. 
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room: the philosophy behind ranked. Current competitive players use their ranked standing as a more pure expression of mechanical skill, game knowledge, and the ability to cooperate with solo or duo’d players. For those players, the ranked queue was doing its job by emphasizing individual playmaking over one’s ability to ‘make do’ with variable teammates. The expectation was that everyone else climbing the ranked ladder also dealt with the same variables with no exceptions. Dynamic queue changes this considerably, so why rock the boat? 
Last year, we investigated why players didn’t play ranked, and a huge number said they didn’t want to abandon their friends to do it. In other words, there was a large subset of players who wanted to play competitively with friends on a ranked ladder, but lacked a great avenue to do so. We constantly talk about how League is a team game, and we want our core, competitive ladder to reflect that. The ranked queue might be synonymous with the term ‘solo queue’, but even a solo/duo queue rewards a player’s ability to work as a part or as the leader of a team. The goal was to hone in on that team-like atmosphere without hitting the tremendous commitment issues of ranked 5’s. 
This lead us to the introduction of dynamic queues. We designed dynamic queues so the highest level of play relies on teamwork in addition to mechanics and clever application of encyclopedic knowledge. In other words, our vision for ranked is that it should be a more accurate reflection of teamwork, leadership, knowledge and skill. 
But with all that laid out, the question is, “Is that the right vision for ranked League of Legends?” 
We hear you on the impact dynamic queues have on the measurement of solo skill. We’re currently doing everything we can to make dynamic queues a great experience, and we always had back up plans for the 2016 ranked season. For now, we want to share some early data on how things are going, where we’re at with matchmaking, and how players have responded so far in surveys. We understand this is a philosophical issue in the long-run, but we want to bring some data into the conversation so everyone is working with some facts. 
Keep in mind that the issues we’re addressing influenced this data, and we plan on revisiting them after a weekend’s worth can be evaluated:
  • On the topic of premades vs. solo queuers: We expected about 95% of premade 4s/5s to match up against other premades of that size, but we fell short at around 83.5%. We still expect this number to reach 95% after we tune matchmaking, and we’ll keep a close eye on this issue.
  • In terms of match quality in dynamic queues: We measure match quality by the difference in average skill between two opposing teams. Currently we’re seeing 92.8% of games are about equal to last season’s solo/duo queue (and overall matchmaking is better than Team Builder). Because of the issues we just fixed, we don’t have good data on the skill differentials between premade 4s/5s, but they’re on our watch list of things to track and fix, if necessary.
  • When we polled players who were playing in dynamic queues the specific question: “I like that you are allowed to queue with any number of people to play ranked”, about 55% of players agreed, 20% were neutral, and 25% disagreed. We’re not saying this to sway opinions either way--it tells us the system is both polarizing, and broadly desired. We’ll check in on this statistic again next week.
  • For queue time (queue start to champ select), as measured during non-peak hours, we’re averaging three minute queues across all players, and about eight and a half minutes for Master+ players. This is also something we’ll be looking to improve over the weekend.
All that said, please keep testing dynamic queues through the weekend, and keep sharing your feedback. We’re going to be scouring the boards, and fixing issues as they come up. On Tuesday, 1/19, we’ll make a decision about the state of dynamic queues and share a plan for the 2016 ranked season launch."

When asked about the idea of a "true solo queue" and why they are moving away from that, Lyte explained:
"One of the biggest issues with a true Solo Queue is playerbase segmentation. Players in NA don't know this, but many LoL servers around the world don't even have all queues; in fact, some servers only have Ranked Solo/Duo Queue for specific times of the day, or specific days of the week, and no Twisted Treeline, Normal Draft or Ranked Teams at all. So for these servers, it would have been a HUGE benefit to players if we could have a single competitive queue instead of forcing players to either play solo, or play with friends in a ranked environment. This is why we wanted to see if Dynamic Queues could work, and we are doing everything we can to see if we can make it a great experience. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, and we have other ideas in mind. 
We know it's hard to believe, but there are more players interested in playing a competitive ranked queue with friends than there are players interested in a solo ranked queue experience. We still don't know what's the best final call and we're working non-stop looking at the data this weekend, but these decisions aren't as easy as some players might think."
Lyte continued:
The way Dynamic queue has been introduced on the 2016 season ranked promo site does not give the impression that there is any possibility of anything other than the replacement of Solo queue with Dynamic queue happening. There is no other way to interpret
The big promo website talks about a huge number of features and systems, and you know what? Things are going to change. Not every feature or system in that website is going to launch as described in the website because every team is collecting data, learning lessons, and trying new things. You aren't going to see a website like that say, "THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL FEATURE THAT MAY OR MAY NOT CHANGE IN ITS FINAL FORM" or else we'd have to plaster that on every feature and system article. 
The website information is not more "official" than information straight from the team working on the product. Even 2 months ago, we mentioned that Dynamic Queues were a test that we weren't sure would work out."

2016 Season kickoff sale!

With the 2016 ranked season starting on January 20th, we're havine a 2016 season kickoff sale through January 21st - including Challenger Ahri,  2 for one rune pages, bundles, and more! 
Pick up Challenger Ahri while she’s back, now through January 28 at 23:59 PST. If you grab her today or tomorrow, you’ll get 50% off (487 RP) through January 15 23:59 PST
Triumph this season with ranked essentials, now on sale until January 21 at 23:59 PST. 
Get two rune pages for the price of one 
Grab two rune pages for the price of one on purchases made with both RP and IP. 
Head over to the Bundles tab in the store to find the 2 for 1 Rune Pages item. And a heads up, 2-for-1 Rune Pages cannot be gifted.

50% off boost sale 
Supercharge your IP and XP gains! All boosts are 50% off!

Summoner name change sale
It’s a new season so you might as well reinvent yourself! Snag a Summoner Name Change for 650 RP, 50% off the normal price. 
Season Kickoff Bundles 
Looking for a little more selection for your favorite position? Want to be prepared with the perfect team comp? Well, these kickoff bundles have what you need. 
Position Bundles 
2016 Season Top Bundle - 25% off at 3078 RP
Champions Included:
  • Malphite
  • Riven
  • Lulu
  • Vladimir
  • Irelia
2016 Season Jungle Bundle - 25% off 3220 RP
Champions Included:
  • Sejuani
  • Rengar
  • Rek'Sai
  • Rammus
  • Volibear
2016 Season Mid Bundle - 25% off at 2930 RP
Champions Included:
  • Anivia
  • Twisted Fate
  • Morgana
  • Varus
  • Zed
2016 Season ADC Bundle - 25% off at 3149 RP
Champions Included:
  • Vayne
  • Lucian
  • Graves
  • Tristana
  • Caitlyn
2016 Season Support Bundle - 25% off at 3291 RP
Champions Included:
  • Leona
  • Nami
  • Janna
  • Tahm Kench
  • Thresh
Team Comp Bundles 
Poke Comp Bundle - 50% off at 2999 RP (5111 RP if you need the champions)
Skins Included:
  • Full Metal Jayce
  • Headhunter Nidalee
  • Guardian of the Sands Xerath
  • Urfrider Corki
  • Arcade Sona
Champions Included:
  • Jayce
  • Nidalee
  • Xerath
  • Corki
  • Sona
Protect the Carry Comp Bundle - 50% off at 2887 RP (5089 RP if you need the champions)
Skins Included:
  • Dragon Trainer Lulu
  • Warden Nautilus
  • Star Guardian Lux
  • Battlecast Kog'Maw
  • Dragonslayer Braum
Champions Included:
  • Lulu
  • Nautilus
  • Lux
  • Kog'Maw
  • Braum
Wombo Combo Comp Bundle - 50% off at 2999 RP (4905 RP if you need the champions)
Champions Included:
  • Project: Yasuo
  • Mecha Malphite
  • Bladecraft Orianna
  • Arcade Miss Fortune
  • Infernal Alistar
Champions Included:
  • Yasuo
  • Malphite
  • Orianna
  • Miss Fortune
  • Alistar
Pick Comp Bundle - 50% off at 2511 RP (4428 RP if you need the champions)
Skins Included:
  • Warlord Shen
  • Safecracker Evelynn
  • Ravenborn Leblanc
  • iBlitzcrank
  • Headhunter Caitlyn
Champions Included:
  • Shen
  • Evelynn
  • Leblanc
  • Blitzcrank
  • Caitlyn"

[NA/TR] Queue up in new champion select this week!

With 6.1 out on live, the new champion select experience is now available on NA and TR servers (and rest of servers by start of 2016 season
Here's the announcement now that testing has started!
"New champion select rolls out in Normal and Ranked Draft this week! We’re kicking things off in NA and Turkey, and will update all other territories as the week goes on. Missed the details? Catch up on the nitty gritty at the 2016 season hub
New champ select brings dynamic groups along with it, meaning you can queue up with a full party inranked, but of course, tier restrictions remain in place. Ready to hop in? 
Check these tips before making your first draft pick: 
  • Select your position: Choose two positions (or fill!) for the upcoming game. You’re guaranteedto receive one of your chosen positions.
  • Coordinate your strategy: Before banning, everyone can indicate the champ they plan to play. Players with the last three picks each ban one champ.
  • Locking in now required: To keep champ select quick, every ban and pick now requires you to lock in. If you don’t, everyone’s kicked back to position select and you’ll face queue dodge penalties.
As mentioned last week, we’ll turn off Team Builder when we flip the switch to new champ select. 
Once the new champion select is live on your server, you'll see a screen like this to get you up to speed:
There are also several KNOWN ISSUES listed in this thread by Riot NaKyle:

[NOTE: This thread is being updated as things move along!]
"Hey all, 
We’re sharing a list of known issues with new champ select to consolidate feedback and bug reports. Like all other features, we’re taking an iterative approach to new champ select, and will be building on the feature in the months to come. If you see anything outside these issues, post here! We’re planning to fix all of these issues over the next few patches. 
  • Unable to purchase skins in new champ select
  • Unable to select chromas in new champ select
  • Unable to select ward skins in new champ select
  • Unable to disable animations in new champ select
  • Champion ability details do not show on mouse hover
  • The “See more stats” button in the Leagues tab of the Profile page has been disabled for both individuals and teams
  • TRIAGE: An issue with MMR-clamping at high-tiers of play was causing exceptionally high queue times. This should be improved already with further upgrades on the way.
  • SOLVED: An error on our end allowed for an exploit of the tier restriction to be bypassed in Ranked Draft. That has been fully resolved.
Keep an eye on the patch notes for updates!"
As for some of the updates that have went out to the new champion select since it started testing on 1/14, Lyte commented:
"We've coded some things that can be fixed in real-time without any patches; for example, we can tweak matchmaking values or turn certain features on/off without bringing the game down. 
But, for feature additions like the one suggested in the OP we have to do it with a new patch update. For the hardware issues we're battling right now, we have to take the queues down to triage the hardware problem."
Lyte mentioned the new champion select will support chroma packs in 6.2:
"We're implementing Chroma Selector in 6.2."
When asked about how long the NA / TR only tests will go on and how that will play out for the start of the 2016 ranked season on January 20thLyte noted:
"The new Champ Select will be everywhere before the new 2016 Ranked Season begins."

A new esports season means team icons are here! 

With the 2016 esports season underway, over 90 new team summoner icons are now available for purchase!
"Kick off the 2016 season by unlocking your favorite team’s icon or (if you don’t wanna play favorites) support an entire regional league with a team icon bundle. 
Summoner icons are available individually for 250 RP and as regional league bundles until April 23
Icons for the teams who qualified as Cougar eSports (LMS) and Hong Kong Esports (LMS) as well as icons for Afreeca Freecs (LCK), Longzhu Gaming(LCK), e-mFire (LCK), and ROX Tigers (LCK) will become available in the next patch. After Patch 6.2, the LCK and LMS icon bundles and pricing will be updated to reflect the additional team icons. 
Bundles of Icon Bundles 
Pricing for the LCK and LMS icon bundles will be updated after Patch 6.2 with the remaining team icons. All bundles will be available from January 14 - April 23
  • 2016 NA LCS Spring Icons - 20% off at 2000 RP
    • Cloud9, CLG, Team Dignitas, Echo Fox, Immortals, NRG eSports, Renegades, Team Impulse, Team Liquid, Team SoloMid
  • 2016 EU LCS Spring Icons - 20% off at 2000 RP
    • Elements, Fnatic, Giants Gaming, G2 Esports, H2k-Gaming, Origen, Team ROCCAT, Splyce, Unicorns of Love, Team Vitality
  • 2016 LPL Spring Icons - 20% off at 2400 RP
    • EDward Gaming, EP.A, HY Gaming, Invictus Gaming, LGD Gaming, Masters 3, Oh My God, Qiao Gu Reapers, RNG, Team WE, Vici Gaming, Snake Esports
  • 2016 LCK Spring Icons - 20% off at 1200 RP
    • CJ Entus, Jin Air Green Wings, KT Rolster, Samsung Galaxy, SBENU Sonicboom, SK Telecom T1
  • 2016 LMS Spring Icons - 20% off at 1000 RP
    • ahq e-Sports Club, Flash Wolves, Machi E-Sports, Midnight Sun, Taipei Assassins
  • 2016 LAN Spring Icons - 20% off at 1200 RP
    • Tesla E-Sports, Lyon Gaming, Revenge eSports, Havoks Gaming, Galactic Gamers, Dash9 Gaming
  • 2016 LAS Spring Icons - 20% off at 1200 RP
    • Furious Gaming, Hafnet eSports, Isurus Gaming, Kaos Latin Gamers, Last Kings, Rebirth eSports
  • 2016 TCL Spring Icons - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • ○ Çilekler, Dark Passage, HWA Gaming, NumberOne, SuperMassive, Team Aurora, Team Turquality, Beşiktaş.Oyunhizmetleri
  • 2016 LCL Spring Icons - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • Team Differential, Team Empire, Hard Random, Team Just, Natus Vincere, RoX, Vega Squadron, Vaevictis eSports
  • 2016 OPL Spring Icons - 20% off at 1600 RP
    • Avant Garde, The Chiefs eSports Club, Dire Wolves, Hellions e-Sports Club, Infernum, Legacy eSports, Sin Gaming, Trident Esports

League Community Podcast: Episode 5 - The Shen Update

Next up is the latest installment of the League Community podcast! Episode 5  has Mark "GMang" Sassenrath discussing the upcoming Shen champion update!
"Welcome to the latest installment of the League Community Podcast, a series in which we take you behind-the-scenes with the people who help make League possible. Expect new guests and new stories every couple of weeks or so, and make sure to hit us with those sweet comments and ratings so we can keep striving toward a Challenger tier podcast. 
This week, we sit down with Champion Designer Mark "GMang" Sassenrath – join us as we chat with him about childhood game design, his work at Riot, and the upcoming Shen update.This week, we sit down with Champion Designer Mark "GMang" Sassenrath – join us as we chat with him about childhood game design, his work at Riot, and the upcoming Shen update."

Check out the official announcement or our 6.2 PBE megapost for more on Shen's update!

Hextech Crafting and Loot Q&A

With Hextech Crafting and Loot announced and out on the PBE, the team behind jumped on the boards to answer player questions on the upcoming feature.
Here's Riot Mirross with an introduction to the Q&A!
"Hey all! 
We’re the Rioters behind Hextech crafting, loot, and the upgrade to Champion Mastery rewards and we’ll be jumping into this thread around 11:00AM PST (about an hour from now) to answer your questions about the design and testing of the new system. 
First time you’re hearing about Hextech Crafting and Loot? Learn more about the 2016 Season changes at the updated website here and then ask your questions below!"

As usual, I've sorted the responses into similarly themed categories and clumps!


When asked for an eta on the live launch of Hextech crafting and loot, Riot Mirross  shared:
When are you gonna launch the test in pbe and in the public servers?
PBE today. We're a couple of weeks from live and we'll probably do a beta in one region."

As for if the new system costs money to use, Mirross  noted:
Does it cost money?
You don't have to spend. You can earn chests and keys. You can also buy them if you wish."

When asked about how they came up with this new system, Riot Socrates commented:
did you guys pull any influences from other games while coming up with this looting/crafting system
Most of the members of the team play a lot of other games. We pulled inspiration from many existing systems, from several different platforms, probably too many to name. The key for us was building a system that was a healthy mix of RNG and player agency without ever being able to ever really get a 'bad' drop. All the systems that we looked at that allowed players to get screwed and lose value or get useless items felt super bad. We wanted to make sure every chest felt like progress towards adding new stuff to their collection."
As for thoughts on a lot of content becoming earnable rather than bought, Wingfield  commented:
Are you not worried that you will loose a lot of money from adding these rewards? and what pushed you to actually implementing them?
Hey Ancienthardcore, 
Great question! We don't try to maximize dollars earned, but rather find a win-win balance of Player Value and Riot Value. We wanted to improve rewards and progression within League of Legends and thought the loot and mastery reward systems would be a great way to give players cool content for playing League and performing well with a diverse group of champs. We are also trying to bring players some of the lowest price points and biggest discounts for purchased content, so players can more easily build their collections."

When asked how the drops for chests and keys work, Riot Mirross commented:
How exactly do these drops work? 
Do you get them on kill,assist,ect. Will wining the game net you a chance of getting a drop? 
Also, are these drops going to be rare or a fairly common thing(I'm guessing your going to have to play alot to get a lot of drops as to not make it too easy but i do not want it to be so hard that we have to grind to get it).
Chests drop if you get an S, or if someone in your premade gets an S, capped to once per champion per season. 
Keys drop randomly when you win a game. We'll be tuning the drop rates on PBE and future patches to look to balance it in the way you described."
When asked what queues chests can be earned in, Riot Socrates  commented:
can you get chests in all modes
Chests are only earnable in modes with champion mastery enabled. So for launch this is all matchmade SR modes. We are looking at getting champion mastery into other game modes but not details to share on this yet."

Riot Mirross  also commented on earning chests through friends S ranking in a game:
''When you or someone in your premade party earns any S rank, you’ll acquire a chest.''
Does that mean that all 5 players will 100% get a chest if 1 premade guy gets an S?
yes, provided -
1) they have a chest slot unlocked (you have four, they lock when you get a chest, one unlocks per week)
2) each player hasn't already gotten a chest on that champion that season"

t per champion per season (regardless if you cash in that chest or not)"
As for if there is any tie to mastery ranks to earn chests, Rayven  clarified:
Once this goes live, will players receive awards for mastery ranks they have already achieved?
No, but the chests are seasonal. Play Vi this season, get an S (or someone in your premade gets an S), and get a chest as long as you're under the chest cap. Then you're tapped out on Vi for the season."
Riot Socrates  added:
The players that already have a lot of champs in mastery 5 will receive a chest for everyone?
The new rewards are purely based on S grades after the system goes live, so there won't be additional rewards for having achieved level 5 on champs. That said, being level 5 on champ means you'll probably achieve S grades more easily when the system goes live." 
When asked if you will be able to see how many chests you have left to get, Mirross noted:
How exactly do we get essences to upgrade our shards into permanent items? Do we also get them from chests? Also, will there be a way to track if we have earned a chest for a champion?
Essence sometimes drops in chests, or you can disenchant champion shards to get champion essence and cosmetic items to get cosmetic essence. 
Yes, you'll be able to see in your champion page which champions you've earned a chest for. We'd like to get that into champ select soon."

When asked how one can obtain a key to unlock a chest, Riot Socrates noted:
Can i get those keys for the chests randomly after a game or do i have to buy the keys like in CS-Go? :)
You can earn keys from winning games or purchase."
Riot Socrates continued:
Can the same champion win keys or fragments after having won a chest? And if yes is there a limit on keys (per champion/per month/ per season?)
Yes, you could earn all your keys and fragments on the same champion if you want and it wouldn't impact key drop rate. Only chests require playing other champs."

As for the drop % on keys, Riot Socrates  commented:
Key drop rate (in % if possible) ?
We won't be revealing the specifics of this, but it does require a win to get a key drop."
Riot Mirross  added:
"To unlock your chests, you have a chance to randomly pick up a key each time you win any matchmade game and winning with friends results in finding more keys than going solo."
How frequent do keys drop? o.o
We're not going into specifics of the drop formula, but our goal is that it feels like a healthy drop rate. This is one of the things we'll tune on PBE."

kitae  also explained the thought process on why keys exist:
Why do keys exist?
I mean, why did you decide to have chests and also needing keys to unlock them? Wouldn't just having chests be simpler.
Great question. 
The TLDR is we wanted to reward different playstyles, and having different ways of earning chests and keys lets us to do that. 
Chests are rewards for playing a diverse range of champions while demonstrating skill and teamwork. If you already play a diverse range of champions, or have friends you play well with, you'll find it easier to earn chests than a solo player who has a narrow champion pool. 
Keys are random rewards for winning matchmade games of League of Legends. You can play ARAM, Ranked, Normals etc. The intent here is you play League the way you want, so we'll be tuning with the goal that you'll earn keys at about the same rate regardless of which matchmade queue you are playing in or what champion you are playing. Drop rate is higher with friends, but you won't need to play with friends to earn keys at a good rate. 
What we're going for with the above is players are rewarded for mastering a diverse range of champions, but players who prefer to play a smaller champion pool can still do most of the time. 
I know there are some detailed questions about exactly how chests and key drops work, I'm going to leave that one for RiotSocrates to answer!"

When asked how to get essences, Rayven  explained:
How do you get essences? Does it drop from chests in addition to shards?
Currently you get it from disenchanting loot you don't want in addition to getting it from chests along with shards as you described."

When asked if we are able to disenchant items purchased from the shop, Riot Socrates  noted:
I wonder if there will be a possibility to recycle some of our old skins for cosmetic essence? It could be useful considering that mystery gifts can be sometimes hit and miss, as well not every skin after rework looks as good as old version for some people.
The loot inventory is separate from the store inventory, so you won't be able to disenchant items you've purchased directly from the store or played with previously. You can use refund tokens if there are skins you no longer want and use the RP to get chests / keys."

For those who would rather buy instead of earn,  Wingfield  also shared there will be a key and chest bundle in the shop for 195 RP - 55 RP off normal prices:
can i buy those cases?
Yes you can get a chest or a key at 125 RP and we'll likely offer a bundle of the two at a discount for 195 RP"
Riot Socrates  also noted there is a daily limit to purchasing keys and chests:
IS there limit on how many crates and keys you can buy with rp?
There is a daily purchase limit on chests / keys, I believe it's 10 or 20 per day."

When asked if this system will only be accessible to level 30 players, Riot Mirross  noted:
Will this be unlocked for all levels or only at level 30?
Not finalized, but not limited to level 30's. We want this to unlock as part of the 1-30 experience - probably somewhere between 5 and 10."

When asked about other ways to present this kind of information, Riot Socrates replied:
I have a question, why not livestream the answering of questions/your dev blog, etc? i'm sure much would appreciate that and would enjoy to watch a live-streamed version of this; rather than read via forum threads. Just a suggestion/question.
Great suggestion. We will likely be doing a podcast and using a few other publishing channels as we get closely to launch."


When asked if shards only come from chests, Riot Mirross  commented:
can you only get shards from the chests?
Chests are the only way you can get shards. Chests can also contain essence, and may contain other items in future.
Riot Mirross  continued:
So here´s my point:
I have 4 champs with Masterie Level 5 , and i usually play them a, imagine that i get a very good rank (S/S-)...what are the probailities of me getting a skin for that specific champion?
You can get skin shards for any champion, including ones you don't own. If there are specific skins that you want, you're probably best getting them from the store, as there are so many different skins that you can get from Loot that you're unlikely to get them.
Chests will give you a really wide range of stuff, you'll probably be getting cool skins and champions that you may not have even thought of buying, but end up really enjoying."

As for permanent content you can unlock,  Riot Mirross  noted:
So are permanent rewards only champions, or can you earn skins permanently?
You can get permanent skins. Skin shards can either be upgraded to the permanent skin, or you can reroll three skin shards into a new permanent skin."
Wingfield added:
What type of skins can be permanently obtained? Which price ranges? And are legacy skins included and if not are they going to be when the vault reopens?
You will be able to upgrade shards into permanent skins and re-roll shards into permanent skins. We have skins from 520 RP - 3250 RP. Legacy skins are included."

When asked if chests can contain shards you already have, Riot Socrates  explained:
Will shards drop for skins and champions you already have?
Chests can drop dupes, but rerolls will never produce dupes of anything you have activated or purchased (ie. is in your store inventory). 
Example: I own Zed, I do a champion reroll. I cannot get another Zed. However, if you have a Zed shard you haven't activated you could get another one."

When asked what type of skins & skin shards are available out of chests, Wingfield  confirmed:
Are all skins available within the chests? (Legendary/Legacy?)
Hey RazzyBaroo!
Legacy, Legendary and Ultimate skins will be included (as shards which you can upgrade or re-roll into). Limited skins will not be included."
Wingfield  continued, noting Limited content is not included.

Any plans to make Championship Riven available via crafting? Or is she still saved for worlds 2016?
Championship Riven (or any limited skin) will not be included in Loot."

When asked about what happens for those who already have all the champions and have no need for the champion crafting portion, Riot Socrates noted:
What happens to those that own all the champions already?
We'll likely have a special case for this, we'll be sharing details at a later point."

As for if it takes more essence to create higher tier skins and content,  Wingfield  commented:
How many shards would it generally take to obtain a skin? Would it require more/less differently priced skins?
For upgrades, it depends on the value of the thing you're trying to upgrade, as well as the value of the things you're try to disenchant. 
For re-rolls, it just takes 3 shards of the same content type (e.g. 3 skin shards) to get a permanent."
Wingfield continued:
will the cost of the skin affect the amount of shards that you will get from Disenchanting their shard?
Yep, the skin RP value drives the disenchant and upgrade value (meaning more expensive skins give more essence and cost more essence to upgrade)"

Questions on Future or Planned Content

When asked if they plan to release mastery levels 6 and 7, Riot Socrates noted:
When will Champion Mastery levels 6 & 7 be unlocked?
We don't have any plans to increase the mastery level cap atm. We are planning on continuing to build on and improve champion mastery as a system though."

When asked if Chroma will eventually be part of this system, Riot Letumiles commented:
Are Chroma packs a possibility for loot in the future?
Hey there DwarvenGiant!

The Hextech system was designed to be an extensible system that allows us to include all types of content, but we have not made any specific decisions on what will be included yet. 
(P.S. I love Chromas too)" 

When asked if there are any plans to allow IP purchasing of any thing in crafting, Wingfield noted:
Are there any plans to allow excess IP to be converted in to crafting components?
Hey McAnnex! 
Right now we decided to make the rewards earnable, so they were free to everyone, rather than changing IP. We wanted the system to be equally compelling and valuable for both new and old players. With that being said, we are definitely exploring new IP purchase options and agree this is something that needs to happen."
Wingfield  also noted:
Have you considered adding some kind of IP sink into this system (keys, extra chest slots, etc. for IP)? As someone who has been playing for 6+ years having something to spend my 100k+ IP on would be fantastic. 
If I already own all the champs will I still get champ essences? If so, and I can use them to unlock new champs when they come out this will make IP worth even less, as the only thing I could spend it on would be name changes. 
If you aren't considering any sort of IP sink in this system, can you comment on any plans to make IP relevant again to older players?
Hey Cyrus 2016! 
We didn't include any IP sink in this iteration of the system, since we wanted it to be valuable to both new and old players and thought it was better to just give away the rewards for free rather than to (IP) charge for them. 
With that being said, the problem of large IP balances is definitely on our radar and we're looking at ways to help improve the situation this year."

When asked about potentially gifting components of crafting, Riot Socrates  noted:
Can I gift my friend essences and chests or is it exclusive only to you
Gifting chest is a cool idea. Will look into this but not likely for launch."
Rayven added:
Will you be able to trade shards with a friend? From what it sounded like you can get shards for skins you already own, so if for example i get a shard for bloodlord vladimir but already own the skin, I could trade for a shard my friend has rather than rerolling?
No trading or exchanging is planned."

When asked about animated summoner icons, Riot Mirross replied
Can you get animated summoner icons for lvl 5 + champs? Like the one Zed got with the Jhin teaser :D Would be cool
Don't think we can do animated summoner icons in the current client, but having a way to unlock something specific to those champions is something we'd love to add in future."

Group Questions

Wingfield  [Source]
I'm still not sure about how this will work, so let me ask you some questions: 
1) Can you give some detail on how do you get essences and shards and what do you do with each one? (more like how do you get real permanent loot)
2) We get 4 chests a month by getting S on games. But how do we get the keys?
3) Does mastery level change keys/chests drop rate?
4) What would be the worst possible result of opening a chest? (worst loot) And the best one?
5) Did you think about releasing some permanent content, like skins or ward skins, that can be obtained only with chests or crafting?
Thanks in advance, it looks like it's going to be an interesting extra to the game, so congratulations to the developers. :)
Hey Yizzus! 
1) You primarily get essences by disenchanting shards. You primarily get shards by opening chests. You get permanent loot by upgrading a shard (shard + essence) or by re-rolling 3 shards of the same type (e.g. 3 skin shards) 
2) Earn keys by winning games! 
3) Nope, mastery level doesn't change key/chest drop rate 
4) We've made sure that the value of the items you get from the chest is more than it costs, so there shouldn't be any bad outcomes. Other than that, it all depends on your personal preference of what content you like. :) You can get Ultimates 
5) Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe ;) 
Hope this helps clarify!"

Riot Mirross  [Source]
OK, lets go:
1- To get in deep with the keys: can you specify more the way of getting them? Will be mandatory be on a premade team to get them, or that will only raise the positibilities?
2- Only 4 chests per month? Does that mean that for exemple, I get a chest for getting a +S with Sona and Veigar. Then i was playing Hecarim and Ahri, though I have no mastery level with them, my teammates get an S and I win two chests with both. 
Is this scenario plausible? If I understand it correctly, I can't win another chest until next month and I can't win another chest with Sona, Veigar, Hecarim and Ahri until the next season. That's correct? 
3- Can you put examples on the quantity of essences we will get from the chests? What's the minimum / maximum? 
4- Is there a limit of how many chests /keys can you buy with RP? Have you considered making them available with IP? 
5- Will chromas be part of the chests' loot in the near future? 
6- Related to the mastery of champions, when will we be able to get points from another gamemodes? ARAM, TT and Dominion?
1) They drop randomly when you win games. It's not mandatory to be in a premade but it does increase the drop rate a little.
2) Your scenario is correct, although it's premade not just teammates. If someone in your team gets an S (S-, S or S+) and you haven't already earned a chest on the champion you're playing, you get the ehxt.
3) We've got some numbers on this for the PBE deploy but it's definitely something we'll be tuning as we get the system ready for launch. Typically you'll be getting a shard in a chest, sometimes with essence. you can also disenchant shards you don't want for essence.
4) There will be a daily limit on chests. We've considered IP purchase but it won't be there initiatlly.
5) We've built Hextech Crafting as a really flexible system and we expect that we'll be able to add new types of content in future. That said, we don't have immediate plans to add Chromas.
6) We're exploring adding Mastery to other queues - definitely for keys, maybe for grades and chests. It's most likely to be in modes that you choose your champion though."
Wingfield  [Source]
1) How many things can be in a chest at a minimum, considering there's a cap of 4 per month?
2) About how many disenchantments of loot would it take to create something out of it?
3) Would you be willing to raise/lower the cap on chests gained or chest/key RP cost if it came to it?
Hey Noble Poro!
First off, amazing name.. I love it! :)
1) Minimum 1 item - typically a shard. Occasionally there can be an additional component in there like essence.
2) Depends on the value of the thing you're trying to upgrade and what you're disenchanting. Anywhere from one to many
3) We're definitely going to be tuning and iterating over time based on player feedback"
Riot Socrates  [Source]
I have two questions
1) Is there a limit to the number of keys you can collect?
2) Can you break down permanent cosmetic objects for essences?
1) We aren't going into detail around key drops, but there are some safeties in place to ensure botting / grinding aren't optimal strategies.

2) You can break permanents down into essences or alternatively use them in rerolls."
Riot Mirross [Source]
1) There is a maximum number of chests you can get in a certain period. Is there also a maximum number of keys that you can get?
2) Is a key randomly given each game, or only one in a few number of games?
3) Is it possible that more tan one person gets a key in the same game?
4) The chests you get because other person gets an S are linked to the champion you have or to the one they have? (This is about the 'one chest per champion' rule)
Thanks in advance, I'm really into this new update.
1) You start with 4 chest slots open. When you use one, it locks. After a week, you unlock one of those slots.
2) There is no max on keys.
3) Yes
4) The champion you are playing."
Riot Mirross  [Source]
A few questions:
1) Is the 1 champion-crate per season a decision set in stone? It seems like a good way to ensure that people continue experimenting with different champions and rewards that type of player. However, a season is roughly a year. Don't you feel this may be too big of a "cooldown" period?
2) Are there any plans on any sort of trading system where we can exchange loot with other players?
3) Do you guys feel like confident about this launch? I'm assuming it's the first time Riot itself has ever experimented with this sort of reward system. Isn't it, for the most part, uncharted territory?
4) Did you look into other games with similar features (CS:GO, TF2) while designing this? Specifically, were the limitations you've imposed born out of mere foresight or actual problems other games have already faced?
Thanks for this. Best of luck with this launch!
1) It's not set in stone - we'll see how we go on PBE, and we if we don't change it there we'll see how it plays out over the course of 2016 season.
2) We're not planning on a trading system. It adds a huge amount of complexity that would have really slowed down how we could ship the system. It's not ruled out, but not currently planned.
3) We feel great about the launch in that we're really excited about the system and can't wait for players to use it and give us feedback. You're right that this is the first time we've had skins be earnable in this sort of way. That's why we'll be going to PBE for a longer than usual amount of time, and will do a beta in one region before we roll out everywhere else.
4) All of the team play a ton of games so between us we're familiar with similar systems elsewhere. We definitely tried to look at those systems and see what works and what doesn't, as well as considering what sort of crafting system League needs. For example, we didn't want to do something that adds a ton of overhead between each game, because after a great game, you generally just want to roll into the next game."
Riot Mirross  [Source]
So yeah just a big group of questions but first: LOVE what i'm seeing so far. I'm not really someone that can dump money into league, and usually only get skins and such as gifts, but now I can just work my way into them :D 
1) Will legacy and Legendary skins be eligible? 
1.5) and unlikely long-shot, but what about skins from events? (I.E. "Riot" skins or Pax ones) 
2) Will it be easier to get low IP champs than higher ones? And when a new champ is released are they automatically also added into the crafting? 
3) Can you elaborate a bit on how Essence is earned? I am a little unclear there. 
4) It mentions that partying up earns more rewards, will it work similar to community party IP system (like when the Summer Sale happened?) 
5) Will you be able to gift chests/keys? 
6) last but not least, are Chromas and IP Boosts possibilities for rewards either now or soon(TM)? They may not be the most exciting rewards but a good IP boost has gotten me a few of my now fave champs! 
Thanks again guys have a great day!
1) Legacy and legendary yes, event skins no.
2) The loot tables don't vary champion probability right now, but they're not final. Let's see how things look on PBE.
3) Essence rarely drops in chests or from disenchanting shards.
4) Chests are when you or a premade gets and S. Keys drop more frequently if you're in a premade.
5) No
6) We built the system to be extendable and flexible. So anything is a possibility for the future, but neither of those items are in for launch."

Be sure to check out our PBE COVERAGE of the Hextech Crafting and Loot system for a preview of the new system in action!

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