Red Post Collection: Jhin discussion, Hextech Crafting Details & PBE debut soon, Meddler on scrapped Bard abilities, & more!

Posted on at 8:55 PM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection features more information on the upcoming Hextech Crafting and Loot system as it soon heads into PBE testing, Gypsylord with a load of discussion following the Jhin reveal, Meddler sharing a few scrapped abilities ideas from Bard's development, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Hextech Crafting soon debuts on PBE 

First off we have an update on the Hextech Crafting system! The upcoming system was announced a few months ago as part of the 2016 changes and will allow players to unlock and/or craft things like champions, skins, and icons by playing to earn or purchasing chests and keys!

Here's the latest news, including a Q&A announcement and that the system is headed to the PBE soon!
"We’re just about ready to start testing loot and Hextech Crafting. Tomorrow, January 13, we’ll be introducing the new system to the PBE. We wanted to create a new way for players to unlock cosmetic content and champions, so we’re introducing a new system in 2016. Our two goals are to recognize and reward great performances in League and provide a way to pick up randomized loot at large discounts.

On Wednesday, Rioters behind Hextech Crafting, loot, and the upgrade to Champion Mastery rewards will be chatting about the design and testing of the new system, so head over to the Hextech Crafting and Loot Q&A at 11 AM PST on January 13, 2016 for even more info on the newest way to grow your League collection over time.

First time you’re hearing about Hextech Crafting and Loot? Learn more about the 2016 Season changes at the updated website here."

Updated Announcement Page:

If you head on over to the 2016 Season Changes site, the Hextech Crafting article has been updated with a ton of new information and details on the upcoming system!
"We’re introducing a new system to reward you with loot-filled chests through Champion Mastery when you or your premade perform well and also provide a way to pick up randomized content at large discounts. 
Unlock chests with keys earned by winning matchmade games. You’ll find fragments of loot inside which you can redeem for content like champions, skins, and summoner icons. 
Read on for more details! 

Earn Free Loot with Champion Mastery Rewards 
 The loot system is a new way to craft, earn, or purchase content like champions, skins, ward skins and summoner icons.
Mastery Chests 
Earn locked Mastery Chests by performing well across a variety of champions or as part of a team. When you or someone in your premade party earns any S rank, you’ll acquire a chest. You can earn up to four chests each month, and each champion you play can earn you one chest per season.
You’ll see which champs you’re eligible for in champ select and on your champ details page.

Keys and loot in the store
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. 
For those who just want to pick up content at a significant discount, we’re offering chests and keys individually in the store. All chests contain random loot worth more than the cost of the chest (well, depending on how you feel about Teemo) so you can purchase with the confidence of knowing you’re getting a good deal (but a direct purchase from the store will still be the best way to pick up specific items). 


Earn chests as rewards or purchase them in the store for 125 RP. Chests contain loot, loot shards, or essences and will sometimes include multiple loot types (but will never contain only essences).


Earn keys as rewards for winning any matchmade games or by purchasing them at the store for 125 RP. Keys unlock chests through Hextech Crafting. 

Shards are crafting materials that can be combined via Hextech Crafting to unlock permanent content (like champions). Crafting not your thing? Shards can also be redeemed for limited time use. 

Champion essence is used to upgrade champion shards into permanent loot.

Cosmetic essence is used to craft all other types of loot from different kinds of shards, such as champion or ward skins. 

Use the crafting table to redeem, upgrade, or reroll unwanted items. Here are a few additional details:

Redeem a single shard for 7-day limited time use or redeem permanent loot to add it to your collection. 

Reroll three similar types of loot into permanent loot of the same type (for example, reroll three different champion shards into a permanent champion guaranteed not to be a duplicate of one you own). 
Breakdown loot into essences. These essences are used to upgrade other items from shards to permanent loot. 

Use essence to transform single shards into permanent loot. Champion Essences upgrade champions, Cosmetic Essences upgrade everything else. 
We’re excited to share Hextech Crafting with all of you and we’re looking for your feedback. We’ll update you soon with plans to debut the system on live."

Hextech Crafting & Mastery discussion

Last up we have Mirross and Socrates answering a few questions on the upcoming loot system!

When asked if you can freely pick a skin to craft or if you have to have a shard, Mirross noted:
"Essence is used to upgrade shards only, not to pick specific items."
As for if skins of all tiers or legacy skins are included in the crafting system, he also commented that there are only very few skins that can no be crafted:
"I don't have the loot tables in front of me and they're subject to change, but there are very few skins NOT in there..."

When asked if all S ranks count for earning chests, Socrates  noted:
does S- count ?
Yea, S-, S, or S+"

Socrates also commented that a friend scoring an S will count as your chest for whichever champion you are currently playing:
"This is accurate. If you are playing Vi, and your friend is playing Jax and gets the S+. You get the chest for Vi."
He continued:
So if I play Vi, get an S+ and get my only Vi chest, can my friends play with me, get S+ and get me another Vi chest?
Nope. You would still earns keys, and they could get a Vi chest though."
As for if there is anything retroactive about this, he noted:
"It won't look at games retroactively, since the grade achievements work on a seasonal cadence. Example: If I earn a chest with Vi this season by getting an S, I can earn another one next season after the reset."

When asked what queues can drop what, Socrates noted:
"Chests can drop from any queue where you can earn champion mastery grades. Keys can drop from all matchmade queues, but require a win."

As only SR queues currently award champion mastery, Socrates also noted:
Do you have notices about earning champion mastery playing dominion?
We're looking at putting champion mastery into other game modes, but no specifics to share yet."

When asked if they would consider doing IP for one of the components, Socrates  noted:
"We've discussed keys for IP. It's possible we'll integrate IP into the system at some point in the future but no plans as of yet".

When asked what happens if a player owns all champions in regards to the two kinds of essences, Socrates noted:
"We'll likely have a special case for this. We'll be revealing details at a later point though."
Mirross added:
Very confused about whether champion shards/essence is only good for unlocking champions or if they include skins for that champion as well.  
I have all champions and 70k IP I'm not doing anything with so if the champion shards/essences are only for that content I'm going to be a little less hype for this. Obviously I'm in a minority so I get it but it would still be lame.
"You'll get champion shards, and cosmetic shards (which include skins, ward skins, summoner icons).
You can reroll them (combine 3 champ shards, or 3 skin shards etc) to get a new, complete (permanent) item. Or you could upgrade one from shard to permanent.

If you're upgrading a champion shard, you use champion essence. If you're upgrading a cosmetic shard, you use cosmetic essence. If you disenchant a champion shard, you get champion essence. If you disenchant a cosmetic shard, you get cosmetic essence.

We're working on special cases for people who have all champions, so they still get stuff they care about."

Jhin Discussion

While Jhin hasn't hit the PBE yet, his champion reveal  is out and certainly gives us a lot to talk about!
Following the reveal, Gypsylord has been bouncing around reddit, the boards, and twitter answering a few questions!

When asked about Jhin's W range, he noted:
"yeah. W has 2500 range. Longest range damaging basic ability in the game."

Over on reddit, Gypsylord commented there is a passive on E that is missing from the reveal:
"2 thoughts: 
A) The reveal is missing something that got locked in too late for localization. 
"Beauty in Death - Killing blows spawn a blooming flower on the corpse that reveals and slows enemies nearby before detonating for damage." 
B) A virtuoso is a person highly skilled in music OR another artistic pursuit. Jhin's artistic pursuit is the art of killing. Part of this is about making the death beautiful. Part of this is about accuracy and planning. Everything has to come together for the perfect performance."
He continued, clarifying that is only on champions:
"No just champions. It would get waaaaaaay too noisy if it worked on minions."
He also clarified that passive is on his E ability.
"It's tied to his E, all about dah flowers"
As for why this wasn't ready in time for the reveal, he noted:
"Had been planning to add SOMETHING for deaths for a while. Just couldn't figure out what the heck the right mechanic would be. 
Jinx's Get Excited passive was similar. I knew she NEEDED something to make her manic and crazy but I couldn't figure out the right mechanic for weeks."

When asked about "that thing" on Jhin's shoulder, Gypsylord commented:
"A hextech-magical mass accelerator that combine with his gun to form a shoulder-mounted mega cannon for the ultimate."
He continued:
"look realllll close at his ultimate. The shoulder is a mass accelerator that he attaches to his handcannon. Turns it into a shoulder-mounted mega cannon for the R!"

As for where he anticipates Jhin will head in-game, Gypsylord noted:
" I designed him to be a marksman in the duo lane, but I have a feeling he's going to be a pretty good mid laner.

When asked about the simulates of abilities in champion kits, Gypsylord replied:
"Teehee, you should have seen what I did for Vi ;) 
Vi, the copycat Enforcer
Malphite's passive
Worse Sejuani Q
Worse Vayne  W
Graves's R on her basic attack. Twice.
Better Nautilus R"
He quickly  followed up with a more serious response on the matter:
"Serious respone: 
I'm totally fine making a kit that has similar abilities to other champs. What's important is that THE KIT plays different, not any individual spell. And trust me, Jhin is VERY different. 
Honestly, if you were to look at Draven's abilities in a champion reveal without playing the character you'd probably be complaining about how boring he looked. An AD amp like Vayne Q, A tristana Q with a MS buff, A boring knockaside missile, Ezreal R that comes back. Nothing in his tooltips really delves into how truly unique and different the axe catching movement game is. 
Also, as an unrelated to Jhin sidepoint, I'm not sure everyone needs as much unique gameplay as Draven. While some people find his axe catching compelling and enjoyable, others name it as the primary reason they will never touch the character. Our game needs characters with varying degrees of accesibility. It needs Garen and Sona types just as much as it needs Yasuo and Draven types."
he continued:
"I dunno, by the "if the tooltip reads similar then it's not unique" argument, the only thing separating Lux R and Jarvan Q is the armor shred. Both are "deal damage to everything in a rectangle after a cast time." This leaves out a lot of really important soft factors that contribute to seemingly similar spells feeling incredibly different. Cast/charge times, range, reliability, damage tunings, cooldowns, all of these things can contribute to "similar" spells being very different. Not to mention the other spells on the kit that they will end up combo'ing with. This is what I'm getting at. Spells can read similar, it's the kit that makes a character feel different. 
I remember when Lux was announced and everyone was like "gg riot, nice Morgana clone." Snare skillshot, Shield, AoE Zone. They were basically the same champion...then people played Lux and all those worries faded away. The ranges on her spells combined with the uniqueness of her ult, created a completely different play pattern from Morgana. 
You're right though, it's bad to create champions who all compete on being "the strongest." I too believe that every champion needs something special that no one else can do to make them feel unique and powerful even when they aren't at the top of the foodchain. I just don't think it needs to be as unique as "you've never heard of this before and therefore it is unique." As many Vi mains (and the ADC players they abuse) can contest, Vi's R is special because of its reliability. It's the longest range guaranteed point and click CC in the game and a gap closer on top of that. No one else offers that."

As for Jhin's thematic, iniquitee noted:
"Beauty In Death" is not the whole of his thematic - it's a part that was heavily emphasized by the promo, but once you get your hands on a bit more of his character notes (VO, bio) you'll understand that there is more to him. He's a performance artist, who paints with fear in addition to victims."
[Note: I'll continue to add in responses here as the night goes on!]

New Champion Select Testing on NA/TR starts 1/14

While it was previously announced that the new champion select experience would begin live testing on the NA and TR regions on January 13th, 6.1's live deploy hit a small snag and the test will instead start on January 14th when the patch goes live.

Here's Lyte with a brief comment on twitter:
"We're officially delaying the new Champ Select launch on NA/TR to Jan 14th due to some issues with Patch 6.1. #LeagueOfLegends"
He continued:
"Just to be clear, the delay in new Champ Select is because of an unrelated issue in Patch 6.1. The team behind Champ Select is ready to go!"

When asked about the time frame of other servers getting new champion select ,Lytenoted:
"We're starting with an initial test on NA/TR; if things go well, we'll be rolling it to all servers. Knowing if things are going well may take up to 1 week."
He continued:
"EU isn't being shafted. When we choose initial test servers, we usually choose NA when the systems require 24 hour monitoring because it's much easier for a team to monitor a server in the same timezone instead of throwing off the sleep schedules of the entire team. 
The second server is usually an international server that is a bit smaller in size so we can test different scales and loads on the new system, and we often rotate between many of the smaller servers. 
If the initial tests go well with NA/TR, we'll be rolling out the new Champ Select to all servers. The initial test may take up to 1 week."

More information on the new champion select experience can be found here.

Meddler on scrapped Bard Abilities

Meddler also journeyed on to the boards to mention a few scrapped abilities they tried for Bard during development:
"Bard went through a lot of different abilities before we hit on his final kit, including at one point getting briefly iceboxed until we took another run at his gameplay. Some abilities off the top of the head with musical/sounds elements to them we tried:
  • A three charge single target skillshot that applied a stun on the final shot if you fired all 3 shots to a beat that was playing. Was a lot of fun to mess around with against bots/minions, but felt really restrictive in actual PVP unfortunately,
  • A DDR/Guitar hero style ult, matching visual effects to a beat. Same problem as above - sounded cool, but didn't actually work out well in game. I do wonder if there might be a more subtle version of this sort of ability that might work though.
  • A passive that dropped a lay waste style effect under targets Bard hit with an auto attack, with the effect detonating after a certain number of beats. This one showed promise, wouldn't surprise me if some variant on it eventually ends up on a kit.
  • A giant wave of slow moving sound that gradually moved across the map, silencing enemies while they remained within it (had a thickness of around 1200 units, moved at something like 600 units. Looked awesome, but felt really random given how far in advance you had to cast it, which isn't good gameplay for a silence which is a pretty reactive effect. Slow moving wave from one side of the map to the other's still got some promise though, can imagine us revisiting that as well someday with a different effect on it on a different champ."
When asked about that last ability moving to someone like Nami, he commented:
Have you considered doing this on Nami somewhat situational with her ult in the river possibly?
Really different ability. This spell took about 5 seconds to reach the average team fight (it came from your team's nexus, theory we had being that Bard was making the Nexus crystal resonate to emit a powerful tone)."
As for his current thoughts on Bard in general, Meddler commented:
"I'm personally really happy with Bard overall, the overall personality his kit/appearance/sounds conveys especially. I do worry somewhat about how his kit can be misleading for newer players to him though in terms of when to collect chimes, when and who to ult, when to E (and when to definitely not E). That does mean that as you describe there's some risk of him ending up too strong at the top end. Given he's performing weaker post preseason changes than before however I think we should be ok in that regard with the small buff in 6.1 which is much more an occasional useability thing than a significant power boost. 
In terms of feeling impactful Bard's power comes in really discreet, obvious ways mainly (XP from chimes being the biggest exception). His high moments, the ult and E especially, are also extremely high, so even if he's not necessarily contributing that much overall when he does get something right it can feel like he's deciding teamfights."

New Article on Data up on Riot Engineering blog

There is a new article up on the Riot Games Engineering blog regarding the amount of data being passed around by LoL on all regions!
"League of Legends' international community generates an enormous amount of data. Since the game launched in 2009, we’ve collected 26 petabytes of how players interact with the game and our websites, which we use to improve the player experience through projects like game balance and bot detection. Ingesting and storing all of that data is quite the challenge, and, in 2011, we ran into serious scaling problems when our existing data warehouse ran out of space."
Check out "Moving Mountains of Data to AWS" for the full article!

Over on reddit, skweetis added to this:
"Infrastructure is a big reason why we couldn't launch Replay. At the time, Replay was basically an add on feature of Spectator. So the idea was to take the Spectator data, replay that to a file and store it somewhere for Players to download it. 
What we found out through testing via PBE was the amount of traffic we anticipated would basically poop all over the network. The amount of disk I/O and network I/O required to keep up with the amount of games at the time we were looking at the feature just wasn't realistic with the hardware we had at the time. 
And, keep in mind that we were talking about generational differences in server and network gear between datacenters. So we MIGHT have been able to provide Replay to a couple of Regions, but not all. That would have been really sucky and unfair for MOST Players."

Should you take Baron?

Next up we have Riot Opti with an article featuring  advice and tips from Pants are Dragon, an NA Challenger player, on how to prioritize objectives in LoL!

Quick -- what’s worth more, 5th Dragon or an Inhibitor plus Baron? With every teamfight won comes a window of opportunity to take an objective, but that window shrinks with each passing moment. In this video, Pants are Dragon goes over a point-based system that assigns a value to every objective in the game. Using this system as a guideline, you’ll be able to quickly determine the best choice any time a window of opportunity opens for your team. 
How do you decide which objective to take next? Let us know in the comments below! 
About the Creator

Pants are Dragon, a Challenger Jungler in NA, has been playing League since Season 1 and making guides since Season 3. Over the past two years, he's published over 100 educational videos, ranging from quick champion guides and soloqueue top picks to overall metagame analysis. His number one tip for getting better at League is "to blame only yourself and learn from your mistakes. Try to improve at the game instead of trying to win." 
Learn more about Pants are Dragon via the links below! 

Mind of the Virtuoso theme on Soundcloud

Haven't had enough Jhin? The theme from Mind of the Virtuoso is now up on the Riot soundcloud!

[OCE] Nautilus Reef January 2016 Update
"Hey everyone, 
I want to give you all an update on where we are at with the Nautilus Reef. 
We've had an incredibly lengthy approval process with various government departments. Currently we are close to approval on the site, but this is a process that is subject to change. If the approval on the main site falls through, we have already done the due diligence on backup sites to keep this process as fluid as possible. 
The design phase was finished last year and construction has started. Originally we wanted to wait until approval was 100% final before starting the construction, but we are very close so it's now underway. It's important to remember that with any form of approval process it is subject to change until absolutely final. It's effectively a 'Soon (tm)'. 
What happens now is the frame is assembled, followed by the hand-sculpted moulds. These are then fine-tuned against the design. Then the moulds will be poured and there will be additional finer work on the grooves and scoring of the holes in the reef. This is done so that it provides the best chance for aquatic life to shelter and grow. 
Separately to that there are hundreds of steel plates being made and engraved with all of the Summoner Names of those who earned 3 points during Ocean Week 2015. If you want to check to see if your name is on the list, you can check it out here. If your name's not on the list then be sure to check out the FAQ. 
These will be affixed onto the two bases of the artificial reef. Once these are finished, and assuming the approval process goes ahead, the parts will be trucked up to Queensland where they'll be assembled together ready for deployment. The next phase will be getting it onto the barge ready to be dropped. There's some other factors at play there, for instance we need to make sure the conditions are right for launch, if the tide is too strong or there's a storm then we'll have to hold. 
All of these factors are not major blockers. Effectively once approval is 100% final things will start to happen quite quickly. We'll make sure to provide updates and photos of all of these stages as we go."

Original concept sketches:
Modeling stage:
Later stage modeling (note there will be a much shorter chain than shown):

Adjusted pose:

Engineering drawings:

Frame construction with paper guides:

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