Red Post Collection: New Champion Select live testing soon & TB Disable, Meddler and Repertoir discussion, and much more!

Posted on at 8:15 AM by Moobeat
[1/11 UPDATE: An alleged leak of Jhin's - our yet to be revealed upcoming champion - art and a few screenshots are circulating! Details in post but, as with any leak, approach with caution!]

Today's red post collection includes a heads up the new Champion Select live testing is starting soon and Team Builder queues will be shut down when it starts, Meddler discussing a handful of upcoming 6.1 balance changes and other projects, Repertoir with a large open discussion thread, the launch of Fantasy LCS, episode four of the League Community Podcast, a Snowdown community creations roundup, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

[LEAK] Jhin Splash Art Leak

[NOTE: As with any leak, be cautious! While certainly very believable, these are not confirmed.] 
Rumor is circulating that the splash art for Jhin, our upcoming champion teased in Mind of the Virtuoso , has leaked!

This alleged splash image comes from a post on the LoL FB wall and caught by redditor Haas360. He also has found appears to be an in-game shot of some sort of ability. Worth noting there seems to be a unique bar under his HP bar as well. Source thread is available here & an earlier share of the splash available here.
Seems pretty legit (le-Jhin-t? I'll be here all week!) but take these things with a grain of salt!

Another ability screen shot has also been floating around, matching the above two - source.
Again, be aware that these are alleged leaks and not confirmed assets or screenshots!

 Expect more official news on Jhin as we near the upcoming 6.2 PBE cycle.

New champ select replaces Team Builder 

The new champion select experience that has been testing on the PBE is just about ready for launch! When the new champion select launches, the current team builder queue will be disabled. Here's a post from Riot Lyte with more information, including announcing the January 13th live test launch on the new champion select on NA and TR servers for draft and ranked queues..
"TLDR: When new champ select goes live in your region, it will replace the Team Builder queue. 
Since introducing the experimental Team Builder queue back in 2013, we’ve been analyzing and rethinking the best way to get into a game of League. The lessons we learned from the Team Builder queue directly impacted the development of new champ select
We’d originally planned to adopt Team Builder across all queues, but as our first attempt at improving the experience of starting a League match, a few issues held us back. While Team Builder successfully empowered individual players to choose the champ they wanted in the role they wanted each time, it wasn’t as good at helping teams assemble a specific strategy or composition. Building a Yasuo-based knock-up comp or a classic Orianna-oriented wombo combo was damn hard when non-premade players pre-selected their champs. Long queue times made turning down champions that didn’t fit while waiting for your team’s missing piece feel even worse. 
With new champ select, we’ve solved the issues we found with Team Builder. Teams get on the same page and start working together through pick intent and distributed bans right from the start. You’re guaranteed to get one of the two positions you prefer, and you can use pick intent to let your team know who you’re looking to play before bans and picks take place. 
We ultimately decided to disable the Team Builder queue because we believe new champ select is a better answer to many of the problems we were trying to solve with Team Builder, and in the future we’ll introduce a version of blind pick inspired by the new design for players who are looking for the new champ select experience without bans or drafting. 
New champ select goes live in NA & TR for testing in Normal Draft and Ranked on January 13, 2016. If everything goes well, we’ll continue to roll out new champ select in other territories over the following days. Thanks to everyone who gave us feedback along the way to this launch, from the original Team Builder beta to the recent PBE testing. We’re excited to take this next step into League’s future, and we can’t wait to join you in new champ select."

Team Builder role icons: Distribution and future plans 

Following the announcement of Team Builder queues coming down as the new champion select experience goes live, Riot NaKyle has posted information regarding the future of the six team builder role icons:
"Hey everyone,

Way back when we launched Team Builder, we introduced six earnable, role-specific icons. Because Team Builder’s being taken down when new champ select goes live, those icons will hit the ice box while we find a new home for them. They’ll come back in an earnable form, we just don’t have the details yet.

There’s also been a bug preventing the distribution of earned icons over the last two months. Luckily, we can still identify who’s earned the icons and plan on manually distributing all earned icons shortly after the Team Builder queue comes down. So grind out five games on each of the roles that you’d like the icon for before Team Builder comes down on 1/13.

We’ll update this thread when we have more details on icon distribution. Got questions? We’re on standby for ‘em."

Meddler Grab Bag

Meddler has also been busy on the boards discussion various bit sand pieces, including upcoming 6.1 bug fix for Brand, 6.1 changes for Rumble, upcoming details on the immobile mage update, and more!

To start us off, Meddler noted that we'll see early details of the upcoming immobile mage class rework as early as later this month, that the Shen update is "getting pretty close", and more:
"Larger class updates like the Marksmen one take quite a bit of work, so we're probably looking at a couple of those a year. Immobile mages is what we've decided to focus on for the next one, and we'll have some early details on what that update will be focused on to share sometime this month. That'll look at stuff like goals, which characters we're planning to work on, rough timeframe etc, not specific kit changes. 
We will also have some individual reworks done separately from those class based ones still. Those will generally either be champions that need a complete overhaul with new kits, visuals, VO etc (Taric and Yorick for example) or champions that have some fundamental gameplay problems we need to address (we believe Ryze for example needs more than just balance adjustments to be both healthy and fun at the same time). We'll also occasionally do other small updates where a bit of extra bandwidth permits some opportunistic work, the Shen gameplay update for example which is getting pretty close. 
As far as the number of subclasses go we've got about a dozen we've been using internally. Plan is to tidy the definitions of those up a bit and throw them into a devblog for anyone that's interested."

When asked about a time frame for the previously discussed class update for mages, Meddler estimated mid year for it to hit PBE:
"Rough estimate: Mid year (June ish). Trying a slightly different approach here where we walk about work substantially in advance to see how that goes."

Meddler also jumped into a discussion on why the balance team does not typically revert large changes
This might sound a bit mean, but why is Riot always so unwilling to revert changes completely? It seems that no matter the backlash changes will almost never be completely reverted even if the situation before the update was healthier (at least in the eyes of the community).
To offer a bit more context there are a few particular situations I can think of where we don't revert changes completely. In particularly complex cases, multiple of those cases may apply too. 
There are long term problems that weren't caused by the changes in question 
Sometimes we'll buff or nerf a champion, only to have them later end up too weak or too strong. We'll then often change something else to bring them in line, rather than reverting the recent change. That's an approach we'll take when there are other considerations besides power (so most of the time). If a champion's too strong, and we've got the choice between adding better counterplay to an ability without enough, or reverting a recent damage buff to an ability that's reasonable to play against, we'll go for the counterplay for example. 
We've heard negative feedback from some players about the changes, but after considering it still believe it's the right approach 
Sometimes that's the result of changes that, while unpopular, are still things we feel need to be done (e.g. removing the ability to stack multiple GP10 items a couple of years back). At other times that's reflective of changes that some players do like, while others don't. That tends to be a particularly common issue when looking at changes where opinion varies widely between regions, or where a relatively small, but vocal, part of the community has views that aren't representative of the playerbase as a whole. 
We've heard negative feedback from some players about the changes, but after considering it still believe it's the right approach (and we're wrong) 
Sometimes we'll mess up and sometimes we won't be quick to realize that. 
There are also some cases where we do go with a reversion, whether to a change that's gone to PBE or something that's been live for a while. Things like the changes to Draven Axe drop positions, that were reverted after a couple of patches, the Braum Q mana change that was reverted last year, the re-addition of crit scaling to Garen's E while the juggernaut patch was on the PBE etc."

As for his thoughts on Brand's current power level following preseason, Meddler noted:
"Yeah, Brand's definitely too strong at present. There's a bug fix in 6.1 however that should take a noticeable amount of power away from him. At present his ult almost always prioritizes champions, rather than only priotizing champions if the target it's bouncing from is already Ablaze. That makes it quite a bit easier for him to burst enemies down in most circumstances. The fix for that should go out in the patch next week, unless any delays crop up, after that we'll then reassess and see if any further changes are needed."

Meddler also commented on a few Kha'Zix changes headed to live in 6.1:
"The removal of Brutalizer and Last Whisper do seem to have hit Kha'Zix pretty hard and we've got some buffs planned for the next patch, focused on cases where Kha'Zix isn't quite able to get things to work. Those changes are currently looking like:
  • Faster attack frame on passive empowered auto attacks (they're currently slower than his normal auto attacks)
  • Increased explosion radius on W (225 -> 275)
  • 100 extra range on unevolved E
Potential for additional buffs later as well if needed, looking to avoid making too many changes all at once though."
With Miss Fortune's E damage reduced for 6.1 on the PBE, Meddler replied to concern over potentially adding a buff for AP Miss Fortune:
"I'll follow up with the designer working on the MF changes and get back to you, see what his thoughts are on the current state of AP builds on her (not familiar enough with them myself). Can't make any promises, if AP MF's in a decent spot on live at present though might be appropriate to increase a ratio somewhere to avoid an unintentional nerf."
He continued:
"We're intentionally nerfing AD MF with nerfs to her passive and E. It's possible AP MF may be getting unintentionally nerfed at the same time, I'm unsure whether or not that build's been assessed internally relative to this change. 
A base damage nerf and AP ratio buff would certainly change AP MF's power curve, keeping that build generally power neutral overall should be doable though if we conclude that's appropriate here."

When asked about Rumble, Meddler confirmed a few small changes on the way in 6.1:
"Rumble's not going to be part of the mage update mid year. He is struggling at the moment though, so we've got some love for him in the next patch. It's stuff that's not easily datamined however, so I'm not sure if it's been widely noticed (smaller collision radius so he gets stuck on other units less, slight increase to Q range, Q ticking more rapidly for less damage giving it the same damage over time but making it a little easier to last hit with)."

Meddler also briefly commented on Syndra as a candidate for the upcoming mage update, noting:
"Not certain. Syndra's a champ we've been considering for the immobile mage update mid year, but one we're currently trending away from (feeling other champs would be higher value for that sort of work). If she's not included there I'd certainly like to see if we can do a bit of work on her at some other point, again though there are a bunch of other champs that I feel we should be prioritizing first."
As for any sign of Tahm Kench nerfs, Meddler commented:
"We've been talking about possible Tahm nerfs in 6.2 or 6.3, those aren't certain yet though (want to make sure we're nerfing the correct thing(s), want to investigate whether we should be buffing something like his ult's useability at the same time)."

When asked about a potential Warwick update, Meddler shared:
"Not actively being worked on, besides some ideas being tossed around for possible directions. As far as full reworks go Taric and Yorick at the least will come out before him, possibly others. Assuming we do go for a full rework on him eventually it'll be quite a way away as a result."
As for the Ohmwrecker item, Meddler commented they are likely to take another look at the item:
"Yeah, Ohmwrecker's still in a pretty sad spot. We did try out some stuff during the preseason development period to try and make it more interesting in its niche, with tower sieging still being its core. The most interesting approach, that alas didn't end up working very well, was a version of it that replaced your auto attacks against towers with a ranged channel that dealt ramping damage over time. Gave melee champs a way to contribute siege damage without having to hard commit basically. Was fun to play around with, but hard to justify taking over other options, even on the characters it was theoretically designed for.

At some point we will take another look at Ohmwrecker, though I suspect if it doesn't work out next time we'll probably end up cutting it. Making it less situational, while keeping it tower focused still, could be a reasonable approach, and an allied tower interaction sounds worth a try as a result."

Gypsylord on Next Champion

With the Mind of the Virtuoso teaser out, it is no surprise our next champion is coming up soon!  When asked about the complexity of the next champion, Gypsylord commented:
Is the next champ gonna be more mechanically intense like Ekko/Azir or more straight forward like Jinx/Garen?
After the string of complex releases we've had for the last year and a half (Gnar, Azir, Kalista, Rek'sai, Bard, Ekko, Kindred) The Virtuoso was deliberately designed to be quite a bit more accessible when it comes to mechanics. Note that "accessible" does not mean "lacking in depth" or "something you've played before." He's neither of those. On the gameplay difficulty spectrum, I anticipate him being way easier than Azir, way harder than Garen, and somewhere in the middle between Jinx and Ekko."
Keep an eye out for more on the next champion soon as the 6.2 PBE cycle will be starting up next week! Name has been confirmed as Jhin.

League Community Podcast Ep. 4

Next up we have a brand new episode of the League Community Podcast! CLG Top laner Darshan "Darshan" Upadhyaha joins the cast for Episode four! 
"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 CLG top laner Darshan "Darshan" Upadhyaha – join us as we chat with him about the pro experience, his philosophy, and his sweet pipes!"

Check out these links for the previous episodes of the LCP:

Welcome to Fantasy LCS - Spring 2016 

With the 2016 Spring LCS split right around the corner, Fantasy LCS is now live! Head on over to the Fantasy LCS site to participate!
Here's DeadKua5 with more information:
"Hey Everyone! 
The 2016 LCS Spring Split is almost here and Fantasy LCS is now live. 
Fantasy LCS is available in multiple languages (English, French, Spanish, Polish, and German). Each week Lolesports will be here to help your Fantasy LCS teams out with editorial features guiding you on the hottest players to keep an eye on for your team, based on how they've performed in the LCS each week. 
Never played fantasy? Don't worry -- it's easy! Join together with up to seven friends or fellow League players, then build your dream team, one draft pick at a time. Every player from the NA and EU LCS is up for grabs, and what they do on the Rift each week matters. You're awarded points based on their performance, so when your pros do well, you do too! Fantasy LCS also adds a new layer of fun to watching matches each week, as fantasy stats update in real-time. 
See our how to play page for in-depth rules. 
Feel free to discuss strategy on this board. Who are your top picks?"

Need to catch up on team rosters after the hussle and bussle of off season? Check these links:

All Regional League Esports icons will be available on all servers

Riot Katana has confirmed that all of the regional league esports summoner icons will be available individually across all servers!

Over on reddit, she mentioned :
"This time around, you'll have access to all the icons!"
She continued in a sepperate post
"All regional league icons will be available globally, however GPL has elected not to create icons for its teams this year because of its single tournament structure instead of an ongoing league. What you've seen appear on S@20 (with the exception of a few updates) is what will be available for 2016 Spring. (I would also love that adorable icon though!)"
Check out our 6.1 PBE coverage for a full preview of the over 90 2016 Esports summoner icons!

See ya later, Snowdown! 

Snowdown has ended and all the cool promotions and legacy skins are no longer available!
"The ice is melting, the sun’s coming out
Snowdown is over, but there’s no need to pout!

Although the snow stopped falling, never lose sight
The spirit of Snowdown lives in every team fight!

The Poro King returned; A royal reunion for all
We sent allies gifts wrapped in icy snowballs!

How could we forget? How could the memory not stay?
Time won’t erase the thrill of a perfect snow day!

Seasons may change, but the feelings won’t fade
We'll forever remember the friendships we made!"

Snowdown community creations! 

With Snowdown 2015 to our backs, Jynx is back with a Snowdown themed community creations round up!
"As the ice melts in Runeterra, lets enjoy some of the amazing fan art and cosplay that celebrated the winter season! You can also click on the artists’ names to see even more of their work. "
Bibico and Chosenkat 
lower and Lynashi
Miss Muggle and Cosplayer: Missyeru / Photo: Carlos G 
Noki and Cosplayer: Riri / Photo: Elite Cosplay 
Cosplayer: Ynotece / Photo: BLUFF lab and Zero1510 
パンチ and 阿咩 

Ren Locke 

/ALL Chat | The Lost Episode 

Next /ALL Chat is up!

"ALL Chat is almost one year old! To celebrate, we dusted off some relics from the archive for you to enjoy. Gaze upon the old set and see pieces of the original pilot! Hear The Yordles sing parts of the unreleased theme song! More outtakes! This one’s for you, consummate ALL Chat fan."

Repertoir with a open discussion thread on things he has worked on

Last up we have a HUGE collection of posts by Riot Repertoir, originating from a newly posted open discussion thread on the various projects he has worked on.
"Hi everyone,

Today I have been reading a thread by HIMM Sandwich that basically comes down to how it feels like Riot sometimes ignores player sentiment/feedback, and then goes silent when asked for answers. I won't be the best source of insight on projects that I didn't work on, but feel free to use this post as a place where you can ask specifically about any of the projects I've worked on in the last year or two, and I'll do my best to give you honest, direct answers about why things were made the way they were, and how I/we feel about these projects currently. Keep in mind that if they're outside of issues I worked on, it's likely I won't be able to meaningful answers, and also that I won't guarantee you'll like what I have to share on some topics.

Here's some of the stuff I'm likely to have insight into:
  • Past Projects:
    • Nidalee Champion Update
    • Ryze Champion Update
    • Ashe Champion Update
    • Juggernauts Champion Updates - Garen/Skarner
    • Marksmen Champion Updates - Quinn/Kog'Maw
  • Current Projects:
    • Taric Champion Update
    • Mages Champion Updates - ???/???
Feel free to ask about other stuff as well, but I will say I'm unlikely to be able to help on lots of other things. I should have time to give some answers the next few evenings.


Repertoir "

As promised, Repertoir hung around the thread answering a TON of a questions! To help digest his discussion and commentary, I've sorted the answers into similar categories!
[FRIENDLY REMINDER: Some of these are more opinion rather than any sort of promise!]


When asked about release timings throughout the season, he commented:
Was the former in preparation of the latter? Or did what happened convince you that more drastic changes were in order?
I don't necessarily think we went small early in the season so that we could go bigger later. In fact, I think one thing we are going to try to do this upcoming season is not hit the game with such huge changes at odd points in the season. For example, we might do a big patch a few patches before Worlds, but we would probably try to give ourselves a few more patches worth of cushion to let the game calibrate if we did something as big as Juggernauts or Marksmen again."
Repertoir also commented on what Riot's internal testing is like:
What is Riot's internal testing like? Who's involved in it? Is it just Rioters playing games against each other over and over? Are pro players involved? Is it game testers hired from outside for short term periods, or is there a "stable" of testers who have worked on League for a long time? What are the actual mechanics of testing? Is it just a bunch of norms, over and over? Is it special maps or game modes designed for testing? How long/how many times is a given change usually tested?
There are lots of things that go into testing stuff here. I am a part of two planned playtests every day, playing against other designers and QA with upcoming content, but we also now have a really good team of internal testers nowadays. That team is made up of high level players (Diamond2-Challenger) that spend a good share of their day testing upcoming content and letting plebs like me know when stuff isn't playing out like I intended it to or simply that a champion in testing is broken op. Most of the testing comes in two forms: 5v5 SR games, and "lane tests," where we take a new champion and pit it up against a stable pick (Illaoi had a lot of these against Renekton, Riven, Gnar, etc.). If there's a new map or mode in testing, that team will also test these. As far as how long or how many times changes are tested, it varies by project, but for a bigger project like Taric, I wouldn't be surprised if his number of playtests exceed 250 by the time he releases, from his very first playtest to the ones on the kit today. 
One interesting tidbit is that I actually started at Riot 4+ years ago as a full time playtester on a team very similar to (though less skilled than) the one we have today. 
If you're interested in more about how testing goes, Riot Afic would probably be able to give more detail than I"
he continued:
Also, has there been discussion about paying professional gamers in a standard yearly wage job to play in competition amongst each other on a daily basis, using random rotations of team compositions (like in ARAM), so that a current and relevant database may be created to assist with balancing?
We actually have a full-time team comprised of high Diamond to Challenger level players that spend most of the day playing upcoming content and giving us advice on how to hit our goals on it. These guys are really dedicated, too. Currently, they spend all day at work playing/testing 6.01 League of Legends internally, and then all night playing 5.24 League of Legends on the Live environment. 
Riot Afic leads up that team. He could probably speak to it more if you could get a hold of him."

When asked why Riot rarely reverts changes completely, Repertoir noted:
why is Riot always so unwilling to revert changes completely?
As a ground floor game designer that doesn't really make the big decisions like these, I really can't do much more than make guesses on this subject, and I don't really think that's fair to you guys. Sorry if that sounds like dodging. I'd enlighten you with what I had if I had it. 
From the perspective of someone works on champions and gameplay, I really do think that the number of cases where full reverts would be a step forward for the game are very few and far between (especially when considering the large amount of content regularly being added/modified in the game). I can't think of many cases where I'd say a compromise isn't the better solution, but that is a matter of perspective (and bias, I'm sure)."
he continued:
I have a question that will not be answered but has to be asked. Why does riot seldom/never un nerf.
As far as why we tend to not to strict reverts, I don't think there's any one rule for/against it that I know of. That said, we try to make changes that are directionally sound for champions/items/masteries when we make them, so that even if other factors that contribute to their balance change, we're happy with the decision in the long run. Sejuani and Cinderhulk is a pretty common case people talk about here, but at no point do I think either of them was really unacceptably weak, and I think there are similar things going on with Swain and DFT right now. 
Also, I do think that it's easy for players to feel like their champion has been overnerfed. I've historically felt this way about champions I played as well. If you imagine all the various power levels that champions could fall at as a spectrum, it seems reasonable to say there's a segment of that spectrum that could be considered allowable power levels. As someone who has felt this way in the past about certain champions, I think it's easy for players to be biased into thinking certain champions power should rest at the upper end of that allowable part, while at the same time being perfectly comfortable with other champions they are less attached to resting at the middle or lower end."

As for how PBE feedback factors into some reworks and changes, he noted:
Due to fiasco surrounding these guys' live releases, what's your personal policy regarding community views in shaping your decisions on what should or shouldn't go into champions?
If this is about balance, then I'd say it can be very dangerous to rely too heavily on community PBE reception/feedback to shape balance decisions, but it's hard not to give it too much weight, because I have very little else other than internal data to go off.
If it's more about which mechanics should and shouldn't stay, I try to get a feel for what the most loved/hated changes are and try to see if there are solutions to addressing player pain in this regard before release, in a way that doesn't compromise the long term goals of the champion. 
I didn't do very well in either category for Skarner in particular, though I think some good mechanics feedback was given and heeded in Garen's case."

As for how he gathers player feedback on champions, Repertoir noted:
When you go to Update a specific champion (kit, lore, etc.) how do you get your feedback about what players like about them? I've never seen discussions where we're directly asked "What do you like/love about X champion?" (not on Boards anyway). I do understand that this somewhat opens a can of worms, as people can get upset over things that weren't kept by arguing "We told you we loved it! Y U REMOVE/CHANGE?" which ends up being really difficult to deal with. So do you guys just kinda lurk on the forums/consult with people that are severely into a specific champion, or is it all kind-of internalized?
This is something I don't think we do well enough, and it's gotten us into some trouble recently. We're in a difficult position of wanting player feedback, but also wanting to surprise players with cool new stuff, and I think we've been valuing the surprise over the long term quality too much recently. I tend to lurk the forums and check on threads relevant to my projects, but I really do wish there was more of a feedback channel in the early stages."
When asked about his opinion of blinks in general, Repertoir commented:
I was wonder of what you think of blink escape/abilities in the game?
There's a place and time for them, but I think they're overused. These types of skills tend to give champions lots of options to deal with various scenarious, so it's always tempting to consider them when making something."
When asked about how Riot approaches updates and why the community isn't openly invited into the process, Repertoir commented:
Is it possible that Riot involves the community a little bit in champion updates?
I would love to be able to share work with players earlier, as I feel like I make some of my most meaningful changes to champions after players have been exposed to it a bit. It's something we've talked about doing, but we want to make sure to do it in a way that doesn't set odd expectations or cause an uproar."
As for details on the frequently mentioned upcoming update for immobile mages, he commented:
What's the general goal of the Mage update?
Are there any plans for Cassiopeia?
Generally, the goal of the Mage udpate is to make mages more distinct among other mages, and to give them tools that make them uniquely powerful in that space. We'd really like to be able to make a lot of these characters more valuable in a way that doesn't just mean having more burst damage. 
No specifics on which champions are/aren't in the Mage Update, sorry."
he continued:
How large is the immobile mage rework, both in quantity of champions and of the level of skill/kit reworks. I assume as always riot want these champions to keep their "feel", and does that mean they will all stay immobile mages, just with more ability to defend for themselves or to all in knowing they will die afterwards?
Number of champions is not yet determined, but as far as the level of change in a single kit goes, our mindset is generally that there is one highlighted change (usually in the form of a new skill) to the champion, with other small changes to the existing kit to support it."

he continued:
Idk if this has been asked but what is the current goal for the mage update? As in what is the thematic and the direction you want to go with them?
To sum it up briefly, the main goals of the mage update are to diversify champions within the mage space, namely via how the express their power and they types of teams they're good with and against."

When asked if this will include any traditional support mages, he replied:
Does the future mage update include support mages (Ex: Sona, Soraka, Janna), or is it exclusive to champions designated to middle lane?
We're aiming mostly toward offensive mages. For example, you might see Zyra, Annie, or Vel'Koz, but you'd be unlikely to see Sona, Soraka, or Janna."
He continued:
Will there be any not so immobile mages getting touched up on also
If they're particularly mobile, they're unlikely to be candidates for big changes, but they'll probably receive some incidental love from whatever item work ends up being done."
When asked if there are any mages he'd like to work on or avoid working on, he commented:
Are there any particular mages you're eager or avoidant to work on?
And why?
I'm eager to work on Ryze, because I always want to go back and fix things I feel could be better. 
I'd probably avoid working on Vladimir, because I don't personally feel like I vibe well with the character he's trying to be, and that could cause me to make a champion for myself and not Vlad players. "

As for a better way to survive assassins as a mage, he teased on one of the mage updates he's working on:
Will mages update give mages more power to survive from assassin? Or will it not because assassins are supposed to counter squishy??
At least one of the mages I'm working on is going to be given substantial power to survive assassin types assuming he/she plays around it correctly."
He continued:
Are you going to make more ways to combat assassins mid?
One thing we've talked about is giving some of these more immobile guys inherent defensive bonuses that help them to offset some of the nature of them being immobile. Ideally, this would let us make them not quite so vulnerable, but also not have to burst quite so hard to function."

As for champions having bonuses or focusing on specific stats, he commented:
Possibly the most important question: Are you looking to bring champions away from having one or the other defense stat essential to their build?
For champions like Taric, Rammus, and Galio there's a disadvantage to having enemies that don't deal the type of damage that their kit scales with the defense of. Are you going to even it out and make it less of a hindrance to purchase the right defense for the opponent?
Answering this question since it's one I've seen less of, and I think the others have mostly been answered. 
Generally speaking, we should avoid making either Armor or Magic Resist supremely more powerful on champions when compared to the other stat, unless it is a very specific intended strength/weakness. Taric falls into this category, where being an exceptionally good pick against physical damage teams is very much an intended strength. I intend on maintaining some of that in his upcoming update. "

When asked about the powerful abilities that were scrapped for champions during development, Repertoir shared that Yasuo's R used to work of enemies' own movement abilities:
What was the most op ability seriously considered for a champion that didn't make it into the game?
Not sure if it's the single most op thing we've ever considered, but Yasuo's ultimate originally worked on champions that were 'Airborne' from their own movement abilities. As you can imagine, that was pretty broken."

Taric's Update

Next up we have Repertoir answering several questions on the upcoming Taric rework, which will be larger scope like the Sion and Poppy works!

As for his process of reworking Taric, Repertoir shared:
Can you take us through the process of reworking a champion? Like where does the idea start, why do people feel the need to, where does it travel, what are the reasons for everything, how does it get to you and after that what do you do with it and why, and then finally where do you send it off, etc.?
This will be a brief summary of the process I went through on Taric: 
First, decide which champion to work on. In Taric's case, his gameplay was pretty flat, but his visuals were also incredibly low quality and out of date, so it made him a good choice. 
From there, I started early kit prototypes to see what kind of direction we could take him. I probably went through 5+ completely different versions of Taric that were each in playtest for a few weeks before landing on the gameplay hook that he will end up being his update. By now, the basic direction for the kit is set, though it still hasn't fully come together. 
At this point, we slowly began to spin up concept meetings between myself, his concept artist, his writer, and some producer types that could keep us on track. This process takes several months, and as with the kit design, several different completely different concepts were considered and discarded before landing on the one we chose. By the time we were done with this stage, we had a pretty good idea of what he would look like, the kind of vibes he would give off, and what his story would be. 
Once the concept had been chosen, we could begin bringing him to life, starting with creating his new model and going from there with VFX, SFX, and animations. 
Additonally, we begin thinking about promotional material around this time. 
Simultaneously, I went back to the gameplay and made a few mechanical adjustments to the kit to accommodate for some of the concept decisions we'd made on him, and I also gave some consideration to cutting out some of the superfluous mechanics I'd added to the kit earlier on in its development. This is still about where we are at the moment on Taric, as it's a process that takes several months, and it's one that he's playtested throughout, somewhat to sort out small oddities in the design, but primarily to make sure all the visual and audio indicators are reading correctly. 
Moving forward, we'll have to begin more balance-focused testing from our team of internal Diamond-Challenger playtesters, as well as bugfix any issues that come up along the way. 
Following that, it's just a matter of polishing it up, getting it onto PBE, reacting to relevant reactionary feedback during that time, and sending it to Live! 
I'm not sure how much of that procedural information was already known, so hopefully it was what you had in mind with your question!"

When asked why Taric's kit is being reworked, Repertoir explained:
why touch Taric's kit?
The main issues that make Taric a good candidate for a kit update specifically are:
  • His kit's success is driven heavily by statistical advantages that often go unnoticed/unappreciated
  • His kit's reliability profile is far too high, especially given its stat-driven nature as described above. Results in more binary gameplay"

As for where his damage is being focused as far as AoE or Single, Repertoir shared:
For the Taric rework, will he be focused more towards single target abilities or will he be an Aoe focused champion. This is in regards to any heals or buffs as well as his damage spells.
Probably mostly single target on the damage side, and mostly more multi-target on the defensive and buffs side of things. Hopefully the split will end up being pretty similar to what it is on Live."

When asked if Taric's updated kit will include any skill shots, Repertoir noted:
How's the Taric kit update looking with regards to skillshots and builds?
There aren't any line missile skillshots in the new Taric kit, though he won't be quite as reliable as before. To compensate, some of the stuff he can do is really powerful if he pulls it off or times it right. As for builds, the dude still really loves his Glacial Shroud items."
He continued:
Regarding Taric, don't make him yet another skillshot-based champ. We have enough of those, and we all know Riot has issues with lag. You need to leave some champs that can be played when your servers are suffering though 300 ms lag.
He doesn't need to necessarily be "another skillshot-based champ," but his reliability profile does need to change. He could use a bit higher highs, rather than more consistent, lower ones."

When asked about how "exciting" Taric's abilities may be, Repertoir vaguely replied:
Less of a question more of hype staller. I love champion reveals, when you look through the video previews of their abilities and you see an ability never before done in league that makes your jaw drop, stuff like bards journey and ult, and azir tower passive come to mind. 
Do you think in your opinion, Taric, jhin* or any future champs in the coming months will have something for me to look forward too?
I'm hoping Taric will have a few of these elements to him. I think his W, E, and R all have the potential to be pretty exciting to players that haven't seen them."
As for potentially interacting with terrain in some way, Repertoir commented:
Designers have been talking more and more about using terrain in interesting ways (see Bard's stun; Grappling Hook idea; Graves' End of the Line, etc.). Did you play around with the idea of having Gems grow out of terrain and having Taric interact with them similarly to Skarner's theme?
On a related note, will Taric have any special lines for Skarner since they share a medium of power?
Specifically attached to walls, no. But a few of the Taric iterations I tried did have gems that could be interacted with. Maybe I even chose one! But maybe not... 
Never really considered special VO for Taric/Skarner, but it's not out of the question. I'd have to make sure it wasn't weird, because we probably wouldn't be able to add more VO to Skarner as well, so it would be a one-way street. "

Repertoir also commented:
in either case, will you please change tarics abysmally terrible ultimate?
All spells will be receiving changes in some form or another. Radiance is no exception to this."

As for if Taric will be able to be played top in addition to support, he noted:
Will Taric be viable top lane as well as support? I've found myself enjoying champions I can play in multiple roles (like support Sion).
I think he'll be playable there. I don't know that he'll be absolutely amazing, but it wouldn't surprise me too much if he had some good matchups."

When asked about Taric's outrageous joke, he shared:
Will Taric's joke change?
Taric will have a mixture of new and old VO as far as I am aware. We haven't decided exactly which lines are going to stay or go, though we do know how people feel about his current joke."
He also mentioned again that Taric is due for a new VO as part of his large scope update:
Well Taric be getting new VO along with his new kit/visual rework? If so, well it be as long as Illaoi's and such?
He'll be getting some new VO, though I think we're keeping it from getting to be quite as many lines as some of the newer champions. Some of the newer champions are starting to feel like they're narrating the game when you're playing them, which is all good and well, but I don't think it's the route we're choosing for Taric."
Repertoir Taric group questions 1:
Taric is one of your current projects? Interesting. What is it you guys are hoping to accomplish with Taric?
Bring him up to date in the game. We really want to deliver on that battle healer type feel in a way that is less about raw stats and 100% reliability, and more about being timing and big payouts for good play.
Stick to AP, Stick to tank items, make them both viable, make him ad?
He should build very similarly to how he does on Live.
Is he going to be a multirole champion, or more of a stick to one lane kind of thing?
He's being targeted as a support. It wouldn't surprise me if he had some good matchups in other roles.
I'd like to know the thought process you guys are using while you approach the Taric update.
My goal is to really make the new Taric's playstyle and gameplay feel very similar to Live Taric, but with a full set of upgraded abilities."

Repertoir Taric Group Questions #2
Is there any skill that ported from old taric? Poppy's E was completely ported because her mains love it. Will taric get the same treatment ?? Or will it be a full blown rework??
Passive is shaping up to be very similar, though not identical.

What is your direction towards taric rework?? Is it more focused on his aura?? Or his AD-countering kit?? or both?? or neither??
His aura has undergone some meaningful transformation, but it is played up dramatically in that change. He will still perform notably better against AD teams, I expect.

Repertoir Taric Group Questions #3:
One: is he still outrageous?
Two: is he still able to go top?
It's not his primary role, but I hope it's a fun/playable option for players that like it. We should honestly test it out a bit more.
Three: is Fabio the new voice?
We're deciding on a voice actor this week I think! Excited to see how it turns out!"

Repertoir Taric Group Questions 4:
Will taric be fully centered around support, or are you planning on making JG/Top Taric viable as well.
It's targeted at support, but I hope he can have some fun in other positions as well.
What are you planning to keep on his kit?
Lots of thematic things, some of the feel of his gameplay, some of the personality. A mix of everything, I suppose..."

Repertoir Taric Group Questions 5
what kinds of changes might we be able to expect with the Taric update?
Lots of changes, especially visually. I'm really trying to hit a "battle healer" type of feel on him, so he's probably a weird hybrid of a Tank, Support, and Juggernaut at the end of the day, though we never really committed to a particular class with him.
Are his abilities going to be heavily altered, or are a lot of elements from his kit going to stay?
Most of the abilities are heavily altered, though he will still stun enemies, heal/empower allies, and love Armor.
Is he going to have a similarly calm and borderline flamboyant/feminine sounding voice-over, or is he no longer going to be truly truly truly outrageous?
We're aiming to make him fun and approachable, probably somewhat funny but not necessarily a joke himself."


Next up we have Repertoir with several comments and opinions on champions!

When asked how he things Ashe is currently doing, he noted:
What are your thoughts about current state of ashe? I find myself struggling to activate her Q when being engaged with, no abilities synergy to build up stacks but to auto attack. I think that right now she has too much "set up" to finally be into a fight.
I think she's in a decent spot. The experience you're talking about is an intended weakness behind the spell that aims to allow its incredible strength (no cooldown). These types of weaknesses can be tough pills to swallow, but I think they're something we should do more of. It tells a very clear story to the Ashe player of the types of fights she wants, and a clear story to opponents as to how to combat her."

When asked about potentially adding an "icy" outline for Ashe's increased critical slow, Repertoir commented:
is it possible for Ashe's targets to have an 'icy' aura/outline to them whenever she crits them for doubled slow modifier?
It would be a nice touch to add if possible. We're leaning only on the crit text numbers at the moment. Volley's critical numbers also result in the greater slow as well, for what it's worth."
Continuing on Ashehe noted:
Why did riot decide to change ashe in this way?
One of the biggest complaints I always read about Ashe was "why the hell is this adc encouraged not to auto attack?" As such, I tried to go about addressing that

In regards to her passive, her new passive is basically her old Q. Was their any different idea's that would have kept her Q the way it was, but still improve her passive?
The change to make her Q into her passive was really the entire basis for the update, so it swapped to the passive slot and existed there in one form or another throughout her update's entire development."
He continued:
One thing I noticed while testing Ashe this preseason is that her Q stacks are now granted on-attack instead of on-hit. She used to be able to stack Q faster by purchasing Runaan's Hurricane, but now she only gets one stack per auto-attack instead of one stack per bolt. Was that an intentional change due to the no-cooldown Q? Being able to buy Hurricane on Ashe without missing stats was one of the things I was really looking forward to, but this change has made it less amazing than I had hoped. Still fun though!
This is currently intended. I originally thought about letting Hurricane act as you're describing, but I decided against it because I assumed it would become a mandatory purchase. I'd still be interested in trying it out, honestly...
Another thing I found was that Ashe is again able to use her Q-empowered auto-attacks on turrets.
It's currently intended. We could cut it if we had to, but I always thought it was fun, and now that spells don't stack Focus, doing so in many situations would require her to not actually attack the turret for 4 straight attacks, so it really only comes into play when she's pushed her opponent up to the turret, which I think is a nice payout."

When asked for his opinion on Ezreal, Repertoir commented:
Any plans for Ezreal?
Nothing huge. I think he's got a pretty unique playstyle, and I'd consider him the most slippery, independent Marksman of all."

As for if anything is planned for Galio, Repertoir noted:
And anything planned for Galio?
Also on that list of guys that needs it, next to Warwick, Urgot, etc."

When asked about his personal opinion of an Irelia rework, he hypothesized:
If you could give Irelia a Gameplay update, what would you make her kit into?
Real quick off the top of my head, I would ditch her passive, W, R, and parts of her E. I think she could be a really cool candidate for someone that uses her blades to attack two targets at once, or she could just generally deliver a lot better on blade telekinesis thing. I'd try to leave Q alone at all costs unless it was to make it feel better. I love Bladesurge.
I will say that I think she's really held up against the test of time, as she seems to pop into and out of play reliably, but that may be a matter of statistics or something."
Repertoir also shared his thoughts on Kayle, commenting:
Do you plan on touching Kayle for the Mage rework, or anything that would really impact her?
Maybe some items she would like to use might changes, but I think it would actually be a disservice to Kayle if we tried to make her more mage-like. She seems like she'd be a better carry support, or Yasuo-esque magic damage dealer or something like that. 
No, no plans for Kayle specifically, and I feel like it's safe to share her and not others, because I don't really think she's a mage (despite having a few mage elements)."
As for his current thoughts on Kog'Maw, Repertoir commented:
About Kog... Do you think he's currently balanced?
I think he's a bit undertuned at the moment, and if his performance continues to be poor, we can hopefully give him some love. I continue to think his kit offers a fun and unique playstyle, but he's also not the type of champion I expect will ever have a really high play rate unless he's overtuned, as his playstyle is niche and lower agency than most really popular champions."
As for his current thoughts on Nidalee, Repertoir commented:
What are you planning to do with Nidalee?
I'm not sure what the immediate balance plans are for her at the moment, but if given the opportunity, I would like to be able to go back and re-evaluate her laning experience, which I think is pretty poor. Specifically, it feels like a constant struggle to manage the minion wave without getting chunked for half your health by your lane opponent."
he continued:
Is Nidalee's viability (in lane) perpetually stuck between a rock and a hard place? ... She still needs tons of early CDR to be able to capitalize on her strengths the most (i.e. mobility, utility, area-domination), but with the current early game, prioritizing CDR means sacrificing damage in-lane, rendering her a non-threat to be easily lane-bullied (due to her squishy melee waveclear).
I'd really like to do a pass on her kit to sort out a lot of the oddities you're talking about. Her kit currently pulls her in too many directions as far as stat needs are concerned, and I really think that contributes to her feeling really weak when she doesn't get out to an early lead."
Repertoir also shared his thoughts on Quinn's current state:
Thoughts on Quinn's current state?
I'm happy with how she's doing, and I hope that she can remain a relevant, unique pick for players to enjoy. It's nice when an update looks like it ends up having good sticking power when it's all said and done. Given that she's a marksman that's often played in non-bot lane roles, and that her ultimate isn't a combat spell, it may be somewhat inevitable that picking her feels like a gamble sometimes.

When asked about the renaming of Quinn's R to "Behind Enemy Lines", he replied

What was the thought process behind turning Tag Team into Behind Enemy Lines?
The name just seemed more fitting since the spell no longer involved an actual swap out (as players were quick to point out). I like this change because it's a small thing that hopefully lets people know we're listening and doing little things where we can even if we aren't doing all the exact stuff they're asking for."
As for how they came up with the idea of such a mobility R for Quinn, he noted:
Quinn ultimate feels wierd for me (i don´t have her/ play her frequently; i don´t dislike her for it; it´s just somehow wierd in my opinion). How did you come on the idea about this ultimate?
The idea of a travel form-esque R for Quinn was one that was being tossed over a year ago internally. Jag started that, and when we decided to dedicate ourselves to a Marksmen project a few months ago, I still thought it was a cool idea and tried to make something of it. I agree with you that it has its oddities, and I think a lot of those come from trying to make too much change with too few resources to make it happen on my end. Her R is powerful, but the channel feels a little awkward and has some weird restrictions on it, and even to me it feels like it's unique and fun, but that it's also lower overall quality than I'd like it to be."

On Rengar, he continued:
Since you did speak about Rengar whose one of my favorite champs ;p, do any of you currently speak about him at the moment? Like "Maybe we should do this or that" to him?
There's some talk starting up, but I don't think anything's really stood out as a winner. That champion has an awesome fantasy, and I hope that someday he can have cool gameplay to go with it that isn't simply "cheese a guy from stealth.""

He also mentioned Rengar as a champion he currently sees as unhealthy for the game: Permalink
Who/what do you feel is the most unhealthy for the game right now?
For a singular champion, I think it's almost embarrassing that Rengar exists in his current form, and we tend to act like it's not an issue. As for the single thing I think is most unhealthy for the game, I'd say its incredible barrier to entry."
When asked to explain his comment that Rengar is "embarrassing", Repertoir continued:
You keep mentioning you are embarrassed about the current state of rengar. Would you mind going into detail about it? I'd love to know why you think rengar is in a bad spot.
That embarrassment mostly comes from the fact that we pretty knowingly have let Rengar live and die by his "stealth up and try to 1-shot" gameplay for so long. There's a lot to Rengar that could be so much cooler, especially given how awesome his backstory and thematic are, and how much potential rests in his Ferocity system. Instead, he's currently balanced around trying to find a way to get ahead (which isn't a guaranteed thing) and then finding ways to gib people. 
I think the comment I made about Rengar came off more harshly than I intended (wording was poor, admittedly), because I really like Rengar overall. That said, when speaking from a Game Health perspective specifically, which is what the original question was, I stand by what I said. "
He continued:
How can you think that the current Rengar is embarrassing when you reworked Garen into the most anti-fun champion ever?
Someone asked my opinion, and I gave it. To me, Rengar lives and dies by his success case, and his success case is incredibly unhealthy to support. And that's sad to me, because Rengar has an awesome fantasy, an amazing personality, and probably some really cool gameplay in him somewhere that isn't just "lol 1-shot.""

When asked about his opinion on Ryze and his mana scaling, Repertoir noted:
What are your insights on Ryze's stat conversion? Do you think it allows for healthy definition of the champion? Does he cause much frustration in your internal conversations about mana?
I think Ryze's relationship with Mana is mostly a good one. It lets him build up a ton of resources that he can go and dump out, and it makes his builds feel really cool and unique, though some of that is likely novelty, as you've pointed out. That said, I went pretty far out of my way to make Frozen Heart a less attractive option for him, so there are consequences to this type of thing. If we had more robust Mana itemization, Ryze would benefit greatly, though he might just break it as well."

When asked about the Shen rework, Repertoir noted:
What happened to Shen Rework? I thought it was scheduled before Taric.
Still coming, it's just not of the same scope as Taric. Shen won't be receiving full new set of VO, for example."

Repertoir alsohad several things to say about the recent Skarner rework!
How satisfied are you with Skarner's rework?
Mostly satisfied with how the gameplay has turned out, though I think the execution of the passive could have been better. I've said this to a few people already, but I do think we misclassified him as a Juggernaut, and his long term direction should probably have been more of a tank-thing and less of a damage dealer."

When asked about Skarner's juggernaut rework, Repertoir commented:
What made you decide to lump Skarner in with the juggernaut crowd, rather than leaving him with the fighters?
When coming up with the concept of a Juggernaut, one of the things we were trying to do was actually separate out different groups of fighters, where Juggernaut ended up being one of those groups. That said, there will be a Skarner retrospective post coming to the Boards soon I believe, and one of the things we talk about there is that we probably improperly classified Skarner as a Juggernaut and not some other kind of fighter or tank.
Was it your intention in his design to make him a solo jungle champ? If so, where there any particular reasons for it?
It wasn't really a specific goal that we wanted to make him "only a jungler," but the design we went with does have that outcome."

As for how he feels about the update is currently sitting, Repertoir noted:
Do you feel like Skarner is still in a good spot? or do you think that Vi's ult overlaps too much with Skarner's and does Skarner's job Better?
I can't confidently say he's in a much better spot than he was before his update, so to me (and many others here), that's not good enough."
he continued:
Do you feel Skarner's update was too "low-scope" to truly make him fit into the Juggernaut category?
He's more of a CC tank with good damage rather than a Juggernaut and I think there's a lot of potential with Skarner if given a more extensive rework.
I pretty much agree with all of this. If we ever want to really get Skarner really right, he needs more than just the partial attention he's gotten here and there over the years. It's not fair to his players to keep going halfway on him"
he continued:
Why do you feel like shipping the Skarner rework was a good idea?
I think Skarner does offer a unique play experience unlike any other champion has to offer, though I think it has too many costs attached to it. Were we to do Juggernauts over again, we likely wouldn't choose to work on Skarner. I think there are definite upsides to his update, but we likely could have gotten more bang for our buck elsewhere.

Why does Skarner absolutely have to have these zones?
We set out to make a champion that was defined by pre-determined zones of power, and I think in a lot of ways that was accomplished. That said, I don't think the execution was as good as players deserved. It feels too forced/constrained."
As for any planned Skarner changes, he commented:
are there any drastic changes planned for Skarner/what aspects of him would you most want to change?
Currently, we don't have any plans for Skarner. I probably wasn't very clear since I am trying to burn through a lot of these, but at this point, it's really not so much that the Skarner in the game today is a failure. It's more that his update (much of which I am responsible for), didn't clearly make him better than he was before, so it's more that the process was a failure. 
I'm glad you're enjoying him, and I don't think you have anything to worry about as far as seeing him dramatically changed in the near future. "

As for thoughts on Swain, he elaborated:
Hi , i really appreciate you coming forward and chat with us it really makes us happy .
iv been playing lol for a long time , main swain the king i call him , his underated by the community which comes to my advantage . i read a comment of yours which you called him "a total mess" , can you go more in detail for why you said that and what do you think about him , he was ignored by riot and nerfs for a while ,
was he forgotten or hes good the way he is ?
and do you think he needs a new splash art ?
are you thinking of a major update for swain ?
The reason I said Swain is a mess is that he has all this potential to be a grand Master Tactician, but his gameplay doesn't quite Live up to that fantasy. I'd say an example of this is that he has all these DoTs, but they're mostly just things that he puts on the same enemy before walking at them if he can. This isn't to say I think Swain is causing any huge issues in the game, really, just that I think he could be a lot more than he currently is."

He also briefly shared his opinion on a Teemo rework, noting:
And does anyone talk about reworking Teemo?
Occasionally. I'd really like the opportunity to take a crack at him, but I know it's not really a high priority in the near future. I think he has a lot of potential behind his passive and R, and it would be really great if he could really drive home the scout part of his character, especially since we don't tend to do scouting characters very well (imo)."
As for potential changes to Twitch's poison, he commented:
Any plans to make his poison reflect actual damage? Or will there be a need for AP with this character?
There are no immediate plans to significantly change Twitch's poison damage, though it wouldn't surprise me if we did something, since it really does seem pretty pathetic most of the time."
When asked if Veigar is in consideration for a larger scope update, Repertoir commented:
Would Veigar happen to be getting a full scale/large scale/anything-that-makes-him-more-fun update any time soon?
He was definitely a name that came up when it came to picking champions to work on for the upcoming mage updates, but there are quite a few champions that need the whole revamp much more than him (Yorick, Urgot, etc.)"

On Yorick's future update, he commented:
Are there any news on an upcoming Yorick update (after taric that would be)?
Also thank you for doing this thread and being so active :)
Yorick's definitely in our top couple of rework prospects, but they tend to fall a few months apart from each other in release, so it could still be some time, and there's not likely to be any specifics to shared for quite awhile. To be fair, Taric is up next, but he's still some time out and we're not really sharing too many details yet."

As for thoughts on Zyra, Repertoir commented:
Yo what's up with Riot's stance on Zyra as a solo laner, support, and jungler?
If ever we were to touch Zyra, we'd probably try to make sure she continued to be viable as both a support and mid laner, though it would be a really great thematic fit if she were shifted to the jungle imo.
Will she be taken into consideration for the immobile mage update?
No specifics on which champions are/aren't in the Mage Update, sorry.
Will the reworked runeglave positively affect immobile mage junglers like Zyra?

Group Questions

Lots of folks have been asking Repertoir LOTS of questions, sometimes about multiple things at once! Below are a large batch of responses on various subjects with the questions quoted!

The Ryze update doesn't seem to have remedied the issue of him being too hard for anyone without extremely low ping and high mechanical skill to play. Are there any plans to further change him?
There are some plans to make him less ping-reliant especially, though it would probably be modifications to his passive and other spells, and not along the lines of a full rework.

Does the fact that he's a 450 IP champ and arguably a face of the game affect decisions made regarding him?
Being a 450 IP champ is a good case for him to be easier to play than I ended up making him. As for being a face of the game, that didn't really come into play at all.

Karthus seems like he's an immobile mage, but it seems to me like he has distinct mechanical and strategic niches. Is he likely to pass through the mage update relatively unscathed?
I agree that he seems pretty distinct already. I doubt he'd get much more change than someone like Sivir or Lucian did in the Marksman Update.
I like playing Zyra, but find that her kit doesn't do a very good job at fulfilling her theme. That said, it seems pretty balanced, and reasonably healthy. Would you all agree that she's in a decent place, but that she doesn't do a good job implementing her fantasy? How does this state affect her chances of turning up in the Mages update?
I think she's in a decent place for the gameplay experience she offers. She feels good to play to a lot of players, and she's pretty approachable, which is something we don't do enough of nowadays. As to her fantasy, I agree it's not really executed on as well as it could, and that kind of thing is definitely a consideration we make when choosing champions to do for these mass updates.
How much do animation bandwidth concerns constrain design possibilities in these smaller reworks?
Art resources are a constraint on pretty much every update. Right now, we know going into the large group updates that we have the art resources for approximately one skill per champion.

Garen's rework uses the same champion-icon thing as Tahm Kench does. Which team got this first?
Tahm Kench, though I started using it within a few weeks of it being finished.

Which of your reworks are you most happy with? Are there any results of your reworks being released into the wild you were particularly surprised by?
I think there's a few different ways to consider this.
  • Nidalee is incredibly near and dear to my heart. Her design is all over the place and is a mess of complex mechanics and inputs, but I think she offers a really fun and unique challenge to players that put the time into her, and I love to watch a good player enjoy her.
  • As far as which I'm most proud of from a craft perspective, I'd say Ashe. Her changes were simple and exciting to players, and I think they helped to bring her from what a lot of people considered a joke pick to a real contender at all levels.
As far as which I was most surprised by once released, I'd definitely say Kog'Maw. Every bit of feedback I had from internal testing and PBE feedback led me to believe he would be broken, which is so odd in hindsight given how much he's struggled since the Marksman Update."
Do you have any followup work planned for Skarner?
Specifically for Skarner, overall I think he's in a pretty good spot on Live. I have some regrets more about how the process of his update went, but I think as far as what's on Live goes, players that like him (though I understand they are few) can play him with regular success. No extensive work is planned at the moment.
Why does the Riot balance team allow certain - unhinged - champions (i.e. Ahri, Tahm Kench, Miss Fortune, etc.) to fly under the radar and avoid receiving nerfs for unreasonable periods of time while doling out unwarranted nerfs to other champions?
I know this comes across as favoritism or something, but I really don't feel like that's the intention of the balance team. I've literally never heard someone on that team say something akin to "we shouldn't nerf X champion because I like it when they're strong." One thing I think we could do a lot better on (balance team included) is being more transparent about the reason we make certain changes. I know this is something we're working on improving, and I really do hope we get better at it, because frequently it seems sorely needed.
Are there any concrete, near-future (specifically within this year) plans to update "diving fighters" (i.e. Aatrox, Irelia, Xin Zhao) as they were dubbed by Meddler?
Concretely, no, though I bet we'll figure out which category of champions we'd like to tackle next as soon as Mages production starts wrapping up."
Are you guys working on rengar again?
Not extensively at the moment, though I do think he needs it.
Mages - Are you assigned to any specific champions yet?
No specifics on which champions are/aren't in the Mage Update, sorry.
Info on Eve VU? Anything? Anything at all? Pls
No real info to offer, sorry. This is an example of something we talked about with players before we had something to deliver, and now they have expectations and we have nothing to offer. This isn't to say she couldn't use it..."
But anyway, do you guys feel Quinn is too strong? I've loved playing her since her rework but some people seem to thing she's still OP?
She seems like she's on the strong side, but hopefully not by an excessive amount. I wouldn't be surprised if the balance team wanted to nerf her in a few patches if she manages to rise to the top again.
Can we expect taric soon, soonTM, or still a ways off? Don't really expect this to get answered.
Really depends how long these timer intervals are. I'm going to go with "Soon," since it's all but guaranteed that he's the next full size Champion Update we're going to deliver.
What are some immobile mages you personally think need work (not necessarily ones you'll work on)
Malzahar because I think he's a lot cooler thematically than his gameplay lets him be.
Swain because I think he's generally just a mess.
Zyra because I think there are tons of opportunities to do cool things with her.
Cassiopeia because I'd want a chance to get her some of her poison identity back."
What about a visual update for Eve?
We're tending to steer away from strictly visual updates and aiming for full overhauls. I tend to agree, though, that she'd be a prime candidate for one.
Is it possible for my boy to get his update this year?
He's near the top of the list. I don't know that he'll get his turn this year, but hopefully!
How do you feel about Skarner's current state, Liked his update but the constant nerfs really took my fun out of playing him.
Mixed bag. I know there are players out there playing and enjoying him, and that makes me pretty happy. Skarner's got an identity crisis going on, however, and his update didn't help that. Really wish I'd done better on that front.
And just congrats on the Quinn update. It makes me so happy that you took an ADC that people often forgot about and could be considered the worst adc and made her into a high tier threat.
Thanks! It's great to see her having success. I hope it's a long term thing, and not because of power level :)"
What do you think about auto-targeted spells on ranged champs like Annie/Sona/Fiddlesticks/Kayle/Nunu?
I think these spells can be good additions to kits as long as they don't enable the champion's output to be 100% reliable. Currently, I don't think we utilize targeted spells as well as we could.
Do you guys still think auto-targeted/low counter-play ranged moves have a place in this game?
As mentioned above, yep!
I mainly ask because those that have them tend to be the ones that have you guys looking THE MOST confused when it comes to properly balancing them.
Characters with these types of spells tend to have the highest reliability profiles in the game. Being reliable at something, especially when it's like the "thing" you bring to your team, is a good thing. Being reliable at pretty much everything you do tends to result in flat gameplay. You either reliably win or reliably lose. I agree with your assessment of how we deal with these champions, however."
What are the main objectives for the mage update?
We'd like to make champions within the role more distinct, both in playstyle and strategic value. Also, we'd like them to be able to express power in ways that aren't necessarily just burst damage and crowd control.
Do you think immobile mages are at a huge disadvantage against the very mobile midlaners that we have right now?
They can be. I think the main issue is that they tend to have binary matchups with what often feels like predetermined outcomes. I hope we can address some of this.
Will the patch include a better itemization for CDR?
We've talked about it. No definitive plans yet, however.
Will new items be included to help immobile mages to deal against the amount of gapclosers there is in the game?
Not sure if we've specifically discussed an item with this purpose, but it seems promising. I'll keep it in mind.
Do you feel that skarner's rework didn't quite made it to the objective you guys had in mind. I feel like he even less played than before.
I think it fell short in a few meaningful ways, yes. However, I don't think that play rate is really an issue. We expect him to be a less popular champion, and the point of his changes were aimed more at providing a valuable, unexplored gameplay niche than they were to make him more popular in the long term.
Was it in your plan to remove skarner from the possibility of him going top lane?
No, but that was the outcome. If I could go back in time and start Juggernauts design from scratch, there would be a bunch of stuff I'd do differently on Skarner."
How do you feel about Bushwhack?
I wish it felt like a bigger part of her Hunting pattern, either through vision or zone denial. She's already pretty complicated, though, so something would probably have to give to make that happen. It would be great if an enemy running over a trap felt awesome.
How do you feel about Quinn right now, and what do you think about nearsight and disarm?
Cautiously optimistic on Quinn right now. I hope she remains relevant as the new season starts, but we'll have to wait and see. As to nearsight and disarm, I was really nervous about putting those changes in, but they seem to have turned out really well. The nearsight can be frustrating to play against, but I think that can be solved with nerfs rather than big changes or reverts.
What was kept in the Taric rework?
Currently, I'd say his passive is the skill that is most similar post-rework to what it was pre-rework.
Will , , , and/or be changed in the Mage rework? Do you have any thoughts on these 4?
Any idea if , , , and/or be getting new passives?
Can't really comment on which mages will/won't be in the mage update yet, sorry.
Also, I know this isn't exactly on topic, but how do you feel about ? I've been thinking about them lately and I'm curious to see what people at Riot think.
It's great to see that so many players seem to love playing Kindred. I think they offer a really cool experience, and that they change the game pretty meaningfully when they're in it. I personally am not a fan that specific ultimate being on that champion, but I understand why it's there and I think Wrekz and the rest of the Kindred team made an awesome champion."
First, I would ask if the mage update is going to involve changes to the mana itemization and CDR?
We've begun talking about Mana itemization, but whatever changes we make in this regard are not likely to be as robust as the Marksmen itemization changes. Personally, I think that's okay, since it seems like mage items are mostly pretty cool and unique already.
Second, What kind of Direction are we looking at with Kog? Are we going to cement him as an ADC? Are we going put power back into his AP build? Are we going to support an AP/AS build? What kind of build options should we expect?
I would love to put some power back into Kog'Maw's ultimate. I think there's room to add some power to him, and I think amping up his R would be a meaningful, needed change to make the playstyle feel like it should."
Do you regret making Ryze even more of a straight mana-building spambot?
There are several things about Ryze I wish I could redo or go back and fix, but making him a mana-building spambot was intended.
Can you give any insight as to how different new Taric is?
Visually and in gameplay, he is truly, truly different. I think he will be less changed than Sion overall, but more than Poppy. His gameplay is still very battle healer, just very different.
Opinion on the current state of Kog and Quinn?
  • Kog - Honestly, there are a bunch of people here that are really scared of what the game looks like if Kog'Maw is really strong, and I just don't see eye-to-eye with them. There is a hunch that he will be broken in an organized team comp, and it may turn out to be true in pro play, but I really don't feel like it's fair to Kog'Maw players that we've been so conservative in his balance. I really do think he offers a unique and fun experience to players, but I can totally understand people that says he's not worth putting the effort into playing at the moment.
  • Quinn - I'm pretty happy with how things turned out with Quinn, though I still feel really bad for all the players that no longer enjoy playing her. I know there are a lot of players out there playing her and enjoying her at the moment, but it still sucks to know that the update ruined her for some people. Quinn was a big learning experience for me in how I approach the Group Update changes in the early stages, and I hope that change in mindset makes my upcoming mages less polarizing for their current players.
Would you be willing to share information on the "minor changes" to Vel'koz in the immobile mage update?
No specifics on the champions in the Mage Update, sorry.
Who/what do you feel is the most unhealthy for the game right now?
For a singular champion, I think it's almost embarrassing that Rengar exists in his current form, and we tend to act like it's not an issue. As for the single thing I think is most unhealthy for the game, I'd say its incredible barrier to entry."
Just out of interest will taric still have his heal and the passive armour aura or is this a complete rework with all new abilities, already know that his point and click dazzle will be gone. Extremely hyped for this btw.
Taric will still heal, and he will still be a high Armor, Armor-loving champion. Few, if any, of his skills will be the same as they are on Live.
Do you consider olaf to be a juggernaut, if so do you have any plans on giving him a rework?
We do consider Olaf a Juggernaut. We no longer have plans to give him a full rework at the moment, but we were considering one in the update that we ended up not doing.
The basic premise was that Ragnarok was an event that, once triggered, it became more and more intense and lasted until the end of the game. Ideas for it were something like "When Olaf hits level 18, all champions on the map constantly have their current Health reduced by X% each second for the rest of the game." I'm glad we didn't do this in the long run, but I really wish I could have at least seen it in action.
What do you think of how most of the adcs are following the same cookie cutter builds?
Definitely not ideal, though I'd also say it's not the most surprising outcome ever. Things like this usually end up becoming cookie cutter."

With the immobile champion update, have you considered adding anti-mobility tools to some of them (at least, the most vulnerable ones)?
Yes, but we are trying to do it in ways that aren't simply "stop dash in progress." Hopefully we make some good progress in this regard.
Do you think mage-y champions have enough item diversity?
I think item diversity is pretty good for mages, strictly as far as options go before considering things like gold and slot efficiency, which I haven't personally put a ton of thought into yet. As far as Deathcap goes, I can see a case being made that it limits design space and build diversity.
Will we ever see a champion that can do something similar to good old AP yi (the one with AP ratio on his Q)? I know it was really toxic, but I think its gameplay was funny and I'd like to see a champion with a similar but healthier playstyle.
I feel like Katarina is still kinda that champion, unless you're referring more to the healing aspects of old AP Yi."

Changing the W passive. As someone who played Garen since season 1, this is almost a straight reversion to the old W that was changed in patch V1.0.0.145. And back when it was changed to the pre-reworked version (i.e. the bonus 20%) their was much rejoicing from Garen players. What was your reasoning for changing it back to the old version after so much time?
One of the reasons for this change is that we were trying to set up Juggernauts to feel really good as Health stackers, and flat resistances synergize very well with Health stacking. The other is that I wanted to make sure there was some gameplay behind it in a way that allowed it to function well with few points in the skill.
Changing his power pattern. Old Garen was very strong in lane, but fell off late. While new Garen is okay in lane, but is now a late game champion. This is the biggest reason I don't play Garen anymore, as his power pattern was completely flipped from early game bully to late game terror. What was the reasoning for doing such a drastic change on his power profile?
Garen had a reputation as someone of a joke champion with a reputation of being able to be ignored if the game ever went past 25 minutes or so. We wanted Juggernauts to consistently be threats throughout the game, and I couldn't let his early game be quite so strong if he would also remain dominant in the later stages."

What do you focus on most when reworking champions?
This may be a personal preference, but I think I try to focus most on finding a unifying gameplay hook that I think is good and thematically appropriate. Seeing as I work in updates to existing champions, sometimes this is already done for me, and sometimes I get/have to do it. Ashe has permaslow/kiting, Ryze has his passive, Quinn has her R, etc.
Having that one thing (or sometimes two things) to build everything around really helps me a lot to make decisions.
Do you ever find it hard to relate a character's theme to their gameplay and if so what do you do to get around this?
All the time. I think this is one of the hardest parts about working on an update, in fact. To use Taric as an example, thinking about Gem Magic should actually do was pretty difficult, open-ended, and up to interpretation, and usually when I find myself in situations like that, I try to rely pretty strongly on player expectation more-so than what I personally think "Gem Magic" is. Hope that makes sense in some way. That was a weird answer.
IDK if you work with the numbers but if you do, how do you figure out what number "work"?
In the past, I spent a lot more time fiddling with numbers and trying to get them right on my own. With how much our playtesting team has grown and improved over the past year, and with taking on more and more projects, I mostly just try to do what I think makes sense and let the testing team inform me when things seem out of line. There's also PBE feedback down the line, but that can be hit or miss. At the end of the day, I trust the Live environment to let me know when I've missed the mark. They always do...
As a support main, I was wondering if there was one support you could rework (other than Taric), who would it be and what would you do?
Kayle, because I think she may offer a really unique opportunity as a "Carry Support," or Alistar, because although he's functional and powerful, he seems so flat and prescriptive."

What direction would you say is the new Taric leaning more towards: Fabio Lanzoni or JoJo's Bizarre Adventure? Perhaps you could've somehow managed a spicy mix of both? Or nothing of the sort? Can you guarantee he'll stay outrageous.
Probably more of a mix of both. He should definitely be remaining outrageous.
What's going to happen with the way they itemize from now on? Are you aiming for flexibility and strategic decisions, or maybe solving their innate issues upfront and then evolving the way they build?
We've started looking into Mage Itemization a bit already, with an early focus on thinking about what Mana itemization means and looks like. It's likely it's not just a Ryze stat anymore, and that Tear and RoA builds aren't the only paths to Mana.
Will there ever be a time you'll explore building gameplay into a 3D plain?
I'll be honest and say I have no idea what the technical challenges involved in something like that would be.
Has there been a time the developing teams thought about going through with their "wild" ideas and how did that impact token champion's development?
Depending on your definition of "wild," I'd say this type of thing happens all the time. Corki's "The Package / Special Delivery" and Garen's "Villainy" are products of some wild ideas that made it into the game. 
We've had other ones that we pumped the brakes on as well. At various points in time, we saw stuff like Udyr was spawning crazy additional neutral monsters during Juggernauts development, Olaf triggering literally game-ending events, and Fiora teleporting an enemy to far off lands to duel them."

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