Red Post Collection: Jhin Q&A, Status of upcoming Solo Queue, Duskblade of Draktharr discussion, and more!

Posted on at 8:59 AM by Moobeat
[UPDATE: LCP Episode 8 is up! Check it out for more on Hextech crafting! ]

Today's red post collection includes  a look at the recent Jhin Q&A, Axes with a post on the upcoming Duskblade of Draktharr item, Socrates and Lyte commenting on the new champion select and upcoming solo queue, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

League Community Podcast: Episode 8 - Inside Hextech Crafting

The eight episode of the League Community Podcast is up and focuses on the upcoming HEXTECH CRAFTING system!
"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 got to know a couple members of the Hextech Crafting team and picked their brains on the upcoming feature, progression systems, and of course, phat lewts."

You can also find the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, or check out past episodes here!"
For more information on Hextech crafting, check out our PBE coverage!

February 2nd Patch Update

Following the 2/1 patch update, a small hotfix was pushed to live on the evening of February 2nd to fix issues with High Noon Jhin's E and Spectator Mode!
High Noon Jhin 
  • HOW GAUCHE - Fixed the explosion particles for E - Beauty in Death 
Spectator Mode 
  • ONLY YOU CAN SEE ME, SUMMONER - Sona no longer causes Spectator Mode to crash during the loading screen"

Duskblade, AD Assassins, and You 

Riot Axes has returned to the boards to discuss Duskblade of Draktharr, an upcoming AD assassin oriented item that is currently testing on the PBE!
"Hi folks, 
We’ve put a new item on the PBE aimed at solving a few of the problems AD-scaling Assassins face when interacting with the item system. 
The current item details are: 
Duskblade of Draktharr 
  • Recipe: Serrated Dirk + B.F. Sword + 850 gold (3250 total gold)
  • +75 Attack Damage
  • +5% Movement Speed
  • UNIQUE Passive: +10 Armor Penetration
  • UNIQUE Passive: Basic attacks on an enemy champion apply Nightfall (120 second cooldown).
  • Nightfall: After 2 seconds, deal physical damage equal to 90 plus 25% of the target's missing health. If you get a kill or assist on the target before Nightfall ends, the cooldown is refunded.
I put a preliminary post on this up in December here when we were a bit earlier in iteration: 
First, the obvious. AD assassins aren’t, as a group, weak at this point. A few aren’t performing well, and a few are performing a bit too well. That said, the challenge we’re trying to solve with Duskblade isn’t one of strength, even though this item will definitely impact character strength. 
This will make more sense in a chain of events as they currently happen in League (I’ll explain the points in a sec): 
  • There is poor itemization support for AD assassins (2-4 core items + random AD items)
  • An AD assassin champion is made and doesn’t succeed because of the above
  • We build additional power into the AD assassin’s kit
  • AD Assassins that succeed are the ones with more levels or synergize well with the current hodgepodge of AD items
… all of the above leads us to our current approach, which is: 
  • By building real AD assassin items, we can actually gauge an AD assassin’s performance along the same item progression as other champions
… which means that we can balance for those champions who are too weak or strong. 
Breaking it down: 
AD Assassins don’t feel well-supported by the item system... 
Once again, not champion strength. I’m talking about the feeling of support. We’ve talked a lot about choice in the item system lately (e.g. the Marksman item rework), but that’s only one of the critical values provided by our item system. Another is adequately rewarding successes - something that our item system does pretty poorly for AD assassin champions. 
AD assassin builds typically are made of 2-4 items that suit them very well (exactly which items depends on the champion) and then a grab bag of whatever else they can find. The net result is that they’re rewarded a LOT for early success, but aren’t rewarded nearly as much while they’re slogging through their last couple items. 
... As a result we overcompensate on their kits. 
The other side of the above problem is that we have to balance these champions’ power levels around items that actually exist. 
Champions get meaningfully less power from items that are not optimized for them - an ADC gets less value out of Dead Man’s Plate than Tanks and Fighters do, and less out of Zhonya’s Hourglass than Mages. Because ADCs are fully supported with their own items, this is never a problem for them. If there are a few fringe cases where Dead Man’s Plate or Zhonya’s Hourglass is actually a good idea, it’s because they’re the optimal tool for very specific task, but the tradeoff needs to be significant (ie: loss of a 6th item slot for essentially cross-role ‘splash’ utility). 
AD Assassins aren’t similarly supported. They have too few items that are optimized for them, which means that they effectively just get less power - in many cases, much less power - out of the gold they spend later in a game. In order to balance them, that difference in power has to be compensated somewhere. 
We have a few main ways of doing that. Some AD assassins have fairly strong (or safe) lane phases that let them maintain a gold lead. So they might be getting less value out of gold (due to poor itemization), but this is offset by the fact that they have more gold to spend. This means, in turn, we get a lot of snowball champions. This isn’t inherently bad for the game, but not something we should be forced to do for all champions of a given class. 
Final point: if a champion’s kit can scale better later in the game than usual, we need to be aware of the tradeoff we’re making because it’s much more difficult to deny an opponent experience than gold. As a result, their power spike later in the game becomes extremely reliable (compared to a champion who relies on items). 
By fully supporting AD assassins in the item system, we no longer have to balance them around the assumption that their kits will be making up a sizable power deficit from items, which means that their kits can have either less guaranteed early games or less guaranteed late games, depending on the champion. 
And there’s collateral damage for item changes 
Because AD Assassins are cobbling together items from other classes, they’re very sensitive to changes done for other classes. For example, the Last Whisper changes at preseason hurt them quite badly even though they were generally successful for other classes of users - an Assassin’s best targets have very little bonus armor. 
By supporting AD assassins with distinct itemization, we both minimize cases where we accidentally damage their state (due to work on other parts of the game) and increase our ability to tune them when they’re strong or weak as a group. 
We can be up front about this, however: Duskblade is intended to be a core item for a lot of assassins (a first, second, or third buy, depending) and we will be balancing around it. That said, we do this anyway based on other items, it’s just a lot more random which items we balance which AD assassins around. 
... But AD assassins are frustrating. 
We understand that AD assassins offer low counterplay and significant frustration playing against and, by working on them, we risk exacerbating that in the short term. We feel this work is important because it puts us in a better position to address those pain points as well."

In response to a comment about Zed and his synergy with this new item, Axes noted:
"Zed's actually a poster boy for this effect - collateral damage from preseason items changes forced us to buff his kit directly. Itemization support means we don't have to load as much power in his kit. We're looking at a direct nerf in 6.3 alongside this item release and we will certainly be watching his performance going forward."

 When asked if they have more AD Assassin items planned for the future, Axes noted:
"Yes, we do, but not soon."

Axes also commented on why the new item is not melee only, explaining:
"It's not melee only. 
Short version - since I did mention the possibility before: 
Quinn has access to an assassin pattern - it is not her only pattern or necessarily her best pattern, but it's definitely there. This is a cool feature of her kit that we should support in the item system. Quinn buying Duskblade to enhance that pattern is a good thing, not a bad thing (if her kit's going to have the pattern at all). 
The big concern there was that it'd be an optimal choice for most Marksman playing a normal Marksman pattern. We're confident that isn't the case, so we're allowing for fringe usage for kits on the edge of assassin and marksman (Twitch, Graves, Quinn come to mind as possible users)."
Riot Axes continued:
Speaking of "collateral damage", I'm looking at this and I'm wondering - What exactly prevents it from becoming "core" on non-assasins? What stops me from getting this on jarvan, wukong or even lee sin considering their high burst potential without building much AD and going full tank from there resulting in the team having an effective tank who can just remove a squishy target from the fight (especially these 3 who don't have much problems getting to the backline) ? What I'm afraid will happen is the item will become a must-buy on alot more champions than just the "ad assasins", but the champs it's actually targeted at like Zed / Talon will get their damage/scaling nerfed to the ground because of the power this item brings.
The near-assassin fighters will likely consider it, and we might need to do some work on them on a champion-by-champion basis if they do. We're not likely to knee-jerk take it away from them if a few fighters use it and the gameplay's acceptable, but we're definitely keeping an eye on that.
Yes, the buildpath might not be the most optimal for some of the champions, but for the power of removing someone from the fight it's gonna be worth altering a build. I would suggest a change to the passive from "25% of target's missing health" to something alot more similar to Zed's ult - % of the damage dealt by the owner. I believe that'd help avoid the abovementioned "duskblade into full tank" cases, cause in it's current state it looks quite good to just get one of these on every champion, 1 soraka banana for 25% of someone's missing health? - Yes please
I'm pretty confident it won't be correct to build on every champion - most can't get the Nightfall proc to do much for them. 
Supports buying it to act as a damage mult for their whole team was something I stressed about quite a bit early in the item's development; playtesting (particularly the playtesting done by our dedicated Playtest Team) disabused my of that pretty fast. 
That said, if there are emergent use cases like that, our plan will be to leave it alone unless it's either really powerful (so we'd have to balance around it instead of AD Assassins) or really unhealthy playing against."
 Riot Axes continued:
There's all this talk about building core items for both larger and smaller champion roles. Are there any plans to add core items for all main and sub champion roles, or is it ok for AP assassins to share items with Mages?
The AP space is much different from AD - the stat is quite a bit more flexible. For example, Rabadon's Deathcap provides very different types of power for Janna, Malzahar, Xerath, and Diana - buffing/healing, area damage over time, poke power, and burst kill, respectively. 
We're still sorting out exactly how we want to approach the AP item space. I do think that there's work to be done there, but it's likely not the same kind of work that needs to be done for AD itemization. 
Sorry for being vague :/
How will this effect, if any, champions like Fiora, Riven, etc.? Is it intended to help them?
It's not intended to help them, but it might. In particular, champions who are very close to being assassins (Pantheon or Jarvan IV, maybe?) might tip over into being assassins again - Riven might be one of those, not 100% sure. 
It hasn't performed particularly well for champions who still have stuff to do 2 seconds into a fight - one big difference between Riven and e.g. Talon is that all of Talon's stuff goes on cooldown after he executes his combo, so Duskblade actually amplifies his whole pattern against one target, where Riven is typically looking for the next target to kill and so often gets more out of more general damage amps (e.g. The Black Cleaver, Lord Dominik's Regards). 
It's possible she'll use this anyway, of course."
Check out our 6.3 PBE cycle coverage for more on this new item!

Status of Upcoming Ranked Solo Queue

Prior to the start of the 2016 ranked season, it was announced that in addition to dynamic queue Riot would be adding a pure solo queue (as in no duo!) as an option for the 2016 ranked season and that this option would be added a few weeks after the start of the season.

When asked about the upcoming addition of the pure solo queue, Socrates noted it is in the works but the team's highest priority are fixes and changes for new champion select:

"Our highest priority right now is getting the new champ select up to the quality bar expected. You can see some of the issues we're currently tackling here under the list of bugfixes. 
We do not have a release date for solo queue yet. Once we have a target patch date we'll let everybody know."
Lyte added:
The initial launch of new Champ Select and Dynamic Queues was pretty shaky, and the team's been working around the clock to maintain stability and improve the experience. You can see a list of the upcoming improvements to the system here: 
It's taken just over a week to launch the new Champ Select to multiple regions around the world, and we still have a few servers to go. Once every server has the new Champ Select and Dynamic Queues, we need to go through a few cycles of peak times, see how the system performs on weekends, and do some pretty heavy monitoring to ensure that the new platform and system can withstand spikes in players like for the upcoming Lunar New Year or Easter weekend. 
During this period we'll be continuing to tweak matchmaking (especially for high skill players), monitor queue dodging/lock in fail rates, and implement a bunch of the features that players have been asking such as hiding pick intent from the opposing team, adding skin purchasing back to Champ Select and doing a timing pass on Champ Select so the entire experience is a bit quicker. 
There's also some development work left to finish Solo Queue, and we potentially may have to do additional stress testing and optimize hardware again to ensure a smooth launch. When we made the original announcement of Solo Queue, we expected to finish it in the timeline of weeks to month or two, and we'll update everyone as we go."

On Soraka PBE Q&A reverts

As you may have noticed in the 2/1 PBE update, the tentative Soraka Q & W changes were reverted. ricklessabandon popped on reddit to comment that they'll return in 6.4 PBE:
[1] "yup, yup. we'll bring those mechanics back in the 6.4 development cycle (their intended release). didn't have enough time to get the specifics sorted out on top of the other things going on in the 6.3 cycle. "
[2] "changes are aimed at 'game health' more than power adjustments. looking to address/improve things like interactivity, engagement, perceived fairness, frustration, satisfaction, etc."
As for why these particular changes went up so early, he shared:
"mostly because i like letting players see some of our iterative work, even if it won't see release (e.g., the katarina changes from a year ago). not only does it show that we do in fact iterate, but it lets me build a good personal knowledge base of what kind of changes evoke what kind of reactions. 
the alternative is to only put changes on the pbe we're already confident in. while that's an option, i think it leaves a non-trivial amount of value on the table so to speak."
When asked if he could start up a discussion thread about it, he noted:
"ah, i'll think about doing that. i usually just throw stuff out onto pbe/twitter and let players start their own discussions (if they're interested in doing so), but there might be value in facilitating some soraka chat. 
either way, i probably won't be too involved in talking about her until the 6.4 cycle when they come back to pbe. need to wrap up the rest of the 6.3 changes for now."

Shen Taunt Adjustment soon

Following his champion update in 6.2, a few players have noted a few inaccuracies with Shen's hitbox and his E! Riot Ranger XIV has commented on this, noting it was unintentionally changed and will be adjusted:
It's just frustrating to see an enemy who you clearly hit with your hitbox and model walk away as if your E was low on their priorities list. I've passed over enemies multiple times, and times that my taunt looks like it should have landed it did not do so. 
Please, Riot, you took away his only range, at least give us a more reliable CC. It's his staple move, and it feels weaker than ever.
Hello Melledoneus and other people that have commented about this. 
I looked into it with the designer of the Shen rework and I think we found the issue! 
Without going deep into what was going on we did in fact change Shen's taunt and that is not what we wanted. 
The range was a little off at the end, not so much the width. I think that is caused more by Shen's model being a bit bigger but yes, the end point wasn't where we wanted. We have made a few changes to it which I hope fix the problems 
Hold on just a little bit longer, I apologize for the mistake and thank you for bringing this attention to the issue! You guys are fantastic, thank you!"

Riot Ranger XIV continued:
"This fix should also help the E flash, let me know if it doesn't. :D"

Ward Sounds and Trinkets in 6.3 

In a thread asking if about Ward Skins and if they could use their unique sounds when created by yellow and blue trinket, VonderHamz noted this change is tentatively going out in 6.3:
"Hijacking top comment to say I actually changed this earlier this week because it was bugging me too. Should be live next patch. 
Yellows will now play ward skin sound. Blues play ward skin sound + blue aura sound. Reds are still red. Glorious time are ahead for all those that ward." 

Where do all the sounds come from?

When asked where the sound team gets all the sounds they end up using to construct our various in-game sounds from, VonderHamz explained:
"Sound design my dude! The basics of it is combining sound from a bunch of sources (library, custom recordings, synths) that fit the thematic of the character you're trying to build, and processing the sounds in the computer to create one single sound. Then combining a bunch of sounds together in game to create the sound of one ability. The average ability will have sound for the cast, the sound of it traveling through the air, the sound of it hitting a minion, a different sound for hitting a champion, and sometimes more, depending on the ability. Then each of those sounds will have multiple variations, so each time you do the ability it sounds a little different. 
There are currently about 9 of us that do all the sound design for everything in LoL. Every sound in game is a custom asset made by someone on the team. And there's sound for pretty much everything whether you notice it or not (even mushrooms in the jungle have sound). 
We have a library of stuff (explosions, animals, guns, different materials, hits, foley etc. + a bunch of custom assets we've created for champs and skins) that we dip into, but we also go out and record different things as often as we can, depending on what project we are currently working on. For example, we recorded a bunch of vegetables breaking for the Zombie Nunu and Slayer skins, or RiotKatateMoney recorded a bunch of rocks smashing and falling for the poppy rework. We also do smaller recordings for smaller things in game - Snowday Bard's meep-guins are sound designers making penguin sounds, Arcade Riven's "K.O.!!!" is the voice of the sound designer that did all her SFX, the harmonica in High Noon Jhin's ult was myself playing it in my room, then processed a bunch, all of Rek Sai's VO was various animals combined with different sound designers vocals; there's a ton of different examples. 
Not sure if that really answered your question, but that's the short version of what we do. Were you looking for something a little more specific on how we make a sound?"

Porofolia continues!

Porofolia continues on the BR server and that means more poros dressed as champions art for us!

Check back on the Porofolia website over the next week for more art each day!

Jhin Q&A

With Jhin's recent release, several folks on the team behind him gathered on the boards to host a Q&A!

To start us off, here's ADillonMostDirty with an introduction:
"Hey everyone!

We've gathered a bunch of Rioters from the Jhin team for some Q&A about the Virtuoso himself! Whether you're interested in Jhin's gameplay, story, or art, ask away and we'll be happy to answer!

Check out these links if you need to get up to speed:

As usual, I've sorted the majority of the more interesting or revealing responses into similar groups for convince!


When asked if Jhin was born out of a kit idea or something else, gypsylord  commented:
Gypsylord was the designer for this champion right? If so, this one is for him: Is this one of the cases where you found a concept design you just absolutely loved and wanted to make a kit for (I recall you saying that was the case with Vi and Jinx), or was it something from scratch?
A little of both for this guy. I'd been wanting to do a "sniper" for about 2.5 years and had been pushing that concept when I had the chance. I was slotted to work on our next marksman and was excited to finally get that gameplay idea into the game (the other possibility being "geomancer ADC"). From there, the old "robot mystery cowboy sniper" who was originally Kindred felt like a great fit to pull out of the icebox and start jamming on with Warghbobo and BravoRay"

When asked about his feelings on Jhin exploring outside of bot lane,  gypsylord  explained:
Are you guys going to be comfortable if Jhin finds himself in more than one lane, or will you try to enforce specific positions for him?
We'd like Jhin to be able to duo lane as a marksman. If he goes anywhere else that's fine as long as he's not so powerful there that we have to balance his duo lane to be weak.
One place I have concerns about is jungle because I'm not sure if 2500 range pre-6 ganks are all that okay if he's super strong there."
gypsylord continued:
This is one thing that's made me wonder. 
"So powerful" is not a technical measurement. Does this mean "If he's equally successful in multiple lanes" or does it mean "If his off-role outpaces his designed role" 
Because Lissandra, Quinn, Graves, Vlad, Teemo, ect have all fit into both of those statements without adjustment. And if he's flexable in all roles except support, lets say, with a roughly equal success rate in each role, would that be allowable? 
When you're looking at these things what is it that make you say it may be time to adjust, is basically what I'm asking?
I'll use Vi as an example here since this actually happened to her. 
I designed Vi as a top laner. When she came out she was actually viable up there (heh Vi-able), but was MUCH stronger in the jungle. So strong in fact that she needed to be nerfed. Nerfs came in the form of R CD, Q damage/waveclear, and level 1 stats on W, all of which are CRUCIAL to being able to compete against things like Riven up top. So because of Vi's strength in jungle (and our decision to support her jungling) she was nerfed out of top lane. 
With Jhin, we want to support his duo lane marksman role over anything else which means we'd nerf his mid if we felt it was preventing us from making him strong bot. This does not mean we'd nerf mid Jhin "just cause" (I'd prefer if both could be strong)."

When asked why Jhin has AP scaling despite being an AD focused champion, gypsylord commented:
Why does Jihn have AP scalings on abilities that already have AD scalings? And why not add enough so he'd be viable as an AP caster?
AP scalings for Jhin are meant to make things like baron buff/any support who gives AP in the future feel better, as well as enable a few less viable trolly builds for players who like that kind of thing (dem traps doh) 
I didn't add AP scaling on the W and R because I'm pretty sure it would be unhealthy for either of those spells to be decent at poke damage. The range is too long. A very spell/sniping focused AP Jhin would be very cool to play but I don't think it would be good for the game. 
Tried this before with Jinx. Her W and R used to deal magic damage and have AP ratios. Some of the most fun I've had on the character but nidalee spears at those ranges just aren't okay."

As for his attack damage scaling with attack speed, gypsylord commented:
I have a gameplay question. 
Why make his AD scale with a percentage of his bonus AS instead of, say... having no bonus AS scaling at all? 
Were you just trying to create incentive to build Rapid Firecannon?
Originally I didn't allow him to scale with AS at all but this felt wrong in that it shut him away from massive subsections of the item system. Would have made it much harder to balance him when he just says "no" to half the things our systems team puts into the game to interact with ADC's."
In response to a comment that Jhin's Q seems less cool or out of place compared to the others,  gypsylord commented:
"I'll be the first to admit that Jhin's Q is his least "cool" skill, but it ties the kit together in two very important ways: 
  1. It provides waveclear and last hitting, which is something Jhin desperately needs thanks to his slow AA's and reload.
  2. It gives Jhin something to do between attacks/while reloading (it can be used as an autoattack replacement of sorts) 
IMO because of this, even though the Q might be seen as "lame," it contributes to the kit as a whole feeling smoother and more fun to play. 
It's okay for not every skill on a kit to be 10/10, especially the ones that tie the kit together in very important ways. Twisted Fate E is my favorite example of this. TF is all about throwing Q's, picking cards, and global ganks. He really doesn't need anything else to think about on his kit and so the E just give a simple steroid to encourage basic attacking and gives some AS to improve his attack frame (both of which make W feel really good)"
When asked why Jhin spawns flowers instead of trees like in his teasers, gypsylord explained:
Why when he kills someone (in game) the champion spawn his E and not another animation? The tree in the teaser would have been better in my opinion, it doesn't fit much that the "beautiful" death spawn one of his trap.
It doesn't spawn a trap though, it spawns a flower with the same effect as the trap. 
While I know that a giant tree might have looked prettier, this was a case where the in-game feel has to be a bit less pronounced than the "IRL" feel to assure good gameplay. 
Another example of this is Jinx's flame chompers. In the video they have a massive explosion and WRECK those robots. In game they're maxed last and deal magic damage, they tickle at best compared to what the video would have you think."
As for Jhin's zoom out on his R, Riot Jino commented:
Hello! First, like most others here, I am loving Jhin. I was curious as to what made you guys decide to do a top down / zoomed out look for his ult?
I absolutely love it. It reminds me of the view from games like Starcraft or the warcraft rts games. I get that league normally has a similar feel to it, but the ult really emphasizes that feeling. Were there any funny discussions or thoughts while coming up with the idea?
Thank you for loving him. It really means to us. :D While Jhin was in middle of development, we noticed that people love the zoom-out camera on World series games. We realized that we could use that tech on Jhin, since he has Long range ult :)"

As for interesting bugs from development, Riot Brightmoon  shared:
"One bug that stands out to me during development was you could make his Q grenade fly super far across the map under certain circumstances. It was like watching a football hail mary soar over Summoners Rift - made me laugh every time until we fixed it."
Kindlejack  added:
As a more direct question, I always like to ask - did any crazy glitches happen during development? And were there any unusual skills considered for him along the way?
I remember before all his animations were done his idle would have him splayed out with the gun through the centre of his model, he could walk and shoot but would always return to this hilarious pose and make the room laugh."

Art & Design

As for Jhin's arm, WAAARGHbobo explained:
"This keeps coming up so I'll make a separate post here. 
His arm isn't robotic. 
He's got a black body sleeve on. (in a creepy gimp way).
The gold armor on his sleeve is to protect him from the weapons magical recoil.
The shoulder is part of his weapon, It carries huge containers of magical energy shells."
WAAARGHbobo continued:
Wait are his legs the same deal then? To help him keep his balance while shooting?
Yep. And it's easier to keep clean than cloth."
When asked about the large lump on his shoulder, WAAARGHbobo explained:
What led to the huge thing on his shoulder?
The cloak hides the final 2 pieces of his rifle. The gun is attached to his shoulder. 
We were looking for Jhin to have secrets and be odd looking. The intention is for you people playing against him to go "WTF is on his shoulder!? " Then his ult happens and you discover-- oh crap he has a huge gun!"

When asked about the spelling of Jhin's name, Riot Jino commented:
1) Why Jhin and not Jin?
Jin was the first name we picked, however, we realized that there is Jinx and Name Jin could be confused in the champ selection phase. so we decided to name him Jhin :)
We are getting inspiration from everywhere."

As for Jhin's movements and animations, RiotLamz  commented:
How did you get him so right?! Had a few games on him yesterday, and I had a crazy good time. His flourishes on every action are incredible and completely sell the performance of each kill. Between the musical touches in his sound effects, the complete passion in his VO, and the way his entire kit demonstrates his character, I'm almost concerned I'll start to think too much like him....but I must play more and seek the perfect performance!
As a more direct question, I always like to ask - did any crazy glitches happen during development? And were there any unusual skills considered for him along the way?
I can touch on the flourishes since I helped animate Jhin. We wanted to make it feel like a stage performance when playing him, everything's exaggerated and has a flow to it, like a well rehearsed stage act. So when you come out of skills like the W and E for example, they have that transition flourish which leads into the walk, run etc. This helps give a sense of flow throughout gameplay, almost like every move is connected and confidently planned."
As for the concept behind his release skin High Noon JhinKindlejack   shared:
What was the oringinal concept behind High Noon jihn? Outlaw? or Bounty Hunter? 
Will skin only interactions (such as high noon jhin killing teemo's i like the way you die boy quote) that aren't Legendary tier or higher be a recurring trend?
High Noon Jhin is still as assassin for hire, and still as likely to kill his employers as his target. I like to think of Angel Eyes from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in terms of personality. 
I identified that if we can decide on a launch skin theme early enough (which is really difficult to do) we can get a few lines recorded along with the base script. This time it really worked out thanks to WAAAGHbobo and many others, but it won't always pan out so well."

Story & Personality

When asked about the original idea to have Jhin be more of a western theme rather than Ionian,  Squad5 commented:

Why was the idea to make him a cyborg cowboy scrapped? Why was there a need to bind him to Ionian lore? 
That concept would have fit very nicely in Noxus or in an outpost along the Shurima desert. I know you guys wanted to keep him that way, judging by the fact that there are unique voice lines tied to his High Noon skin only. Plus, compared to his current look, I think the green and black cowboy you posted in the making-of article looked very awesome.
 I was always a big fan of the cyborg cowboy from the first piece of concept art that I saw of it. In regard to tying him into Ionia it wasn't really a need but more of an opportunity. Through Jhin we get to see a new side of Ionia. We see not only a darker aspect to their society (with him being released to kill again) but also show the fact that Ionia has different weapons and styles of fighting than things like the ninjas or the more mystical fighters. 
Jhin's an entirely different side of Ionia, and I think his existence actually gives more depth and insight into that society.
 WAAARGHbobo added:
"Western isn't really in universe. We are trying to develop the world. 
Jhin give us a chance to show that Ionia is in transition. The attack on their nation changed them. They are embracing technology they had previously thought unnecessary, and they are questioning their morale foundations. Jhin is the true villain of Zed and Shen's story-- and he represents everything that could go wrong for Ionia."

WAAARGHbobo  continued:
Speaking of Noxus invasion over Ionia, will we learn more about the events since some parts of the lore doesn't fit anymore with the retcon? We got more insight about the events with Yasuo lore and Jhin lore, but we still haven't got details about how it ended and what really happened during the war with the retcon. 
On a side note, I really love Jhin design! I for a long time waited for a new ionian champion and Jhin shows that Ionia is not all about balance and that's really interesting. I'm excited to see his "color" story! Great job on this champ! Gameplay, lore-wise and his design is simply elegant and well done. 
PS: I've always been a fan of Gyspsylord's champions starting with Vi, Jinx, Ekko, Gnar and now Jhin!
Foundations team is working on stuff to reveal a better view of the world. I can say whenever possible we honor what came pre-retcon -- but when we can't we can't. We look for ways to show alternate ways to view the old story. So for example. Zed-- killed Shen's dad. LoL players know one story for why he did it... but that's not the whole truth."
Kindlejack  added:
This has been irking me for quite a while 
Why have him being Ionian? 
His demeanor and color on the outfit yells DEMACIA! First thing I thought when I saw his cape i thought of Fiora, (white/purple/gold colors) 
He doest quite fit in the ionian picture, gotta admit doe that makes him quite the oddball there
Not everyone is dressed in the colours of their country. Another point is that many colours are shared by countries; eg. Red, White and Blue are the colours of the French, UK, Russian, Australian, Cambodian, Chilean, Cuban, Liberian, Norwegian, Slovenian, Taiwanese and American flags. 
Demacia's colours are Blue, White and Gold. Fiora's clothing is very similar to Lux in colour and follows Demacian nobility's design. 
Ionia's colours are White, Teal and Honeysuckle, but again Ionian champions don't always wear these colours. 
I think with each champion we get a greater understanding of these places they are from, and just how big and diverse they are. 
Hope this helps!"

When asked how powerful Jhin is lore-wise, WAAARGHbobo  explained:
How powerful is Jhin lore-wise?
Also, what is Jhin to Bard and Kindred, the big trio of spirits since Bard is essentially life since he guards the universe and Kindred is essentially death since... they are death?
He is not a god or spirit like some of our champs. But arguably he could have a greater of an effect on the world. A bad man in the right place at the right time... can tip the world into chaos."

As for if Jhin has any relationship with Karma as they are both from Ionia, WAAARGHbobo commented:
What's Karma's relationship to Jhin and the faction of the council that freed him?
None. She grew up in Ionian though, so she's heard stories of the Golden Demon. She wouldn't believe you if you told her he was free."

When asked what Jhin might think of champions like Shaco, Nocturne, and Fiddlesticks, gypsylord commented:
What Jhin thinks about other murderers like Shaco, Nocturne or Fiddlesticks?
I'd imagine he thinks they're pretty crude. Jhin believes death should be beautiful and deaths that aren't a "performance" feel like somewhat of a waste to him."

WAAARGHbobo also commented: on Jhin's general impressions of ... people:
What Jhin would think about Syndra? She is another Ionian who was held back because of Ionia's hesitation towards anything violent, and I wonder whether he feels they have that in common or not.
Jhin isn't really interested in people. To him your are either useful for his next performance-- or not."

Kindlejack  also theorized on what Jhin might think of Yasuo:
"Yasuo is dishonoured, which is a pretty damning mark. I wonder if Jhin would think it was beneath him and not proper material for a perfect performance?

As for Jhin's favorite food, WAAARGHbobo noted:
What is jhins favorite food?

When asked about the relationship between Jhin's teaser and Garen, Sona, Vi, and Zed, Kindlejack commented
In the teasers,did Jhin kill Zed,Sona,Garen and Vi or was it something else?
If he did how come they are still alive?
If he didn't,what was it that he did to them.What was the purpose of the teasers?
Jhin was imagining their deaths, but he didn't actually kill them. 
WAAARGHbobo added:

Was pretty bummed out he didn't actually have any lines for VI, even though she was in the teaser. Can you at least let us know why he wants/would want to kill her, or what his opinion of her is?
So the promo is not 1-1 with the champ. For visual interest.

But Jhin did have some lines making fun of VI... which were actually thinly veiled pokes at Gypsylord. They were cut before record."

WAAARGHbobo continued:
Noooooooooooooooooooo, please find a way to add them back in ;-;
They were never recorded. Too meta. 
I think one was (mocking her voice) "I like punching people!" (then back in his own voice) "You don't have any design do you? 
If they had been great they would have made the cut."

When asked how they start designing personality and VO lines, WAAARGHbobo commented:
One part of champion design I've always been interested in is their in-game quotes. Could you tell us a bit about the process of writing dialogue and picking which lines ultimately get in game for Jhin/champions in general?
In general it starts with what's called "story sketches" These are short stories (2 to 9 pages) written internally for the champion team. They explore who the character could be, how they could talk, what they want, how people view them, and how the character goes about getting what they want. Once that's done and approved --- different writers have different methods. Personally, I just start writing. When I have 50 or so lines I show them to stakeholders and the pod. Gather feedback and then write 200+ more lines. Cull stinkers. Record. After record the sound designer, editor, and writer review what lines worked and what didn't and then they go into test games and into translation teams."

Group Questions

Last up are a series of group questions and answers!

gypsylord group questions #1
Did Jhin craft his mechanical augments and weaponry himself, or did he have outside help? 
Also, should we expect more unconventional methods of attack for newer marksmen, like Graves's/Jhin's ammunition system or Draven's Spinning Axes?
Jhin crafts his bullets himself, and influenced the designs of his weaponry (although he did not make the gun himself). 
With Jhin and Graves we realized "new attack paradigms" are something we can do with marksmen but that doesn't mean every one in the future is going to have one. There's a lot of people who really like the standard "AS scaling basic that crits" and how it works in conjunction with a "standard" marksman's kit."

gypsylord group questions #2
I haven't been reading through this, so sorry if I repeat a few questions.
1: The most surprising thing about Jhin was that his ult zooms out the camera farther than the game's max zoom. Xerath is also a champ with a ridiculously long-range ult. Have you considered giving Xerath the same zoom out ability? If not, why?
2: Due to the significant power Jhin's auto-attacks can have, it makes sense that you heavily restricted his attack speed. When I first learned of this, it immediately reminded me of a "reverse Karthus". Would it be fair to say that just as Karthus has an ability that's an auto-attack, Jhin has an auto-attack that functions as an ability (due to higher "CD", scaling, resource management)? Was this your intention? If it was, was it in aid of any over-arching design goals? 
3: Jhin was released a few days after the patch was released. While there are always delays, this has to be the longest one in recent memory. Was this only to give the Shen rework some "breathing room", did you need time to finish up the 2nd champ spotlight, or is this a new trend for future releases?
1) Xerath ult probably can't have the zoom because of its range and the fact that it's a circle, not a cone. Jhin's ult actually had to be SHORTER than I wanted it to be to accommodate the zoom. There's a point you get too where the zoom out is too far and things start looking really bad. 
2) Not a specific intention, but you can think of his attacks that way. Jhin plays much closer to a mage than other marksman because of his slow attacks. Each one is like casting a spell with a CD. 
3) There's a lot of different things that compete for log-in screen space that we have to consider. E-sports, Skins, champ-ups, new champs, and holiday events all want their fair share. Sometimes one thing will get pushed a bit to accommodate something else. In Jhin's case, he was sharing space with Shen update and Lunar Revel."

WAAARGHbobo group questions #1
Zed I can understand, but why chase the other 3 targets? 
So Jhin appears to still kill both civilians and whoever he's told or paid to kill. Why won't anyone, especially the people who freed him, reign him in? 
Will we ever know why he became a killer? As in, what was the moment that set him on his path? 
So he was never tortured in prison? Did the government give him prosthetic limbs or did he do that himself? 
He has a lot of lines for Zed, and doesn't like Shen's father, but what are his views on Shen? 
Now that he's freed, what do Zed and Shen think about Jhin? Any chance on a confrontation? 
Where did he get his equipment, most notably his gun? 
Before he was caught, how did he kill his victims? Has he always have his gun? 
How old is Jhin?
  1. Answered previously. The promo stuff shows people he imagines killing. Not 1 to 1 with lore. The team wanted more visual diversity.
  2. He is an instrument of terror. He is actually doing what they want him too.
  3. Personally I have a very clear idea of how that came about and intend to hint at it.... but ultimately giving the audience a simple answer isn't my style and would be inappropriate for this sort of character. Part of the power and fear a psychopath generates in fiction is we don't understand them.
  4. Ionian prisons are very humane.
  5. ?huh? He has a bunch of lines for Shen too.
  6. That's in his bio. Kashuri armory, southern Ionia. (And will be touched on in his color text (i.e. short story)
  7. He has a vo line about this. Blades.
  8. About 4 years older than Zed."

WAAARGHbobo group questions #2
Would Khada Jhin mean "golden demon" in Ionian language?
Is he missing an eye or does he cover it up?
Was he injured somehow or did he choose to modify himself with prosthetic?
Why does his mask disappear when he dies?
Why does his voice sound more machine like than human?
And how do I trigger the creepy humming / laughing at the start of the game, is it random?
  1. nope. Though it does mean golden excellence.
  2. He covers up a perfectly working eye and mouth.
  3. not injured.
  4. it looks cool. And it was made magically.
  5. He augments his voice using the mask. Meant to sound musical not mechanical.... hmmm
  6. random. He has banks of possible interactions.

WAAARGHbobo group questions #3
1: Why the number 4? Was he picked on in 4th grade or he had 4 hamsters or something :p
2: How does Illaoi and Jhin feel towards one another? I understand that Illaoi respects those who chase their passion, but I would find it strange if she approved of Jhin's terrorizing Ionia,
3: How powerful is Jhin's weapon, whisper? To elaborate. Is Jhin such an amazing shot that even if he used Caitlyn's sniper he would still flawlessly execute his target? OR does whisper improve his accuracy or something?
4: Is Whisper a gift, somthing Jhin made, or bought/stole?
5: Is he related to shaco in any way?
6: In his taunt towards jinx, he approves of her massive killing sprees, but tells her she lacks art. Atleast somthing in those lines. Does he see her as a lost cause? OR a potential student to learn his ways?
  1. Four is the number of death. Your life has three acts... then...
  2. She would not approve. For the same reasons she would be bothered by a compulsive gambler or alcoholic. He is doing the same thing over and over-- because he can't help himself. Hidden in Jhin's lines you can find the hints that he knows he's a monster and want's to stop.... but can't.
  3. It is very very powerful. But not as technologically advanced as Cat's gun. Kinda like comparing an elephant gun to a M16.
  4. It was made for him, and he modified it.
  5. nope.
  6. Some taunts are just there to be funny. I made a bunch of taunts for all of Gypsylord's characters. (though some got cut)

WAAARGHbobo group questions #4
Alright time for some narrative focused questions! 
1) Jhin got his gear from the Kashuri armories, but how did they get there? Are said armories filled with Ionian made weapons and armour or was Jhin's stuff in particular imported from somewhere like Zaun or Piltover? 
2) So I know that of course the only champion from the promos that Jhin has any direct relationship with is Zed, but I'm curious about Sona in particular. While a proper meeting between the two hasn't happened was Sona still in Ionia when Jhin was out and about? Hell would Sona even have been old enough to have access to news of a serial killer at the time? 
3) Jhin of course has his opinions of Ionia in general, but does he have any specific opinions about some of the more well known faces of Ionia? Karma, Irelia, Syndra and Lee Sin come to mind personally, but are there any stand out Ionian figures that hold Jhin's interest beyond Shen and Zed? 
4) Jhin's mask is clearly magical and there's something very odd about it. While the details probably aren't up for discussion at the moment do you have any hints to drop about it? 
Jhin's a really interesting character for me and he's a ton of fun to play, so thank you guys for making him as awesome as he is!
  1. The Kashuri Armories have been making weapons for a long time--mostly swords and bows. The war changed that. They began making poor copies of hextech weapons during the war. Now they have been "inspired" to make new weapons harnessing the abundant magic in Ionia. Hextech uses a little bit of magic very efficiently. Jhin's weapons use a lot of magic. 
  2. As hinted in his bio. Jhin frequently likes killing other famous artists. Sona is very, very famous.
  3. Not particularly. He has a passing interest in killing Yi. The Wuju school, dwarfed the success of Jhin's father's martial art school. ....opps I've said too much.
  4. nope!"

WAAARGHbobo group questions #5
I'll start off with the more art and character based quest-Jhins.
I love Jhin's voice, it might be my favorite so far! But i have to know, who is his voice actor?
We don't usually give this info out for a variety of boring reasons.
Speaking of his voice, what was the process like? Did you already know exactly what you were looking for, or were the auditions more broad.
We write a audition script. It contains references, clips, direction notes, a short bio, and even a picture of the guy.
What about his lines, what was it like writing and recording those?
Also, any lines that didn't make it into the game that you really wanted to?
Tons. I wrote well over 500 lines in a week. Then culled it down to 250. Then wrote 200 more. They all kinda smear together. 
I don't think his poems made it in the game. There were about a dozen and they were pretty brutal: 
"Spring swells rivers. Insects return after the rain. The corpse floats ashore."
"My first performance. Lovers whisper in darkness. Remove the husband."
"Black flower tattoo. Courtesain paints her lips red. I remove her jaw."
I know early on there was speculation that his name was Deadeye. Was that what you called him internally, or was that his title. And if so, how close to release did you change to to the virtuoso?
We usually have a temp name for champs. ---often a descriptor. Deadeye explained how he played-- and fit with his play better than sniper.
Why did you decide on Jhin being his name. Where did that come from? And why pick Jhin over Khada or Khada Jhin?
Naming is super hard right now. We are developing style-guides that explain the various locales in runeterra. This includes naming conventions. 
The language conventions docs are five or six page docs that probably only interest linguists and writers. From those loose rules, list of a hundred or so acceptable names are created... Then we begin culling till we find the best. 
..And yah, Jhin was almost named Khada. It was one of the top 3 names.

Was there any concern over his name sounding too similar to Xin or Shen? Because, depending on accents, Jhin, Xin and Shen all sound a lot alike. Especially when you are in skype and more than one of them are in the game.
Yep. This is why his full name is Khada Jhin.
If Jhin had to kill every champion in League. Which one do you think he would enjoy the most? Excluding Shen, Zed, Garen, Sona and Vi. As we already know he wants them dead. 
He has very specific plans for Zed and Shen. More to be revealed soon....
Can we see his initial Concept art or kit?
You guys finished him much sooner than most recent champions. How come Jhin got completed so much faster compared to the others?
It wasn't easy. And wasn't ideal.
And now on to the more game-play ones: 
Congratulations on Jhin, he is a fantastic addition to league. Everything about him is great, I really love his skin. And that Django quote is awesome.
ThanX. He has 16 pop culture quotes --not counting the western ones in the skin."

gypsylord answers / WAAARGHbobo answers /Kindlejack answer:
(1.) Is Jhin possessed by a demon or some unknown entity?
The reason I bring this up is because of two interesting things I've noticed about him. The first is that is his death animation; Jhin's mask levitates up the air off his face for a moment before falling back on top his face when he dies. This caught my attention because when I studied his death animation more, I noticed that it looks like he is reaching out in the air towards his floating mask, only for it to ram itself back onto his face (rather violently). Is some correlation between his mask flying and his desperate attempt to reach for it?
The second thing is his quote,"You've awoken something deep inside me." Now this quote can be interpreted different ways, like he is referring to his obsession, but I suspect there is something darker about our virtuous killer. Is there some unknown force that drives Jhin to this level of insanity, to the point where he views his work as art?
(2.) What is his reaction to Kindred? Does he show any appreciation towards them?
We know that before Jhin was caught, he worked as part of a Ionian theater. So, with that in mind, we know that Kindred has had some sort of theatrical representation with their backstory in "The Good Death". Is it possible that, because of his theatrical experience, that he has seen/heard of Kindred's myth? If so, does he have any respect for their work now that he gets to go up against the Eternal Hunters since both associate themselves with death; the only difference being that Kindred is the actual personification of death whereas Jhin enjoys inflicting death through his work of art?
(3.) Why does Jhin despise Illaoi so much?
This baffles me because from Illaoi's perspective, Jhin is "in motion". He is doing what he wants, which to her is what Nagakabouras wants. So why is it that our masked assassin hates her so much?
(4.) My final question, what exactly causes Jhin's victims to explode into lotus flowers?
  1. Nope no possession.
  2. The thing about Kindred is that they don't have "work" that can be shown. Being the grim reaper, Kindred "kills" people who are already dead. As such Jhin's performances effectively cause some of their appearances them rather than competing with them for kills.
  3. WaarghBoBO probably can give a better explanation for this. All I know is that he wrote both Jhin and Illaoi and likes to poke fun at his past work.
  4. Jhin's bullets are magical and crafted by him to create beautiful effects when they kill people. The flower is a specific "good gameplay approved" version of that for summoner's rift, but Jhin's bullets "IRL" likely have a lot of different effects.
  1. The question of demonhood (Sp?) Is and interesting philosophical question. Currently Jhin is a man-- a very driven and magically gifted one-- but only a man. In a land touched by so much magic... what would happen if he was killed.
  2. Only a passing interest as "an artistic theme" he could explore in one of his "works."
  3. Sooo... 'cause I worked on Illaoi just prior to him. (Also why he's so mean to Tahm Kench)
  4. The bullets are fueled by magic instead of a chemical reaction. He makes them himself.
We actually talked about this recall and how it might cause players to think that he was possessed by the mask. But it's really just a metaphor. It's all in his head."

Interested in more on Jhin? Check out our Jhin release post! 

No comments

Post a Comment