Red Post Collection: Aurelion Sol discussion, PBEChange Context, Riot acquires Radiant entertainment, and more!

Posted on at 12:36 AM by Moobeat

Tonight's red post collection includes discussion on Aurelion Sol, context on recent PBE changes for Alistar, Lux, Kalista, and Nidalee, Meddler mentioning Urgot's update has been iceboxed for now, a new Braum bundle up in the merch shop, news of Riot Games acquiring Radiant Entertainment, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Aurelion Sol Discussion & Community Stream

With Aurelion Sol revealed and up on the PBE for testing, we have a few red posts on our upcoming champion!

When asked what roles they've seen him perform best in, Dreckerr noted:
"Mid lane, we've seen him succeed in the jungle as well but he's a beastly mid in a lot of matchups."

When asked if Aurelion Sol's stars can benefit from spell vamp or Rylai's slow, Meddler noted:
"Aurelion Sol's stars do proc spell vamp, Rylai's etc, though at the AOE values."

When asked about the idea of making his stars rotate faster with cooldown reduction, Meddler explained:
"It's a bit hard to get a good read on it from the videos if you haven't played Aurelion Sol, but the stars are actually fairly tough to learn to use and to learn how to play against well. Adding a variable speed in there's going to exacerbate that and we want to try and avoid pushing Aurelion Sol into a spot like Azir's been in at times where he's just too punishing unless you've got a lot of games played on him. 
Additionally we don't think it's a problem at all if different champions place different values on different stats. Some mages really like CDR, others get lower benefit from it but value other stats more than usual. Anivia or Karthus for example really like mana because they can burn through a lot of it usefully, while CDR doesn't do as much for them because much of their damage is behind a mana gated toggle."
Itching for more on Aurelion Sol? Check out our 6.6 PBE cycle coverage for more information!
You can also [CLICK HERE] to check out a VOD of the League Community stream with Rabid Llama discussing Aurelion Sol!

Meddler Grab Bag: Taric, Urgot Rework, Kalista context, & more

Next up is a grab bag of interesting board posts from Meddler !

To start off, Meddler noted that Taric's large scale champion update will be after Aurelion Sol's release but before the next champion is revealed!
"Our expectation is that Taric's rework will come out after Aurelion Sol's release but before the next new champion is revealed."

Meddler also mentioned that the previously mentioned Urgot champion update has been iceboxed and would likely not be out this year:
"It's iceboxed. Gameplay direction on it wasn't working well enough, while other gameplay explorations for other champions also strongly in need of a full rework were (Yorick etc). We'll get back to him someday, it's very unlikely that'll be this year though so we're looking to do a bit of smaller work on him instead."
He continued:
"Iceboxed doesn't mean dead, it's instead a strong 'put on hold'. We haven't committed to specific champs for next year yet, Urgot's one of the strongest candidates for that period though."
[REMINDER: As far as champion updates go, last we heard Taric, Yorick, the mage updates, and potentially more would be out this year!]

As for context on the current PBE Kalista changes, Meddler noted:
"Kalista's too strong. For a champion who's effectiveness is intended to be interwoven more than usual with a team mate's she's also pretty self sufficient. We're exploring ways to both tighten the Oathsworn connection and remove some power as a result."
When asked if there are currently any plans to work on Akali's gameplay, Meddler commented:
"We'd like to rework Akali's gameplay at some point, most likely when we're in a position to tackle other assassins at the same time. That'd be focused on making her more distinct from other assassins and giving her healthier gameplay - power level/viability isn't a reason for us to rework a champion."
Last up, Meddler shared his thoughts on  both a Vacuum ability and a Polairty kit in response to a player's champion concept:
"Vacuum's risk creating extreme differences between average case and best case scenarios when paired with other champions. There's still a need to balance noticeably around the best case synergies though, so they can be pretty problematic both in terms of balance and in terms of how they warp team comps. We tend to be pretty cautious of them as a result. 
Polarity kits (if A do X otherwise if B do -X) can be really punishing on the player. In most situations the cost of failure is that you don't do the thing you're trying to do (skillshot misses for example) or you get a less optimal result (only hit one person with an Amumu ult instead of the team). With a polarity approach however failure means you get the exact opposite of the result you were trying for. That is a way to increase a character's skill ceiling, it also makes their skill floor a lot more difficult too however. It's often not a great way to give a kit more potential for mastery compared to other options as a result (assuming a goal of easy to learn/hard to master of course, if that's not a principle being used it's a different story)."

Context on Alistar PBE E changes

With large nerfs to both the mana cost and the heal of Alistar's E in the 3/9 PBE update, Scarizard jumped on reddit to comment that the changes were not intended to hit the PBE but they are looking at Alistar changes in 6.6:
"CONTEXT BOMB: So, what you're seeing here was never intended to hit PBE. This is an example of us testing with extremes - while the designer working on Alistar changes is likely to tune his heal this patch, this was a check-in for a very specific goal. That is, 'Let's do some gross outrageous numbers just to find the breaking point and see how far we can go'. It's intended to be pretty out of line, and then used as a base to tune from (i.e. if 110 mana / 120 healing is unplayable and 90 mana / 180 healing is overtuned, where do we move the lever etc). 
Thanks to an error in our overlay system, this got out sooner than expected. We're definitely targeting Alistar this patch (and likely his E spell), but not necessarily this hard or in this way (potentially changing mechanics over numbers)."
When asked about this sort of "extreme test tuning", Scarizard continued:
"Well, usually the MOST extreme tuning is done behind closed doors. Mostly because we have a really good idea of what we want to get out of the tests and to avoid an insane reaction to something we aren't even thinking of shipping."
As for why Alistar and his E are being looked at, Scarizard commented:
"Primary reason is stifling diversity specifically in pro play. People just sort of max the heal and ignore whatever happens in lane rather than saying 'I want Alistar for the strong engage!'. It's more like 'I want Alistar because it's nearly impossible to lose lane, he's good at pushing 3v0, -and- as a side benefit I get strong engage!'"

Context on Lux PBE Changes

In the 3/8 PBE Update, Lux received a few tentative changes to her shield including a value and AP reduction and more. Over on the boards, Meddler explained:
"We're nerfing Lux because she's too strong. 
For a bit more detail we're also looking to change how Lux's Shield affects targets it hits multiple times, so that it stacks rather than just refreshes. Goal is to make Lux weaker in terms of lane safety and ability to shield through sustained incoming damage, while keeping the spell potent when used to tag allies. Also adding some acceleration/deceleration to make the allied play a bit more accessible (similar to the way Ahri's Q functions).
Also worth mentioning that the numbers on the PBE aren't necessarily right. It's possible they're too strong a nerf, it's also very possible that with the change to stack instead of refresh they're too strong and we'll need to cut power further if that change tests well."
He continued:
"Her poke damage and pick potential are definitely strong, no argument there. They're intended strengths for her though, whereas ability to weather damage in trades as successfully as she can at present isn't to the same degree. We want Lux to be a bit more vulnerable to heavy trades/all ins than she currently is (trade off for that range in the first place). Nerfing the shield's pretty promising as a result. 
As a general rule we'll try and remove unintended strengths from a champion when nerfing them if possible, rather than nerfing their core identity. Desire there is to preserve what makes a champion special and interesting. Sometimes we'll have to hit part of their core, if that's where the specific problems (counterplay for example) lie. If it's more a question of overall power though, we think increasing or creating a weakness will often lead to healthier, more interesting champions than nerfing a strength."

Context on Nidalee Passive PBE Changes

Currently on the 6.6 PBE, the team is testing a few nerfs to Nidalee including her passive's monster rooting effect and removing the AA reset from her R. 

When asked about the changes to the passive on the boards, Meddler noted:
"We're looking to reduce Nidalee's jungle dominance, she's out the point where she's pushing out other champions. Initial reaction to testing on the Prowl not rooting monsters change is that it may be too large a hit. We'll be trying a version where traps root monsters but spears don't next."
[This version is on the PBE as of the 3/9 update]

ManWolfAxeBoss also commented over on reddit, in response to a length post on the changes:
"Nidalee has 4, arguably 5, attack resets right now. It's overkill and it's obfuscated power that only a few players know how to access. (Not to mention, none of the other stance swappers have resets on swap.) "But it's been in for 7 years," isn't an argument. 
It's not about removing mechanics core to a champion, it's above removing cheatiness, which she still has plenty of, and cleaning up dangling bits. Taking away hidden power also buys us currency for future changes where we can put it back into places that everyone can access, effectively bridging the gap between low and high elo Nidalee players."

Champion Updates and Skins 

With all this talk of champion updates, Riot KateyKhaos jumped on the boards to once again comment on why Yorick , who has a large scope update in the works, likely won't get a skin until after the update launches:
So, a bit of clarification here. 
You're right, Yorick hasn't had a skin in forever, and if you play Yorick, it's not a great feeling, especially when other champions see a lot more love in terms of skins. 
Yorick has been on the rework list for a while, and he's finally listed on the Champion Update Schedule, which means, he'll finally be in a good place for us to give him skins again! 
But why can't you just give him a skin now? 
We could, but there are two majot reasons why we choose not to. 
Let's say we changed Yorick so he had no ghouls, and three months earlier we gave you Crazy Cat Lady Yorick. You'd probably be pretty pissed that we took away those adorable cat ghouls. Not cool, right? We don't want to rip apart a skin that players have been attached to - especially when it can be avoided, like in this case. 
The lesser reason here is that it means that Champion Update, the team working on the new and improved Yorick, would have to take the work we did and change everything to make it fit for the new kit/update. So, that would mean more time spent on both the Skins team and Champion Update team, which could be used to make more skins / update more content. 
So, for those two reasons, we've been holding off on giving Yorick another skin until after Champion Update pushes their update to live. Once that happens, we have free reign to drop a sweet Yorick skin. ^-^ "

More on upcoming Rotating Game Mode Queue

Following Monday's announcement of the new Rotating Game Mode Queue, RiotStephiroth popped into the thread to answer more questions !

RiotStephiroth elaborated on the new queue, explaining:
"Hey Beatzboy~ 
We'll be announcing the full schedule of modes soon :) so just hang tight. 
This is a new permanent queue! So the idea is for it to continue to exist, and for us to bring you featured game modes more often! 
We pick the game modes based on a lot of factors, usually focused around timing (what can we deliver and where does it make sense to deliver it), and popularity/reception. We want to make sure we release fun game modes that you guys will enjoy! :) 
In terms of champ mastery, people will earn what they hopefully feel is a fair amount. You're probably not going to receive the same amount of points for an S+ on SR and an S+ on URF, for instance. We're going to be weighting these pretty consciously to make sure that people are earning at a fair and balanced rate. 
It's not necessarily true that there's "no mastery" in featured modes, but there are varying degrees of mastery for sure :) And we want to balance that. Personally, I think with the recent tie-ins to Loot and Mastery, it would be sad (or almost punishing) to not give players mastery for playing in this queue. 
Hopefully this answers most of your questions :)"
When asked about the timing of only weekends, RiotStephiroth commented:
"Hey Raoul! 
Good questions :) 
There's a few reasons we have chosen this kind of time frame. Typically the lifetime of the featured game modes (aka the actual activity in the queue) did not really match with the amount of time we were previously putting them on. So the idea is that we're going to more properly line up with the peaks and troughs of the game modes with this schedule.
We chose weekends specifically to make it more accessible to most players. We will be analyzing the data from these runs to inform future runs of the modes! 
Also as a note, we're not tied down by the schedule we announced. We're going to be monitoring the queue and activity and making sure that this schedule is appropriate, and if it's not, we'll adjust! 
ootay~ ootay~"
She also commented on the potential return of the popular Ascension game mode, explaining:
actually with the dominion map being removed i don't think ascension is "most likely to appear"
I'd love for it to appear but it doesn't seem like it will now.
Even though Dominion and Ascension share the same map, they are totally separate game modes. Dominion being removed does not impact our ability to deliver Ascension!

Braum Bundle in Merch Shop

A new Braum bundle is now avaiable in the merch shop through March 18th! This limited time bundle includes a Braum figure, Braum Bodybuilders t-shirt, and a mini poro plush

Patch Chat with Playtest - Patch 6.5 

With patch 6.5 out to live, the playtest team is back on the boards for another discussion!
"Hey all, 
Welcome back to Patch Chat! We’re Riot’s Playtest Team, a group of high ranking League players whose job it is to play the hell out of things (lane tests, competitive testing, etc) and give actionable, objective feedback to designers. 
Every two weeks (concurrent with the release of patch notes), we’re going to be hosting a discussion here on the state of balance on the current patch. Take this opportunity to ask us any questions about the state of the game because, as we said, it’s our job to analyze it from all angles. 
Today, we’re here with Scott “Sickoscott” Hong, ex-professional jungler and top laner, S5 Challenger, and playtester to talk about the state of top lane and what it’s like to be a playtester at Riot. 
In this patch, we have nerfs going through on Nautilus and Pantheon, two champions who have dominated top lane for two patches. On top of that, notorious lane bully Renekton is getting buffed. What do we expect the top lane landscape to look like going into patch 6.5? 
Nautilus and Pantheon both destroy other melee matchups in trades thanks to their superior threat range. On top of that, they have frequent windows to all-in squishy ranged champions. Even if they fall behind, they bring point-and-click CC for ganks. 
I expect more passive champions with short melee range to become stronger, especially Rammus and Shen. While they have lower threat ranges, they take more time to ramp up. 
Melee tanks who end up with decent damage in the late-game but still bring initiation and gank assistance shine in the current meta, but those two are the two likeliest standouts. 
Graves and Quinn should also surface as bully laners. They have fallen in win rate in recent patches thanks to the all-in threats of champions like Pantheon or Nautilus, in part due to the point-and-click CC which nullifies their range advantage and ability to dodge skillshots with their move-blocks. With those two out of the way, these ranged champions should have more room to breathe and start abusing the other top laners who don’t have the luxury of not having skillshots. 
You’ve been playing League of Legends in Season 1; what has kept you interested so long? Do you have a favorite champion? 
I like playing champions who have a lot of room for skill expression, especially champions with “hidden” mechanics. Nidalee has so many tricks that you can play her in 1000 games and still do something better in the next game. 
You’ve been at Riot for around a year; what is your favorite thing about your job? 
I’m surrounded by passionate LoL fans. I get to play the game everyday and talk with my coworkers about anything League related, from the LCS to my terrible solo queue games. 
What do you find hardest about working in Playtest? 
Trying to stay impartial and not having your emotions get the better of you when you’re having a discussion with a teammate or a designer. Just because you hate playing against a champion doesn’t mean it needs a nerf; I try my hardest not to be biased. 
If you’d never discovered League of Legends, what would you be doing? 
I’d probably be teaching English in a foreign country. I enjoy teaching/coaching people who are eager to learn, whether it’s English or League. 
Do you have any questions about what it’s like to work as a Riot playtester? As usual, feel free to ask any questions about balance or what exactly our job is! We will be around for the next few hours and will try to answer as many questions as possible. 
Adam "Afic" Cohen
Ben “Cezium” Burkhardt
Isaac “Azael” Cummings-Bentley
Shawn “I Am The IRS” Currie
Miles “Daydreamin” Hoard
Scott “Sickoscott” Hong
Mattias “Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman
Nicholas “Drecker” Shapiro
Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith
Blake “Ex Shepherd” Soberanis
Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes"

Riot Games acquires Radiant Entertainment 

Riot games announced today that it has acquired Radiant Entertainment, known most prominently for Stonehearth and Rising Thunder.

From the Rising Thunder twitter:
"Hi everyone! We've been acquired by @riotgames! More info here: "
"Radiant + Riot Games 
We are delighted to announce that Radiant Entertainment has been acquired by Riot Games. At Riot, our developers will continue their mission of building incredible games that speak to us personally as players. You’re probably wondering what this means for our games. 
First and foremost, Stonehearth will go on, full speed ahead. We’ll continue delivering Alphas at our current pace, with the aim of delivering the final game “when it’s ready.” We’ll continue keeping you up to date on our progress through things like our Twitch streams and Desktop Tuesday blog posts. 
As for Rising Thunder, the team will start work on a new game that we’re incredibly excited about. We wish we could say more now, but rest assured you’ll hear more when the time is right. For now, we will be closing the Rising Thunder Alpha on March 18th. Thanks to everyone who participated in the test!

And more broadly, to everyone who has helped support us by playing Stonehearth and Rising Thunder, backing our Kickstarter, telling your friends, and giving us your feedback: Thank you for helping us make these games as good as they can be. You have been a consistent source of motivation and inspiration for us, and we look forward to continuing to talk and work with you in the future. 
- Tom & Tony, on behalf of Team Radiant"

Over on Twitter, Riot Games added:
"We're THRILLED to welcome @pond3r@protomcannon@sethkillian and the amazing Radiant Entertainment team to Riot:"

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