Red Post Collection: Nexus Siege in RGMQ this weekend, Ask Riot on bugs and key fragments, and more!

Posted on at 1:45 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes a new ASK RIOT answering questions on key fragments, skin bugs, and more, a look at NEXUS SIEGE as it debuts in the RGMQ with back to back weekends July 15th - 18th and July 22nd - 25th, Meddler on the climbing Rammus and Sona winrates in 6.14, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Ask Riot - Key Fragments, skin bugs, and "all-around" champions:

A new edition of ASK RIOT is up, including discussion on key fragments, skin bugs, and more!
"Welcome to Ask Riot. 
This is a space where we focus on your questions and give you answers. 
Up for this week: Key Fragments, skin bugs, and what happened to the all-around champions? 
Have a question (or two...hundred) yourself? Head over Ask Riot and sign into your League account. Check out the Do’s, the Don'ts, and then ask us something. We’ll archive the answers once we’ve accumulated a few of them. One thing to note, asking the same question over and over again won’t help your cause. (Yes, I’m talking to you, who asked why you’re still banned from Hextech Crafting and did 40 times. Please don’t do that.) 
We’re committed to reading every question but can’t guarantee we’ll answer them all. 
“Okay, why not?” 
Some questions may already be answered elsewhere or won’t be right for Ask Riot. For example, we won’t typically be launching new products or features here or talking about issues we’ve already gone into more depth elsewhere (but we can clarify individual points!). Even if your question isn’t the one being answered, we’re listening, and we’ll be sharing your questions with the Rioters who are working directly on the things you’re curious about. 
You guys make some fantastic skins! I love seeing all the artwork you are putting out. However, I do not understand why your skins sometimes create "game breaking bugs" (such as the Dark Star Thresh). From a design standpoint, aren't skins the visual (and audio) layers that wrap around the frames? Why would skins cause programmatic bugs? 
Thank you! We are happy to hear you’re enjoying skins. 
To answer your question, it is understandable you might think of skins as something that wouldn’t cause bugs, but I’d like to share with you how and why skins have a serious technical layer behind their fun facade. In some simple cases, where we make artwork or sound replacements in a skin, it is unlikely for there to be any serious bugs as a result of adding the new skin. But the artists and designers often go far beyond such simple changes to create more compelling skins. 
A closer analogy might be to think of your favorite champion as an old-school video game console and when you change skins, you are plugging in different program ‘cartridges’ that feature their own artwork, sound, visual effects and game logic. A skin *executes* on the game engine, and there is a lot going on behind the scenes with many interactions between different systems. The visual effects system, in particular, is typically simulating and drawing many thousands of particles each frame. 
The concept for a new skin may require custom design scripting and visual effects. Parts of the champion may be entirely substituted with effects for a skin (e.g., Arclight Velkoz’s tentacles, DJ Sona's hair and Dark Star Thresh's lantern). Completely new features are even added to the game engine just so that the creative vision for a particular skin can be realized. Our skins team is consistently trying to push their limits. 
Given all that, the way a skin is authored can cause bugs or create a poor experience. Sometimes the logic for a specific skin will have a problem in a particular case, or the visual effects can become too complex and noticeably slow down the game. 
Most errors are discovered and fixed before we release to our public beta environment (PBE) and there, our testers and all of you playing on PBE put a lot of effort into uncovering any game breaking issues before they make it out to a live patch. Occasionally, some bugs slip through the cracks and we evaluate and patch them as necessary. 
Riot seems to like to balance and rework champs so that they fill a specific and unique niche, but what about champs that can do anything well? (Like Kayle, or pre-AD-nerf-Kennen, and Udyr's jungle shenanigans.) Is League moving away from all-rounder type champs or do they still have a place? 
We're definitely moving away from all-rounder type champions. This isn't to say that champions need to do only one or two things,or be limited to only one role or position, but they do need strong strengths and weaknesses. One of the goals we strive for when designing or updating champions is to ensure they have 4 things: 
  • Unique Inputs (the Champion feels unique to play)
  • Unique Outputs (the Champion feels unique to play with/or against for the other 9 people)
  • Defined Strengths
  • Defined Weaknesses 
"All-rounder" type champions don't pass the last two categories (and usually also don't do well on the first two either). We ultimately feel the game is better, has deeper gameplay, and is ultimately more enjoyable when champions have strong strengths and weaknesses people can play around. 
-FeralPony- Senior Game Designer 
How does the key fragment drop rate work? Will you ever add a way to achieve a key or key fragments?
This is how the current tuning of the drop rate works: 
  • It is possible to earn enough key fragments to open every chest you find in 4 week period.
  • You have to win to earn a key fragment. Performance does not factor into the drop rate outside of this.
    • You can earn key fragments in any mode that yields champion mastery points.
  • The drops are somewhat based on luck, but it’s weighted such that after a certain number of wins if you didn’t get a fragment we’ll just force a drop to avoid being screwed by RNG.
  • Getting enough keys to open 4 chests in a 4 week period is hard and requires a lot of play, but anybody can do it if they play enough.
  • We don’t have any plans to add additional ways to get key fragments atm, but it’s something we may do in the future. 
-Riot Socrates- Lead Game Designer 
Please feel free to hit us up in the comments. Each of the Rioters who answered will do their best to engage in a conversation with you."
Click here to submit your ASK RIOT questions! 

Nexus Siege in RGMQ July 15th - 18th and July 22nd - 25th!

The new NEXUS SIEGE game mode is here and will kick off with double weekends - Nexus
The new NEXUS SIEGE game mode is here and will kick off with two weekends in the rotating game mode queue - it will be the next two weekends: July 15th - 18th and July 22nd - 25th!

To get you acquainted with this new game mode, Riot has launched a NEXUS SIEGE promotional page that details the game mode mechanics, special deployable items, the OBLITERATOR, and more!
"Explodification abounds in this round-based attack and defense mode. Rush to crack (or defend) the base with brand new, 100% safe-for-testing™ siege weapons. 
Live for back-to-back weekends: 07/15-07/18 & 07/22-07/25.

Nexus Siege cuts the Rift in half, leaving just one base to raze/protect. If you’re on the attack, blitz the base, shove waves, and deploy siege weapons to charge up your minions and destructify towers. When defending, break out tower upgrades and hold the line at all costs. Once the attackers crack the Nexus, teams switch sides. Victory goes to whichever team flattens the base fastest when attacking. 
Siege weapons fill summoner spell slots. Snatch them up with an alternate currency called Crystal Shards (CR). Each side earns this kind of CR a little differently: 
  • Earned over time
  • Kill enemy champions; attacker kills net more Crystal Shards than defender kills 
  • Earned over time
  • Kill enemy champions
  • Granted when the first tower in each lane is destroyed
  • Earned for each minion shoved into the attacker’s teleporters
  • Defenders start the round with enough Crystal Shards to buy a siege weapon 
Both teams get trinkets that warp them close to the front lines of the siege. Empowered (read: fast) recalls help both teams quickly snag the siege weapons they need before diving back into the fray. 
Gold and experience are normalized, so both teams receive equal amounts throughout the game. This means last-hitting literally doesn’t matter, so just shove lanes like crazy. 
You can only unleash the Obliterator on defense. Unlock its eye-searing power by shoving a total of 15 minions into the attacker’s teleport pads. What’s the Obliterator? Just a terrifyingly powerful laser that fires down all three lanes. It makes everything except siege weapons mega dead. Minions? Deleted. Champions? Dearly departed. When the Obliterator fires, attackers would be well advised to duck into the jungle. 


Hmmmm. These experimental siege weapons are more than prototypically destructive!

Siege Ballista 
Health: 3 ward health
The bread and butter bomb lobber of the offense. Stick these somewhere safe-ish, and protect them from pesky defenders.

Vanguard Banner 
Health: 5 ward health
This minion might magnifier’s like a Baron buff on a stick!

Shield Totem 
Health: 3 ward health
Shield strength: +2 ward health (+1 for each additional Shield Totem)
Listen for the pleasant humming of the Shield Totem between explosions. ~Wommmmmm~

Port Pad 
Health: 3 ward health
When teleporting halfway across the map still doesn’t land you close enough to the fighty spots, there’s the Port Pad.


They’re trying to bomb our base? What if our base bombs them?!

Tower: Beam of Ruination 
Fire turrets yourself with the Beam of Ruination. Unfortunately for you, they’re skillshots.

Tower: Storm Bulwark 
Invincible towers dispensing AoE true damage? This is fine.

Entropy Field 
Put your enemies in the danger zone, and keep them there with the slow dome.

Flash Zone 
Get in the zone and style on fools with one-second cooldown Flashes.

Check out the NEXUS SIEGE site for more!

Rammus & Sona  Win Rates Up in 6.14

With Sona's 6.14 changes out on live and her winrate moving up and up,  Meddler  commented that they are looking into potential nerfs:
"Usual disclaimer: Win rates aren't everything. 
It does look like Sona's probably significantly overpowered though, both according to statistics and from direct observation. We're looking into potential nerfs should we get confirmation that's definitely the case."
When asked what they might be considering, Meddler commented:
Is there a reason you've nailed down? Is it her healing, or her speed boost?
If the problem is her damage, couldn't you simply disable Sona's ability to buy Sheen? It's extreme, but it's been a problem with her in the support role for years now and if the item is holding you back from giving her actual decent numbers without breaking her, why not just cut it out?
Not sure yet. Healing amount was being kicked around by some of the Live Gameplay team as a likely culprit, they're still looking into it though."

As for what might have caused Rammus' win rate to spike so hard in 6.14, Meddler confirmed that there is a bug with Rammus Q stun duration:
I see that rammus has 58% win rate.
should we nerf him? i don't really trust the win rate of 1 day.
Win rate data can be pretty misleading, day 1 data especially. With a jump in win rate like that though it's often an indication something's worth looking at. In this case that's Rammus's Q stun duration, which is bugged and lasting longer than it should. We'll definitely fix that in the next patch at the latest, might or might not hotfix before then (checking to see if there's a major bug that's hotfix worthy by itself we could piggyback a Rammus fix on)."
He continued:
Do u guys take 1month to fix a champion's bug? so slow, for a multi billionaire company. Rammus might not get played in ur LC$ so yeah
We got a fix ready this morning. We're now trying to determine whether we'll need to wait to add it to the game in the next patch 2 weeks from now or whether there'll be an opportunity to do so sooner (early next week perhaps?). Hotfixes have quite a bit of risk to them, so bugs need to hit a certain threshold of impact to justify one. Once we're doing one in the first place though it's then appropriate to add other things, such as this Rammus fix, to it."

PROJECT Ashe's Dance

When asked where PROJECT: Ashe's dance's music comes from, Riot Sound Bear shared:
But so as to not forget about the rest of the skin, what was the thought behind the "Avarosa"-companion? Was it always planned to be just a generic computer voice, or did you take influence from GLaDOS?
So Chemicalseb (on of our amazing composers) and I found some really cool elements in the Project Ashe login music that we felt could work. Chemicalseb took over from that point and made some magical decisions and created a really cool beat with those elements.With the time that we had we were able to make a 3 bar loop work for Project Ashe's dance. So glad you love the loop, I am hoping we can re visit that loop and make it a song! I am sure Chemicalseb would love to chime in on how he came up with the piece he did! 
To answer the motivation behind Avarosa's VO processing, we had a rioter who wanted to play the part of the VO. The rioter was super excited and as she is not the talent we normally use for events like these I decided to use a little heavier processing than normal to help the thematic. The processing was fairly simple but effective in masking the talent recorded. We used Cubase to modify the VO using pitch quantizing and straightening, which ended up sounding as you hear it now, minus a few other plugins! In short, GlaDos was not the intention, but kind of cool it got close! "
Wondering what PROJECT: Ashe's dance is based on? Look no further!  

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