Red Post Collection: Ascension in RGMQ Friday, Ask Riot on Patches, Rotations, & scripting, /dev on competition, & more!

Posted on at 4:16 AM by Moobeat

Ask Riot about patches, scripting, and rotations 

It's Thursday and a new edition of ASK RIOT is out, this time answering questions on competitive vs "normal" players, patch frequency, scripting, and free to play champion rotations:
"Welcome to Ask Riot, where we focus on your questions and give you answers. 
This week, we talk about the balance of patching for all levels of League play, how we choose the free champion rotation, and what we are doing about scripting. 
Have a question (or two...hundred) yourself? Head over to 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. 
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. This isn’t the best place to announce new products or features, and we might skip conversations on issues which 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.  
Since it is so difficult to balance for play from Bronze to the pro level, why not have two separate patches, one for diamond+ and one for those below diamond? 
We feel like it's really important to the LoL experience that the pros are playing the same game as everyone else. There are a few reasons for this:  
  1. For one, you can enjoy esports on a lot of different levels, but some really engaged viewers understand all of the nuance about item builds and counter picks because they know those details from League. Once you start tuning the game with two different sets of numbers, it's harder to appreciate the decisions the pros are making. It might even be hard to tell if that amazing play was really that hard to pull off or not.
  2. Second, it's really cool to see a pro pick a champion that you love or know really well. Maybe it's all psychological, but you lose some of that if they are playing a different game from you. The reasons they pick Gnar might be totally different and not even applicable to the reasons you pick Gnar.
  3. Third, it's super common during a discussion about a pro game for someone to say "Man, I really want to go play League right now." We risk losing some of that feeling if the pros are playing on a different patch. “Just remember, turrets are more powerful on live than in Worlds, and Vlad hasn’t been nerfed yet, and... .” You get the idea.
  4. Finally, a lot of players look to the pros when they are trying to learn a new champion or strategy or just to get better in their own game. You'd lose some of that if say the pro champs need more hits to kill a jungle mob, or have less MR even after they've finished the same item build. 
We’ve been trying to come up with more outside-the-box solutions to solve pro balance and diversity. To use an example from basketball, the three-point line is farther from the basket in pro games than it is in college games. That’s a somewhat subtle difference that has a meaningful impact, but doesn’t change the viewing experience enormously. (I’m admittedly not much of a basketball fan, so maybe I’m totally wrong on that!) I'm not sure what the SR version of a three-point line would be. Longer range towers? Weaker towers? Less gold from minions? Those all might have really unpredictable effects. 
My fear is that if we start implementing pro-only solutions, that it leads to a place where we have two versions of Gangplank with different damage coefficients and maybe even different rules about how his barrels work. On top of violating all of the four points I raised above, it also creates that many more opportunities to introduce bugs to the game. 
I know your questions also specifically mentioned Diamond+, which doesn’t have all of the viewing ramification of affecting pro games, but point 4 still applies where you have to relearn part of the game as your rank goes up or down, and it might lead to the profusion of different Gangplanks to an even greater degree. 
Believe me, as a designer, it sometimes seems like a really attractive solution. We could make Yi viable for Worlds without making him stomp Bronze even more! We could make Azir playable by mere mortals! But I think that's the lazy designer in me talking. At the end of the day, I think the cost to League wouldn't be worth it. 
Ghostcrawler, Game Design Director 
What are you doing about scripting? 
So, we're usually – and intentionally – quiet about cheats and the efforts we're making to combat them. It's a conversation we've thought about starting many times, but have shied away because we don’t want to unintentionally bring more awareness to their existence or make our detection methods easier to crack. We’ve seen our silence lead to wild speculation, and that’s not good. So let’s talk about it. 
We want to be clear: Using applications that provide a measurable player advantage go against the core of the League of Legends experience. It’s cheating. We value League’s competitive integrity. Most of you play fair, which is why it’s so important we remove cheaters from League. Scripting allows a program to take actions on your behalf. We constantly identify and remove these cheats from the game. 
Automation in League isn’t new, and we’re constantly fighting against it. It’s a priority for us. We have a well-versed team who uses a lot of different methods to combat cheaters. But we can’t be too detailed because this information would be used against us in this battle. We’re confident in our ability to detect scripting behavior, even if we can’t talk about the secret sauce. 
Anyone who bothers to cheat for any significant duration will be identified, and while we wouldn't call anyone out specifically (keeping our enemies in the dark), we're accurately detecting everything you've heard of. We know that’s still not enough and we've got a lot of work to do in preventing this type of behavior in the first place, but as it stands, we'll keep swinging the banhammer to assure you a fair experience when you play League. 
RayKay, Anti-cheat team 
How do you choose which champions will be in the free rotation? 
The free to play rotation is there to give people the opportunity to try champions they don’t own. Additionally, there’s value in providing everyone access to a subset of champions that will frequently appear in games, thereby giving you the opportunity to learn how to play with and against champions you may be unfamiliar with. That’s why when we select champions for the free to play rotation, we make sure that there are at least two champions from each position and also take into account meta shifts regarding champions’ roles. 
Some other factors we consider include: 
  • How long it’s been since the champion was last on the free to play rotation
  • Team comps and synergies like Braum-Lucian or Thresh-Kalista
  • Lore implications like Kha’Zix vs Rengar, Caitlyn vs Jinx
  • Trying to avoid a rotation that’s holistically frustrating - you’ll never see us put all the stealthers in one rotation because no one wants to play against an Evelynn, Rengar, Shaco, Teemo, Talon comp…
  • Champions that are free through other means are left out of the free rotation (Link to all the freebies) as are champions that have large upcoming reworks (Poppy and Yorick) 
JalapenoJeff - Ecommerce Coordinator"

RGMQ - Ascension Friday & ??? added to schedule 

ASCENSION returns this weekend in the rotating game mode queue! Look for the queue to switch on around noon server and last through Monday night!

The schedule has also been updated, adding a mysterious ??? from October 20th through October 24th!

"From the original clone-tastic One For All to the frenetic manatee magic of Ultra Rapid Fire, featured game modes provide unique spins on the classic League formula. It’s time to kick things off with the next game mode in the rotation: Ascension is now live! 
As a refresher on the mode, let’s go over the basics: 
  • Unlike Summoner’s Rift, you can’t walk out of your base to reach the battle; you’ll have to use the Golden Transcendence trinket or right-click a pad to teleport into the fray
  • Earn victory by scoring points; the first team to 200 takes it down
  • You earn 1 point for kills, 3 for capturing a Shuriman relic, 5 for landing the killing blow on an Ascended champion, and 2 points for each kill you acquire while Ascended
  • Claim Ascension by taking down Ancient Ascendant Xerath in the center of the map (he’ll respawn after the Ascended champion dies)
  • Be cautious when approaching the Ascendant, you'll need your whole team to battle him and claim the buff
  • The Ascension buff yields awe-inspiring power including bonus health and infinite mana, AD & AP, CDR, as well as armor and magic pen
  • The gifts of Ascension come with a price: healing and regeneration effects are halved and the opposing team always has vision on Ascended champs 
We did touch up the visuals slightly while specially tuning Champion Mastery so you can earn points in the mode. You’ll also be able to earn keys for your wins and loot chests for your (or your premade’s) S­-, S, and S+ games. 
Ascension is now available and lasts through the evening on Monday (we’ll shut it down very early Tuesday morning--usually between 1:00 AM and 3:00 AM). 
If you need to catch up on the rules for any game mode, check back at each Friday, and we’ll give you the lowdown in a quick post like this one. 
As part of our ongoing commitment to refreshing the RGM modes, we’ve started with Ascension this week and the Ascended Xerath change. Hopefully now you can engage him guilt-free and become the Ascended god-beast-man-creature you always knew you could be. Go forth. FOR SHURIMA!"
RiotTerra added
"Hey guys! Yeah he is actually disabled because his ghouls don't behave properly on Crystal Scar. He'll be fixed for Dominion and the next run of Ascension.

/dev: New001 on competition beyond ranked 

Here's New001 with the introduction to a new series called /dev where LoL's leadership will come to share thoughts on game, dev, and more. This introductory edition includes discussion on competition on LoL beyond just ranked:
"/dev is a new, ongoing series where League’s key leaders and decision makers share their thoughts on the game, its development, and anything else that may come to mind. 
Hi everyone, New001 here, lead producer on League. Over the last year, you might have caught wind of the direction we want to take League -- to make League a global sport that lasts for generations. But it might not be clear what this direction actually means to us, or what we’re trying to get at when we talk about the idea of “sport.” 
One way of explaining this is to say that we want League to offer meaningful competition at all levels. And, from my perspective, we’re currently falling short there. 
Missing links 
Today, League can actually feel like a few distinct competitive experiences: 
  1. There’s the 1-30 experience: here you’re just trying to understand basic concepts and learn the fundamentals of the game.
  2. Then there’s ranked: shit gets real, you have to focus on improving, pay attention to the current meta, and widen your champ pool.
  3. And of course, there’s pro play: the highest tier of competitive League, which can sometimes seem like a completely different game! 
There’s even more to it than that, but I want to talk about a specific underserved experience between ranked and pro play. Many of us will never be good enough to perform at the Staples Center, in the Mercedes-Benz arena, or in Sangam Stadium, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have competitive teamplay experiences that generate the same heart-pumping adrenaline, and bring the coordination, intensity, and highs and lows of pro play to everyone who wants to experience them. This type oforganized play is something we want to deliver to players -- something that bridges the gap between #2 and #3. 
The Rumble experience 
At Riot, we have a longstanding tournament called Riot Rumble. Rumble takes place twice a year, lasts for a few months, and hundreds of Rioters around the world participate. Participants break into tiers by MMR, teams form and compete for the ultimate prize: custom jackets (and more importantly, bragging rights). 
During Rumble, the atmosphere in the office changes. Rioters reorganize their lives around the tournament. We get serious about our champion pools. We stay late practicing specific comps with our teams. On match night it’s not uncommon to hear screams of victory and defeat around the office. The morning after, epic stories about wiping at Baron are traded in the halls. 
Rumble changes the core game experience. Pick and ban phase becomes about banning out specific team comps, strategies, and specific team members instead of just taking out champs that happen to be powerful (it’s infinitely more meaningful to ban out the opposing jungler because you did your homework than it is to ban Zed because he’s strong, and it’s satisfying to feel the respect when you get banned). Teams get coaches. You scout, scrim, and review tape. 
Playing with the same group over and over helps you develop a team identity. You find out if you’re better at pick comps or sieging. You work hard to make your comms more effective over time. You have rivalries. You build meaningful relationships and grow as a team. In Ranked play, I want to be Doublelift; in Rumble, we want to be TSM. 
In Rumble I’ve had incredible team experiences that have deepened my understanding of League in a way I don’t think I could get from Solo Q. I’ve built stronger relationships with my teammates, have learned how to scout and scrim, and have been exposed to a beyond-Ranked type of competitive experience that gives a taste of pro play despite my non-pro abilities. 
When I look at League from this perspective, I see a gap between ranked and pro play. We want to fill this gap. We want teams to grow together, succeed together, and fail together, even in Bronze. Basically, we want everyone who plays League to have an opportunity to experience this type of intense, coordinated competition. 
Moving forward 
The intent of this new series of dev blogs is to share our thoughts on a more philosophical level (we haven’t forgotten about our promise to update you on Season 2017’s ranked changes -- that post is coming in the next few days). So although we don’t have any specific organized play features to announce right now, it’s one area we are actively exploring and where you can expect to see us invest more in the future . We think this could be an awesome new addition to the current experiences League offers, and we hope we can share these types of experiences with our most hardcore League players. 
I’ll be around in the comments for a bit to answer questions."

Position Preference in PBE Testing 

In case you missed it in the latest PBE update, here's Socrates with information on the new Position Preference system that is now on the PBE for testing! With this new system, you'll be able to choose one role that you will not be matched for as well as your desired primary and secondary role.
"TLDR; We are changing Position Select to Position Preference, so you can tell us both your strengths and weakness. We will do our best to place you into one of your strengths and you will sometimes play your third or fourth best position. You will never have to play your weakest position. 
A year ago we created a new lobby for draft game modes that allows you to pick the primary and secondary positions you want to play. We have since shared some of the positive results and talked about the challenges of striking a balance between getting players into games quickly, creating high quality matches, and giving players choice over which position they want to play. Over the course of the season we have continued to iterate on the system, improving matchmaking times and increasing the likelihood that a player gets their primary position. 
We are still faced with a fundamental problem: Not all positions are equally desired at all times. This has caused players wishing to play the highest demand positions to have to wait unacceptably long times to get into games. 
To demonstrate the size of this problem: we saw cases where players had to wait in queue nearly as long as they spent playing the game. We are really close to having the right spread of position coverage to keep queue times and match quality in a healthy place. 
To help reach this goal, we are bringing Position Preference to normal draft PBE, and you will have an opportunity to play around with it and provide feedback on how it works. The key difference between the old Position Select and the new Position Preference is that players will occasionally play their third or fourth strongest position (maybe one out of twenty times). How this works is you continue to select a primary and secondary position strength preference and you will get these positions most often. You also now have a third option to set one position you do not wish to play, even when you prefer to fill. You will never have to play your weakest position! 
This is a compromise we believe will be an overall improvement over the old draft mode, where you were expected to know many positions and there was a chaotic free-for-all to get the position you wanted. This will allow us to make high quality matches faster. 
This test is coming ahead of preseason because it is a big change and we want plenty of time to gather feedback. Rest assured, we will not be enabling this feature on live in ranked before the end of the season. We really want to hear your feedback on this and we encourage you to check it out in the pre-game draft lobby on PBE. 
I will hang out in the thread for a while if you have questions, and we will be back with more information about other changes as we get closer to preseason."
Limely added:
"Everyone will occasionally play their third or fourth best position, so there is less incentive to choose Support as your weakness if it actually is not your weakest position. Additionally we are already close to having a healthy distribution, and we are better off even if only a few more players are available for support. 
Our plan is to turn this feature on in one region to validate that we will have enough supports in the system. If we don't, we won't be turning the feature on globally."
Limely continued:
"I hear where you are coming from - our goal is to improve queue times without players losing too much control over their positions - we expect you will rarely find yourself in the position of playing a less ideal role. 
We're testing this feature in isolation early so that we could gather as much feedback before pre-season as possible. This is part of a larger plan that we have for the new season, which players will hear more about in the near future."
Please note that while this is currently testing on the PBE it will not go live in 6.20 and will be on the PBE for extended testing. It will not be released  before the end of the current season!

Grab Bag on Assassin & Champion Updates

When asked if any champions in the preseason assassin class update will get new summoner icons, Reav3 noted:
Will on the champions getting changes in this update with outdated icons be getting new ones, not just the big 4?
One Assassin outside of the big 4 will get all new icons. One of the mini-assassins"
Reav3 continued:
Well Katarina's icons aren't too old and her SFX isn't that unpleasant to hear as well in game, I know this is a talon thread but I am interested in knowing if Katarina will be getting the same treatment?
Kat, Talon, and LB will all be getting a complete SFX and VFX overhaul. Rengars FX are newer so he is only getting new FX on changed abilities. Talon and LB are getting 100% new icons while Kat and Rengar are only getting new icons for new abilities since there icons are newer as well."
As for thoughts on various scopes of updates for Cho'gath, Meddler noted:
"Nothing in the short to medium term. Could imagine something Leona sized at some point, nothing currently slotted though. 
In terms of a full VGU he's a fair way down the list. He's showing his age, but he doesn't have the comprehensive issues of say Urgot or Warwick."
and for UrgotMeddler commented:
Urgot confirmed 2017. Get hype.
Odds are good. This being Urgot, the goods are also odd."

Ivern Q&A on September 29th

[NOTE: We'll have a summary of the Q&A included in the next red post collection!]

With Ivern on the PBE and testing for a release in 6.20, the team working on Ivern headed to the boards on the afternoon of September 29th to host an Ivern Q&A! 
"NOW COMPLETE - Some people will hang around throughout the day to tie up loose thread, but the main Q&A has been finished
These people made a giant goofy tree man that's about to insta-steal your red buff. They're here. Ask them ALMOST anything. 
The Q&A will last from 11am–1pm PST! (That's Los Angeles time, btw) 
Blake "Squad5" Smith - Gameplay Designer
John "Cheeky Git" Battle - Creative Lead
Bryan "Ampson" Higa - Sound Designer
Ryan "Cactopus" Rigney - Promo Writer
Matt "FauxSchizzle" Dunn - Narrative Writer
Alexander "Scherzo" Temple - Composer
Daniel "Skekses" Orive - Character Art
Chris "Skeeziks" Campbell - Concept Art
Niko "SurpriseNDelight" LaTorre - Producer
Richard "Chuthulu" Chu - VFX Artist
Julio “TAKINGOVER” Diaz - Visual Designer 
(more being added)" 
Check out the thread for discussion!

[/ALL CHAT] We /reply to your /ALL Chat comments

New /ALL Chat

"Time for more /R, where we respond to your comments and questions! Did Josh have fun in Canada at the NA LCS Finals and did he eat the poutine? Who is Rose’s favorite champion? Why does no one care about disco fries?! 
Got a question for the show? Send your questions directly to the hosts’ Twitters, or leave a comment and we might respond to it on the next edition of /R!"


To round out tonight's red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • The 2016 World Championship group stages run  September 29th! through October 2nd, follow by week two on October 6th - 9th!
  • Championship Zed, Worlds 2016 summoner icons, legacy content, and more is available through November 6th! Don't forget to head to the shop to buy your championship jewels for IP to upgrade your 2016 WC summoner icons  during broad cast days!

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