Red Post Collection Ask Riot on Champ Up & Urf, PBE changes context, LotPK in RGMQ Friday, Kog'Maw changes, & more!

Posted on at 1:40 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes a look at upcoming Kog'Maw changes, Meddler with context on recent PBE changes for Aurelion Sol, Cho'Gath, Dr. Mundo, & Twitch,  LotPK returning this weekend in the RGMQ, Ask Riot on URF & Champin Udpates, new Caitlyn statue available in merch shop, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Ask Riot on URF & Champion Update 

First up we have our weekly ASK RIOT, this time answering questions on URF and Champion Updates!
"Welcome to Ask Riot, where we focus on your questions and give you answers. 
This week, we talk about the future of Champion Update and URF mode. 
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 here 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. 
What is the endgame for Champion Update? Will there be a world in which no more champions will need to be updated? 
So I get this question a lot, both inside and outside of Riot and I want to to start by saying that strategies at Riot change all the time and that these are just my thoughts on the subject. 
I don’t think there will ever be a time when there are no champions to update. Most champions aren't considered “dated” or “old” when they release. As time goes on some champions just don’t hold up as well as others. We think a champion is in a good spot if it has strong and cohesive art, lore, and gameplay. However, while a champions might be in a good spot today, as the game grows and evolves from year to years, that champion could eventually be in a bad place. 
As technology advances, our big VGU’s and new champions look better and better. For example, we could not have made champions like Aurelion Sol and or updates like Yorick a year ago. Yorick’s black mist cape is actually using the same technology created for Aurelion Sol’s tail. That technology didn’t exist in the LoL engine a year ago. As tech advances, our older characters look older and older. 
Design values and design technology also advances over time and we can create more unique and diverse kits for champions. This also makes older champion kits feel more dated overtime. As our understanding of the game changes and the way players play the game evolves older champions may need new or revamped tools to compete with our ever growing cast. 
Champion themes also age over time. Back when the original Batman series was on TV it was considered very good, then came Tim Burton’s take on Batman’s theme that was more serious and mature. Recently Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy have created an even more gritty and realistic take on Batman for a modern generation of Batman fans. All of these were considered great in their time, but if the original Batman series came out today it probably wouldn’t resonate as well with the current generation of Batman fans. Much like Batman, champions that are popular today need to be updated to stay modern and fresh as the game continues over the years. 
Currently, we have quite a few champions to get through, by the time we get through those there will probably be a bunch more champions thats look awesome today but won’t be as awesome 4-5 years from now. 
-Reav3, Lead Producer, Champion Updates 
We haven’t seen URF mode in a while, what is up with that? 
In case you missed it, we just announced that URF will be coming back soon as an All Random mode for a trial in the RGM queue. We’re calling it ARURF (it kinda sounds like the noise URF would make)! 
But why did it take so long for URF to come back? Well, regular URF was stagnating super fast and had some unhealthy play patterns. For example, it was probably one of the hardest hit modes for a 'stagnant meta' whenever it was released. Games quickly devolved into a slideshow of the 'perceived' best champs. Whether or not they were actually OP (hint, they usually weren't :P), seeing the same 20 champs every game got boring REAL fast. It took the RGM team a little longer to convert URF to be All Random, but we believe that countering the stagnant meta will go some way toward making it a much healthier mode. There’s still no guarantee it will be a silver bullet for fixing URF, but we’re hoping you have fun with it! 
-L4T3NCY, Lead Designer, Rotating Game Mode"

RGMQ -  Legends of the Poro King Friday & Updated Schedule

Legend of the Poro King returns this weekend in the rotating game mode queue! Look for it to be enabled around noon Friday server time and last through Monday night.

The RGMQ schedule has been updated to include Ascension September 30th - October 3rd in addition to One for All next weekend and debut of All Random URF the week after.

Upcoming Kog'Maw Changes 

Here's Riot Axes with a context thread on upcoming Kog'Maw changes that aim to partially revert his marksman class update from 2015:
"Hi folks, 
Kog’Maw has some significant changes coming in patch 6.19 that we wanted to give some extra context on. 
When we set out to update Kog last preseason, it was with the intent of doubling down on his already unique and well-supported identity of being the Marksman you could rely on to deal most of your team’s damage as long as you protect and enhance him - reinforcing the notion of ‘protect the Kog’ as a team strategy. By breaking the usual rules of attack speed, we amplified his damage even further while making him functionally less mobile in combat because he can’t move much between shots. 
Unfortunately, that direction hasn’t proven successful. His unique attack speed interactions undercut the core identity that we intended to reinforce. The items and masteries that scale best with his new direction provide early- and mid-game power rather than late-game power, warping his power curve. More importantly, the ability to move in between attacks is essential for him to serve as most of his team’s damage output. He needs to be able to keep up with a moving teamfight, or else his opponents simply avoid his range and his allies can’t rely on his damage output as the primary or potentially only major damage dealer on a team. 
Given that prior to the update, Kog’Maw was a unique and sustainable design that represented a strong long-term direction for the champion, we are partially reverting his update. 
Specifically, his W will no longer break the attack speed cap, apply only half damage from AD, or increase attack speed gained from items, and we’ll be looking at tweaks to his other basic spells to support that direction. We are not reverting changes to his ultimate, however. 
One point on other champion updates: we are reverting Kog’Maw because we believe that his pre-update state was a successful kit which hit our goals for champions in general and for Kog in particular, not simply because the update didn’t achieve its goals. We have no current plans to revert any other updates, as there aren’t other similar cases where reversion would bring us to a long-term direction."
Meddler added:
So the only way an update will be reverted is if it's unhealthy? That's a shame, I could think of another champ who could do with having their update reverted (Karma)
The big factor in reverting Kog was that he was in a pretty healthy, pretty unique state before hand. We thought we could improve that further. That didn't work out, so we're going back to things that have been demonstrated to work appropriately. 
There are certainly other updates that haven't hit the mark as hoped, Morde in particular. The difference there though is that old Morde also had a bunch of issues, some of which the update did improve even if it added some others."
Meddler continued:
Except the goals are partially to make him more unique, which the changes did achieve.
More unique in some respects (able to break the attack speed cap and rewarded for standing still as a marksman), less unique in other respects (no longer a champion that supports really distinct focused team comps to the same degree).
Having said that game health's a really major issue here too. Unique but not balanceable's not an appropriate cost to pay."
As for what lead them to originally do the Kog'Maw changes in the marksman update, Meddler noted:
"Overlap with a few other champs (Jinx and Vayne especially) was what drove us to try the 5.0 AS direction for Kog, hoping to get some more distinction. Unfortunately that both failed to create the sort of distinction we were after and created other issues. There's still a bit much overlap there, that's a significantly lower cost than what we're currently paying with the state of Kog's kit though, hence the revert."
When asked if breaking the attack speed cap might ever return as a mechanic, Meddler noted:
"I could see it coming back under very specific circumstances (e.g. super windowed), would be very surprised if we wanted to bring it back in a way that was available as much as it has been on Kog though. Balance costs of that are extremely high, constraining both balance of the champion in question and to some degree items, masteries, other kits etc."
As for a few more specifics on what they plan to tinker with,  Riot Axes explained:
I completely agree with the Kog'maw changes, but also have mixed feelings about it. Having that 5.0 attack speed fantasy there was so fun to toy around with and was just so unique for the game. However, since soooooooo much power is getting removed from his W, where is that power going to come back?
Some of it is actually going back on the W. He's likely also getting his passive attack speed per rank back on Q. 
If that's not enough, we'll of course be looking for buffs. Intention here is definitely not to 'dumpster' him or otherwise kill the champion; we're doing this because we are happy to support that version of the champion.
Also, may we see another champion or rework in the future with the doubled attack speed cap? Could be really interesting to see on Urgot, especially since I see him as a biomecha- long range artillery thing.
I wouldn't completely rule it out, but any champion that's going to implement that again has some major challenges to deal with and it's pretty unlikely, at least anytime soon."
Riot Axes added:
The only thing you seem confident on in your original post is that the new ultimate is better than the old one. 
Any reason why that is? I almost never see Kog'maw actually use his ult now a days. And I think the change was what took him out of mid lane to begin with.
Two reasons. 
First, for the basic attack-oriented builds, the new ult fits better once he's attack sufficiently slowly to weave spells. Execution damage in the cleanup phase of a fight dovetails nicely with the notion of a champion who you might consider making your team's main - almost only - source of damage, and adds some skill expression/mastery to the pattern, particularly when factoring in that it's also one of his best ways to trigger Trinity Force and has ramping mana costs associated. 
Second, because artillery Kog frankly doesn't meet our standards for game health, and never really did. Artillery champions are some of the most potentially painful playing against experiences in LoL, and their kits need to be carefully handled. AP Kog was a very powerful artillery champ, but also a pretty unhealthy one."
Riot Axes continued:
Will there ever be a point where you might look at Kog again for rework type things (other than Visual Updates to him or his abilities)
It's possible. Old Kog certainly had problems. I could see us taking another stab at fixing some of them at some point. 
The commitment we're making here is that this champion is generally good for the game, not that he's perfect and will never be touched again or anything of the sort."

Context on Recent PBE changes - Aurelion Sol, Cho'Gath, & more

Below we have Meddler explaining several of the tentative PBE changes we've seen pop up in the first two updates of the current PBE cycle - including context on Aurelion SolTwitchDr. Mundo, and Cho'Gath.
When asked about the Aurelion Sol changes in the 9/8 PBE update, Meddler shared a full tentative changelist:
I expect there just testing the "breaking" point for Ao Shin and this wont be in the offical live update. I mean they would be cutting his star dmg by 50%
Yeah, didn't notice it before, but the changes posted above are only a partial change list. I'm assuming issues with PBE scrapping. Full list (still in testing) below. Main thing to note is that while his W bonus damage is getting cut damage is getting added to the damage from his passive, so it's a nerf in many but not all points of the game to star damage (and technically a slight buff late game). 
P - Center of the Universe
Damage:: 20-97 >>> 20-130 
W - Celestial Expansion
Bonus Damage:: 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 >>> 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25
Persistent Mana Cost:: 16 / 22 / 28 / 34 / 40 per second >>> 22 / 24 / 26 / 28 / 30 per second 
E - Comet of Legend
Escape Velocity removed, can now be cast at any time outside of combat. Goes on short cooldown when taking champion/tower damage.
Can no longer click to cancel, only cancelled with E recast.
Now casts immediately, even if outside of cast range. " 
As for why they are looking into these changes, Meddler explained
"Aurelion Sol's too strong when played by experienced Aurelion Sol players and compared against other similar champions played by people with an equivalent amount of experience on those champs. Feels bad having to nerf him given he's not particularly common, he's still not a sufficiently fair experience in game though. 
In conjunction with the W changes we're also doing some quality of life work on the E. Goal there is to make it smoother to get into the flight state and reduce accidental cancels. Not sure if those changes are on PBE yet, should be there soon if not."
Meddler added:
so does this mean he doesn't gain movement speed moving in a straight line anymore?
The E passive is unchanged, the way you access the Active is different."

When asked why Riot doesn't do their own version of patch notes for PBE, Meddler commented:
Ah, the buffs and QoLs weren't listed. Why dont we have offical PBE path notes? Like it could just be a sticky thread on the pbe forums
So far we've avoided putting time into PBE patch notes because we'd rather use that time on development for the patch instead. Third party sites like S@20 aren't perfect, but they're very close most of the time, so the slight improvement in tester feedback and player discussion's likely to be pretty small."
When asked about the Cho'Gath PBE changes seen in the 9/8 PBE updateMeddler shared a tentative changelist and explained:
"We're aiming for power neutral, or slight buff with the Cho changes. Primary goal is to modernize the W so that it gets targets at the end of the cast rather than at the beginning. It's one of the last spells left that functions that way resulting in lack of clarity, feeling of unfairness and limited counterplay. Given that's a nerf in and of itself we're changing the CD so it reduces with rank which should add quite a lot of power. The silence is also longer than we generally feel's appropriate so we're trimming that slightly too. 
Full change list for anyone that hasn't seen it: 
W - Feral Scream 
  • Cooldown:: 13 >>> 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9
  • NEW:: Acquires targets post-cast rather than pre-cast (it is easier to dodge)
  • Range:: 585 >>> 650
  • Silence Duration:: 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 / 2.25 / 2.5 >>> 1.5 / 1.625 / 1.75 / 1.875 / 2"
He continued:
In the eventuality that he's going to be affected negatively by these changes, would it be possible to reduce the cast time of his spell?
Initial reaction is that we'd be better off putting power elsewhere. Cho's got really long cast times on all his abilities, that allows them to be much more impactful than normal though and gives him a heavy, powerful feeling that's pretty distinct."
When asked about the recent PBE nerf to Twitch's E stack damage, Meddler explained that they'll likely be trying a different nerf on his Q's bonus attack speed:
"Twitch isn't played much at present. He's strong enough at this point though in regular ranked that we feel we need to take a bit of power off him despite that however. E base damage change has already been replaced at this point, you should see a different iteration on PBE shortly with a focus on windowing his AS steroid uptime more."
Meddler continued:
Less of a balance question and just more out of curiosity, but what is Twitch's skill ramp compared to the other marksmen? I feel like he has one of the higher skill floors and ceilings, but maybe not the highest. Any reason why you think he might not be too popular? I personally think it's because it's hard to be consistently good with him, similar to Vayne. (He's my main I have to take advantage of this opportunity!)
From memory his skill curve is decently high, but within a fairly normal range. Top third of marksmen or something like that type of thing. 
I think one of the key parts of his low play rate's thematic. He's a kinda quirky dude, which tends to resonate really strongly with some players and not do it for a lot of others. That's fine, it just means he often won't be as commonly played as a more general archetype like Vayne. He's also pretty distinctly non human, which also puts a number of players off (more creature like champs also appeal strongly to a subset of players but aren't appealing to quite a few others)."
To build on to that, he continued:
Some people don't care much about theme and will play whatever they find most effective, or most enjoyable in terms of raw gameplay. I generally fall into that camp myself. We see really strong correlations though between how cool the average player feels a champion's theme is and average desire to play them though. Some champs are perpetually popular in both normals and ranked even if they're significantly weaker than other options available. Vayne's a good example of that, having maintained a high pick rate even when she's been pretty weak in the past. Other things that demonstrate that principle are spikes in play rate of champions when they get purely visual updates, appear in trailers, get new bios, get cool looking skins etc. Those don't impact gameplay at all and may not drive decisions at all for some people. For many players though they do seem to be pretty meaningful contributors to the decision of which champs they want to put time into.
When asked about the 9/8 PBE change to make Dr. Mundo's Q apply Grievous Wounds, Riot Sotere jumped in to provide context and note they'll be trying a different change soon:
"He went to the gym. He got buffs. We're actually going to test out some less controversial changes over the weekend. 
Our assessment is that he's been underperforming for awhile. Items and systems used to be much more favorable to him. The Cleaver change was an attempt at helping him fit into a Poke composition, and also a measure to ensure he didn't bait himself going for kills he thought he could finish off quite as much. I don't think the changes sold that message (poke assist, particularly) hard enough so we're going to look at a different direction."
Meddler added:
Meddler, sorry to hijack this thread, but can I ask for the context behind giving Mundo Grievous Wounds on his Q. It just seems incredibly random.
Was an investigation into giving him a clearer niche. Believe we're pulling it, Mundo needs a bit of help but that's likely not the right approach."

Meddler Grab Bag - Ekko, Brand, and more

Next up we have a small grab bag of Meddler recent boards posts on various topics:
In a board thread discussing recent Ekko changes, Meddler commented:
They are attempting to nerf his defensive build (Fervor of Battle + Trinity Force -> Tank).
By reducing his base AD, they are:

  • Weakening his early trades in top-lane
  • Making it more difficult for him to last hit minions
  • Reducing the damage provided by Spellblade and Sterak's Gage
^ This stuff. 
Longer term (pre-season) we'll also make some more significant changes also aimed at pushing Ekko towards squishier, higher damage builds that have better counterplay. This change was intended to a quick, predictable nerf as a temporary measure."
Meddler continued
remove his passive. and add some form of damage that isn't delayed. also remove the damage from his ult and make it an escape. number shifts and little bits of changes won't fix him.
The passive and delayed damage are there to delay Ekko's ability to kill targets, giving them chances to respond to him. We're fairly happy with how that works when Ekko isn't building tanky, so see the issue there as the defensive builds not that his damage isn't all front loaded. 
Removing the damage from the ult means that he's always got it up as an escape (never puts it on CD in a riskier way) and that damage on the rest of his kit needs to be higher. Given the ult's unreliable, with decent counterplay against the damage, would be concerned about that approach as a result."
When asked about previously reverted PBE buffs for BrandMeddler commented:
"We were looking into possible Brand buffs a few patches back because we felt he could be a contender for occasional professional play with slight changes. Conclusion though was that that would put him at an inappropriate power level in regular play however so we backed off on the buffs as a result."

As for potential changes to the mastery Fervor of Battle and if there is any chance to add a sort of scaling to it, Meddler commented:
"Something along those lines is pretty likely in pre-season. We'll be doing some work on Keystone masteries, both to address balance problems and to improve degree to which some champions feel they have appealing options in the system. Fervor's top of our list balance wise, with some form of scaling besides just AS a likely solve for the problems seen with it."
When asked about current thoughts on the Manamune/Muramana items, Meddler explained:
"No, we've no current plans to remove Manamune/Muramana. They are only core on a few champions, which is a downside, they've got an interesting play pattern to them though and through offering delayed power give both an interesting trade off and a pretty healthy form of advantage. It also helps that they're the counterparts to the somewhat more widely used Archangels, so cost of having a low ish item line's somewhat compensated for there too."

Patch Chat with the Playtest Team - 6.18, Worlds Patch! 

With 6.18 out on live servers, the playtest team is back for another patch chat: 
"Hey guys! Welcome to Patch Chat, a Dev Corner thread we make to talk about our new patches every two weeks. 
I'm Aesah on Riot's Playtest Team, a group of Diamond+ players who play with the new champions, reworks, balance tweaks, items, and map updates before they are released. It's our job to the test the changes that our designers come up with and ensure that we're introducing positive changes to LoL in terms of both balance and fun. We'll be watching this thread to answer as many questions as we can. 
While we always keep normal and ranked games in mind for balance (e.g., the terror of tank Yasuo is getting hit here), 6.18 is the patch that Worlds will be played on so we're focusing a bit more on competitive play for this one. First off, a few champions who've fallen a bit behind in the meta have gotten some minor buffs (Lux, Nocturne, Miss Fortune, and Lee Sin). Primarily though, we're nerfing several champions that have caused pros to dismiss other options due to their just-a-bit-too-high power levels. Notable champions that received varying degrees of nerfs based on how overbearing their presence was include Ashe, Ekko, Gnar, Lissandra, Reksai, Taliyah, Shen, and Vladimir. We're expecting that tuning down these staples of competitive play will cause an increase in champion diversity while not completing butchering their viability in both competitive play as well as normal/ranked games. 
All of us on the Playtest Team are avid gamers so feel free to talk to us as fellow LoL players! 
Adam "Afic" Cohen
Preston “Hinderaga” Bunker
Ben “Cezium” Burkhardt
Shawn “I Am The IRS” Currie
Don “Aesah” Ding
Nicolas “Gleeb” Haddad
Dan “Penguin” Hardison
Miles “Daydreamin” Hoard
Bao “Bao” Lam
Robert “RobertxLee” Lee
Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith
Blake “S0be” Soberanis
Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes"

KateyKhaos on Championship Zed

KateyKhaos tweeted out earlier today to point out that Championship Zed has been removed from the upcoming skins part of the 6.18 patch notes:
"Edit: Championship Zed has been removed from the 'Upcoming Skins' in the 6.18 Patch Notes |"
She continued:
"No release info has been announced. In general, we don't announce release dates in advance."
Presumably this means we might not see Championship Zed released in 6.18 but instead closer to the start of the 2016 World Championship on September 29th! Stay tuned for more information! A full in-game preview of this upcoming skin can be found [here].

[VOD] Q&A and games with Live Gameplay's SmashGizmo

Scarizard is back with another League Design livestream, this time with special guest SMASHGIZMO! Check out the VOD as the dynamic duo answer player questions on balance, design, and more!

[Merch Store] Caitlyn Statue now available

A new premium Caitlyn Statue is now available in the Riot Games merch store - priced at $60 €60.00.

Last Chance: Worlds 2016 Tickets

With the group stages kicking off on September 29th, a last set of 2016 World Championship tickets are going on sale next week!
"It’s the final chance to grab your tickets for the 2016 League of Legends World Championship. We'll be releasing the any remaining Worlds 2016 tickets starting with Quarterfinals on September 13, Semifinals on September 14, and Finals on September 15. Read on for more information about how you can grab a seat at Worlds 2016:"
Check out the full article [here] and this primer for more on the upcoming 2016 World Championship.


To round out tonight's red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • The 2016 Worlds Pick'em is coming September 10th! Earn summoner icons and more by participating and guessing correctly

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