Red Post Collection: Ask Riot on Runes, Splash Art, & Buttons, Nexus Siege in RGM Friday + All Random URF, & more!

Posted on at 4:20 AM by Moobeat

This morning's red post collection includes a new Ask Riot on Runes, Splash art, & buttons, Nexus Siege returning in the RGMQ Friday + schedule updated to add All Random URF, L4T3NCY with a post on RGMQ, episode three of Riot's LIVE/PLAY series, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Ask Riot on Runes, Splash Art and Buttons 

Up first is a brand new edition of ASK RIOT discussing Runes, Splash art, and ability button assignment.
"Welcome to Ask Riot, where we focus on your questions and give you answers. 
This week, we talk about how we make splash art, how we decide which abilities go on which buttons, and our current thoughts on Runes and Masteries. 
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. 
My question is about the splash arts of champions. I really like them and they look fantastic, but I wanted to know: How long do you usually need to design a splash art of a champ or skin? 
It takes our team around four weeks to complete a piece of splash art. Splash art is arguably our most important asset outside of the game as it’s frequently a player’s first interaction with a champion or skin. This gives you a chance to first fantasize about playing as the champ (or skin). If done well, it could give you a deeper idea of a skin’s alt-fantasy or a champion’s motivations. You know what they say about first impressions, so we want to take our time and get it right. 
We start with the champion or skin concept art being shared with the splash artist. From there, we create some really rough thumbnail images to get an idea of the composition. This is shared with the team and broader illustration team at Riot for feedback. We’ll create a variety of thumbnails to choose from, usually 3 to 6, and then pick one and continue to explore it. We’ll iterate and execute changes and move into Color Composition. Here, we’ll try out a few different color schemes on the single thumbnail to lock down the right mood and tone. 
Once a color composition is picked the artist then goes and creates a line drawing. These initial stages account for about the first two weeks of a splash's development. The final two weeks are the render stage, where we create really tight details and materials to get the level of quality players know today. Another factor we sometimes have to consider is preparing the splash to be animated by the Motion Graphics team, which can take extra time to build out! 
One of the other questions we hear often, is “How do you decide something is ready?” Well, this can be a little ambiguous to answer as we'd love to keep polishing forever but that means we’d never actually get it to you so that won’t work. While a splash is being rendered we monitor it pretty closely with the team to make sure we incorporate all the correct details and ensure the right level of visual hierarchy within the composition. Feedback can range pretty drastically! Sometimes in really colorful exciting compositions, like PROJECT: Ekko, the feedback will have be more geared towards making sure the character pops out from a busy background. For art like Pool Party Miss Fortune, we had to pay really close attention to (and edit) the character herself to make her feel like the champion who players know and love. There’s always new challenges with developing splash art so we really do have to take them on as they come! 
3rdColossus, Champion Splash Artist and Riot Ve1vet, Personalization (Skins Team) Production
What was your vision for runes and masteries when you first created them and how might you change the system? 
The original intentions behind runes and masteries were two-fold. First, they gave players some ability to customize their champion’s power and abilities above and beyond Summoner Spell and item choices. Second, they served as a form of progression system for level 1-30. As you obtained levels, you earned new mastery points and rune slots. 
In terms of runes and masteries providing meaningful customization today, the experience is only average at best in my opinion. The update to keystone masteries we did last season helped to provide more choices for players, but we still have a long way to go. (Working in Adobe Air also proved to be pretty brittle to work with technically, which makes ongoing adjustments painful to players and developers because they tend to cause bugs, but we do have plans to rewrite this code.) Because rune benefits are passive stats, which can be easily solved by the community, it’s hard for them to ever be interesting decisions. In their current form, runes will probably always be something you just look up on the internet and copy from a guide, and that’s not awesome. 
In terms of runes and masteries providing meaningful progression today, we’re just not hitting the mark. I’d argue that for players who are truly new to League, it’s hard for them to appreciate whether buying a new Lesser Quintessence of Mana is really noticeable when they’re still mastering the basics of the game. But even worse, a power delta between a lower level and higher level player exists because of runes and masteries. It’s the worst of both worlds: a system that doesn’t feel meaningful but in reality is really meaningful, in a bad way. This power disparity makes learning things like last hitting harder for the players who needs help the most, as well as making them weaker when compared to bots, or allied or enemy human players. 
When League launched, the Summoner leveling system was pretty much the only progression in the game. At this point in the game’s life cycle, most League players have been level 30 for some time, and they have other progression systems that they can focus on, such as ranked progression or champion mastery, and we have long-term plans to offer additional progression systems as well. We recently reduced the time it takes to reach level 30, but we have acknowledged before that League’s onboarding experience needs much more attention. When we do that work (which is a priority, just not as high as many other priorities), we think we can offer a more compelling experience for truly new players that isn’t based around earning small passive bonuses (for example, Hextech Crafting is arguably a better system for delivering incremental rewards to players). 
So if we don’t think runes and masteries have aged well, what are we going to do about it? We need to make changes. I will be frank that they won’t be coming in the 2017 preseason. These are complicated systems for developers to work on, and they affect everything from game balance to League’s IP economy. We don’t have details to share yet, but I didn’t want to confess that we aren’t happy with the current system without offering some commitment that we are going to change it. We think we can deliver on a system that offers some amount of customization without the current power delta that occurs while leveling. While there are champions that are underpowered or overpowered at any moment in time, overall we think most players would agree that they have a lot of champions that they can choose to play. In the same way, we think we can offer that level of choice in runes and masteries, or whatever the system that replaces them turns out to be. 
GhostCrawler, Game Design Director 
How do you decide which abilities get assigned to which buttons? 
There are a couple of guidelines we try to follow with ability slotting to help players when they’re first learning a new champion. 
First, if an ability is shaping up to be the bread-and-butter spell, the one that’s cast most frequently and ranked up first, we tend to assign it to Q. While players will eventually try all kinds of skill orders, we try and make sure that for a player trying a champion for the first time, maxing Q is a decent choice. 
Second, some types of abilities have trended into certain slots, and we try to follow those trends. When working on Kled, for instance, we were prototyping an early version of Jousting, his dash ability. We looked at similar melee fighter champions like Riven and Yasuo, saw that their dash abilities were in the E slot, and followed suit with Kled’s dash. Similarly, his purely passive attack modifier, Violent Tendencies, has similarities to abilities like Vi’s Denting Blows and Vayne’s Silver Bolts, which both live in the W slot. 
By following existing trends, we can leverage skills players have already learned from other champions to help get over the hump of playing an unfamiliar champion. It’s similar to how games in other genres follow shared conventions - if you’re playing a new, complicated FPS, for instance, you at least know that pointing the cursor and clicking the left mouse button will (generally) shoot your gun. 
Oh, and we like putting ultimate abilities on the R button. It just feels like the most powerful letter, you know? 
Harrow, Game Designer"

RGMQ: NEXUS SIEGE This weekend & Updated Schedule

Nexus Siege returns this weekend in the rotating game mode queue! The RGMQ schedule has also been updated to includethe new ALL RANDOM URF September 23th - 26th
"From the original clone-tastic One For All to the sand-strewn battlefield of Ascension, 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:Nexus Siege returns. 
Need a refresher on the new Siege Weapons or some strategy and champion suggestions? Go check out the Nexus Siege website here! Just ignore those out-of-date, um, dates--this time around, Nexus Siege 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).

As always we’ll be trying out different things with the rotating game mode queue and we’d love to hear your feedback. GLHF!"
As always, we keep the RGMQ schedule updated on the left hand sidebar here at S@20!

L4T3NCY with RGM queue brain dump 

Speaking of the rotating game mode queue and this upcoming All Random URF mode, L4T3NCY jumped on the boards to shared a few thoughts on the RGMQ and answer common questions:
"Heya guys, been a while since I did one of these. Seems that people enjoy the transparency each time, so here I go again. :D 
Why is "Mode X" on every weekend!? Where's "Mode Y"!?
We've been keeping a steady 1.5 months between most mode repeats (except for 1 time on Hexakill during Nexus Siege polish, where it came back in 4 weeks instead of the usual 6). We also realise that most of you don't actually think the same mode get's repeated every weekend, but depending on what kind of player you are, it might feel that way. Certain modes do/don't resonate with certain types of players, so if you like the chill of Poro King, but aren't really into the brawls of Ascension/Hexakill, it can feel like a gap between modes "for you". 
This is something we haven't figured out a good solution for yet. :/ One option is obviously to switch on all modes all the time, but that would be a disaster for queue health, maintenance, etc. For now, a healthy rotation of as many modes that hit as many player types as possible, combined with us updating older modes (Ascension & Hexakill recently got medium-sized updates), while continuing to add new modes as we go, feels like the best approach. 
When is the next "big mode"?
Larger scope modes like Nexus Siege take longer to develop than others. We enjoy making them though, and you guys always respond to the extra effort, which feeds back into pumping us up for the next one! :D Given the fuzzy nature of gamedev though, we can't easily say "This day here, it'll be done!" (Random Pose Option plz Jeff :P) as any number of unforeseen things can bork development. Rest assured though, we're committed to continue adding spicy goodness to the RGM in some shape or another. 
As the name says, it's All Random URF. 
Why did it take so long for URF to come back?
In a sense, we haven't even brought back regular URF, it's ARURF for now. Regular URF was stagnating super fast and had some unhealthy play patterns. :/ 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 it could be a much healthier version of the mode. We're hoping you guys have fun with it! :D 
Do I get rerolls in ARURF?
Yep. We'll be sharing rerolls for ARAM in this first version, but will increase the rate at which you earn them to compensate. Not sure if we want to split them out for the future, but it's something we'd consider. 
Why didn't you call it AARF? That's even what URF says.. you missed like the best opportunity. WTF?!
I'm sorry.... I failed you all. :'( 
What about people dodging in ARURF?
Similar to Nemesis Draft, we'll probably need to tweak dodge timers to reflect the lack of player agency in champion select. Nemesis Draft's 2hr penalty might be a little steep, but ARAM's 30mins might also be too soft. Something in between could be good here. 
I'll be chilling in here throughout today, feel free ask me anything. ^_^b 
-- L4T3NCY"
When asked about champion specific disables for ARURF mode, L4T3NCY noted:
"That said, we will certainly be considering champ disables this time. It's one thing to be in control of your champ pick and opt-in to an experience, but to roll Yasuo/Thresh/Anivia and be stuck with them is a bit harsh. :|"

When asked if ARURF will be on Summoner's Rift, L4T3NCY confirmed
Will this be on Summoner's Rift?
L4T3NCY continued, answering a group of questions:
I have a few questions:
  1. Has the team in charge of RGM's ever considered adding more bans to certain modes or? While some modes dont really need them (Ascension, Nemesis Draft) some modes really would be better with more bans (One For All, maybe Nexus Seige). How about perma banning some champions from certain modes like you did with Karthus and Teemo being permabanned from One For All? Is that something that could happen again in the future?
  2. How likely are the ascension changes to stay? I saw a lot of negative feedback about them and people asking for them to be reverted.
  3. Do modes like Doom Bots, Black Market Brawlers, or Snowdown Showdown have a chance to make a comeback?
  4. Are there any new modes being worked on outside of ARURF currently?
Also I would like to say that I love the work that has been put into Rotating Queue and that I would barely be playing league at all if rotating queue never happened. After online tournaments were removed and my hatred of this seasons balance driving me away from Summoners Rift its nice to have these for fun modes back. And most of them do make me feel better about the game and help me forgive Riot for some of the decisions that I really hated.
Good questions. Easy to read. Let's go.
  1. Sure. Adding more bans doesn't really solve the underlying problem though. EG: If we increased bans to 10, it would just shift focus from picks #7, #8, & #9 to picks #11, #12 & #13. Perma-banning champs from a mode is something we've done in the past (although we'd prefer not to if possible), and could always consider again.
  2. We were pretty happy with the results so far. Removing the brush and changing how Ascension is granted has meant WA~AY more players are now contesting Xerath, which is good because it means more Ascensions! :D Most of the negative feedback I saw was along the lines of, "I can't free snipe him with no risk from 2000 range anymore.." which is great, because that's exactly what we were trying to stop. ^_-
  3. Every mode has a chance to comeback! More detail here!
  4. Mebeeee?.... Mebeee not?!? ..but mebeee. :)"

Scruffy on Ekko's Slows

In a thread inquiring about Ekko and his abundance of slows, RiotScruffy commented:
"Ekko's slow is one of the main things that makes tank ekko the dominant build. He has some similar problems that original skarner's permaslow had. (full control of fights, makes it easy to win when ahead and almost always avoid death when not killing). 
We're probably going to weaken his slows or add some gaps in his slowing pattern. Likely we will compensate his kit in some other way."
When asked about the possibility of removing his passive slow and adding in something else, he noted:
"This is a legit possibility."
He continued:
"We're thinking about doing just that: lower slows, more of other things."

Meddler Grab Bag

Next up we have a small grab bag of assorted boards posts from Meddler !

When asked if the Kha'zix vs Rengar mini game quest will remain in the game after Rengar's upcoming assassin class update, Meddler commented:
"We'll be keeping the Rengar/Kha'Zix quest after the assassin update. That style of quest's got some issues, which is why we haven't added a lot of new ones despite that one being good fun, we don't currently have any plans to remove it though. Will have to make some updates to it to account for kit changes however."

When asked about potentially making a champion out of The Shadow Isle's Ruined King (who an item is named after and is mentioned in the lore), Meddler commented:
We've talked quite a bit about whether we should make the Ruined King as a champion. We're open to the idea, but don't want to do so just for the sake of doing so (need the right execution basically and want to avoid making him just to tick a box). We actually looked at one point into whether Yorick himself should be the Ruined King in disguise (a King Lear sort of thing), before concluding that didn't do proper service to the Ruined King's concept or Yorick's concept. 
TLDR: Could definitely happen someday, not going to rush it though."
 Meddler continued:
but but what happens if the ruined king buys his blade? do we get some sort of a special interaction? 
though it would be cool if the ruined king was some sort of involved in an ability. or a game mode. as a boss . or like baron nashor.
If we made the Ruined King as a champ I'm sure we'd get at minimum some VO in for Blade of the Ruined King purchases, maybe some other form of easter egg too. 
Using the Ruined King as something other than a champion, like a boss or game mode feature or whatever, is also one of the reasons he's a 'maybe' rather than a 'we really want to and just need to find the right time/concept'. Some ideas may be better realized as non player controlled characters than as regular champions and we're still figuring out what we think's best for the Ruined King."
Meddler continued:
So you guys want to use him in game but just cant decide what yet? Cool, Is it the same for the watchers?
Harder to say on the watchers, in part because we've talked less about them. Couldn't rule it out, but wouldn't consider it as likely an idea at least at the moment."

As for the current Yasuo R bug where he immediately attack during R and why Yasuo hasn't been disabled yet, Meddler explained:
"We disable champions if they're so bugged or overpowered that they need to be hotfixed. In this case while the bug does give Yasuo a significant amount of extra power, and fixing it was a major priority for the next patch, it didn't push his performance beyond what we consider the acceptable limit for a 2 week period. As a result we left him enabled."
When asked about what the limits is of something being at this acceptable limit, he noted:
"Acceptable till the next patch versus acceptable longer term are things we treat pretty differently. Statistically at least we'll generally be looking at hotfixes if a champs in the high fifities or above. That's not to say there isn't some real pain and problems sometimes with champions below that, hotfixes have risk associated with them (changes to servers while they're live, less testing time) though that mean it's only appropriate to use them pretty sparingly."

Live/Play Ep. 3 - Who We Are

The third episode of the LIVE/PLAY mini series is now available - check out WHO WE ARE:

"A balloon artist with League-themed work blows up in Taiwan. Rodger writes his thesis on identity in online games. An animated story from Houston reminds us we are what we do for our friends."
A playlist of all current episodes is available [here].

To celebrate the launch of episode 3, there was also a livestream debut and Q&A with director Riot Jerkee over on the League of Legends twitch. Click here for a VOD.

What’s your story? 

Following the latest episode of LIVE/PLAY, a new article went up asking "What's your story?", including several Rioters sharing how they got into league and work!
"In this episode of Live/Play, a few NA players shared how League of Legends impacted their lives, and it inspired some NA Rioters to share their stories: 
ADillonMostDirty: Since first trying the game out six years ago on a buddy's recommendation (Shaco + Rammus bot lane 4 lyfe), League's been a huge constant in my life, intertwined with everything from my professional development to the numerous friends I've made. Getting older as a gamer, it’s easy to get jaded, but the sheer magnitude of League's impact on both the world and players' lives continues to inspire me in adding to the ecosystem and looking forward to everything still to come. 
Ransom: I got into League by playing nightly games with same group of five guys, including my brother. Now four of us work here. GG 
Sherman: Going into freshman year, I was a really shy and introverted person (still am), but I knew 1 league player at my school and through him I was introduced to some of the closest friends I've ever had. About 2 weeks into college, I ended up introducing 5 people I met through that friend to League by setting everyone’s laptop up in the communal laundry room in our dorm (it had the best wifi in the building), and downloading and playing our first game as league. After that, I lived with those same people for the next 3 years of college, traveling across Texas to play in tournaments. 
RiotGenzer: If it weren’t for League of Legends, I would still be working in a trailer on a car lot in Red Hook, Brooklyn. 
MiniWhiteRabbit: I started playing League as job research and fell in love with it, bringing all my friends to it. The person who recommended I play League for research ended up being hired by Riot. I kept playing and met my now SO (and Rioter) through League. We played daily and I met a bunch of other amazing players who became good friends. League became the thing I looked forward to the most as I was going through severe depression and panic attacks. Eventually I applied to Riot, was hired, and ended up on the same team as the person who recommended I play League for research in the first place! 
What’s your story? Tell us in the comments about a cool League experience you’ve had!"

Legends Rising: Rekkles tease

With a new season of Legends Rising starting up next week, here's another series teaser featuring FNC's Rekkles!

More information available [here].


To round out tonight's red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • There is currently a CHROMA FOR IP sale between August 25th and September 8th! This means all chroma released PRIOR TO AUGUST 2016 will be on sale for 2000 IP each  More information available here.

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