Red Post Collection: Ivern Animations, Challenger Rewards, Plants & Pre-Season, SG Fanart, Twitch R Name Change,& more!

Posted on at 3:14 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection includes a dev blog on Ivern's animations, preview of physical rewards for Challenger tier players this season, Twitch's R's name to be changed back to Spray and Pray, a new Ask Riot, Hexakill: TT back Friday in the RGMQ, additional discussion on pre-season & plants, Star Guardian fan art, a reminder on the new Elementalist Lux, Jayce of the Bright Hammer, and Worldbreaker Nautilus skin names found on PBE, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Dev Blog: The Animation of Ivern 

While Ivern busy in the jungle after release 6.20, here's Lukehop with a dev blog looking at how they designed Ivern's animations:
"Hello everyone! Lingyun "LukeHop" Hu here to tell you about our latest champion, Ivern, and how we used animation as a tool to strengthen and define his character. 
Personality and Run cycles 
A character's personality is always the first thing we need to nail down before we begin production. It's the most important element to make the champion stand out from others and affects every aspect of art production. Ivern began as a peaceful, mysterious, zen type of character, but we wanted him to be more of a springy, energetic oddball. This was partly to distinguish Ivern from Maokai or Zyra, both of whom use the power of nature in a violent and aggressive way. 
As the most frequently played animation in League, run cycles are treated as foundational when building a character. Even though it's just a couple of seconds of animation, it may take us several iterations before we finally having a satisfying piece. I wanted Ivern's run cycle to feel like he's a gardener walking around his garden. He's comfortable, confident. He enjoys exploring his kingdom. I lifted up his spine, raised his head, and let him do really big, over-the-top strides to emphasize that. After the base movement speed run was done, we needed to do different versions of run cycles to match Ivern's speed when he has boots or other speed buffs.

Limber, not Lumber 
Next up, the Green daddy's idle animation! The idle animation is the first thing you usually see as you enter the game and it's the core component that connects nearly every other animation. So we need to make sure it perfectly matches the character and also has a unique shape. For Ivern, we decided to avoid the traditional "lumbering tree man" archetype and highlighted his nature-enhanced limberness. We rigged up a special right arm for him which allows it to stretch and twist like vines. 

The Recall animation is also super important for building personality. It's a good opportunity for animators to show a shining performance in about nine seconds. My idea was that, as a friend of forest, Ivern cares about everyone's life and would want to bring them to a safe place… in a fun way!

Gameplay Animation 
All the locomotion animations are light-hearted, but sometimes Ivern needs to fight for his team. Even though he's a gentle soul, Ivern is still able to teach you a lesson when you want to hurt his friends. The question for our animators was: how can we maintain his friendly impression and still give players a sense of satisfaction when Ivern fights? Our solution was that, instead of letting him hit an enemy hard by using powerful punches or kicks, he could do sort of comical slaps and flicks.

Ivern was a really challenging but super fun champion to work on and we're so excited to see him out in the world! Hopefully you guys have a great time playing him! 
Thanks for reading!"

2016 Challenger Rewards

Following mention of adding physical rewards for Challenger the highest ranked tier - players, Riot has posted a preview of the exclusive Challenger jackets to recognize top tier player's achievements in the 2016 ranked season!
"Hi Summoners, Riot Riscx here to talk about the new Challenger rewards. We previously announced brand new physical rewards for Challenger Tier this year—here’s what that means. 
The top players from each Ranked queue will receive exclusive Challenger Jackets to recognize their achievement in Season 2016. These jackets will only be obtainable through playing Ranked this year. Thevery top players will also receive a Challenger 2016 Collector’s Medallion in further recognition of their achievement this season. 
Here’s how those rewards break down: 
Challenger Solo 
Top 10 Players
  • Challenger 2016 Collector’s Medallion
  • Challenger 2016 Jacket 
Top 200 Players 
  • Challenger 2016 Jacket 
Challenger 3s and 5s Teams 
Top 1 Team 
  • Challenger 2016 Collector’s Medallion
  • Challenger 2016 Jacket 
Top 5 Teams
  • Challenger 2016 Jacket
(We won’t be granting Ranked 3s rewards in regions that don’t have the Ranked 3s queue. Just to be clear.) 
Now let’s talk about delivery, eligibility, multiple accounts, and why only the top teams will receive these rewards. 
Team Rewards 
We believe Challenger rewards should represent the same level of elite achievement, regardless of which queue you play in. Since Ranked Team populations are very small, rewarding the same percentage of players in a Team queue means we reward fewer teams than are in Challenger Tier overall. For context, these queues each have a similar numbers of players to Dominion before it was moved to the rotating game mode queue. 
A numerical comparison:
  • Rewarding Ranked 3s players at the same global percentage of achievement as 200 Solo Challenger players would reward only 4 teams
  • Rewarding Ranked 5s players at the same global percentage of achievement as 200 Solo Challenger players would reward only 3 teams
Our goal is to be fair to all players regarding the level of accomplishment Challenger rewards represent, not to punish players because their queue is unpopular. Regional variation can skew these numbers even further: in Korea, for example, only one player in the top Ranked 3s team would receive a reward if we went by numbers alone. We bumped the rewards threshold to the top 5 teams to be more fair to team-queue players across the globe. Increasing the amount of teams rewarded also allows room for more people to join these queues as the season ends. Tens of thousands of new players would need to start playing in teams to push the target above 5 teams (though we’re open to adjusting if this happens). 
If an account is eligible for the usual End of Season rewards, it’s probably also eligible for Challenger rewards if it also meets the standings criteria outlined above. That said, Challenger accounts will be subject to additional screening for account sharing, win trading, toxicity, and other negative behavior. These violations render offending accounts ineligible for both Challenger and End of Season rewards. 
Multiple Accounts 
Players who can maintain more than one account within the standings threshold will receive more than one reward, with an exception - Challenger rewards are limited to one per account. If an account is in multiple qualifying teams or queues, it will only earn 1 reward. This rule is in place to address less-active queues in some regions, where some accounts are active in multiple top teams because so few teams exist.

Delivery Window & Cut-off 
The Challenger rewards aren’t sitting in a warehouse waiting to be delivered—we’ll be making them to-order once the season ends and we’ve received information from their future owners. As a result, our target for delivery is late Spring 2017. 
After the season ends, we'll email players who qualified for Challenger rewards with instructions on how to order their gear (or via QQ/Garena messenger in those regions). Riot will cover all costs we're legally able to, though tax laws will prevent us from doing so fully in a handful of countries. Players will need to put their orders in before a cutoff date (roughly six weeks after the season ends) to receive rewards. 
IMPORTANT NOTE: If players haven't verified their email, or if they don't place their order by the cutoff date, they won't receive these rewards! 
We'll publish a reminder before the cutoff date so players have another chance to verify their emails and put in their orders. 
We are proud to celebrate the top League of Legends players of Season 2016, and look forward to these players being recognized both in and out of game for their achievements."
Riot_Riscx added:
"Hi guys, 
I want to give a huge thank you to the challengers, pro players, and streamers who helped give feedback on the reward idea + the other changes to challenger ladder (decay, solo only, autofill protection). Dont want to call them out by name but some really awesome influencers were kind enough to share their time on multiple occasions with me on skype to help us understand what players would want to see to make Challenger better."
As for if challenger players will need to pay anything to get the jackets, Riot_Riscx noted:
are these free or do the challengers still need to buy them?
completely free - except in countries where we legally cant pay tax and shipping for you. Theres a couple countries globally where the receiver HAS to pay the tax. In every other country, it will be no cost."
The 2016 ranked season concludes at the end of the day (in your region) on November 7th! Details on upcoming changes to the 2017 ranked season can be found [here].

Ask Riot: Summoner spells, 4K support, and Reddit 

It's Thursday and we have a new edition of Ask Riot! This week answers questions on Summoner Spells, 4k  monitor support, and the community site reddit.
"Welcome to Ask Riot! 
This week, we’re talking Reddit, 4K, and summoner spells.

Why does Riot use Reddit more than their official forums?

Given the huge number of League communities out there, our thinking is that Rioters should be free to interact with players wherever they choose to congregate, and wherever the Rioter is most comfortable doing so. The subreddit is a huge community nexus with a couple unique advantages (multi-regional community, high visibility, etc.), and obviously has to be a part of our overall goal of reaching out to you whatever your chosen community. There are absolutely things we can do better on both the Boards AND the subreddit, but we try to address those needs on a channel-by-channel basis rather than with a give-and-take approach. 
As an aside - our latest data shows similar numbers for Rioters posting on the NA boards and the League subreddit (~130 Rioters commenting ~1500 times each month). Once you add in the PBE board, other English boards (OCE, EU), not to mention non-English regions (e.g., Brazil) for which the Boards are the primary community forum, Boards are far and away the leading space in which Rioters talk with players. 
Ostrichbeernana, Player Relations & ADillonMostDaddy, NA Editorial

Are there any plans to update League of Legends to make it more compatible with 4K resolution?

Priority-wise, there are no plans to do anything about this in the short term. We squash 4K specific bugs from time to time and make quality of life updates when we can, but this is likely the best we can do for the moment. There’s always a give and take with stuff like this -- we’d have to pull people away from a project like Replays or the new client to make a concerted effort on 4K, and as 4K is still a very small percentage of the player base it doesn’t feel like the right thing to do right now. 
We’re continuing to think about this space, though, and if 4K continues to gain in popularity, it’s likely we’ll revisit it. 
LevelLobster, Engineering Architect

Why aren’t all summoner spells unlocked at level 1?

This is pretty similar to the answer I gave about runes progression several weeks ago.
The original intent was that you’d unlock summoner spells over time for two reasons: 1) as a reward for earning a new level, 2) to keep complexity for new players to a minimum. While I’m not sure either of those reasons is really delivering in spades, I also don’t think there is a ton of harm in restricting level 1 accounts to fewer summoner spells with one exception. That exception is Smite. 
I think we actually cause a lot of problems by completely preventing low level accounts from being able to jungle. I realize Smite isn’t the only issue here, but it is an issue. Low level players can’t replicate the way most League players experience Summoner’s Rift with a champion in each lane, someone playing support, and someone playing jungle. 
If we really wanted to make the ability to play jungle something you unlock (and I’m not sure there’s a compelling reason to do so) I would want to be more explicit about that rather than just restrict a tool that you kinda, sorta need to be able to jungle effectively. 
There are a lot of problems with our low-level experience. Ideally we could clean up summoner spells when we clean up rune progression. 
Ghostcrawler, Game Design Director

Have a question? Head over to Ask Riot and sign into your League account. Check out the Dos and Don’ts, then ask away. 
We promise to read every question, but we can’t guarantee they’ll all get answers. Some questions may already be answered elsewhere, and some won’t be right for Ask Riot. This isn’t the best place to announce new features, for example, and we might skip conversations on issues we’ve talked about in depth before (though we can clarify individual points). 
We are listening, though, so keep asking. We’ll make sure your questions are heard by the Rioters working on the stuff you’re curious about."

RGMQ: Hexakill: Twisted Treeline this Friday & Updated Schedule 

Hexakill: Twisted Treeline returns this weekend in the rotating game mode queue! Look for this mode to be enabled around noon server time Friday and last through Monday evening.

Following Hexakill: TT and two weeks of the new and improved Doom Bots of Doom, Legend of the Poro King has been added to the RGMQ schedule November 4th through 7th!

Additional Pre-season & Plant Discussion

Following the recent announcement of pre-season's system changes and the addition of PLANTS to the jungle, Meddler popped on the boards to share even more on how plants spawn.
"Good question. That's the sort of detail we should have included in our earlier messaging, given how important that stuff is to assessing a feature like this. Bunch of details below, bear in mind this stuff's still being worked on though so exact numbers and other details will almost certainly change at least somewhat. 
  • Each type of plant has a few specified locations per jungle quadrant that it can spawn in and limits on how many plants can be in that area at any one time. Blast Cones for example have 5 possible spawn points per quadrant, one of which happens consistently, the other four of which are occasionally. A quadrant will spawn a Blast Cone around every 3 minutes, and there can't be more than two of them in a quadrant. Their spawn locations are all near interesting walls to cross/junctions to control. Scrying Blooms and Honeyfruit have similar spawn times and rules, though use different spawn points (e.g. Honeyfruit only ever appear in the river along the walls). 
  • First jungle clear is almost entirely pre-set. There's only slight variation in when plants spawn (~10s), so you can rely on plants generally having predictable behavior around the start and ends of clears especially. First generation of plants here spawn between the 1:00 and 2:30 range. 
  • Early game (until around minute 15) plants only appear deeper in the jungle, so that they don't feel like they're having too strong an impact on individual lanes. As the game progresses additional spawn points closer to the lane start getting used (e.g. there are Blast Cone locations you can use to dive some towers, but they're not going to occur until around 25 minutes). 
  • Expectation is, based off both plant spawn locations and who's travelling the map, that junglers will be the primary champions interacting with plants early to early-mid game, but eventually they'll be things that are occasionally relevant to any member of a team. 
  • Version we're currently testing is that plants have a 30s growing time (telegraph of when they'll be useable). They'll appear on the minimap once you've seen them, but won't be removed if someone uses them out of your vision until you revisit that spot (like small jungle camps or buildings in an RTS game). While a plant is growing there's no way to interact with it. 
  • After they've been used plants leave some withered remains behind for a short time (currently also 30s). As a result you sometimes won't want to interact with a given plant if you're concerned about signalling to the enemy team that you've recently been through a particular area. 
  • While there's some variation in where/when plants spawn the script that controls them is also designed so that it will distribute plants fairly between the sides of the map (one team shouldn't get screwed) and will pull back towards average results over time (if spawns have been much less frequent or infrequent than they should be on average for a little while the next period will have more/fewer spawns to compensate). 
That's the stuff I can think of at present, are there any other details you'd like to know more about?" 
In response to concern over the new mechanics added in pre-season, Meddler noted:
I can understand the concern, would love to chat further about how you feel once this stuff's on PBE in particular. We seem to have missed the mark a bit on our communication, since the impact of plants seems to have been pretty oversold. They're something you interact with occasionally, with some variation to exactly where you'll find them, not something that will heavily determine the outcome of a game or that you'll encounter all over the place. As with the elemental dragons and the controlled randomness there if they don't work out we'll heavily modify or remove them. One of the biggest advantages we can see to plants, compared to smite buffs, is that we're better set up to have them remain relevant over the course of a game (smite buff interactions drops off a lot after the first couple of clears, given a couple of effects dominate the others and the need to keep smite charges for PVP smites, baron and dragon).
Meddler continued:
"Oh, other thing I wanted to mention. There's certainly a chance that, as with anything we do, this won't work. We do believe it's important to keep trying to make the game better each year though and that sometimes good changes may look kind of weird or unnecessary at first glance. Would be highly appreciated if, even if some of you folks are pretty sceptical about this concept, you gave the details a look when they hit PBE next week and gave us feedback on how you feel they affect games there."

As for how rough some jungle clears may be with addition of plants and removal of the smite bonus buffs, Meddler commented:
"We've been tuning camp stats as well to account for both the replacement of smite buffs and other changes. We're also putting time aside in 6.23 to look at any individual junglers that get hit hard by the pre-season changes."

Meddler also shared a rough map showing various positions for plant spawns:
"Dang, nice maps. Those are actually really close overall to what we've been testing recently! Picture of that below, apologies the individual plant spawns aren't well color coded (pic wasn't origianlly made to show different types of plant spots, just total number of spots and where they where, it's the only one I've got immediately to hand though). The ones in the river are Honeyfruit, Blast Cones tend to be around intersections, Scrying Blooms somewhat back from the river. Plants close to the lanes only spawn mid game onwards. 
Few more spawn details (some timing info for one thing) in the thread below just in case you haven't already seen it btw: 
When asked about the connection of assassin changes to pre-season, Meddler explained:
I would like to know what the thought process was for these changes, I really like them and am interested to see where these go, but, why in the assassin update. These are changes for a jungle re -work. Although I can see how these would help assassins roaming and such, I just want to know why you are implementing these specifically. Thanks.
Plants aren't intended to be particularly linked to the assassin changes. While we do class updates in the pre-season they're also the best time to make other bigger changes to the game that are more experimental and disrupt balance for a bit, since ranked's off for a while and pro play's on a break. Things like item changes, mastery adjustments, plants etc end up happening at the same time as a specific class as a result even if their goals are different." 

In a separate thread, Meddler commented again on jungle tuning and mentioned a few details on changes to masteries for pre-season:
"1) Jungle camps have had some stat adjustments so that clear difficulty should be about the same as it currently is. Smite also provides healing (some flat + some missing health %) when used on Monsters, which makes up for some of the contribution that previously came from smite buffs. Some jungle camps are also shifting to be more AOE friendly (e.g. more raptors) or more single target friendly (e.g. blue/red buff no longer have mini dudes with them). The biggest motivator there is to give us a way to support different profiles of jungler (the ones that are really good at AOE, so prioritize those camps, or really good at single target so prioritize other camps). At present really effective junglers generally have pretty similar looking damage approaches. 
2) We're still figuring out whether other AP item changes would be needed to adjust for any Rylai's changes. Buffing DeathCap a little is one option that's been floated around, given it's fallen off in use/effectiveness a bit more than we'd expected. 
3) Mastery changes are going to be pretty small (one replacement Keystone, significant balance changes to another Keystone or two, addition of some tier 1 and tier 2 one pointers)."
Be sure to check out the original system changes announcement and plant info & discussion [here].

Twitch R name to be changed back to Spray and Pray

In a boards thread inquiring about recent surveys about changing Twitch's R name, Meddler confirmed they plan to switch Twitch's R back to SPRAY AND PRAY instead of Rat-Ta-Tat-Tat:
"We have indeed been talking over the last few days about whether we should change the name of Twitch's ult back to 'Spray and Pray' as part of the Pre-Season changes to Twitch. For that discussion we've wanted to gather as much context as we could about how people feel about the two names. Surveying Twitch players after they've finished a game is part of that, as are other things like looking at forum sentiment (both when the change was made and now), talking to some Twitch mains direct etc. 
As well as looking at how the change has been perceived we also wanted to consider why the name was changed in the first place. Talking with the team who worked on Twitch a couple of years back they had a few goals they were looking to accomplish. Those involved concerns about 'Spray and Pray' having some misleading gameplay implications, some thematic connotations (Twitch used to have a somewhat more militaristic vibe that the update moved away from) and a few other smaller points. 
In terms of the survey results they're been closer to neutral than some of us had predicted going in. From what we've seen overall however players who care a lot about the ult's name tend to prefer 'Spray and Pray' noticeably more often though. 'Spray and Pray' is also still really frequently used as a name, sometimes even by players who never played old Twitch. Thematically, while it does have a bit of oddness as a name (wild machine gun firing isn't a perfect fit for how the skill functions) it does still evoke the whole 'rapidly shooting many targets all at once' of Twitch ult pretty well. 

Our overall conclusion is that we should change Twitch's ult back to the name 'Spray and Pray'. We do feel there are some valid concerns about it, but overall think it's a better fit with what people want and expect from Twitch than Rat-ta-ta-tat. Apologies to those who prefer the current name, can definitely understand why even if we don't feel that overall it's the right choice. One thing we are looking into (no promises of success yet, but we're trying) is whether or not we can keep the name 'Rat-ta-tat-tat' purely for Gangster Twitch, given the connection with the Tommy Gun Twitch uses on that skin. That's not something we'd normally want to do, since there's a clarity hit to different ability names on different skins. Given the details of this particular case though we figure it's potentially a good place to make an exception though, try and meet the desires of both groups to at least some degree."

Star Guardian community creations 

Following the launch of the new Star Guardian skins and content, Riot Jynx is back with a Star Guardian themed collection of community creations and fan art! 
"The Star Guardians have inspired a magical collection of beautiful art and cosplay by the community! Check out the gallery below, and click the artists’ names to see more of their work. 
ERDJIE and Fumoe 
GraceZhu and J8d 
Tin Bui and Uguubear 
Vensy and VonnaBeee 
Alma Garibay





Share more of your favorite Star Guardian creations in the comments below, and check out the original gallery featuring Lux!

/ALL Chat | Will It Jungle? ft. Tristana

/ALL Chat is back with ... jungle Tristana?

"On this edition of Will It Jungle, Dash hits the Rift as Tristana. Things don’t go terribly bad this time, and that’s a big step up for Dash!"

Quick Hits

[Quick hits is our own mini news collection inside a red post collection - including shorter or easy to digest bits and repeat information you may have missed in other posts! Let us know what you think!]

  • As noted in the 10/12 PBE post, name and price entries for a few upcoming skins were found on the PBE shop -  No assets or art, just names at the moment. Stay tuned to the PBE for more information! 
    •  "Elementalist Lux" (3250 RP)
    • "Worldbreaker Nautilus" (750 RP)
    • "Jayce of the Bright Hammer"(750 RP)!


To round out tonight's red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • 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!
  • The new Star Guardian content is now available, including new skins for Janna, Jinx, Lulu, and Poppy. Through October 19th you can earn a free summoner icon by taking the SG quiz.  SG summoner icon and limited time bundles available through October 13th.

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