Red Post Collection: Client Update Trailer, LotPK changes in works, Champion Rework Pipeline, Flex MMR fixes, and more!

Posted on at 8:47 PM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes  a trailer for the LCU Open Beta, a dev blog from Reav3 on the champion rework pipeline, a look at upcoming Legend of the Poro King changes, Socrates on fixes for Flex queue MMR, more on Elementalist Lux's voiceover, a 2016 Season in Review article, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Client Update Open Beta trailer

With the League Client Update moving into OPEN BETA on the OCE server and for all regions during 6.22, here's Riot's Client Update Open Beta Trailer:
The LCU Open Beta starts on all regions during the 6.22 patch! Check out [THIS FAQ] for more information. You can also download the LCU (Alpha) client here (select your correct region).

Socrates on Odd Placements in Flex + Fixes

With the preseason underway, the new Flex ranked queue is enabled and players need to do 10 placements to get their rating for this queue. Solo/Duo queue is also headed our way next week.

Riot Socrates has posted in the dev corner regarding issues with the new Flex queue placements and issues with match quality and placements, They've put out a short term fix with a fix for all going out in a future downtime.
"Hey all, 
We are aware of the issues with match quality and odd placements in flex. We have put a short term fix in place that should fix some but not all players MMRs. Unfortunately, to fix all players MMRs and correct the issue that's causing players to be seeded incorrectly will require a downtime event. 
We are working through the best way to roll this fix out and you can expect additional details in the coming week."
Riot Socrates added:
What's going to happen to people who already got placed really low? I was diamond 5 at the end of the season and went 4-6 and got placed silver 5.
Just to get an idea of where I usually get placed, last season I went 2-8 in promos after finishing d5 and I got plat 5.
We will correct everybody. In order to do that requires downtime, a new patch, a some other special case coordination which we are still working out the details of.
The temporary fix corrects the players we can in the meantime."

The 2017 ranked season  is set to start in 6.24 ( target date: December 7th) and players will need to do another set of placement matches at that time.

Legend of the Poro King changes in the works! 

With the Snowdown right around the corner, Rabid Llama jumped on the PBE boards to share information on upcoming changes to the Legend of the Poro King game mode:
"Hi folks! So, Snowdown is almost upon us, and to help celebrate we decided to give the Poro King mode some love! 
Unleash the King's magical power by helping him taste-test his brand new flavors of Poro Snax! 
TL;DR: Poro King + Poro Snax = Ignite | Snowball | Barrier | Poro Toss
This time around, the Snax have been enhanced with exciting new flavors - and the King is hungry! Use the magic of the Snax to power up your King, and try to dodge the enemy's Poro Tosses so they can't do the same to you. 
We hope these changes will be a fun change of pace for Poro King players, as well as helping to focus more attention on the lovable, regal puffball the mode is named for. 
Gameplay Changes 
  • The trinket slot is now taken up by one of four new kinds of Poro Snax
  • These trinkets are re-usable items you feed to the King, each with its own effect
  • You can swap between Snax freely at the in-game shop (whenever you're allowed to shop)
Snax Flavors (names kinda WIP!) 
  • Super Spicy Snax- The King breathes a continuous blast of fire ahead of him, burning minions, champions, and towers alike
  • Frosted Snax (brr) - The King launches a barrage of icy projectiles at faraway enemies, forcing them to dodge and weave or suffer an icy demise
  • Espresso Snax - The King gets "jumpy". He leaps into the air and crashes down, knocking away nearby enemies and briefly granting himself a hefty shield
  • Rainbow Snax Party Pack! - You give the King a pack of Snax to share! He tosses them behind the enemy, where Poros pop up to catch them. In their excitement, they charge back towards the king, knocking enemies along with them.
Poro King won't be coming around again for a little while, but we wanted to give you guys a heads up on the new changes before Moobeat does ;) 
-Rabid Llama"
As for when we might see the RGMQ accessible from the League Client Update, Riot Stephiroth noted:
When will the Rotating Game Mode queue be added to the new client?
We're hoping to start putting modes in as of 6.24, but not confirmed yet. ^^"

Elementalist Lux VO & Special Interactions

VonderHamz stopped by reddit to share a bit more on the voiceoer of our upcoming ultimate tier skin Elementalist Lux:
Do they each have completely unique dialogue or is it mostly shared with some special lines? The video implies they all have the same laughs and jokes
So there are 754 lines total in the skin; which is more VO than anything in League, ever. There are some lines that happen on all forms, but each form has unique Kill, Killing spree, Laugh, Attack, Move, Recall, and Warding lines at the very least, with over specific 50 lines per form. 
Some forms have a few unique lines that are just for interactions with other elements - There's a kill champion system that detects the "type" of champion you killed and will play special kill lines based on the form you are and the type of champion you killed. The system works not just on individual champs, but on specific skins on the champ. They system detects Fire, Ice, Water, Nature, Dark and Light champions. So if you kill a Fire based champion or skin (Annie, Brand, Dragonslayer Braum, any infernal skin etc.) in a form with a kill line to fire (Ice, Water, Nature forms) a special kill line will happen. She'll have kill lines when killing a champion or skin of an opposing element most of the time. 
She's also has 5 different types of VO processing across all 10 forms."
Here's a video showing off Elementalist Lux's special interactions and [click here] for her VO preview.

Speaking of, the Elementalist Lux Login them is also now available on soundcloud:


Next up we have a new Nexus article by Reav3 looking at the pipeline of the champion rework team!
"Why does it take so long to rework champions? 
Players ask this question all the time—they want champs to get the updates they need, but they also want to understand our process better. I'm Ryan "Reav3" Mireles, lead producer on the Champion Update team, and today I'm here to explain. 
A few years ago, reworks could take forever because the process wasn't very structured. These days, there’s a much more streamlined and organized process for updating champions—which is one of the reasons our class updates and Visual & Gameplay update (VGUs) have been released much more consistently lately. For example, while many designers tried iterations of Yorick over the years, the Yorick that shipped didn’t take quite that long. SolCrushed actually started on that version shortly after he finished Poppy and, using the new process, Yorick was finished in 11 months—roughly the same time as most VGUs or new champions. Yorick was a bit longer than the usual nine months due to him having additional characters to create and animate (the Maiden and his ghouls). 
Yorick Sketches

We currently have two pipelines in ChampUp: VGUs and class updates. Both are slightly different. 
Currently, VGUs take roughly the same time as new champions—about nine months. This can be longer if a champion has multiple forms, minions it controls, or relies on some previously-nonexistent tech, but nine months is the average. There are three phases of production for VGUs that break down like this: 
During this phase we have a small team consisting of a designer, concept artists, narrative writer, and producer that start to develop the direction for the new kit, lore, and art for a rework. The goal is to get the final concept art, narrative direction, and kit locked and ready for pre-production. This is the most delicate phase; a project can end up being canceled if we don’t get something we feel confident in. We usually have two or three of these going on at any given time, so if we icebox one we still have a high chance of getting one of the three ready for production once our production team finishes their current project. After this phase is usually when we feel comfortable announcing a project and adding it to the champion update schedule. 
Reworked Yorick Concepts 
This is the phase where a character artist, tech artists, programmer, and animator will transition onto the project. We start building the in-game model and rig, as well as beginning “animation exploration” to determine how the champion will move/look in-game. Our narrative writer starts VO auditions during this phase, and we usually start concept art for ability FX as well. There are usually a lot of problems that arise once we see the 2D concept art in 3D form, so the next step is solving all of these problems and getting ready to start building the champion. We also start concept art on the champion’s skin catalog during this phase so we can get all of the skin models out to our outsourcing partners before we start full production. These partners usually get the models to 80-90% completion based on our concept art and then we finish them up internally. 
We generally have a lot of discussions about which class we should look at, what the class’s strengths and weaknesses should be, and which champions are the highest value targets. 
At this stage, we've got a large number of people working on the project (roughly 15-20 people). Multiple FX artists, animators, splash artists, and sound designers join the team. This is when the champion starts to actually become a champion. Model, animations, sounds, and VFX all get finalized. We record new VO and start to implement it. We start to get the skin models back from outsourcing and polish them up in-house. Our splash artists finish the base splash and skin splashes. We constantly playtest and iterate on everything until we get it to the point where we feel really confident in the champion. Our promo team also starts to ramp up and puts together the launch website and promotional campaign. Localization teams then work to translate everything to all our region’s languages. 
Yorick Color Explorations
Class updates generally take about six months. We usually target a specific patch with these so as not to disrupt pro play, so there's not a lot of leeway in terms of production time. With class updates, if a champion isn’t coming along we cut it rather than extend the timeline. The production process for class can also be broken down in three parts: 
During this phase we generally have a lot of discussions about which class we should look at, what the class’s strengths and weaknesses should be, and which champions are the highest value targets. We generally determine our highest value targets under three criteria: 
  • How unique is this champion? If they’re generic, they’re a target for an update.
  • Is this champion in scope for a class update? If the champion needs too much work then the champion should get a full VGU instead.
  • How resonant is this champion’s thematic? It is generally easier to work on champions that are already thematically powerful for class updates so we don’t have to re-invent their thematics or backstory like we do with our big VGUs 
During this time, our class design team is usually doing follow-up tuning on the previous class update while also experimenting with different possible candidates for a rework. At the end of this phase our goal is to have the class chosen, the champions selected for large reworks, and the high level class goals set. 
After we have the class and champions chosen we focus on iterating through design changes. We usually go through multiple iterations on each champion until we settle on something we like. For example, at one point during Rengar's design, Bonetooth Necklace was a trinket that placed a ward that could eat enemy wards! Sometimes these ideas never see the light of day, while other times we save them for another champ. Eating wards might be better on a support-orientated champion in the future, rather than something Rengar needs in his kit. Once we have the skills locked down, we bring in the artists. 
Katarina FX Concepts
Since the class updates work on existing champions that don’t need new models, we can skip pre-production and go straight into full production. During this phase, animators, VFX artists, and sound designers join the team. We add all the updated art to the abilities we're changing (and sometimes ones we are not) for the big reworks. The designers usually keep iterating on feeling and tuning during this phase, while also beginning design work on the “small class reworks.” Promo also starts to get involved and we work with them to figure out how we want to communicate and inform players on all our updates. At the end of this, they go live with all kinds of other crazy mid-season or pre-season stuff. 
So that’s the basic rundown of how we rework champions and handle class updates. Hopefully this clears up why it takes so long to rework champs. I’ll be around to answer any questions you might have in the comments below."

Catch-up what happened on the Assassins AMA 

Here's Riot's summary of the reddit Assassin AMA from earlier this week:
"Hey, folks! 
Last Wednesday (11/09) the Champion Update Team held an AMA on Reddit - in case you missed that, we got you covered. Here’s some of the stuff they talked about. 
Question: Do you feel like your changes actually helped to balance assassins in the long run, or was it a bandaid fix? 
20thCenturyFaux: I feel strongly we've done good work for the long run. First patch of preseason is typically pretty spicy balance wise, but all of these assassins are far more balance-able than they were before. Those little things here and there that give some breathing room to the opponents also give breathing room to the numbers on the assassins' kits. It's subtle but in the long haul it's likely to be the most important aspect of the update in terms of keeping these characters fun to play. 
Question: Is there a possibility that when you see the LeBlanc change was total failure, to revert the entire rework? 
Reav3: Of course. Any rework has that possibility. I think LeBlancs rework has a insanely high mastery curve now though. We will definitely have to wait a bit of time to evaluate how her rework turns out. 
One risk of a revert though is that old LeBlanc will go back to being a generalist assassin, which means if she is ever strong she invalidates all the other Assassins. The main goal of the class reworks is to make the champions in the class different from one another. One of the problems with the marksmen class is that Lucian is still a very strong generalist ADC. If Lucian is ever strong he kind of dominates the ADC champion pool. 
Before this class update Zed and Leblanc were kind of the generalist AD and AP assassins. If either of them were ever strong they dominated the Assassin Champion pool. 
Question: Any cool assassin rework related ability ideas that were scrapped during dev? 
RiotMEMEMEMEME: At one point when LeBlanc ulted she would go invisible and the clone would use the ability ..... people were very frustrated every playtest. At one point we all heard Groovylord yell across the building "I DON'T KNOW WHATS REAL ANYMORE". 
20thCenturyFaux: Specifically, LB's R had a wukong clone type mechanic where enemies couldn't tell if she had ulted or not--the clone would swap in at the beginning of the spellcast and LB would be stealth for a second or so. Any single-target damage from a champion would pop the clone and reveal LeBlanc's stealth.
It was pretty sweet conceptually, but there was a devil in the details--playing against it felt like mobility and LB already has a ton of that so its frustration cost was too high for what we were getting. If you see LeBlanc at spot X, then she vanishes and there's LeBlanc at spot Y, that's functionally the same as if she teleported in terms of the playing against experience. 
RiotRepertoir: Rengar had a localized team stealth at one point. Was pretty fun. Will make a cool ability for a less selfish champion in the future. 
GreaterBelugaWhale: Katarina had free-targeted shunpo, with a 1 second delay (but untargetable like Elise Rappel during the delay), that basically killed anyone in the target area on arrival. Combined with resetting, it was uh.. Hard to play against. 
Question: Oh and how come that AP Assassins didn't get any new items while AD assassins did? 
ricklessabandon: I think that time and scope played in as big factors. we talked about doing some smaller changes, but given how closely tied together mage items are, we weren't confident we'd be able to get in a set of changes that wouldn't do more harm than good on top of everything else already in motion. 
If we do a pass later on, we'd have to make sure we're able to differentiate between items that feel good for ap assassins vs items that just make burst mages (e.g., syndra, annie, et al) better. that would probably include making sure their gold is going towards cool things that aren't "be better at killing someone" that ap assassins actually want, which means the scope of the project is decently sized at the start. 
Question: What have you learned from the Marksman Update and applied on the Assasin Update? 
Reav3: Sometimes less is more. We did less big reworks but put way more time into them. 
RiotRepertoir: I think one of the main things that differed in our approach is that we didn't limit scope of change so much on Assassins, but we did fewer as a result. Ultimately I think it's a better approach. We don't have to cram an update into just one or two skills. 
Question: What now distinguish assassin's from full damage Wukong\j4\Vi\Diana\Lee-Sin\Fiora\etc? 
Reav3: Very High Target Selection and High Mobility. Most of the champions you mentioned don't have a way to reliably get out of a bad situation. Divers go in and don't go out. Assassins generally have a reliable escape route. 
Question: Thoughts on which rework will be most relevant in the professional scene? 
Reav3: It's always tough to predict these kinds of things. For example, we didn't initially think Vlad would be super relevant in pro play and he ended up the most relevant.
My guess is that initially Rengar, Kha'zix, and Fizz will be relevant. 
I think once pros put enough time into LeBlanc she will be relevant again. Her mastery curve is crazy high though so it will probably take time. 
Talon is a wildcard. His parkour is so unique that I have no idea what will happen with him in pro play. 
I can see Kat being a situationally strong pick in competitive if someone puts the time into her to learn her. She will likely not be blind pickable though due to her inherent weaknesses. 
I'm sure all of this will be wildly inaccurate though as it usually is. 
Ququroon: Personal thought would be Talon. The rotations and global pressure could be fantastically strong in the right hands. 
Those were some of the questions that popped up - if you still wanna discuss more about Assassins head over the forums! 
Catch you later -- hopefully -- if you don’t run away."
You can find more of the Assassin AMA in our Red Post Collection on Nov 10th! 

2016 Season in Review: A data-filled journey through a year of League

Interested in statistics about the 2016 season? Head over the the 2016 Season in Review minisite for a look back at what the 2016 season brought us:

[2016 Season in Review]

While the best experience is on actual page, here's a quick look at what is available on the minisite:
Season in Review  
A data-filled journey through a year of League
Every season has its stars. These were the five highest winrate champs across all patches in the 2016 season.
They weren’t the strongest picks, but that didn’t stop everyone from playing them. Everybody likes clutch plays and across-the-map blasts.
For these three champs, 2016 was finally their year—they had big surges in pick-rate. 
#1 ZYRA 
High-damage supports had a great year in 2016, especially Zyra. Her mid-season update cemented her status as an S tier support.
#2 BARD 
Bard has gone from "niche pick" to near pick-ban in pro play. Last year he was the 18th most popular support. This year he came in 4th.
Obviously, we can’t forget Yorick. After his complete rework earlier this year, the Shepherd of Souls rose from his grave, showing up in games nine times more often than he had before.
All around the world, people play League in their own unique way. Click on the icons to see highlights from throughout the past year.
[Click the image to head to the site for an interactive map!]
We’ve all seen what happens when players go up against pros like Faker. Compare your stats with the pros and ask yourself whether you’d go 0/10 against them. 
[Use the drop down navigation on the full page for more graphs, statistics, and more!]

None of this information will help you in any way. It’s fun facts time.

A lot happens over the course of a season. Here are a few standout moments."
[Click the picture for the FULL timeline as it is not included here on S@20]


To round out tonight's red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • To go along with Twitch's set of updated skin splash arts in 6.22, a limited time bundle including Twitch &  five skins is available in the shop! The three legacy Twitch skins - Kingpin ,Whistler Village, and Vandal - are also all available individually in the shop through November 16th!

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