Red Post Collection: Preseason Podcast, PAX AUS Panel VODs, Ask Riot, New Ashe/Katarina/Vi statues, & more!

Posted on at 7:04 AM by Moobeat
[UPDATE: Added in November 10th hotfix details!]

Today's red post collection includes a podcast focused on the 2017 pre-season changes,  VODs of Riot's PAX AUS panels on champion design and balance, a new ASK Riot on Kalista & more, a look at new Ashe, Katarina, and Vi statues in the merch shop, Ascension live in RGMQ Friday, the launch of the LCU open beta on the Oceania region, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

November 10th Mid-Patch Update

The official 6.22 patch notes have been updated to reflect a mid-patch update that went out to fix Kha'Zix and Krugs bugs!
  • MINIONS ARE PEOPLE, TOO - Minions and pets can once again be Isolated 
  • VISION SPIKES - Evolved Spike Racks once again reveals champions affected by its slow 
  • RELIABLE REAPING - Fixed a bug causing Evolved Reaper Claws to sometimes not refund 60% of its cooldown against Isolated targets 
  • RESPOND TO AGGRESSSION - Krugs no longer spam chat in certain combat situations" 

Inside Pre-Season 2017 changes Podcast

With 6.22 on live and pre-season in full swing, the latest League Podcast  invites on Meddler, Fearless, and Riot MEMEMEMEME to  discuss the 2017 changes:
"Welcome to the latest League Podcast, a series in which we take you behind-the-scenes with the people who help make League possible. Expect new guests and new stories every couple of weeks or so, and make sure to hit us with those comments and ratings so we can keep striving toward a Challenger-tier podcast. 
This week, designers Andrei ‘Meddler’ Van Roon, Jo ‘Fearless’ Graylock, and John ‘Riot MEMEMEMEME’ Goscicki stop by to discuss the upcoming pre-season 2017 changes with Patrick ‘Scarizard’ Scarborough!"

Ask Riot: Buffing Kalista

A new ASK RIOT is also up, this time answering questions on Kalista, Hextech crafting materials, and the weaponry choices of Runeterra.
"Welcome to Ask Riot! 
This week, it’s Hextech crafting, Runeterran war tech, and Kalista’s balance woes. 
Q: What’s going on with Kalista? She’s basically unplayable -- do you plan to change her style of play to make her more viable? Or do you feel she’s currently viable?

A: Kalista's a classic case of balancing for top-level pro play conflicting with balancing for the majority of our player base. In general, we try to do our best to balance for both these populations concurrently, but when extreme outliers pop up in either general or professional play, we tend to focus in on solving the problem for that audience, sometimes at the expense of the other. In Kalista's case, this happened with her rather extreme stretch of professional dominance at the beginning of this season. To recap, she was boasting an over 90% pick/ban rate in professional play in Season 6 when we did a set of nerfs in 6.6 (March). Despite these nerfs, she continued to see competitive play for several patches afterwards and didn't even fall completely off the competitive radar until 6.18, seeing spot picks (mostly against Sivir) all the way up through 6.16. During this period, her overall performance slowly degraded as well, leading to the state we're at now, where she's finally fallen completely out of pro play and is too weak in general play to boot.
For long-term balance strategy on the character, we're in a bit of a rough spot with Kalista. Her iconic features (unparalleled kiting, Rend trumping Smite for securing objectives, and Fate's Call protecting your support from picks) are all uniquely valuable relative to the Marksman class. As such, we're probably going to have to pick and choose which of these outputs get to stay and which have to go so that she doesn't render other carries obsolete when she is viable. For reference, this is similar to the problems we run into with Azir; when your unique strengths are broad enough that they overshadow a large portion of your competition, the difference between viable and pick/ban status is either razor thin or simply doesn't exist at all. 
All that being said, we're likely to buff Kalista (and Azir) up slightly during the preseason. They both went through Worlds without being picked, so nudging their power up to see if we can find that sweet spot where they aren't out of line competitively while being in a better spot for the average player makes sense as our next step. If that doesn't work out though, we will almost certainly need to re-evaluate the fundamental pieces of these types of kits so that we can balance them better for normal play without centralizing the entire pro scene around them. 
SMASHGIZMO, Game Designer, Live Gameplay  
Q: What happens to my skin shards/essences at the end of the season? Will I lose them if I don’t use them?

A:Your Champion Shards, Skin Shards, Ward Skin Shards, and Essence are all safe and will not be expiring at the end of the season. We have no plans to ever expire these items, but we will expire crafting materials from special events, like PROJECT Cores or Championship Jewels (those special event materials expired on November 6 at 23:59 PM). We don't plan on using these items again after the event has ended, and getting them out of the way allows us to make new, cool crafting materials for future events. 
Once the new season starts, we'll be resetting the chests available for each champion when you receive a high Champion Mastery grade in a game. So even if you've already earned a chest for getting an S- or higher on a champ this season, you'll be able to get another one for your first S- or higher on that champ in Season 7. 
IAMWALRUS, Associate Game Designer, Metagame Systems 
Q: Why do Noxian and Demacian soldiers still use swords and axes in a world where black powder and Hextech technology plays such a big role? Garen and Darius could have special armour, but what about the regular infantry?

A: The way we are looking at it is that Runeterra is at a pivotal point in its history - a point where black powder is becoming more prevalent, and Hextech technology has only recently been invented. Both will change the world - particularly Hextech - but that’s not yet happened, as both are likely still quite dangerous, and neither is anywhere near mass-produced. There may only be a handful of inventors that are actually able to successfully craft Hextech devices, and each is a lovingly crafted, individual piece that probably takes years to make. 
Remember our Champions are just that - Champions. They represent exceptional individuals in Runeterra. As such, there are more mages, heroes, blackpowder weapons and Hextech present in our Champ lineup than is representative of the average Runeterran. 
Hextech is very powerful (it essentially allows anyone to wield magical power, not just the one in a million born with those abilities) but all of Piltover might only have a handful of a Hextech guns - and while ten of those weapons would wreak havoc on the battlefield, it’s not going to stop an army of ten thousand elite Demacian soldiers, or a massive Noxian war-host. 
Having said all that, while Demacia is quite traditional, and would probably hold to its way of fighting for as long as it was effective, Noxus would be very interested in new weapons of war, and would certainly be looking to incorporate them into their armies... 
ANT IN OZ, Product Lead/Narrative Lead of World Building, Foundations
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."

Riot Eambo on Normal Draft Removal

Following the announcement earlier this week removing Normal Draft mode from all servers except NA/EUW/BR due to concerns on queue health, Riot Eambo jumped on the EU boards to note:
"Hi guys, 
This unfortunately isn't the answer you're looking for, and I'm not the person involved in making these decisions - but I really wanted to give you some context around the decision, as well as the lack of current (additional) messaging around it. 
When we talk about "queue health", at a super basic level we're looking at how quick you can get a game, and how balanced that game is. There can be a certain amount of tradeoff between these to adjust the other (IE: Get a wider skill range for a shorter queue time, or wait a longer time for a smaller skill range). 
These tradeoffs can only do so much, however - if there's not enough players in a certain queue, matchmaking is pretty much impossible without huge tradeoffs (IE: Diamond's playing against Bronze consistently). That makes for an extremely crappy experience in itself. 
EUW/BR/NA have a large enough player pool and, more importantly, large enough player pool in normal draft that we expect the queue health to remain at an acceptable level. 
With the other regions, normal draft was a relatively small portion of games being played. A majority were playing other game modes such as blind pick and ranked.
With the introduction of flex queue alongside solo/duo - we really wanted to give both these queues a fighting chance of being healthy by avoiding segregating the queues hugely. This is where the decision around normal draft came in. 
We are aware of the pain point that this has introduced for some people though - and we're actively keeping an eye on things. As mentioned we really want to give these queues a chance at remaining healthy and enjoyable for players - both those who are playing solo/duo, and those who want to play flex with different numbers of friends. At this time, we really don't want to jump to any hasty decisions - but we also aren't ignoring you. We definitely want to keep a close eye on things and make decisions based around overall health of queue times and matchmaking, while also providing an experience that honestly a lot of players missed from last year with the inclusion of two new ranked queues."

[MERCH] New Ashe, Katarina, and Vi Statues in Merch Shop

Three new champion statues are now available in the Riot Games Merch store! These Ashe, Katarina, and Vi statues are the first three in a new stylized and collectible UNLOCKED statue collection.

[RGMQ] Ascension in RGMQ Friday + Updated Schedule 

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

As part of our ongoing commitment to refreshing the RGM modes, we’ve started with Ascension this week and the Ascended Xerath change. Hopefully now you can engage him guilt-free and become the Ascended god-beast-man-creature you always knew you could be. Go forth. FOR SHURIMA!"
As a friendly reminder, we keep the current RGMQ schedule listed on the sidebar of S@20!

[NOTE: If you are using the LCU Alpha or Open Beta, you will have to swap back to the legacy client to play in RGMQ as they are not yet implemented in the client update!]

Garen PBE Changes not shipping in 6.23

As you may have seen in the 11/8 PBE Update, Garen currently has a PBE change that buffs his Judgement (E) to also shred 3-7% armor for 4 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.

While PBE changes are subject to change, Riot Axes noted they will not ship in 6.23 and will likely return to the PBE in the 6.24 cycle:
"We're feeling pretty good about them so far, too. We'll be communicating more about this approach in the near future. 
Garen isn't going to ship in 6.23 - more work to be done before that changelist is ready, and not enough time to get it into the 6.23 patch. It'll be off the PBE soon, likely to come back in some form during the 6.24 cycle."
Riot Axes continued:
Well the Garen changes did look incomplete compared to Shyvana's anyways^^ 
Glad you're putting so much effort in giving champions that have fallen out of flavor some love.^^ 
Are there any more champions you've got your eye on or is that too early to say anyways. Because I really like this approach, it's not only interesting but the changes usually really help bring older kits up to date.
Garen's not likely to get a large set of changes - probably just one mechanic and maybe a little numbers tweaking. Shyvana's scope isn't going to be any kind of standard, she received more changes than will be typical. 
As for who else - not sure. We chose Shyvana and Garen because they were champions we needed to work on for balance reasons anyway. 
And, just so we're clear, sometimes a balance change will be just a balance change. This is something experimental we're trying; we think it's promising, but I don't want to hard commit to doing lots more before we've had a chance to assess our results."
Riot Axes  added:
Don't forget Aatrox
We're not going to forget Aatrox, but early next year remains much more likely than this year."
Riot Axes added:
Are the rek'sai changes looking like they might come in 6.24-7.1?
We're still working on her actively, but it'll be longer than that. The problems we want to solve have more to do with identity and balanceability, which takes quite a bit longer to do well. More Alistar scope than Nasus or even Shyvana scope."

Riot PAX VODS are now live! 

Following last week's event, VODs for Riot's various PAX AUS 2016 panels are now available - including a panel on "Creating Ivern" and "Top 5 pain in the ass champs"!
"Over the weekend, Riot came to PAX AU to talk all things League of Legends. For those who missed it, here are five VODS to keep you up to date. Just a heads up, there's a bunch of foul language throughout these VODS, consider yourself warned! 
Becoming a professional eSports player: 
Tim "Carbon" Wendel, Simon "Swiffer" Papamarkos, Nathan "Rippi" Mott put aside their differences to talk what life's like as a professional eSports player, alongside Jake "Spawn" Tiberi and Michael "Hingers" Hing.

Casting to the world: 
Jake “Spawn” Tiberi, Zach “Rusty” Pye and Max “Atlus” Anderson come together to give you a glimpse into the world of Shoutcasting. Oh, and Michael "Hingers" Hing was there too.

Piltover Customs, Zaphy Cosplay, Robb Props & Cosplay and Riot Achenar discuss their different approaches to cosplay.

Creating Ivern: 
Join Lead Designer, Mark Yetter and Associate Game Designer, John Frank as they go through the ins and outs of League of Legends character creation.

Top 5 pain in the arse champions to balance: 
Mark Yetter and John Frank are back again to discuss the champions that make life difficult for a designer.


[OCEANIA] Client Update Open Beta Now Live 

[NOTE: Please note this is only for the OCEANIA server at the moment. the LCU Open Beta will start later in 6.22 for other regions. Sharing OCE announcement for this interested despite not being for all yet.]

As mentioned in the 6.22 patch notes, the League Client Update open beta is now live on the OCEANIA SERVER - look for it to launch on other regions later during 6.22!

Here's Cactopus with an introduction and a few reminders regarding the open beta launch:
"Starting today, everyone can join the open beta for the League client update. 
Download it now (estimated 1.5 GB) to transform your client with the power of hextech. You don't need to go through any application process—just launch League and click the pretty download button when the pop-up appears. If you're already in the alpha, your alpha client will automatically update to beta status. 
As we teased last week, the client update open beta is for everybody. The download will appear for everyone launching the game, and if you don't feel like upgrading right away, you'll still have the option to upgrade through your launcher at any point during the beta. Even after you upgrade, you can easily launch the legacy client if you want (see the FAQ for details). 
Before you grab the download, you should understand that this is a beta, which means we're still working out a few kinks. The updated client is still missing a few features (like spectator mode) that we'll be adding over the next few patches. It also doesn't yet have some of the flashy animations that we've been working on. We'll take a few patches to turn things on and make optimisations, so if you decide to upgrade now we'll need you to be patient with us while we work everything out. 
Replays are also launching on a region-by-region basis with the open beta. Replays are exclusive to the updated client, so we need players who opt into the client update open beta to test out the feature on our live League servers before they go live for everyone. 
The beta period will last until we've successfully integrated and optimised all major features from the legacy client—then it'll simply replace the legacy client for good. In the meantime, we'll keep making tweaks, tuning performance, and polishing visuals. 
Finally, as a small thank you for the hard work of alpha testers, we’ve created an exclusive summoner icon for anyone who participated in the alpha. Their feedback and participation really helped us make the client better. If you’ve logged in to the alpha before November 15th, you'll get it! 
Keep an eye out for the LCU Open Beta to kick off on all regions later in 6.22! 

Quick Hits -  RE Blog , Elementalist Lux VA, and more

[Quick hits is our own mini news collection inside a red post collection, often including shorter or easy to digest stories and repeat information you may have missed in other posts! ]

  • In a reddit thread pointing out a strange Swain tooltip in the LCU that referenced Swain leaving "crows in bushes for enemy surveillance", Scruffy confirmed it is just part of a scrapped change from Swain's mid-season mage update. 
"This is some scrapped old work from Swain's midseason changes. Full rework will come one day, but this isn't it sorry."

  • While he didn't give a time frame, Meddler noted that the current plan is we'll see a new champion before we see the debut of the large scope Warwick champion update.
"Current plan is still a new champion before the Warwick update yeah. Teasers and details are things the new champion team will be doing as usual when the time's right for those.


To round out tonight's red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • 2016 season ranked rewards - including icons, borders, Victorious Maokai - are still in the process of being distributed to players! It may take up to two weeks to get everyone. Keep an eye on this thread for updates and reach out to Riot support if you feel there as been an error!
  • 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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