Red Post Collection: Dev Blog on Evolving the Laning Fighter, Ask Riot, Camille Champion Spotlight Sunday, & more!

Posted on at 4:47 AM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes a dev blog from Riot Jag on Camille's design and fighters, Cactopus mentioning Camille's champion spotlight will be out Sunday, SmashGizmo on PBE Ryze & Syndra changes, Nexus Siege in RGMQ, a healthy set of reminders on current promotions, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

/DEV: On Evolving The Laning Fighter

Here's Riot Jag with a Nexus article discussing top lane and Camille's design:
Camille for the Severed Ties comic
"Hey guys, Riot Jag a.k.a. the Slumdog Camillionaire here. With Camille’s release, it seems like a great time to talk about some of the lessons we’ve learned about top lane over the course of League’s development, and how we used those lessons in developing Camille’s kit. 
Basically, let’s take a look at the evolution of the laning fighter in League of Legends, with an emphasis on what types of tools melee champions need to create satisfying, skill-based combat patterns. 
In general, our early approach to doing melee champions was rewarding continuous uptime. For these champs, playing “successfully” was primarily about sticking onto the target, and less about executing on a specific damage pattern. A good example of this is Xin Zhao: a champion that has very little tactical variance on a kit level, with a fairly limited amount of choices or actions to take when he gets on top of someone. Despite that, he desperately needs to continuously land basic attacks to reduce his cooldowns, which of course improve his stickiness. We’ve learned that this type of pattern is extremely binary (also called “feast or famine”) — the output is either exponentially self-sustaining, since the champ is in melee forever, or it fails to connect entirely, and is useless. Both of these outcomes tended to be unsatisfying. 
Windowing kill opportunities makes it so a melee champion doesn’t have a binary success/failure condition dependent on one all-in confrontation, but instead requires repeated outplay moments to earn the lane victory.

Even worse, when the success of melee kits was reduced to “being in melee range”, it made melee vs. melee combat incredibly uninteresting (as opposed to melee vs. ranged, where both sides have a dynamic tug-of-war depending on what their distances are). Fighting other melees often degenerated into a pure stat check since they achieved their success case (getting into range) by default , which was a particularly rough state of affairs when top lane almost always featured two melee champions squaring off against one another. 
We knew we could do much better for our melee players. 
Since around 2013, you may have noticed a change in the way Riot designs melee patterns. There have been two major tactics we’ve used to great effect here: 1) giving melee champions positional reasons to move away from their target (positional variance), and 2) pushing success models away from continuous uptime and toward temporary windows of big power — or put simply, allowing some breathing room for downtime. 
Let’s use Poppy as an example of interesting contextual positional variance. She has a clear “big moment” when she Heroic Charges (E) someone into a wall for nasty damage and a big stun, but it requires precise positioning relative to her opponent and to terrain. To help her in this goal, Iron Ambassador’s (P) shield creates a new objective on the battlefield for Poppy and her opponent to reposition around, and her Hammer Shock (Q) can zone enemies and force them to move in a direction that is favorable to her. This leads to a much more “earned” feeling of success for properly maneuvering Poppy’s enemy into a perfect Heroic Charge. 
Yasuo fan art by yy6242 (DOPEY)
Meanwhile, Yasuo is a prime example of a champion that is heavily windowed in lane. Even when he’s trading on his opponent, he generally needs to regenerate resources before he can land a kill. His Way of the Wanderer (P) shield and the internal cooldowns on his Sweeping Blade (E) make it so that it’s unlikely he can brute force a kill by just sticking to a target (not until later when he has a lot of items, at least), since his advantage isn’t perpetuated by being in melee range. I don’t think we’d call Yasuo the epitome of laning counterplay (he can feel like a hard counter in some matchups), but we do think his kit does a lot well in terms of windowed power. lane is the dueling lane. Players expect a very distinct set of skills to be expressed in top lane — nuance of understanding matchups, top tier execution of skills, and elongated 1v1 periods, to name a few — and we want to deliver on that.

Windowing kill opportunities makes it so a melee champion doesn’t have a binary success/failure condition dependent on one all-in confrontation, but instead requires repeated outplay moments to earn the lane victory. One drawback is that these lanes tend to feel very high intensity for both sides — a player losing to a Fiora or Yasuo that is repeatedly trading well on them every 5-10 seconds can feel heavily mentally taxed. However, patterns like these require riskier action from the winning melee champion, giving chances for jungler intervention or other outplay moments, whereas the older models would resolve a win/loss very quickly. 
Finally, let’s talk a bit about “overloading” kits. Many players have asked why we give our laning fighters access to so many tools and mechanics — sustain, waveclear, mobility, burst damage, sustained damage, etc. The easiest way to answer this is looking at the opposite question: What are champions with extremely focused strengths supposed to do in a long lane that features the most varied range of opponent abilities? The answer is that these single strengths must be overemphasized to the point of being excessively binary for them to even function. 
Tryndamere excels at one thing, but has few tools to employ if that one thing fails.
Example: Personally, I love playing Tryndamere. I’m okay taking the trade of mediocre waveclear, very low CC, and very low teamfight contribution, for absurdly high damage and super satisfying critical strike animations. However, the end result is that I provide very little besides damage, and so I’m not effective in much besides split pushing for the entire game — which means I have to be incredibly strong in the split push or I don’t even function as a champion. Contrast this with a champion like Sion, who has a little bit of almost everything (damage, CC, waveclear, tankiness), but generally has to put everything together well to be effective. 
Giving top laners more tools also gives both sides more agency in the outcome of the lane, whereas removing tools trends outcomes towards being much more deterministic and binary (in other words, the lane is won or lost on draft, or within a few minutes of game start). And remember, top lane is the dueling lane. Players expect a very distinct set of skills to be expressed in top lane — nuance of understanding matchups, top tier execution of skills, and elongated 1v1 periods, to name a few — and we want to deliver on that. 
Summed up, our design team has done some great work over the past few years at paving the way for us to make melee more fun and interesting. Now let’s look through some of these design philosophies and how they were applied to Camille, League’s newest top laner. 
Early exploration of Camille for the Severed Ties comic.
First, positioning. Camille has several moves that make her mindful of her position relative to her opponent, without pure reference to melee proximity. Her Precision Protocol (Q) demands for her to be in melee range at one point, and be in melee range again within 1.5-3 seconds later, but does not require any “sticking” in between, giving freedom for both parties to reposition with a clear understanding of the success condition. Tactical Sweep (W) actually forces her to exit melee (sometimes) to get the most powerful benefit of the outer cone. This creates opportunities for enemies to capitalize on her risk by outranging the cone, or to quickly close in and punish her since she is locked out of auto-attacking to access her Adaptive Defenses shield. 
Strong positional awareness gives Camille the advantage in a fight.
The closer an opponent is to a wall, the easier it is for Camille to land her Hookshot (E) since there’s considerably less room for them to sidestep or dodge. The combined effect of these spells is to (hopefully) create a dynamic lane that has multiple tactical considerations beyond “are we in melee range , check yes or no”. 
Camille Comic
Second, let’s look at windowing effectiveness. Camille has very powerful cooldowns that allow her to trade effectively, but they don’t all come up at the same cadence and so she has continuously varying amounts of power at different times. For example, in lane her Adaptive Defenses (P ) cooldown is among the most powerful trading windows she has, but it is also quite long, which allows her some windows of Precision Protocol trading that are extremely powerful, and some that require more risk and outplay. This can generate the same problem of mental fatigue when fighting against her — you have to track a lot of cooldowns independently — but it’s important for certain points of information to not always be perfectly available to create dynamic experiences. The most obvious example in League of Legends here is Flash: When an opponent doesn’t know that Lee Sin has Flash, they may position in a way that grants him access to extremely flashy but high risk plays like Insecing . These plays make LoL exciting and fun to watch/play, and are important to retain to preserve a path to mastery at the highest of levels. 
Camille is the latest effort in our evolving understanding of melee combat in League of Legends. Her kit is based on all the lessons we’ve learned so far, and I’m sure we’ll learn even more as we see what you folks do with her. I’m extremely excited to see her go live, and looking forward to what we can do next."
To hold you over until her release next week, more on Camille available here:

Camille Champion Spotlight on Sunday

Following Jag's comment that Camille will be released early next week, Cactopus mentioned in the Camille reddit Q&A that her champion spotlight would be released SUNDAY the 11th with a release soon after!
Can you tell us when we can expect the Camille Champion Spotlight?
aiming for Sunday! and then she'll come out shortly after..."
Look for more on our latest and blade legged champion in the next few days!

Ask Riot:  Nerfs for The Unforgiven, splash art updates, and a deep-dive of champion smells

It's Thursday and we have a new ASK RIOT! This week's edition includes questions on if there are plans to nerf Yasuo, splash art updates, and... champion smells.
"Welcome to Ask Riot! 
This week, we’re talking Yasuo, splash art, and champion-branded perfumes. 
Are you planning to nerf Yasuo any time soon?

Yasuo’s on our radar as a champ who’s probably too strong at present. Now that we’ve got most of the pre-season follow up work done, we’ll be putting more focus back onto general champion balance. That means for patch 7.1 (the next patch we’re currently working, which will likely go out in early January) or 7.2 we’ll be looking at champs like Yasuo, Hecarim, Syndra, etc. 
For Yasuo specifically the first job’s going to be an assessment of whether he’s performing better than he should for his intended strengths and weaknesses. That’s both in terms of time in game (e.g. laning/early strength versus late strength) and circumstance (e.g. when snowballed, or when paired with specific allies or against specific enemies). We haven’t started diving this yet, so there’s not much specifically to share. But Yasuo will probably show up in a patch note sooner rather than later. 
MEDDLER, Lead Gameplay Designer 
Are you going to keep updating splash arts? What’s the latest update, and who’s next?

Yes! We are definitely going to keep updating old splash art. 
Like we said a few months ago , all champions selected for VGUs (Visual and Gameplay Updates) will continue to get their entire catalogue of splash art updated or refreshed. This is a standard that we set with Poppy late last year. Warwick is the next VGU on deck. 
We are also going to continue retroactively updating the skin splashes of past VGUs and VUs that didn’t include them the first time around. This includes nearly every rework before Poppy. We’ve hit a lot of them already (Trundle, Tristana, Nidalee) but there are several left (currently, the next one slated is Karma). The reason we’re prioritizing past VGU skin splashes specifically is that there are often significant design differences between the splash and in-game model; after we fix these disparities, we will likely start prioritizing skin splash reworks based purely on their distance from our modern quality bar and style. 
Lastly, you will occasionally see standalone base splash updates that aren’t tied to a VGU or any other content. There are a handful of base splashes left that do not meet our modern quality bar and we would love to update them in order to show a more unique, iconic and refined vision of the champion fantasy. A couple of recent examples are Darius and Fiddlesticks. 
HUGENFAST, Art Lead, Champion Update 
Do champions have smells, and if so, what would they be?

If I could bottle each champ into a fine perfume, here’s what I’d imagine: 
Tickle your nose hairs with the unmistakable singed notes of gunpowder, twirled with an unexpected sweet kick of licorice, for a scent that’s sure to make you bite your lip in anticipation — for better or worse: JINX 
Like a hard-earned cocktail of gasoline and soured milk, this wild cologne is just the slap in the face you need after a long day to wash away all the near-misses and remind you of blue skies and big clouds: CORKI 
Wrap your arms around the silky notes of wet stone and lingering shampoo. Breathe in deep and never let go: TARIC 
Just a couple dabs at the nape of your neck and the rusted metal bouquet of chains begins to awaken the kerosene undertones of this frightfully intoxicating scent. Give over to it: THRESH 
From out of nowhere, the taste of leather tightens around your throat as you try to breathe. As you give in to your fate, the cool, soft scent of night-blooming jasmine drags you away: VAYNE 
Like poking your head through a ring of smoke, woody tobacco wafts over you then dissipates, leaving only the refreshing lift of peppermint: GRAVES 
Become unraveled with the haunting aroma of salt and bone. A scent so solitary and independent, it must be AMUMU. 
How can spring and autumn happen all at once? Drape yourself in a blanket of violets and walk barefoot through a forest of fallen leaves, simply by opening a bottle of AHRI. 
RIOT TIGER LILY, Editor, 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."

RGMQ - Nexus Siege this Friday + LotPK Added to schedule

Nexus Siege returns to the rotating game mode queue this Friday! 

The RGMQ schedule has been updated to add a third week of Legend of the Poro King in late December. Remember that LotPK has several changes with 6.24 + festive decorations!

SmashGizmo Ryze and Syndra PBE changes

On the Ryze changes from earlier in the 7.1 PBE cycleSmashGizmo noted he would be reverting the Q damage nerf and nerfing the 2 rune Q's shield value.
[1] "Ryze, gonna pull the base damage nerf on the Q and instead nerf the shield value on 2 rune Q. He'll likely need more work later though..."

[2] "Probably gonna try out having a travel time on W for Ryze at some point, it's gonna feel weird, but I think that's doing a lot on low ping"

[3] "annnnnd since I know for people who scrape the PBE that Ryze's shield values are basically impossible to scrape:annnnnd since I know for people who scrape the PBE that Ryze's shield values are basically impossible to scrape:"

As for the current Syndra changes from  the 7.1 PBE cycleSmashGizmo noted they would likely to go live as is:
[1] "Ok, honestly just pretty happy w/ the Syndra changelist, will likely ship as is."

Camille Reddit AMA

With her release coming up next week, several Rioters - artists, designers, writers, & more - jumped on reddit to host a Camille AMA! 
"Hello Camille mains, colorblind support players, and Yasuo insta-banners! 
We're the Rioters behind CAMILLE, THE STEEL SHADOW and we're here to answer your questions. If it has anything to do with making a champion (or the creative stuff surrounding all our champs) we've probably got answers. 
Here's some Camille related stuff you should check out if you're not already familiar with the champ: 
Rioters participating in this AMA include (but are not limited to):  
Some Rioters are in the process of getting a Riot badge on their Reddit account. If their name is listed above, they're the real deal. 
Look for a rundown of the AMA and interesting responses in our next red post collection. For now, browse the reddit thread to read up on Camille, bladelegs, and more!

Quick Hits - GC Q&A, Spectate Friends, & Kennen

[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! ]

  • According to the LoL subreddit there will be Piltover AMA on December 9th!

  • Ghostcrawler tweeted his next monthly Q&A stream will be December 14th!
"Doing the last Q&A livestream of the year with @RiotScarizard next Wed Dec 14 at 5 PST (cuz you know, I gotta see Star Wars on Thursday)."

  • Riot Axes commented briefly that they are looking into some degree of Kennen nerfs:
"We're working on Kennen as well."

  • When asked about the status of spectate friends on the LCU, cCc Grumbles cCc noted:
"We're aiming to turn spectate friends on in the updated client before the weekend."


To round out tonight's red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!

  • 2017 Season Kickoff Sale is live through  December 13th! This sale includes 2 for 1 rune pages, 50% off IP/XP boosts, 50% off RP name change, and a multitude of bundles.

  • Purchase Elementalist Lux before the end of the day on December 13th to received the exclusive Elemental Origin loading screen border and summoner icon.

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