Red Post Collection: Ask Riot, Ascension in RGMQ, Fantasy LCS Returns, Practice Tool on PBE & more!

Posted on at 5:01 AM by Moobeat

This morning's red post collection includes a new Ask Riot on Pentakill, Bans, & Refunds, Ascension live this weekend in the RGMQ, an early look at the next champion & skin sale, Meddler with PBE context, the return of Fantasy LCS, details on new Practice mode in PBE testing, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Ask Riot: Three Refunds; 10 Bans 

The latest edition of ASK RIOT includes questions on the when we might hear more Pentakill music, feature prioritization, refunds & refund tokens, and additional bans:
"Welcome to Ask Riot! 
With our resolutions out of the way, it’s time to talk Pentakill, feature prioritization, refunds, and bans galore. 
For a long time Riot refused to add small features (like pinging cooldowns, or the snow map), but suddenly a bunch came out last year? What happened? Were you guys trying to make up for dynamic queue?

At times we can get really invested in long-term objectives, and go heads-down on features that take an incredibly long time to deliver (for example, devoting many of our engineers to working on the the updated client or big features like Hextech crafting). The downside to that is that it can make us over-focused on long-term goals at the expense of short-term player pain, or at the cost of not delivering small things you folks are just asking for outright. 
Around the middle of last year we realized we needed to do a better job of balancing our long-term objectives with urgent or ongoing issues that you were talking to us about. So we built a list of ideas from player feedback channels like our forums, Reddit, etc. We also had our regional offices from around the world compile lists of player requests or issues from their regions, and from there we just asked the team to pick items off where they could as a part of normal development. 
As an example: Players had been asking about the loading screen indicator for a long time. That feature, when we chose to prioritize it, took one member of the team a few days to implement into the game. It’s not the most polished loading screen indicator ever made, but it does the job and was something we could deliver without compromising our other goals. Other examples would be pinging the HUD, or auto-sorting the scoreboard. These were features that weren’t on our roadmap or among our long-term goals, but we prioritized them because you reminded us what’s important, and what an impact seemingly-small additions can make. 
This is something you can expect to see us continue in 2017 and moving forward – it wasn’t a short-term shift. We want to do a better job of balancing long-term goals with short-term wins, and we especially want to improve at listening to you, hearing what’s important, and improving the game over time. 
NEW001, Product Lead, League of Legends 
Why are you increasing bans to 10 in Season 7?

The answers are slightly different depending on whether you’re talking about the regular player experience or the pro experience, so I’ll answer both. Fortunately this was one of those situations where the change still makes sense for both sides, even though the goals are a little different. 
For pro, the primary reason is to increase champion diversity, largely for the sake of the viewer experience. We think the game is more exciting when diversity is higher, assuming it is possible to achieve higher diversity without sacrificing overall game health. A secondary benefit is to hopefully create a more strategic and interesting champ select. Teams can try and build particular comps, while trying to shut down particular comps for the other side, which we think will be fun to watch (more on this in just a second). 
For regular play, the primary reason is player agency. In the current design, some players get to pick first and some players get to ban. But we think most players (especially when they queue solo) just want to shut down whatever is most annoying in their lane (or whatever seems “overpowered” in the moment). Ten bans just happens to give every player the opportunity to ban something. Diversity is a secondary benefit we hope to achieve. However, we don’t realistically think we will get much more strategy to champ selection in regular play (except possibly for larger premades) since as I said, most players just want to ban their lane/power. I don’t mean to imply that regular players aren’t thinking strategically. It’s just a different environment than in pro, where teams not only play together regularly, but even suspect what strategies their rivals may choose. 
One concern is that increasing bans might increase the time of champ select in pro or regular play. This is not something we want to happen, so we’ll be looking at ways to prune down the time overall. 
We haven’t ironed out final details, but our current thinking is that regular play and pro play will use a slightly different ban system. For regular play, everyone could just ban simultaneously and then we announce the results. For pro play, we want to make sure that teams have some ability to respond to the opponent’s attempts to shut something down, as well as give teams a chance to try and protect signature pro picks. For this reason, we want to split the ban phases. We don’t think regular play needs this extra complication, though for ranked fives or tournaments or other forms of organized play, it might make sense to use the pro system. 
GHOSTCRAWLER, Game Design Director 
I loved Pentakill and I saw there’s a new album coming — will it be in the same style?

Awesome to hear you dug Smite And Ignite! When we made that one, our goal was to have it represent a few different subgenres of metal. We’re planning on having more tracks on the new album than we did on the first, so we’ll be able to explore some styles we couldn’t last time around (looks like we’ll have somewhere between 8 to 11 tracks on this one). With that said, the one thing we don’t want this to feel like is a random compilation album — there’s a lot of connective tissue that we’re hoping holds the whole thing together (i.e. Karthus’ vocals channeled through Metal Demigod Jørn Lande, and Mordekaiser’s tasty riffs by guitarist ProtoShredanoid). Don’t want to spoil too much, but we’re hyped to share more madness with you guys over the next several months! 
VIRANIMAL, Special Projects Lead, Music and Esports 
Why are refunds capped at three per account? Would you ever raise the limit?

League of Legends content is intended to be permanent. However we want players to feel good about the content they purchase, so we developed the refund feature to give every player a solution for those rare situations where they purchase content and quickly regret it, and are sure that they will never want to use that content in the future. Many players have never used their refunds, while others have used one, two, or three of them over time. 
We established a limit of three refunds and still believe that is the right number (this gives players leeway to refund purchases but also protects the overall system from abuse). We’ve explored granting more refunds at times, but discovered that the majority of players would prefer free content instead, so each year we have steadily increased the amount of content players receive just for playing the game. Refunds and free content both come at considerable cost to Riot, so we have to carefully focus on which to prioritize to deliver value to players and protect our ability to operate as a business. 
That said, while we have no current plans to issue more refund tokens in 2017, it is something we will continue to explore in the future as more players hit the three refund cap. 
HIPPALUS, eCommerce 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."
In case you've missed the two PENTAKILL live performance / teasers, check out these links:

RGMQ - Ascension this weekend + Notes

Ascension returns this weekend in the RGMQ!

The RGMQ post also includes two important notes:
1) RGMQ schedule will be moving to patch notes
2) Two weekends of Ascension in a Row (1/13/17 - 1/16/17 and 1/20/17 - 1/23/17).
"The friendly frosts of Snowdown have melted and given way to a raging Shuriman sandstorm. Ascension is now live from 1/13/17 - 1/16/17 and 1/20/17 - 1/23/17
Check out our last Ascension post for more details on the rotating game mode. For those who just need a TL;DR: 
  • Go 5v5 to claim the incredible power of Ascension by taking down Ancient Ascendant Xerath. Use Ascension to conquer the Crystal Scar of Shurima. 
  • First team to reach 200 points wins. Score:
    • 1 point for champion kills.
    • 3 points for capturing a Shuriman relic.
    • 5 points for landing the killing blow on an Ascended champion.
    • 2 points for each kill you acquire while Ascended. 
Go forth. Conquer. Ascend. 
Important note: Since rotating game modes fall in sync with patch updates, we’ll be moving these announcements to patch notes from now on. Same info, new home. See you there!"

1/17 - 1/20 Champion and Skin Sale Listing

The January 17th through 20th champion and skin sale has been published earlier than usual. Look for QuinnOriannaKassadinLissandraLoch Ness Cho'GathBlood Moon ThreshSpecial Forces Gangplank, and Glacial Malphite to go on sale early next week.

As usual, we'll have a post up Monday morning with skin previews and videos!

Context on PBE Changes for Master Yi & Yasuo

[As of posting, both Master Yi and Yasuo have changes currently testing on the 7.2 PBE cycle!]
In addition to the new Meditate (W) effect of  "In addition, Master Yi will gain stacks of Double Strike and pause the remaining duration on Wuju Style and Highlander for each second he channels.", Meddler added a few more Master Yi changes currently on PBE:
"Also in today's PBE build I believe, but harder to datamine, are a couple of other Yi changes:
  • The duration of E and R is paused while Yi's meditating (they don't tick down)
  • If Double Strike kills a minion or monster on the first hit the second will strike another nearby target (same behavior as Lucian's passive)."
Fizz Enthusiast added:
I'm curious how fluid the automated target selection is on double strike given that yi is melee. Will Yi automatically walk slightly toward nearby minions to use it?
He will look for things that he can kill and prioritise those, otherwise hit the closest thing (without moving). So no walking. He turns to face the direction he's hitting the second target, so it looks pretty decent. 
Also incidentally found and fixed a bug with Lucian's one (killing a champion with the first shot will result in a second shot not firing)."
phroxz0n also noted:
"Yeah, someone on our team also had the same concern, but not from a thematic standpoint. I think thematically it makes a lot of sense (going into meditation to prepare yourself for battle), but gameplay wise makes a bit less sense ("hey use your combat spell out of combat occasionally before you gank"). 
I think the gains from meditating to prepare for an alpha -> double strike is worth it though or to add some more in-combat variance through just charging up double strike and hitting them is worth it though. 
We were also looking at testing some things like meditate reducing your cooldowns per second - that was out of scope for this patch, but we may revisit it at a later stage."
When asked about the recent Yasuo E nerfs (E base damage down significantly + small bonus AD ratio added) on PBEMeddler commented:
"We think Yasuo's too strong and want to hit his early power more than his late, hence a shift of E damage from base to ratio. E's also a spell with really high utility, so can afford to lose some power while still being highly relevant and satisfying. Finally, we'd also like to make Q max a little more attractive, comparatively, as a build (better counterplay against lane opponents, so want a bit more trade off if he's maxing E)."

Practice Tool now live on PBE for initial testing

As of the 1/13 PBE update, the new practice tool is now available for PBE testing!

This new tool allows players to hop into a practice oriented singleplayer game and mess around with various modifiers and options, such as instantly granting gold/xp, respawning jungle, spawning test dummies, teleporting around the map, and more.

Here's L4T3NCY with details on the Practice tool testing on the PBE boards:
"Yo! ^o^/ 
The Practice Tool is now enabled on PBE for testing. For more detail on our philosophy behind Practice Tool, you can read our recent devblog here: 

Keep in mind this is our initial version, and how long we leave it on PBE before going Live will depend on how many bugs we find and parts that still need polish. We're performing a balancing act here between wanting to get you guys the tool ASAP to start practicing for Season 7, but also wanting to make sure it's stable, easy-to-use, has the functionality you need, etc. 
We also know there's a MOUNTAIN of features that could potentially be added to the tool that some of you have already started suggesting (runes & masteries editing and summoner spells just to name a few). Realistically though, we've had to make some tough dev decisions about what to do first, and have chosen to get the core commands done first so you can at least reset the game, teleport, etc. 
Known issues:  
-- Tooltip behaviour is currently sub-optimal. We're working to clean up their positioning & timing.
-- Some of the icons still need to be updated
---- The ground target indicator for Teleport and placing dummies is WIP.
-- Target dummies:
---- Missing portrait icon on mini-map. Using white square.
---- Damage text visible through fog
-- Still show the IP/XP warning during champ select. Need to remove.
-- If you actually complete a game and it shows up in Match History, some things could overlap or be broken. 
We also expect that you might start finding lots of new bugs with champions in general. This is awesome! :D Let's keep this particular thread focused on Practice Tool though, so we can easily sift to bugfix and polish the tool. Try to keep in mind if what you've found is a champion specific bug, or something to actually do with the tool, and for those champion bugs, please report them in a separate Gameplay thread as per usual. Also remember, if you find a champion bug while Auto-Refresh Cooldown is turned on, please turn it off and try again to repro the same bug. We need to know this difference. 
Thanks again PBE players. You guys give us the confidence to release something slightly rougher than usual like this, so we work together and quickly get it up to scratch for release to all our Live players! <3 
-- L4T3NCY"

In response to a comment on the new training dummies you can spawn to practice abilities and attacks on (with damage meter!), Terra noted:
"To expand on that - target dummies will interact with spells / targeting the same as champions do."

When asked if the PRACTICE TOOL will be available in the legacy client or just in the LCU, Terra  noted:
"The Practice Tool will only be in the League Client Update - we had to do a decent amount of front end work for it, and we're were able to get it to you guys faster by only doing it in the new hotness."
When asked if you are limited to champions and skins you own, Terra noted:
"Correct, you can only use content you own within the Practice Tool."
As for if they plan to add a way to customize the target dummy stats,  Terra noted:
"It is a cool idea that we might do someday, but there won't be any customization for the dummies for the initial version of the tool (besides what team they are on)."

See these links for more information on the new practice tool:
The video below shows a few examples of the PRACTICE TOOL options and the second part of the video is a few ridiculous examples of things you can do or test out.

Fantasy LCS returns 

With the EU and NA LCS set to start next week, FANTASY LCS is back! As in the past, Players can now draft teams and compete with their friends throughout the upcoming season.
"TL;DR: Fantasy LCS is back. 
Who else is counting down the days until the start of LCS Spring Split? We’re excited to announce that LCS Fantasy is now live so you can make a League to assemble your LCS dream team and battle your friends. With new players joining the LCS and roster shakeups, who will you pick for your team? 
Here’s what you need to know to before starting your Fantasy LCS draft
How does scoring work? 
As with last split, the scoring system will remain the same with two options - First Two Games and Best Game. 
  • The First Two Games scoring system is exactly what it sounds like: only the first two games played in each Best of 3 (Bo3) match are worth fantasy points. This is the default option for scoring for Fantasy LCS Leagues.
  • The Best Game scoring system is just as straightforward: only the highest-scoring game for each pro in their Bo3 match is worth fantasy points.
One difference from 2016 that you should keep in mind is the new EU broadcast schedule. Not all EU teams will play two matches each week. If you draft Jankos to take care of the jungle for you, you should be in good shape in Week 1 as he is playing against Origen on Thursday and Splyce on Sunday. However, if you picked Trashy in round 3, you might want to find a substitute for Week 1 as Splyce is only playing on Sunday against H2K. Trashy will only give you one match worth of stats, potentially making him a worse starter than a less skilled jungler who gets to play two matches. 
This adds a new level of complexity to managing your roster each week as you will need to add free agents and lean on your bench to make sure you get the most points possible. 
We will be keeping an eye on how the EU changes impact this Fantasy split and we will revisit everything at the end of the season to see if we need to make any changes for Summer. 
Just a friendly reminder that once you start the draft, the scoring system will be locked in. 
When does Fantasy end? 
This year, Fantasy will end at Week 9 of both NA and EU LCS regular season to be consistent across both leagues.

Where do I play? 
Head on over the Fantasy LCS website to set up or join a League. Fantasy LCS is only supported on Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and FireFox browsers so make you have one installed. 
It’s my first time playing, where can I get more information? 
Head on over to the How to Play Guide
May the drafts be in your favor! GLHF!"
The EU LCS starts back up on January 19th and he NA LCS will start off on January 20th!

Changes to PTL content

Speaking of esports, Lolesports has also put out an article announcing the Primetime League is going on the ice and they are working on a new batch of esports driven content for the 2017 season:
"What’s up fam, we here at Primetime League have got some news. 
It’s been a wild two years of making the live show. We’ve been around the world, shaved Dyrus’ head, and dropped far too many F-bombs for broadcast (looking at you Deficio). But as of Spring Split 2017, we’ll be putting the PTL live show on ice and bringing many of the show's segments that you know and love to you in some different ways. 
So what does that mean to our fans and Phreak’s parents? Although we’ll no longer be hosting the live weekly show, Mic Check, Penta, and This or That will all be returning with the Spring Split and we’ll be doubling down our efforts to make these shows the best that they can possibly be. This means more sick plays and alternate Pentas, more sing-a-longs and “NICE” screams in Mic Check, and finally some muy caliente This or Thats. 
We’re also going to be using our newfound free time to gain elo pilot out new shows featuring pro players, experts, and our casters. We're already at work on many of these offerings, and expect to begin rolling these shows out over the next several months, and beyond. As we move away from the WEDNESDAY MEGA DROPPPPP™ way of releasing content, you can also expect a more consistent experience of new, cool videos and articles throughout the week. 
Personally I’m looking forward to our Naked and Afraid spinoff with pro players. Is he joking? Maybe, wait till the Spring Split starts to find out… 
As we said earlier, it’s been a wild ride, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without you guys. Whenever we felt like you guys were just as much a part of the show as we were, we knew we were doing things right. So we wanted to say a big thanks to YOU, the PTL fans, for tuning in every week, and we hope that we can continue to live up to your expectations in 2017.

Your pals,
The PTL team."

Helmet Bro: The Final Teemo

New episode of the Helmet bro community collab: Helmet Bro: The Animated Series - The Final Teemo:

"One will live. One will die. See the explosive conclusion to season 1."

Quick Hits:  Ocean Week 2017, Best of Mic Check 2016, & 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!]

  • Riot Artist Victor Maury shared thumbnails and process for Warwick's new splash art over on artstation


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

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