Red Post Collection: Practice Tool information, Dreadnova GP teaser, WW skin feedback, Winter SR dev blog, and more!

Posted on at 1:43 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection includes details on the upcoming PRACTICE TOOL, a teaser for the upcoming Dreadnova Gangplank skin, a dev blog on the Winter Summoner's Rift, a goodbye to Snowdown 2016,  Reav3 on Warwick's update skins & feedback, PBE context, the FIGHT doc, & more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Practice Tool Details - Practice with purpose 

Riot Aeon & L4T3NCY  published an article on the upcoming PRACTICE TOOL as it is set to debut on the PBE for testing very soon.

This new tool allows players to go into a single player custom game with unique options to practice their mechanics, builds, and more using options such as  auto-refresh cooldowns, set level / gold, respawn camps, disable/enable minions/turrets, reset the game, hit training dummies, and more!
"Practice Tool is coming soon to League of Legends, so I wanted to take some time to focus on what it looks like and what you’ll be able to do in it. Let’s get straight into what you can expect from Practice Tool. 
What is Practice Tool? 
At its core, Practice Tool is a place where you can train your mechanics. It’s the training gym where you can go to brush up on your Lv1 last hitting, that early jungle gank route or your Riven mechanics. A simple, straight forward, single-player environment that lets you test out things like checking wall flash points or if you can solo dragon with a certain item build, without wasting hours in Custom Games. As League gains more and more similarities to a sport, it makes sense that there be a place where you can go to shoot hoops! 
In particular, we’ve focused on the following areas for practice: 
  • Champion mechanics and combos
  • Jungle practice
  • Endless last hitting
  • Item build DPS checks
  • Map familiarity (ward placement, wall flashes, etc) 
Who is it for? 
Everyone. Whether you’re trying to get from Diamond to Master or just want to figure out how Rumble’s ulti works, we think Practice Tool will serve a gap for you that wasn’t there until now. 
What commands can I use? 
We’re launching Practice Tool with the following commands. As you can imagine, there are many other commands that could be added, so we had to make some tough choices about which ones to prioritise first. Using our focus points mentioned above as a guide, we’ve aimed at enabling the basics of League that can help all players. Of course, we’ll also be listening to you guys and adding more as needed to enabling practicing whatever League throws at you in the future. 
Player commands
  • Auto-refresh cooldowns
  • Auto-refresh HP
  • Auto-refresh mana (energy, rage, etc)
  • Add gold
  • Level up
  • Lock level (locks your current EXP level)
  • Teleport to target
  • Revive 
Game state commands 
  • Enable/Disable turrets invulnerable
  • Disable/enable turret fire
  • Disable/enable minions
  • Fast forward game time 30sec
  • Reset game
  • Spawn enemy target dummy
  • Spawn allied target dummy
  • Remove all spawned target dummies 
Jungle commands
  • Respawn jungle
  • Spawn Dragon (can choose)  
So what can I do with these?
Let’s get into some example practice scenarios. 
Scenario 1: Endless Lv1 last hitting practice 
  • Start Practice Tool
  • Enable turrets invulnerable
    • This will prevent minions from accidentally taking the tower.
  • Lock level
    • This will prevent you from leveling up, so you can keep practicing at Lv1 damage (or whatever level you decide to lock at)
  • After shopping, teleport to lane
    • Why walk?
  • Fast forward the game 90sec to get minions into the lane.
    • Why wait?
  • Practice endless last hitting!
Scenario 2: Early jungle clear practice 
  • Start Practice Tool
  • After shopping, teleport to your preferred starting camp
    • No need to walk
  • Fast forward the game 60sec
    • No need to wait forever for camp spawns
  • Practice your jungle route!
  • After a few levels, you can hit “Reset Game” and immediately try again with no loading.
    • If you ever want to practice a specific camp, just use the “Respawn jungle” button and force them to respawn over and over.
Our development process for Practice Tool has been slightly different than the way we usually do things with other features. We’ve chosen to target getting a ‘bare-bones version’ of the tool working for you guys as soon as possible (so you can start practicing while Season 7 is still young), rather wait much longer to release something more polished but would still have very similar functionality. This means there might be a few things we missed, but that’s where we want to hear from you guys and start the process of improving the tool as we go! 
Practice Tool will naturally need to update alongside League anyway, otherwise you won’t be able to practice new things that get added to the game (EG: plants are our newest addition to League so we’re obviously going to have to add them). 
The doors to the Practice Tool training gym will be open soon. I’ll be around in the comments below, so feel free to ask me any questions about what you can/can’t do in Practice Tool."
When asked about taking an enemy bot into practice mode, L4T3NCY noted:
Can we add bots, too? Or is it just a PvE environment?
You'll be able to add 1 bot to the enemy team from our list of currently available bots. I might make sense to allow up to 5 bots on the enemy team, but we've set it to 1 for now."
When asked if this tool is single player or if other players could join in, L4T3NCY noted:
Will you be able to play with your friends or is it just solo?
It's a single-player tool. We've focused on something for players to practice their champion mechanics, how to jungle, etc."
When asked about being able to spam practice the same abilities,  L4T3NCY noted:
So with the cooldown refresh thing does that mean you have basically 100% cdr and you can spam your abilities all nice and urf style? :3 
Or do you have to manually click a button to refresh your abilities
We currently have it as a toggle that "auto-refreshes" as you describe. We might need to add a "1-click" style button as well though, to allow practice of re-cast skills (EG: Leblanc practice)."
Assets for PRACTICE TOOL have already started to hit the PBE - look for more information soon!

Dreadnova Gangplank Social Media Teaser

Riot's social media lit up today with a brief video teaser for the upcoming 1350 RP Dreadnova Gangplank skin. The teaser video shows Dreadnova Gangplank crushing a delicious orange before an bombartment strikes the planet in the background. 

Here's a youtube mirror:

Screenshots and video previews for this upcoming skin can be found in our [7.1 PBE coverage].

Melting Barriers: Bringing Snow Back to the Rift

While Snowdown 2016 may be over, here's a NEXUS Dev blog on creating the Winter Summoner's Rift:
Santa Baron and Fluffy Poro
A look at how and why we revived Winter Summoner’s Rift 
A few years ago, we replaced Summoner’s Rift’s copypasta of textures and landscapes with hand-painted pixels, transforming the outdated environment into a modernized battleground. Because the new map was basically an oversized piece of art, implementing map skins instantly became more difficult. In the past, Winter Summoner’s Rift was generated using the traditional approach of tiling textures, but on the new Rift, this yielded inconsistent (or low-quality) results. In order to really convert the Rift into a winter wonderland, artists would have to spend months painting the Freljordian conditions by hand, only to watch the snow evaporate within weeks. For a while, the resources required to temporarily bring frost to the Rift didn’t seem worth cutting into development resources for other features
A fiendishly friendly Yordle helped change everything. 
Doom Bots of Doom was revamped for The Teemoing event, but the Rift wasn’t nearly spooky enough to be the summoning grounds for the Little Devil. Halfway through the game mode’s development, artists started experimenting with the lighting on the Rift to try and create an eerie atmosphere. With a few candles and mysterious incantation books, things began to feel much more ominous. 
Summoner’s Rift: The Teemoing Edition
The reimagined map had a few flaws, partially because it was created in a couple weeks, but it still helped deepen The Teemoing experience. This also marked the first time any changes were made to the Rift since its update. “Until then, Summoner’s Rift was like a sacred baby,” technical artist Brendon “RiotVitzkrieg” Vitz says, “It was so carefully designed—there was no way we could touch it.” 
But Doom Bots of Doom’s positive reception led to quiet whispers: If we can make a spooky Rift, then maybe we can summon a snowstorm, too. 
The original idea for Season 6’s Snowdown maps was to boost holiday cheer on the Howling Abyss and add festive designs to the lanes of Summoner’s Rift, but environment artist Max “Beezul” Gonzalez suggested they recreate Winter Summoner’s Rift instead—it would be just as time-consuming as designing new lane patterns. The artists on this project knew first-hand how big of an undertaking revamping Summoner’s Rift was, so they were a bit uncertain. Environment artist Jeremy “Redondo” Page says, “This suggestion was actually terrifying to hear because it was like, ‘Oh boy, what are we getting ourselves into?’” 
Still, the artists started experimenting on a small corner of the Rift using a new filtering process that was prototyped just months earlier. The technique involved isolating the lightest and darkest tones of all the textures on Summoner’s Rift. With the light, dark, and midtones separated, they could be individually altered using layers and filters in Photoshop. When the modified textures were laid back over the Rift, it created a cold, wintry hue. Every tree, stone and blade of grass maintained the its structural base, but the effect was an illusion of snow. 
During development, this work-in-progress image was shared with other Rioters, and their hyped response encouraged the team to keep moving forward.
RiotVitzkrieg explains, “We were building off of really high-quality textures, so they held up, even after we started mucking around with them.” In other words, the Rift’s foundation was detailed enough to still look good, even after the alterations. After the new textures were completed and applied to the Rift, artists smoothed out any rough seams and edges by hand. 
This new rendering system allowed a frosty Rift to be created within weeks, an endeavor which if done by manual painting (like the updated Rift itself) would have taken the better part of a year.

Stages of creating a wintery Rift: change textures, add items, add particle effects, add animated props 
Festive items and visual effects were later added to buff the Rift’s holly jolly holiday vibes. Some things were created from scratch, such as Baron’s long-lost Santa hat, but many were commandeered from existing materials. Santa Braum lived up to his name and helped deliver presents to the Rift; after muting the colors of Winter’s Bite, the gifts blended right in. A flulft of poros also migrated to the Rift, where animators helped to assemble them into snowmen. 
Early in development, artists copied items from the first winter map and placed them in the new one, but the colors were too bright and noisy for the upgraded landscapes.
During the last year, our mindset shifted from from, “Map skins should be held to the same quality bar as Summoner’s Rift,” to, “Temporary skins don’t necessarily need to be artistically flawless to be exciting or worthwhile.” This change in perspective, coupled with new rendering techniques, means we are working to deliver more thematic maps in the future. We can’t promise the moon just yet, but there may be something just over the horizon."

Until next Snowdown 

Snowdown 2016 ended on January 9th! Say goodbye with this festive little poem from the Poro King:
"Snowdown has come to an end, but as the Poro King, a lover of poetry, would say: 
Snowdown has ended,
But it lives on in you,
Take care and good fortune,
‘Til we meet again soon. 
Until next Snowdown, goodbye, but not farewell!"

Warwick Skin Feedback 

With Warwick's large scope champion update and updated skins on the PBE for testing, Reav3 lept on to the boards to address feedback and upcoming improvements for several of Warwick's skins:
"Hey guys, 
I have read over all your feedback on Warwicks new updated skins and I wanted to talk about what our thoughts are on them and also what changes you can expect to see before release (Or maybe even in the patch after release if needed) 
First off I want to say that our goal for skin updates is always to do, at the minimum, what is on live pre-rework (or if what is on live doesn't work with the new direction at least something in it's place) We generally don't add more then what is on Live. This is because if we brought every skin up to the modern standards it would extend our release time by a fair amount and we think getting the base update out to players as fast as possible is the highest priority. However, we do try to squeeze in cool things that didn't exist before when possible. 
That being said we have heard your feedback about the quality of some of his skins and we will be adding more cool stuff over the next couple weeks. I also want to address some concerns I have seen about Feral in particular and at least talk about how we landed where we did on that skin thematic. 
For Tundra and Firefang we will be adding unique or recolored Fire and Ice VFX to all there abilities, not just W. We feel that the green or red in Tundra WW case just feel really out of place and you guys where right to call us out on that. While neither had completely new VFX pre-rework we also don't want VFX that look super out of place in the game so we will be updating these skins. 
Hyena Warwick
For Hyena Warwick we added some unique VO lines and kept his unique laugh emote. We however didn't have a laugh on Q or his Ult which a lot of players are rightfully sad about. We will be adding laugh VO to his Q, Ult, W activation AND when he kills someone. Hopefully this will retain the feeling of the previous Hyena skin. We will also be giving him unique or recolored VFX across the board as well to better fit his thematic. As for pre-rework Hyena's unique run animation, new Warwick already has a run animation when he hunts. In the place of a run we added a unique Engine rig to his back that has unique engine animations that don't exist on any of the other skins. 
Feral Warwick
So there have been many comments about how Feral Warwick isn't Feral anymore. We don't plan on doing big changes to the skin except small adjustments to the splash to match the in-game color more and a bit of model polish on his clothing. I did think I should at least explain the thematic and how we got to where we got. We definitely didn't intend to take away his feralness or ignore his previous thematic. Pre-Rework Feral Warwick was a feral beast that got captured and then escaped due to how feral and out of control he was (hence the broken chains on his wrist) We had to preserve the tanks on his back and claw for each skin so we needed to incorporate those into the new skin. The thematic is supposed to be similar to pre-rework feral in that he was a feral werewolf that gets captured and is experimented on and then escapes the lab, killing everyone and running back into the wild. We just added a bit of a twist to it. I thought it would be at least fair to explain our reasoning behind the changes. 
Anyways that all for now. Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below."

When asked about Hyena Warwick's changes and additional back engine, Reav3 explained:
"We had to put something on his back that could convey his gameplay state changes. 
Hyena's in general feel kind of wild and crazy which we felt fit well with a post-apocalyptic Savannah type theme. 
As always we do lots of different concepts of each skin and we felt that it was really cool, kept with the Hyena theme, and also incorporated the back piece and the new augmented theme Warwick's has now. We also felt the engine gave us a unique opportunity to do some cool unique anims since base Warwick runs on all fours now. I sorry you aren't really digging it but I thought I at least should answer your question."
Reav3 continued:
"What I meant is that he still has a unique laugh emote not that it was identical to before. He definitely can't roll around on the ground with the engine on his back. It is a different voice actor so the laugh sounds different."

When asked about the potential return of the currently limited GREY WARWICK and URFWICK skins, Reav3 commented they would like to see them return in the future:
I already made a thread on this so I hate to ask twice and be a bother, but is there a chance that Grey and URF will reappear in the store? 
Other than that, fantastic work on all the skins! I personally couldnt be more impressed.
They won't be available on launch but we are working on plans to release them sometime later. Not set in stone yet though :)"
Reav3 added:
In my opinion, this is a huge insult to early backers of Riot. Grey Warwick came from recruiting friends and Urf Warwick was during their very first April Fool's event. Urf Warwick was promised to be a one time release skin, just like UFO Corki, King Rammus, Black Alistar etc.
If grey Warwick does come back, and it's not certain it will. It will also he for a social promotion. It has never been legacy but only obtainable through social promotions, same with medieval twitch. Both could come back at anytime through future social promotions. 
In the case of Urfwick, if we do bring it back it would be similar to Championship Riven in that we would do something special for current owners."
Meddler also chimed in to add:
"We're looking into options for both Urfwick and Greywick since those are now cool updated skins that aren't accessible anymore. Not sure what solutions we will or won't find there, given there's some past history to recognize too, they're on our radar though certainly."

Warwick’s PBE Gameplay Livestream VOD

Following his champion update reveal and PBE debut, CertainlyT (Warwick champion update designer) and friend jumped on the PBE to host a gameplay preview and Q&A. Check out the VOD!
"Join Warwick’s designer CertainlyT at 2 PM Pacific Time for Q&A and a live PBE demo of Warwick’s gameplay. If you’re here a bit early, leave your questions in the comments below so we can address them right off the bat!
You can also watch the stream directly or check out past VODs on the League Twitch channel."


Looking forward, CertainlyT also comments that, while subject to change, Urgot is planned to follow the Warwick and future Galio champion updates.

Context on PBE Lethality Buffs

When asked about buffs to Lethality in a recent reddit thread, Riot Axes  commented they are currently testing out a buff to give Lethality more up front power:
"We are also tweaking the formula for the stat to give more of its power up front / less per level (same end points, just comes sooner). 
That'd be pretty hard to data mine and I'm not sure if it's on PBE yet or not."
Riot Axes added:
Do you happen to know what the new formula is since iirc the existing one is amount of pen= LETHALITY × (0.4 + Enemy Level ÷ 30)
We are currently testing: armor pen = Lethality * (0.6 + (Enemy Level / 45)) 
To put it another way - on live right now you get 40% of lethality as armor pen up front, the other 60% of lethality over 18 levels (based on target level). The new formula is 60% up front, 40% over 18 levels. 
This formula could change further before 7.2 is released. We're not sure this is the exact correct number, but we are sure that it's more correct than what's on live and it'll be informative for figuring out next steps, if we need any."
As for thoughts on buffing Lethality items individually,  Riot Axes also added:
You think its a good idea buffing the passives/actives of the Lethality items in addition to the formula change, would it be overkill?
I think we have a lot of room to buff before they become a problem. Would like to see them as more core on Assassins (right now a lot of them are doing anything they can to avoid having to buy these items), and I think even the most likely non-Assassin use cases tend to be really interesting rather than oppressive."

Over on twitter, SmashGizmo also noted:
[1] "I don't really think it's scrapeable, but today PBE should have the change where I shifted the Lethality ratio from 40% to 60% at level 1" 
[2] "basically the formula is such that you start penning 60% of the lethality value vs. a level 0 target and pen 100% vs. level 18."
More information in the 1/11 PBE update!

Meddler Grab Bag - Rek'Sai, Lulu PBE context, & more

Next up is a batch of red posts from Meddler!
When asked about the recent PBE buffs to Lulu (AP ratio increase + Mana cost reduction on Q), Meddler noted:
"We want to buff support Lulu. We also want to buff solo Lulu a bit. It's something we've had a lot of trouble with in the past but still believe should be in a stronger state than it currently is.

Now, having said that the AP ratio increase doesn't accomplish both of those goals, given it does very little for support Lulu. Current plan is to replace that buff with something else as a result. It's the sort of unlikely to succeed change we'll occasionally do at the start of a patch cycle (often just internally, not on PBE). Intent is often to get an understanding of what a champion would look like were that true in the current state of the game or sometimes for someone to test something out that they believe in even if wider consensus is it's unlikely to have the desired result."
When asked about plans for Rek'Sai in the near future,  Meddler commented:
"Still planning that work. It's been started, has to take lower priority behind pre-season follow up work though (jungle changes for 7.2 right now for example). Can't offer a clear timeframe as a result, certainly not forgotten or iceboxed though."
When asked about Vi, Hecarim, and PoppyMeddler noted:
"We've been talking about whether Hecarim and Vi are both too strong. Conclusion was that we should nerf jungle XP and CotC and then reassess them both. Poppy by contrast we're confident needs nerfs besides just the hit from CotC getting weaker and won't be affected by jungle XP changes negatively hence we prioritized working on her."
Meddler continued:
Why would she not be affected by jg XP changes?
Because her most effective position right now at least is in lane and those are the cases we feel are definitely too strong. Jungle XP nerfs are arguably a slight buff to her as a non jungler as a result."

Patch Chat with the Playtest Team - 7.1 Jungle Nerfs

With patch 7.1 out on live, the playtest team has returned to the boards for another addition of Patch Chat!
"new "Minions" art created by inkinesss! 
Hey guys! Welcome to Patch Chat, a Dev Corner thread we make to talk about our new patches every two weeks: . Keep in mind that this is for discussing the current patch, not future content (e.g., Warwick) 
I'm Aesah on Riot's Playtest Team, a group of Diamond+ players who play with the new champions, reworks, balance tweaks, items, and map updates before they are released. It's our job to the test the changes that our designers come up with and ensure that we're introducing positive changes to LoL in terms of both balance and fun. We'll be watching this thread to answer as many questions as we can. 
In 7.1, we're toning down how much agency junglers currently have over the game through decreasing the amount of experience they gain from the jungle. Some champions who have been overperforming that are receiving notable nerfs include Syndra, Ryze, Shyvana, Poppy, and Camille. Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the spectrum, we're buffing Draven, Kalista, Lucian, and Talon. The only item changed in this patch is the Zz'rot Portal, which is getting a reduced range to discourage leaving it alone far away in the back and forgetting about it. There is still a lot of work to be done but these some first steps to delivering an excellent Season 7 experience! 
All of us on the Playtest Team are avid gamers so feel free to talk to us as fellow LoL players! 
Adam "Afic" Cohen
Ben “Cezium” Burkhardt
Don “Aesah” Ding
Nicolas “Gleeb” Haddad
Dan “penguin” Hardison
Bao “Bao” Lam
Robert “ROBERTxLEE” Lee
Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith
Blake “S0be” Soberanis
Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes"
Check out the board's discussion for more information!

EU LCS 2017 Explained: Groups & Format

With the LCS starting back up next week, take a look at the upcoming group and format changes for the EU LCS with this handy video:

"The start of the 2017 EU LCS Spring Split is just over a week away, so here’s a little refresher on the new format and a first look at the new EU LCS groups! 
For additional info around the new format, head over to"

FIGHT - Full Release | League of Legends Documentary

Here's FIGHT - a new 20 minute+ League of Legends documentary following Jacky's journey both a LoL player, Muay Thai boxer, and Darius player.

"In Muay Thai, League, and life - you have to fight to win. Especially when there’s a championship on the line. Tanet “Jacky” Puangngoen is a Muay Thai boxer and League of Legends player with over 3,000 games as Darius. FIGHT follows Jacky’s journey as he competes in the Hong Kong Muay Thai Championship. "
See the youtube video description for music credits and more.

Quick Hits:  New SotCU soon &  Heartseeker skins not out in 7.1

[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!]

"I'm currently working on a new State of Champion Update blog that should come out end of this month/begging of Feb."

"Skins in Patch 7.1. | Please note that the Heartseeker skins will not be in this patch, and will be released closer to Valentine's Day!"

  • Tummers commenting on pun based skin names and how they can be a headache for localization.


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

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