Red Post Collection: Zaun Story Update, January Bundles & Early Sales, On League's Business Model, HotBM on PBE, & more

Posted on at 7:31 AM by Moobeat
Today's red post collection includes a small mid-patch update from 1/26, a Zaun story update with a free icon & new champion stories, a new Ask Riot, January bundles and early sales now available in shop, details on the new Hunt of the Blood Moon game mode, a /dev on League's business model, and much more!
  Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Mid-Patch Update January 26th

The 7.2 patch notes have been updated to reflect a small Darius E change/fix that went out on 1/26!
  • TOUCHY - Jungle monsters now attack Darius if pulled by E - Apprehend, rather than letting him drag them all over the map"

Zaun Story Update - Icon + Blitz, Viktor, Jinx, Dr. Mundo Lore 

The Piltover / Zaun story page has been updated AGAIN - this time with new Blitzcrank, Viktor, Jinx, and Dr. Mundo stories, a free summoner icon, and more!
These join previously released Zaun and champion stories. See our S@20 coverage for full stories and more!

A FREE Zaun summoner icon is available through 2/2 simply by visiting the Piltover/Zaun page (be sure to be on your specific region by switching url!) and clicking the box below to redeem it!
"IMPORTANT: To register for your icon, please make sure that this site's URL (region/language) matches your account's server region. 
Unlock for your account by 2/2/2017 at 23:59 PT. 
Icons will be granted up to two weeks after February 2, 2017 at 23:59 PT."
[NA | EUW | EUNEOCE | LAN | LAS | BR | RU | TR |  JP]

Ask Riot: Janna Mid and Warwick Skins

This week's ASK RIOT answers questions on off-roles, bodyguards, and Warwick's limited skins!
"Welcome to Ask Riot! 
This week on Ask Riot, it’s off-roles, bodyguards, and Warwick skins. 
Are you ok with champions being played in off roles? For example, a support champ being played mid?

We think it’s great for the game when a wide variety of different classes can be played in a given position, provided the gameplay created is interactive and interesting, both for the person on that champion and other people in the game. Seeing mages come to be played in the support position over the last few years, for example, has generally seemed like a strong positive; it creates a wider variety of experiences, allows players with different tastes to enjoy the role, and enables a wider range of team comps and strategies. 
Similarly, some unusual, effective, and relatively fair picks have also been great to see previously (e.g. the occasional Riven mid as an assassin counter, support MF synergizing with Ashe as a lane partner, the occasional unusual mage like Karthus top etc). Right now we’re also seeing Ziggs see play as a farming bot laner. So far at least it looks like an effective pick that has clear strengths and weaknesses and brings something a bit different to the lane. Ziggs probably is a bit on the strong side, both bot and mid, at time of writing though, so we might nerf him on those grounds. Keeping him as a decent choice bot as well as mid’s something we’d like to do if possible. 
As far as champs normally played as support going to mid (or other lanes), those would face the same “Is this healthy?” test. We think it’s great to see an enchanter like Karma there for example, given it allows for interesting play and team comps while having a lane that’s pretty fair and interactive for other players. On the other side of things, though, there have been cases where we’ve seen enchanters go to positions other than support in ways that’s created really negative experiences. AP Janna mid is probably the clearest example of that, with her play often consisting of sitting at the tower, casting Q to one shot the wave and then not really interacting meaningfully with her lane opponent at all during the laning phase. That sort of thing’s not something we feel’s good for the game, regardless of which class is doing it, hence Janna’s ability to do that got removed, which subsequently meant she stopped getting played mid. 
MEDDLER, Lead Gameplay Designer
If you had the chance to choose one champion as your personal bodyguard (not only for protection, but also for kicking the bottom of every person who gets on your nerves), who would you choose?

I thought long and hard about this question, but ultimately, I had to go with my first instinct: Braum. There’s the obvious reasons: oversized shield, swole physique, impeccable mustache… This man can stop bullets, bombs, and tidal waves in their tracks, and I’d always feel safe standing behind Braum. (Plus, I hear his mustache is magical.) 
But here’s the other thing: whichever bodyguard you choose, you best be prepared to spend a lot of time with them. (Thinking about the sound of Zilean’s laughter following me everywhere actually tilted me.) But Braum? That guy is a walking embodiment of encouragement and inspiration. I imagine him saving me from baddies only to ask me if I’d like a cup of hot cocoa afterwards. He’s probably too kind-hearted to kick the butts of annoying people, but I’m sure he would gently (yet forcibly) remove them from my presence. 
Oh, and the poros. Lots and lots of poros. 
With the Warwick update coming out, will you make Grey Warwick or the URF skin available again?

For Warwick’s release, these skins will not be available. But that doesn’t mean they will never come back. Grey Warwick was originally a reward for the refer-a-friend program, for example, and while we currently don’t have this system in place, the skin could still come back for some other type of campaign in the future. His Urf skin is a bit more complicated. If there was a really cool event in the future that made sense for Urf Warwick, it could make a comeback; however, if we did bring it back we would want to do something special for the players that previously owned it, similar to what we did with Championship Riven. 
REAV3, Lead Producer

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."

It’s time for January bundles! 

Several limited time January champion and skin bundles are available through February 2!
"Grab these limited-time bundles now through 2/2/17 at 23:59 PT. 
Run and Gun Bundle - 50% off at 2584 RP (4546 RP if you need the champions)

Skins included:
  • Pool Party Miss Fortune
  • Pool Party Graves
  • Heartseeker Vayne
  • Guerilla Tristana (Legacy)
  • Hot Rod Corki (Legacy)
Champions included:
  • Miss Fortune
  • Graves
  • Vayne
  • Tristana
  • Corki
The Scheme Team Bundle - 50% off at 2284 RP (4190 RP if you need the champions)

Skins included:

  • Dark Star Varus
  • Blood Moon Shen
  • Blood Moon Kalista
  • Superb Villain Veigar
  • Nightmare Cho’Gath (Legacy)
Champions included:
  • Varus
  • Shen
  • Kalista
  • Veigar
  • Cho’Gath
Don’t Feed Early Bundle - 50% off at 2172 RP (3754 RP if you need the champions)

Skins included:
  • Super Galaxy Shyvana
  • Headhunter Rengar
  • Cursed Revenant Nocturne
  • Marauder Warwick
  • Chosen Master Yi
Champions included:
  • Shyvana
  • Rengar
  • Nocturne
  • Warwick
  • Master Yi
Botstreet Boys Bundle - 50% off at 2699 RP (4603 RP if you need the champions)

Skins included:
  • Pool Party Taric
  • Heartseeker Varus
  • Debonair Ezreal
  • Pool Party Draven
  • Matador Alistar (Legacy)
Champions included:
  • Taric
  • Varus
  • Ezreal
  • Draven
  • Alistar"

January Early Sales

[UPDATE @ 7 AM PT: Early Sales are up on all regions but announcement isn't yet!]

January's early sales are available in the shop through January 30th, including skins and chroma released over last few months!

Here's the EUW version of the announcement:
"The January Early Sale is officially here! To kick things off, the following non-Legacy skins from the past 4-6 months are going on sale from January 27, 2017 08:00 GMT through January 31, 2017 07:59 GMT!"

Hunt of the Blood Moon testing on PBE!

The "Assassin Mode" assets seen in the 1/24 update are for HUNT OF THE BLOOD MOON - which is now up for testing as of the 1/25 PBE update!

Here's DefaultChar with more information from the PBE Boards:
"Hey all: 
It’s the Blood Moon time of year once more, and to celebrate its arrival we’re bringing you a brand new, assassin-tastic game mode!
As you’re no doubt expecting, details below ^^ 
Hunt of the Blood Moon 
Hunt of the Blood Moon is our take on the classic Assassin Power Fantasy, compressed into a mode. Two teams of Assassins compete, sacrificing the opposition in an attempt to secure the Blood Moon’s blessing and briefly gain the power of a demon. The team most successful in gaining said favor wins! 
Players: 5v5
Map: Summoner’s Rift
Mode Type: Blind Pick, with Champion Restrictions. 
Game Flow/ Mechanics: 
  • First team to obtain 300 points wins.
  • Earn points in 3 ways: Sacrificing Enemy Champions, Enemy Spirits, and Demon Heralds.
  • Enemy Champions are… fairly straightforward ☺ Find them, make them “Less alive”, and secure favor for your team (5, specifically)
  • Spirits of the Blood Moon will passively filter into both teams jungles. Hunt down the enemy team’s spirits and sacrifice them as well (3 pts)
  • Demon Heralds will periodically spawn in both. …Sacrifice them as well, and secure a grand total of 30 points.
  • If you are able to defeat 3 enemies without returning to base (see: “Wussing out”) or dying you’ll briefly gain the power of a demon, turning invisible and running very (very) fast for the duration.
  • The demon brand will break when you deal damage (or after 45 seconds), instantly doing 20% of the first target’s maximum health in true damage. 
Other Gameplay Notes: 
  • Minimap indicators in both teams’ jungles will light up to indicate the number of spirits in that half of the jungle.
  • A maximum of 8 will spawn at a time, so hunt them down aggressively!
  • Gold and Experience are flatlined, and Respawn Timers are reduced across the board.
  • Lane minion spawns have been disabled, and turrets are invulnerable.
  • At the start of the game, outer turrets are removed. 6 minutes in, the second row will collapse as well, giving you a bit more space to play around in.
  • We’ve removed a… not insignificant… number of items from the shop (Basically, if it’s mostly defensive, you probably can’t buy it) 
Restricted Champion Pool: 
For the first time in a game mode, we’re going to be using a limited pool of champions. We’ll be restricting you to a pool of 20 Assassins and Aggressive Divers; 
  • Ahri
  • Akali
  • Camille
  • Diana
  • Ekko
  • Elise
  • Evelynn
  • Fizz
  • Kassadin
  • Katarina
  • Kennen
  • Kha'Zix
  • Leblanc
  • Lee Sin
  • Pantheon
  • Rengar
  • Shaco
  • Talon
  • Yasuo
  • Zed 
In celebration of the blood moon event, we’ll also be adding 10 of these champions to the Free to Play rotation for all players (Exact details coming later :) ) 
This is the first time we’re experimenting with a restricted champion pool, so please keep an eye out for anything that seems odd there☺. Let us know if you run into any bugs or visual shenanigans, and if you have any feedback/ concerns definitely let us know, as anything you catch will be massively appreciated. Beyond that, we hope you have fun, and best of luck on your hunting! 
-- Defaultchar"

When asked about no Nocturne or Master Yi in this new mode, DefaultChar commented:
"Sorta bundling a few responses into a single comment here :) 
A lot of the champion pool curation was about trying to push the mode towards the "high mobility / Short time to kill" side of the spectrum, and those two champions (As well as the others people have asked about like Wukong/ Irelia) ended up feeling or playing a bit too far off that mark. That said, the pool is definitely something we could look into potentially expanding if the mode comes back later and it ends up feeling too restrictive.
For Nocturne/ Yi specifically: 
Nocturne's ultimate definitely felt "Assassiny" and was appropriate for the mode, but once he got into fights he ended up having to be much more on the tanky side of things and ended up feeling rather odd. There were also just some unfortunate experiences: Because we mess with ult CDs the way we do, the "Darkness" spam was genuinely irritating to play against, and his E felt pretty terrible (for him, not for opponents) in a mode with as much mobility as there is. 
Master Yi actually had a similar problem oddly enough: As you might've noticed, there isn't really any hard CC. Because of how squishy he is as well, he ended up actually playing as "Meditate tank yi", which was fairly unsatisfying on both ends."

When asked about Quinn's absence from the list of available champions, DefaultChar noted:
Could Quinn be added to the list? Most of us Quinn mains consider her to be an assassin primary and marksman secondary, so not having her in this list feels wrong and makes us feel a bit...underappreciated/ignored/misunderstood by Riot. 
We've been claiming our role as assassin/marksman since before the rework, and both us and Twitch are labeled as Marksmen/Assassins....
Quinn specifically is definitely one of the ones we want to experiment with more if the mode comes back. That said, we were fairly reluctant to include her at launch: 
Marksmen in general (Even one as aggressive/ non-traditional as Quinn) had a lot of baggage around the edges in the mode. Beyond that, we had some fairly consistently poor "Playing as" experiences: Her survivability tools are not really tuned for picking on most of the champions in this mode, and a lot of the laning phase/ team fight structure that she takes advantage of just flat out doesn't exist. 
There were also some "side-power" concerns: We're doing a lot of stuff to increase your ability to traverse the map, so Quinn being as good as she is at that meant she was less "She could be anywhere" and more "She is capable of reaching any location, so never be willing to risk roaming". 
In general, when selecting the entire pool, our main goal was hitting a group that serviced as many playstyles as possible, while still hitting the spread out, constant skirmish play of the mode. The champions we left out generally resulted in play that we were trying to avoid for this mode in particular, whether it be constant clumping, fights degenerating into "everyone is standing in this tiny circle", or their kit serving a role that just doesn't exist in this particular type of play."
As for if this new mode will hit the RGMQ and return consistently, DefaultChar noted:
Will this game mode be in the rotating game mode queue?
It'll definitely be part of the queue on launch, and if it does well we plan to add it to the rotation going forward :)"
DefaultChar also added he would likely be bumping the total score up to 350 from 300 in a future PBE update:
"Glad you're enjoying it! 
I'm going to be nudging Game Length up a tad (350pts) and seeing where that settles, so should be on PBE with the next deploy. 
I think there's two separate feelings here: 
One is that the game length is just too short, and the other is that you don't get as far in your itemization as you'd like (Which are obviously related, but independently tunable if we want to). 
I (clearly :D) agree with the former: We do definitely want the game to be on the shorter side overall, but it's ending a tad fast right now, so going to nudge it and see where it settles. That said, we do like it on the shorter end. 
The item one we're being cautious on. I definitely agree that it feels good to hit that full build, but where we're ending your build normally is where assassins usually pick up a pure defensive item (GA, etc.) As the game goes longer, we already see time to kill drop (Pretty significantly, in some cases). I'm trying to make sure we don't end up in a game state where we hit "Consistently die instantly with no window for a response", as I think having those moments to respond, even if they are on the shorter side, are a lot of what makes the mode work."

When asked if Hunt of the Blood Moon will give champion mastery, L4T3NCY noted:
"Yes, as with all RGM modes will be available."

For more on HUNT OF THE BLOOD MOON including gallery of the Blood Moon SRcheck out our PBE coverage!

Hunt of the Blood Moon Livestream

Speaking of HUNT OF THE BLOOD MOON, DefaultChar and company jumped on the LoL Twitch channel to host a livestream demo and discussion of the new PBE mode!
"Join NickWu, Riot DefaultChar, and Zwill as they talk about the Hunt of the Blood Moon at 4:00pm to 6:00pm PT on January 26, 2017. Leave your questions, memes, and dreams in the comments below so we can address them during the stream!"


/Dev: On League's Business Model 

Here's Bubobubo with a dev blog on League of Legend's Business model:
"Picking a business model for League was tricky. Many of the games we loved came in boxes that we’d buy up front, install, and then play through to the credits. After that, we’d sit waiting for either an expansion or the next year’s updated version (especially for sports games and big franchises). This didn’t feel like the right model for League because there wasn’t a final boss to beat or a story to complete. We wanted an experience that improved and grew every few weeks as opposed to dropping a big release once a year (or a completely new version every two). We also wanted to invest in ongoing services like hosted servers and matchmaking — stuff that improved the game under the surface, but wouldn’t fit on the back of a sequel box. 
Boxes weren’t the only thing in the world, of course; there were also Facebook/mobile games running off microtransactions, MMOs that relied on subscriptions, and other industries (like music and movies) developing their own unique models. Working through the pros and cons of each option, we decided to launch our version of a free-to-play game with optional purchases. There was a box too, but you didn’t have to buy it. 

League has changed a lot since launch, but the guiding principles that led us to the initial business model decision are still the same. We wanted to share these core values with you because they underpin our choices today — and the direction of changes ahead.  
There are a lot of things that go into this, like our design values for League of Legends, our commitment to raising the bar on skins, champions, and champion updates, or the new features we regularly add for all players, regardless of spend. Mastery, competition, and expression are core values to us, and we take your trust (and satisfaction) in these areas very seriously. Revenue is one of the things we care about, but it’s not the only thing or the most important. Making money enables us to build servers, pay salaries, grow esports, improve League, develop new titles, and more, but making a great game is our primary win condition. 
The core engine of League of Legends is competition and mastery. Spending money doesn’t give either team an advantage going into or during the game. This is sacred to us — winning and climbing the ladder should be about getting better, not about spending more. 
Also, it should be practical to be the best player in the world without spending, not just “theoretically possible.” We’ve all played games where spending is the only realistic way to stay competitive, even if you could eventually unlock everything you need. This isn’t what we want for League. Champions and runes are the obvious question here — we believe they aren’t pay-to-win because you can be effective with a basic, earnable set. Skill matters much more than your champion pool, and our bi-weekly patches are our commitment to keeping the game balanced. Runes have been a tougher challenge for us, as Ghostcrawler mentioned in Ask Riot, and it’s why we reduced all Tier 1 and 2 runes down to 1 IP as we think about how we can stay even closer to this value. 
You should never feel like buying more stuff is the only way to stay competitive in League.  
Constantly reminding, cajoling and tricking players into spending money might work in the short term, but it’s a lousy experience that destroys trust. We are passionate about doing better; our focus is on optional extras that are so kick-ass (we hope) you’ll want to buy them, time after time. Whether it be the skin that makes you love your main even more, the icon that expresses your dedication to your team, or the gift thanking your teammate for the carry, we want to add content that excites you when you first hear about it, feels good when you buy it, and leaves you glad when you look back, even months later. This approach lets each purchase make the game better for you while funding future improvements, without trading one for the other.
With our values in mind, we will keep trying to make League of Legends more compelling and engaging. Players and Rioters are in this together — finding awesome new additions, fixing the broken parts, and improving things that work but could be even better. We are bound to make mistakes along the way, like we did when first launching Chromas or getting rid of solo queue. But by listening to players, revisiting our choices, and iterating, we can keep improving League for years to come. 
Now that you know the core of our approach to revenue, we can have better conversations about specific decisions from the past and the ones going forward. Thanks for taking the time to read this and for supporting us."

Champ Up Blog Next Week

A new State of Champion Update blog will be out next week!  Reav3 mentioned this upcoming blog will share two the next two champion updates are now that WW is out on live and Galio is on deck!
"The blog about whats next for ChampUp should be soon, sometime next week I believe. I won't be going over runner-ups in it though. Happy to talk about it after the blog goes out though/ Talking about it now would make it too obvious who the next 2 are :P"

PBE Context - Rengar

When asked for context on the recent Rengar PBE nerfs, shinkazuo explained:
The Rengar nerfs we needed. Maybe too far though? I didn't think the ult length was that big a deal to be honest. Either way, the removal of the immunity is very welcome
Just to give a little more context: the Q change is just the dash range, about 50 units (there were some really weird optimizations around low Q cd with players using it to dash faster around the map instead of actually walking). 
R duration still is VERY long, you can easily scout more than half of the map (while before you could basically cross the whole map, see everything and still have time to leap to someone). This is problematic especially in very high levels of play. 
Currently also looking into making his kill patter a little more healthy and with more decision making involved. We are investigating the removal of the crit when you leap to the closest target but if you do Rengar will generate full ferocity right after casting his next empowered ability (do I double emp Q to secure kill? emp Q for damage into emp W if I need to gtfo? double emp E because fuck you stand still please?) All in testing though, not to be expected for 7.3."
shinkazuo continued:
can you provide context for the W nerf please? this looks like it will kill ASSSASSIN rengar
As some mentioned above, cc immunity on an assassin with pretty reliable way in (long range jump) takes away basically any response you can have against Rengar. While built-in clear + move speed burst can really benefit Rengars that make some clutch plays with perfect timing the sheer nature of cc immunity was resulting in a version of Rengar that was just outside of what his class should do. 
Assassins do have the fantasy of "that guy is alone = he ded" but for the sake of the game's health there is the need of allowing other players to respond. In some cases it's a battle of the assassin trying the perfect flank to insta-gib someone (Talon, Leblanc) while others is just create a ton or pressure and fear of the unknown and surprise while they are busy (Katarina(?), Rengar). Granted, if you're alone against Rengar and he leaps you're still dead, with or without those changes. 
Still exploring other ways W can be actually used as the gtfo card but nothing too solid/tested yet (along the lines of better passive move speed burst if cleansing or by default for example)."
On what might be in store for LeBlanc in terms of PBE nerfs, shinkazuo noted:
can u give context on the lb changes & what they r plz 
Hmm.... I don't think there are any in right now but we were looking at her passive scaling (which is kinda crazy). Still investigating though."

Definitely (Not) Rivals | Riot Games documentary

Check out the new 11 minute Riot Games documentary on their internal Riot Rumble tournament - Definitely (Not) Rivals.

"Rioters compete in an internal League of Legends tournament called the Riot Rumble for glory, bragging rights, and a truly sick jacket. After years of fierce battles on the Rift, storied rivalries emerged in every bracket, Bronze to Diamond. In this short documentary, we pull back the curtain on two disciplines destined to clash in an epic showdown: Finance vs Esports. Represented by Team Ramrod and Team Rocket, whatever else they are, they’re definitely (not) rivals."

Zaun Reddit AMA

Thursday afternoon several Rioters working on the recent Zaun stories and art jumped on reddit to host an AMA! We'll have full coverage in the next red post collection!

Quick Hits:  Nexus Siege in RGMQ, EU Part IP Weekend, & 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!]

  • When asked if the tentative PBE Cho'Gath changes to make his R stack indefinitely (with diminishing returns!) had a limit on his size growth, Meddler noted
"Current plan is size maxes out at 10 stacks, with 6 stacks being somewhat smaller than live 6 stacks so that 10 isn't unacceptably large."

  • As mentioned in the 7.2 patch notes, Nexus Siege returns this Friday in the RGMQ for a DOUBLE WEEKEND from 1/27 - 1/30 and 2/3 - 2/6!

  • By looking at the January sales schedule and what has already been on sale, the last Champion and Skin sale in January will include  Ahri, Sion, Swain, Vi, Hyena Warwick, Mercenary Katarina, Pool Party Rek'Sai, and Scarlet Hammer Poppy! Look for an article to be published on Monday morning.

  • [EUW/EUNE] Due to issues with the event last weekend, EUW and EUNE will be having a Party IP Weekend starting Friday February 3rd!  See the post for more information!

  •  Due to a receive change on the LCU, you may be receiving gift notifications for content you have already received in the past! Riot Support with more info:
"Hey Summoners,  
We're aware that it may be confusing to receive notifications for gifts received in the past as if they were new, so we wanted to give you a heads up and provide more context on the update. :)"
We have recently enabled gifting notifications in the updated client, which will notify players about the gifts they receive from now on. However, as this is the first time we enabled this feature in the updated client, you may get notifications for the gifts you received in the past, the first time you log in. 
For example, if you previously unlocked a new icon during the Snowdown event and haven't logged in to the legacy client since then, this new update will display a notification for that unlock/gift the next time you log in to the updated client.


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

  • Head on over to your region's Piltover/Zaun page to pick up your FREE Zaun summoner icon! This icon is only available through February 2nd. More info [here].

  • LUNAR REVEL 2017 is here, including new skins, ward skin, and summoner icons as well as returning legacy skins, hextech crafting promotions, a free summoner icon and bundles. Legacy content lasts through February 2nd.

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