Red Post Collection: Mid Season Tank Update & Sejuani Info, New Support Champ in 2017, Deconstructing Chronobreak, & more!

Posted on at 1:41 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection includes a ton of information on the Mid Season Tank class update and Sejuani changes, Meddler noting a new support champion is releasing in 2017, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Mid Season Tanks Update - Sejuani

With tanks announced as the next class update for the mid 2017, here's Riot SolCrushed with preliminary info on the tank update and direction post for SEJUANI, one of the larger updates in the tank class update:
"Hello everyone, I’m here to talk about the upcoming Tank update. The first one in line for the update is the one and only…. Sejuani! But before we get into the specifics, let me lay out some general goals for the Tank update as a whole. Please note that not all Tanks have the same current problems and thus do not have the exact same project goals. 
  • We’re adding more skill expression to Tank combat patterns, for themselves as well as their opponents. We’re looking to offer more points of play and counterplay and reward players for mastering them. 
  • We’re reducing the amount of reliable damage that Tanks bring to the game and instead amplifying their defensive and crowd control capabilities. We want to ensure that the tanks are correctly valued for the right reasons and definitively set them apart from their offensive counterparts. 
  • We’re making each Tank more unique. Vanguards in particular fall short in this regard, so we’re looking to add more uniqueness outside of their ability to effectively initiate teamfights.  
Now, enough about general Tank topics, let’s talk our favorite boar rider, Sejuani! First let’s go over our current assessment of Sejuani as she exists on Live:
  • Cool but unrealized thematic fantasy
    Sejuani is a barbarian warleader riding a boar (super cool!). However in game, she lacks the cavalry fantasy outside of her Q, and does not have anything that alludes to her as the leader of her tribe.
  • Overreliance on ultimate
    Sejuani’s ultimate is probably in contention for the strongest ability in the game. Unfortunately, it is so strong that it consumes the majority of her power budget, forcing her base kit’s output to be very underwhelming.
  • Lack of interesting / interactive combat pattern
    Sunfire Cape has never won awards for creating deep combat patterns, so it should come as no surprise that Sejuani’s current kit is lacking in this department.
  • Lacks a unique identity
    Her biggest claim to uniqueness is: "Has a ranged Amumu Ultimate". This falls far short of how unique we want our champions to be.
So with that in mind, this is where we are trying to take Sejuani
  • Tap more into the cavalier / warleader fantasy
We would like to have moments where it feels like Sejuani is actively leading and inspiring her allies.
We would also like to add more elements to her kit that alludes to the cavalier fantasy who is always on the move ready to rush in on her opposition.
  • Create a more engaging base combat pattern
We want to make her base pattern more engaging and worth mastering for Sejuani players, and also give enemies something to play around. We will be reworking her base spells so the majority of her damage no longer comes from just standing near her opponents.
This will mean that we will need to take some of the power away from her currently overwhelmingly powerful ultimate so we can give all of her base spells real impact
  • Create a clear and unique defensive profile
    We want tanks to be defined more by their defensive mechanics and Sejuani is no exception. As we reduce the amount of reliable damage she can put out, we want to change her passive so it is both more character defining and appreciable.
  • Allow her to directly synergize with specific allies
    We’re looking to give Sejuani ways to directly augment the effectiveness of her allies. Instead of just augmenting all her allies, we want Sejuani to benefit specific allies in ways that will make her feel like a true barbarian warleader."
Following the article, several Rioters hopped on the boards and reddit to discuss the Sejuani changes and answer questions on the mid season tank class update!

When asked how many larger champion updates we can expect in the tank update, Reav3 shared:
"We are currently planning on doing 3 big reworks this time, all the size of Talon/Kat. 
We are also exploring some smaller scale updates to others but not as many small ones as past class updates."
Reav3 added this work includes wardens ( generally defensive) and vanguards (generally offensive):
Does that mean the big 3 this time will have even more work and will you guys also be touching Wardens this class update
Wardens & Vanguards"
Statikk added:
How many tanks are you guys doing? Big 4 again or more like 5 or 6?
We're looking to do even less. We're going to do 3 big updates. We're currently in the process of exploring smaller scale changes for other Tanks, but 1 mistake we've felt about past updates is that we forced out too many small scale updates that didn't hit the mark. Look for us to reduce the amount of mini-updates we do as well."
As for smaller scope updates in the class update, Statikk noted they are still deciding:
I assume we will hear more about the other big 2 champs in the next two weeks? How many vanguards will be included in the small class update?
Unsure yet, still doing exploration. We may choose to do 0 small class updates if we don't feel like the changes are hitting the bar."

Reav3 added:
"The goal now isn't to hit all the champions in the class. The goal is to define the class and select a few champions to create "good" versions of the class as well as get the classes itemization in a good place. 
After that we can use the guide to create new champions or future reworks. Smaller reworks will likely be done by Live Gameplay similar to the Alistar and Shyvana reworks recently."

As for lowering and adjusting the damage tank champions do, Statikk commented:
"We are looking into limiting their ability to access extraneous damage across the game. We also want to make sure Tank defenses synergize well with Tank itemization so Tanks feel good and find success in building Tanky. 
At the same time, we know Tanks have to deal some damage in order to just fundamentally function in the game. We just want to make sure that there is a clear delineation between Tanks and the more offensive Subclasses such as Divers, Juggernauts, etc."
Statikk added:
You're saying that you'll be taking away the reliable damage and improving on CC and defensive capabilities. But you don't really lean towards putting any unreliable damage into a kit. 
Tanks (in my opinion) do need respectable damage early game to not only play in top lane, but also clear the jungle at a viable speed. How do you plan on approaching this? Especially since Sejuani's AoE power is her clearing tool.
There are 2 strategies we'll be applying. 
1) Unreliable damage. More Tank damage will be put into damage that can be potentially outplayed by skilled opponents (think Sion Q). Good thing jungle monsters don't dodge. =) 
2) Increasing damage dealt to jungle monsters. We don't mind having to slap on jungle damage multipliers to make PvP vs. PvE combat work correctly."
Statikk added:
"The changes to damage are more important for us to reduce later in the game rather than early on. Early in the game, most champions need base damages to interact with minions, monsters, and other champions especially during the laning phase of the game where there is much more reliance on 1v1 champion interactions and team dynamics haven't kicked in just yet. Will definitely monitor to make sure Tanks just don't get bullied out of the jungle by more aggressive counter-junglers, they should be able to hold their own when played well.  "

Regarding the lanes that tanks generally show up in, Statikk commented:
Sounds interesting and as one of the few people who play her now I'm excited and terrified to see her rework since it will have to be substantial since you guys basically are unhappy with everything except her Q. 
I do have one question regarding to the Tank update in general that I think it's worth addressing now and keeping in mind as the work goes forward. If you are reducing tank damage are tanks going to be relegated to the top lane or will you be giving them customized traits that will allow them to clear the jungle despite not doing real damage?
We intend for Tanks to be able to Top, Jungle, or Support depending on the champion. If we have to put in mechanics that deal increased damage to jungle monsters to enable certain champions to Jungle, we'll do it. "

Statikk also commented on tank itemization changes, noting:
Does this mean changes of certain tank items?
There will be some adjustment to Tank itemization, but we're not sure yet to what extent. We don't want to kill iconic items like Sunfire Cape, but we know that it's dangerous to lump too much of a champion's damage output into ambient AoE damage with no play for either side."
On comments relating to passives and items like Sunfire Cape, Solcrushed clarified:
While I agree that Sunfire does not create deep combat patterns, I don't think that everything in league should create deep combat patterns.
Sunfire punish the opponent to stick to a tank, which makes sense in a good teamfight: a successful team should kite the tank, not stick to it to DPS it. This is a good pattern enhanced by sunfire and other AOE around the tank.
Also, I agree that Sunfire is great to push minion waves when you have no damage. It could be interesting if sunfire damaged turrets as well.
My point is: It is great if some items are useful for macro-play, even if not great at micro-play. I think it would be great if Leagues reward both macro and micro play (not only micro play) 
Being skillful to win 1v1 with Yasuo/Zed is one thing (micro).
Being skillful to coordinate a 5v5 as a team is another (between micro and macro).
Map awarness, map pressure and objectives focus is another (macro)."
It's ok that some things are more passive. That is why Sunfire the item has existed since the dawn of lol. 
It's less ok if everything about a champion's base combat pattern consists of 'stay near enemy' though. We're not trying to make tanks into Yasuos but they could use a little bit more intrigue in their combat" 
On Sejuani specifically, Statikk noted her passive will be used more prominently to mitigate damage:
In a broad sense, can we have a discussion about the tank direction in general, separate from the specific focus champion topics?
The group of champions that Sejuani will synergize with will be broad enough that we won't run into the whole Cassiopeia + Teemo / Singed combinations. 
We want each Tank to feel like they have their own way off shrugging off incoming damage. Sejuani's Passive will be a defining defensive mechanic on her kit that she will want to optimize and opponents will want to play around."

As for the roles for Sejuani to stick in, Statikk  noted:
I've never seen a Sejuani top in years and can't imagine it would even be viable. Is this something that is being talked about so that she can have similar presence as Malphite, Nautilus, Cho and Sion up there? I think her biggest weakness in general is that she is so bad early she can't be in a lane and even the jungle is a nightmare if the enemy has a counterjungler that is even half decent because she can't fight back, her clear is slowish and her mana and health don't hold up real well on the first couple clears.
Our current thinking is that Sejuani should still be primarily a Jungler, though to be honest we haven't tested the waters much on how her changes affect her Top lane viability. Will have to wait and see."

On the Cavalier fantasy for Sejuani, Statikk  commented:
I'm not quite a Sejuani main, but she's my second most-played champion, and one I feel very comfortable playing. When the tank update was announced, I was certain she'd be one of the very top picks for a rework, and she really could benefit a lot from one. I like playing her, but she is extremely generic. Here's some thoughts: 
  • You say you want to play up the cavalier aspect, and while I agree that she very much fails to use the fact that she's riding a boar in her kit, I don't see her as a champion who offers the mobility I associate with cavaliers. Her Q dash is fine, but I'd be disappointed if she shifted to being more like, say, Kled. She should feel lumbering, if unstoppable.
  • Her ult, yes, eats way too much of her power budget, but consequently, it feels really good to use. I'm fine with it being toned down, but I'd strongly prefer the ability to still feel very satisfying to use, even if it does no damage or CCs for a shorter period. It also helps make her a fairly accessible jungler, which I like.
  • I recall some test changes going to PBE a year or so ago which had her synergizing with allied slow effects. Obviously, I don't know if this is the direction you all are planning to go. In general, with things like that that enhance a specific subset of champions, are you worried about that sealing off potentially good design space going forward?
We're definitely leaning towards a Heavy Cavalier fantasy, rather than the Light Cavalier one that Kled exudes. 
Her R will still be very powerful, we just want to give the heads up that it will no longer hold as much of the total power on the kit. 
We think the ally synergy we're building on Sejuani will be broad enough that it won't cause these types of issues, but I've been wrong before heh."
Solcrushed added:
"We're not trying to go too ham in the cavalry theme. Don't expect to see huge changes in this regard (like Kled and so on). We do want to get more of the 'unstoppable' 'mobile' feel to the character. 
We have no intention of changing Sejuani to Sona-on-a-boar. She will synergize with her allies, but we want it to feel like THEY are helping her, rather than the other way around."
When asked if Leona is up for a larger set of changes, Statikk noted:
Leona's not going to be needing big changes, right? She's been solid for years. If anything, she sets the bar for Vanguards - great durability, great CC, great initiation power, weak damage.
Leona will probably be untouched. Maybe we can find some small QoL changes for her."
Reav3 also commented on Malphite, noting he is likely for a larger scope update in future:
I really hope that malphite is on the list and that he actually becomes interesting to play. He's currently pretty damn stale.
We discussed Malphite early and even prototyped some gameplay for him. In the end we realized he needed a lot more work then we could provide in a roster update, so we passed on him. His ult also already makes him pretty distinct We want to do it right and give him a full VGU one day in the future."
As for if they plan to directly change Sion, Statikk replied:
You guys said you wouldn't be touching Sion Directly with this update, so I'm guessing that's how it'll effect the Vanguards that won't receive any direct changes... Sounds fine to me.
No intention of touching Sion. This class update will probably touch the least amount of champions so far and instead focus on doing high himpact work on specific champions who will help define the future of the class. We're hoping our adjustments to systems such as base stats and items will do the heavy lifting in terms of creating overarching change for the class and game at large."

and for Rammus, Reav3 commented:
Add rammus to that list
Rammus really needs a full VGU one day, rather then a roster update. He is getting pretty dated and I think we would need to do a lot of art work to get him up to the where he needs to be."

As for if Rek'Sai's "mini-update" will be in this mid season class update, Reav3 noted:
Will reksai be one of the smaller scope ones?
No. Rek'Sai is being worked on though by the Live Gameplay team. Likely to be pushed closer to her fantasy of a diver rather then a Vanguard."

On Maokai and Poppy, Statikk commented:
Are you guys doing any major work to maokai or poppy? I ask b/c you've made consistent tweaks to each and am wondering if that is going to continue to be the case or if you are starting over on either of them?
Maokai is someone we think could use some work - he's a champion who has consistently dominated certain positions due to the raw power of his mechanics (particularly the insane tankiness from his R). We feel we can make Maokai a much more interesting, satisfying, and unique champion in the long run. 
Poppy, on the other hand, we don't feel needs much in terms of over-arching design changes. She has been tough to tune and maybe has a few extraneous mechanics here or there (her W deals magic damage to champions whose dashes she's stopped?!) that we can probably cut, but overall she brings really cool and unique moments to the game when played. As with our over-arching Tank goals, Poppy should probably be less of a damage threat than she has been in recent times. "

 When asked about Braum, TK, and Alistar as possibly getting work, Reav3 commented:
so Braum, Tahm Kench, Alistar etc are all possible candidates?
They are in the class, though I think all 3 of those champions already have unique identities, and the primary goal of the roster updates is to give generalists a unique identity."
Reav3 continued noting that Rammus, Malphite, and Amumu are all tanks likely for larger updates rather than roster updates:
Rammus Malphite Amumu, are relatively outdated, do you think these would be good candidates?
For a roster update? Might be to dated. For a full VGU? Yes."

As for when we can expect more of these posts covering other updates, Reav3 shared:
Is there any chance you could let us know the other 2 reworks besides Sejauni?
We should be rolling the design direction posts out over the next couple weeks"

New Support Champion in 2017

In addition to all the champions in 2016 discussion, Meddler also mentioned  there will be a new support champion in 2017 who works well in a duo lane:
"We intend to release a champion this year who should work well in a traditional support playstyle (focus on helping allies/hindering enemies rather than damage, works well in a duo lane)."
Meddler continued:
"My phrasing there's to distinguish between the support position and what many players refer to as supports (the buff/heal giving types we refer to internally as enchanters). I certainly think the champ in question will get play primarily in in duo lanes and be most effective with an ally to lane with."
Meddler also briefly noted that divers are still a strong candidate for the end of the class year update:
While we are already talking about new champions in 2017. Last year you mentioned something of a potential diver update. Is this idea going through now ?
We're doing tanks for mid-season. Divers are a strong contender for the end of year class update, that's far from guaranteed at this point though (we're still working on tanks of course)."

Meddler on Masteries / Runes

When asked if they will be significantly working on runes or masteries in mid season 2017, Meddler noted:
"We won't be making major changes to runes or masteries mid-season. Pre-season's the earliest that work would make sense (ranked is off and Worlds has just happened)."
He continued:
How about more minor individual mastery focused changes in the resolve tree specifically? 
Right now some of the masteries are just joke tier bad. I think the best example of this is Vet Scars. Almost every tank in the game runs Runic Armour, it's not even close. I play Sejuani, a champion with very strong synergy with Vet Scars and no synergy with Runic Armour and Vet Scars is still pathetic.
Changes to individual masteries are fair game certainly, and not just in mid-season. First thing we're looking at (7.4) is reducing % damage increasing effects and a nerf to Fearless (it's unappreciated, but it's the strongest mastery relative to alternate options of any slot). 
Warlord's and Bond of Stone changes also possible, though don't want to overpromise anything there just yet."
Meddler added:
Ever considered making Warlords a "Surge" or "lifeline" type effect where you it would only last until you leave combat? 
Seems that would be the easiest way to solve the interaction and the poke-counter problems that the keystone yields. 
Windows of power and whatnot .
More windowed versions (with a CD, only does anything below X% health etc) have shown some promise. We'll likely keep testing those sort of things, not confident enough we'll ship something to make any promises though."

Deconstructing Chronobreak 

New LoL Esports article by Riot Emil discussing the new Deterministic Disaster Recovery Tool aka CHRONOBREAK that was utilized during NA LCS W4 to fix a critical bug between C9 and Fly Quest!
"As you might have seen on the NA LCS, a critical bug during the FlyQuest and Cloud9 series (spoilers) on Sunday, February 12, caused a long pause. Previously, we would have offered a remake since the bug was verifiable and had a critical impact on the game. However, we were able to use our new tool, the Deterministic Disaster Recovery Tool aka “Chronobreak”, to recover the game to a point just before the bug occured. 
Since the series, we’ve seen some fan questions about Chronobreak and how it’ll impact competitive play. In this post, we’ll be sharing more information about Chronobreak, how it works, how it’ll be used, and our plans around global rollout. 
What is Chronobreak? 
Since the start of Spring Split, we’ve had Chronobreak running in the background at the NA LCS. As the name suggests, this new tool allows us to recover from disasters such as bugs during live events to maintain competitive integrity. 
How does it work? 
Chronobreak saves a Server Replay of a game while it’s being played (a recording of all the inputs received by the server). If needed, the Server Replay can be used to create a new game and play it up until any point in the timeline. Players and Spectators can then connect to the new game and resume play. 
Our engineering team will be releasing more information about Chronobreak and Determinism for those interested in a more detailed, technical look at how this tool was engineered and concepted in the coming weeks. 
When will it be used? 
Right now, we’ll only use Chronobreak in a situation that would warrant remaking the game. NA LCS officials evaluate bugs on a case by case basis, making sure that they are both:  
  • Verifiable: The bug is proven to be a bug and not caused by player error. 
  • Critical: The bug had a significant gameplay impacting effect. The effect of the bug would have to greatly influence the competitive game state in a negative way for at least one team. If a bug occurs, but the outcome is not altered by the bug, then it will not be considered critical. For example, a player dying from a bug when they would not have died otherwise is critical. 
Once NA LCS officials determine the bug meets the above criteria and a remake is accepted by the impacted team, NA LCS officials will attempt to use Chronobreak to recover the game prior to when the bug occured. If Chronobreak doesn’t work, a full remake will be implemented instead. 
While Chronobreak addresses the types of bugs that cause more than 90% of remakes in competitive play, it does not address all of them such as the Aurelion Sol bug at Worlds 2016, which would have recurred even in a recovered game. 
Did the NA LCS teams know? 
Yes, NA LCS teams were informed about our new tool at the start of Spring Split. 
What’s next? 
Our goal has been to get Chronobreak on NA LCS so that we could trial it out and  test it for global rollout. Testing on NA allows us to iterate quickly on the tool, make it faster, and test it fully before we introduce a global rollout. We’re working on v2 now, which will include getting Chronobreak to every region (including configuring tournament realms, training local operations on how to use the tool etc). We hope to roll it out to other regions starting in the Summer Split. 
Questions? We’ll be hanging out in the comments below, so let us know."
Additional discussion and information available [here].

Journey of a Cosplayer 

Next up we have a community spotlight on Kadeem of Kadu=Out cosplay and his journey as a LoL cosplayer!
"Article photography by Riot Swagdragon

We often have the opportunity to speak to cosplayers about the work and art that goes into their craft, but how that translates into prepping for a big event is a completely different story. What to pack, how to pack it, and how to plan for the journey all take a different mindset than the creative brainpower of crafting a character.

Below, Kadeem of Kadu=Out Cosplayshares his thought process behind preparing cosplay for big conventions or, as the photographs depict, his journey to Worlds in 2016. 
Before the Event

What unique challenges does cosplaying for a big event present?

A deadline. When it comes to a specific event, the deadline is super important, especially when it’s an important event like Worlds. This is because you try to squeeze as much possible effort into the smallest amount of time. It really challenges your skill along with your time management. The tolerance of messing up is low because of the lack of time to redo/fix things.

How do you handle packing and traveling with all of your cosplay pieces?

Armor pieces are really hard to travel with. I usually try to tetris them in my suitcase. When it comes to props I usually make them in a way where I could break them down into smaller pieces so it’s easier to transport.

Do you cosplay multiple characters at events or keep to one for simplicity’s sake?

It depends on the event. If it’s a convention I tend to cosplay multiple characters for a couple of reasons. The first is that it makes it easier to hang out with friends I don’t see that much during the year and cosplay with them. The other reason is because it gives me an opportunity to cosplay a good amount of characters on my list. Conventions are just super convenient for that.

At other events though, I’ll just coplay one character if it’s a huge project. Cosplaying one character also gives me more free time to do what I want during that event.

Do you usually have your cosplay done ahead of time, or do you find yourself making last minute changes?

When I first started out in cosplaying, I’d always find myself hot gluing something in the hotel room. Now I try to make a habit of having things done ahead of time. Of course, it doesn’t always end up that way. 
At the Event

What’s your favorite part about attending an event in cosplay?

It’s an incredible feeling to walk out into an event and be flooded with people for pictures. It’s like at that moment your countless all-nighters became justified and appreciated.

Do you make a point of meeting up with other creators who are cosplaying characters in the same universe? Do you ever plan group cosplays in advance?

I’m actually not a big fan of meetups and gatherings. Unless there is a specific person I wanted to meet, I usually don’t find myself at meetups. It’s funny though, because my main goal for cons is to meet people and that would be my best shot. Not sure why I’m like this. With that said, I do like to plan cosplay groups with friends.

Do you take on the persona of the character while you cosplay?

Always. Cosplay is super fun when you can act like the characters. It makes cons enjoyable too.
What does it feel like to meet up with other people cosplaying the same character?

I tend to cosplay unpopular characters so it’s always interesting to see someone do the same thing. Though, while other people enjoy being twinsies, I aim to be different. Different is fun.

How often does something go wrong at an event? Do you have any stories to share?

Things tend to go wrong a lot when you plan too much with other people. While cosplay groups are super fun when they work out, it tends to not work out more often. People are always late, they drop out last minute, always leave early, or wander off too much.

I remember a few years ago for a con we had a huge Tera group. Pretty sure we all spent months, weeks, and a lot of all-nighters for these cosplays. Finally it’s con day and half the group didn’t even show up. Some cosplayed it on different days and some changed out of their cosplays super early. It was a real bummer. To this day I still have experiences like this, and even though I swear to stop planning group cosplays, I still find myself doing it.

What do you hope to get out of attending events?

Meeting senpais, making friends, and having a great time!
After the Event

Are you as careful packing up your supplies after the event as you are before?

Nope, not at all. If I don’t have another event for a good while, I kinda just throw stuff in my suitcase. I tend to not even wear the same outfits twice anyway. I really want to change that.

Do you reach out to people who have interacted with you at the event?

I used too. I remember after cons I used to always sit on forums trying to find con photos of myself and checking all the business cards I’d get from people. Now I kinda just do photoshoots with certain people and wait for those photos to come up. Sometimes they give me a preview shot/sample that I can post for my page.

How do you feel after a big event? Is there relief and a break period or do you get started prepping for your next event right away?

After a big event, unless there is another big con coming right up, I usually suffer from PCD -- post con depression. I tend to just work on my videos and selfies to try and relive it. 
A big thank you to Kadeem for sharing his cosplay insight! Let’s make sure we give him some love in the comments below!"

Quick Hits - The Penta, Mic Check, & more

[Quick hits is our own collection within a red post collection, often including easy to digest stories, specialized information, and/or repeat info you may have missed in other posts!]


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • Hunt of the Blood Moon returns this weekend in the RGMQ! Check out our Blood Moon content release post for more on this new mode, previews of new Blood Moon skins, and more!

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