Red Post Collection: Meddler Gameplay Thoughts March 3rd Part II, Splash Art & Reference Photos, & ARURF in RGMQ

Posted on at 3:44 PM by Moobeat
[7.5 PBE Cycle Round Up]

Tonight's red post collection includes another set of gameplay thoughts from Meddler, a new dev blog on references photos and splash art, ARURF returning in the RGMQ this weekend, and more! 

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: March 3 part II 

Meddler returned to the boards for another daily dose of quick gameplay thoughts, this time touching on older champ polish passes and tooltip tweaks in 7.5, a few champions they are keeping an eye on for 7.6, and more!
"Hey all, 
More stuff on our minds here, now on the actual 3rd of March. I've been pretty happy with how this style of post has been going so far, so going to stick with it for a while at least. Around 3 posts a week seems to be about right at present in terms of how much we've got to talk about so should be able to expect that sort of cadence for now. Imagine that'll spike up and down a bit during some periods (e.g. around mid-season). As a reminder since I work primarily with the gameplay teams these posts will mainly talk about gameplay stuff, so a lot of the time I won't be able to speak in an informed manner about other non core gameplay stuff like skins, matchmaking, rotating game modes, Esports rules etc. 
Older champ polish passes 
We've got some small sets of non power impacting changes coming to a few older champs in 7.5. Those are changes designed to give some improvements to how a champion with older art feels to play by better synching up some of their animations and visual effects with the actions being performed. That's something we put quite a bit of time into doing with new champs, so we figured it'd probably be valuable to do a pass on older champs and see what wasn't quite lined up right back in the day. 
Quick version of what that'll look like in 7.5 (more details to come in the patch notes):  
  • Jax - Better sync between attack animations and actual impacts, attack sequence for the ult, some E clarity 
  • Cho - Better match between W spell effect area and actual area affected. 
  • Nocturne - E tether range indicator for Nocturne, R slight animation adjustments. 
A lot of the other older champs we've looked at so far didn't have much we could adjust in this way. We expect we'll find at least a few more similar cases to hit though, so should get a bit more like this into upcoming patches too. 
Tooltip Tweaks 
We've got a few tweaks to tooltip color and format going out in patch 7.5. Please do let us know how those feel once you've had a bit of time with them, we're interested in tweaking them further. Longer term we'd like to do a bigger tooltip overhaul too, when's unclear however (people that would do that are working on other stuff for a while). For now though we're looking for ways to polish the current ones so they're in a better state. 
Some possible 7.6 balance targets 
  • Morgana - Potential small buffs. 
  • Shen - Likely nerf target. Tough case because he's out of line specifically for organized teams (not just in pro, though that's the most visible case of course). Currently looking at pulling power out of his ult which is where the difference in effectiveness for those different contexts lies with ongoing discussion as to what changes we could make to make him closer to balanced for both solo queue and organized teams at the same time. 
  • Quinn - Potentially still too strong after the Edge of Night and Ghostblade nerfs in 7.4. If that doesn't look like the case closer to ship might go for some power neutral changes instead. Aiming to make her gank pattern a bit more interactive regardless. 
  • Cho'gath - Might need buffs. We've seen a number of struggling Cho'gaths after the 7.5 changes, having said that though his play rates shot up massively, so a lot of that could just be people unfamiliar with Cho and people experimenting with different builds given the changes. We're prepping some buffs should they be needed, might pull back on them if appropriate though. 
  • Lissandra - Is struggling a bit at present, and should do ok in a meta with a decent number of assassins played. Looking at possible buffs as a result, with the secondary goal of making her passive more satisfying."

On Shen R, Meddler commented:
make the shield scale of the ally's missing hp maybe?
We've actually got exactly that in testing :)."

Making a Splash with Reference Photos 

Next up we have a new art dev blog that takes a behind the scenes look at using reference photos to help make new champion and skin splash arts:
"Before a drop of digital ink hits the canvas, splash artists often take pictures to reference.
Beast Slayer Splash Art: WIP
Reference pictures are the unsung heroes behind every splash art, used for inspiration while never seeing the spotlight… until now. 
Beast Hunter Draven

Victor “3rdColossus” Maury: That’s one of the pictures I took while working on the Beast Hunter splash. It’s one of my favorite reference images—I could instantly picture the final splash art when he made that scrunched up face. It was just so Draven. Every artist on the splash team has entire folders filled with pictures like this. 
Joshua “HUGEnFAST” Smith: Reference images are kind of like research to figure out what something is supposed to look like. Sometimes, you can get by just with just a Google search, but other times, there’s a very specific thing, like a facial expression worthy of Draven, that you can’t find a good reference for, so you just make it yourself. 

HUGEnFAST: Not always, but we should. If you ever need to figure out how something works, the easiest thing to do is pull out your phone, grab a room, and start snapping selfies.

3rdColossus: What you’re seeing is just one picture, but we often take like twenty slightly different ones to figure out what looks the best before we even start drawing. You can waste a lot of time on a drawing that doesn’t work, but photos provide a quick proof-of-concept and allow for a ton of variety and fun camera angles really fast. 
HUGEnFAST: In my phone, I probably have like a hundred photos of my hand because I’m not exactly sure what’ll work best. I take a bunch with slightly different angles and slightly different poses and then pick the one that fits. 
3rdColossus: A big reason our images tend to stand out is because they’re informed from real life. It can be tempting to make everything up, but if you want to make these crazy characters still feel anchored to reality, you have to add that one moment of believability. 
HUGEnFAST: And to make it believable, sometimes we have to mess around in real life, like, ‘Wait, how do hands work again?’” 

HUGEnFAST: Reference pictures have been important to painters since… forever. 
3rdColossus: Basically, since photography was invented. 
HUGEnFAST: Yeah, and even before that, it was life. Renaissance painters would hire a bunch of models to stand exactly how they wanted, for hours on end, and then they’d literally just copy them. We definitely didn’t create a new technique here—it’s more like a bridge between traditional painting and the crazy, digital art we make today. 
HUGEnFAST: Usually, but more generally, the goal is to build understanding. Like for Pool Party Leona, we went out and bought an orange umbrella. When we got back, we took some pictures and realized that light filtered through the umbrella tints everything slightly orange. This little detail was a really important discovery for Chengwei “KIllerPanda0007” Pan when he was painting, and I think it’s part of what makes the splash so unique. 
Pool Party Leona
3rdColossus: There’s also this weird phenomenon when you act something out where you empathize with the character you’re drawing. I know that sounds weird, but it leads you to certain decisions that make your drawing feel like the real thing that wouldn’t have necessarily occurred to you if you drew it without experiencing it. 
HUGEnFAST: When I was crushing an orange for a Gangplank reference, I was thinking about my body language and my facial expression, inevitably inhabiting some of the mental space of the pirate. When mimicking a character’s gesture and emotion, you can gain new understanding about how their feelings would affect their pose. 
3rdColossus: When you act as the character, you know where the weight is, where the tension is, where the relaxation is. When I took Warwick’s reference pictures, the way my hands spread on the ground helped me understand weight distribution, and I noticed little things like how my fingertips squished down. I learned a lot from posing for this picture, actually—firstly that this is a really awkward pose, and I am not a wolf, and my neck bones were not made for this. But it did help me find which angles felt appropriate for the limbs. If you’re inventing a pose, it’s really easy to draw something broken and never realize it. But as soon as you act it out, you’ll know, ‘Oh, my wrist doesn’t bend that way. 

HUGEnFAST: In every splash, we strive to really understand what’s going on first. That’s ultimately what helps us convince other people that this character is real, and they’re actually feeling this way, and they don’t look derpy because they’re posed in a way that doesn’t make any sense. It’s all based in reality—you don’t have to just draw from your imagination. 
3rdColossus: Sometimes, there’s this misconception about art that it’s magical and we’re just really talented, implying that it’s somehow inherent or easy for us, but it’s actually a lot of hard work, research, study, and trial-and-error. Good image-making, like anything else, can be learned. Lucky for us, most of the answers you could ever need are present in nature if you know where to look. 
HUGEnFAST: The human body, and light, and color, are so complicated. It’s too much to keep in your head, even as a professional illustrator, and references help us create art that accurately reflects reality."
The following is a collection of reference photos taken by Riot’s splash artists. 
SKT Vayne
SKT Lee Sin
Traditional Trundle
Dragonslayer Xin Zhao
Spirit Fire Brand
Urf the Nami-tee, Order of the Banana Soraka, Archduke Nasus, Definitely Not Udyr
Gentleman Gnar
Nemesis Jax

Reminders - ARURF in RGMQ & Ocean Week Icons

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

  •  As mentioned in the 7.4 patch notesAll Random Ultra Rapid Fire (ARURF) returns to live in the rotating game mode queue from 3/3/17 - 3/6/17.

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