Red Post Collection: Gameplay Thoughts 4/7, Midseason Durability Feedback, Ask Riot,OCE Client Update, and more!

Posted on at 10:57 PM by Moobeat
This weekend's red post collection includes more gameplay thoughts from Meddler, followup comments on the large set of Midseason Durability changes testing on the PBE, an update on PBE signups, a new Ask Riot, and much more! All Random Summoner's Rift also returns in the RGMQ! 
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: April 7 

Meddler hit the boards once again with his new gameplay thoughts for April 7th, taking another look at the mid season changes that are testing early on the PBE, possibility of renaming the support position, and Karthus and Ryze changes on the PBE:
"Happy Friday all! 
Mid-season changes starting to appear on PBE 
We're at the point where we'll be putting some of the mid-season changes onto PBE a patch early and letting them soak there a bit longer. Many of the changes won't be there until the 7.9 PBE cycle starts though. 
Right now the durability item changes are there, details can be found at: 
It's also fairly likely we'll have some changes to support starting items there early next week as well. Those are focused on stuff like laning patterns (especially on Coin) and recognition of success. More details on that soon. 
Renaming the support position? 
As some of you may have seen in game or from screenshots posted elsewhere we've been conducting a few surveys recently to get players's thoughts on other possible names for the support position. We don't have any immediate plans to try and rename it, long term though, once we've done more work on the gameplay possible from that position we'd like to try and find a more appealing name than 'support'. Something that still recognizes how important team interaction is, but that also doesn't imply a secondary, less empowered role. We'd then be interested in changing the icon from something so ward like at the same time. 
Haven't found anything yet we're happy enough with, or that has gotten a strong positive response from players surveyed though. Words we've been looking at so far include terms like multiplier, flex, catalyst and specialist. As above even if we found a good replacement name players liked we'd also want to address gameplay issues first - renaming without doing so otherwise feels pretty empty/pointless. 
Testing some spell buffering changes on PBE on Karthus and Ryze 
We've got a couple of changes to how Karthus and Ryze buffer their spells on PBE at present that are intended to make them a bit smoother to use, in particular on higher latency connections. Any feedback on those from folks with PBE access much appreciated. We're not mentioning specific details for now though on what's changed to see if there's anything good or bad that gets specifically noticed when you're not sure exactly what's changed."
On changing the name of the support position, Meddler commented:
I actually really like "Specialist", or something along those lines. It signifies that the person doesn't fulfill a traditional laning role in the game, but allows for interpretations other than just "there to tank damage or heal up teammates".
That's what drew me to specialist as a term too, clear message that this is someone who's focused on particular things more than others (not CSing being the biggest distinction). Survey response to it was pretty poor, might retest it someday after we've done more work on the support position though, see if with a bit more context and change player attitude to it is different."
He went on:
I think those are a little too defensive minded. There's quite a few engage'y aggressive supports also.
Yeah, that's what pushed us away from those sorts of terms. They're great fits for some champions/classes, but not others. Since we're looking to describe a position and broad function we wanted to stay away from anything with strong thematic expectations like that as a result."
When asked about the return of the 7.7 PBE cycle Lissandra changes, Meddler answered:
Are the Lissandra buffs coming back for this PBE patch?
Probably. We really want to get something out for her, given we've been looking at her and talking about it for a while, mid-season work is higher priority though so can't guarantee yet."
[note: see ricklessabandon's changes later on in post!]

On the gap between recent champion releases, Meddler commented it was due to the dual champion release of Xayah and Rakan:
Meddler, can you confirm that the wait between Xayah and Rakan and the next champion after them will be shorter than usuall?
The gap we were talking about being smaller was that between the champ after Camille and the new champ after that. The gap between Xayah's release and Rakan's, or Rakan's and Xayah's depending on how you want to look at it. After that double release we should be back to something closer to usual release timing for this part of the year."
When asked about how many teams worked on Rakan and XayahMeddler commented:
Where they made in tandem or 1 team did both of them and that's why it took so long?
Xayah and Rakan each had a separate team working on them. One of those teams would normally have been aiming to have a champion ready around February, hence the gap in champion releases. 
For anyone curious the new champion team is made of three sub teams. The one not working on Xayah or Rakan's therefore up next with the new champ after those 2."

Follow-up to early Midseason Durability feedback 

Riot Repertoir posted a followup regarding the midseason durability and item changes we saw in the 4/6 PBE update and discussed in his earlier boards post:
"Hi all, 
Just wanted to toss up some thoughts about what I've been seeing from the community feedback-wise regarding the midseason durability stuff that went to PBE yesterday. This post will mostly be a collection of common concerns I've seen, and what I think the path forward is on them. That said, this is in no particular order, and by the time I've finished typing this up, I'll probably have left some things out, so do feel free to ask in the comments. Here we go: 
Banshee's Veil harming mid lane 
Many players are expressing concern over the mechanical changes to Banshee's Veil, primarily worried it will become a must-buy in mid lane and ruin opportunities for lane aggression there. The cooldown of the spell shield on PBE is tuned pretty aggressively at the moment, so I definitely think this concern is valid. I'll be looking at making some small tweaks so that it is much more clearly not a frequent lane purchase, whether that means adjusting the cooldown model or the statline or the cost. 
Why is Guardian Angel an AD only item? 
Simply put, we tested an AP version alongside the AD version, and the AP version just wasn't all that appealing since those characters can mostly just resort to building Zhonya's anyway. Consequently, giving many AP champions access to several moments of stasis didn't seem like the right call for the overall fun of the game. Shortly after the time we decided to remove the AP version from testing, we made the Abyssal/Banshee swap, with one of the intentions being to round out a feeling of fairness in defensive itemization options between AP and AD; AP should now have situational, visibly powerful defensive effects against both physical and magic damage, as should AD. 
Why didn't we work on Thornmail/Ohmwrecker/Banner/Zz'Rot/etc.? 
While working on all these items, one of the top goals was to lay a good foundation for defensive itemization that could be built upon. There are definitely some items in the shop that are hardly earning their place, but we think those items can hopefully be tackled one at a time in individual patches down the road. For what it's worth, we even had some iterations of Ohmwrecker where it was positioned to have a statline more like Sunfire/DMP/Randuin's, but playtests showed that without significant work on the item active, it still would never be attractive unless just grossly overtuned. And thus we focused on getting the frameworks in a good spot, and coming back to individual items like these later. 
Randuin's sucks 
This could very well be true. The idea behind Randuin's was to position it as both the most defensive and the cheapest option of the primary Health/Armor items, but it seems like players would prefer it had ~300g worth of power put into it so that the reason to pick it over Sunfire/DMP is much clearer and more satisfying 
Why would we remove Randuin's Crit Damage Reduction? 
Champions investing in crit tend to have very delayed power curves, where they feel like they need a bunch of their items to come online before they can really impact the game. The number of ways specifically designed to reduce auto attack damage results in those attacks needing to be pretty absurd when defenders don't take every single measure available to mitigate them. Between generally high Armor/lvl, multi-Armor items being in end game builds, Ninja Tabi reduction, Warden's/Randuin's/FH AS reduction, and Randuin's Crit reduction, basic attacks just end up needing to be crazy in order to function in the late game, and you can observe this in the game today. Randuin's Crit reduction being removed is a step in the other direction, but we are also looking at reducing the total amount of Percent Pen on items like Last Whisper on the other end of the spectrum. 
Banshee's/Abyssal swap is confusing 
Yes. Agree, and we'll be trying to come to the solution that makes the most sense. 
Gargoyle Stoneplate looks pretty cool 
Seems like players are generally pretty excited about this item, with some concern about outlier abuse cases and the general efficiency of the item. Might see some light iteration over the course of the next few weeks. 
Adaptive Helm is too good against X champion 
Adaptive Helm's purpose is to be the Health/MR item that feels especially good to pick up against powerful sustained magic damage threats, so in that way, we want to make sure it is effective at that. That said, it could probably use some small tweaks to make it not just the best pickup against all mages, which I think is a valid concern to have. Possibly reducing the duration of the effect to 4 or 3 seconds so that it's not picking up unintended spellcasts? Alternatively, reducing its MR by ~10 and increasing its DR to 20% so that it's less generally good and more targeted? We're aiming for this item to be somewhat akin to "Randuin's/FH, but for magic damage." 
Magic Damage dealers are getting the short end of the stick 
Between the new items, and some adjustments to existing ones, I see where this sentiment comes from, and I'll be giving some thought to whether a course of action is appropriate here or not. One thing that I do think goes unconsidered (or at least underconsidered?) is that champions looking to get tanky tend to buy a lot more Armor items than MR items (if only to deal with the large number of physical threats in the game), and the amount of HP on most of the popular tank Armor items is being reduced, which is a buff to mage early/mid games especially. That said, I understand that this is somewhat offset by the addition of things like small amounts of MR/lvl being added to the game, as well as targeted direct counters being introduced for tanks. 
That wraps up my thoughts before I go grab lunch and sit through some afternoon meetings. Hope this helps to let everyone know where it seems we're at with these things, and like I said, I probably left some stuff out, but feel free to ask about any individual questions you have. 
Thanks for all the thoughts thus far, 
When asked about a mage AD item, Riot Repertoir commented:
Any consideration to providing mages an actual anti-AD focused item to reduce the feeling of unfairness would be cool.
Not sure it's fair to say Zhonya's isn't "an actual anti-AD focused item" (seems like a very subjective call, which is fair in its own way). If it's more about Seeker's being weak or unappealing (no unique noticeable effect other than stats) or not having stackable options (Maw+Mercurial, for example), that seems like a reasonable point of view. 
I was operating under the assumption that the two groups would need only viable option to fight the opposing damage type, as long as it was clearly an effective one worth the purchase. For example, I thought that Banshee's being an AP focused anti-magic option would suffice, since it would clearly be useful in its effect, without needing to stack a bunch of additional MR on top of it. Similarly, a balanced version of this GA should be the only AD/Armor item needed, if it is clearly useful for its intended purposes. My thought was that players would prefer this over feeling like they should have to stack a bunch of similar items to get the output they wanted, but that could be a false assumption. 
Thanks for the feedback. I'll be thinking about it."
On Titanic Hydra, he commented:
Repertoir are you guys going to change around Titanic Hydra to compensate for the lowering of some HP on items
Possibly. Titanic (and also Cinderhulk or Sterak's) is nerfed by many of its synergy items now having less Health. They're also indirectly buffed by virtue of having more Health relative to those items, so I wouldn't want to overreact, if we did anything for Titanic."

Ask Riot: Should new Champs be Disabled in Ranked?

A new Ask Riot is up, covering topics such as disabling new and reworked champions in ranked, the visibility of different loading screen decorations, and whether we'll see the mysterious darkin again:
"Welcome to Ask Riot!

This week, let’s talk Lux’s new VO, loading screen borders, the Darkin, and first time Galios in ranked. 
When you release a new champ/rework, why don’t you disable the champ in ranked for one week? Why don’t you need a certain number of normal games before you play a champ in ranked?

Releasing a new champion or a major champion update is a big deal for us and for players, especially at the slower release cadence we use these days. After the teasing and the hype and the spotlights, we want players to be able to try the champion out right away. For players whose primary way to engage in League is through ranked (and that’s a lot of players) a week can feel like a long time, especially since the champion will have been on the PBE before that. 
However, we sympathize with the basic problem you’re hinting at, of someone going into ranked with a champion they have never played before, and having your team possibly pay the price. While we think the new Practice Mode will help some with this problem, we also have discussed requiring you to play with the champion – even if it’s as little as one game – before you take him or her into ranked. No concrete plans at the moment, but it’s something we’ll keep on our radar. 
Design Director, League of Legends  
In the loading screen, why can you only see the champion masteries and borders for your teammates and not enemies?

tl;dr We limit the information exposed across teams prior to a match because it can influence match outcomes and make games less fun.
Information exposed to players before a game begins anchors their perception about how the match will play out and can change how they play. The most obvious example of this is with ranked status. Playing against someone who has a higher skill from the previous season, even if you’re currently equal in skill, can be intimidating in a way that influences the end result of a lane. Given that, we default to not exposing skill information across teams. 
In the case of champion mastery, while we don’t think the effect would be as pronounced as with ranked borders, it would likely have a similar negative impact in some games. For example, knowing it’s your first game on a champ and facing up against a mastery 7 Yasuo isn’t a great experience. When we weigh the negative impact of surfacing this every match-up against the pretty minimal benefits that come from the opposing team knowing exactly how big your emote is, it doesn’t seem worth the trade. 
There is some gray area around this. Some of you might be thinking: dropping the emote in game when you go to lane seems like it could anchor players in a similar way, so why allow that? We debated this when we first launched emotes and even created an emergency switch we could flip to make it only appear for your team if things got out of hand. Ultimately the decision to leave it cross team came down to two things. 1. For the most part, people don’t drop their emote right when they get to lane. Usually by the time an emote gets dropped much of the game has already unfolded, so any impact to match outcome is minimal in aggregate. 2. Some of the most interesting and memorable moments across teams are highlighted emote drops. Preserving those moments felt important. 
Along these same lines, we know many players scout one another via third party sites to determine opponents rank before games. This is a natural result of ranked game stats being public information and some players looking for any way to get a competitive edge. In spite of this, we wouldn’t change the pregame to give this information more visibility. Though some players want this information, we don’t believe forcing more players to absorb it would ultimately make the game more fun. 
Lead Game Designer  
Love the Lux voice over update (and I don’t even play Lux). Can we expect to get more of these in the future and if so how often?

Glad you liked the Lux VO! 
We currently don’t have dedicated resources to updating old champions’ VOs. Lux was an opportunity we took because the voice actor was coming in to record lines for Elementalist Lux, and since we were planning on doing a big Demacia event for Galio’s release, it felt appropriate to update her VO along with it. In the future we may do some VO updates here and there, if it makes sense and there’s a good opportunity. It isn’t a trivial amount of work, so we have to be careful about what we commit to, but we actually have another coming up in the not too distant future! 
Lead Producer of Champion Updates  
With all the updates to Runeterra, can we expect more about the darkin?

Oh, we’ve definitely not forgotten about the Darkin ; ) 
Worldbuilding Lead, Foundations 

Have a question? Head over to Ask Riot and sign into your League account. Check out the Pro Tips, 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."

God Fist Lee Sin Animation

With the recent launch of God Fist Lee Sin, the League of Legends facebook released a new animated video showing him in action:

Previews and more on God Fist Lee Sin available [here].

[OCE SERVER] Client Beta Update #3: Closer to Completion 

Cactopus is back with an update on the Client update in OCE. The OCE server has now completed Phase 1 and are moving to Phase 2, where all players in Oceania will be upgraded to the new client:
"Hello good people and also Yasuo mains, 
Recently we've been talking about why we have to replace League's legacy client. We've got a number of highfalutin technical explanations, but it boils down to this: The sooner everyone's using the updated client, the sooner we can start delivering cool new client features. 
Last month, we introduced our plan for replacing the legacy client. We've just completed Phase 1 of the plan and are now ready to kick off Phase 2, starting in Oceania. Below is an updated look at the plan.

The Legacy Client Replacement Plan 
NOW COMPLETE: Phase 1 - A small group of randomly selected players from Oceania, Russia, Brazil, and the Latin America servers were automatically upgraded to the new client, although they still had the ability to launch the legacy client from the login screen. No big problems were encountered during this phase. 
BEGINNING TUESDAY, APRIL 11 IN OCEANIA: Phase 2 - All players in Oceania will be automatically upgraded to the updated client, with the legacy client turned off. Sometime in the coming weeks, we'll begin Phase 2 in some shards in China and Garena regions as well. We'll post articles in advance to let players in these regions know when Phase 2 is about to commence. 
Phase 3 - Assuming Phase 2 goes well, everyone else (all players in all regions) will be automatically upgraded to the updated client, and the legacy client will be retired. This will happen automatically when players launch League without requiring the download of additional files (beyond that of the regular patch for that week). Soon after Phase 3, we'll replace the legacy client with the updated client on all publicly-hosted game download pages. 
Phase 4 - We'll automatically remove legacy client files from your machine to free up space. 
Note: This gradual rollout will give us time to monitor player feedback and make adjustments in response. We'll alter these plans or delay the rollout if we find that more significant changes are necessary. 
That's a good question, imaginary caps-lock person. After each phase, we'll evaluate how the updated client is doing compared to the legacy client. If it's performing at least as well or better than the legacy client, we'll move forward to the next phase. If we see serious problems (like widespread bugs preventing players from getting into games) we'll slow down the client rollout process to address the issue. Removing the legacy client is the most crucial part of this process, and we want to be extra careful about it. 
Assuming Phase 2 goes well, the next step is to officially end the client beta in all other regions, enacting Phase 3 and upgrading all clients in all regions. If you've opted into the client beta—as over 90 percent of players worldwide have already done—this process won't affect you beyond removing the "Launch Legacy Client" button from the new client's login screen. 
Got questions? We'll stick around in the comments."

PBE Signups Closed 

Riot Seri stopped by the boards to note PBE sign ups are closed until further notice due to website issues.
"Hello Summoners, 
PBE signups are closed until further notice. The website has been in a poorly functioning state for a while now and we are trying to address all the problems at once instead of throwing a band-aid over it. 
If you have received an email telling you that you have been accepted, unfortunately we cannot complete the process of granting you an account with this page down. Until we take down the old site entirely, it may appear that you can enter information into the page, but the information does not get saved. 
Our ultimate goal is to create a better, more user friendly signup process. Please be patient with us while we get everything back up and running."

Quick Hits - Lissandra PBE changes, EU IP Weekend, Esports, & 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!]

1)  ricklessabandon on Lissandra PBE changes coming next week:

[1] "okay, quick lissandra update before i leave the office for the weekend!"
[2] "didn't quite get to a new passive i felt was -great- and didn't want to rush it, so going to fall back to a simpler changelist for 7.8"
[3] "not quite a 'perfect is the enemy of good' though it might feel that way -- would rather leave the option available than rush a replacement"
[4] anyway, on to the part lissandra players care most about, here's what we're currently looking to ship in 7.8 (will tune as needed next week)

2) EUNE and EUW players can enjoy an Party IP weekend this weekend!
"EU players racked up 73,131,500 points during Slumber Party, smashing the goal and earning a Party IP weekend beginning Friday April 7!"

3) 2017 NA LCS Spring Split Award Winners have been announced !

4) EU LCS All-Pro Team | Spring Split 2017

"Top: Vizicsacsi
Jungle: Trick
Mid: Perkz
ADC: Zven
Support: IgNar 
Full vote:"

6) Isurus Gaming has qualified for MSI 2017!
"Congratulations to @teamisurus on winning the 2017 #CLS Finals and qualifying for the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational! #MSI2017"

7)  RED CANIDS has qualified for MSI 2017!
"Congratulations to @REDCanids on winning the 2017 #CBLoL Spring Split and qualifying for the 2017 Mid-Season Invitational! #MSI2017"


Last up, a few reminders on promotions and sales ending soon!
  • To celebrate her new skin splash arts in 7.7, Karma's legacy skins - Traditional, Winter Wonder, and Sun Goddess - plus a champion & skin bundle are available through April 12th. 
  •  The God Fist summoner icon is also available for 1500 IP through April 10th. A God Fist Lee Sin bundle is available through April 10th!.
  • As mentioned in the 7.7 patch notesAll Random Summoner's Rift returns to the rotating game mode queue 4/7/17 12:00 PT - 4/11/17 04:00 PT and 4/14/17 12:00 PT - 4/18/17 04:00 PT.

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