Red Post Collection: Meddler gameplay thoughts 4/25, Legacy Client Retires on NA, Vastaya F2P Rotation Update, and more!

Posted on at 2:30 AM by Aznbeat
Tonight's red post collection includes Meddler's gameplay thoughts from April 25th, the legacy client retiring on the NA server and more on the net client,  Riot Marlet with a brief comment on the PBE "Missions"files, Ahri, Nami, Rengar, and Wukong added to the F2P rotation  following their new stories, and more!
Continue reading for more info and reminders on promotions ending soon!

Table of Contents

Meddler's Quick Gameplay Thoughts: April 25 

Meddler is back again with the 4/25 quick gameplay thoughts, including commentary on the mid-season patch that's currently in PBE testing,  Rakan and Xayah, and more!
"Morning all, 
We're just a couple of days away from finishing the mid-season patch, so busy times on our parts right now. Bunch of mid-season related thoughts below as a result, once 7.9 is out and we've got whatever balance changes are needed underway we'll also start talking a little bit about future plans again too. 
Mid-Season watch list 
We'll be assessing the game as a whole post mid-season patch of course, with enough stuff changing that there are arguments a lot of different things, whether they were touched directly or not, might need follow up work. There are some things we'll be keeping a particularly close eye on though, as things more likely to need tuning than others. Examples include:  
  • Rift Herald, and whether it benefits early teams too much, generates the desired interesting siege/defense gameplay, how easy/difficult it is to defend against etc. 
  • Ancient Coin, particularly the revised pattern's impact on Enchanters and other really mana hungry champs. 
  • Adaptive Helm and its effectiveness against champs who rely on repeated spell casts for the bulk of their power 
  • Garygoyle Stoneplate and whether it's leaving champs that deal true damage and/or scale damage off HP too threatening 
  • Etc 

Rakan and Xayah 
Seem to be in a reasonable at least for now power wise, so the only likely changes in 7.9 are a few bugfixes. Will definitely need to assess again in a couple of weeks though, see whether their performance stabilizes around an appropriate power level or whether when the average player on them has enough experience they're too weak or too strong. It's also very possible that Coin changes, or AD item changes, have a meaningful effect on them in 7.9. too. 
CC Tracking Stat 
One of the new end of game stats we've been working on for mid-season is CC contribution. Based off some testing while that's been on PBE it looks like there are a couple of issues with it we'll need to work out though. We'll almost certainly be delaying that to 7.10 as a result, given amongst other things there's some possible impact on server performance there. 
Updated Sub-Class List 
Something we've been working on for a little while is an update to the sub-class list we posted last year (link to the previous version below). As mentioned we've always expected that would be an evolving set of guidelines/assumptions, rather than a definitive set of rules, a way of looking at/talking about champions rather than a set of requirements. We're now at a point where we think an update's appropriate, should be able to post that sometime in May. Nothing too major, mainly shifting a number of champions around and some changes to one of the sub classes' definition."
On SkarnerMeddler  commented:

when we will see changes for skarner?
Nothing currently scheduled. He's strong, but not so strong we need to take power off him at present. Spire gameplay's not great, but also not problematic enough to push other champions who need the work more out of priority."

On whether slows are included in the CC tracking stat, Meddler verified:
Hey Meddler, 
Quick question, for the CC tracking stat, will it differentiate between types of CC? So for example, we could see how long we knocked up an enemy, stunned, slowed, etc? And if not, what CC will count towards this stat? Just hard CC? 
Thanks for the post on current gameplay thoughts, always enjoy seeing Rioter thoughts on the current state of the game.
Ok, slows are included, but counted at half the value of other CC so they don't overwhelm other contributions."
When asked about Rengar and GarenMeddler replied:
Hi Meddler 
Long time fan 
Are there plans for changes to Rengar and Garen (mostly buffs) ? 
Rengar was hit hard by the nerfs and even tho Garen received a fairly smart change, he is still no match for other juggernauts and divers. 
Thank you for your time.
Nothing currently planned for Rengar. 
Garen we'd like to do some more small work on (I'm personally particularly interested in trying to make his W a bit more engaging/skill expressive). Timing on that's really unknown though, beyond sometime this year (could be soon, could be post World's patch)."

On incorporating the list of subclasses in more places than just a boards thread, Meddler commented:
Do you guys have any plans to incorporate the update subclass system into more places such as the the Champion website or the client? You know, spread it around to inform more people of it.
We've deliberately left the sub classes out of the client, they're sufficiently detailed that they're intended to be more an opt in more nuanced thing for those that want it than a primary thing every player needs to be familiar with. Might get them onto the website at some point though certainly."

When asked about the CC stat tracking on Braum/Sejuani with passives and abilities that let others complete the CC, Meddler commented:
How will the cc work on champs like braum and sej will it count towards braum or the person who landed the last hit to stun someone? And will it be a big deal for champs with little to no cc like luc.
Credit for CC applied should go to Braum/Sejuani in that case. 
Champs without CC won't have much to look at in that field in the end of game page, nothing should change for them though."

Legacy Client Now Retired 

The day has come for the NA servers - the Legacy LoL client is now officially retired and the LCU is now the only available client from here forward. Expect the client to retire soon on other servers soon!
 Here's Cactopus with more and a set of tips & tricks for using the new client::
"Starting today, the legacy client is officially retired. 
It has gone to a good, happy place with a lot of other very nice software. In this magical land, the sky is made of AOL internet trial offer CDs. BonziBUDDYs swing from treetop to treetop, happily making Vines and Geocities webpages. Everyone plays copies of E.T. for the Atari 2600—it's their favorite game. The legacy client will live happily ever after here, surrounded by friends. Not dead. And never forgotten.

In other news, we've got two really big updates to address concerns players have about the client. 
FIRST, we've finally got a date for the return of the Item Set Creator Tool. We're now aiming to bring the feature (which lets you edit item sets from the client without using a third party tool) to the PBE with patch 7.10. Barring any problems, it will then come to live servers soon after. We'll update you in the patch notes if anything happens to delay the tool's release further. Check the FAQ below for more details. 
SECOND, beginning with patch 7.9 you'll finally be able to start new conversations and see which of your friends are online while in champ select. It'll all be accessible through the chat module in the bottom-right corner of the screen. 
We’ve put together an FAQ to address some questions you may have: 
 What’s the big deal about the new client anyway?
The updated client has been built from the ground up to use newer technology that allows us to develop features faster. Most importantly, it gives League a strong foundation it can stand on for many years to come—because we will support League for a LONG time. Since the beginning of open beta, we've shipped two big new features on the updated client: Practice Tool and Replays. 
There are also a slew of quality-of-life improvements: 
  • Pop out the message window, move it around wherever you want, and resize it freely 
  • Automatically hide mobile or offline friends in a group on your friends list 
  • Drag'n'drop to rearrange rune and mastery pages 
  • Shift click to assign 9 runes at once 
  • Ability to change in-game settings from the client 
  • More control on sound settings tunings than in legacy 
The work on the client’s not done yet. We’re hard at working on performance and stability improvements as well as new features. When we’re confident that it offers a better experience than the legacy client, we’ll upgrade all players to use the new client. 
Check out our previous beta update to learn more about why we're replacing the legacy client and our future plans for rolling it out. 
There are some other things I don't like about the new client. Why replace it now?
We've talked about a bunch of the reasons here.
Short version though: there are huge development costs to maintaining two clients. Killing legacy unblocks Riot to go full steam ahead on new client feature development. Until we move on from the legacy client, things like 10 bans just can't happen (or we'd have to develop them twice).
We'd be bullshitting you if we said we think the new client is 100% perfect. It's not. We've been listening to players' complaints and concerns throughout the process, and we're going to keep improving the new client after the legacy client is gone. 
Here's a few concerns that we've heard from players which we'll be mindful of going forward: 
  • The current design of our drop-down menus makes editing masteries take more clicks (and scrolling) when compared to legacy client. We'll think about how to solve the UX issues they've been causing. 
  • The chat module covers up vital parts of the client, including the "confirm" button which lets players get into game. This can be solved by popping out the chat module and moving it wherever the player wants, but further work could probably be done here 
  • Players are forced to wait until pick phase is over to choose their skin. This was not the case with the legacy client. 
  • Champ search could be improved in a few different ways to let players sort the list how they want. 
  • Profile is missing many of the "career stats" which were available in the legacy client. We've actually committed to rebuilding more stats into the client during upcoming work on the profile page. 
  • Players dislike being unable to close or minimize the friends list. This could potentially be solved by allowing players to cover that area with other content. 
  • The "first win of the day" timer should show the countdown down to the minute or second rather than just the hour.  
We've heard this feedback (and more), and we take it very seriously. While we can't solve this stuff before we retire the legacy client, we will continue to improve the new client and take this feedback into consideration. 
Who will be upgraded?
Everyone. You’ll see a new screen that will highlight the upgrade process the next time you launch League. Once the upgrade process is complete, when you click on “LAUNCH," you’ll launch into the new client.
If you have already upgraded and have been using “Launch legacy client” option on the new client, we have retired that link along with the legacy client.
Can I go back to using the legacy client after April 24? 
No, the goal of the client rollout is to replace the legacy client. To learn more about why we're replacing the legacy client, check here
I gave it a try before and it was too laggy / slow, why should I try it again?
Performance and stability has come a long way since the beginning of the year. We’ve also introduced a Low-Spec mode that automatically detects your specs and defaults to recommended settings to ensure a smooth experience. If you had trouble before, we're confident you'll have a better experience with our latest patch. 
I liked item sets—why isn’t the item set creator tool in the new client yet?
Initially, due to the low use of item sets, we hadn’t planned to bring it back with the new client and focus on making other areas better instead. However we’ve heard a lot of feedback and reconsidered our decision. We now intend to rebuild the item set creator tool, but haven't yet started development work on it, so it could take quite some time even after we replace the legacy client. Of course, replacing the legacy client still comes first. 
In the meantime we still totally support item sets in-game (you don't lose your existing item sets when you update your client).
I have feedback to share, how do I submit them to Riot?
There are two ways to share your feedback with us:
If you run into technical issues / bugs, please use the  icon at the bottom right of the client to submit a bug report.
What’s next?
We will continue rolling out the updated client to more and more regions while keeping you updated of our plans as we move forward."
Running into problems upgrading to the new client? Click here to get help.

When asked about being able to see more game stats on the profile, cCc Grumbles cCc commented:
"We're doing some work on the profile page that should address the ability to see some of the "career stats" you mentioned. 
We're far from done with the new client, in fact, leaving the legacy client behind is allowing us to focus all our power into adding new features in the new client. Expect to see more updates on this soon."

On making the friends list hideable, Riot Cactopus responded:
Can you make friend list hideable. I hope for Europe launch this will be there. Thanks in advance.
The social panel permanently being there is a design choice we made for the sake of future functionality we're going to add in. It already has the ability to hold additional info like your time in queue, game invites, and club information (whereas before all of those things were relegated to individual little tabs and popups). So, later on, we'll likely use the space for other things as well so it feels more valuable to you. 
Also, unlike in the old client, there's nothing hiding behind the social panel—every screen was designed to fit alongside it, to leverage more information we plan to display. 
We couldn't just minimize it without a bunch of other stuff breaking, so this isn't a change we're planning on making to be super straight with ya."

On items sets returning, Riot Cactopus confirmed:
So minus the fact that the Item Sets are gone I legit have a new computer and it still runs slow and buggy... After each game I have to wait like 15minutes for the client to come back up JUST so I can come back to the home screen.... so Idk what's going on but I still enjoyed Legacy the non flashy stuff cause it to lag and in game I am running on 15ing so it's not me
Item sets aren't gone. All your old ones still work, and the creator tool is coming back sometime after it hits PBE with patch 7.10. 
Also I bet I know your problem with the long delay after games end. Check your settings and see if you have "close client during game" checked"

As for the details on champion abilities that were removed from a previous PBE patch, Riot Cactopus responded:
When will the stat info be fixed for champion ability details (e.g. range, AD/AP ratios, cost, base damage, etc.)?
It's cut out for now because we realized that a problem with the actual game file system was making the information incorrect. We'll update you as soon as we know more but I think they might not come back for a while. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news :/"

Riot Martlet on 4/24 PBE's 'Missions'

As previewed here on S@20 in the 4/24 PBE Update, new strings for 'Missions' have been seen in the LCU. Riot Martlet stopped by the PBE boards to explain the work in progress feature:
"Hey guys, you might have noticed something new in the latest PBE build called Missions. It is in the build but not visible yet. We’re building Missions to support event rewards and more. If you participated in an event like Project or Shurima you probably remember janky experiences like manually claiming rewards through a website, or just seeing a random new summoner icon in your account a week or two afterward. We’re fixing that with a much more clear, “do thing, get thing” approach that’s all handled in client. We’ve still got some more work to do before we’re ready to reveal all the details, so expect to hear more in the coming weeks!"
Here's the assets as seen in the 4/24 PBE Update:

Feral Pony on ARAM changes in 7.8

Following a lengthy thread concerning the 7.8 ARAM changes, FeralPony stopped by the boards to start up a discussion and touch on some of the points mentioned in the thread:
So there is a lot here in this thread, some good suggestions and feedback as well, and I'll try to answer as much as I can. Myself and ManWolfAxeBoss were the primary Devs on the recent update so I'm happy to discuss the changes. We also worked on the last set of changes about a year ago as well so I can provide some context on those as well if folks are curious.

I'll jump more into some specific subthreads but I'll answer a few of the reoccurring questions first.

Did ARAM players even ask for shorter games?
- Frankly, yes. The feedback was pretty consistent and overwhelming that the vast majority of ARAM players not only want shorter ARAM games but frequently queue for ARAM when want a shorter game length than other game modes. The average game time for ARAM was reaching just above 25 minutes, with many more games than we'd like going over the 35 and even the 40 minute mark. In short, many ARAM games were longer than many SR games which we felt was not appropriate and didn't match player expectations jumping into the queue.

Were these changes on PBE?
- These changes were indeed on PBE before shipping, I know many of you don't have PBE access and the changes were easy to lose in the Xayah / Rakan reveals but they were there.

Will there be a followup patch?
- We'll be looking at doing another small followup patch, but not until 7.10. Not only are ARAM games incredibly volatile and hard to read data-wise 7.9 is the midseason patch which will once again shake things up.

What are the initial results on Game Time?
- Average Game Time has dropped on ARAM since the patch ~2 minutes but not uniformly, the bell curve did change shape. There are noticeably less games running really long and more in the low to mid 20 minutes territory. Essentially some of the tail of the graph got pushed into the middle

What about early snowballing?
- While there are incredibly snowbally and stompy ARAM games this doesn't appear to have shifted noticeably since the changes. There were snowbally stompy games before and after the patch. This doesn't appear to have changed significantly.

X/Y Champion got way too strong / weak with the changes, what gives?
- Early data here is pretty unreliable but after going over the initial data there don't seem to be consistent reliable correlations in the changes this patch. There was indeed a lot of movement, but there tends to be a ton of noise unsurprisingly in this data. When looking at trends there are some correlations but they tend to be weak at best and a bit forced. Some champions with strong wave clear went up, some went down. Some targon users went up, others down. Some traditionally OP ARAM champions went up while others went down.

Will you take suggestions / improvement ideas for the follow up?
- Absolutely, but both myself and ManWolf work entirely within the gameplay space so we won't be looking at anything involving how the queue works, matchmaking, or free champions etc. So any changes would be In game only, sorry. I'll post a small list of our current thoughts as we formulate our plans for 7.10 and suggestions come in.

This post is already super long so I'll stop there and discuss stuff more in individual threads.
When asked about where they pull feedback from regarding modes like this and the motivation behind the changes, FeralPony noted
So where exactly are these people? I've been on these forums for a long time, and been playing ARAM even longer. Why do I never hear of these people? Just because you saw a few people demanding shorter games does not mean that's the popular opinion. Why not use this thread as evidence that we DO NOT want shorter games? It seems pretty unanimous. A minority made a demand that you ate up, and now the majority has to come out against it.
Players want to have time to enjoy the fruits of their labor when they build a lead. They don't want the game to simply end. Players also want a chance at a comeback when they fall behind. We don't queue up because we want the game to end ASAP. That defeats the purpose. If we "don't have much time", then we shouldn't be playing a multiplayer game with 9 other people. Pretty simple. How about listening to the actual majority now?
One of the main sources is from global surveys, but also more focused feedback tools such as the microfeedback tool as well as player support tickets, and region specific feedback methods. It's not like we read a single random post and thought "Let's act on it!". 
Boards are one of the best way to get really detailed feedback and thoughts from players as well as a bit of back and forth discussion, but they are one of the worst ways to get a representative sample or even a majority opinion from the regions represented by boards, (let alone a more global perspective). And even within the boards community itself they additionally tend to bias towards players who object to changes or an issue rather than those who like the changes or are content. 
I think we agree we want players to have time to enjoy a game they are winning, we agree that they want a chance to comeback. I would also hope that we can agree we want leads and small victories to feel meaningful and that teams feel that can close out a game when they've won and not feel like games drag on for too long when a team should have just won. We're not designing in absolutes, it's always a spectrum. 
As I mentioned elsewhere we're looking at doing another small followup adjustment in 7.10 (with next patch 7.9 being midseason) so we're open to making some additional changes at that time."

Unleash the Vastaya - F2P rotation updated!  

With new lore and stories added earlier today, four  Vastaya champions have been added to the free champion rotation, and four new bundles featuring their skins are now available through 5/2!
"Greetings, summoners! 
Strange creatures called the vastaya have been sighted in Ionia - now they’re headed to the Rift and your local skins bazaar. Select from four vastaya on the free champion rotation and grab these limited-time bundles now through 5/02/17 at 23:59 PT. 
The Nine-Tailed Fox Bundle - 35% off at 3750 RP (4322 RP if you need the champion)

Skins included:
  • Dynasty
  • Midnight
  • Foxfire
  • Popstar
  • Academy
  • Arcade
Champions included:
  • Ahri
The Wuju Disciple Bundle - 30% off at 3779 RP (4395 RP if you need the champion)

Skins included:
  • Volcanic
  • General
  • Jade Dragon
  • Underworld
  • Radiant
Champions included:
  • Wukong
The Tidecaller Bundle - 25% off at 3036 RP (3767 RP if you need the champion)

Skins included:
  • Koi
  • River Spirit
  • Urf the Nami-tee
  • Deep Sea
Champions included:
  • Nami
The Pridestalker Bundle - 15% off at 1656 RP (2484 RP if you need the champions)

Skins included:
  • Headhunter
  • Night Hunter
Champions included:
  • Rengar"
Be sure to check out the new Ahri, Nami, Rengar, and Wukong bio & stories [here].

Quick Hits - MSI On Air Talent &  RGEB - Better Living Through Materials

[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) A new engineering blog is up, this time taking a dedicated look at the various materials used when rendering and how it helps level up the look of champions in the game.

Check out this introduction to "Better Living Through Materials" by Paul Geerts:
Hi, I’m Paul Geerts and I’m one of the engineers on League’s Render Strike Team. A while back my buddy Tony posted an article about how League of Legends currently builds a single frame of the action. Today, I’d like to dive into a component of the rendering pipeline that we’re actively improving: materials. I’ll discuss some of the changes we’ve made and why they’re important for players and developers alike."

[Check out the full article here!]

2) The on-air talent for  MSI 2017 has been announced!  Check out the infographic below or the full LoL esports article for more information. MSI 2017 kicks off April 28th with Round 1 of the Play-in stage!

3) It's been a week since release and Xayah and Rakan are now priced at 6300 IP!
As a friendly reminder, both Syndra and Rengar were reduced from 6300 IP to 4800 IP with the release of Rakan and Xayah.


Last up, a few reminders on upcoming and ending soon promotions and sales!
  • As part of the Rakan and Xayah release we'll be having a DOUBLE IP WEEKEND starting Saturday morning and lasting through Monday morning (times vary by region!). Rakan and Xayah are also available for IP gifting and two limited time icons can be obtained by gifting or playing as the pair through April 26th  See this post for more information! 
  • As mentioned in the 7.8 notesLegend of the Poro King returns to the RGMQ from 4/28 through 5/2.

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