Red Post Collection: Gameplay Thoughts 5/25, Ask Riot, /dev on Pre-Game, Subclasses list, May bundles, & more!

Posted on at 9:34 PM by Moobeat
Tonight's red post collection includes May 25th's Quick Gameplay Thoughts from Meddler, a new /dev on the purpose of pre-game, May champion and skin bundles available for a limited time, an updated look at subclasses, a new edition of Ask Riot, and more!
Continue reading for more info:

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: May 25

Meddler is back with his quick gameplay thoughts for May 25, covering icon updates, the updated subclass list, and LeBlanc:
"Hi all, 
Usual Disclaimers 
These posts will often contain talk about future work we're doing, or planning to do, that isn't yet guaranteed to ship. The nature of the work could change or, depending on what we discover, projects mentioned may get put delayed or even stopped.
If you'd like to see a Tweet whenever a new one of these posts goes up: 

Icon Updates and Items 
One question that cropped up a bit after previous discussion on icon updates was whether we'd also be updating older item icons as well. Wanted to touch on that here. We do plan on gradually updating item icons, that's somewhere we need to be a bit more careful than with champion icons though. Being able to quickly identify items on the Tab screen's pretty important and whenever we've changed too many at once we've seen some very understandable frustration and confusion as a result. We gradually update item icons as a result, often though not always paired with some change in functionality (e.g. the recent Abyssal and GA changes). Wouldn't want to do a mass item icon change all at once. 
Updated Subclass List 
For anyone that missed it and is interested we posted an updated subclass list yesterday. Link to that below, along with a couple of threads where Statikk, myself and a few others were talking about a thinking with the changes a bit. 
We got a bunch of people together this week to talk LeBlanc. She's been a problematic character historically, both in terms of balance and counterplay. Recently she's also been consuming a lot of designer time without significant improvement that could have been put into other champs. We concluded that there were some core problems that would need to be addressed to put LB in a spot where she's appropriately powerful, fair enough to play against, not universally a great or poor pick etc. Estimation as to what those are below: 
  • Her risk profile (she gets a lot of assassin traits without the degree of commitment other similar champs take on when going for a kill, both in terms of personal risk and use of long CDs) 
  • Insufficient counterplay when played well, in particular her safety/slipperiness (combination of W, mimicked W, clones) 
  • A strong laning early game that, when combined with the above, makes her extra dominant in high Elo and pro play. 
We believe we need to do at least a small update to her as a result, not just balance work. Without some meaningful changes we expect she'll otherwise get stuck in a state where she's still dominant in certain circumstances and feels pretty bad outside of those (as a point of reference Azir has similar, though not identical, challenges). An update doesn't feel great, given we put work into her just late last year, but we do think it's necessary. 
It's also possible the above analysis may change once we start looking at LB in depth.
In terms of timing, not sure yet, the above's the summary of a conversation we've literally just had. It's possible, though not guaranteed, that we may have to make some balance adjustments to her before we can get an update in. Also not clear yet what scope of update we're looking at, whether something on the smaller side (adjustments like those to Kindred or Heimer recently) or somewhat larger (Rek'Sai scope, with more significant ability changes). 
AFK a little while 
I'm going to be away from work for a few days starting pretty much now (visiting New York for the first time!). Won't be able to reply much in this thread as a result, also won't be another one of these posts from me until the later half of next week."

/Dev: On the Purpose of Pre-Game

The newest /Dev is out, today covering pre-game choices and how they affect the game:
"Hey all! Fearless here to talk about pre-game choices in League of Legends. This is a dense topic, and my goal today is to build a base of understanding around our design theory to fuel a much longer discussion, so let’s dive right in. 
Currently, League of Legends features a web of choices you have to make before you get into a game. These choices, such as which champion to play, which runes to use, or which keystone to select, create an important space for strategic thinking. They let you define your approach to the game, how you want to synergize with your team, and how you want to react to your opponents. We offer enough power that you can express meaningfully different approaches, while constraining the power given to avoid reducing the outcome of the game to a test of intellectual optimization or net-decking proficiency. 
To do this, we have to create a lot constraints on the pregame systems. We keep the power in pregame largely self-contained and non-transferable. To speak more simply, we keep pregame choices centered around the early game, and they tend to compete only against other pregame choices. This ensures pregame decisions can be a limited set of choices with clear opportunity costs. This allows them to capture some of the depth we see in other systems without forcing you to pre-plan every decision you’ll make over the course of the game to come. 
There’s other constraints here though. Pre-game systems exist in a short time window in which you need to do a lot of things—choose a champion, choose a skin, and ideally plan a little bit with your team about your strategy. The ideal pre-game system would offer fewer, more powerful choices so that you prioritize specific, exciting interactions, while avoiding a paralyzing network of conditional optimizations. The choices won’t matter if the bonuses are small or if there are “right” answers to many of the choices, which unfortunately describes how runes in particular currently feel. 
With all this in mind, let’s run through League’s current pre-game (with a focus on runes and masteries), and discuss what we think is going well, what could use some work, and some of the possibilities we see for the future. 
On Summoner Spells 
Summoner Spells won’t be a topic of this article, and it’s worth explaining why. Similarly to Runes, Summoner Spells currently offer very limited choice in champ select. A Jungler who has not taken Smite is just doing it wrong. The power of Flash is high enough that almost every champion assumes it as part of their kit. 
However, in contrast to Runes, Summoner Spells tend to exhibit opportunities for skill expression and contextual decision making in game. Nine armor is just nine armor, but how and when I use my flash, or how I plan my path and objective pressure around my Smite charges is a chance for mastery. There’s definitely a lot we want to someday make better about Summoner Spells, but other parts of the game currently have a lot more to fix. 
We think that pre-game should have a clear window of influence; in other words, the choices you make here should make combat tactically and strategically rich while your champ’s abilities are still coming online. This power then needs to fade away as other sources of power kick in, allowing you to focus on champion-specific growth and the impact of your item choices, skill choices, and mechanical execution. 
TL;DR: Pre-game should be compelling and meaningful, but should not overpower champion uniqueness, reactive item relevance, or mechanical skill. 
Pre-game decisions should provide meaningful options for every champion. At the moment, many champions lack satisfying choice here, and a few feel completely left out in the cold. The constraints of choosing between only three trees and having to spread power over 30 points present some obvious causes of Mastery stagnation—but we have the opportunity to break these constraints and make something that’s better and more interesting. 
For example, despite issues where Keystones aren’t supporting everyone equally, they’ve shown potential. When Stormraider’s Surge lets a Nasus or Kha’Zix opt into stickiness over raw damage, we see the way pre-game systems can enable meaningfully different approaches to League. This potential collapses when we see particular keystones become mandatory (Deathfire Touch on Malzahar, for example); because there’s a “right” and “wrong” choice, you’re not given a genuine way to impact your game via your pre-game decision making. 
Moving forward, pre-game systems should be designed with the expectation that each player should make multiple significant choices—choices that will clearly impact your game. They should provide you with an appreciable opening to demonstrate your strategic skill, which then translates into a way to demonstrate your execution of the gameplay options you’ve created through those choices. 
The goal is a clear and rapid reward loop for examining your actions, reflecting on your decisions, making changes, and doing it all over again. 
At the moment, runes aren’t delivering on this type of goal. Runes frequently require some very obtuse mastery, with low visibility impacts, leading them to be unsatisfying for most players. They offer little skill expression. It’s hard to outplay 9 armor or 4.5% movespeed, for example, and it’s hard to examine what those choices do for you moment-to-moment or across hundreds of games. Surprisingly to most, they also represent a very large block of power in the early game. This is not to say that Runes don’t have positive elements, but we think there’s tremendous space to make improvements. 
Runes stand in stark contrast to Keystone Masteries, a system that frequently benefits from windowed power and clearer signals of effects. This allows for better understanding of the choices made, but also moves the game toward more tactically diverse, situational interactions.We’d love to see the whole of pre-game move in this direction. 
TL;DR: We want to create a pre-game ecosystem that can keep up with the best elements of the rest of LoL. 
Most of this is just a philosophical exploration of what we hope for in pre-game, and where we’re currently falling short. So what comes next? We’re looking hard at runes and masteries, with the intention of building new systems that ensure we provide you with decisions that feel like they actually matter; and just as importantly, that feel like actual decisions. 
In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts. What is it that you’d hope to see in new pre-game systems? What are your thoughts on the current runes and masteries? Rebuilding pre-game is a big project that’s going to take a long time, but we want to get it right. 
I’ll be around in the comments if you have questions or comments!"

It’s time for May bundles!

It's time once again for end of the month bundles for May!

Check out the post below by FunkMonk for more full details on what is available through June 1st:
"Grab these limited-time bundles now through 6/1/17 at 23:59 PT. 
Dance Instructor Bundle - 50% off at 2396 RP (4506 RP if you need the champions)
Skins included:
  • Karthus Lightsbane
  • Guardian of the Sands Xerath
  • Snow Day Ziggs (Legacy)
  • Steel Legion Lux
  • Gothic Orianna
Champions included:
  • Karthus
  • Xerath
  • Ziggs
  • Lux
  • Orianna
Battle Medics Bundle - 50% off at 2772 RP (4516 RP if you need the champions)
Skins included:
  • Star Guardian Janna
  • Arcade Sona
  • Pool Party Lulu
  • Koi Nami
  • Dryad Soraka
Champions included:
  • Janna
  • Sona
  • Lulu
  • Nami
  • Soraka
Flash Mastery Bundle - 50% off at 2511 RP (4713 RP if you need the champions)
Skins included:
  • PROJECT: Katarina
  • High Noon Yasuo
  • Cottontail Fizz
  • Redeemed Riven
  • Academy Ahri
Champions included:
  • Katarina
  • Yasuo
  • Fizz
  • Riven
  • Ahri
Ranged Heroes Bundle - 50% off at 2587 RP (4789 RP if you need the champions)
Skins included:
  • Arcade Ezreal
  • PROJECT: Lucian
  • Heartseeker Vayne (Legacy)
  • Varus Swiftbolt
  • Pickpocket Twitch
Champions included:
  • Ezreal
  • Lucian
  • Vayne
  • Varus
  • Twitch"

Taking another look at subclasses

As previously mentioned, the champion subclass list has been updated!

Here's Riot Statikk with more information:
"Hey all, 
It’s been a bit since we’ve reexamined our Class and Subclass structure, and as expected our understandings of it have evolved a bit over the past year. Let’s jump into the the key insights we’ve had during this time. 
1. Dissolving the Disruptors
The Disruptor Subclass from the outset felt somewhat like a jumbled mess united under the banner of “control” whether that was through lockdown, zones, traps, or even terrain manipulation. When you look at the list of champions within the Subclass (Anivia, Heimerdinger, Morgana, Teemo, etc.), it was difficult to get a good read on who they really were. Overall, it felt less like a Subclass and more like a cluster of Mages who had unique or mixed identities. Since then, we’ve realized that mechanics such as traps and walls shouldn’t be isolated to a single Subclass; those are tools that any champion can utilize to help fulfill their intended purpose. With this in mind, we’ve decided that - at least for now - the Disruptors will no longer exist as a distinct Subclass. 
2. Introducing the Catchers 
At the same time, we saw a set of champions that had a common core purpose yet were scattered all over the board: Blitzcrank, Thresh, Morgana, etc… These champions primarily rely on ranged fishing tools, setting their team up for success by picking out a vulnerable target for their team to quickly follow up on. If Vanguards and Wardens are the aggressive and defensive sides of the Tanks, then Catchers can be considered the aggressive side of the Controllers - opposite to the usually more defensive oriented Enchanters. Catchers bring huge playmaking potential without necessarily being the primary damage threats themselves - this is what makes them unique and exciting to have in the champion roster. 
3. Embracing Unique Playstyles 
We’ve also identified an over-eagerness on our part to categorize all the champions and put them into boxes - even when they didn’t fit all that well into them. To reiterate, we’re not really interested in forcing every champion into a neat little box - we think that actually stunts creativity and uniqueness among the roster. The Subclass system is more intended as a way to create a shared language we can use to help us better understand how to make healthy champions and how to better differentiate amongst them. 
In our first pass of categorization, we fell into a trap where we tried to identify many of the hard-to-define champions with a set of hybrid tags that sometimes got close and sometimes not so much. With this in mind, we decided to reduce our reliance on the myriad of confusing hybrid tags and instead left a lot more of the champions in the Unique category. We’re happy to see that a lot of our champions don’t fit this specific lens of structuring the champion roster - that’s actually a really encouraging sign that our roster has a lot of distinctiveness and diversity. 
Hopefully this has given you all some insight into our take on the ever-evolving state of the champion roster. Check out our current categorizations below! 
  • Vanguards 
    • Alistar
    • Amumu
    • Mega Gnar
    • Gragas
    • Leona
    • Malphite
    • Maokai
    • Nautilus
    • Rammus
    • Sejuani
    • Sion
    • Zac 
  • Wardens 
    • Braum
    • Galio
    • Nunu
    • Poppy
    • Shen
    • Tahm Kench
  • Juggernauts 
    • Darius
    • Dr. Mundo
    • Garen
    • Illaoi
    • Mordekaiser
    • Nasus
    • Shyvana
    • Trundle
    • Udyr
    • Volibear
    • Yorick 
  • Divers 
    • Aatrox
    • Camille
    • Diana
    • Elise
    • Hecarim
    • Irelia
    • Jarvan IV
    • Kled
    • Lee Sin
    • Olaf
    • Pantheon
    • Rek’Sai
    • Rengar
    • Skarner
    • Vi
    • Warwick
    • Wukong
    • Xin Zhao
  • Assassins 
    • Akali
    • Ekko
    • Evelynn
    • Fizz
    • Kassadin
    • Katarina
    • Kha’Zix
    • Nocturne
    • Shaco
    • Talon
    • Zed
  • Skirmishers 
    • Fiora
    • Jax
    • Master Yi
    • Riven
    • Tryndamere
    • Yasuo
  • Burst Mages 
    • Ahri
    • Annie
    • Brand
    • LeBlanc
    • Lissandra
    • Lux (hybrid Artillery)
    • Orianna
    • Syndra
    • Twisted Fate
    • Veigar
  • Battle Mages 
    • Anivia
    • Aurelion Sol
    • Cassiopeia
    • Karthus
    • Malzahar
    • Rumble
    • Ryze
    • Swain
    • Taliyah
    • Viktor
    • Vladimir
  • Artillery 
    • Jayce
    • Vel’Koz
    • Xerath
    • Ziggs
  • Enchanters 
    • Janna
    • Karma
    • Lulu
    • Nami
    • Sona
    • Soraka
    • Taric (hybrid Warden)
  • Catchers 
    • Bard
    • Blitzcrank
    • Ivern
    • Morgana
    • Rakan
    • Thresh
    • Zyra
  • Ashe
  • Caitlyn
  • Corki
  • Draven
  • Ezreal
  • Jhin (hybrid Catcher)
  • Jinx
  • Kalista
  • Kindred
  • Kog’Maw
  • Lucian
  • Miss Fortune
  • Sivir
  • Tristana
  • Twitch
  • Varus (hybrid Artillery)
  • Vayne
  • Xayah
Unique Playstyles
  • Azir
  • Cho’Gath
  • Fiddlesticks
  • Gangplank
  • Graves
  • Mini Gnar
  • Heimerdinger
  • Kayle
  • Kennen
  • Nidalee
  • Quinn
  • Singed
  • Teemo
  • Urgot
  • Zilean
When a few champion's new subclasses were disputed, RiotStatikk explained:
Taliyah is a Battlemage? What? No she isn't, the only "defensive" item she ever builds is Rylai's, everything else is standard mage items (Morello's, Void, Rabadon's, Sorcs, etc). I know that she has shorter range than the average mage but that doesn't make her a Battlemage. 
Also why is Lissandra considered a Burst Mage? Yeah she deals good burst damage but she leans way more toward a Battlemage. She's an initiator with her E and ult, and she has very low range, she consistently builds AP-Tank items (RoA, Zhonya's, Banshee's, Protobelt, etc). 
Why is Jayce considered Artillery? He does way more than just spam Q. He has an entire other moveset that's all melee and focuses on jumping into combat and dealing high damage at just the right moment. He's way closer to a Slayer, specifically a Skirmisher. 
And Ivern's considered a Catcher, the same class as Blitzcrank and Thresh? Really? He's quite clearly an Enchanter, and if not that, then he's a Unique Playstyle. 
No offense but this is terribly inaccurate and way more complicated then it needs to be.
Taliyah is somewhere between Burst and Battle Mage. She has a deadly combo but also access to a fairly strong sustained damage pattern through her Q + the Rylai + Liandry's combo. At the end of the day, most Mages have a "burst combo" so we put her here because it seems like the more dominant way to build her is with Rylai's + Liandry's. 
Jayce should probably have a hybrid Skirmisher tag or something to better express his Melee side of his playstyle. 
Ivern's only Enchanter-like aspect is just his shield and whatever items he ends up building. We tried to stray away from just slapping on hybrid tags just because a single ability could be considered core to that Class. Most of Ivern's power tends to come from his ability to aggressively CC the enemy as far as I observe."
On Kog'MawRiotStatikk responded:
Kogmaw should be hybrid marksmen artillery like Varus. I mean hell, his ult is literally called Living Artillery.
Yeah you're right to be honest. It heavily depends on how core Kog's R is to his success. AP Kog certainly is an Artillery, but unsure on both the short-term and long-term sustainability / viability of that build is?"
On the list being what Riot wanted the champions played as rather than how they are currently being played, Meddler replied:
Might be that those are the subclasses Riot would want them to be; like how currently Evelynn should be an Assassin but in reality is played like a Diver.
There's a bit of that going on yeah. Nocturne's not exactly an assassin at present, though when we do see him effective it's generally with a really bursty assassin like build. Long term we expect he'll move more in that direction as a result. 
Ahri's certainly got assassin qualities, some of that's that there's pretty significant overlap between Burst Mages and Assassins though, with both trying to kill specific targets quickly. Adding mobility to a burst mage gets them pretty close to an assassin generally as a result (Ahri/LB/Lissandra all having some degree of assassin style flank/pick potential). 
Evelynn's update should make an assassin playstyle much more sensible on her (less build tanky and grind people down diver style required)."
On Renekton missing from the list originally, Meddler replied:
no renekton gg
do think some uniques could be classified tbh
Welp, we're bad. We'll get him added to the Divers section. 
Edit: Oh, uniques wise our feeling was that trying to push them into other categories resulted in less clear definitions for those categories if they were only rough fits and didn't really describe them accurately enough. Can certainly say that Azir has marksmen like elements for example, but it's not very representative."
When asked for elaboration on SkarnerMeddler replied:
Would you mind elaborating on Skarner as well? Last I remember, he was supposed to move more into the direction of Tank-Vanguard...
Looking at Skarner at present we concluded he was playing much closer to Jarvan, Vi etc - fighters with some initiation capability who are still pretty focused on a particular target, rather than team initiation as a whole. His builds and playstyle match that, with a mixture of damage and defense. Can still see some arguments for making him Vanguard like, that's a could happen rather than something we're confident will happen though, in contrast with Evelynn. Nocturne's a best guess situation, overall we figured Assassin was the better description than Diver however. 
Yes on Renekton (still a Diver)."

It's Time for Fantasy LCS

With MSI 2017 behind us and LCS on the horizon, Fantasy LCS will be going live 5/26 to get ready for the start of the summoner split!
"We are only 2 weeks away from LCS Summer Split kicking off and the best way to get hyped for the upcoming action is to get together with your friends for some Fantasy LCS action. Fantasy LCS Drafts will be going live this Friday, May 26 at 6:00 PM PT, giving you almost a full week to get your drafts completed before EU LCS matches begin on Thursday, June 1. 
Here’s what you need to know to before starting your Fantasy LCS draft: 
How does scoring work? 
You have two options for how to score your fantasy league: 
  • The First Two Games scoring system is exactly what it sounds like: only the first two games played in each Best of 3 (Bo3) match are worth fantasy points. This is the default option for scoring for Fantasy LCS Leagues. This option rewards players on better teams that tend to win 2-0, as both of their game wins will score. 
  • The Best Game scoring system is just as straightforward: only the highest-scoring game for each pro in their Bo3 match is worth fantasy points. This tends to be a more forgiving scoring option, as teams that go to three games won’t have one of their losses taking a scoring slot. 
Remember that once you start your draft, the scoring system will be locked in and cannot be changed. 
What about scoring for EU LCS matches? 
As we promised before Spring Split, we kept an eye on how the EU LCS schedule changes impacted fantasy, and we’ve decided to shake things up. Almost all of the NA starters were being drafted ahead of their EU counterparts, leading to less interesting draft decisions. For Summer Fantasy, EU LCS teams that only have 1 match scheduled for a week will have that match count for double points. This will give EU LCS players as many scoring opportunities as their NA counterparts. EU players are still higher risk, as if they have a bad match they don’t have a second day to save their week, but it also means potentially higher rewards, as a crushing day will count double. Now you can go ahead and pick Zven in the first round without feeling bad about it! 
When does the Fantasy season end? 
The Fantasy season will end after Week 9 of the NA and EU LCS splits. 
Where do I play? 
Head on over the Fantasy LCS website to set up or join a League. Fantasy LCS is only supported on Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and FireFox browsers so make sure you have one installed. 
It’s my first time playing, where can I get more information? 
Head on over to the How to Play Guide for more detailed information. 
May the drafts be in your favor! GLHF!"

Ask Riot: Classic Mode 

The weekly Ask Riot is up, covering topics such as "classic mode", Azir, & champions based on a skin line:
"Welcome to Ask Riot! 
Let’s talk Azir, old-patch game modes, and skins becoming champs. 
Would you ever create a game mode based on an old League patch? Like Season Two or old Summoner’s Rift, with the champs and items set up the way they were then?

We looked at doing this recently for a series of internal playtests, because we wanted to experience first-hand whether things like pacing or counterplay felt very different a few years ago. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to easily get the older builds running because so much of the game content and code has changed. 
We can’t just pull in old data and expect the current game engine to play nice with it all. We could almost certainly make it work if we had a bunch of smart engineers working to make it happen, but then those engineers would not be working on other features that might be more valuable to you guys in the long run. Likewise, we could have designers create versions of existing champs that tried to mimic the old data (Season Two abilities, items, tuning, etc.) but that’s a mountain of work for something that might only be fun for a few games or so. In other words, the opportunity cost of that work is probably pretty expensive. 
So philosophically, we aren’t opposed to playing an older version of LoL, and it might be fun for a short period of time (because we might very well discover that the reasons we made all of the Season Three, Four, and Five changes still exist), but there is a good chance it’s not worth the development effort that it would take. 
Design Director, League of Legends 
What’s going on with Azir? He hasn’t been viable in a long time — are there plans to adjust him or rework him?

Our favorite Emperor of the Sands is a bit of a trailblazir when it comes to the mid-lane, dipping his toes pretty deeply into both the marksman and battlemage playstyles. When you pick him, the things you do feel incredibly unique which is awesome, but when coupled with proficiency and high level skill it becomes very difficult to give him power in any way that isn’t absolutely oppressive when he’s played optimally. We took a few passes at him over the past year or so, and while we saw improvement, he was still far from where we wanted him to be, so we made the call to wait until we could allocate the appropriate amount of time to solve his long term power imbalances. 
With some of our other projects wrapping up, we’ve started exploring several avenues for shifting power around on his abilities to make him more sustainable for League in the long run, while being very careful to not cause a massive divide between what we want and what current Azir players are excited by. Generally, we’re going to be looking to sharpen his identity and remove extraneous power from his kit in an effort of giving him more counterplay when played extremely well, something he certainly doesn’t have. 
To quickly clarify, we see no need to give him a full VGU as players around the world are really happy with how he looks, and instead will only be looking to do an ability update focused around improving gameplay, and not visuals. Wav3Break is the gentleman owning the project, and you can expect a post on the boards from him in the next few months going into more detail around goals/direction. 

Product Lead, Live Gameplay 
Would you ever create a champion based on a skin? For example, Dark Star is cool, so a champion with Dark Star as its origin? 
We would likely never make a champion directly based on a skin. That being said sometimes a champion can be inspired by a particular skin line or vice versa. The Cosmic Reaver skin line, for example, was very inspired by our new Mt. Targon art. Other than specific lore skins (Like Young Ryze) our skin lines exist in their own worlds. Mixing Runeterra with the different worlds of our skins would start to get really complicated really fast. 
Lead Producer of Champions

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."

Monthly Q&A with Ghostcrawler 

Ghostcrawler jumped on Caffeine to host a monthly Q&A session on May 25th:
This week, we’re trying something a bit different! Join us on later today at 5 PM Pacific Time for our monthly Livestream Q&A with Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street, Game Design Director for League of Legends! 
To participate in chat, make sure you Create a New Account with beforehand. Sign-up is simple: Visit; click “Create a New Account;” choose your desired username, email, and password; and verify your email address. 
We’ll be taking questions live from chat or you can leave your question here in the comments below and we’ll answer them at the beginning of the stream. 
See you on Caffeine!"
This platform does not support VODs but should have a VOD on Twitch available on Friday.

Reav3 on Champion Update

Following up on his discussion from earlier this week, Reav3 continued discussion on champion updates by answering a question on how the Maokai visual update and everything came together over time:
Hey Reav3 can I ask for your thoughts on what are essentially broken down VGUs like what happened with Maokai where his lore, skins, gameplay, VO and splashes getting up at different points
Well the original Maokai VU was done at a time when we still did VUs. WE have since turned that VU team into a full VGU team so we could get out VGUs faster. His lore was independent of ChampUp and was part of the World Building team updating the lore for the Shadow Isles. 
When we started on the tank update we decided he was high priority because he was such a generalist tank that it was problematic for other tanks. The decision to give him a GU really had nothing to do with his previous VU. 
As for his splashes, well him and Sejuani were already on the list for Splash updates due to there previous VUs. Pairing stuff together usually goes well so we decided to pair there splash updates with there gameplay updates. 
The VO update was also done because pairing stuff together is usually pretty good. We felt that since we were doing a big GU on Maokai and many new players would start playing him and trying him out that it would be nice if his VO could reflect the new lore would building put out for him more."
Reav3 continued, noting they still plan to do mostly gameplay focused updates in future:
Exit class rework, will there be any Gameplay update ? i mean without change the visual. When i say Gameplay update i mean BIG GU, not small like Shyvana or Rek'sai but more like talon last year.
Yes, we still plan on doing big GUs where needed"
When asked if we'll see primarily visual focused updates in the future rather than the combined gameplay/visual updates we've seen lately, Reav3 commented:
I have a kind of off-topic question, will we ever see visual only updates again? I feel like there's a handful of champions whose gameplay still lives up to today's standards, or had a sufficient gameplay update already so that more kit work isn't really required.
I would't say never. Nothing is ever absolute at Riot as we constantly re-evaluate priorities and what will have the highest player value. We stopped doing pure VUs because they really didn't have much effect on the game at all for the amount of time spent on them. In fact, many players didn't even notice when we did them at all. 
Lee Sin, for example, doesn't have the most up to date visuals in the game. That really doesn't prevent players from playing and enjoying Lee Sin. He is still one of our most popular champions. When we did a VU on Karthus it didn't really change player perception or engagement with Karthus either. 
The gameplay updates and big VGU's have a enormous effect of players engagement and enjoyment of the game so we started to prioritize those over VUs. 
That isn't to say we will never do VUs again, just that they aren't currently the highest value thing we could be doing at the moment. While VU's don't take as long as a VGU, they do take time and would slow down the cadence of our big VGUs by quite a bit. Our big VGUs have a much bigger impact and are also in much higher demand from our player base, in fact many of our players want us to do the big VGU's faster."
When asked about where Singed falls on the update list, Reav3 noted:
What about Singed? He had a small VU, but that's it. He is not even on splash art rework champions, and he is a character who last time (about the time of Galio rework announcement) ranked in top 7 among the VGU requests, yet he is not among Tier 1. Could you please give me more information about him?
Thank you if you reply!
Singed is on the list for a full VGU. He isn't tier 1 because there are currently worse offenders. That doesn't mean he won't move up to tier 1 at some point. Fiddlesticks, for example, has moved up to tier 1 as his gameplay has proven more dated and unhealthy as time has gone on."
As for reflections on Karthus previous visual update, Reav3 noted:
In my opinion, the Karthus VU was beautiful. While it didn't change how people played with him, you made a LOT of mains happy by doing it.
I'd also argue that had he not gotten that VU, people would be asking for him to get a VGU.
I agree. I think Karthus would have benefited more from waiting to get a full VGU rather then a VU."

When asked about Fiora, he noted
In retrospect Fiora was one of our highest value VGUs. We do a survey to players every 3 months or so that asks them a bunch of questions about our champions. most fun abilties, highest overall quality, best art, etc. Of all our VGUs Fiora is consistently the highest rated VGU by players we ever did. Not on day 1 of course, but overtime when the dust settled she remains the stickiest and strongest of our VGUs 
A lot of this has to do with the fact that her theme was very strong (Fencing Duelist) We actually want to do more of these in the future. Champions that aren't the worst, but are pretty dated and have very strong themes. This is one of the reason we keep bringing up Irelia as a high priority champions for a full VGU. 
Also to your point on Annie and Karthus. I think both of those would have greatly benefited from full VGUs.
He continued:
"I think we should have pushed Fiora further from the Art/VO stand point. But, yes I would put her more in the camp of Fiora & Warwick where we would want to modernize her rather then re-invent her. Evelynn and Irelia are in a similar camp."
Reav3 continued:
"That was exactly my point. When we did Fiora is was before we had 2 full VGU teams. Fiora kept the same rig and we just updated the model (Same as Shen.) If we had put both through the full VGU process and pushed them further and spent way more time on there art I think they both would have been much better. Fiora is a case where we only went halfway, which never really works very well. Had we pushed it as far as our other VGUs it probably would have been a lot stronger."

Quick Hits - TTL Bans, The Breakdown w/ Zirene, & 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) When asked about Twisted Treeline bans, Draggles noted the eventual plan is to let each player have one ban:
"This is actually the plan - we've got a couple of tech issues stopping this from rolling out at the moment, though."

2) Music of the 2017 College Championship

3) New Breakdown with Zirene: Setting up the Engage:

4) The new Pulsefire Ezreal icon will be distributed by May 29th so don't worry if you haven't received it yet despite already owning Pulsefire Ezreal!


Last up, a few reminders on upcoming and ending soon promotions and sales!
  • YOUR SHOP is up on the client through June 6th!  
  • As mentioned in the 7.10 patch notesAscension is returning in the RGMQ from 5/26 - 5/30!

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