Red Post Collection: Honor Update Live, Rift Rivals hits the Rift, Ask Riot, and more!

Posted on at 1:33 AM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes the Honor update rolling out to live, an Ask Riot covering high-Elo spectate, Autofill, and maps, new regional Rift Rivals icons available in shop for 1 IP, and more!
Continue reading for more info!

Table of Contents

[New] Quick Gameplay Thoughts: June 30 

Here's Meddler with his most recent gameplay thoughts for June 30th, covering topics such as continued Diana changes, context on the Garen changes we've seen so far this cycle, and the warded ping:
"Morning all, 
Lighter post today, lot of work on long term stuff not ready to be talked about going on right now. 
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: 
As you'll see on the PBE today we're continuing to explore Diana changes in testing. Those aren't intended to be a full fix for Diana's issues (we still expect to do a small update to her gameplay at some point), but are instead intended to put her in a better spot until then. We think it's likely the eventual direction for Diana includes auto attacking as a meaningful part of her kit, so one of the things we're looking it is ways to make that higher impact later in the game. 
Speaking of champions we're doing smaller stuff on now and plan on giving larger gameplay changes later, Garen's in the same boat this patch. We're testing a W change where it's got a short window where it's much more effective when first cast. Goals there are to both give him a bit more power but also a bit more skill expression, with the timing on that cast mattering more. Garen's always been difficult to balance for different skill ranges and part of that's because his kit doesn't give the same degree of reward for mastery over many of its elements that other champs do. This won't fix that by itself of course, but expectation is it'll help somewhat and we'll look for similar changes for the larger changes coming later. 
Warded Ping 
Is still coming, looks like 7.15 at this point (another casualty of that shorter than usual 7.14 development cycle, with other engineering work that's higher priority pushing it back a patch). 
No Posts Next Week 
Due a combination of 4th of July having us out of the office and some other stuff going on I won't be able to do these posts next week. Next one should be on the 10th or 11th of July as a result. One thing worth watching out for next week though's that we should be getting a more regular series of Runes posts going, starting next week, with a goal of showing off at least a new thing or two each week until close to pre-season when the full system hits the PBE. 
Non gameplay sidenote, but wanted to call out that a bunch of us, myself very much included, have very much enjoyed the ongoing discussion about what the deal is with the Darkin based off the new info associated with Kayn's reveal, including speculation on future possibilities, whether any other Darkin are already in the roster besides Aatrox etc. Some theories that are pretty out there, or speculative, and some ideas that are pretty accurate. Makes for fun reading."

Honor now live!

The Honor update is rolling out to live servers! Here's a tweet from the official LoL Twitter: 
"The Honor update is now live!Rise to the challenge in every game and fight with honor! "
Once the Honor update is enabled on your region, you'll be greeted by this screen explaining the new changes, the honor levels, and potential rewards to be earned.
Looking for a refresher on the Honor system changes? Check out these links:

Rift Rivals Hits the Rift 

In celebration of the upcoming Rift Rivals event, a total of five new regional icons are available now through July 11th. These are available for for 1 IP!
"Regions across the world will take on their fiercest rivals for bragging rights, pride and eternal (until next year) glory during the first ever Rift Rivals. Show your support for these regional grudge matches by purchasing a Rift Rivals icon for 1 IP in the store. If your home region comes out on top, you’ll also be awarded an exclusive, gilded event icon.
The five regional Rift Rivals icons will be available in the store from June 29 at 7:00 AM PT (July 3 in China) until July 11 at 7:00 AM PT. 
Every player in a winning region who equips any Rift Rivals icon and plays a game by the end of the tournament will also receive an exclusive, gilded winners’ icon to commemorate the victory. This icon will be delivered directly to each player’s account within two weeks of the end of the tournament. 
Grab yourself a Rift Rivals icon and cheer on your favorite teams as we settle the score between fierce rivals around the world! Click here for more info on when, where, and how to watch."
Check out [this article] for dates and more for all events and tune in for Rift Rivals in early July!

Ask Riot: Autofilled

It just wouldn't be a Thursday without a new edition of Ask Riot. This week's topics include autofilling and why it happens, the cartography of Runeterra, and High ELO spectating:
"Let’s talk high-Elo spectate, Autofill, and maps. 
Why is autofill a thing? Why put players on roles they’re not comfortable with?

When we introduced position select for everyone, we saw queue times spike dramatically as few players wanted to play support. Currently, around 70% of autofills are into support, and 30% all other positions combined. We’re trying to tackle this on the gameplay side first and foremost by making support more fun/rewarding to play. We’ve been adding things like item quests, more interesting active items, a large variety of support champs to play, end-of-game CC and vision scores, and we’re going to continue trying to improve. 
We’ve been experimenting with a number of alternative position select systems. We tried out position veto (which ultimately ended up sucking because basically everyone chose to veto support, lowering matchmaking quality overall). We also tried labels showing which positions would have the fastest queue times, which initially closed the gap, but players went back to their preferred styles after a couple of weeks. Autofill was introduced as a last resort way of ensuring people didn’t sit in queues for ridiculously long stretches. 
Since 2016, we’ve given protection from autofill if you recently filled, played support, or if you’re in a promo series. We’ve been constantly working on the threshold for when autofill activates on each server, and we feel things are generally pretty stable right now. 
The design challenge is trying to strike the balance of you being able to pick your position, not having infinite queue times, and getting fair matches. The only way for autofill to not trigger right now is if each queued position had an equal amount of demand literally all the time (20% of players per position). 
We agree it can feel bad when getting autofilled; you could just become a support Brand one-trick like me, but I realise he’s not for everyone. There are a couple of ways to cheat the system on a per-queue basis, though – here’s a few things you might not know: 
  • The more recently you autofilled, the less likely you are to see it in the next few games 
    • The system is not entirely random. Here’s basically how it works: everyone has a number in the background that goes up slightly every time they don’t fill, and hugely goes down every time they do. When there’s a shortage of a position, the system compares all possible position assignments for all players in the queue, taking into account your secondary choice and how recently you filled – then finds the most suitable candidate based on those factors. 
  • Playing support or filling dramatically lessens your chance of being autofilled, even after protection wears off 
    • Playing a support or fill game voluntarily every now and then means you have control over when and where to take up the mantle – i.e. not living in fear of being filled. If you really want to grind out a bunch of mid games on Saturday, maybe play a couple support games on Friday to lower your fill chance. Doing this also lightens the load on every other player on the server, meaning autofill rates go marginally down for everyone when you pick one of these positions. 
  • Putting support as a secondary choice no longer heavily favours support 
    • At launch, position preference was kinda unforgiving – putting support as your secondary choice was pretty much a guaranteed support. For instance, queuing mid/support got you a support pick around 73% of the time. We’ve done a lot of work to this system, so today it’s much “safer” to choose support as a secondary – mid/support now only gives you support 35% of the time on average, and much less for other primary positions. Speaking of…
  • The likelihood of getting your primary position is much better now 
    • With some recent-ish changes, you’ll now get your primary position in a vast majority of games. You may have noticed getting your primary a lot more over the last few months! 
  • Dodging a lobby does not reduce the chance of you being autofilled next game 
    • This is a pretty big one, if you’re at a high chance of being autofilled after not getting it for a while, then dodging doesn’t prevent you from getting it in the next game.
We realise we haven’t yet addressed a couple of problems: /remakes eating autofill protection (we agree it would be better if it didn’t do this, but because this is a pretty unlikely scenario, it’s not something we’re currently prioritising) and not definitively knowing when you’re at risk of autofill can be an unwelcome surprise when you want that last bit of LP. The latter is a design space we’re looking at right now, but we’ve got nothing locked in just yet. 
Comms Strategist, Meta Game Systems  
There have been a number of interesting lore stories of newly released champions along with some reworks of the old ones. Have you considered updating/modifying the old Valoran world map?

Absolutely! As perhaps one of the biggest cartography nerds in the studio, it hurts my soul every time I see the old Runeterra blob map still out there, every time I see a thread asking for a new map. I (and other Rioters) desperately want to bring you a new Runeterra map to replace the old one and help ground the places and people we talk about. 
Unfortunately, it can take time. We do have something in the works, but depending on the timing of the other things we’d like to release it with, and rounds of feedback to ensure that we’re not setting ourselves up for trouble in the future, it’s not imminent. Think in terms of months – but not (unless disaster happens) in terms of years. 
It will likely show the three currently known continents of Runeterra – Ionia, Valoran and the Southern/Shurima continent. There’s a lot more room on the planet than that – lots of room to expand – but getting the known continents out to you would make my heart sing. This is in addition to our plan to release more cultural artifact maps like the Medarda Heirloom that provide more insight into the biases and relative values of the different cartographers around Runeterra. 

Senior Level Designer 
Will you ever bring the high-Elo spectate function to the new client?

We talked about this recently in a client status update. Reposting here to make sure anyone interested is up to date: 
The ability to spectate high-elo games was removed from the legacy client early in 2016—way before the client update beta—because of a security vulnerability involving the spectator service. This isn’t something we think we can solve immediately, but we are considering tackling this in other ways (perhaps by offering downloadable replays of other players’ games). 
So there’s no real updates to share on this as of yet, but it’s something we’re looking into. 
Senior Writer

Thanks for reading this week’s Ask Riot. 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." 

Quick Hits

[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) Over on twitter, ricklessabandon shared the latest iteration on his Diana PBE changes for 7.14. Expect these in the 6/30 PBE update.
 [1] "should see a new update to diana on the pbe tomorrow, including a fix to a bug in the previous changes 
new changelist and tooltip previews:"
[2] "bugfix was for spell casts made after she started using her attack speed buff -- they weren't properly refreshing her remaining # of attacks"

2) Over on twitter, ricklessabandon also mentioned the PBE Udyr changes will be reverted and likely return in future.
[1] "btw, going to pull the udyr changes from the 7.14 cycle -- didn't get far enough along on iterations to be able to reasonably finish in time" 
[2] "will try to get them finished up for 7.15 though, so udyr changes will reappear on the pbe for the next dev cycle"

3) Here's Riot Zimberfly with a big list of on sfx bufixes in 7.13:
"Hey frondz! In my ongoing effort to squash every single audio bug in League of Legends, here's a big juicy list of fixes live for 7.13"

4) DanielZKlein has been busy on reddit discussing Kayn! In the comment below, he provided an interesting look at the time line for Kayn's development and ability design.

"Hey friend! My tooltips suck: your E change is already the case. Assassin GAINS the additional speed and slow immunity the first time he enters terrain. He never loses it until the ability ends. As for your other changes, you're about 4 months late, and I'll explain why! 
We try to put a version of the champion that's as close to final as possible on the PBE because all last minute changes introduce a great deal of uncertainty and risk. What we use PBE for is compatibility testing (does this crash some kind of PC or Mac that we've not tested it on?), player perception (does this feel broken OP to players? Useless?), early learning curve indications (what parts of the champion do players understand intuitively and what parts do they struggle with even after many games), and readability/counterplay (do enemies understand what's going on? Can they dodge abilities? Do they know what their options are to react to this champion's strengths?) 
What you're suggesting in your Q and to a lesser degree in your R are pattern-level changes; if we thought anything of this magnitude was necessary, we'd have to delay the champion by at least a month. Actually, this is vocabulary that you all may not share with us, so let me explain the life-cycle of a champion's kit! I'm going to use actual dates from Kayn's production here, as best as I recall them. 
We began Discovery on August 2nd, 2016. Discovery is where we ask ourselves: what kind of champion should we make? Kit-wise I had paper kits I was writing up and some very early prototypes. The only thing you'd recognize today was his transformation. His QWER were completely different. 
On September 19th we wrapped up discovery. At this point we were aligned that we want to make a damage-focused jungler who permanently transforms into one of two forms at some point in the game, based on enemy interactions. Now we began Ideation, where we try to get a good grasp of the exact champion we're making. During ideation, I have a full prototype kit with assets stolen from other champions (mine was a purple Tryndamere... because I could fake transformation by switching to King Tryndamere for Assassin and Demonblade Tryndamere for Darkin). At the end of ideation I had 3 out of 5 directionally locked: P/Q/E, with a promising R (which we ended up cutting). 
Directionally locked meant I knew E was wall walking; I didn't know details, how it was shown to the enemy, how you could interfere with it, etc; I just knew enough that we could start exploring the visuals and sounds of phasing through walls. 
We wrapped discovery on December 9th and technically started pre-production, with the understanding that we wouldn't get much done before the holiday break. When we came back into the office in January, we started in full force. In pre-prod I lock down my kit completely and we figure out whether or not we can technically make the champion. It was pretty hard to land three forms under our 30 MB memory budget, but we pulled it off. At the end of pre-prod, you have PATTERN LOCK. That is to say, you know what all your abilities do and all you can adjust are numbers. Obviously you break pattern lock here and there (adding the requirement to damage an enemy before you could R them was technically breaking pattern lock, but it was absolutely required for counterplay; I think I added that some time in May), but mostly you're saying, this is the kit we will ship. 
We wrapped pre-production and achieved full pattern lock on the 24th of February. This is the latest date I could have implemented your above Q change (because it's art impacting; more range means the dash has to look different in animation, VFX, and sound different in SFX) 
We then built the champion from March to May 26th; that was production, and at the end of that I need to have final tooltips, final numbers where they are spotlight impacting (spotlight was recorded in early June; if I made any of your Q/R changes above, the spotlight would be lying). You'll notice there's like a month before we went to PBE. That time is called post-production, and it's where we fix bugs and polish the champion's assets to be as good as they can be. Any change made at this point sets everyone back, because they have to go and check the new stuff for bugs, potentially start over on polishing animations/vfx etc. 
Oof, this got very wordy, but I hope it's useful! Your smaller number changes may well be among the things we look at once the champion goes live if we find out that, say, Assassin is too weak or Darkin too strong, but I think that has yet to be seen."

5) As previously announced, tickets for the EU LCS Summer Finals in Paris, France are now on sale!

6) Our VS. event featuring Dawnbringer Riven and Nightbringer Yasuo ended as time passed to June 29th. Look for more details soon regarding the winner and don't forget to craft your Victor’s Emblem once it is unlocked.


Last up, a few reminders on upcoming and ending soon promotions and sales!
  • As mentioned in 7.13 notesLegend of the Poro King  returns to the RGMQ 6/30/17 12:00 PT - 7/04/17 04:00 PT and 7/07/17 12:00 PT - 7/11/17 04:00 PT.

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