[Updated] Red Post Collection: Runes Content Development Peek, Ask Riot on RGMs and Balancing Ryze, & More

Posted on at 12:01 PM by Aznbeat
[Update: Added a small Mid-Patch update!]

Today's red post collection includes a peek at the development of the Runes Reforged system, a new Ask Riot covering topics such as balancing Ryze and nerfing Faker, as well as a few reminders for the upcoming week. 
Continue reading for more info:

Table of Contents

Mid Patch Updates

A small mid-patch update for Aurelion Sol went out on 7/7:
Aurelion Sol 
  • BUGFIX Aurelion Sol's stars are no longer visually misaligned with their actual area of effect while W - Celestial Expansion is active"

Runes Content Development Peek 

Over on the boards, Riot Reinboom gave a preview of some of the runes that may be coming with the Runes Reforged update in what they are calling the Rune's Corner:
"Hello! Riot Reinboom here! 
This is our first Rune’s Corner post! Starting today, the team working on Rune’s Reforged will be posting more frequently so we can get you guys up to speed on our design thoughts, explain our decisions, sneak peak new runes, and more importantly, gather your feedback. 
Today we’ll be talking about returning choices and changes to them, the Adaptive keyword, and runes with sharp trade-offs. 
Runes Returned 
The Keystone Masteries system was a design test bed for us in preparation for Runes Reforged. Before committing to the larger project, we needed to see if the direction actually improved the game. We were interested in answering questions like “is concentrating power a valid design strategy here?”, “what happens to the system after it goes through a number of balance updates?”, and especially “will players actually enjoy this?” 
We found clear upper and lower bounds of how powerful the keystones can be, as well as a few points to watch out for that we weren’t expecting. We also made an important discovery in that if we want to support pregame decision making, we would need more space than just 9 Keystones. Concentration of power allows for creative choices outside of Keystones as well. 
A Dangerous Revelation 
Here’s an example of a mastery reforged as a Rune: 
Takedowns restore 15% missing health. 
This is an amplified Dangerous Game, a mastery with a lot of great qualities. It’s a clear bid of power and it enhances decisions you want to make. More importantly, not everyone likes the strategy proposed by it - it’s not for everyone - and that’s good. 
You’ll also notice that Bloodlust is just more healing than Dangerous Game. Runes, in contrast to their mastery predecessors, have a lot more power concentrated into their individual effects. 
Keystone Exploration 
The few Keystone Runes that are being brought over in some form are also undergoing some changes: 
Ruined King’s Tribute 
Every 4 seconds in combat your next attack deals damage to nearby champions and large monsters equal to 3% of your max health and heals you for [20 -75]% of this amount based on level. Ranged Champions: Damage and healing are halved. 
Keystones are only slightly powering up from their current impact, allowing us to achieve the level of impact needed to make the choice worthwhile. We’re also trying new tooltip formats, both a “short and to the point” and “long and with all the juicy deets” - both of these are available so we can get the more subtle interactions out there. 
With the Runes Reforged announcement you got to see the Runes Reforged take on delivering Cooldown Reduction by way of Overcharger. You may have also noticed the word “adaptive” there. This is a keyword you’ll see elsewhere in Runes, such as Perfectionist: 
While above 80% health, gain up to +20 Ability Power or +14 Attack Damage, Adaptive (based on level) 
Anything labeled as Adaptive adapts to your champion and in-game item build. If a Rune offers Adaptive Attack Damage or Ability Power, it will grant you one or the other based on whichever of Attack Damage or Ability Power you have more of within your items (defaulting to the stat listed first). 
When designing new Runes, we ran into an interesting problem: Runes are a huge stepping stone of power for champions in the early game, and feeling unsupported by the Runes system feels really bad. But at the same time, we don’t want to drown you in Runes. Oof.    
We went about tackling this space from a lot of different directions. One major slice of that is “what to do about all those spellslingers who scale off Attack Damage?” Each Rune Path aims at a section of characters, and the Sorcery Path — a path that used to provide quite a bit of Ability Power and tools for mages — ultimately delivers the kind of thing that the Ezreals or the Jayces of the world want. The Ability Power offered by Sorcery was wrong for these champions. We played around with just giving both stats, but champions that scaled off both just go crazy. 
Runes can't rely on changes throughout the game. With items, being able to respond to investments like my opponent is tanking up is important - and there's inherent flexibility with selling and buying - adding more flexibility just makes it so that you can't ever respond sanely to your opponent. With Runes though, you're locked from the moment the loading screen pops up, meaning we can allow more inherent flexibility on each Rune. 
Enter “Adaptive”. 
Back to Perfectionist 
Once Adaptive came into being during our testing, we found we were able to try out more Runes that offered strategy synergies in places we didn’t expect. 

While above 80% health, gain up to +20 Ability Power or +14 Attack Damage, Adaptive (based on level) 
Perfectionist is a great example of such a case. Perfectionist was designed with a less explosive, more small trade oriented lane in mind. Its aim was to build off of great trading patterns and let you synergize with a teammate bringing you heals. What we also discovered though, was a desire that wasn’t exclusive to the me-and-my-friend lane. The slower brawls of top lane showed a different type of promise. Mids who were always at max because they were roaming anywhere but mid was also hungry for the interaction. Adaptive allowed us to scratch all of these itches without having to recreate the Rune again with slightly different stats. 
Sharper Trade Offs 
With Runes, we’ll also be exploring a space we’ve historically shied away from: effects with direct negatives. 
These type of “kiss/curse” effects are tricky. Very few people want to actually be bad at something, especially after the few games of novelty wears off. Good kiss/curse highlights the strengths you gain for the trade off. In this way, the curse is more “what can I get away with?” 
The Inspiration Path, a path focusing on indirect power and rule twisting, has a clear example we’re pushing into this space: 
Magical Footwear 
You get free boots at 10 minutes but you cannot buy boots before then. These boots grant you +10 movement speed. 
Magical footwear is a reflection of this kiss/curse philosophy. In every matchup, movement speed is powerful. Against a few matchups, you can get away with hard pushing just for your powerful large purchases… at least for awhile. Magical Footwear wants to check that bet, in exchange for being able to figure out where the curse isn’t really a full curse, where you can eek away from certain slower skillshots or dance out of targeted but close range characters, you get the benefits of a free pair of boots for when you start needing the movement for all the other champions in the game. And a little extra on top of that. 
You’ll see a few more new mechanics and philosophies contained throughout the Runes Reforged system in the coming months, and we’ll be getting more details of the system itself out soon, so hang tight. 
Thanks for reading! We’ll be hanging about in the comments section and we’re excited to hear your feedback!"

When asked about how the "magical footwear" rune would work on Cassiopeia, Riot Reinboom responded:
What if I take Magical Footwear on Cassiopeia?
Cassiopeia prevents Magical Footwear from granting you boots."

She went on to say:
"Yes, it is bad to take it on Cassiopeia. Though, it's not so different from mana runes existing alongside champions like Vladimir."

RiotWrekz added:
is magical footwear going to be looked into as a oppressive strategy for certain rabbits that like to abuse other forms of mobility?
this could be a no downside rune for her as in many cases you really dont even need boots for the first 10 anyways and many would argue another 10 MS on her would just be even more oppressive.
The tradeoff in many of these cases is opportunity cost. Magical Footwear is strong but it is also delayed."  

RiotWrekz went on:
So for magical footwear, does this mean we get a free Tabi's or treads of our choosing at ten minutes or is it a whole other thing?
You get a free pair of Boots of Speed with an extra benefit on them, you have to upgrade them yourself but they keep the extra movement speed."

Riot Reinboom provided more on Magical Footwear:
Is magical footwear its own item? Meaning it doesn't build into the other boots?
It builds into all the same boots that Boots of Speed does. And confers the MS bonus to those boots as well." 

When asked about what number of runes we might see with the new system, Riot Reinboom replied:
How many different Runes do you guys plan to have in Runes Reforged?
Approximately 60 total for the initial release of Runes Reforged. 
(More or fewer is possible as needs reveal themselves)"

RiotWrekz also popped in to give more context on the 'Perfectionist' rune:
Let's say i take Perfectionist as Kennen. I start game with Dorans blade, so it gives me AD? 
Then, after my first buy, i grab Hextech revolver, do i now get AP instead? 
Yes, that's exactly how it would work. That's kind of the "advanced" use of it since very few champions build a different stat early than their main build."

Riot Reinboom also chimed in:
"Correct. There's a lot of stat swapping plays from Adaptive."

RiotWrekz commented on runes for champions who rely on attack speed to jungle:
Will there be anything for people who rely on attack speed to jungle? (or rely on attack speed in general)
Currently we are exploring a version of Hunter's Machete with 15% AS vs Monsters on it. It is best if Runes Reforged doesn't let you optimize early clear speed because that rapidly compresses to a single viable build for jungling so we are looking at other ways than pregame to influence the jungle."

As for when we would start to see what a full rune tree looked like, RiotWrekz replied:
I am a huge fan of the way adaptive works for off-builds, allowing the AP Ezreals and AD Kennen's of the world to take runes aimed at their playstyle and not just have random excess power from the other build's stats. If you guys can answer this, when are we likely to see a whole rune tree or even a mockup so we'll have a slightly better sense of how the system will work once finalized?
We will be continuing to reveal things gradually, but we can start mentioning what Path a rune is in when we discuss them. Would that help? All the paths have elements in rapid iteration."

On if there would be runes for every stat, Riot Reinboom responded:
Will there be a "Stat-Rune" for every stat, like how it currently works with runes on Live? What I am trying to say is that on Live you can get EVERY stat in runes (Pen runes, AD runes, AP runes, CDR runes, Armor runes, etc.), will these come back? Mainly a question for last hitting (lack of AD runes) and unique playstyles (29% AS runes for Yasuo or Mana runes for Ryze).
No, not EVERY stat. We won't include a -% time dead rune, for example.
Many stats will be reflected again in the new runes system though. AD (by way of Adaptive) is there, but also Armor, MR, and CDR we've already previewed. Not every stat will come back in the same form (see: Overcharger with CDR), but we'd definitely like to get back any stats that created interesting decision making. We're trying out AS and early %MS runes internally, for example, and figuring out where they fit."

Ask Riot: Poro King Again?

A new Ask Riot is now on the Nexus site, this week covering rotating game modes and the frequency of some modes showing up, balancing Ryze, and when Riot would nerf Faker:
"This week it’s smurfs, rotating game modes, and tweaking Ryze. 
Why do Legend of the Poro King and Ascension appear so frequently compared to other Rotating Game Modes?

We still aim to build new modes and release them as often as we can to you guys (we just released Blood Moon and Dark Star modes this year). Unfortunately, we can’t build a whole Dark Star mode every month though. In between, rather than have nothing at all on the weekends, we bring back some reliable favourites (EG: Ascension & Poro King), so there’s still something fun to play when you want a break from the regular game. We feel like this is better than the alternative of nothing at all to play in between each new big mode. For those of you who remember, we actually used to run game modes that way pre-RGM, and it felt pretty quiet for the long stretch between each mode (~3 months at a time). This way, there’s still some fun stuff around on the weekends to play with, even if it is something that’s been seen before. 
We’ve also been steadily building new client compatibility for the more successful older RGM modes (One For All, Hexakill), but #gamedev means it’s slow going sometimes. We’re doing this in parallel with building our new modes (EG: Blood Moon & Dark Star). The good news is, we now have the Doom Bots of Doom stood up in new client! Newer modes are also dev-freebies with being built in the new client from scratch, so they are much easier to bring back (Blood Moon just went live and Dark Star is coming up again soon). 
Lead Designer, Rotating Game Modes 
How does Riot feel about smurfs? Should smurfing be allowed in a competitive game like League?

We’ve talked about this before (a bit), but at the end of the day, my opinion is that smurfs do more harm than good. The promise of a competitive game is that matchmaking will provide you with a match that you have a fair chance to win, but when the players on either team may not actually be at the skill level they claim to be, then that promise sort of goes out the window. 
The reason we haven’t taken a more aggressive stance against smurfing (aside from it just being a challenging thing to completely discourage) is that we think there are some pretty good reasons for why players choose to smurf. The three big ones are:  
  1. I want to play with a friend of a different skill level. League places a lot of restrictions on how I can do this, so it’s easier just to make a new account.
  2. I want to try out a new champion or role without the risk that I will tank my ELO.
  3. I’m stuck at the steep curve of climbing through ranks or champion mastery or whatever, and I miss that time when progression came really quickly. 
If we can come up with good solutions for those problems (and we have some ideas that we are exploring), then we’d feel better about making it harder to start a new account solely for the purpose of disguising your actual skill level. 

Design Director, League of Legends  
What makes Ryze so hard to balance properly?

Ryze has been a hard champion to balance due to things about his kit that make him perform much better in some circumstances than in others. 
Key factors: 
  • Ryze’s ult rewards team coordination heavily. He performs much better for organized teams than randomly match made ones as a result.
  • Ryze gains more power from low latency server connections than most champs.
  • Ryze has a long, steep mastery curve. That means that there’s a much bigger than average difference between a new and an experienced player on Ryze than would be the case for most champions. 
When those factors all come together in particular is when he’s strongest, and therefore what we have to at least somewhat balance around. If we’re balancing for Ryze when he’s played by an organized team, on a good connection, by someone who’s played 100+ games on him however he’s going to really struggle when played in a random team, with average latency, by someone who’s only played a dozen games or so. All champions have some degree of that discrepancy of course, but in Ryze’s case it’s much more exaggerated than almost any other champion. 
Lead Gameplay Designer 
Do you have any plans to nerf Faker? He has no counter-play and feels awful to lane against. 
Nice try, Crown. 
Managing Editor

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

1) When asked about what was happening with the Miss Fortune splash updates, Reav3 gave a quick update:

"The MF splashes are currently on hold as the team is focused on polishing up Urgots splashes"
2) Riot Mememememe tweeted about a Mordekaiser fix we would be seeing in the Tuesday deploy for Patch 7.15:
"Tuesday 7.15 PBE deploy will have a bugfix for Mordekaiser W, where overlapping circles sometimes won't deal damage to more than 4 targets."

3) Reav3 commented that he would have a new champion roadmap post out later in the month now that Urgot's update had been revealed:
So now that Urgot is revealed are we going to hear the next two reworks after Eve sometime in the next couple weeks?
I should have a new Champion Roadmap Blog out later this month"


Last up, a few reminders on upcoming and ending soon promotions and sales!
  • Several new regional RIFT RIVALS summoner icons are in the shop for 1 IP through July 11th at 7:00 AM PT. See post for more information on how to obtain golden winner's icons!
  • 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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