Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 8/8, Champion Insights: Urgot, Runes Corner, & more

Posted on at 3:43 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for 8/8, a Champion Insights for Urgot, a new Runes Corner on Inspiration Runes, more on emotes, & more!
Continue reading for more information!

Quick Gameplay Thoughts 8/8

Here's Meddler with his quick gameplay thoughts for August 8, covering AzirKayn, and more 7.17 balance changes:
"Hi folks, 
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: 
We're still working on the Azir update, with a focus on reducing his ranges to give him more meaningful weaknesses, especially during the laning phase, and then putting power elsewhere. That's looking promising, and still feels very Azir like, though we've got some concern it may not necessarily go far enough. Next step is getting a bunch of really experienced Azir players in to the office for some testing, see what their experiences (and the experiences of people playing against them) are like. 
There's a change in 7.16 that makes it so that DoTs don't stack Kayn's passive extremely fast, which was allowing him to access his transformation much quicker than intended. That will probably have a minimal effect on jungle Kayn, but might hit lane Kayn pretty hard. If that's the case we'll be going back soon and taking a look at lane Kayn and whether we should be giving him some power in some other way. We've always expected Kayn to be a good pick as a jungler given the way much of his kit works, from what we've seen so far laning Kayn also looks like it might be balanceable alongside jungle as well though. Can't make any promises yet, but going to be digging into that more, especially if the fore mentioned change has a large impact. 
7.17 Balance changes 
Brief context on a number of upcoming changes. Note there's other stuff as well coming for 7.17 too of course.
  • Draven Nerf - Currently looking at the passive, in particular considering more stacks being lost on death (greater difference in performance between a Draven who's cashing those in well and someone who's dying more).
  • Hecarim Buff - Testing having the R fear duration scale with distance traveled, rewarding longer and riskier R casts. Something like 0.75-1.5s, rather than the current flat 1s.
  • Leona Buff - Trying Sunlight dealing more damage, but having a shorter duration. Leona struggles especially in higher MMR games, so looking at something that rewards good allied coordination. Also looking at a Q CD buff.
  • Janna Nerf - Removing overall power and looking to add a bit more skill expression to her kit. At present we're trying higher CDs, with W reducing CDs/restoring mana on champion hit to reward more aggressive/risky use of that. Not yet sure if that'll be the final direction though.
  • Zed Buff - Zed's underperforming a bit, with the exception of periods where any of his core items are overtuned. His damage is still pretty solid though, so we're looking at other buffs instead, with a W duration increase (4.5s to 5.0s) currently on the cards.
Ornn's Upgraded Items 
Brief note on these. Any team should get some decent value from having Ornn's upgraded items available to them, some combinations of champions will certainly benefit more than others though. That's something we believe's appropriate with Ornn. All champs have synergies with others, and in Ornn's case some of the 'who do I want to pick in combination with Ornn' decision revolves around those upgraded items. We'll likely adjust which exact items get upgraded at various points, and what stats they give, goal isn't to add enough so that every single champ can get a really good choice for themselves though."

When asked about UdyrMeddler replied:
So was just wandering if there was any news on the recent udyr changes that got reverted
Udyr work's probably on hold until after 7.18 ships. Will be getting back to him soonish though."

On MalphiteMeddler commented:
Has any work been put into making malphite's kit have a little more skill expression? I believe it was teased that he would have something like the recent garen changes this coming patch, 7.16 but I've seen nothing of them so far.
Trying some Malph stuff around when his shield's up (dramatically larger Armor bonus when passive is up basically). Showing some promise, not there entirely yet though from what I've seen."

As for LeBlancMeddler replied:
I see a lot of people have asked this in this thread but still hasnt gotten an answer, whats going on with the leblanc changes?
Still being worked on, though progress will be pretty slow until the Worlds patch locks (7.18) since the designer on LB's one of the primary's on that too."

Meddler also answered a couple questions on Azir:
About Azir, is there a posibility of seeing an ability replaced or drastically changed (like Rek'Sai's ult or Tristana's E) or will we see changes but keeping the core of the skills similar or the same to what we already see on live, mostly just curious. Also have to say, really apreriate these post and any other similar ones since it sparks so much disccusion among my friends and adds another element through which we engage with the game.
At present we're trying same abilities, just heavily tweaked. If that doesn't work out we'd probably then be looking at approaches that replaced or significantly modified an ability's functionality."

Meddler continued:
If you guys are going with the reduced range option for Azir, please make E feel good to use on enemies again. The spell itself has felt hollow ever since the knock up was removed. 
If I may ask though, what made you decide to go with the reduced range option? More people seemed to want to keep his range and get rid of the shuffle because it was more thematic.
Part of the concern is that leaving Azir's range intact doesn't arguably means he still doesn't have weakness/counterplay. He'll still stab people at long ranges in lane, takes less risk if he's not sometimes going in with E and has even more reason to save other tools for self peel. Cutting his ranges down by contrast gives him a risk profile closer to those of other sustained mages and marksmen, putting more emphasis on his positioning in some respects, with E as a windowed tool to go in or out. 
As said though we're also still testing this approach, particularly whether it does or doesn't go far enough in improving the playing against Azir experience."

As for Ornn's upgrade items and how he will work in different gamemodes, Meddler replied:
Will Wooglet's Witchcap have an upgrade on Twisted Treeline, since you can't buy Rabadon's there?
It will, though that probably won't be in for initial PBE. 
We've also got some ARAM specific rules for the other part of Ornn's passive (shop anywhere) coming, most likely a CD on how often it can be used there. That won't be when he first hits PBE either though, so anyone ARAMing with him might see some pretty out of line stuff."

Champion Insights: Urgot

A new Champion Insights article for Urgot is now out, covering his ideation and design:
"Within the last few years, Taric’s fabulousness reached new heights, Poppy became adorable, and Warwick got wolfier. Meanwhile, one of League’s most memed men sat in the shadows, watching and waiting for his time on the operating table. It was there he’d be fitted with 50% more legs, 5/7 more depth and relatability, and 100% more shotgun knees. 
Urgot was ready to rise from the slab.

Urgot’s old identity was defined by ugliness. He was League’s grotesque guy, and he was probably proud of it. But that’s not enough to make for a compelling character. Urgot needed to be more… human. “From the beginning, we tried to understand whyUrgot did what he did,” says narrative writer David “Interlocutioner” Slagle. “This grounded him in being a person, not just a kill machine.” 
Urgot’s dapper jackets in early concept art helped devs think of him as more than just a monster.
New Urgot was once a Noxian executioner who believed strength should determine who rules—an ideal he personally pursued by chopping people’s heads off. But one day, Swain sent Urgot on a mission to Zaun which was actually a setup. Betrayed and defeated, Urgot was dragged deep into the chemtech mines. It was in that hellish prison he witnessed the constant struggle for survival and heard incredible stories of Zaun’s technology. To Urgot, this place was a real testament to strength. 
“He thinks Zaun is everything Noxus said it was, and Noxus is just politics,” Interlocutioner says. 
In Zaun, only the worthy survive, and Urgot believes he’s worthy enough not just to survive, but to thrive. And when someone willing to go to any length for strength suddenly has access to body augmentations, the decision is simple logic: Is this shotgun knee stronger than my normal knee? Yes? Okay, replace it. Urgot’s power grew with every augmentation, and he soon seized control of the prison and busted the joint wide open. 
Some of Urgot’s early art was a little more quirky to see if he should be more “weird” than “grotesque and scary.”
Once freed, Urgot set out to eliminate all of Zaun’s chem barons. It’s not like he’s a vigilante seeking justice (although he may think otherwise). To Urgot, these chem barons are interfering with the natural chaos of survival by introducing law to the lawless, albeit illegally. Their power comes from money and influence, not individual strength, and Urgot is not okay with that. For every baron he tracks down and slaughters, he chemically burns their insignia into his flesh as a memento. It’s not long before Urgot’s name is recognized across the city; followers continuously flock to his side, attracted to power like moths to a flame. 
In a way, Urgot becomes Zaun’s supervillain. 
Some of Urgot’s earliest inspirations actually came from Batman villains, who are often over-the-top in both theatrics and philosophy. Yet when you examine their character arcs, you can understand how and why they ended up the way they are—which was the goal for Urgot. “Characters like the Penguin and the Joker are dark,” illustrator Victor “3rdColossus” Maury says, “but their backstories and theatricality make them iconic and entertaining.” 
Like many Batman villains, Urgot loves toying with his victims, and his deranged playfulness and sharp intellect make him more than just a brute. For awhile, Urgot was also extra theatrical in-game. His taunt was a minute-long monologue that only ended if he was attacked, but that got old really fast. Perhaps even more dramatic was when he’d whip out an organ during his ult, playing a lovely tune and monologuing at you as you were whirled into your doom. 
Sadly, this didn’t make it because the duration of his ult was cut too short during development. 
The original drawing that inspired Urgot’s ult.
The reason OG Urgot had mechanized legs was because he was chopped in half by Garen and literally needed a new lower body. Updated Urgot left Noxus in one piece and didn’t need all those legs anymore, but an Urgot with human legs didn’t seem like an Urgot at all. “I remember us saying, ‘Man, it’d be great if he could actually find a way to use those legs in-game,’” game designer David “RiotRepertoir” Capurro says. 
Then it happened. “I was sitting in a meeting, thinking about Urgot,” RiotRepertoir says, “and I was like, ‘Oh, what if each leg had a separate cooldown, and they stomped people?’” But with only four legs, each quadrant Urgot could stomp would be too big and feel too clunky. So instead of four legs, Urgot needed six legs
“Crazy as it is, this idea really defined the character going forward,” 3rdColossus says. 
This stomping didn’t last long before it was replaced by flamethrower knees—the predecessor to the shotgun knees. “By the way, I couldn’t believe people were so hyped about this,” RiotRepertoir says. “I was like, ‘Are you sure? You’re saying the words ‘shotgun knees,’ and you’re saying it’s great, and I was like…huh?’ Really, I was excited and a little relieved players also seemed to like it.” 
Urgot’s six legs were a major breakthrough in development, but that doesn’t mean they were easy to design. “I’ve been working on champions for six years,” art lead Larry “The Bravo Ray” Ray says, “and Urgot’s legs had to be the most challenging thing I’ve ever worked on.” Whatever mechanical parts Urgot used in-game needed to make sense. There was no room for random metallic bits that didn’t help him move or bend or mess shit up. Plus, all of his augmented parts needed to be things he could actually find in the depths of Zaun—so no lasers or flamethrowers or other fancy things. 
“Larry would come in and be like, ‘Alright guys, today I engineered this part of the machine,’” says RiotRepertoir. “He’d bring in new sets of schematics every day.” 
Old Urgot’s deformed, bloated body coupled with his violent one-track mind made him feel really inhuman, which was part of the reason he was so difficult to relate to. One of the goals for Urgot’s new design was for his humanity to shine through, particularly in his intelligent eyes and expressive face. His skin may be sickly pale, with rotting flesh where it meshes with metal, and he may be half mechanized, but he is still distinctly human. 
And when you stare into his eyes as he slowly dismembers you, you’ll know this is not a monster driven by blind bloodlust. This is a calculated, purposeful, and merciless visionary.

Runes Corner: Inspiration Runes Slot Sneak Peek

This week's new Runes Corner is now available! Riot Reinboom talks about runes from the Inspiration Tree:
"Hello! Welcome to this week's Rune Corner! 
I’m Riot Reinboom, a Tech Game Designer on Runes Reforged, bringing you a glimpse into the “weird one” of Runes Paths: Inspiration. 
WIP DISCLAIMER: Runes are in active development. This means that names, numbers, icons, game rules, or pretty much anything you can see can change before release. Of course, if there’s anything that you really like in particular make sure to call it out. 
I’ll be previewing you an Inspiration runes slot, one we’ve actually previewed a single Rune from before. Store Credit, and the rest of the Runes in this slot all aim to ask of you one major thing: Outwit your opponent in the early game. 
... but before all that, a new Item.

Stopwatch - 600 Gold 
UNIQUE Active - Stasis: Become invulnerable and untargetable for 2.5 seconds, but be unable to move, attack, cast spells, or use items during this time (One time use) 
Stopwatch is new component of Zhonya's and Guardian Angel. It's meant to let you react to a painful situation the moment it becomes an issue and follow up with a solution for the rest of the game. 
"One time use" means that when you use Stopwatch, it shatters:
Broken Stopwatch - 600 Gold 
Is broken, but can still be ugpraded. (After breaking one Stopwatch, the shopkeeper will only sell you Broken Stopwatches.)
A Broken Stopwatch can still be upgraded into Zhonya's and Guardian Angel, it just can't be used again. 
But... this is Runes corner, what's with the item? 
Perfect Timing  
Start the game with a Commencing Stopwatch that transforms into a Stopwatch after 6 minutes. Reduces the cooldown of Zhonyas Hourglass and Guardian Angel by 15%. 

Perfect Timing enables Stopwatch potentially even before your first back. It turns Stopwatch into a tool to let you transform an early risky play into being solidly in your favor. 
Perfect Timing is meant as one of the sharpest reactions in Runes Reforged. A direct answer or enabler to early dives in very specific matchups, at the cost of asking you to consider what your Runes build looks like with the Inspiration style defining at least one other option.  
In addition to deconstructing item breakpoints (Store Credit) and questioning the results of early dives, Inspiration has one last toy in this slot. This one for pathing and vision play: 
While Flash is on cooldown it is replaced by Channel-Blink. Channel-Blink: Channel for 2.5 seconds to blink to a new location. 
Cooldown: 20 seconds. Goes on a 10 second cooldown when you enter champion combat.

What does it mean to channel a Flash? Well... 
Activation details: Moving doesn’t cancel the channel (but also doesn’t move you much), but being disabled or releasing the button early (before the first blue line) cancels it. 
Channel-Blink gives you the map movement and big plays setup of Flash at any time you wouldn't otherwise have Flash. From creative jungle invades to side lane bush control, Channel-Blink enables a highly specialized type of map mobility and strategic level avoidance. 
And of course, this Runes slot also includes the previously revealed Store Credit: 
Store Credit 
You can enter debt to buy items. The amount you can borrow increases over time. Debt limit: 150 + 5/minute 
Lending Fee: 50 gold per item 
We're really excited to see which Paths your inspiration takes you with these new Runes, as well as any other thoughts on them. We'll be hanging out in the comments section for a while to answer questions. :) 
You can check the previous Runes Corner posts here:

Riot Reinboom commented on fears of mobility creep when introducing another flash:
Hey guys can i ask about some more in depth thoughts about channeled blink, because i feel you guys are going to risk running into more issues with mobility creep with another flash
Mobility creep is extremely sensitive. Especially when considering lane matchups. Too much mobility: 
  • Invalidates entire patterns, notably a lot of skill shot reliant characters lose a significant amount of reliability against skill shot characters
  • Offers too many escapes - high mobility can leave characters without a weakness, since they leave the fight before their weaknesses can be realized
  • Makes vision play more challenging - mobility cancels out a large portion of common warding areas
  • Makes engage play more common - mobility forces action in large areas of space / staging space is increased
Channel-Blink is specifically aiming to work within the last 2, but we're doing everything we can to avoid the first 2. The very last one we even don't want it to go too far on and feel like we can pull back. 
Channel-Blink has primarily an out of combat usage, or single engage. The forced 10 second cooldown when in champion combat keeps it away from consistent team fight usage, and the long channel time makes poor as an escape tool. Keep in mind as well that accessing it requires both a rune AND having Flash on cooldown. 
I think this will offer challenges along the way, but this is one we'd be comfortable killing quickly if we discover its entering "as mandatory as Flash" territory."

Pentakill AMA on Reddit

After the release of Pentakill's latest album, Grasp of the Undying, a reddit AMA was held with the composers, artists, and more:
"[AMA] We're the Pentakill team (at least those who survived the recording sessions), here to talk about the production of Grasp of the Undying. Ask us anything!

UPDATE: That's all for today folks! We'll pop in on occasion throughout the day but this concludes the main segment of the AMA. 
Sup /r/leagueoflegends
We're the Rioters behind Grasp of the Undying, the most recent release from Runeterra’s most brutal - and dysfunctional - metal band, Pentakill. If you haven’t heard the new album, you can listen here. Crank the volume, upset your neighbors, then come back here and ask us anything. 
Joining us today are composers, artists, and more:
Let's do this thing."
Community user Stukov gathered all the interesting responses in a handy document for easy perusal!

[Pentakill AMA Responses]

Emotes Feedback: Muting, Spamming, and PBE

Here's Tim Teemo with more on Emotes and being able to mute them:
"TL;DR: You will be able to mute emotes, and we are ready to limit how spammable emotes are. We’ll continue to listen to feedback as these go to PBE and make changes accordingly. 
First off... wow! We received an incredible amount of feedback and reaction yesterday after we announced we are bringing emotes permanently to League. This feedback is what helps us deliver a better experience, so we sincerely appreciate hearing your concerns upfront. 
This is one of the reasons we’re gonna keep emotes on PBE for so long: So we can continue to make changes based on your feedback as you try them out. 
We understand the clear concern about emotes potentially causing toxicity/BM. We also know that this product won’t be for everybody, so we can see why frictionless opting-out has been a major thread so far. 
This is why we tied emotes to chat mutes. This type of muting is intended to punish people who are misusing the system, rather than blocking everybody right off the bat. In our tests, emotes have led to some really memorable moments when used in earnest, and we want to give those a chance. 
Still, we’re ready to explore broader mute options like a “mute all enemy emotes” button, a “mute emotes” button for each teammate (similar to the ping muting button), or both. 
There are systems that we already have in place, too, that we can adjust during testing. One that’s in place is an “ammo” system, which limits the ability to spam emotes (similar to how pings currently work). We have a lot of leeway to make this system as strict as it needs to be. We can adjust how frequently emotes can be used before a timeout period, how long that timeout period is, how frequently emotes can be used at all, etc. 
Emotes will be in testing on PBE until we are ready to do a staged rollout starting with a small number of regions. If you have a PBE account, we would really appreciate you giving them a try and leaving feedback as soon as you’ve had a chance to play with them. 
Thank you again—really. We know there’s work to do, and we’re excited to start iterating based on these conversations."

Patch Chat with the Playtest Team - Patch 7.16 

Here's Riot King Cobra with a new Patch Chat for 7.16:
"Header by inkiness 
Hey, everyone! I'm Riot King Cobra and it's time for another round of Patch Chat! These threads serve as opportunity for us to talk about the patches that come out every two weeks. You can find the most recent patch by following this link: Patch 7.16 Notes
I'm on Riot's Playtest Team, a group of high elo players who play with the new champions, reworks, balance tweaks, items, and map updates before they are released. It's our job to the test the changes that our designers come up with and ensure that we're introducing positive changes to League in terms of both balance and fun. Ask us questions - we'll try to answer as many as we can! 
The major goal of 7.16 was balance towards high-level competitive play. We're hitting Caitlyn (more), Ancient Coin, Cinderhulk, and a slew of mid laners. 
All of us on the Playtest Team are avid gamers so feel free to talk to us as fellow LoL players! 
  • Ben “Cezium” Burkhardt
  • Don “Aesah” Ding
  • Dan “penguin” Hardison
  • Robert “ROBERTxLEE” Lee
  • Rob "King Cobra" Rosa
  • Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes
  • Arnor "Hjarta" Halldorsson
  • Brian "Madness Heroo" Pressoir
  • Christopher "Ender L" Frierson
  • Christopher "Auberaun" Roberts
  • Nick "Endstep" Frijia"

Quick Hits 

 1) Riot Zeronis commented on the design choice for Star Guardian Ahri not having her whiskers:
"Hello, I'm the concept artist on Ahri. 
Great catch! This was a tough decision for sure. The whiskers were removed to make the thematic and her aesthetic to be stronger and powerful. We wanted her to feel regal/pristine and a step above season 1 guardians on an aesthetic level. We even thought of other markings like hearts or stars on her face but felt off balanced and distracting. 
This was discussed during pre-production and even during the production but ultimately the team felt this was the right decision. Thank you for the feedback. "
2) After the announcement for Emotes going to the PBE for testing , Ghostcrawler took to Reddit to talk more about them:
"Hey guys, 
As always, we appreciate all of the feedback. We didn't want you to think we weren't paying attention. 
Emotes are a very different kind of feature for League, no question. At this stage in the game's lifespan, we could choose to be really conservative, and just update a few champions here and there but not do anything that would risk changing the game too much. We hate that idea though. We think you guys deserve more. We think League needs to continue to evolve. So we're going to take some risks at times, and hope that more of them end up working out than crashing and burning. 
I'll be totally honest than when I first heard the pitch for emotes (several years ago now) I was skeptical. I wasn't sure what the value was. I didn't really understand the player need. Are these only used to troll? Isn't that something we're trying to move away from? 
I changed my mind when I saw them being used in an early playtest. I recall somebody did something stupid like a tower dive and flashed an emote that basically signaled a "Doh!" to the team. They knew he made a bad call and was admitting it, and that defused the situation. I'm not saying that the intention of emotes is for something so narrow. I'm saying I recognized that maybe we did need to offer players more options to communicate. Text doesn't convey emotion. Voice alone doesn't always convey emotion. 
Face-to-face interaction is still the most effective (in terms of conveying the entire message, context and non-verbal cues and all) way for humans to communicate. That's the space we're trying to explore here. 
League is a team-based game, but we all know how difficult it can be sometimes just to communicate with other players. And there are a lot of different ways to communicate. Coordinating strategy is certainly a big part of that, but also just kind of expressing how you feel at the moment or even killing time. Things like dances get used for this now, but we thought there could be a larger, quicker-to-use feature to let players signal their intent, emotion or just how they feel a the moment. 
So that was sort of the origin of the feature. We have iterated on it a lot from that initial inception, and no doubt we will have more iterating to do. I think Riot is most effective when we try something, respond to player reactions, iterate, and keep trying until it starts to feel solid. This is the model we tried with the SR graphic update a few years ago, and what we try to do for any large feature. So please keep the feedback coming - especially after you've gotten a chance to try emotes and not just read about them. 
The art style has been something we've gone back and forth on a lot, and if emotes land well, we will probably offer a lot of options. We didn't want anything that would be confused with say a spell effect or something in the game world. It needed to feel like UI, if that makes sense. 
In terms of player behavior, tilting, trolling and the like, yeah we know there are some risks here. We've taken steps to tone down things like ? ping spam, and we don't want to just replace that with something else. On the other hand, League is a competitive game with other humans, and we don't want to dull down all means of communication so much that being able to convey "Nice try, but you missed," isn't even permissible or possible. 
That feels like going too far. 
We care a lot about clarity. Along with evolution, it is one of our core design values, and those two do sometimes clash. Emotes have a chance for improving the clarity of player expression and emotion, but they also have a chance of reducing the clarity of team fights and the like. We want to try and balance those two somewhat competing needs. 
We totally get that emotes aren't for everyone, and that's fine. We understand we may need to look into more aggressive means of throttling, toggling or opting out, but we'd rather convince ourselves (with your help) that steps like those are needed."

3) Over on the Twitch channel, the creators of  Ornn were streaming and talking about the design and creation of Ornn! Checkout the VOD!

[Watch VOD!]

4) Riot Games Merch posted another teaser:
"Tomorrow August 10th, 11am PST. Limit 1." 


Last up, a few reminders on upcoming and ending soon promotions and sales!
  • As mentioned in 7.16 notes, ARURF returns to the RGMQ from 8/11/17 12:00 PT to 8/24/17 11:59PM PT!

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