Red Post Collection: Runes Corner, Quick Gameplay Thoughts for 8/29, Introducing the League Client Strike Team, & More

Posted on at 7:35 PM by Aznbeat
Tonight's red post collection includes a new Runes Corner covering late-game options, Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for August 29th, and intro the the League Client Strike Team who is handling all things LCU, and update on the PAX Sivir cosplay collab, and much more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Runes Corner: Late-Game Focused Runes 

RiotWrekz is back with a new Runes Corner, covering late game focused runes in the Sorcery path:
"Hey Everyone! 
I’m Wrekz from the Runes Reforged project and I’m back with some more Runes Corner previews! Last time we posted there was a lot of interest in seeing some of the runes that are more late-game focused and let you trade early power for a higher late-game payoff. Given how much League can snowball and accelerate in power, forgoing benefits you can claim immediately for lane phase is a big sacrifice. In exchange, however, you can take some late-game effects of considerable power. Today we have a couple examples of that pattern to show off. Give them a look and let us know what you think. 
First, Gathering Storm. This rune is in the Sorcery path, and for those keeping track it’s in the last slot. 
Gathering Storm
Every 10 minutes gain +8 Ability Power or +6 Attack Damage, adaptive, per 10 minutes of game time that have elapsed. 
Working through a quick example, that means: 
10:00 8 AP 6 AD
20:00 24 AP 18 AD
30:00 48 AP 36 AD
40:00 80 AP 60 AD 
Gathering Storm heavily concentrates its power into the late-game. Taking it is substantial risk, but with a big reward coming as the game goes on. Beyond normal linear scaling it actually accelerates its power growth as time passes. However, this rune doesn’t just grant its power gradually, you only get its bonus at each 10 minute interval. This makes some extremely powerful late-game spikes (30, 40, 50 minutes) particularly meaningful. The stats from Gathering Storm after 30 minutes can absolutely look scary, and we’re going to be keeping a close eye on its tuning. In general, scaling runes need to be balanced carefully and be fairly rare within the system. Their ability to be cool and powerful is proportionate to the risk you undertake in bypassing other options granting immediate and more reliable power. 
Next up is another rune in the Sorcery path (gasp!), this time in the first non-keystone slot. This rune has a very temporary name. 
Gain 5% cooldown reduction and maximum cooldown reduction on your ultimate. This increases by 1.5% each time you cast your ultimate. Stacks up to 10 times. 
Ever played a champion and wished you could just get some more time off their ult cooldown? Vi, Karthus, Amumu certainly come to mind. Ultimore lets you get just that. Instead of broad power or cooldown reduction across the entire kit, this is focused purely on your champion’s ultimate. We’ve seen uses on both ends of the cooldown spectrum. Some players take this to get access to their long cooldown ultimates more often, while others use it to try and reach a point where they can use their ultimate twice in a fight. Overall, we hope it creates some creative uses and different feeling builds for you try out. 
As an aside, we actually tried this mechanic as a keystone in its early iterations. Balancing delayed power in the keystone slot proved pretty hard, however. Giving enough power to make it worth the wait proved too pattern warping. When Lux starts ulting 3+ times per teamfight things get a bit scary. Moving this rune out of the keystone slot let us provide the ultimate-only cooldown effect at a more reasonable power level that everyone can still get excited about. 
What do you think of the Runes we showed off today? What other things would you like to see next? Let us know in your comments below. As always we’ll be hanging out in the comments section below for a while answering questions. Thanks for reading!"

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: August 29th

Here's Meddler with his Quick Gameplay Thoughts for 8/29, covering Inspiration Keystones, Ornn, and Spectator Cleanup:
"Morning 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: 
Inspiration Keystones 
Guess most of you have seen them already, for anyone that hasn't we put out some details this week about a couple of the more unusual keystones from the new runes system. Mentioning this again since we're still hunting for the third keystone from that tree (Inspiration) and ideas would be much appreciated. 
Traits of inspiration: 
  • Non direct damage or tankiness
  • Allows some degree of rule breaking, more so than other trees
  • Can include kiss/curse effects
  • Tends to offer adaptability more than raw power
Traits of keystones:
  • The most powerful runes
  • Tactically relevant - they'll have some impact on how you play moment to moment and can be optimized more than other runes. You're rewarded for continuing to think about them a fair bit post champ select. Some other runes by contrast are more an optimization choice in champ select you don't need to put though into much once the game's started.
  • They can modify a champion's playstyle somewhat, they shouldn't dictate it however.
  • They should be applicable to at least a moderate number of champions (not too niche), while at the same time not be extremely attractive to everyone.
  • You only get one, so there's a really high opportunity cost to them. That means they can have some very game influencing stuff, like being able to swap Summoner Spells, because you've giving up a lot of other power for them. Being able to go from Exhaust/Ignite early to Flash/TP late's strong, giving up the equivalent of Fervor or Thunderlord's however's a pretty meaningful price in combat power to pay.
Note: I'm writing this Friday morning, so by the time this post goes up it's possible some of this is out of date, in particular if we hotfix between now and then. 
Ornn's currently struggling quite a bit, and we're looking at what circumstances he performs well in and which poorly. At the same time we do expect him to have a pretty significant learning curve and want to try and avoid buffing him too much early on if that'll cause problems down the line (as we overbuffed Ivern in retrospect for example, who also had a pretty sizeable learning curve). We also suspect that Ornn's teams's performance is being dragged down a bit by people rushing the upgraded items he makes available in the wrong circumstances (e.g. going Triforce when it's not the right choice for your champ, or rushing the upgraded Abyssal Mask too early). At the same time Ornn's also got some lower than usual base stats, so it's possible we might want to bump those up a bit at some point, whether in a hotfix or a regular patch. 
Tuesday morning update: Adding a bit extra here, rather than just editing the original post, to try and keep things a bit simpler for some of the other regions translating this stuff. We did indeed conclude Ornn was too weak last Friday and gave him a range of base stat buffs and an ult CD buff. He's performing better, though still looks on the weak side. Next step's going to be looking at his passive, in particular ways it's baiting at least some people into poor item choices. Should see some changes on the PBE shortly looking to change that (upgraded items not available until Ornn's a certain level being the starting point). We'll then be assessing how his performance is going over the course of the week, see if we need to make other changes in the next patch or before. 
More Spectator Cleanup 
Now that the changes to various team indicators have been out in spectator for a while we'll be taking a pass at another round of spectator clean up sometime moderately soon. Goal there is to make it as easy as possible to pick out the important information, in particular in busy team fights that can be really hard to follow. Our next targets are likely to be hiding small amounts of gold income from spectator (e.g. the +1 or +3 from Bandit don't communicate anything meaningful) and hiding some crit text from spectator (no one needs to see spells critting minions for small amounts of magic damage for example). 
Other suggestions here most welcomed. Asked about this a while back and got some good suggestions that we got into the 7.16 patch, hoping to find a few more things again, either that are shown in spectator and don't need to be or aren't shown and would be valuable enough to add to justify making it harder to see other stuff."

When asked about a preseason timeline, Meddler gave a rough estimate:
Hey Meddler, when can we expect Pre-season changes starting to role out? And can you hint at any of the possible changes that may be coming in those changes?
Plan is they'll go live sometime around early to mid November, all going according to plan. 
PBE would then be early to mid October. For Pre-Season's we generally do more than just the usual 2 weeks on PBE for at least some of the content. "

On Veigar, Meddler commented:
Anything planned for Veigar in 7.18?
We've been testing some stuff for Veigar, with possible buffs to stats, R ratio and W CD. Might or might not be in 7.18, unclear yet, also wouldn't be changes to all three at once."

Meddler gave his thoughts on ADC power shifts:
"I think some variation in ADC power reflects how much of their impact tends to come from the same tool - AA damage. That can mean that whoever's not top tier at that can be a clearly poor choice, compared to other roles where different strengths brought are less comparable (e.g. it's much easier to compare Trist AA output and Lucian AA output than Braum peel versus Blitz catch). 
Having said that that argument definitely doesn't hold up for some ADCs (e.g. Ashe versus Vayne). I don't think we've seen 10% swings off slight changes either, would agree some ADCs are definitely more sensitive to systemic change than most champs, not that extreme though (Cait lost a fair bit of power from her kit for example, not just a bit of AS)."

Meddler commented on Ornn's winrate issues and what they are doing to help him out:
Wondering if part o the problem with Ornn's item upgrades is them being in the first block of the recommended. 
Idk if you guys can, but there is likely a win% difference between people with item sets (Ornn block is last) and those without (Ornn block is first).
We've had the same suspicion (placement in recc items leading people to think they should rush items they normally wouldn't). Moving them down a bit as a result. 
Will see if we can get data on win % with and without item sets. That's not part of our standard reporting set though, so might not get it before the patch locks."

Meddler continued on the subject of Ornn, commenting on his item upgrades:
Also, it might be late now, but why have you guys decided to go with the upgrades only giving increased raw stats instead of stronger passives? Harder to balance?
Primarily balance risk yeah."

Introducing the League Client Strike Team

With the introduction of the LCU and the now phased out AIR client, a new Strike Team has been formed to work on the main issues seen with the new client-- namely the issues on lower end computers. Here's an introduction to the team on the boards:
"TL;DR: We have a new team focused on resolving the largest points of feedback in the new client. Let us know what you think! 
Hello all! Wanted to give you all a brief update on where we’re at with the new League Client, what we’re now doing… and why! 
Sooooo you probably remember that little thing we did a while ago when we retired the old, legacy client in favor of a newer client -- right? Aside from updating the look and feel of the League client, the change did a few other things, such as moving to a completely new codebase, built on way newer technologies, which means it’s easier for us to improve and build on. 
Although we think the change has been valuable, we’re also acutely aware that it’s introduced some pain for players. You’ve been clear that while the new client’s visuals and sound effects are generally meeting your expectations, there are other elements that aren’t -- particularly in the categories of performance and reliability. We’ve also gotten feedback (relatively less, but still significant) around UX design. 
We’ve created a new team to attack some of these major pain points. 
The basic idea is that this new team -- the Client Strike Team -- is going to knock out the biggest issues that impact players. 
What qualifies as a “big issue”? With a bunch of areas in which we want to make improvements, and only so many hours in the day, we’re going to need to be hardcore about prioritizing fixes and enhancements in ways that maximize impact. For example, bugs in Champ Select that can potentially affect EVERYONE (a classic “big issue”) would get priority over a UX issue that impacts only a small number of players. 
The hope is that we make a significant and positive impact on the way that many of you feel about the new client. Issues we don’t take on ourselves can still get some love, they’ll just be handled by teams other than the Strike Team. 
Another thing I want to be clear about: Once we’ve taken care of the largest issues, we’ll want to stop and take a look at whether it makes sense to continue having a dedicated Strike Team at all. Other League teams are working hard to deliver upcoming features, but once those have shipped, we should be in a place where those other teams have capacity to make improvements in the new League client. At that point, it might not make a ton of sense to continue having a separate, dedicated Strike Team that duplicates efforts that can happen elsewhere. 
So when we’ve tackled the largest, thorniest issues impacting players, and once we’re confident other teams can take the reins, we’ll probably make the call to spin down the team and put our engineers on whatever is the next highest-priority project. 
I get that talk about resource allocation and such probably sounds a little too “behind-the-scenes” (even for a Dev Corner post) but I thought it made sense to share our plans so you’re aware that a) we’re hearing your feedback and b) are committing to addressing it.
Going forward, you can expect either me or a member of the team to provide recurring updates on what we’re focusing on, or what we’ve changed recently. 
Speaking of which, our current focus is on three major buckets, of which we’ll be working on as much as possible and will have varying amounts of impact depending on your computer. We’ll talk about improvements we make as we go, and would love your feedback if you see things getting better! On with the list: 
  1. Improving the time it takes to start up the client and to return from the game. (Changes here will be noticeable primarily on lower-performance systems.) You might have seen that we’ve already shipped some enhancements in this area with a recent patch, and we’re on the lookout for additional room to improve.
  2. Fixing crashes and bugs, particularly those impacting flow into the game, thereby resulting in unintentional dodges
  3. Reducing lag for the client, which disproportionately affects lower-performing systems. Cutting down on the amount of system resources that the client requires is likely to be a byproduct of this work. 
How are we setting our priorities? How can I influence those priorities? I’m glad you asked! We’re constantly monitoring data from surveys about the client, Player Support tickets and BugSplat crash reports. We aggregate and review all these inputs, across all regions, on a frequent basis to identify what needs the most attention. 
(We also rely on our regional offices and local partners to capture feedback that gets surfaced in social media and in threads like this one -- although the best way for us to capture feedback at League scale is to use the channels I outlined above… which makes them also your best bet for making sure your feedback gets captured.) 
OK -- that’s a lot of context from a guy named zerocontext, and a lot to digest. LMK what you think!"

PAX Sivir cosplay update 

Following the announcement of the PAX Sivir cosplay collab, the team of Ladee Danger and Ben Bayouth are back with an update on the cosplay:
"We’re back with another update for the PAX Sivir cosplay collaboration between community creator Ladee Danger and Ben Bayouth of Stoopid Buddy Stoodios! The team is putting the finishing touches on the build as we speak, and are very excited to share it with you soon. 
Also, if you’re heading to PAX West this week, keep an eye out for the Sivir crew walking the floor, attending the official afterparty, and visiting with players at the cosplay meetups!

Quick Hits

"Hey all, 
We've heard a lot of the talk around Honor over the past few weeks. We're seeing the pain around capsule drops feeling too random (I personally didn't get one till I'd been Honor 4 for two weeks), and making clearer check-in points while you're on your way up the leveling system. All these will be especially important next season, when everyone resets to level 2 alongside ranked. 
As far as loading screen flairs showing up, they're meant to show teammates that you're coming off a good game. Still, we've seen confusion about how they work, so we're looking at whether that's just a learning curve for everyone or something we need to just that clearer at end of game. 
What's up next for Honor is end of season rewards, which contain literally zero summoner icons for Honor portions."
  • As Worlds 2017 approaches, multiple regions have completed their playoffs, and we now have a good handful of teams who will be competing in the penultimate tournament:
"Have you seen Tibbers? Well he is back in stock!"
"The 2017 Star Guardian product collection is coming September 7th! Part of this collection includes the launch of our new line of Team Mini figures with Set 1 representing the first five Star Guardians (Lux, Jinx, Poppy, Janna and Lulu). To celebrate this special event a Limited Edition Star Guardian Ahri Team Mini figure will also be available at 11am PST on that day."

"We are excited to welcome @BMW as our Official Partner for the 2017 #EULCS Summer Finals in Paris! #LaneToParis"

  • Riot Hippalus commented on the RP price changes that happen when currency values change:

"When we launched League in Europe, the exchange rate was about $1.40 per euro. It is now about $1.20 (down 15%) so we're still making less $ when RP is purchased in Europe, as we've only adjusted prices by ~10%, and we even offset some of that with bonus RP to minimize the impact on players as much as possible. This reply explains that and the VAT effect better than I can. 
We don't try to make money from exchange rate changes (in fact we generally lose money) and we make negative adjustments as rarely as possible to limit the impact on players. And we're at least as fast with changes that help players, as we did with the pound before the Brexit mess forced us to eventually reverse that change. 
If the euro gets back to $1.40, we'll look to bring the $/euro ratio back in line with where it was at League's launch."
"A new split champion will be crowned in Boston at Summer Finals as one team cements their legacy in the NA LCS. Although 2017 has come to a close, high-level players have the chance to start creating their own story as the NA Scouting Grounds returns to the LCS studio in Los Angeles. With the chance to hone your skills and compete in a mini-tournament aimed at showcasing your abilities to LCS organizations on the big stage, this could be the beginning of your path to pro."


Last up, a few reminders on upcoming and ending soon promotions and sales!
  • As mentioned in 7.17 notesHunt of Blood Moon returns to the RGMQ from 8/25/17 at 12:00 PM PT - 8/29/17 at 04:00 AM PT and 8/31/17 at 12:00 PM PT - 9/5/17 at 04:00 AM PT.

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