Red Post Collection: Ability Update: Xin Zhao, Preseason Update Red Post Roundup, Preseason Runes Stream & More

Posted on at 8:09 PM by Aznbeat
Tonight's red post collection includes a look at Xin Zhao's ability update, a Preseason red post roundup, a look at the Preseason Runes stream, and more!
Continue reading for more info!

Table of Contents

Ability Update: Xin Zhao 

With Patch 7.19 heading out to live servers on the morning of 9/27, a dev blog covering the changes on Xin Zhao is now available. Here's Gentleman Gustaf with more:
We haven’t talked about Xin Zhao in quite some time - other than our dev corner posts on this update - but he’s a character with a lot of flags that scream “update me”. Like other ability updates before him, we see a lot of opportunity to give Xin Zhao a clearer identity and more dynamic gameplay. With pre-season coming up, we have a pretty decent opportunity to do something bold with his abilities and see where he settles, so let’s dive in.

Who is Xin Zhao?
When we started to think about Xin Zhao’s gameplay identity, we struggled to really pull much from his kit. We knew Xin Zhao needed to be swift, forceful, strong, and mysterious, but beyond that we didn’t have much to go off of. The one thing that really stood out was his spear, but his kit didn’t really say “spear fighter”. 
He was a diver - sort of. But while most divers shine in teamfights as either damage oriented initiators compared to Vanguards or all-in murderballs compared to assassins, Xin Zhao falls off pretty hard when teamfights begin. So the first step would be giving Xin Zhao something to do in teamfights. 
The second step was giving Xin Zhao decisions to make. Right now Xin Zhao pretty much clicks all of his keys on you and wins - or loses - on the back of how many stats he has now.

Dive into the Fray 
We knew we saw Xin Zhao as some form of Diver, but what was his special sauce? 
Before he came to serve Demacia, Xin Zhao had been sentenced to Noxian gladiator pit, The Fleshing, an arena in which Xin Zhao faced increasing numbers of opponents. While other duelists like Fiora and Kha’Zix want to isolate their opponents, Xin Zhao thrives in the chaos of a teamfight. Leaning into this idea of Xin Zhao as an epic scrapper who could fight off any odds, we wanted to sharpen his ability to create a bubble within a chaotic teamfight. That meant revisiting Crescent Sweep’s ability to isolate one enemy from the rest, and changing it to allow him to buy not only distance, but safety. 
We wanted an ultimate which would allow Xin Zhao to create pockets of safety within a teamfight, within which he could dispatch an opponent if their team didn’t quickly reposition to assist them. 
R - Crescent Sweep 
Xin sweeps his spear in an arc around him, knocking back all enemies - except the last one attacked - stunning them briefly and dealing damage. After the sweep, Xin’s awareness is highly elevated, making him immune to all damage inflicted by enemies outside of his circle of awareness. Enemies inside the circle may successfully damage him.

Less Faceroll 
We also wanted to add new gameplay to Xin Zhao. His existing W, Battle Cry, carried a ton of invisible power: a critical strike, a heal, bonus attack speed. It gave him a lot of power, but didn’t leave him with much to do once he was on an opponent other than right click. By moving the attack speed to his E and the bonus damage and healing to his passive, we were able to refactor his W into an interactive ability that gave him degrees of success, but also margins of error. 
W - Wind Becomes Lightning 
Xin attacks with his spear for 2 attacks in quick succession 
  • Attack 1 - Slashes all enemies in front of him
  • Attack 2 - thrusts his spear forward at range, slowing enemies struck for 1.5 seconds.

Finally, we did some general balance tweaks to Xin Zhao (mostly consisting of shifting the steroids from Xin Zhao’s old W to his other abilities). 
Every third attack deals bonus damage and heals Xin Zhao. No longer reduces armor. 
Q - Three Talon Strike 
Base damage decreased. Now scales with bonus attack damage rather than total attack damage 
E - Audacious Charge 
Base damage decreased. Slow duration decreased. Now grants Xin Zhao bonus attack speed for 5 seconds. 
The new Xin Zhao should still have many of the same weaknesses as the old one. He’s still pretty susceptible to being kited by mobile champions or locked down by crowd control. However, his ability to isolate an opponent to create a duel zone gives him a unique way to shine as the game goes on and skirmishes turn into teamfights."

Preseason Update Red Roundup

With the Preseason Update: Forge Your Path minisite up, tons of new preseason information is now available. Many Rioters hit the boards and Reddit, providing more information and answering questions. Here is a roundup of the most interesting answers:

On the Preseason site, there was one missing rune in the Inspiration path. On Twitter, Riot Sparkle revealed the name and description:
[1] "They talked about this on the stream so to recap "Coming Soon": Looter - attacking an enemy grants bonus gold and a chance at a consumable"
[2] "Name is temporary btw, will probably be called something else. Consider this a teaser. :D"

Riot Wrekz also commented on 'Looter':

[1] ""Looter" (temp name) - After casting a spell your next attack on a champion grants bonus gold and a chance to loot items. (consumables)"
[2] "This includes items from the past (mana potion, old oracles elixir). The loot table expands over the game. Heavy on health pots early"

ZenonTheStoic also provided more info on 'Looter':

[1] "What's currently in the table: health pot, mana pot, sack of gold, green ward, pink ward, blue ward, elixir of skill, oracles extract"
[2] "We're thinking of adding a few more, like small versions of the three current elixirs"

As for what is in the sack of gold, he replied:
[1] "Random amount between 20 and 100g, or you can sell it for 55. Roll the dice!"

When asked when ranked would end, Meddler commented
I have a question but not related to runes, this comes on November 7th

Ranked will finish this day too?
Then, or slightly before."

Meddler also confirmed they would be iterating on the new runes on the PBE: 
Looks good but please get tuning fast dont let some shit be overpowered for months.
We'll be doing a lot of balance followup stuff post 7.22 going out, both in regular patches and some quicker micro patches in between them where needed."

He continued
"If they turn out to be problems, yeah, we'll definitely rework em. There's some stuff here that looks scarier on paper than it is in game, and some stuff that looks underwhelming on paper that works much better once you're actually using it. Interested to see how people's takes on stuff change once we see these hit PBE. Hextech Flashtraption (that blink one) can be really powerful, it's often really situational though (need to have your Flash on CD already, have enough time to complete the channel, not take damage while doing so etc)."

Riot Sparkle replied to a comment, stating the rune artwork would change based on how you chose your runes:
Did you notice that the main path artwork changes slightly depending on which secondary you choose?
The art will change based on your keystone, primary path and secondary path. <3 
EDIT: Hopefully it makes pages feel a little more visually customized or different from each other"

Riot Wrekz also commented on the art, commenting that they were trying to get wallpapers for the art created:
"Right now we can't do big resolutions, we're going to see what we can do before live though to try and get some wallpaper/background compatible sizes."

Riot Sparkle also confirmed that there would be preset rune pages for each champion:
"We are going to be providing some "preset" pages that you can use to dip your toes into learning about the different Paths. Things will generally good effects that you won't need to worry about a lot. 
I know that looking at all of this can be really overwhelming @_@"

She also confirmed that many of the numbers in the new runes were tentative:
"Still balancing the stats from different combinations. I wouldn't read too much into the specific numbers right now."

Reinboom confirmed again that each champion would be getting stat changes when the new system launched:
"Every champion will have a few stat changes tailored to that champion, in addition to the runes that still provide stats (see: Transcendence within Sorcery)"

Look for the start of the 7.20 PBE cycle and the introduction of the Runes Reforged system to the PBE on 9/26!

Preseason Stream: Runes Reforged in Action! 

Some of the team working on the Preseason changes also streamed a first look at the Runes Reforged system, including gameplay using the new runes. The VOD can be found on the League of Legends Twitch channel. Here is the original announcement from MiniWhiteRabbit:
"Join us on Twitch later today at 12 PM Pacific Time for a first look at Runes Reforged! We’ll be taking questions live from Twitch chat or you can leave your question here in the comments below."

[Watch VOD here!]

Quick Hits

Any chance for PBE signups opening around the preseason? Had an account years ago that I think just expired due to age. Not sure. But I would love to be able to join PBE again, since I did really try to use it almost exclusively to see how new things interacted.
Signups will open again in October"


Last up, a few reminders on upcoming and ending soon promotions and sales!

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