Red Post Collection: Gameplay Thoughts for 9/12, FAQ on Upcoming Leveling and Reward Changes, RGM Brain Dump, & More

Posted on at 10:16 PM by Aznbeat
Tonight's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for September 12th, a FAQ on the leveling and rewards changes coming soon, L4T3NCY with another edition of his RGM brain dump, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: September 12th

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for September 12th, including changes for the Frost queen line, Brand, and more:

"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: 
Frost Queen's line in 7.18 
We've got some late changes for the Frost Queen's line right at the end of the 7.18 cycle I though it would be good to give some more context on. We want to put a bit of power into the FQ's line of items, given they're underperforming relative to Coin/Targon's even on aggressive champs who should be much more drawn to FQs. We also want to offer non direct damage power where possible, both to reduce creep on number of high threat damage dealers on a team and to allow differences in how champs play in different positions (mid versus support for a number of mages). That meant adding AP or additional proc damage was something we wanted to try and avoid. CDR's is somewhat better approach as a result, focusing champs more on frequent casts (more sustained damage, more utility uptime). There are some cases where that contributes to CDR glut on some champs, most of the core FQ's users however are often buying non CDR items regardless however (e.g. Rylai's and/or Liandries). 
We added CDR to T1, T2 and T3 of the Frost Queen's line as a result. We then started running seeing some mid laners swapping to it. Flexibility of item use across positions isn't in and of itself a problem, in this case it looked like it was at risk of making some champs (e.g. Cass) potentially too dominant. We made some late changes to FQ's as a result, uping the CD on minion kills by a couple of seconds and changing it so it gets extra CDR at T2 (now 10%), but doesn't increase further at T3. Intent there is that it's a better choice for supports building it and then going for other items, without pushing it to T3, without being too warping if picked up by others. Making it a support item that you're happier leaving at T2 also then gives a bit of extra distinction versus Targon's/Coin potentially too. 
We mentioned we'd take another look at something small to help solo lane Brand out a bit sometime post Worlds patch. Still planning to do that, potentially in this next cycle. Something small's likely to mean something like a small bonus (e.g. mana restored) when CSing with particular spells to give us a lever to put power into non support Brand specifically when needed. Give him some better harass and wave clear if he's CSing well basically. Not expecting that'll solve everything Brand needs, but would like to get something quick for him before pre-season if possible. 
Thinking about another prototypes blog 
Last year we put up a blog that showed prototype versions of various champions: 
I was thinking it would be good to do another one of those, look at some of the champions that have come and since and maybe a couple of older ones we didn't get to cover last time. Would be interested in people's thoughts on which champs you'd be particularly interested in seeing. One disclaimer though - it'll likely only be covering champs released from around Gnar onwards (getting access to prototype files older than that's a more difficult process alas, easy to get old patch versions, harder to get old WIP stuff). 
In terms of timing on that dev blog it'd likely be a late this year or early next year thing once pre-season work's settled down. Takes a while to get everything in order though, hence the inquiry now."

When asked about the previously mentioned ability icon updates, Meddler replied:
Are the icon updates for Amumu,Mundo,Nunu,etc. still going to be a thing?
Artist working on them got moved to another project unfortunately. Some of them will still happen at some point, timing's uncertain now though."

Meddler continued:
will they be distributed in random patches? like for example: mundo's icon update is in 7.21, nunu is in 8.2, etc.??
Yeah, they'll just go out whenever they're ready, no need to hold them till a particular patch."

When asked whether they use prototypes for champion VGUs, Meddler replied:
Do you use prototype champs when you are developing a VGU (e.g. Galio)?
VGU's have so far all used the old character model (really easy to tell who it's meant to be that way!). We do then prototype spell effects etc. I'll do some digging at some point, see if any of the old VGU kits have interesting stuff to look at that didn't make it onto the final kits or were prototyped in an interesting way."

On whether Maokai and Sejuani would see any changes soon, Meddler commented:
Are you going to nerf Maokai and Sejuani or will you wait to see what impac the new runes will have on them?
Like most champs they'll likely sit as they are until new Runes and the rest of pre-season hit."

Meddler confirmed the timing of the Preseason patch:
When is Preseason going to hit if you don't mind me asking? 
Around 7.20?
7.22 is the plan, so should be early ish in November."

As for CaitlynMeddler commented:
I read in the last week or two that you had Caitlyn changes planned for the 7.19 cycle though there were no details at the time. 
Any updates? 
Thank you.
Stuff's being worked on, though it's still being iterated on, so nothing final. Possible changes include giving her some Attack Speed back, trap duration down at early ranks/possibly down a bit even when maxed, lower base HP, Q damage falloff reverted."

On EzrealMeddler replied:
What are your thoughts on Ezreal Jungle? 
It's a very strange place for him, particularly seeing as his botlane isn't doing particularly great. Will there be any shifts to help him in bot rather than jungle? 
Any update on the W change?
Ezreal jungle seems cool from what we've seen so far. If he falls out of botlane entirely would want to try and let him back in there without pushing him out of the jungle. Same approach we've been taking with Ziggs as mid and bot. Possible that changes of course if Ezreal jungle starts looking really unhealthy in some way we're not currently seeing, pretty optimistic it's something that's fine for game health though. 
Nothing on the W at present, he's on our short list of small gameplay update targets for sometime next year though."

Meddler continued:
You guys have been talking about an Ezreal gameplay update. Will you attempt to preserve some sort of AP play pattern, or is that not an aim of the GU?
We'd want to keep AP Ezreal around, though wouldn't necessarily be making it stronger than it already is."

When asked if the Veigar changes mentioned previously would be in patch 7.19, Meddler confirmed:
Veigar changes weren't in the 3 Week PBE cycle... will it be in this one?

Frequently Asked Questions About the Upcoming Leveling and Rewards Changes 

With the leveling and reward changes coming soon, here's Riot Cactopus with the most frequently asked questions about the changes:
Hi friends. In the wake of our big announcement about changes to IP, rewards, and leveling, we've seen lots of questions popping up in the community. These are big, complicated changes, so we figured we'd walk through some of the most common questions we've seen and give y'all clear answers. 
Let's jump in! 
Are players who level from 1 to 30 in the new system going to get exclusive stuff that I'm missing out on? 
Nope. New players going from 1–30 won't get ANY exclusive content. That said, we will use the new leveling system do a little more handholding for new players. Instead of dumping random champion shards on them, they'll get accessible champs like Garen and Ashe. We're thinking of letting noobs unlock a couple of random (but not exclusive) cosmetic things like ward skins as they level up, but that stuff will be available to everyone who levels up past level 30 as well. 
What about the 30 capsules new players get when leveling from 1 to 30? Aren't we missing out on those? 
No, because it will still take new players a long time to climb to level 30 and get the 30 capsules along the way. If you spend that time instead on your level 30 account, you'll get a bunch of capsules as well and you'll be well on your way toward unlocking one of the exclusive cosmetic rewards at the milestone levels. 
Also, remember that the new leveling system will be a replacement for the IP you get after games now. You already got rewarded for all the games you played when you leveled from 1–30, but it was just in the form of IP. So new players aren't going to get anything you didn't already get for playing the game. 
What exactly will I get for leveling up past level 30? 
Beyond level 30, you'll almost exclusively get unlocked chests with champion shards inside whenever leveling up. The only real exceptions to this will be on certain "milestone" levels like 50, 75, 100, etc. When these levels are reached, you'll get exclusive rewards that you can use to show off your status in-game. One of these rewards is a special emote which you can evolve using blue essence. 
Will leveling in the new system get slower the higher you climb? 
Yes, but it won't ever get much slower than it is now. The leveling curve will get slightly harder and slower as you go, but it stops getting tougher once you reach level 150. Basically, the climb from levels 151 to 175 will take exactly as long as the climb from levels 176 through 200. Even at this highest, toughest level (like the jump from level 199 to 200), the average number of games you'll have to play between levels will be somewhere between 15 and 25 games. It varies depending on how many games you've won with the First Win of the Day (which will soon give bonus XP) active. 
One nuance to understand with this is that the difficulty won't increase in a straight line. Leveling will get a little bit tougher as you approach each milestone level (every 25 levels) and then it'll speed up again until you get closer to the next one. 
When you introduce uncapped leveling, why we don't start current players past level 30? 
The new, uncapped leveling system is primarily aimed at giving you more goals to shoot for (and rewards for hitting them). With that in mind, we didn't think it made sense to start so many of you at a very high level. That would take the goals away from the very people this system is intended to support. 
That said, we've been paying attention to your feedback on this point. A lot of you have pointed out that folks who've been playing since the earliest seasons don't have a good way to express that—that seems to be a big part of the reason that some of you are asking for a head start in the leveling system. So we're looking into work on the profile page that'll let you show other players when you started playing League (including all your previous ranked badges). We're hoping to ship that by the end of this year or the beginning of early next year. 
We're also planning to give out exclusive emotes based on how many hours you've put into since the beginning of League. Playing 500 hours gets you the Defender of the League emote, 1,500 hours gets you the Champion of the League emote, and 2,500 hours gets you the ultra-rare Conqueror of the League emote. 
What else are you doing for players who'll have tons of BE with nothing to spend it on? 
The biggest thing is the special blue essence store, which is specifically designed to give those of you who've already unlocked all the champs (and stored up big piles of IP) tons of cool exclusive content to buy. The highest priced items in the store—gemstones and URFWick—are meant for folks who've been around earning IP for many seasons. For the first go-round this preseason the store will include: 
  • 1,500 BE - Mystery icon box (guaranteed to be an icon you don't already own)
  • 2,000 BE - Chromas (includes all chromas that have been available for at least six months)
  • 2,500 BE - “Mystery Mini” Icons Box (exclusive to the special BE store)
  • 3,950 BE - Mystery Champions (guaranteed to be a champion you don't already own)
  • 4,900 BE - Mystery ward skin box (guaranteed to be a ward skin you don't already own)
  • 6,000 BE - Rune ward skin (exclusive to the special BE store)
  • 50,000 BE - "Make it Rain" emote (exclusive to the special BE store)
  • 50,000 BE and up - Gemstones (First one costs 50,000, second costs 75,000, third costs 100,000. Limited to three per account during the special BE store sale)
  • 150,000 BE - URFWick skin (now exclusive to the special BE store)
Will the special BE store ever come back? 
Right now we're thinking we'll bring back the special blue essence store at least once a year. We're not sure what it will include when it returns, but when we bring it back we'll be sure to include the unique stuff like the rune ward skins and the "make it rain" emote. 
Is the URFWick in the special BE store different than the original URFWick? 
The URFWick skin we release with the blue essence store will be a 2017 edition, similar to what we did with Championship Riven. Original owners of URFwick will automatically receive a special limited edition upgrade of the original skin, a loading screen border, AND the new URFwick. 
Will we receive blue essence after every game? 
No, the new rewards system is all designed around champion shards (which can be turned into blue essence) dropping whenever you level up. 
Mystery Hextech coins are going away. Why? 
Mystery hextech coins were added so you'd have a path to upgrade your mastery tokens with IP. Since IP and BE will soon be combined, they've become less necessary. Plus, if you were really into the random champion shards, you’ll be getting those a lot more frequently anyway from the leveling capsules. 
I noticed that champ shard re-rolling is going away. What about skin shard re-rolling? 
You'll still be able to re-roll skin shards just like before! 
Should I do anything with my existing champ shards? 
It really just depends on what you want to do. If you want a bunch of extra BE, you should probably disenchant them now since they'll give out relatively less blue essence after preseason hits. That said, you're free to hang onto them if you think you might want to use one of the shards to unlock a particular champion. 
Will upgrading to Champion Mastery 6 & 7 still cost the same amount of Blue Essence? 
The cost will be scaled up in the same amount as your IP to Blue Essence conversion, so it will "cost" the same in the new system, but the numbers will be higher across the board. 
I hate RNG stuff. What if I get a cheap, useless champion shard when I level up? 
You can actually get multiple champion shards whenever you level up. If you get a low priced champion shard like Ashe, it will come with other shards to bring up the total value of the capsule. The capsules are balanced like this so that everyone will get close to the same value from hitting any given level, so luck won't make a difference to how quickly you can unlock champions. 
What is Riot doing for people who had special legacy runes? 
We'll introduce an exclusive ward skin (shown below) for anyone who owned any special legacy runes OR who spent at least 125,000 IP on runes before the September 1, 2017 cutoff date. We'll also give rare rune owners a special commemorative icon. 
We're giving partial refund to players for buying runes in the past, but it's not a FULL refund for all runes purchased since the beginning. Why? 
Our business model is to use the money we get from selling optional content to improve the game, esports, our servers, and everything else. Making new runes free for everyone, giving players thousands of BE, and keeping champion earn rates about the same as today means significantly less RP spent on champions, rune pages, and the cosmetics in the blue essence store. It’s a big investment that’s only possible because of your support over the years. 
We understand that it can feel bad to have something you paid for suddenly become free for other people, and that's why we're giving folks who spent on runes back in the day the blue essence amounts we announced in Riot Pls. But we also have to focus on using our resources to reinvest in the game. We think that giving a little something back (rather than a full refund) strikes the right balance for players today and in the future."

When asked if rune pages counted toward the IP total, Riot Cactopus confirmed:
125,000 just in runes or with rune pages aswell? Because if it's 125,000 just for runes bought, it will be really unfair... I spent like 110k in runes, and I already have a ton of them, way more than most of my friends, and I still wont be eligible for that ward? It feels really bad :s
I posted this on Reddit too but just so people know: When we calculate your total for this we'll count the rune pages you bought for RP as if you spent 6300 IP each on them. So you deffo made the cut."

As for how the rune refunds are broken down, Riot Cactopus commented:
Can I get a run down on how stuff relating to runes will be refunded? I understand that all runes bought this season will be refunded 100% price and prior will be a certain % but what about rune pages bought with ip and rp? Do they only count towards the ward skin but dont get refunded?
100 BE for every regular tier 3 rune you bought before the beginning of the 2017 season. 300 BE for every tier 3 quint you bought before the beginning of the 2017 season. 
1500 BE for every rune page bought with IP. One epic skin for every four rune pages you bought with RP. We'll round up." 

Mortdog gave a deeper look at how much time it could hypothetically take to level up:
25 games isn't that long.
25 is also the higher end of the spectrum (15 is the low end listed)
and it's probably way less with just WotD.
25 games is not actually how it will play out for most players: 
  • An average game will give you approximately 200xp.
  • Win of the Day will give you around 575xp.
  • The lowest amount of XP to level (from 30-31) is 2500xp.
  • The highest amount of XP to level (from 174-175) is 4600xp. 
Because of this, if you play 2 games a night, and win 1, it will actually only take 10 games to level even at the hardest part of the curve."

BuboBubo replied to a comment on an official way to see hours played on an account:
This is my exact issue with these sites. So my only question, are we going to get an official way to view our hours?
No official way on this one. We thought it would be valuable but not as much as what we'd have to cut to make it happen within the timeline =/ Sorry man"

As for name changes using blue essence, BuboBubo confirmed:
Can I change my name using BE?

BuboBubo clarified that the big spender reward and the purchasable rune ward skin would be seperate:
Is the exclusive rune ward skin for big ip spenders the same as the rune ward skin on sale for 6000 BE?
they will be unique for the two cases"

BuboBubo also clarified the Mystery Minis icons box would have 1 random icon, with no duplicates from what you already own:
Mystery Mini Icons Box, will it only have 1 per box or will there be multiple Icons in there?
1 per box, no dupes"

RGM brain dump Star Guardian sparkle edition 

Here's L4T3NCY with another edition of his rotating game mode brain dump, this one focused on Invasion mode and PvE in League:
"Heya guys, I've seen lots of cool questions/thoughts floating around RE the new Star Guardian Invasion mode and League PvE in general. I'll collect some of my thoughts here but feel free to ask any other sparkle questions if you want. I'll lurk in thread here during today. Shining Bright ~♪ 
"The premade missions for Star Guardian feel bad. :( I'm a solo player and just want to get the ward skin/random champ.." 
TL;DR: You can earn either of the Star Guardian rewards as a solo player, no premades required. If you want to collect 'both', you'll also need to complete the premade missions. 
We've seen a fair bit of confusion on these missions and that's totally on us. The way we laid out the missions in the tab makes it hard to see what is part of a chain, which ones are solo/premade and how many tokens each one gives. We can do better here for future events. 
RE premade missions in general, we'll look at the aftermath of Star Guardian and decide if we want to do them again in the future. We DO like the things to do inside the missions (complete with the original/new Star Guardian team, crazy comps, etc), but there's a discussion to be had about whether or not that should 'require' a premade. The premade requirements even prevent some cool emergent moments where you PUG a group, complete a mission and then don't get credit for it... #feelsbadman 
"The HARD missions are like.... hard.." 
Yeah... git gud? :3 
"I want to play Invasion using "Champion X". Will I ever be able to?" 
We're not against this idea at all. For modes that have a smaller champ pool initially (Blood Moon, Star Guardian), we're quite interested in swapping out those champ pools to add new flavour as the modes return. We actually wanted to do it for Blood Moon just past recently, but didn't have time due to Star Guardian creeping up on us. :P 
Hopefully for the next runs of some of these modes, we can look at shifting or changing the champ pools. It comes at the cost though of needing to make sure each champ works or makes sense in the mode. Each champ in Star Guardian has a place and their abilities do something useful (Poppy blocks monsters, Soraka silence, Janna Whirlwind to cancel channels) so we'd need to think carefully each additional champ. EG: Without substantial effort, champs like Ivern, Kindred, Rengar, etc would be unable to execute on their core fantasy. 
"Will you guys do more PvE now?" 
We've been dabbling in PvE since the first Doom Bots, and refined it again for The Teemoing version of that mode. Star Guardian is a different take on PvE in LoL, and I think there's probably even more angles or facets to explore, still lurking within League's superstructure. 
Questions like "Would you ever do an adventure mode?" or "Will you make a Diablo style dungeon?" are su~uper lofty. Those are often entire games made over many many years with gigantic teams of talented people. I think there's certainly interesting elements within those games/genres that would be fun to boil down and play with inside a League ecosystem, but it's too early to make any kind of commitment to something as huge as a "dungeon mode". For now, we hope you enjoy Star Guardian Invasion, and we're in there defending the city alongside you guys! :D 
"Should I focus the Vel'Koz?" 
( ••)>⌐■-■

When asked about the logistics of building a new gamemode, L4T3NCY commented:
How difficult is it to make a whole new game mode in the current leagu engine?
Depends entirely on the scope and style of mode. 
The Invasion mode in particular was very complex, as this style of PvE isn't really something that had been done before in LoL. Modes that are closer to regular league, like say Blood Moon, might not be as technically demanding, but could still require a lot of design time during prototype to find the mode's final shape. Unfortunately not as simple as being able to say "It's X months!", but it's very case-by-case."

On future changes to premades for other gamemodes, L4T3NCY replied:
Can we at least set a minimum instead of it being a 5 man premade only next time? Like a duo minimum (obviously including you) or something. Getting one friend to play with you is much easier than grabbing 4 people (Some might be busy with life or not even interested in playing).
That's one way we could get at it. 
We could even just remove the requirement entirely. Depending on the style of PvE content, knowing that players are smart, most would just figure out it's advantageous to be in a group anyway, so they'd naturally form small groups like you describe."

2017 Worlds Draw Show Results and VOD

As Worlds 2017 looms ever closer, Play-In and Groups Draw were completed in the early hours on 9/12. Check out the VOD, or take a look at the article for the full results:

No time to watch the whole VOD? Here's the accompanying article:

"The twenty-four teams participating in Worlds 2017 have now officially been sorted into their groups for both the Play-In and the Group Stage. 
Here are the results for the Worlds 2017 Play-In
Group A

  • Team WE (LPL)
  • Gambit (LCL)
  • Lyon Gaming (LLN) 
Group B

  • Cloud9 (NA LCS)
  • Team oNe Esports (CBLoL)
  • Dire Wolves (OPL) 
Group C

  • Fnatic (EU LCS)
  • Young Generation (GPL)
  • Kaos Latin Gamers (CLS) 
Group D

  • Hong Kong Attitude (LMS)
  • 1907 Fenerbah├že (TCL)
  • Rampage (LJL) 
Now, just a reminder, the teams who progress out of the Play-In stage will be drawn into Groups at the conclusion of the Play-In. 
Here are the results for the Worlds 2017 Group Stage 
Group A

  • Edward Gaming (LPL)
  • SK Telecom T1 (LCK)
  • ahq e-Sports Club (LMS)
  • TBD 
Group B

  • Longzhu Gaming (LCK)
  • Immortals (NA LCS)
  • Gigabyte Marines (GPL)
  • TBD 
Group C

  • G2 Esports (EU LCS)
  • Samsung Galaxy (LCK)
  • Royal Never Give Up (LPL)
  • TBD 
Group D

  • Flash Wolves (LMS)
  • Misfits (EU LCS)
  • TSM (NA LCS)
  • TBD 
The action kicks off on September 23rd."

Quick Hits

"TL;DR - From the beginning of patch 7.18 (tomorrow morning, 14th Sep), transfers from OCE to other regions will need to be disabled until November 21st as we launch Emotes and then prepare for preseason. For the first month, you may still transfer by submitting a ticket to support. Read on for details."


Last up, a few reminders on upcoming and ending soon promotions and sales!
  • The Star Guardian content is now available! Check out our coverage of the release, and make sure to get in a game of Invasion, the newest game mode released. It will be available through 9/25 at 11:59 PT!

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