Red Post Collection: Worlds 2017 Missions & Loot, Origins: Ahri, September Bundles, Ask Riot & More

Posted on at 3:07 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes all the details on the Worlds 2017 Missions & Loot, an Origins article on Ahri, the Nine-Tailed Fox, September bundles, a new Ask Riot, Worlds 2017 Merch, and much more!
Continue reading for more info!

Table of Contents

Learn More: Worlds 2017 Missions and Loot 

Worlds 2017 has hit Summoner's Rift, and with that comes new missions, enabling you to get Worlds tokens for some neat loot! Here's DontHassleDaHoff with more:
"The pursuit of mastery requires sacrifice and perseverance. 
During this year’s Worlds, we’ve put together a series of weekly missions for you that are sure to challenge you. Starting 9/21/17 at 11:00 AM PT until the day after Finals, we’ll have a set of challenging missions for you that will change each week. Completing these Missions will earn you Tokens. You’ll be able to use these Tokens until 12/4/17 at 11:59 PM PT to craft any of the following:
As in past events, you’ll need to equip any of the following icons to earn mission rewards:

List of Icons
  • 2017 World Championship Summoner Icon
  • 2017 Worlds Legend Summoner Icon
  • 2017 Worlds Master Summoner Icon
  • Championship Ashe Summoner Icon
  • 2017 Worlds Pickem Poro Summoner Icon
  • 2017 Worlds Master Pickem Poro Summoner Icon
  • Any 2017 Worlds Team Summoner Icon
2017 Worlds Master Pass 
For those of you that want an additional challenge and a chance to earn more rewards, we’re offering you the 2017 Worlds Master Pass. 
The Master Pass includes: 
  • 2017 Worlds Master Summoner Icon
  • (1) Gemstone
  • Additional Missions worth 560 Tokens
Since the Missions end each week, the price of the Master Pass will decrease over time. 
List of Missions

Completing ALL of the Missions will get you 175 Tokens for free. The Master Pass will give you access to an additional 560 Tokens for a total of 735 Tokens. These Tokens will expire on 12/4/17 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Additional ways to unlock Tokens is via Hextech Crafting:
For more information on additional sales and offerings, please go to: Worlds 2017 Hits the Rift"

On the difficulty of some of the missions, Riot Katana noted:
"Yup, we have a few missions that are pretty experimental. I talked about some of them in a thread earlier this week, but the TL;DR is that the crazier missions require premade so that everyone on the team has to opt in, and are lower reward so that no one should feel too bad about skipping them. 
We're hoping that these ones can lead to some fun times but definitely want to hear feedback!"

Origins: Ahri

Following the origins of Riven and Kled, we have a new Origins article featuring the creation of Ahri, the Nine-Tailed Fox! Here's BandanaBandit with a look at her design and creation:
From wind samurai to cantankerous yordles, each of League’s 138 champions started somewhere. This is Ahri’s story. 
Every champion in League has a unique DNA, and it has nothing to do with biology. In champ design, DNA stands for design (gameplay), narrative (thematic and story), andart (…art). These three elements are the building blocks for every champion, and designers team up to make sure they fit together and elevate each other. Yet it wasn’t always this way. Years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for one of these pillars to lead the charge, with the others being molded around it. Ahri was one of those champions founded on thematic alone. 
The goal for her was simple: Bring the story of the nine-tailed fox to League.

Myths about this cunning creature exist across Asia, and even though there are variations between countries, the core of the tale remains the same. Stories tell of a magical fox who can transform its appearance at will—which usually means it turns into a very attractive woman who uses beauty and charm to lure unsuspecting men to their doom. After killing the poor fools, the nine-tailed fox absorbs their life essence or eats their livers, hearts, or flesh, depending on the version. 
Figuring out how to build Ahri’s character based on these myths was tricky. For one, devs didn’t want to just copy-paste an existing story into League. Ahri still needed to feel unique, even if she was based off of real-world myths. 
From “Vastaya Field Journal"

Plus, there was the risk of potentially upsetting anyone who didn’t feel like their version of the tale was accurately represented by Ahri. “Early on, we considered blending these stories into a cohesive whole,” says senior game designer Colt “Ezreal” Hallam, “but we believed this would be disrespectful to each culture’s individual stories.” 
Since Ahri was scheduled to release around the time we launched Korean servers, devs focused on gumiho, the Korean version of the nine-tailed fox. When gumiho transform, they maintain some of their fox-like characteristics, such as furry ears or nine tails. After killing their human prey, the gumiho either feast on their flesh or absorb their life essence, depending on the story. Gumiho are often seen as purely evil (sort of like old-school, non-sparkly vampires), so the challenge with Ahri was creating a more sympathetic character. “You want to feel like the protagonist when you play, even if what you’re doing is villainous,” says narrative writer Alex “Skribbles” Yee. “We had to find Ahri’s motivation for killing so she’d feel more relatable.” 
Ahri’s story tells of a clever fox who wished to become human. One afternoon, the fox stumbled upon the aftermath of a human battle and was drawn to a man taking his dying breaths. As the essence of life left his lips, Ahri the fox instinctively absorbed it and was partially transformed into a human. She was ridiculously beautiful—and knew the power that it held. Using her charm, she seduced men to their deaths, consuming more and more life essence in an attempt to become fully human. But with her growing humanity came a moral compass, and she soon found herself unable to kill without remorse. 
This tale gave Ahri a motivation for murder that wasn’t just in cold blood—she was driven by her desire to be human—while still reflecting the gumiho myths she was based on. 
Bonus: Ahri was named by Korean players through a poll on the League of Legends website. She almost could’ve been Nabi, Danbi, Ruri, Dasom, or Chorong, but Ari won out. “Ari” literally means graceful and elegant in Korean, so the “h” was added to give her a more unique name. 
From the start, Ahri’s abilities included an orb, a charm, fox-fire, and some kind of dash. This consistency is far from the norm in champ development, but because most of Ahri’s abilities were directly based on her thematic, nothing drastically changed. Most alterations were subtle and aimed at making her kit feel as satisfying as possible. 
Here’s a list of Ahri’s abilities we couldn’t think of a clever subheader for:

Charm: From day one, Ahri had a single-target charm. “It was the clearest, most direct connection to her thematic,” says Ezreal. “She had to make people fall in love with her.” 
What changed: The speed at which charmed champs walked towards Ahri had to be lowered (by a lot) because she’d just walk the lovestruck dummies directly into her tower.

From "A New Dawn" Cinematic

Fox-fire: In some myths, the nine-tailed fox could literally generate fire. More often, fox-fire was a representation of the spirits they collected, which is what Ahri’s orbiting fox-fire is. 
What changed: Fox-fire could once be used to illuminate bushes during its duration, kind of like a ward, but tech issues put an end to that. Ahri later had nine rotating fox-fire flames, but rapidly shooting off nine projectiles made each one feel pretty unimportant. “I liked the idea of including the theme of nine in her kit as much as possible,” says Ezreal. “So instead, I created the nine-hit passive and changed fox-fire to a much more manageable three.” 
Spirit Rush: Ahri was designed to be an assassin who skirts the edge of the fight looking for opportunities to get in, and a dash helps her get into the fray to make clutch picks. 
What changed: The original version of Ahri’s ult had an unlimited range. She’d have to continuously spend mana to travel, but if Ahri passed over an enemy champion, she’d do bonkers damage—she basically became an Ezreal ult. “We had to change this ultimate due to its interactions with the Dominion map, which is easily one of my biggest regrets on the character,” says Ezreal. 
Later, Ahri had a three-part dash (like her live ult) that used an ammo system similar to Akali’s, but she’d almost always save one dash as an oh-shoot-I’m-getting-ganked escape button, and that was no fun. 
Orb of Deception: Every champion in League should have a clear source of power, which is basically the object or technique they use when fighting. It’s obvious when someone has a bow or sword, but it’s less clear when it’s a weaponless fox lady. “Ahri’s orb was something players could look at, understand, and guess what it does—it’s a ball, so she’ll probably throw it,” says Ezreal. Plus, the orb gave Ahri a way to drain life essence (aka health) from champs in game. 
What changed: The orb originally stopped at the end of its path and Ahri could reactivate it to bring it back to her. During playtesting, players reactivated the orb immediately 90+% of the time, so that just became the ability. Her orb also used to travel at a consistent speed throughout its air time, but during a late playtest, Ahri’s kit felt underwhelming. To address this, her ball was changed so it travels outward and backward quickly but hovers briefly at full range, allowing her to reposition for maximum damage. 
Nine-tailed foxes rely on their beauty to seduce victims, so there was no doubt that Ahri should be a very attractive character.

“When I drew Ahri,” says senior concept artist Paul “RiotZeronis” Kwon, “my goal was for her to become the most beautiful, mystical, and elegant champion in the game.”
At the time, RiotZeronis was a contractor, which meant he received an overview of Ahri’s character in an email and then set out to draw the fox-like female. It was a fast sketch because she was moving quickly through development, but it only took one drawing to find the direction for League’s nine-tailed fox. “Of all the champions I’ve worked on, this was most my style,” says RiotZeronis. “She’d be my waifu."
Ahri's Original Concept Art

Once his sketch was completed and emailed back to the office, RiotZeronis had no other influence or information about Ahri’s development. In fact, he didn’t even know this was the artistic direction chosen until he saw Ahri announced to players. (…something something, small indie company. But really, Riot was a much different place back then.) 
It seems like it would’ve been a straightforward path from there, but Ahri actually had major art changes right before launch, as seen in the original splash released to players.

On the left is Ahri’s originally published splash, and on the right is the final, modified version.
Notice anything different, like maybe the red lining on her dress or details on her sleeves or the part where SHE ALMOST DIDN’T HAVE EARS?! And those tails aren’t even real—they were a part of her outfit. 
What happened?

Part of it was just tech concerns. It was unclear if it’d be possible to make Ahri’s tails connect to her dress in-game in a way that looked natural, so they were redrawn as part of her outfit. Devs eventually found a fix to the tech issues though, so that wasn’t the deciding factor. 
The main reason Ahri was designed without ears or (real) tails was to try to really differentiate her from the myths she was built on. 
In-game Mockup of Ahri's Dress-Tails
There was a lot of concern about Ahri as a champion throughout development, and some Rioters were worried she wouldn’t fit into League’s universe or that players wouldn’t get her. This uncertainty led to Ahri losing her most fox-like features, which made her look more like an “average” girl than a legendary nine-tailed fox. 
Even with the mixed feedback, devs decided to go back to her original design. “It’s natural to want to make something unique,” says Ezreal, “but we found we were doing so for the wrong reasons. Ultimately, we believed players would want the true version of the nine-tailed fox more than an artificially unique one.” Ahri’s signature tails and ears returned, and she’s been breaking hearts and taking lives on the Rift ever since."

It’s time for September bundles! 

Riot Evaelin is back with the September bundles! Check out the bundles below, including the Definitely Not Star Guardians Bundle, the Fight with all your Light Bundle, and more:
"Grab these limited-time bundles now through 9/28/17 at 23:59 PT. 
Definitely Not Star Guardians Bundle - 50% off at 2284 RP (3936 RP if you need the champions) 
Skins included:
  • Woad King Darius
  • Steel Legion Garen
  • Giant Enemy Crabgot
  • Barbarian Sion
  • Gragas, Esq.
Champions included:
Where’s the Bundle? - 50% off at 2169 RP RP (3983 RP if you need the champions)
Skins included:
  • Tango Evelynn
  • Night Hunter Rengar
  • Royal Shaco
  • Astonaut Teemo
  • Silverfang Akali
Champions included:
Fight With All Your Light Bundle - 50% off at 2245 RP (4182 RP if you need the champions) 
Skins included:
  • Ashen Lord Aurelion Sol
  • Spirit Fire Brand
  • Uncle Ryze
  • Battlecast Xerath
  • Midnight Ahri
Champions included:
1v1 This Bundle - 50% off at 2396 RP (4185 RP if you need the champions)
Skins included:
  • PROJECT: Fiora
  • High Noon Yasuo
  • Battle Bunny Riven
  • Chosen Master Yi
  • Nemesis Jax
Champions included:

Ask Riot: Hire More Devs, Rito

This week's Ask Riot is here, covering losing honor levels, why Riot doesn't hire developers without a long process to make sure they are the best fit, and more:

"Let’s talk hiring fallacies, death recap, honor decay, and getting merch into different regions.

Can you go down in honor levels if you don’t play enough games?

Nope. There’s no decay on Honor levels. The only way you lose levels is through a penalty or through the seasonal reset. 
Comms, Player Behavior

Riot talks a lot about prioritization and resources when answering questions about features people want — if there aren’t enough people there to fix things like Death Recap or the old, out of date website, why not hire more? Are you really that limited on people?
Hiring is a powerful tool in the developer toolbox, but it isn’t the best tool for every problem that comes along. 
For starters, hiring takes a very long time, especially for somewhere like Riot where we want to make really sure that any new Rioters are aligned to our company missions and values. If you want to spin up a new team to tackle a problem, and then you need to hire a lot to staff that team, my rule of thumb is to expect it to take 6-12 months (and sometimes much more) before that team is staffed. 
Second, just because you can hire more people doesn’t mean you should. Having more developers requires more overhead. It requires a larger office space. It means changing your company processes and developing a deeper (and typically slower) hierarchy. Growing too quickly can put a huge strain on a company’s culture as you struggle to get all the newcomers to understand the way you think about things. For example, Riot strives to measure what we work on in terms of gamer impact. But what that means can be really open to interpretation — it’s not something that is easily summed up in an employee handbook. Instead, it has to be learned by working alongside folks who already get it. The faster you grow, the more that ratio of folks who already get it gets diluted. 
More bodies just means that it requires more conversations to make sure all questions get answered. If you hire more junior folks, it means also hiring more senior folks who can manage them. I am a big believer that Dunbar’s Number is a thing, especially in an organization that eschews a conveyer-belt style development methodology and instead thrives when people collaborate quite a bit on gnarly problems with ambiguous solutions. You will almost never, in this business, find developers who love working on really large teams. Instead, they will all pine for the day when their dev team was 15 people because it’s just so much easier to stay in sync and to get shit done quickly when you’re small. I’m not offering some huge insight here — it’s the subject of tons of research into businesses and why they grow and how that often causes them to slow down. 
Third, just because you have more people doesn’t mean that the priorities of what you would work on would change. If we had six competent engineers magically appear, that doesn’t mean that the best allocation of those folks would be on some neglected feature of potentially marginal value. It may make more sense to bite off a larger project or to make sure some big problem got solved faster. How we prioritize features or work is a larger question (and this is a long answer already), but suffice to say that we greatly value player impact, and we do try to make room for smaller quality-of-life requests and meme-killing things alongside major reworks, such as Runes Reforged. 
Fourth, I should invoke the “mythical person month.” Throwing bodies at a problem isn’t a proven solution to make things happen faster. This gets into some of the points I already made above, but I just wanted to point out that business often acknowledge that more people isn’t the answer to everything. Related, you wouldn’t want to hire someone just for a three-month project and then fire them again. Some companies are fine with that approach (a lot of Hollywood still works that way), but Riot really wants to be a place staffed by lifers who want a long-term career here, not hired guns who jam out a project and then move on to the next gig. 
Design Director, League of Legends

Riot does not ship their goods to Latin America — why not put a store in Mexico and then make shipments to the rest of Latin America?

We initially tried direct stores in Latin America North and South but ran into a number of issues. We spun down those online stores because we weren’t able to provide a good experience for players, and it wasn’t a financially sustainable path. 
Since then, we’ve been exploring different ways to tackle this better, including working with partners like Gameplanet (in Mexico), as well as Zmart and Microplay (in Chile) to bring merch to players through different channels. 
But we’ve also run into a lot of roadblocks. Some countries in LAN and LAS don’t have stores that would be a fit for us to work with, or there are tax/importation challenges that can’t be readily resolved. Some countries have political situations going on that make bringing in merch and taking payment methods a no-go. We also did a deep dive exploration into whether we could manage an ecommerce store out of Mexico that would ship to every country in LAN. Unfortunately, it’s not viable given the cost, tax/customs, and shipping considerations, especially in trying to supply to all 29 countries in LAN. 
We’re hoping to keep pushing forth with other partners and exploring other solutions for LAN and LAS, so we can continue to expand access to players. But the road is so challenging that we don’t want to make promises in terms of when, how, or even if it’ll be do-able. 
Head of Channel, Riot Games Merch

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."

Worlds 2017 Merch in the Riot Merch Store

Worlds 2017 starts soon, and to make sure you are ready, Riot has dropped a new merch collection! Check out the new items below:
"The Radiant Wukong Figure comes with a special digital unlock of an exclusive Worlds Radiant Wukong icon. Follow the instructions post checkout to unlock."

"Destroy your enemies both in lane and in the fashion game with this limited edition destroyer jacket."
"The premium Worlds Hoodie features a raised scuba-style collar, a two-way front zipper, lengthened back, and custom-designed side panels. The Worlds crest is micro embroidered on the front and a Worlds design is gel printed on the back."
"Radiant Wukong is poised and ready to fight for the honor of Worlds. This is the official tee of Worlds 2017."
"This french terry crewneck features an embossed Worlds crest on the front, creating a large, yet subtle raised design. The pullover also has a black-on-black Worlds sleeve gel print, two side zippers, and a small red stylized 2017 embroidered logo on the left cuff."
"Featuring the cities of the Worlds 2017 competition tour, this streetwear style long sleeve makes it easy to rep Worlds all year round."
"Tibbers got in the Worlds spirit too! Sporting his own Worlds hoodie and exchanging his normal eye button for a gold one, he's ready to cheer on the next champions. Enjoy this limited edition version of Tibbers, made exclusively for Worlds 2017."
"Keep your head in the game and in gear."
"Accent your apparel with this limited edition pin, made with beautiful hand-filled enamel and metal."

Quick Hits

  • Riot LoveStrut provided links for high res versions of each of the new splash arts that hit the PBE this week:
[1] "If anyone wants 1920p splashes for Eternal Sword Yi, Sacred Sword Janna, and Soaring Sword Fiora, I've uploaded em"
[2] "Hiya cuties! Got some requests for some 1920p versions of the Arclight Yorick & Beekeeper Singed splashes. Try this!"


Last up, a few reminders on upcoming and ending soon promotions and sales!
  • With Worlds 2017 right around the corner, Summoner's Rift is starting the celebration early with new emotes, map accents, and much more as Worlds hits the RiftChampionship Ashe and her Golden Championship chroma, ward, and much more are now available! Check out the post for all the details!
  • 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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