Red Post Collection: The 2018 Season Starts Soon, Ask Riot: The Meta & Ward Slots, & more

Posted on at 5:25 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes the start date of the 2018 season, this week's Ask Riot, a reminder on Rotating Game Modes, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

The 2018 season starts soon 

Here's Cactopus with details on the season start date:
"The 2018 season is nearly here. On January 16th, 2018, take the first step and begin your journey. 
As in previous seasons, your rank will be soft-reset at the start of the season: Your new rank will be based off of both your existing MMR and your performance in 10 placement games. 
In Challenger tier, we’re removing the solo-only restriction in Ranked Solo/Duo. We saw that Challenger players were facing Master tier duos pretty regularly, which ends up making the queue less competitive overall (despite the original intention back in 2016), and also punishes duos on the upper echelons of Master for winning too hard. We’ll be monitoring how much this impacts the health of the queue over the coming weeks. 
In addition to your tier, ranked rewards will have a requirement of Honor level 2 or above at the end of this season. 
Like ranked, Honor resets with the season start as well. Honor level 3, 4, and 5 players get a scaling head start, and you can learn all the details over here. After that, it’s up to you to fight with Honor on your way up the ladder. 
2018’s Honor rewards start at Honor level 3. 
… and more 
When the new season starts, you can once more earn Hextech chests for each champion by getting an S- or higher champion mastery rank in-game. 
You're definitely gonna want to do your placements early and stay Honor level 2 or above so you can participate in our new tournament experience, Clash
A lot’s changed since preseason began! Check out these pages for details: 
See you on the Rift!"

Ask Riot: The Meta & Ward Slots 

This week's Ask Riot is now available, covering ward slots, the meta and more:
"This week, it’s displaying the killing-spree bounty, control ward slots, and whether we intentionally change the meta. 
Is there a chance that control wards will ever get their own slot so you can buy them even when fully equipped?

It’s not likely that we’ll implement the solution of building a slot specifically for control wards. We’ve talked about a slot for consumables, both to help with particular roles that end up low on inventory at some point in the game, and to ensure that more players can still play the vision game when they have six items. This is a much more complex issue than folks might assume. 
The first issue is that we’re not sure that running out of slots is a bad thing. It’s important that late game is meaningfully different from other phases of the game. Currently, one of the most significant differences is that the map starts to darken. While it can be frustrating to hold off on an item, or have to make difficult decisions about where to use a trinket, those choices can also be meaningful and increase the feeling that stakes are high as games go late. 
A second issue is that this a consumable slot is a bit of a band-aid solution. We’re not very happy with a vision system that is attached to the item system. It requires significant amounts of gold, and for most players, it gets strongly position bound. I’d personally be much more excited to start fixing the fundamental problems of the vision system rather than making small improvements to what we have. We’ve been making small iterative improvements to vision for a long time, and I believe we’ve hit the limit of what the system can offer without larger structural changes. 
Senior Designer, Game Systems

Do you guys intentionally make changes to alter the meta?

Short answer – nope. 
While our work definitely has an impact on what is considered meta at any given time, we never go into a period of the year and go “alright, it’s been long enough, time to make poke strats dominant again!” Rather, metas tend to evolve throughout a season based on a variety of factors like regional champion preferences, different skill levels, what you see in pro play, etc., so it’s more like a continual process of adaptation for players as they optimize towards the next best thing as we change the game every patch. 
Gameplay Producer 

I have a question regarding hp bars. I quite enjoy the new style and accessibility of information they provide. However, I really miss the killing-spree badges near the hp bar. Are they coming back?

Hi, glad you like the update. The Tl;Dr answer to your question is no, at least not in game space. We felt the bounty display was not providing enough tactical value to warrant its high visibility, so we repurposed that spot to deliver more widely-relevant targeting info like defensive windows and timely state changes. 
The bounty display was originally intended to add another decision-layer to target selection as well as expose new players to the concept of shutdowns and gold sharing. What we found was that in most cases, if a player was able to kill a target, they would regardless of their bounty status. 
Put another way: You’re Rengar and you spot some squishies grabbing blue. You ult and pop whichever champ is closer, smite blue, dip into brush, jump on the other one, and flash m’pengu. After killing them, you notice a shutdown in chat. Or maybe it’s a late game team fight, and you notice the enemy Rammus has a full badge and the backline has one or two. Even taking bounty rewards into consideration, you should still probably go for the squishies. 
Anyways, how did you use the old bounty display? What do you miss about it? 
Sr. UX Designer, Core LoL

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."

Patch Chat with the Playtest Team - 8.1  

Here's Riot Novalas with the first Patch Chat of the year for Patch 8.1:
"Hey everyone and welcome to Patch 8.1, the first patch of the new season! 
I’m Riot Novalas & I’m a QA Analyst on Riot’s Playtest Team, a group of high elo players who work on Core Gameplay playing new champions, reworks, balance tweaks, items, and map updates before they’re released. It’s our job to 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. 
Patch Chat serves as an opportunity for us to talk about the patches that come out every two weeks. 
You can find information on the most recent patch by following this link: 
We’ve got some love towards Brand, Graves, and Skarner & a whole load of bugfixes for Syndra (and a bit for Evelynn). Zoe and Heimer have eaten some nerfs too! We’ve also got some Predator buffs & Resolve Set Bonus shifts. 
Ask us anything about 8.1! Our favorite rune builds, perhaps? Our likes or dislikes? Maybe how often we execute to jungle camps? Or, well, anything! We’re also down to just chat though! 
Disclaimer: We have no insight on upcoming/future skins. 
  • Don “Riot Aesah” Ding
  • Adam “Riot Afic” Cohen
  • Chris “Auberaun” Roberts
  • Christy “Riot Ender L” Frierson
  • Nick “Riot Endstep” Frijia
  • Sigmundur “GangIeri” Helgason
  • Arnor “Riot Hjarta” Halldorsson
  • Rob “Riot King Cobra” Rosa
  • Miktat “Riot Koyuncu” Koyuncu
  • Brian “Riot Madness Heroo” Pressoir
  • Nabi “Riot Novalas” Barak
  • Dan “Riot penguin” Hardison
  • Robert “ROBERTxLEE” Lee
  • Trevor “Riot ThEntropist” Thernes"

Quick Hits

  • Riot Maple noted they were closely watching what effect the changes to Glacial Augment from the 1/11 PBE update could do:
"Yep - there's definitely a legit possibility of this becoming overbearing on ranged champions, but the general line of thought (and I'm summarizing a lot here) is that glacial augment is one of the lowest pick rate keystones at it's current tuning. If by bumping up the numbers to this level it suddenly breaks and becomes meta warping, we'll probably need to just go back to the drawing board on the keystone as a whole. We want every keystone to feel like a legitimate option and we're just not there atm with Glacial Augment (though I have found it a fun keystone to take when playing Jungle Teemo with my friends oddly). 
At any rate - we're hyper aware that it could become an issue, but we want to at least try and just give it a little extra umpf before looking at larger foundational work."
  • Riot Maple also noted some Viktor changes that should be coming to the PBE soon:
"Got another on for Viktor that didn't hit the PBE today. We're talking about whether we have room for another line, but for now we're pretty confident in this as a direction."

  • Riot OwleyCat commented on the boards, giving a glimpse into what programs the illustrators use to make splashes:
"Hi Twiskies! I'm an illustrator on the Champions team. First thank you for your kind words, and you ask a good question! 
Its pretty standard to use Adobe Photoshop - I use CC 2016, at home and at work, with a Wacom tablet. I also think a program called PureRef is really helpful for organizing reference materials. There are dozens if not hundreds of reference images for each splash - from pose and character model to materials and lighting. Sometimes I like to sketch on my iPad with Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. 
When it comes to polishing, Photoshop is just too powerful to use anything else. I think the 'magic' comes from studying things like film, movies and environments and replicating believable effects like depth of field, atmosphere, dust motes, vfx, etc. It's not dissimilar to photo processing in Photoshop. Check out some youtube videos about really cool things like the color lookup and selective color tools. 
Hope that helps! :)"


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • As noted by Riot Aeon, there will be no Rotating Game Mode for the next few patches while they work on getting One For All working in the client!

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