Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 1/16, February Sales Schedule, & More

Posted on at 1:52 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for January 16th, the February sales schedule, & more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: January 16 

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for January 16th, including thoughts on partial updated in 2018, Lucian, Meddler's role at Riot, 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: 
Partial Updates in 2018 
Something we're going to be doing a bit more of this year is updating a single element on a champion that's not up to the standard of that character as a whole. We've been doing that for quite a while with gameplay and things like updating old loading screen art. We're looking to do more of it for other stuff as well too though. 
First up, probably in 8.3, will be new visual effects for Cho'gath. Cho's base VFX are really rough. His model's showing its age somewhat too, but not to the extent his spells are. We're not expecting we'll do a VGU on him for quite a while, so addressing his spells in the meantime makes sense. 
Not all of these projects will be visual. Our next target after that's likely to be redoing the VO for a champ whose voice over is pretty lacking relative to their other elements. More details on that soonish, all going according to plan. 
We're looking at some changes to Lucian, aimed at making him less level dependent (equalize him more between mid and bot lane) and rewarding him more for building crit. Those won't be in 8.2, should be in 8.3 or 8.4 though. 
My Role at Riot 
Figured it might be good to talk a bit about what I do at Riot. Help folks understand why I talk about the things I do, what questions I've got the context to answer, offer a bit more understanding as to what different people at Riot do etc.
  • My role is 'Lead Gameplay Designer'. That means I spend most of my time working with/supporting the work of the gameplay teams which make new champions, design items, work on features like runes or the health bar changes, do game balance etc. That's the stuff I talk about the most as a result.
  • I'm only occasionally involved with some of the other teams that do things like skins, clubs, the new client, champion mastery, Clash (tournaments) etc. With some exceptions I can't usefully talk about those sorts of things (I either won't know the answers myself or won't be sure what it's appropriate to talk about publicly).
  • My days involve a lot of helping teams co-ordinate, building long term plans, managing people, talking through design problems/goals with people and similar stuff. I don't do much hands on building of stuff anymore (direct design's not the core of my role, in contrast to when I used work on champions previously).
  • I'm not the head of the balance team. The team that does most patch to patch balance work (Live Gameplay) is one of the teams I'm responsible for, but I'm not one of the primary people picking targets and building balance changes for each patch. I'll offer feedback on both goals and specific changes, to the team, and our overarching balance approach is something I'm heavily involved in, so certainly feel free to hold me responsible for the state of balance. Picking who to buff/nerf and what numbers to change isn't something I do much of though. I do talk a lot about balance, because it's a subject of a lot of interest to you folks, but I'm almost always talking about our views as an organization, not my personal opinions. 
Lower Framerates recently for some people 
Don't have anything new to report on this front yet, we're still working on it though, not a forgotten issue. More to come as soon as we've got something new to share (exact cause of problem, how we'll fix etc)."

Meddler talked more on Lucian:
"Intent here is to move power away from levels so that he can duo lane more effectively again. We think right now he's too pulled towards solo laning by both levels (solo XP) and items (non crit)."

He continued:
can i expect a reduction to his Q ad scaling and adding a crit chance scaling?
From memory we're testing passive damage starting a bit higher (50-60%, instead of 40-60%) so levels matter less in that regard, plus second shot crit damage at 75% instead of 50%. Those aren't final changes necessarily, but an example of the sorts of things we're looking at for him."

Meddler went on:
if those don't also come with some kind of compensatory nerfs then you basically just made him better everywhere.
We think he's too weak in general too, so that's part of the goal. Not yet sure if the magnitude of the buff is correct though."

When asked about GragasMeddler replied:
Any update on Gragas? You guys tested E Flash combo removal you were talking about few months ago or maybe you did other tests or have other plans? Also what are your thoughts on his current state (and that this state seems to reoccur every year since his rework)?
Still want to look more into whether we should take that combo out. Not the right time to do so though, given he's on the weak side right now. Wouldn't make any changes to him until we see where Runic Echoes changes land at the least and how that impacts him. Hoping to not put so much power back into him that he goes back to competitive pick/ban either, which is one of the reasons we haven't rushed to buff him."

When asked about the possibility of just a model update on a champion, Meddler commented:
This is pretty exciting to me, do you think it will ever make sense to update the model of a character without doing gameplay or is that too expensive/time consuming to make any sense? I'm thinking of someone like udyr maybe
Model only updates might happen, particularly depending on your definition of what model only means. If a champion's model needs work, but their animations and rig (skeleton that the animations/model are built on) are good, then replacing the model's not too bad a task. We did that with Maokai a couple of years back for example and I think the result looks pretty good (if you've never seen it, worth looking up old Maokai). Some champs on the other hand have really poor animations/rigs, so even if they don't need other work replacing just the model's not an option. We can still do texture work on them (changing what's drawn onto the model), but there are limits to how much that can improve things and we've hit most of the texture opportunities already at this point."

When asked about a VO update on a certain Armordillo, Meddler replied:
Would you say you will do Voice Over Updates on champions with...
an OK voice over right now?
Would you say that?
I'd be super sad if a champion with an OK voice no longer had an OK voice. That would not be OK. 
I don't believe we've got any plans for VO changes to him, at least not at present, and I'm confident even if we did we'd be keeping his personality the same."

On XerathMeddler commented:
Xerath lost a bit power due to Sorcery rune nerfs. Do you still plan to nerf him? 
LCK doesn't ban or pick him anymore.
Xerath hasn't cropped up in balance talks for a while. We've got our 8.3 planning session coming up soon though, will let you folks know if he's back on the radar at all there."

Meddler noted his thoughts on the new player experience:
"We've got some people who'll be looking at the new player experience this year. That work's still in the planning stages, so can't share any details yet and it'll be quite a while before most of it goes out. 
I'm sure we'll talk about various bits of work once we're clearer on what we're doing. Talking about new player stuff can be a bit different to most topics though because the audience you're most interested in (people who haven't played at all yet, or have only just started) generally aren't found on a game's forums or other community sites as much. Feedback that does crop up is sometimes more from other types of player with an interest in the same space (e.g. smurfs, or people wanting to make 1 trick accounts). That's no reason not to talk of course, but it changes how some feedback gets interpreted."

Maple Nectar popped in to talk about Zac:
Any update on the potential zac changes you hinted at a while back?
We ended up shelving the changes to Zac for now. They revolved primarily around his Q and some of the rules around it - but he landed in a spot where he didn't end up needing the changes (they would have resulted in a power down for the Zac player). We may revisit him at some point in the future, but for now there's no active work on him."

Maple Nectar also commented on Thresh, as well as 8.3 balance planning:
"Thresh is someone that came up in a fair number of conversations last week actually. One of the designers on the team was looking into what we could ship for him in 8.3 as compensation for losing some of the effectiveness of relic (could be something as simple as hp/5), but he's definitely on our radar. 
We have the planning for 8.3 tonight, I'd be surprised if jhin doesn't come up naturally, but I'll make sure to bring him up since you're right, those buffs were cancelled and he's dropped quite a bit since then (at the time he had become near 100% pick ban in pro and buffing him just given the number of things in the sorcery tree that were propping him up). I think there's a lot more room to give him some strength back now."

On Zoe and YasuoMeddler replied:
Thoughts on zoe after nerfs ? 
Also what happened to Yasuo update you guys were talking about here: ?
We're suspicious Zoe's still not giving sufficient telegraph on Q+R, not sure if we'll make further changes though. 
No plans for a Yasuo small update at this point, combination of changing state of the game and some small work seem to have put him in a pretty stable state. Putting time into other higher priority champs instead as a result."

As for HeimerdingerMeddler commented:
"We felt Heimer was overperforming, including at high Elo where traditionally he's been weak. Some of that was changing state of the game, some of it likely Stopwatch removing some of his early game weakness in some situations. Our conclusion was that RQ damage made it excessively hard to all in him in lane, even in situations where that should be an appropriate play. We felt we had to take a lot of damage out of the beam in order to get a meaningful impact there and so far at least it doesn't look like we've hit Heimer too hard."

On FiddlesticksMeddler replied:
Any changes on fiddlesticks? he seems so forgotten, he barely does any damage he is so bad at jungle atm... i know that he really needs a VGU, but could you do some buffs so he is decent in jungle? his clear is so bad and his ganks are just terrible atm.
Buffs for Fiddle are likely once we've buffed Runic Echoes and seen how much more he needs to jungle reasonably."

When asked about ability icon updates, Meddler commented:
Hi Meddler! Some time ago you said a team was working on ability pics. Can we expect more than those for Nunu, Rene, Amumu and Mundo? ^^
We'll do some more sometime this year, not sure when though yet beyond 'more in 2018'."

On Volibear, Meddler replied:
did u finalisize Volibear buffs or are u still testing ?
Still testing. Mini knockback on E has shown some promise, potentially not enough though so also looking at other changes. Won't be in 8.2, getting closer though."

As for AzirMeddler commented:
Hey meddler, what are your thoughts on Azir, is he in a ok spot after the last nerfs? Also any plans for sudden impact?
Azir - I suspect he's too strong, not sure about the team's thoughts on him though. Expect he'll be one of the ones discussed in the next planning session. 
No current plans for sudden impact."

And on Evelynn, Meddler replied:
any nerfs to eve coming up?
Nerfs in 8.2 to her E damage. We think she's strong already and buffing Runic Echoes will compound that."

February sales schedule 

Here's Riot Evaelin with the February Sales Schedule:
"Check out all the champs and skins on sale this February! Like previous sales schedules, we’re not posting the exact dates for each champ and skin, but they’ll all be on sale sometime next month. 
Just a heads up – since we’re publishing these in advance, we won’t offer partial refunds on champs and skins purchased before they go on sale."

Quick Hits

  • With the 2018 season starting 1/16, there is a new 2018 Season and Honor Help Desk up on the boards! Check it out for answers to all the questions you may have in the new season:


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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