Red Post Collection: Swain Champion Update Discussion, Battlecast Illaoi: Visuals and Sound Effects, & More

Posted on at 7:19 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes discussion about the Swain champion update, a look at the progress on the Battlecast Illaoi skin, a /Dev update on Runes reforged, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Swain Champion Update Discussion

With Swain's large scope Champion Update now up for testing on the PBE, lots of discussion is happening across the web! Check out what Rioters are saying below:

Riot Szymba noted that the ravens that show up on terrain when playing Swain are being looked at to stop them from stacking on each other:
"Hmm, thanks for the heads up on those FPS issues. I'll take a look into it. 
On the ravens, we are making some changes to the logic that determines when/where they will show on the map. I'm fairly certain that will clear up any instances of the birds all showing up on the exact same point. Should be in for tomorrow's PBE deploy.

Reav3 confirmed that enemies would not be able to see the birds:
"Enemies don't see them"

Riot Szymba noted that Bilgewater Swain's recall is being looked at as well (just a normal raven at the moment, rather than a colorful parrot):
"Hey there! Thanks for the post, we're looking into this today. I also want my sweet parrot recall"

RiotKarateMonkey noted Swain has music that plays just for the player when leaving the fountain:
"There is no custom music on swains ult. We do have some music for swain when he marches out onto the rift. That is just for the swain player."

Interlocutioner noted most of the "secret"champion voiceover lines in Swain's special interactions should be triggered by killing a champion and taking their soul through his passive:
Hey LordHippoman, the SkinSpotlights video is a tad misleading. Though there are many ways to collect soul fragments, the intention is that you can only hear the "secret" VO when collecting through Swain's passive. I.e., the soul of a champ who is dead. Hopefully, the Lux line makes more sense in that context. Realistically, these are easter eggs and won't pop up in every game. 
Another fun note. The whispers you'll eventually hear swirling around Swain were recorded with a binaural mic, so you can kinda actually hear them move around you, if you're using headphones."

While not directly related to Swain, Efflam teased that we would be seeing Noxus lore updates soon:
If so, would we be seeing the likes of Noxian Champions getting some story additions?
Fairly soon."
Keep an eye out for more discussion as Swain continues his reign on the PBE!

Battlecast Illaoi: Visuals and Sound Effects

Here's Nerp1186 with a new update on Battlecast Illaoi, this time covering VFX and SFX:
"Now that the concept and basic modeling are close to complete, we enter a different phase of skin development. Instead of focusing on a single aspect of the skin, the team works on different parts at the same time. Today we’re looking at the progress we’ve made on Illaoi’s sound effects, visual effects, and recall animation. 
The initial idea for the audio effects on Illaoi’s spoken lines was to put processing on all of it, creating a parallel, angry voice layer that’d phase in and out on important keywords as she spoke. 
However, we need to keep in mind that we localize everything we do, which can make effects like this difficult since both the translations and delivery of the voice lines can be different across languages. 
Due to the enormous number of lines Illaoi has (one of the highest in the game), and the extreme margin of error once we account for all the languages, plus the fact that she has a very complex kit (looking at you tentacles!), the original plan to create an angry Battlecast layer that phases in and out is probably out of scope. Additionally, heavily-affected VO processing would feel pretty at odds with Battlecast Illaoi’s story and visuals. 
So we’ve had to drop that idea. Instead, we’re looking at doing heavy processing on her E lines (there are over 60 of these), which are the trippy, delayed ones that sound like she’s in your head.
We haven’t started working on the sound effects for her abilities yet, but hopefully next time we’ll have these built out more and will be ready to share. 
Generally when we make visual effects, we work on them over a number of iterations. While other disciplines can use concept art to quickly work out how something will look, VFX only exist in motion, so the usefulness of concept work can be limited. The first visual effects pass is a very rough blockout for what an effect will look like to help get a feeling for how something will look in motion.

This is an EXTREMELY EARLY test for what the passive effects on Illaoi’s robot head will look like. These effects need to capture the feeling of a “trailing element” that her base skin has while also amplifying the Battlecast aesthetic. As such, the intention for the robot head’s VFX is for it to look like there’s a spinal column trailing from it.

The second pass is where we start really refining the VFX, honing in on the elements that work and refining the colors. A final polish pass will be done later to clean up any minor visual bugs—such as the particles having a harsh edge where they intersect other geometry—or making sure things spawn and fade out smoothly.

From a VFX standpoint, Illaoi is one of the more complex champions in the game (a reoccuring theme!). A normal champion such as Nasus has around 35 individual particle files. However, between Illaoi’s tentacles, hit impacts, torn out spirits, countdown timer and dunk effects, Illaoi has over 100 individual files, all of which will need updating for her skin. Because of this, building out the skin’s VFX is going to take a little longer than usual. 
We generated a bunch of ideas for the recall in our initial creative meeting for Illaoi. Some of them were pretty crazy, but we decided to keep this one fairly self-contained without a ton of visual props to interact with. The community seemed to like some of the jetpack ideas from the previous post, so we thought incorporating that into the recall could be cool.

We also really wanted her to interact with the robot head since it’s such a major part of the skin. This recall seemed to be a good mix of action and fun and hits the Battlecast tone. We blocked some poses and showed it to the team. Everyone seemed to like it, so we moved forward with animating.

We thought it’d be light-hearted and still fit the Battlecast theme if Illaoi started the head up like a lawnmower to get it going.

Before the skin ships, we’ll do another polish pass to clean up the animation, and we’ll probably also add a start cord and maybe even some shoulder straps. The process thus far was done over the course of four or five days—here’s a time-lapse video showing how we animated the flying-portion of the recall:

That’s all for this week. See you next time! 
Catch up on the development: 

/Dev: Update on Runes Reforged

Check out this /Dev from Fearless, covering what is working and not working with Runes Reforged, as well as where they plan to take runes in the future:
"What’s working, what’s not, and what’s next?

Hello friends! Fearless here to talk about how we see the Runes update from a systemic perspective. I’ll call out what has landed well, what needs some work in the upcoming months, and what we’re looking to do in the slightly-more-distant future. 
Runes Reforged has landed more smoothly than we’d expected. In terms of gameplay, we’re seeing a lot of diversity in picks and larger strategies. We’re also quite surprised (and happy) by how much players are investing into theorycrafting, exploration, and discussion around Runes. While not without its strong champions and powerful runes, we are seeing a lot of diversity, with many champions having multiple rune pages, and many runes finding a number of different champions that make strong use of them.
Notably, we saw a lot of attachment to a number of runes in the Inspiration tree, which as a style we knew had weirder, more unique offerings. Kleptomancy has been a clear player favorite, but Unsealed Spellbook as well as some minor runes—like Future’s Market and Biscuit Delivery—have also had exciting use cases in both standard play and All-Stars. 
We’ve noticed players are better understanding their decisions in the system and are more able to express the trade-offs they’re opting into. We’ve gotten a lot of extra clarity and were able to make some late revisions because of player feedback from our design articles, PBE testers, and social media. Thanks to everyone who dedicated time to help make runes a better experience. 
We’ve seen some pain with stat bonuses feeling very restrictive, pushing people out of rune paths that they’d otherwise be excited about. For example, we know some players really don’t want to take attack speed on many fighters, even if they’d like to take Precision Keystones. In development, the style bonuses were intended to be a small amount of power to differentiate between paths, and we’ll be examining other ways to give out the stats that don’t diminish the ability to make decisions. 
We’re also seeing some issues with Resolve in general. We’ve aware that it doesn’t feel great for squishy characters to splash into the Resolve tree, even when they’re worried about their lane. We want Resolve to be a place for any champion to grab a little extra defense when they need it, and the Conditioning slot is probably the first place we’ll make improvements. We’re looking into big and small changes to improve this slot, but no timeline yet on when we’ll ship those changes. 
We know that Resolve has a lot of different champions to support, and fighters especially feel like they aren’t as welcome as pure tanks. They feel less empowered by multiplicative durability options, and Resolve is lacking on elements that read as greedy, aggressive options that fighters need—even if they also need a substantial amount of durability. This issue ties into style bonuses, multiple slots, and Keystones, so it’s likely this will be a project we take on over a number of patches this year. 
Runes still have a lot of room for improvements, and we’re working hard to make sure Runes are not only a great system in-game, but also that they’re a great experience in the client.
On the gameplay side, we will be actively adding, tweaking, and rebuilding runes in the months and years ahead. Along with some of the targets mentioned above, we’re also looking to improve runes that just aren’t delivering on fun. Unsealed Spellbook and Minion Dematerializer are both in states where we don’t like their impact when they are effective, and we want to find versions of these runes that are more enjoyable and healthy for the game.

We’ll also be keeping an eye on the impacts from Runes as the system becomes more understood and players begin to better optimize it. We always see some amount of change to game time and pacing during preseason, but given the impacts on early game power, we’re very intent on understanding where the game pacing has changed. We’ll also be looking into any shifts in combat pacing, especially if there are any dramatic changes in the average time it takes to kill particular types of champions. 
Finally, we have a lot of usability and experience improvements for building and managing pages. We’re working on drag and drop for the runes inventory, mass deletion for those extra pages we’ve all built, and even a fancy high-res mode with some extra polish for players who want luxurious visual feedback while they build their pages. 
Building and shipping Runes was a long process, and we’re committed to improving and expanding Runes for many seasons to come. We wanted to tell you where we’re planning to go next, but we also want to hear what runes improvements matter the most to you. Hit us up in the comments (or any of the normal social media channels) to let us know what changes would be most exciting for you."

Account transfers half off for a limited time 

The wait is over! Here's Bilby announcing that account transfers are back with a special sale as an apology for being down so long:
We see you, and we’re sorry for being so late. With patch 8.2, server transfers are back, and they’ll be 50% off the normal 2600 RP price for two weeks as an apology. You have until February 6th at 11 AM PST to get the discounted price. Happy travels! 
Please note: Due to higher-than-usual volume, transfers may be slow to go through at first. If you’ve got other questions about account transfers, our friends in Player Support have answers."

Quick Hits

  • Make sure to check out Crystal Quest, a weekly fan comic from ARTeapot that updates on Mondays!
"Why are they not making Mic Checks anymore, they were so nice, no?" Well Jankos, we have good news: Mic Check is back for the EU LCS!


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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