Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: February 16th, Narrative in 2018, & More

Posted on at 11:59 AM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for February 16th, a Nexus article on Narrative in 2018, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: February 16 

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for February 16th, covering 8.5 balance, Baron buff & bug fixes, Blast Cone timing and more:
"Hey all, 
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: 
Some 8.5 Changes 
Like 8.3, 8.5 will be a small patch, with quite a bit less in it than large patches like 8.4 or 8.6. It's also likely there'll be some things on the PBE during the 8.5 cycle that don't ship until 8.6 or later. 8.5 will have some changes though of course, likely including:
  • Nerfs to Tristana. She has insufficient weaknesses at present, so looking to introduce or sharpen a weakness most likely, rather than just hitting power generally.
  • A nerf to Duskblade's proc damage and potentially some clean up to the rules around how the Blackout passive work.
  • Changes to make at least some of the dragon buffs more desirable/fought over early game. Not sure on any details here yet.
  • Azir, Ryze and Galio nerfs. Ryze particularly challenging given how stark his discrepancy between regular performance and pro performance already is.
  • Nocturne and Olaf buffs. 
Baron Buff and Bug Fixes 
For 8.4 we concluded we should be increasing the amount of damage Baron Buff gives to Cannon minions, since at present their damage contribution's often irrelevant. At the same time however we also ended up fixing a bug where Cannon minions weren't properly considering their total AD in some circumstances (most relevant: Banner of Command buff). That meant a situation where what was intended to be a moderate damage increase became a massive damage increase when the two effects multiplied each other. We've got some tweaks going in for 8.4 as a result so that the extra damage Cannon minions offer is increased as originally intended by a moderate rather than enormous amount. 
Blast Cone Timing 
One change in 8.4 that's easy to miss is that we increased the initial spawn time on the Blast Cones near each Gromp camp and behind Baron and Dragon pits significantly (was in the 125-140s range, now 300-330s range). Goal there is to provide a longer period where laners aren't being threatened by its use by junglers, meaning they either have to pop it, can't play as aggressively or have to ward its location. Mentioning in part because also wanted to hear people's thoughts on plant spawn times and frequencies in general. Are there other plants you think should spawn earlier/later, more or less often, in different locations to where they do at present?"

When asked about Tristana, Meddler commented:
Hey Meddler, FeralPony mentioned a while back that you guys felt Tristana could use sorta a mini update to sharpen her weaknesses and make her less of a generalist ADC. Do you think she still needs larger work
Think she needs some sharpening, don't think it needs to be as large as a mini update though. Reducing some of her safety in particular would help a bunch and that's one of the things we'll be looking at in 8.5. Possible we add a really late nerf to 8.4 as well as an earlier start too (higher ult CD at ranks 2 and 3, with additional changes to follow)."

Meddler continued:
"Strengths I'd say Trist has are strong scaling, safety/self reliance, fight clean up (resets) and reliability of PVP pattern. That's not to say any amount of strength in those areas goes though and we're pretty confident even with a longer ult CD late game Trist would still be a very safe ADC. 
In terms of other possible nerfs, looking at her laning strength for an ADC with strong scaling is another likely avenue."

Narrative in 2018 

Here's Thermal Kitten and Scathlocke with a deep dive into the process of creating and updating lore:
There’s a little misconception floating around the internet, that when it comes to Riot and League of Legends, there is a single “lore team” who write all the stories, decide all the character backgrounds, and is solely responsible for building out Runeterra. The truth is, the history of our lore is a lot more disjointed than that. Real talk… over the years many elements of our storytelling and lore-building have been handled (somewhat haphazardly) by enthusiastic people from across many different teams. If it felt like the left hand didn’t always know what the right was doing, it was because those hands were often separated, and on vastly different products. 
At the end of last year, we—that is, Ariel “Thermal Kitten” Lawrence and Laurie “Scathlocke” Goulding—started managing and reviewing every new piece of lore, every story, script, and bio created by our narrative writers, to help fix and improve this. The content still comes from different teams, but now there are people (us!) responsible for trying to ensure all these separate pieces make sense together. 
Our new, primary mission is to take Runeterra to the next level—something we can develop and expand on as much as needed in the future—and to give every champion a unique place within it. 
With that in mind, we want to talk to you about 2018. We’ve got a few goals for the year ahead: 
  • Keep releasing content, keep developing the lore. We’re going to put out more material, more regularly, in more manageable chunks. There are so many great themes and ideas we can look at from patch to patch, so we’ll be using those to guide our efforts, to some extent. For example, releasing a champion at the same time as updating their faction (like Swain with Noxus) is something we want to keep doing as often as we can.
  • Be better at communicating with, and listening to, players. Expect more behind-the-scenes looks at how the narrative folk do what we do, and more opportunities to interact and engage with our writers and editors directly. We can’t promise that you’ll agree with every decision we make, but we certainly want to know when you like what we’re doing, and when you think we messed up.
  • Answer some long-standing questions. We know there is confusion about how we make those always-tricky lore decisions, and why we might seem not to “get” a particular champion. We want to help clear all of that up, and hopefully share a little of our reasoning and excitement for what’s coming in the future.
So, in the spirit of better communication, we’d like to tackle two of the questions we get asked frequently (especially recently): Why do you update a champion’s lore? and How will lore updates match up with gameplay updates? 

With League, our philosophy has always been to evolve the game—not just by making changes, but by making improvements. If there’s a bug in the client, we patch it… and likewise, we shouldn’t be afraid to patch the lore, if need be. (Go ahead, give us your meme hit list. Inconsistency is a bug that drives us crazy too!) 
Our aim is to improve the experience, improve the setting, make it more robust, build a framework for something greater. We’re not satisfied with champs having “okay” backstories. We’re not satisfied with generic tropes, or in-jokes referencing stuff that just doesn’t really fit into the Runeterra setting. We’re not satisfied with a world only certain people can understand or enjoy. 
We spend a lot of time with our champions and we love them. (Yes, even Amumu.) Because of that, we don’t want you to just “like” a champion—we want you to LOVE them too. Love them enough to main them on the Rift, talk about them, cosplay them, write fan-fiction, create artwork, and want to learn more about their world. 
We’re trying to set up Runeterra for the long haul, to create a place that can tell stories about our champions for a long time—and that means we’ve had to make some changes. Many of the changes made to our lore in recent years have been aimed at consolidating characters, regions, cultures, and histories to allow that to happen, but sometimes those changes have been painfully abrupt. We know there are champions that were over-simplified, or under-explained, and we want to avoid that wherever possible from 2018 onward. No more surprise Varus updates. Where it seemed like Riot hasn’t always considered the way you feel about your favorite parts of the lore before adjustments are made, we aim to change that. 
Let’s start by talking about when and how we update champions. 
While we usually accompany gameplay and visual updates with a new bio and/or color story for a champ, there’s a couple ways we can also do “character updates” without anything changing in-game. 
Sometimes, we’ll show characters visually in their lore environment, rather than an abstract gaming context like Summoner’s Rift. You’ve hopefully watched the new Annie video and read the latest Miss Fortune comic. These types of storytelling can go deeper into a champ’s themes and character than their VO lines and gameplay alone. 
Other times, we’ll post new written lore content to the Universe website—this can be anything, from an illustrative quote to a full short story (Demacia and the vastaya got a handful of these in 2017). It’s another way of worldbuilding across everything we publish, and we believe that if a story doesn’t give you a new piece of information about a character or the world in the telling, then it’s not fully doing its job. 
But why do we bother? If there’s no Visual/Gameplay Update, why touch the lore? 
The reason is, doing a full VGU can take a long time. If we were waiting for those releases, it would take more than ten years (!) to update just the champions… let alone the factions, locations, historical events, magic, runes, and all the other elements of the setting around them. We also want to get to a place where these updates can be inspired by the lore. If we experiment and take our characters to new places in stories beyond the game, we can develop and progress them more authentically. 
New champions? Of course. Champion updates? For sure. But we’re busy working on a lot more. 
So far this year, we dove into Noxus with Swain and saw how the empire operates at its highest level. Boram Darkwill is gone, and the ill-advised invasion of Ionia is over (or IS it…?) There were also four new bios—Swain, Darius, Katarina, and LeBlanc—a new color story (“The Black Powder Plot”), and the slightly longer tale “The Principles of Strength,” which reveals how the Trifarix runs things. 
Some other factions we’re looking at hitting in the coming months, Nagakabouros willing: 
  • The Void, and some of its abyssal mysteries
  • Ionia, in all its harmonious (and disharmonious) glory
  • Bilgewater, and the dark, cold seas around it
  • The mysterious darkin… 
Don’t expect any let-up in the rate we’ve been releasing the new bios and color stories. We’re hoping to bring you more connected and consequential fiction, multimedia content, hidden Easter Eggs for the real lore-heads… everything is back on the table this year. 
We also have more comics in the works! Reception to the first few standalone issues has been great, but we want to deliver even more content. We’re already looking at multi-issue miniseries, focusing on some big plot arcs for some very well-known champions in 2018, and beyond. 
In addition to all of the actual narrative content, you can expect more communication from us on what we’ve done and what we’re doing next, in the form of Nexus articles, /dev diaries, and more. 
That’s all from us for now, but we genuinely want to know what you think, and how we’re doing. Which parts of Runeterra would you like to explore? Which champions do you think need a tune-up? Give us your questions and feedback via Ask Riot, in the comments section below, on the Boards and the League subreddit, or in a carefully inked and wax-sealed parchment letter. Whatever you prefer."

Quick Hits

"yea; I held the announcement until we have the recall done, and more concrete stuff to actually show. It'll come via email directly to winners but not for another few weeks. The first line of the email is an apology for the delay in announcement :/"
"TooCurly’s epic remix using sounds from League of Legends cinematics. 
**Created in collaboration with Riot Games**"


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • Hunt of the Blood Moon is now available to play during the Lunar Revel through February 19th!
  • The Lunar Revel is here! Through February 19th, check out new skins, chroma, missions, Hextech crafting, emotes, ward skins, new merch, and much more!

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