Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 2/21, Champ Mastery Costs, Masterwork Chests, and Some Loot Buffs, & More

Posted on at 1:36 PM by Aznbeat
[2/23 Update: Added in mid patch update bugfixes!]

Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for 2/21, a thread from Cactopus on Champ Mastery costs, Masterwork Chests, and more, as well as a new Ask Riot, Teemo's Big Birthday Datapalooza, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

2/22 Mid Patch Update

A small mid patch update went out overnight featuring some Rengar bugfixes as noted by Riot August:
"2/22/2018 Rengar Fixes 
  • CALM DOWN, DUDE Rengar will no longer repeatedly use a VO line when reaching max ferocity stacks
  • FUMBLE Fixed a bug where Rengar's Q - Savagery empowered attack fizzled if Savagery's buff expired during the attack animation
  • BLUE JUICE Rengar can no longer gain mana potions from the Kleptomancy Rune"

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: February 21

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for February 21st, covering a new Precision keystone, midseason patch size, 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: 
New Keystone 
As previously mentioned we’ve been working on a new keystone to flesh out the Rune system more. It should be on the PBE sometime this week, though will probably be in 8.6, not 8.5. It's intended to offer a combination of sustained damage and target agnosticism (so good at killing tankier enemies) and at present it looks like this: 
  • Triggers the same way Grasp of the Undying does (first auto attack on an enemy champion after being in combat for 4s).
  • When triggered gives AD and cause some of your physical/magic damage to be dealt as true damage instead.
  • Is found in the Precision tree.
  • Fairly short CD. 
Things that still need to be answered:  
  • How to ensure it's not too powerful, or only useable when balanced on ranged champions. We're testing a couple of different approaches here, with buff duration extends when really near (~300 units) an enemy champion and buff duration extends on melee auto attack.
  • Whether to gate when the true damage conversion turns on, or at what rate the conversion happens. We've been trying mechanics like 'Build X AD and Y HP' to activate the conversion, or a scaling ratio on the conversion based off your AD/HP.
  • Whether Precision is the correct tree. We'd previously been trying this in Resolve, on the grounds that it was intended to pair well with long fight times and required being close to the enemy (proximity extension version meant putting yourself in more dangerous spots). That meant there was a lot of synergy with what Resolve offers. That worked ok, and offered really clear distinction between it and other Keystones. Did end up feeling like it blurred the definition of Resolve quite a bit (what do I go there for?). Likely it stays in Precision as a result, unless its functionality changes meaningfully.
  • Whether a True Damage conversion is the way to go here. Dual % Pen would give the same gameplay in almost all circumstances (your damage is stronger against Armor/MR stacking enemies). Using True Damage does make it much clearer what's going on, to both user and target. It also comes with a much stronger emotional reaction, both positive and negative, even if the power's balanced at the same point as the pen would it ('True damage is really powerful, nice' versus 'True Damage is stupid, there's no way to place around this Keystone'). 
Midseason's Size 
Midseason's like to be smaller this year than the last couple of Midseason's have been. The amount of change in the Preseason just been was higher than past Preseasons. As a result we're putting more time into Preseason follow up (balance, game pacing, bug fixing, fleshing out Runes gradually etc), rather than working on new projects as much. Still planning some changes to open up Bot lane champion choice more, fairly likely that's the only major set of gameplay changes though in it (which is probably 8.9). 
Mastery Curves 
Mastery Curves are a thing we consider often when looking at designing new champions or working on existing ones. A Mastery Curve is a representation of how much more effective a player becomes on a champion as they play them more. They look like this:
Mastery Curves are different to how a champion's performance changes by MMR. Aurelion Sol for example does better on average at higher tiers, but even high tier players need a lot of games to climb his mastery curve and reach that performance level.
In terms of goals, we think it's important champions have some steepness to their mastery curves. Putting time into a champion should feel rewarding whether you're a new player, or about to break into Challenger. You should be able to clearly notice how you're getting better at them, both during your first few games and when you're many games in,. If a champion has a really flat curve they can sometimes end up feeling pretty unsatisfying to play. 
Volibear's an example of a champion who suffers from that somewhat. That's not to say that there isn't skill to getting better at Volibear, but the skills Volibear tests aren't unique enough to Volibear himself. You're generally getting better at LoL with things like positioning, map awareness, general game knowledge etc, but no growing in your usage of Volibear’s specific abilities as much. Those general skills translate to other champions you play so on average your performance on a champion like Volibear won't be much higher than your performance on other champs, even if you've played a lot of him. Someone like Singed by contrast, who has a really unusual playstyle, has a really steep mastery curve. There's a lot of unique stuff to learn to play Singed well, those skills often don't translate to other champs though. 
Steeper isn't always better though on mastery curves. While a player should get significantly better as they play a champ we don't want them to start out completely unable to do anything in their initial games. They shouldn't start at 100% effectiveness, but 0% isn't right either. (Launch Azir being an example of a mastery curve that was too punishing in the first few games.)"

Meddler talked more on the tentative new keystone testing on the PBE, Conqueror:
"It's not going to be a direct Fervor replacement, no. One of the big issues with Fervor was that it was such generalized damage. It's really hard to offer anything that competes with a whole bunch of AD which, on many users, came on almost immediately. That's one of the reasons (along with wanting another tankiness counter) we're looking at % pen or true damage here. Having some of a keystone's strength lie in tank busting helps distinguish it from other keystone choices, whether in the same tree or other ones. 
Marksmen sometime next week probably."

He continued:
Does Riot plan on working on other keystones that are rarely seen and/or used like Phase Rush now that you've introduced the new bruiser keystone?
We'll take a look at Phase Rush moderately soon yeah. It hasn't hit the mark, but addressing other Runes has been a higher priority. 
The new Keystone's not intended to be a bruiser specific keystone. It's likely to be a good choice on champions many people call bruisers, but it's not made purely for them nor should it be their only option."

Meddler went on:
Why not the domination tree? 
Seems like the champs who'd want this want flat AD already to go for targets (hunt), while precision is for attspd folk and Resolve primary mainly for tanks. 
Splitting stats for precision/resolve was a good move, but this new keystone doesn't seem to fit either of those trees :/
Domination's intended to be a tree about burst damage/target access, with shorter times to kill and a comparative lack of sustained damage. Precision with the AS/secondary stat split should open its user pool up quite a lot, given a little bit of AS was optimal on a wide range of champs who didn't build AS in the old system too. 
Also quite possible more Rune stat work's needed at some point too."

Meddler continued:
Hi meddler, question about the new keystone. Will it be adaptive or just give AD when its triggered? Also you talked about a shield busting item being made some months ago is that still on the radar for coming out or has the idea been scratched for now?
Likely just AD. Generally we want to use Adaptive in the pre-game system to open up choices to a wider range of champions. In this particular case though we felt making this adaptive would lead to it being dominant on various AP scaling tanks in particular, given some have pretty solid AP ratios and high base damages for the % pen or true damage to work off. Those champions aren't lacking in keystone choice as much and we didn't want to have to balance something intended for other users around them. 
Shield item's still planned, but got deprioritized relative to Runes system follow up (same team)."

Champ Mastery Costs, Masterwork Chests, and Some Loot Buffs

Here's Riot Cactopus with a thread on updates to the Loot system, Champ mastery costs, and more:
"Hey friends, 
Cactoperson here again to reveal some tweaks we're making to loot and champ mastery. 
We've got a bunch of changes to talk about, but before we do anything else I wanna point y'all to this Player Support page where we've just published full loot tables detailing all the numbers and special rules that explain how Hextech chests work. Expect similar transparency about any sort of paid loot boxes like this going forward. 
Alright, onto the changes! In each case below, we've listed the feedback we heard from you, then explained the change. 
  • You said... when you get one of the super-rare ultimate or mythic skin drops from loot, it doesn't feel great to have to disenchant tons of skins to unlock it.
  • So... Ultimate and Mythic skins will now drop as auto-redeeming permanents (no orange essence required to upgrade them). If you already own the skin, you'll be able to disenchant the permanent for orange essence. DJ Sona permanents, for example, will disenchant for 1625 OE.
  • TARGET PATCH: 8.5 
  • You said... it feels bad to get a low-value champ shard after working hard to earn a champ mastery chest (or after buying a Hextech chest).
  • So... now, when you get a champ shard out of a Hextech chest, it's guaranteed to be for a champion worth at least 4800BE. Note that this change only affects Hextech chests, not honor or leveling capsules.
  • TARGET PATCH: 8.5 
  • You said... it doesn't feel great when a box drops a super low-value ward skin.
  • So… when you get a ward skin from a Hextech chest, it'll now come with 150 bonus OE.
  • TARGET PATCH: 8.5 
  • You said... that some of you like buying Hextech chests but don't have much use for champ shards or BE.
  • So… new cosmetic-only "Masterwork" chests (165 RP each or 225 RP with a key) will be made available in the store. Details on these chests can be found with the other loot tables on our player support site.
  • TARGET PATCH: 8.7 
  • You said... now that blue essence can be used to purchase champs directly, Champ Mastery upgrades seem to cost a bit much by comparison.
  • So… the Champion Mastery 6 upgrade cost will be reduced by 800BE to 2450BE. Champion Mastery 7 will be reduced by 950BE to 2950BE.
  • TARGET PATCH: 8.5 
This is the third in a series of posts announcing changes to the leveling and rewards systems since preseason began. Check them out to see the other changes we've made in response to your feedback. 
Post 1: Leveling and Rewards - Early Impressions and AdjustmentsIn this first post, we made high-level climbing faster and revealed a bunch of numbers to prove that the new leveling system grants more rewards than the old IP-based system (even if you just disenchant everything). 
Post 2: Leveling and Rewards - Improvements to Milestone Emotes, Capsules, & FWotDIn this post, we announced changes to how milestone emotes work (making them free), tweaked leveling capsules to make them give out fewer low-value shards, and made the First of the Day timer more generous."

Riot Cactopus noted:
If you're sitting on an ultimate/mythic shard right now, will it be automatically upgraded once the change goes through? I know a few people sitting on ultimates including myself.
Nah, the change is just for stuff that drops starting with 8.5—that's why we're announcing the change early. Generally like a two weeks heads up is how we try to do it when we announce price drops or any kind of "generosity" buff like this"

Ask Riot: Leveling up in Honor

Here's this week's Ask Riot, covering Honor, Annie, and Xayah:
"Why isn’t my honor level going up yet? I’ve played many games and have been honored many times.

Everyone’s a little different, so bear with me. A lot of folks around the world have already dinged Honor level 3, or at least one of the checkpoints on the way there. If you haven’t reached those milestones yet, you’re probably not too far off. 
Now, if you’re in the Honor doghouse because of a penalty, it can take a little longer to move on up. We’ve actually been looking at this experience closely, and decided it was a bit too harsh. So over the next few weeks, Honor should be a bit more forgiving on the reclimb. To be clear, penalties work just the same, but the Honor reclimb will get a bit less steep. 
We’ll for sure let you know when this change to reclimbs ships over in the patch notes. 
Comms, Player Behavior  
Will Annie be getting any visual, voice over, or gameplay changes to go with the cinematic?

The short answer is no, not any time soon. We talked a little about this and our reasoning in a recent Nexus post on narrative. There are some updates to a champion’s lore that we won’t leverage changes to the champion’s existing visuals, voice over, or gameplay for. It’s not because we don’t want to, but because we have to weigh incremental changes against champions that are in heavy need of all three. For Annie, we choose to release a long bio that we hope gave more connection to the world and also how the events of the cinematic might shape some of the personality she expresses in game. 

Lead Narrative Writer 
Does Xayah lay eggs?

Narrative Writer

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."

Teemo's Big Birthday Datapalooza

Here's Isto, Riot Peaches, and Nancymon with a new Clairvoyance blog on the yordle everyone loves to hate, Teemo:
Today, we’ll use our big data engine to celebrate the legendary Teemo! We’ll take a look at Teemo’s 2017 with the help of data pulled from all Ranked SR games across Riot regions. There are really only two schools of thought on the Swift Scout, so let’s get right to it:
He’s so cute! I like how opponents weep when I pick him.
Obviously there’s no “best” Teemo skin—they’re all the best! But we understand that you can’t use all skins, all the time. Here are all the skins sorted by popularity: 
Omega Squad Teemo is the most popular Teemo, and it’s not even a close race! This skin captures Teemo in his element, executing covert ops for the greater good. 
In second place, we see Cottontail Teemo teaching local bunnies how to be cute and cuddly. 
Astronaut and Super Teemo shore up the center of our rankings, but it’s not your fault. Not everyone’s cut out to be an astronaut or a superhero (although Teemo handles both with ease). 
Now that we know Teemo needs more skins, let’s take a look at… 
Tristana means a lot to him, and that river brush is a staunch ally, but who does Teemo hang out with the most on the Rift? 
Most common ally: Lee Sin? I guess it makes sense… 
Jinx shows up almost as often as Lee Sin. Not sure why someone so enamored with wanton destruction would want to hang out with Teemo—I guess “perfect avatars of adorable” is a close second favorite in her book. 
It’s easy to think of this graph as just “which champions are popular.” So instead, let’s also look at which champions are played more frequently when Teemo is on their team(o): 
Xin Zhao shows up a LOT more when Teemo’s on his team. His winrate doesn’t budge too much, though. Maybe he’s just shyly following Teemo around, awaiting the chance for an autograph. 
Don’t worry, Amumu! Teemo’s always looking for more padding for his front line. 
Even better, we can sort champions by how well they cooperate with our cuddly crusader. 
Most successful ally: Zed! Teemo casts the largest shadow in Runeterra, so naturally he’s fast friends with the Master of Shadows. I guess if you wanna get technical, it makes sense for the premier AD midlaner to find greater success when Teemo takes the top spot. 
In fact, most of the champions on this list are AD fighters and assassins. When you’ve got enough damage, you don’t need a tank. Just kill everyone! 
Least successful ally: Singed is least consistent in pulling his weight, followed by Mordekaiser. Make sure your friends aren’t playing these champions. 
Hate to say it, but the number of top laners on this list suggests that perhaps Teemo suffers when out of his element. The only thing this list tells us is that if allied top laners know what’s good for them, they should just make room for Teemo. 
Next up… 
We hate these champions! 
Most common foe: Heimerdinger, followed closely by Garen. We didn’t account for pick order here, but it’s safe to say that one of these champions is likely picked before Teemo, and the other is picked after. 
Zoe’s here again! It’s possible she’s popping up throughout our lists because she was so intensely popular on release, and Teemo is so intensely popular all the time. 
We searched high and low for some facts to share about which champions beat Teemo the most often. Here’s what we found: 
Huh. Nothing to see here. Onward to better data! 
Look at all the melee top laners! Let’s share a laugh at their expense. 
Vayne is pretty high on the list, which is no surprise. She only hunts evil. 
Not sure what LeBlanc is doing here. Maybe that’s actually supposed to be Jarvan IV. 
He’s an unrepentant monster, and so is anyone who plays him.
There aren’t really any unpopular Teemo skins, but what’s important here is which skins win the most often. 
Are you surprised? Little Devil and Omega Squad Teemo lead the pack here, probably because they waste no energy in hiding their true colors. Lesson one: When the enemy shows their hand, pay attention. 
There are probably some Teemo mains reading this, and they may use this information to their advantage. Maybe they’ll go without a skin, or they’ll pick a middling skin like Recon Teemo just to mess with you. You know what? Just…watch out. Even when he’s on your team. Watch out. 
Oh, one other thing. Decorative is dangerous. Every chroma is more powerful than its base skin. Legions have fallen to Aqua Cottontail Teemo’s harmless exterior. Don’t be one of them. 
Conventional wisdom (and some earlier data) demands you avoid melee champions when playing against Teemo. If you’re playing one, chances are he tricked you into picking first, or you’re too stubborn for your own good. 
Against Teemo, there are no one-tricks, only pragmatic survivors. Here’s who best dishes the devil his doom: 
Pantheon soundly routs conventional wisdom, and remains our greatest asset in this war. It’s as if the Aspect of Battle descended from Targon solely to meet and eliminate Runeterra’s greatest threat. 
Rumble also gains ground against the fungal frustration. Among all Yordlekind, Rumble seems the only one truly cognizant of Teemo’s treachery. Look to him as an ally. 
A word of caution. Swain had a good year against the mouldering menace, but he’s been losing steam since his update. We can only assume Teemo’s agents have infiltrated the balance team. 
Teemo, for all his evil, does not stand alone. His allies support him even as he discards them, pawns put to purpose. Look out for these pairings:
It’s no secret that Tristana is close with the enemy, but it’s hard to believe they work so well together. 
What’s really interesting is that every single Yordle that doesn’t exclusively go top lane performs better alongside Teemo. Whatever his intentions, he does seem to be doing something right for his fellow Yordles… 
Battles against Teemo are a war against nature itself, and, red side or blue, the terrain is not your ally. We’ve managed to scope some intel*: 
Check out the full heatmap in the article!
*These maps were built from a week’s worth of games. Any more and we risked drawing his attention. 
0-5: Peace before the onslaught. Cherish these moments. You’ll notice a single mushroom staining the end of this time, a pixel presaging an impending doom. 
5-20: Top lane rapidly transforms into a fungal hellscape. Top laners, you’re on your own (but aren’t you always?). Warn your jungler away from conventional methods of approach, and recommend an ingress point closer to the enemy’s jungle. 
20-40: Never step directly into the center of a brush. Avoid the brush nearest the raptor pits—they’re both traps, whichever side you’re on. Teemo’s role as forward scout is on display here, as he prefers to lace lethality into his enemy’s jungle rather than his own. Finally, check your objectives. Teemo’s more likely to ‘shroom the objective his team can best access. That’s Baron for blue side, Drake for red. 
40+: The time is past for traps and deception; Teemo plants poison along the lane his team is pushing, so use caution when pursuing targets. You may notice a faint spread of mushrooms near the losing team’s Nexus. Intel suggests this is an arcane ritual Teemo uses to fuel whatever dark force impels him. It may, in fact, be the only reason he pushes toward the Nexus. If true, it’s the first insight we’ve discovered into Teemo’s alien impulse. 
Using this map, we’ve calculated a series of paths to follow throughout the match that will allow you to avoid 85% of Teemo’s traps. He may not know fear, but survival instincts will send him running as you stalk toward him, dodging ‘shroom after ‘shroom. All you need to do is– 
What was that? 
A mushroom? How did I hit a mushroom? I was so careful… 
*COUGH* Not much time…left. Nine years we’ve hunted for a weakness, and this is our first lead. These protected pathways are crucial to ending this threat, once and for all. Take this, and carry on our work:
Wait, I swear it was there a second ago. Hang on, there’s gotta be something in the heat map, just–
Oh. Oh no. I think–I think he’s in my head. We just need to–
*COUGH* You need to save yourself. Hurry, close the browser and clear your cache, before–
Oh dear, it seems we’re out of secrets to share. We’re glad we could celebrate Teemo’s birthday with such dedicated Teemo fans. Now, join us in wishing Teemo hundreds more happy birthdays. "
H̪͚̣͜Ι̠̤O̙̣͇͙̙̼̲O̥͚̜͉͝R̡̘A̠̤̘̘̭͘Y͓̩̯̜̤ ͕͎̟̜̼͓T̠͈̦̥E̲̜̣E͏̬͙̝̠̞͖̟M͙O͉̣̰̺͕̖̟!͔̫̩̮̼ 
H̸̴̻̙̦̜̦̤͘͞O̶̟̞̯̥͖̱̺͍͕͖̣̱̫͈͚O̸̸̷̢͔̹̩̭̜̳̪̣̠Ŕ̸̝̮̖̼͘͟͝A̵҉͜͏̰͍̻͍̖̰̳͔̤̺̟Ý̵̢̯͚̳͇͔͈̹̹̳͘ ̶̲̩̪̙̗͟Ţ̵̗̱̩̳̟͉̪̘̗̝̻͓̠́́E̤̖͚̣̕͜͜E̶̲̩̘̼̠̯̹̟̬̹̪̤͜͟͝M̪͖̟̗̮̮̹͉̰̜̜͖̰̩̼̀͜͡Ǫ̘͔͉̙͔͔̫͍̘̲͖̻͙̠̺͓̝͎̕͘!͟͏̹͚̣̗̟̱̮̭Ι̰̯̘

Patch Chat with the Playtest Team - 8.4 

Here's Riot Novalas with a new Patch Chat for Patch 8.4:
Hey everyone and welcome to Patch 8.4, the "It's Definitely Not Mid-Season but WOAH, lots of changes" Patch. 
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: 
Rolling into this patch, we've got a minor AP itemization overhaul with some new & old faces! Say hello to Spellbinder ... and our dear old friend, Twin Shadows. Lots of the items have been tweaked as well. If you're a mage, your itemization may have changed up. We'll be more than happy to push you onto the right path! On the other side, Rengar Q has been reverted. Squishy champions beware because The Hunt Is On. Volibear has also received some changes that add on another method of skill expression to his kit. 
There are buffs and nerfs aplenty this patch. We've got buffs to Darius, Evelynn, Fiddlesticks, Renekton, and more. Tristana, Zoe, and a few others took some hits as well. Tracker's Knife is now dead and there's a new rune in Resolve (Bone Plating!). Baron & Elder Dragon have received some major buffs as well. 
Ask us ANYTHING about 8.4. We're here to answer questions about your favorite champions, inquiries about runes, or maybe how often we execute to jungle camps! Let's talk mage items or maybe discuss shifts in the jungle! We're also down to just chat, though. 
Disclaimer: We have no insight on upcoming/future skins. 
  • 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"

Quick Hits 

"This week on The Dive the gang are going really deep on the massive changes in Patch 8.4. So deep, that they literally ran out of time to talk about anything else."


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!

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