Red Post Collection: Midseason Essence Emporium, April Bundles, Ask Riot, and more!

Posted on at 3:17 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes details on the reopening of the Essence Emporium for midseason, April Bundles, a new Ask Riot, feedback on the NA Clash Beta, a new PBE chat for the 8.9 PBE cycle, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Midseason Essence Emporium now live 

Here's Bilby with the details on the Midseason Essence Emporium going live:
"Welcome (back) to the Essence Emporium! We’re open for business until April 30, 2018, at 11:59 PM PT. Until then, you can snag chromas, gemstones, icons, wards, emotes, and other exclusives for Blue Essence. 
Here’s what’s new:
  • 2,000 BE – Midseason chromas (Includes any non-limited, non-legacy chromas released between July and December of any year. See the full list of available chromas at our FAQ here. Listed chromas released in 2017 are also on sale for 195 RP.)
  • 2,500 BE – Mystery Mini icons, series 2 (with 8 new icons available) 
In case you missed the last Essence Emporium, here’s what’s coming back:
  • 1,500 BE – Mystery icons (Does not include esports icons, may contain Mystery Mini Icons)
  • 2,500 BE – Mystery Mini icons, series 1
  • 4,900 BE – Mystery wards
  • 6,000 BE – Essence Collector Ward
  • 50,000 BE – Make It Rain Emote
  • 50,000 BE – Gemstone + Gemstone Knight Icon
  • 75,000 BE – Moneybags Emote
  • 75,000 BE – Gemstone + Gemstone Prince Icon
  • 100,000 BE – Gemstone + Gemstone King Icon
  • 150,000 BE – URFWick skin
Blue Essence gifting for wards and icons (both Mystery Mini and regular mystery icons) are also available for the duration of the Essence Emporium. 
As a midseason bonus, the following are also on sale:
  • Summoner Name Change (50% off RP – 650 RP)
  • Rune Pages (50% off both RP and BE – 295 RP | 3150 BE each)
  • XP boosts (all 50% off RP)
  • 11 Hextech Chests (975 RP)
  • 11 Hextech Keys (975 RP
For more information, check out our Player Support FAQ. Enjoy!"

It’s time for April bundles! 

Here's Riot Evaelin with this month's bundles now available:
"Grab these limited-time skins bundles now through 4/26/18 at 11:59 p.m. PT
Exploding Enemies Bundle - 50% off at 2700 RP(4312 RP if you need the champions)
Skins included:
  • Eternum Cassiopeia
  • Star Guardian Syndra
  • Omega Squad Veigar
  • Battle Boss Brand
Champions included:
Schoolyard Terrors Bundle - 50% off at 2212 RP (3709 RP if you need the champions)
Skins included:
  • Forsaken Jayce
  • Gentleman Gnar
  • Pentakill Kayle
  • Super Kennen
Champions included:
Art of Split Push Bundle - 50% off at 2587 RP (4390 RP if you need the champions)
Skins included:
  • Arclight Yorick
  • Chemtech Tryndamere
  • Temple Jax
  • Worldbreaker Nasus
Champions included:
Auto Attacks Never Miss Bundle - 50% off at 2212 RP (3469 RP if you need the champions)
Skins included:
  • Ice Drake Shyvana
  • Captain Volibear
  • Warring Kingdoms Xin Zhao
  • Eternal Sword Yi
Champions included:

Ask Riot: New Keystone Runes

Check out this week's Ask Riot, covering new keystones, Rammus' VO, and more:
"This week, we’re talking Keystones, accents, spectating Challenger, and Rammus’ very in-depth VO. 
Now that Conqueror hit live servers, are there any plans to add more keystones in the other categories?

Yes! Generally, we’ve been using new keystones to open up paths to users that should like most of the rune options, but didn’t have a keystone that was a solid fit. We have some keystones we’re exploring to get some new champions into Domination, and we’ll likely continue to add keystones where we find gaps in player or champion needs. That being said, we don’t think we have infinite space for new keystones. 
There are some practical considerations around how well the interface can handle large numbers of keystones in a path. Also, each new keystone requires players to understand a new set of mechanics as well as audio and visual effects. This means that we’ll likely hit a cap where we’d have to add new paths or focus on replacing existing content that’s not adding enough to the game. 
Senior Designer, Game Systems

Why do some champions have accents, like Fiora? Is there a logical reason in Runeterra?

When our narrative writers and editors work on champions, their characteristics and personality are carefully built from the ground up, as part of the design process (along with art and gameplay). The way those champions speak and use language to convey ideas is very important in players “getting a feel” for them, as quickly as possible. 
At Riot we work in English, from a North American point-of-view, and accents are an additional shorthand way to get complex ideas about a champion across, beyond the words they actually use. Fiora is the Grand Duelist, and so by giving her a fantasy version of an accent that sounds broadly French, it can imply several things about her:  

  • She is from a Demacian noble family with a slightly aloof attitude to those beneath her, possibly referencing the idea of the pre-Revolution aristocracy.
  • She is highly skilled in what you or I might call modern sword fencing styles, with the three main disciplines of épée, foil and sabre all having French names (and even ‘en garde’ is a French term!) in the real world.
  • She considers herself an artist… and France has been very closely associated with art movements since the Medieval period. 
Imagine how different she would sound with a broad US accent, or Australian, or British—each of those carries associations that could help with other very specific character types, but not Fiora as we currently know her. 
However, it’s important to remember that this is only true from a western, English-speaking perspective, with our cultural preconception of what being French means. Accent shorthands are not universal across all the regions and servers that League covers, and we work closely with localization teams to find ways for them to make a champion just as relevant in their own, specific cultural view. An “aristocratic swordswoman” might sound very different in Japan, or Germany, or Brazil, for example. 
From an in-world perspective, such ideas are much looser. There is no single Noxian accent, or Ionian, or Freljordian. You’ll just as likely hear a sailor from Bilgewater speaking in a rural Russian style accent as a yo-ho-ho English stereotype! It’s all about what fits the character best, in the context you’re hearing them. 
Lead Narrative Editor
Are you going to bring back spectate challenger?

We actually did bring back the ability to spectate Challenger games, it’s just not on the front page anymore. The basic logic when we were reworking the front-page of the client is that spectate challenger was underused and better served by streaming platforms like Twitch. Still, we tried to find a middle ground last year. 
If you’re not sure about where to find spectate challenger, go to Profile, then Ranked. From there, change the ladder to show any of the Challenger lists. Any players who are currently in-game will have an eyeball next to their Summoner Name. Right-click and hit “spectate game” to watch Pobelter carry on Azir. Then play Azir yourself. Feed. Watch Pobelter again. Play 100 more Azir games. You are now ready to think about being as good as Pobelter at Azir one day in the future, maybe. 
Comms, Player Behavior

why does rammus have very few lines? my dog wants to know.

Back in the day, we recorded a second attempt at Rammus’ VO, and it was… not good. He ended up sounding pretty hillbilly. Actually, it was so bad that we didn’t even want the team internally to hear it, so we rushed to record what’s now his current VO in a conference room in all of about 15 minutes. It was never meant to be final, but we were making champions at such a breakneck pace that it ended up getting launched and localized across the world. Suffice to say, the simplicity of Rammus’ lines soon became a community meme and is now a defining feature of the Armordillo. 
Ok? ..ok… 
Lead Designer

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."

Clash NA beta - What’s changing? Your feedback in action! 

Here's Riot Draggles with a thread on feedback for last weekend's Clash test in NA:
"Hey all! 
Thanks so much for participating in the Clash beta in NA! We got a ton of useful information, bug reports, feedback, memes and big plays from you all, and we wanted to share what we’re doing next as we ramp up for launch. 
First up, we saw over 100,000 players take part over the three days of the beta. Holy shit, y’all. 
We’re so glad so many of you had a great time playing Clash - the new ways you’re thinking about pick/ban, practicing specific comps, map rotations and objective control. It warmed our lil’ macro-loving hearts. 
We knew some things wouldn’t quite hit the bar yet. We are still in beta! Don’t forget you’ll have a survey in your email to share more feedback soon.

Here’s 10 things we’re looking at after your feedback from the NA Clash beta: 
1. Clarity, tooltips and UI
  • You said: It was sometimes unclear to navigate Clash with some confusing tooltips, incorrect information and missing animations
  • We’ll be implementing better error messaging, tooltips, and cleaning up some of the errors you probably saw. We’ll make sure you have a way to navigate Clash before entering a tournament to see where you go after each win. We’ll also spell “ineligible” correctly.
2. Substitutes
  • You said: The substitute process felt rushed, and “Unknown Error” issues got in the way of inviting
  • We knew the tooltip would be an issue going into the beta, so the “Unknown Error” is already fixed for launch. The error came from the invitee being too high tier than the player they were replacing (which was also a mistake in our FAQ). We’ll make it clearer ahead of time what the restrictions are on substitute players, and we’re exploring larger improvements to the sub system post-launch, including having a longer time window to make sub selections before lock-in.
  • You said: Substitutes should last for more than one day, or you should have access to more substitute players
  • Clash’s substitute system is designed for emergencies, not a “6th/7th person” on the roster. Introducing a 6th/7th creates really awkward situations for prizing - do we treat the extra players as a full teammate, and allow people who don’t play to get free stuff, or only give rewards based on participation, in which case being the 6th player on a team is strictly worse than being one of the starting five somewhere else? While it’s a little harder to understand, swapping in people for a specific day affords a lot more flexibility to both the team and the sub.
3. SMS verification
  • You said: Inputting your phone number for SMS sometimes bugged out
  • We’ll be adding a flag dropdown in place of country codes, and continuing to make sure that as many mobile carriers as possible can accept SMS. As a reminder, VOIP phone numbers (Skype, Google Voice etc) will not work, as that would be an abusable way to play on more than one account.
  • You said: SMS verification for smurfing only partially solves the issue
  • You’re right! We’ll never have a 100% deterrent for smurfs in Clash, but we’re committed to removing them where possible. SMS is just one piece of the puzzle, and we’ll have more ways to remove smurfs from the ecosystem, as well as encouraging higher-tier players to enter tournaments on their mains.
4. Matchmaking and smurfing
  • You said: Facing obvious smurfs is a game-breaker
  • First up: not every match you lose, even if you lose badly, is due to smurfing or matchmaking issues. Sometimes games get out of hand, even between perfectly balanced teams. This is a single-elimination tournament, which means we have to pit you against a lot of different people - some will be worse than you, some will be better.
  • That said, we’ll be penalizing smurfs we find, and using some behind the scenes matchmaking to help make sure any smurfs we miss start moving up through the Clash tier system, getting them back to their true tier faster. When we go to a global release, we’ll also have much clearer guidelines on smurf detection, reporting and penalties.
  • You said: Some of the 16-team bracket winners were verifiable smurfs
  • We’ve taken immediate action on those accounts, starting with removing all earned Clash rewards. For launch, we will have more robust processes in place to discourage smurfing.
  • You said: Sometimes matchmaking felt off with teams of vastly different skill in the same tier
  • We uncovered at least one particularly nasty bug in this beta test that was creating some rather unpleasant matches for players who came back after playing Day 1. We were able to adjust our algorithm for Day 3, but apologies to those affected. Additionally, we’re going to adjust our team MMR algorithm to account for some edge cases where one high rated player could group with four low rated players and end up in much lower tiers than they should. Beta tests are invaluable for these kinds of matchmaking issues, because real data beats our test data any day of the week. We’re going to keep tightening up these calculations before (and even after) launch, and additionally evaluate whether we need more tiers if competition feels truly stacked.
5. Tickets
  • You said: The ticket buying process was a bit awkward, and it’s unclear why the three-for-BE restriction is in place
  • This was another feature that didn’t make it into our beta build; we’re enabling multiple BE purchases in one transaction.
  • As for the BE ticket restriction: In order to give the best possible prizes for running the gauntlet (like high tier skins), we need to gate a premium entry behind an RP purchase. We want to make sure that (aside from prizing) the Clash experience is identical no matter how you choose to enter, but for those of you that want to go ham, you have that option available. This also gives you the opportunity to enter all three days for BE if you don’t end up winning a single bracket.
  • We’ll likely be changing the ticket system to have a clearly defined “basic” and “premium” entry with different individual ticket types, but that’ll be after launch.
6. Team creation
  • You said: You want to be able to break apart your team, permanently kick players, or form new teams throughout the weekend
  • Teams in Clash should win, lose and improve together. Clash teams are locked for the full weekend, partly because the easier it is to leave a team, the more potential problems this can cause. Assuming we did allow you to blow up a team and start over, who makes that decision? If a single player can just depart from your roster consequence-free, they potentially leave the rest of the squad in the lurch. All those other players then no longer can really play Clash, and may not be able to reform a team in time. Bear in mind that we can't just hold a vote, because that's easy to abuse by just saying you'll refuse to come back unless the team disbands, potentially holding everyone hostage.
  • Also, allowing you to leave a team only if that team has lost creates a weird set of incentives. If I know some of my teammates aren't around later in the weekend, do we throw the final match on Friday so that we can still make another team? Or am I stuck in a squad that can't play, and forced to get fewer rewards because I was foolish enough to win my games? And if we allow players on teams that won to disband, we get back to the same problem about whose decision that is, but the severity is increased 10x because other people's entries and potential prizes are on the line.
  • For these reasons, we’re not going to be changing at the moment, but we will continue to make it clear that your lock-in is for the whole weekend so you don’t feel misled and trapped into a team.
  • You said: Finding a team to play with is hard
  • We’ll be partnering with to release a team building tool to find other players like you! There’ll be ways to filter by skill level, position and even playstyle to try and find the most suitable matches for you and your squad.
7. Eligibility and participation
  • Some of you said: It’s not clear how to get out of Honor 0-1 to play Clash
  • We recently lowered the requirement to get from level 0 to level 2, and we’re continuing to monitor those changes. It’s something we know can seem like a grind, but just getting honored isn’t sufficient for climbing - you still need to ensure you’re playing to win consistently to get back to level 2.
  • We also heard: What if Clash was double elimination?
  • Double elimination brackets take a lot of time, and can end up punishing the teams in the winners’ bracket really heavily. There are some situations where winning teams would have to wait hours for their final matches. We could nerd out here about bracket formats and stuff but we’ve only got so much space in this post.
8. Rewards
  • You said: The new rewards for Clash feel pretty good, but it’s not clear how and when you earn them
  • We’ll be adding some more information around when exactly you can expect to receive your capsule (hint: it’s when you lose out of a bracket) and some better graphics to differentiate between 1-ticket and 5-ticket entries. We’ll publish full loot tables for Clash at launch, too, so you know what you’re fighting for.
9. Other known issues
  • You said: Not transitioning to champ select and losing feels bad
  • We’ve been specifically looking for this bug and similar ones for a while now. If you never made it to champ select during the Clash beta, you should have your tickets returned to you already. If you experienced other issues like bugsplats or game crashes, check out our Troubleshooting Connection Issues guide.
  • You said: Voice chat breaking after games are over is jarring
  • This is being fixed. We’re going to make the transition for your team out of Clash and back to normal League a lot smoother, rather than unceremoniously booting you out of voice chat and your party.
  • You said: You got timed out while inviting teammates, entering tickets, or locking in
  • We fixed this!
  • You said: The time in champ select after the last lock-in is too short to edit runes
  • We’ll likely be adding 10-20 seconds to the finalization phase in champ select.
  • You said: Only having one flight time to play on Days 2 and 3 can be tough for players on the west coast, and east coast players may end up playing very late on day 3
  • We’re looking at moving start times to better accommodate early starts and late nights, but NA is a big territory with several time zones. Adding several flights of games would make matchmaking very poor as the population splits.
  • You said: Scouting issues were real
  • This’ll be fixed too! If a player subbed into a team, they would break scouting data for all players to the right of them - because spaghetti.
  • We’re exploring offering more robust scouting data post-launch, making it more comprehensive, but no firm plans here yet. What sorts of things do you want to see?
10. One more thing...
  • From all the teams working on Clash, thank you. Your participation helped us locate a lot of areas of improvement before we go to a global launch, but we’re not stopping now. If you took part you’ll receive a survey link in the coming days - please fill this out, it’ll help us make Clash better for the future. Oh, and you get to keep all your banners, logos, tickets and loot for the main launch of Clash, which May be coming soon™.
Keep calm and Clash on,

Clash dev team"

PBE Chat with the Playtest Team - 8.9 

Here's Riot Novalas with the patch 8.9 PBE Chat with the Playtest Team! They will be answering questions throughout the PBE cycle, so make sure to head there to discus any changes you may have!
"Hey guys! 
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 and in dev content before they’re released. It’s our job to test the changes that our designers come up with to ensure that we’re introducing positive changes to League in terms of both balance and fun. 
Rather than a Patch Chat, we’re opting for a new approach these next few patch cycles. Lots of changes are planned in the upcoming patches and a lot of content is or has been on PBE for awhile. We’d like you guys to talk to us about your questions or concerns with upcoming content - We’ve tested a lot of it and would be more than happy to give you guys insight on how the changes are panning out. If you’d like us to test something in particular out - let us know and we can try to get it into a playtest. 
The biggest changes on PBE right now are the Ryze Reshape, Mana changes to Mages, and Unsealed Spellbook's changed effect. 
We’d love for players to get in on this & help the Playtest team make Patch 8.9 launch as smoothly as possible! 
Here’s a link to the content currently on the PBE. 
  • Brandon "Roku" Davis
  • 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
  • Louis "nubblez" Carpetto"

Quick Hits

  • Riot Mort noted that the gemstone craftable chest would be changed into a Masterwork chest in a later patch:
"Ok. We agree. Give us a patch or two and it will be done"
nerp1186 noted the full details on this change:
"We recently introduced the cosmetic only Masterwork chests, but you could still upgrade a gemstone into a Hextech Chest and key. Some players over on Reddit made the suggestion that we replace the Hextech chest you can purchase with a gemstone with a Masterwork chest. We agree, so starting in patch 8.10, if you use a gemstone to unlock a chest, it’ll be a Masterwork chest instead of a Hextech chest. 
You can read about how the loot system works and specific drop rates on our player support page."
"Passive stuff still coming at some point. Team concluded she was weak enough we should also do some raw power changes in the meantime too though"
  •  A bugfix went out for LeBlanc, fixing an issue with her passive. Details can be found in the 8.8 patch notes:
"Passive - Mirror Image 
BUGFIX Fixed a bug where an attack launched by the clone from Passive - Mirror Image could deal damage if the clone died before that basic attack landed. Funny story, we had this bugfix ready to go when we initially reworked LeBlanc, but there was no need to ship it because that ability no longer existed. So now we're finally shipping it!"
"Hey sorry guys, I've been compiling all your feedback and comments -- AND I MEAN ALL -- to hand back to Blood Moon Eve's devs today. I really understand your points and frustrations, and want to address them asap. Special shoutouts to everyone here, including but not limited to: Vaaskael, Tormentula, Z3ro TWO, Daunt, Larriet, EveEtoile, CutieFLY, Evening Dove. I know I was more responsive day-of on Conq Varus but I was swamped yesterday -- it was not my intent to treat Eve lovers differently, sorry about that! I've got more time to reply today :)."
"Generally speaking, the less specific counterplay any element of a kit has, the more we premise the rest of their interactions on granting healthy opponent responses. As an example, you can argue Kha'zix's strategic movement has very little interaction for the opponent until he strikes, but his optimal damage pattern tends to have a high amount of opponent agency (being isolated is generally up to the opposing team, not to Kha'zix). 
Of course we know that invisibility is powerful. We tend to cost it accordingly and require that the champion dependon using that invisibility to succeed. A champion that is invisible and overpowered doesn't mean that invisibility is a flawed mechanic, just in the same way that Sion being powerful doesn't mean that high reliability (read: low counterplay) defensive windows on tanks are bad design. 
Maybe Kha'zix and Shaco are just strong right now."
  • Riot Axes noted some plans of issues they'd like to address this mid-season:
"Sure. Gonna talk more problem statement stuff than exact details but those'll be coming in the next couple weeks. 
One thing to note is that we're doing less of a giant midseason release this year. Changes will come over a couple of patches, and it'll be smaller scope - there's no Runes Reforged or Elemental Drakes in this one. The changes that are there are likely to be significant, though. Likely to see changes aimed directly at Marksmen on 8.10 or 8.11, possibly both depending when work is finished, and then possible (but definitely not guaranteed) Fighter work in a follow-up patch. 
We're looking at Marksmen with a few values: 
  1. The mere fact of getting to two items shouldn't guarantee they're the most valuable champion on a team, but getting ahead should matter a lot.
  2. They need to be able to buy early items that ensure they can be fun, have responsive inputs (shoot-step-shoot is pretty unpleasant with no AS), and contribute appropriately. I take that to mean they need to get Attack Speed, potentially movement speed (though less required), and at least some punchy, powerful hits.
  3. We're going to be looking for ways to play up the difference between a snowballing champion and one that's merely on the curve - that includes Fighters, Assassins, ADCs, and Mages (though we think Mages are actually more correct than the other three - if they're behind, they provide primarily utility, if they're ahead they can be great damage carries). We'll especially value any time we can hit multiple of these classes with shared items - e.g. items that help both Fighters and Marksmen, or Assassins and Marksmen.
  4. Some opportunistic stuff - e.g. reducing the burst damage of very late game Infinity Edge builds to other squishy champions. 
This will probably mean significant reworks to Infinity Edge, Essence Reaver, Last Whisper/Lord Dominik's Regards, cost changes to things like Phantom Dancer, possibly a new item, likely buffs to some underperforming items, plus some ADC base stat changes.


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • The Midseason Essence Emporium will be open from 4/19 - 4/30! Check this article for more details!

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