Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 4/20, KayPike Fashion Bodypaints Kai'Sa, & More

Posted on at 3:29 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes the return of Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for 4/20, body-painting Kai'Sa from community artist KayPike Fashion, red comments from around the web, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: April 20th

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for April 20, covering input buffering, midseason stuff, and more:
"Hey 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: 
Back to regular posting schedule 
I've been back in the office this week catching up on everything after a couple of weeks in Japan (somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for years, was a fantastic time). Should be back to the standard two posts a week thing now. Apologies if I end up repeating anything that's already been talked about a lot in my absence, I think I've got a pretty good handle on what has/hasn't already been discussed, but might have missed something. 
Input Buffering 
Something we've been doing on some individual abilities for a while is making it so that, if their button is pressed just before it would be useable (e.g. while in the middle of another spell or just before it comes off CD), the command is saved and then executed shortly after. A particularly clear example of that is on Lee Sin W back in 7.11.Buffering like that makes executing combos and other cases of precise timing smoother on connections that aren't extremely low ping. 
While working on Irelia we developed some new tech that makes input buffering like that much easier to apply to other abilities. It's been working well on Irelia so we're looking to roll it out to almost all abilities in the game shortly. That change is currently in testing on the PBE and we’re hoping to have it be part of 8.9. 
Target Champions Only as a Toggle option 
At present it's possible to make it so you can’t click on non champions with spells/attacks by holding down a specific key while casting/attacking (default: ~). That works well in some cases and for some players, but can be pretty cumbersome for others. We're currently working on an optional setting (would be found in the Gameplay Options part of the menu) that would let you change that from a Press and Hold approach to something you can toggle on and off with a key press instead. 
That's just getting some initial internal testing now, so probably won't be on the PBE for a little bit at least. It's also possible, though I'd imagine unlikely, that we find something that makes it a bad idea to add that functionality to the game. Letting you folks know ahead of time though since I know this is a feature a number of people have asked for over the years. Wanted to provide visibility into how we're looking at it as a result, regardless of what the timing and outcome of that might be. 
Shifting approach somewhat on some midseason stuff 
As previously mentioned we want to open up positions to more classes. That would allow players who wished to to play champs in ways they currently can't and enable new team comps. At the same time we'd also want to ensure what currently works is still effective - broaden options, not force anyone onto something different. Based on that goal we set ourselves a target of getting mages into bot lane in midseason. After a lot of experimentation though we're shifting our approach somewhat there. We tested some large changes, which were very effective in letting mages be powerful bot lane choices. They resulted however in a lot of game balance costs though, some breakdown in interesting/healthy bot lane play and a lot of disruption when done all at once. 
As a result what we're aiming to do instead is a range of changes that both improve some other issues and lay some groundwork for getting more classes into each position. That includes, but isn't limited to, mages in botlane. These changes won't radically redefine how the game plays. Instead they'll be part of a gradual process (multiple patches, not just 8.9) to open things up more, avoid balance costs and other unforeseen consequences of changing too much at once. Might see a few champs being played in new ways after them certainly, but not a massive meta overhaul. publishing will also be quieter this year as a result too. We'll have one or two patch-specific articles for later changes that are more complex than 8.9's stat/cost tunings, but no website this time. 
Examples of what upcoming changes will be trying to do below (more details about exactly how to come pretty soon). While these changes are things we think should help open up the game somewhat they're also changes we believe will lead to good improvement on other grounds as well. 
  • Changing mid/late game marksmen damage so they're less able to burst squishies but still able to grind through defense stacking targets. That gives other squishy champs longer windows to act later game while still letting marksmen kill tanky enemies effectively enough over time.
  • Adjusting mage mana access so they can contest lane against a wider range of champions at early levels but also can't just cast on CD as much mid game onwards (results in excessive waveclear power in particular)
  • Increasing the damage AP champs deal to towers,so that, regardless of position, they can contribute more to tower/base taking, reducing dependency on bot lane for that function. Might need to be paired with some increase in tower tankiness so they're not falling faster than at present.
  • Making it easier for champions from a range of positions/classes to carry, so teams aren't as dependent on their marksman's damage output every game to be successful. A fed mid, top or jungle champ should more often be a good choice for a team to rally around and support."

When asked about Lux and Miss FortuneMeddler commented:
Hey! Glad to see u back! What’s ur thoughts on the lux changes and also miss fortune atm? :)
Thank you! 
Lux: The stuff on PBE (assuming that's what your asking about) has some promise I think. In particular the thesis of 'what if so much of Lux's laning play didn't involve harassing with a very hard to dodge, but very mana intensive E'. Possible that shifting power around could do a lot of good. Don't think we've got all the details right at the least though. 
MF: Seems in an ok spot. We'll need to take a look at all marksmen after the upcoming item changes, likely they'll all shift around at least a bit in terms of power and playstyle."

On the Nautilus changes that hit live with 8.8, Meddler replied:
This isn't a question as much as a feedback comment, but the Nautilus mana buff has helped his jungle clear a lot. I think you guys did a good job with that.
Good to hear. We've seen his performance improve in jungle, top and support all roughly equally, which is good (not trying to lock him to any of those positions specifically). Possible we might need to do some more to help out his jungling specifically at some point though, from memory it's better, but still lagging behind the others somewhat."

When asked about using a duo lane champion as a solo lane champ, Meddler commented:
On the topic of allowing players to take champions into other lanes; Don't glare too hard at me when I bring this up, but what about taking champions created specifically to be solely duo lane Supports into a solo one? I don't expect or want this, but I'm curious what you feel about it!
That one's trickier than most for two reasons:
  • In some cases the kits in question, even if they had the right power level, just don't have interesting or healthy enough game play when they're in a solo lane. Topp Lulu against melee in the past for example, versus duo lane Lulu who's a much healthier experience.
  • Some kits have a lot of power that's dependent on having an ally to work with. If they're able to effectively solo lane without getting benefit from that power they'll likely be pretty out of line in a duo lane where they are contributing that power. Soraka's probably the strongest example of this.
That's not to say it might not be both possible and worthwhile to get some supports into other spots. Likely to be a larger task than for other individual champs though and need to be approached on a case by case basis."

On the Ryze changes that were testing on the PBE this cycle, Meddler noted:
About the new Ryze rework on the pbe,will it be aimed towards making Ryze a champion available to all players or will he remain a champion balanced around the LCS exclusively?
It's a final stab at trying to better balance him for regular play and organized play (which includes things like Clash and other tournaments, not just LCS). If it doesn't accomplish that however we'll be putting future time for a while into other champs."

Meddler continued:
If that does not work, could we expect a new Ulti? or maybe a new passive?
And with other champions do you mean Ezreal for example?
If it doesn't work it means we'll be putting time instead into other champs rather than constantly sinking time into Ryze to try and maintain his identity while having him be playable in both regular and organized play."

As for LissandraMeddler noted:
So we got some Lissandra buffs but what happened to the passive changes? :o 
Just curious!
Still planned, but taking a while. Going to try some different stuff when time permits, for now there's a lot else I'm having to prioritize first though. The Live team concluded some straight power buffs in the meantime were therefore needed too."

On the PBE patch size, Meddler noted:
In the last Patch Notes, there was a little comment about futures Patches being medium/medium instead of big/small.
So, what do you think about the big/small Patch system? Did it go long enough to have a clear picture? Was it worth doing?
At time of writing that note was meant to reflect that 8.9, 8.10 and 8.11 would all likely be medium ish patches, not that we're abandoning large/small. It's looking now like 8.9 and 8.11 will be large patches, with 8.10 somewhat smaller, so we might just end up swapping large patches to odd numbers instead of even. The marksmen item changes etc will be in 8.11 at this point, not spread over 8.10 and 8.11 as we thought as recently as last week. We'll be giving them extra time on the PBE though, so they'll still hit that as part of the 8.10 cycle."

Riot Repertoir provided thoughts on Kindred after talking with their designer, Wrekz:
"I recently talked about them with their original designer, Wrekz, and he had some thoughts as to how to get them to a more enjoyable experience. On his list of suggestions, he suggested stuff like (straight from the proposal he sent me): 
  • Generally making marks a bit easier to acquire, but a bit less powerful per mark.
    • Marks being able to spawn in either jungle, rather than only the opponents'.
    • Reducing mark warm-up time on enemy champions to try and get a cleaner balance between champion and jungle marks.
  • Removing W -> Q interaction and just having Q's cooldown reduced when it hits a champion or monster.
  • Increasing W radius to let Wolf feel more useful instead of it being primarily a mobility enabler.
    • Or some other effect to accomplish the same goal of making Wolf feel more useful.
  • Possibly just base 550 range instead of the increasing range with marks.
  • If the above are a too powerful, probably some base stat or damage nerfs here and there. 
I'm mostly open to stuff like this being tested, though there's a lot going on here, so it could take some time to validate. If we felt more confident there was a specific kind of work that would be exciting to Kindred players as well as a pretty clear path forward, that would increase the likelihood we would take on the work. We get a lot of requests to do these champ readjustments, so frequently it's a matter of when there's resources to do it more-so than a desire to test something out. I (and others on the design teams) do tend to love these types of explorations, however, so when we do have that clearer goal to go chase, it's usually possible to get someone on board with going for it."

On the target champions only toggle, Meddler commented:
in case you will ship the target champions only toggle option would be nice to have some sort of indication on the hud in game that this option is off/on for clarity sake.
That would be the plan. We're currently testing a modified cursor while the toggle is activated (bright glow and a different color)."

When asked about the gold gain changes that were testing in a previous PBE cycle, Meddler replied:
Hey Meddler! 
I hope it's not too late to ask. What about the changes regarding gold gain from shutdowns you talked about recently? And in general about shifting team snowballing towards more individual snowballing? 
Thanks for your good work as always :)
Gold shut down changes (goes to the killer, rather than team wide) are still coming. Sometime in the few patches, timing's a bit uncertain since we're also looking at whether we should be communicating gold bounties somewhere as well. 
Other changes to support individual carry/snowball also to come, though details hazier (likely some itemization changes to help non marksmen do so/help teams support non marksmen more at some point)."

Over on Reddit, Riot Maple and Riot Repertoir also chimed in on the gold gain changes:

From Riot Maple:
"Hey! It's going to be coming in 8.10, didn't quote make the cut for 8.9 because we're working on figuring out how to display the bounties in the scoreboard without cluttering it too much. I've been loving playing with them, as it adds really interesting tension in game when you are the bounty over your head. You get some of the "I'm 6-0 and worth an extra 600 gold...i know they're going to be coming for moments", as well as insane satisfaction when you kill the person with the bounty. 
Were still definitely doing them, but we also wanted to make sure we did them well and this kind of thing takes quite a bit of playtesting. The cost of failure here is pretty high, so we're not rushing it."

From Riot Repertoir:
"We've been testing it extensively internally this week. There are some technical limitations that have slowed things down, but it appears to be making good progress now. 
The current plan is to increase bounty values and have them go entirely to the killer, but also have them fully clear (as opposed to global shared gold and partial reset on Live). Additionally, we're looking to add a scoreboard element that lets you know how much gold a player is worth when killed. I think 8.10 is a realistic patch we could hit for this."

KayPike Fashion Bodypaints Kai’Sa! 

Here's GoMatGo with a community spotlight on KayPike Fashion:
"Last month, we invited KayPike Fashion, the Twitch bodypainter extraordinaire, to the Riot campus in Los Angeles for a live Kai’Sa bodypaint! If you tuned in to the live stream, you got to watch KayPike transform herself over 18 hours from human to void daughter, and the results were astounding. 
If you don’t have 18 hours to spare (it’s totally cool, not everyone does) KayPike’s partner-in-crime Moose assembled this time lapse of the whole process, linked below.

We sat down with KayPike during her trip to Riot and asked her some questions about getting started with bodypainting, what her experience with the League community is like as a relatively new member, and much more! 
Check out the interview here:

And be sure to check out KayPike Fashion on Twitch!"

Quick Hits

  • Reav3 commented on how they determine the 'success' of a champion launch:
"There are a couple metrics we use to determine the success of a Champion, those are Initial excitement (How well did we capture the imagination of our players), Breadth and Depth. We measure initial excitement looking at the playrate of the Champion during the launch window. This doesn't show long term success but it does show how much initial interest there is in the Champion and how excited people are to try it out. We then look at Breadth and Depth of a Champion once they have settled and the initial hype is over and once they are in a more balanced state. Breadth is measured by the total amount of games the champion is played in and depth is measured by how often the same player plays the champion over and over again. A champion can be successful if they have a lot or breadth and are therefor a very popular champion or by having a lot of depth, therefor being a successful Niche Champion (Less people play it but the people that do love it, and can't stop playing it) 
We also look at if the Champion has unique inputs (It feels different to play this champion) and a unique output (It feels unique
to play against this champion) All these factor into a champs success. 
The champions I mentioned in the article all had insanely high intial playrates, and all have developed large and dedicated player bases, which means that they resonated pretty deeply with many players. They also have unique outputs (Zoe's Sleep for example) or unique inputs (Zoe's Summoner spell stealing) 
Hope that helps."
  • Riot Stellari tweeted the artist for the Blood Moon Evelynn splash art is Espen Lash!
"She seems like such a nice girl....Oh no my soul

Bloodmoon Evelyn art by Esben Lash ( )"
  • The LoLEsports twitter announced the on-air talent for MSI 2018:
"Meet the #MSI2018 On-Air Talent Team! The 2018 Mid-Season Invitational Play-In begins next Thursday (May 3) in Berlin!"


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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