Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: June 8th, Emote Changes in 8.12, & More

Posted on at 10:15 AM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for June 8th, providing context on the 8.12 Banner of Command removal & 8.13 PBE changes, an overview on Emote changes  landing with 8.12, 30% off plush in the merch store through June 25th, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: June 8 

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for June 8th, covering the removal of Banner of Command, 8.13 work, and more:
"Hi 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: 
We’re monitoring a lot of stuff in bot lane right now, particularly performance of different groups of champions (crit ADCs, versus non crit ADCs, versus non ADCs etc). Seeing a lot of upheaval as people experiment with different builds and picks, with some champs still struggling so far. Should have some extended thoughts on that and possible changes in response first post of next week. 
Edit: Adding a bit extra at time of posting. 
If, as some folks are claiming, crit ADCs are in a terrible spot and should never be picked anywhere, we'll definitely we'll address that. Our goal is to have them be a decent (not mandatory, but decent) option in bot lane at a minimum. Certainly seeing some concern they just won't have a home at all, which is a very understandable worry. Still working to distinguish which of the different positions being argued are accurate though. As above, hoping to have more concrete thoughts next post. 
Banner of Command 
As you might have seen we’re going to remove Banner from the game in 8.12, at least for the short-medium term. It's an item that's pretty consistently been either a poor choice or, when strong, been unhealthy for the game overall. Not impossible some heavily revised version returns someday, likely in a preseason or midseason if so. No immediate plans for that however. 
Kindred W 
As a follow up to Kindred's 8.12 buffs we're also potentially returning the Heal on W for 8.13. Change is just going into testing now, so it's not a certain thing yet. Tentative plan is to remove the monster AS slow and replace it with a heal that scales with Kindred's missing health. 
While we're working on the W already we're also hitting a couple of notable bugs with it. The first is that some of Wolf's visual effects aren't playing properly when he hits, making the skill less satisfying to use and a bit harder to follow. The second is that Wolf's Attack Speed isn't scaling properly with item purchases. 
Changes to Rageblade are likely in 8.13, we're still sorting out the details though. We've got a range of opinions internally on exactly what Rageblade should/shouldn't be and how close it is to that state. We need to talk through a bunch of stuff as a result, things like how much it should be a rush item versus a later-in-the game multiplier for on-hit builds, how much AP scaling it should/shouldn't have (does it remove distinction between AP and on-hit builds too much?), what sort of price point it should sit at etc. 
Some other 8.13 work 
Some of the other stuff we're also working on during 8.13 below.
  • Ornn - Continuing work from 8.12 that wasn't ready to ship.
  • Ashe/Xayah - Looking at their kit specific interactions with crit, now that IE's changed.
  • Karma - Likely she'll be one of the most in need of work post 8.12 heal/shield changes. Penciling her in for a look as a result.
  • Pyke - Looking at whether AD purchases are appropriately rewarded, or whether he's too skewed towards building tank/utility when played optimally (open question, not a firm statement)
  • Ongoing assessment of the state of bot lane.
  • There'll also be a range of additional champion buffs/nerfs that happen a bit later in the cycle, so this isn't a comprehensive list. Likely includes a Trynd buff, potentially a Singed nerf."

On Karma, Meddler noted:
Is the Karma work going to be the mechanical changes you mentioned previously, or small compensation buffs? 
Also, will the work be aimed at her solo-laning or support?
Not certain yet, we're still talking about whether now's the time to prioritize some larger ability work, or whether we should do some power compensation now with ability adjustments later in the year. Will let you know once we've got a certain answer on that. Larger work whenever it happens will likely be around the same amount of change as the Rengar and LeBlanc changes earlier in the year."

Elsewhere, Riot Maple noted:
"We're currently doing some kit exploration on her (both smaller and larger scale - with larger being on the rengar/lb scale). Current hope is to try to get something out in 4-5 patches if we're able to land it."

When asked about Zz'Rot portal, Meddler commented:
Good morning Meddler, 
With Banner being removed, do you have any concern over Zz’rot Portal becoming a more dominant item, and if so, do you feel Portal is balanced atm? 
Also reaching back to one of the more unused items, do you have anything in mind for Ohmwrecker? 
I think Zz'Rot has had the same problems as Banner generally, so I think there's a real change we're also better off removing or heavily reworking that. It is a refer a friend name though, so we'd need to keep that in the system somewhere regardless. 
Ohmwrecker's also a RAF name, so regardless of what happens to the item we'd keep that name around too. 
Gameplay wise, no immediate plans for Ohmwrecker. It's something we've tried heavily modified or replacement gameplay for a few times that hasn't hit the mark. Possible we take another swing in preseason, wouldn't be making meaningful changes to it before then at the earliest though."

Meddler continued:
I'm really sad to see Banner going but I don't think Zz'Rot should face the same treatment. The changes to Zz'Rot a while back already addressed the primary issue (pushing a lane without being there). In its current form, the Zz'Rot minions don't go very far up lane. The primary issue with banner is that you can drop it on a minion in your base and it will push all the way to the other base (plus perhaps issues with time cost clearing the minion). For a Zz'Rot portal to be used effectively, the champion using it has to actually walk all the way near an enemy turret and drop it (plus it is quicker to destroy than a banner minion).
Agreed on influence from across the map being a problem BoC has and Zz'Rot doesn't to the same degree. BoC has also been particularly problematic when rushable, which Zz'Rot isn't at present. No current plans to remove Zz'Rot, but did want to be open about how we think there's some risk to it too."

Meddler went on:
Out of curiosity, how much of this would you attribute to the core idea of the item (pushing a lane without champion presence being required / empowering an existing push) and how much would you contribute to the consistency with which both items perform over a long period of time? Would Zz'Rot be healthier, for example, if it summoned one larger minion with a limited life duration each time it was used, so that a single push is of limited distance and, if negated, doesn't continue to pressure the lane or move on to threaten a tower further along? In effect, do you think it would be healthier if the summons/enhanced minions were more of a miniature Herald that blew up when it impacted a tower instead of a constant wave of ever-pushing creatures?
I think it's possible making Banner and/or Zz'Rot more concentrated, something more tactical and less strategic, might be a good approach. We didn't want to try that with Banner at this point however because the odds of landing that correctly on the initial version aren't great, so it risked creating another period of disruption around it. If we do ever try it, or Zz'Rot work, on that scope, preseason's the most likely window as a result."

As for bruisers and mages in the bot lane, Meddler replied:
Are you happy with the fact bruisers and possibly mages are going to be played bot lane now?
I think positions having a range of classes be playable in them is a good thing for the game in terms of variety of experience it offers and strategic depth. That shouldn't mean an all or nothing situation, with a class or significant chunk of a class, left with nowhere to play either though. It also doesn't necessarily mean the bruisers/mages in question are necessarily appropriately balanced and have sufficient counterplay to be reasonable to lane against."

As for his thoughts on the Sterak's Gage change, Meddler commented:
Hey meddler, thank you for your comprehensive post! 1 concern: do you think the change of steraks going from base to bonus ad might make it too powerful on assassins as a way to still burst squishiest while being somewhat tanky?
There's a definite risk there. We do want to open up Sterak's to more users, but especially if picked up on really damaged focused champs that needs to come with a significant damage trade off for that extra survivability. We believe it'll be in an ok spot for them, but certainly open to adjusting quickly if needs be.

On CorkiMeddler replied:
give some love to Corki pls
Yep, he's on our list of potentials we'll look at later in the cycle."

As for how the changes to Last Whisper landed, Meddler replied:
Thoughts on how ad assassins are doing so far with the new Last Whisper?
Doesn't seem to have had too much of an impact yet overall. Three possibilities there that come to mind:
  1. It's too expensive, so isn't worth them picking it up over other items.
  2. It is a good choice sometimes, but most players have yet to adapt to pick it up when appropriate.
  3. It is having meaningful impact and I'm just missing it given all the other discussion going on.
I incline towards some mixture of 1 or 2, looking at how performance on AD assassins hasn't changed very meaningfully and at least some players are normally very quick to jump on more optimal items. Could be misinterpreting things though."

On YasuoMeddler noted:
Can I ask how Yasuo landed post hotfix, are CertainlyT/Stashu looking into further passive changes since I heard that was a possibility
Nothing immediate planned. Not sure where claims we're going to be giving him a new passive started, that's not something we're working on (time better spent elsewhere for one thing)."

On the boosting/funneling strategy, Meddler noted they would be looking into it:
Any further thoughts on the 'boosting' strategy with Taric+Yi, or variations of it? It's becoming more popular, and it seems to be warping the games when it happens.
I need to follow up with some folks about that today, I'm personally becoming increasingly suspicious it's a problem we need to address soon though. Degree to which it changes mid lane from a pretty interesting and high impact lane to a rather flat experience is particularly poor."

Emote changes in 8.12 

UPDATE @ 11 AM PT - the new 8.12 emotes are now up in the shop!

Here's Bilby with an overview of the emote changes new in 8.12:
"Emotes have upped their game and have a few new tricks to show off in patch 8.12. Here’s what’s new: 
We hear you and are smacking emote prices with the nerfbat. Since we normally try to communicate price changes two weeks in advance, we’re refunding the difference to anybody who purchased an emote for 450 RP in the last two weeks (May 29 at 12:01 AM PT – June 11 at 11:59 PM PT). This partial refund should appear in your account by June 26, 2018, and we’ll send you an email when it’s done. 
As thanks for early emoters, you’ll receive an animated M’Pengu if you purchased any emotes before 8.12. He can also be crafted for five gemstones from June 26 – July 10
For more information on the price change and our official refund policy, please see our Player Support FAQ
Ever wish you could give a kissy-face to your precious toplaner for their crispy first blood, but you’re all the way over in bot lane? Emote bubbles show all emotes from teammates on the left side of the screen. You can disable this in the Settings menu if your friends get too excited. 
Show ‘em how you feel without having to think. Slot in your best smile for automatic use on First Blood and Ace. 
Sing the song of the Pengu: All emotes now include sounds. 
You can now view, sort, and purchase emotes you don’t have from your collection. 
Mystery emotes have freed themselves from bundle reign and are now available on their own. Mystery Emote Tokens (195 RP) will randomly award an unowned emote and will be periodically available in the store. They also drop previously purchasable event emotes that are otherwise unavailable! (But not the earnable emotes. People worked for those.) 
Emotes older than six months have joined the regular skin sale schedule. Catch them in the League store with the other regular sales. 
  • Yikes
  • Go Team!
  • Hype Kitty
  • Okay
  • Joy Pengu 
Grab all five in the Team-Motes Bundle for 925 RP before it expires on July 10, 2018, at 11:59 PM PT."

Quick Hits

"FWIW, one of the confounding factors (and one we are actively unpacking - this is not a trivial task and is taking a large effort from our data science and data analyst folks) is whether games are taking too long to end or whether the game sends signals that the game is over when it is not actually (and so players give up far before they should). 
Game length is not an accurate descriptor of how snowbally the game is; both front page opinions can be true (the game feels like it's decided too early, yet still takes 30 minutes to end). Ultimately, I think a good balance of stompy games (15-20 min surr), games that are even right until the end (into one decisive ace -> push to end even from behind; can give the greatest rush), games that have a several minute period of the winning team exerting their influence then ending, etc. 
It's important to drive game to game variance and makes certain game types exciting (even though they can sometimes feel bad - losing almost always feels bad unless you felt like you got completely outclassed in most cases). This is one reason why Dominion games tended to blend into each other because each game kind of has the same pacing feel to it. 
One of the difficulties with trying to accelerate these "trapped" games (where the winning team has a 90% chance winning but still takes 10 minutes to end) is that giving more game ending tools that end ahead games, but do not snowball even games into "trapped" games is quite a challenging problem. Example: Making Rift Herald better at ending a "trapped game" for a team that's ahead can also just snowball even games when it is poorly defended (this is why we tried to make Rift stronger at taking multiple structures in the ahead case, but make it so if you get an eye proc off it dies). 
I'm curious on what types of game event compositions players find satisfying. How long should the winning team be winning for so that the losing team doesn't feel like their team threw once at the end and lost? What events does the losing team feel like they need access to feel like they had a reasonable chance to influence the game's outcome? eg. When the game is decided in laning phase when you had no opportunities to influence the enemy team, I personally feel like those types of games suck; there is an incredible pressure to then also snowball the living hell out of your lane, which may not be possible due to the champion/matchup that was picked. 
Our ultimate goal in this space is to make sure each game of League feels different and to fairly spread agency (because agency is zero sum) as much as possible across roles, such that when you lose, you feel like you had a fair chance. All at the same time, minimising the time to end when the game is actually decided. This is a lofty set of goals, which requires absolute precision in changes required, but I think is achievable."
"Yes, of course!"
  • Riot Shalkar noted livechat for general issues was being beta tested in Europe:
"Hey everyone! Just a quick ping to let you know that yes, Livechat is available for more broad issues than just reports, including account issues, technical support, general questions and more - and is also being beta-tested in Europe. Currently in Europe it's available in English between 9 AM and 7 PM on weekdays, with limited availability for a few other languages."
"King Poro has decreed a 30% off sale for all plush. Our most epic plush sale yet! Collectible, Mini, XL and Standard plush are all 30% off until June 25."


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

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