Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 6/14, Ask Riot: Skins & Champions, & More

Posted on at 3:34 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for June 14th, including more context on the fighter items that didn't make it to 8.12, a new Ask Riot, red comments from around the web, and more!
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Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: June 14 

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for June 14th, including more context of the fighter items that didn't make it to 8.12, crit ADCs, 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: 
8.12 Fighter items 
We came to the conclusion at the start of this week that we should pull the fighter item changes out of patch 8.12, despite the patch being about to go out and a lot of work/testing having been done on those items. Our belief is that they're good designs, but that the timing's wrong for them, both in terms of current power of fighters and amount of change we've put into the game recently. Hoping to still do them at some point, with pre-season being the most likely option. 
Our apologies to those of you who were looking forward to those, would expect their removal to be pretty frustrating for some players, especially if you play fighters who aren't among the stronger ones right now, or who don't have a broad enough range of itemization. Building up expectations around content like this going out, only for it to then be pulled away, is something we try pretty hard to avoid. In this case, despite the pain that creates, we felt we needed to pull them out though. 
Crit ADCs 
We're working on buffing the performance of some ADCs in 8.13. That'll be focused on those who need some help like Trist, Vayne or Jinx. We want to get a range of crit ADCs back to being reasonable choices, at least in regular play, quickly - we have no desire to leave that group of champs without a home anywhere on SR. We also want to try and maintain some of the new diversity we're seeing sometimes in bot lane too though, so are trying not to swing so hard we go back to only seeing marksmen. 
In terms of what's getting played at present, it's not yet clear what optimal is. We're seeing a range of different things tried in pro play for example, with a wide range of success and failure. Also seeing a lot of player discussion around non marksmen dominating bot, though in most MMRs/regions play rates of non marksmen are extremely low still (some exceptions). 
In terms of how we'll be buffing the thing we're planning to target first is the performance of those struggling champs in the 1 to 2 item spike range. Looks like we pulled the crit users back too far in that period, leaving them too dependent on getting to 3+ items to contribute. Given their multiplicative power late game we do believe champs using those builds should be weaker mid game, but not to the extent they are right now. That also ties in with lane diversity, which we think is driven significantly by really early game power, so buffing mid game should be compatible with both putting crit ADCs in a better spot and keeping some increased lane diversity for those who want it. 
Gold Funneling 
We'll be nerfing gold funneling strategies in 8.13. Gold Funneling, for anyone unfamiliar with the term, is where you give one champion much of the gold/XP from multiple positions. Taric Mid/Yi jungle with Yi getting really farmed, or Karthus mid/Nunu counter jungling, with Karthus taking most of the allied jungle, being current examples. 
The gold funneling we're seeing now results in what's usually a pretty interactive, interesting, and often playmaking lane (mid) becoming very passive, with one laner just doing their best to interact with the other player as little as possible and getting rewarded for that. In cases where the mid laner isn't CSing that problems exacerbated further, since CSing does at least create small windows of vulnerability, earlier in the game especially. While there's likely some counterplay to gold funneling that hasn't emerged yet, we're doubtful it's going to be around as easy to execute as gold funneling itself is or particularly fun/interesting in its own right. We held off on changes to gold funneling initially when it wasn't clear if it was a pretty niche thing that would bring some variety occasionally and be worth a bit of game health cost, or something that would become more dominant and need to be addressed even if it offered strategic variety. Pretty clear at this point it's the later. 
In terms of how we'll address it we're still testing exact tactics. Possible changes include returning the overlevelled XP penalty on jungle camps that got removed in 8.10, individual adjustments to champs like Yi (lane minion damage on Q for example), jungle items giving XP penalties for lane minions to offset the increased XP from jungle monsters etc. Should have more details soon."

When asked about FizzMeddler noted:
Coming early again to annoy you a little with Fizz and ask if the changes are for this PBE cycle or the next one ?
Thanks for looking at Fizz again, we fizz mains, appreciate it !
Few Fizz thoughts in tomorrow's post. Gist of it is PBE soonish, but probably not this cycle. Looking at better feeling ways than the current mark to delay some of his damage (stronger DoT, or multicast W or something else again)."

On LissandraMeddler commented:
Any news on the lissandra?
Work's been pushed back given the amount of time midseason follow up needs. Whenever I next get time I'm planning on trying a different route again for her passive. Previous AA enhancing one had some promise, but some problems too. Want to check some alternatives before sinking more time into trying to refine it."

On AatroxMeddler commented:
Hey Meddler could I ask an Aatrox related question now that he's on the PBE, whats the thinking behind the AD gain from his E and ult, wouldnt that make a little stat checky, something of an issue with old bruisers, also will we get another post tomorrow since yesterday's was pushed today
There'll be a post tomorrow as well, though a shorter than usual one since first post of the week's today. 
AD on the E is there to help incentivize aggressive uses of it and window his damage a bit more when he's not using it. AD on the ult's similar (window of power), plus valuable both as a tuning lever and an important part of satisfaction/theme (super mode that's just OOC MS and revive's a bit lacking otherwise)."

As for Aatrox being balanced with the fighter items that were iceboxed for the time being, Meddler replied:
Meddler, removing the new Fighter items was frustrating yes but my question is wasn't the new Aatrox balanced and played with them in mind? What are you going to do about it? 
Then about Crit ADCs - will Ashe get some changes since she was one of character hit the hardest with the changes?
Aatrox was balanced alongside them, so possible he needs some adjustments in the next week or so. Wouldn't expect anything too major though, they're not build defining for him. 
From what we've seen a lot of other Crit ADCs were hit harder than Ashe. No immediate plans for her directly, possible buffs to ER and Stormrazor might help her if they go ahead however (though a lot of the time she should probably be building BotRK regardless, even if she currently isn't enough)." 

When asked about future Rageblade changes, Meddler replied:
Also can you share any insight on what 8.13's iteration of rageblade might be
Not with confidence yet. Current state of it after changes earlier this year's got some problems, particularly the degree to which its both an early spike item and a powerful multiplier, plus degree to which it homogenizes some on hit and AP builds. Been testing some significant changes, but nothing that's hitting the mark yet."

When asked about snowballing games and runes, Meddler replied:
Few things I would love to hear your thoughts on @Riot Meddler: 
  1. Snowballing in the game. I know you mentioned that you guys are working on solutions but when stuff like this happens and then seeps into professional play, do you prioritise the pro scene more? or do you try to find a balance between pro and retail environments. Because both parties are equally effected. People like to run scaling comps/champion and the new Crit changes kind of contradict the snowball meta at the moment.
  2. A more general point, how do you feel the new Rune System has been received? Recently there has been a lot of concern that the system kills variance and diversity, something that Runes Reforged aimed to promote. Instead we have nerf after nerf funnelling our choices into cookie cutter builds to fit the meta or fall behind. Is this the right view or has diversity/creativity/off-meta not been hindered by this? 
Cheers in advance :D
Snowball wise, no, we're not prioritizing the competitive scene. Impact on regular play's the bigger concern for us, though both certainly need addressing. 
I think the Rune system does a good job of delivering variety for some champs but not all. One issue is that some champs have a much better range of choices than others. Precision's particularly solved/limited, and we'll probably take a good swing at that in preseason. If you play champs who use Precision a lot though that means the system's going to feel quite a bit worse than if you just use other trees. Another issue is that viability and perception of viability don't always match well. Some champs, Swain for example, do have a pretty wide range of effective keystone choices, that's often not widely recognized though."

On JinxMeddler noted:
About Jinx. Maybe its a good idea to scale rocketlauncher a bit better with Ad OR Attackspeed?. Or reducing her CD on her E from 24-10 to 20-10. 
Any thoughts on that meddler?
What we'll first be testing first for Jinx:
  1. Allowing the bonus Rocket damage (the +10%) to also crit.
  2. A higher AD ratio on W."

On Zoe and IreliaMeddler commented:
Do you guys plan on tuning down Zoe and Irelia anytime soon?
Irelia we'll be nerfing in 8.13. How much dependent on amount of power she lost from the Sterak's change. 
Zoe we're monitoring but don't have immediate plans for."

Ask Riot: Skins and Champions

Here's this week's Ask Riot from Riot Scruffy, Reav3, and Supercakes:
"This week, it’s new skins and new champions. 
Some of my favorite champs in the past have been the ones with simple, more straightforward kits and gameplay: old cho’gath, old swain, old taric. Are there any plans to make new champions with simple and easy playstyles?
Simple, straightforward champs have a lot of pros and cons, but overall we agree that they are an important and fun part of the LoL roster. The big benefit is that it opens up a more decision-based and less input-mechanics-based playstyle that’s really appealing to some types of players (especially new ones). A cost and common drawback is that they’re often much more powerful in low elo play, so when balanced, they end up being a non-viable option in higher levels of play. Simple champions can also devolve much more quickly into “stat check” gameplay when they’re snowballed ahead or behind because they don’t have enough tools to outplay their opponents. 
To answer your original question—we will likely not be adding a lot more of the “old Taric” style of champions to the game because we think that the amount we have right now is serving that niche pretty well. In the cases of VGUs, we are trying to keep the simple champs simple when we can. I think Warwick was a good example of this, where we made a lot of good changes to his kit without pushing it into a high mechanics space. 
Lead Champion Designer

Do you ever worry that a new champion you are working on will be so good that everyone will want to play it and abandon older champions? 
Honestly this isn’t something we worry about at all. We always strive to make our champions as good as we can, and we don’t really mind if people abandon their current champions to play them. In fact, this has to happen to some extent with every champion release in order for them to have their own dedicated player base. Ideally, all our champions are high quality so that players are mainly picking champions based on what gameplay or theme excites them, rather than how new or old they are. We have a long road ahead of us to get our entire cast up to those standards, which is why we have been doing more and more VGUs over the years. 
Lead Producer of Champions

How often do you design skins as “let’s make a new super galaxy skin” versus “let’s make a new darius skin,” for example? Does it tend to be one much more than the other?

A while back, our strategy was much more, “Let’s make a new Darius skin, what should we make?” But once we started seeing how much players enjoyed getting skins in theme packs, and how we could use those themes to run bigger events in League, we definitely shifted in the opposite direction. It became more about, “Players would probably enjoy another VS event this year AND two Legendary skins to go with it, which champions would be awesome for this?” 
In that model, there IS an extra step where we look at how many skins the potential champions have in their catalog, time since last skin, etc. Otherwise you’d have three Jhin skins in one year just because he fits in a bunch of cool thematics we have planned… oh wait… 
Still, there are many times where we look at champs we want to make a skin for and do a little bit of both. I think the recent Galio, Illaoi, and Shen skins are all good examples of this. Even though Galio hadn’t had a new skin in quite some time, we felt we could give him a lighthearted April Fool’s skin (funny skins theme pack) because he has a fair amount of serious skins in his catalog. Illaoi on the other hand was a champion that hadn’t had a skin since launch. As much as we loved the community idea of “Used Car Salesperson Illaoi,” we were concerned that her first skin since launch being more on the trolly side would be disappointing to players who had waited so long for a skin. With her it became more about, “What theme really works for Illaoi, regardless of theme packs this year?” And then, as you know, a community vote. 
And then sometimes, the stars align. Shen was way overdue for a skin and we found an exciting home for him in the Pulsefire universe as part of that theme pack for this year. 
So… all of that to say both? It depends? Let’s go with 70% “let’s make a new <insert theme name here> skin for Darius,” and 30% “let’s make a new Darius skin.” But, don’t quote me on my math, despite my making this post completely quotable. : ) 
P.S. The skins coming out for Aurelion Sol and Urgot in the next few months are one of each. 
Product Manager

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."

Quick Hits

"If you have an issue with shape language or the fact that his wings are gone, I'm not here to comment on that. Totally valid opinion. I want to talk about texture colors and details. 
You have to remember that we make models to read well from GAME ANGLE and GAME HEIGHT. We get a lot of complaints about how "X-updated model" looks terrible because of all the lost details/color choices. In reality, many details are often a bad thing as they tend to create visual clutter and not read well. It's good to clean them up. The same goes for colors, certain colors on certain parts of a character will serve to muddy the read even if X tone is "realistic" (this is why most champion models are brighter around the head and darker around the legs). 
An example of this all coming together is Vi's "old" texture (one that never shipped). Originally her gauntlets were a lot darker and had a number of dents and dings in them. Thematically this made sense as they'd likely be dirty and beatup given the number of doors Vi punches through on a daily basis. The in-game read was terrible however. The muted colors didn't pop from the background, and the dents looked like visual glitches at game height. So for release we removed the dents and brightened up the colors and Vi started reading significantly better as a result."
"Thanks for noticing the work. 
One of the things people fail to take into account when looking at gameplay reveals, full VO dumps - and especially when looking at the "special interaction" videos, is the % chance of occurrence, timing, and place, time they fit in the game. 
So for example unless you're playing in some special game mode-- you'll hear at most 5 First_Encounter lines. These are the challenge lines, "Scream "Demacia," Garen. Scream its name before I crush you. And it." You'll here one of these lines, once for each member of the enemy team. Now because of the way the game works and the audio system works you have about a 80% chance of getting a "First_Encounter" line against your top lane opponent-- but a much lower chance against other champions (less than 50% in testing). But this is over 50 lines in the script-- so listening to these lines out of context gives you a false view of the champion's personality and tone. (Hearing them back to back makes him seem sassy and arrogant) --Why is this type of line valuable and why are many of these comedic? Because this type of line is geared to go off in that brief moment around the first minion's wave's arrival-- it helps get the player in the mood for the fight, amuses, and reminds you Aatrox loves to duel. 
Similarly Aatrox also has "Long_Move_Lines" but these only trigger when Aatrox is leaving the base and has clicked a very long distance. (Heading back to a lane or jungle). These lines are "preparatory" and longer. Because we can guess that the player is heading back to a fight-- So often these lines are more emotional, internal, revealing, and speak to why the character is fighting. 
These contrast "Attack_Lines" which are short and violent because we know you are attacking an enemy champion. (You clicked on an enemy champ) 
In Aatrox's case the variance between these different elements is larger than normal-- in part because he actually has very long cool downs and because he has many new triggers that are set up to occur at different parts of the game. (This tech is still WIP so --it's not quite working in PBE) 
So for example not only are Aatrox's attack lines are more violent and shorter than his move lines... his late game Attack lines and Move lines are much shorter and more violent than his early game Attack and Move lines."
  • Riot Szymba noted Justicar Aatrox would be getting a unique recall:
"Hey Nightmare, just a heads up that we will be adding the unique recall to Justicar - I think that should be there today. We are actively working on the other 2 issues you mentioned. Thanks for the report!"
  • ricklessabandon noted Orianna may see changes in 8.13:
"actively thinking about her, so she might get something small in 8.13 — likely still won't be 'in the best spot' since the current meta isn't great for her (well, as far as metas can not be great for orianna) but even something small could make a meaningful difference"


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

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