Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: July 13, The Stories Behind League's SFX, Teach A Friend Missions, & More

Posted on at 5:46 PM by Aznbeat
[UPDATE 7/14 #2 - Added new dev corner post from Ghostcrawler - A Response to Doublelift on a Constantly Evolving Game]

Today's red post collection includes Meddler's  with a quick gameplay thoughts on gold funneling and tentative 8.15 changes, a look at how League's sound effects are made, hints at new merch soon, a new set of missions for playing with low level players, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

A Response to Doublelift on a Constantly Evolving Game

Ghostcrawler jumped on the dev corner to respond to a recent video from pro player Doublelift regarding the rate of change and downsides of that in League of Legends.
"Doublelift posted a great video the other day talking about the rate of change in League. It’s worth watching. Since he referenced me in particular, I thought it was worth offering the Riot perspective here. My intention is absolutely not to try and refute him point by point, because we agree with a lot of what he says. But this way at least you all might have some idea of what our goals are and why we don’t always achieve them.

Costs of Change

First, we totally get that change has a cost. Learning is fun, and as DL says, one of the things that keeps players coming back to League. However, for this to work, you need to feel like there is a sense of forward momentum, not that you’re just running in place all the time because freaking Riot keeps resetting the game. I honestly can’t completely put myself into the shoes of a pro player, because I’ve never had to scrim 12 hours a day because my team and even career depend on it. When a pro feels like they let down their team because of a change we made, that sucks. When any player feels like a lot of the work they put into mastering a champion is reset, that sucks. That’s definitely not the goal, though sometimes it’s an unavoidable consequence of trying to meet the goals. (I’m also happy to acknowledge that sometimes it probably is avoidable.)

Overall, our goal is to make sure that our changes always move the game forward. An (unrealistic) vision I try to impart in our designers is to imagine that there is a perfect League of Legends out there (there's not), and every change we make should move us closer to that vision (even if we sometimes take one or two steps back along the way). We should not make change for the sake of change just to “spice things up.” Now, in all honesty it’s true that we do a little of this. New champions for example are mostly to make sure that players always have something novel to look forward to. But overall we want to move forward.

Goals of Change

So why change the game at all? As DL points out, it is really easy for multiplayer games to become stale if players solve them. This is particularly true today where streaming and video content are so prevalent that when pros or anyone else figure out an efficient solution, it quickly disseminates to everyone. Certain communities embrace this - just ask any Smash player. In that case, the game doesn’t change much at all and it’s up to the community to come up with any kind of evolution to the strategy / meta.

There is nothing wrong with that approach. It’s just a different approach. The approach that Riot has taken is to constantly evolve the game. Riot was founded back when Tryndamere and Ryze got frustrated with an RTS or whatever it was they were playing, in which all the players knew there was one winning strategy and if only the freaking developers would make a few simple balance changes, the game would have so many more options and all those dead units would actually get used. There are League players (and not just pros) who play many, many hours of League every week. If they go up against a frustrating champion or a degenerative strategy every game, they may have to suffer through dozens of games before we fix it, and that’s assuming we fix it for the next patch within two weeks and get it right the first time. Often we don’t quite fix it enough, or potentially over fix it, and that requires even more suffering for players.

Recent Changes

The 2018 season has been a period of very high change. We started with Runes Reforged and followed with Jungle and bottom lane changes that were more disruptive than is usual, and frankly, than we intended.

While overall we are happy with our progress towards the goals of the runes overhaul (and yes I do want to acknowledge that not every player is happy with the overhaul) we knew we were going to have to smooth out large parts of the game after launch. We had necessary followup on the balance front, like Stopwatch, and the design front, like Conqueror, which meant players were constantly having to relearn parts of the system. But runes would be worse off today if we hadn’t made those changes, and we think League will be better in the long run as we polish Runes further.

We also tried bigger even-numbered patches in the first half of the season to allow us to solve larger problems, such as the AP item refactor, that was more change than we have done in the past few midseasons. More recently a lot of this year’s pain has come from midseason stretching for 3 patches with gameplay shifts on each. Ironically, the goal was to smooth out the launch of this midseason's changes, since when many huge changes hit at the same time, it can be hard to tell which problems will clear up over time, and which ones we need to actively fix. For many players, though, the experience wasn't "midseason parts 1, 2, 3" so much as "midseason 1, midseason 2, midseason 3." That cost ended up being higher than anticipated, which is a big part of why we decided not to ship the new fighter items we had slated for patch 8.12.

Looking at the next few months, patches in the run-up to worlds and preseason will be much less disruptive. We're not going to continue with big patch / small patch. In addition, preseason will be a single patch rather than the spread out approach we took with midseason. We're planning to stick with the single-patch approach going forward, too.

Inadvertent Effects of Changes

Also remember that while our changes are intentional, the impact of them isn’t necessarily so. We have a really strong development team who thinks deeply about their goals and the changes they want to bring about, and then we playtest the crap out of the changes we make and only ship the best ones. But I’ll be the first to admit we get it wrong sometimes (and I apologize for when we do).
We wanted to make some changes to ADCs for sure. We didn’t want to remove Trist and Cait and Rekkles from the game. We actually thought it might take larger changes to shift some of the power that ADCs hold over the bottom lane, and thought it was more likely we didn’t go far enough. After a much bigger shift than expected, however, we’ve shifted focus from continuing to open bot up, to making sure we didn’t take too much power away from ADCs. One of the benefits of our patch cadence is that when we do miss the mark, we have a chance to correct it, and hopefully ADCs are heading towards a better place now.

Competitive Changes

The competitive season in general is a big challenge for us. We certainly don’t balance the game only for pros, but as DL points out, pro play is obviously a huge draw and we want to make sure there we can provide a good viewer experience for the major LoL esports events. Unfortunately that often gives us a really narrow window in which to make large changes - pretty much preseason and midseason these days. It’s a tense situation when we have a problem in the game that we want to fix for competitive gaming and (a) risk making the change so late that pros have no opportunity to adapt to the change, or (b) risk not making the change and having a less interesting viewer experience as a result.

Last year, when the Ardent Censer meta emerged, both Riot and pros weren’t entirely sure what it was suppressing. The meta that might have emerged with a weakened / removed Censer could very well had been worse than the Censer meta, and pros at least had a lot of time to build strategies around Censer. This is the risk that can happen with a slower rate of change: something really comes to dominate. We had already patched Censer, but pros were playing on an older patch, again, to reduce the amount of “rules churn” they had to contend with.

We’re in a similar spot today with gold funneling. We’re concerned the viewer experience around gold funneling isn’t great, and while we hoped at first it would be a strategy you’d see sometimes, it looks it may very well come to dominate. Patch 8.14 does have a change meant to curb funneling, but we acknowledge that means we’re forcing pros to adapt to a change well past midseason.

Champ Changes

I could write a whole post just on large champion updates (VGUs). We owe it to players to fix champions who aren’t interesting to play, who lack counterplay, or who just feel outdated. But we know there is a big risk that we end up losing some of the dedicated players of that champion if we move them too far away from their original state. Sometimes we think it’s still worth doing for the sake of the game. Loss aversion is a very real thing, but this isn’t a single player game where it’s okay to let someone have an overpowered character just because it’s fun for them.

I wanted to give a shoutout to Voyboy’s Tweet where he talks about the cost for other players when your champion is a little OP, as well as the challenges of buffing instead of nerfing.

Aatrox himself is a larger topic that illustrates many of the opportunities and challenges of champion updates. I considered going into it here, but this is getting long already, it’s probably worthy of its own discussion.

Thanks for reading. A video response to Doublelift would have been easier to sit through, but we didn’t want to delay our response any longer. Thanks to all of you who take the time through videos, streams, Reddit or whatever to point out where you think the game or our process can improve. It’s not always easy to hear of course, but overall we think it’s one of the reasons League is still around after almost a decade."
Here's Doublelift's video Ghostcrawler is responding too -  The Downsides of a Constantly Evolving Game (League of Legends - Doublelift)

Teach A Friend Missions

A new series of three Teach a Friend missions are now up. These center around playing in a party with someone level 15 or lower and offer various rewards!

The first mission Teach a Friend requires you to win a bot game with someone level 15 or under in your party and rewards the Good Pals summoner icon and 200 blue essence.
The second mission Show Them Who's Boss requires you to kill both Baron Nashor and a dragon with a level 15 or under in your party and rewards a Hextech Chest & Key!
The third and final mission The Pupil Becomes the Master has you win a PvP game with someone level 15 or under in your party and rewards the Good Job, Buddy! emote.
Below are the same three missions but from the point of view of the level 15 or under player - in addition to the icon and emote, these low level player mission include champion permanents for Annie, Talon, and Xayah.
These missions have a listed duration of two weeks.

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: July 13 

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for July 13th, inuding thoughts on gold funneling,  a few 8.15 changes in the works, 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: 
Gold Funneling Questions 
When talking about our changes to address gold funneling earlier in the week I saw quite a few questions that that post didn't cover cropping up. Figured it would be good to cover them today as a result. Apologies for those of you who've read some of this before, likely to be a fair bit of repetition, would rather err on the side of talking too much than too little on this though. 
  • Why nerf funneling, what's wrong with another strategy being used? 
We're hitting funneling because of what it does to both early game interaction and power curves. It certainly creates some interesting variety of team comps and strategy. It does so by turning mid lane into a low interaction position though, instead of a really active one and by pushing a lot more gold onto champs than they've been balanced around. In some cases that holds up fine, in others it removes too much counterplay from playing against them. 
  • Why is funneling fine in bot lane then, but not when it's mid/jungle? 
While in both cases there are two champs on one team, with one of them taking all the farm, things are noticeably different. In bot it's one champ getting all of one gold stream, rather than pushing two gold streams onto a single champ. Additionally bot lane still has a lot of interaction going on, with both sides trading/harassing and at least one side generally looking for kill opportunities. 
  • What about Twisted Treeline, funneling has been going on there for a long time 
It has, and that means changing it's a pretty substantial upheaval, given it's so core to how TT's been played for quite a while. At least in the short term we'll be keeping these changes that nerf gold funneling on SR only. 
  • Why not nerf support gold instead since they're the problem? 
We're seeing funneling create mid laners (or mid funneled junglers) with 50% more gold than the enemy mid at the 15 minute mark. Even if we reduced the amount of gold supports were getting substantially (e.g. 500 less by 15:00) that doesn't address the core issue here that's making funneling powerful. That's not to say supports necessarily are or aren't in the appropriate place power wise in general, but that for this particular problem we don't think they're the primary cause. 
Some 8.15 changes 
Some of the things we'll be looking at in 8.15 below. As usual some more stuff will be added as we work on the patch and some things will get dropped, either because they're not ready or because we conclude they weren't the right direction in the first place.
  • Annie buff - We're pulling Annie buffs out of 8.14 to take some more time on them for 8.15. First thing we'll be testing is giving Annie back at least some of the extra AA range she used to have.
  • Liandry's buff - Similarly the Liandry's buff has also moved to 8.15. Will likely still be exploring ways to make it a better choice for many champs without having to pair it with Rylai's, while still keeping some degree of CC synergy. Details TBD>
  • Gold Funneling and TP nerf followups - Expecting there'll be some polish needed, putting time aside to do a lot of monitoring of how those changes land at the least.
  • Playoffs Balance - Some regions will be playing their Summer Split playoffs on 8.15. We'll be keeping change pretty low as a result overall, with potentially a targeted nerf or two to really pro problematic champs if needs be (Play off patches are one of the times we prioritize looking at pro balance more than usual). 
Working to update LoL’s tooltips 
For anyone that missed it yesterday we’ve got a gradual project underway to update LoL’s tooltips. More details at the link below, this is something where we’ll be trying various different approaches in upcoming patches and gathering feedback over time before settling on a final version."

When asked a few questions about balancing and player feelings about changes, Meddler commented:
"I think we've changed the game too quickly over the first half of this year, in particular during the midseason period. We've pulled back on change per patch as a result and will be staying at lower change until the end of the year. Will also be avoiding spread out midseasons like we tried this time. Hope was that introducing change more gradually would make it easier to adjust and balance, with no individual patch feeling as large. What it instead did was leave a longer period of time feeling disrupted. 
How much we should change things, versus waiting for players to adapt, is a tough one. Agree it's sometimes the right call, and that we likely act too hastily. At the same time there are usually some things that are just clearly out of line enough that, even if it's possible to play around them, it makes the game worse by having to do so (champs who are overtuned, Ardent Censer when it was so meta defining etc). In those cases I think we should be acting quickly on things, even if it undercuts the potential for innovation and adaptability somewhat. 
What sort of examples are you thinking when you link rate of change and increased player requests for things that benefit their own play? Seeing some of that certainly with ADCs at present, but that feels pretty appropriate IMO given were, or still are, in rough spots. There are also players who'll argue vehemently that their role/champ needs massive buffs unless it's clearly the strongest in the game, not sure that's linked to rate of change though, given it seems to a constant from many who argue like that."

When asked about Swain, Meddler replied:
Hi Meddler, is there any reason Riot is choosing to nerf the non problematic part of Swains kit and also his most satisfying?
(His R explosion damage).
Why not try and take care of his passive in a duo lane, as in halve the heal by applied allied cc or up the cooldown on his passive?
We're targeting ult explosion damage because of just how hard it allows Swain to zone while his ult's up. It should certainly hurt, but a 1.35 AP ratio on an AOE ability, even if it takes souls to get there, feels like it's just too hard hitting. That's something that's independent of whether he's being played in a duo lane or not. 
In terms of balancing duo lane versus solo lane play, yeah, with you that the passive would be a good lever if we need to push on that. He gets far more opportunities to use it in most bot lane pairings. Could see lower benefit on allied CC potentially, could also just swap some damage from it to elsewhere, reduce variance in damage output."

On the mentioned Conqueror nerf, Meddler replied:
I would like to ask you if the Nerf to Conqueror will be on next week's patch, and if not, ask you to at least do a partial nerf to Conqueror for that patch.
There'll be a nerf to Conqueror in 8.14 (AD 6-35 instead of 10-35). We'll see where it's up to after that before considering possible further changes."

As for IreliaMeddler noted:
What about Irelia Meddler? Her top lane experience isn't enjoyable anymore. Have to stay safe and farm it's not a fun way to play, especially on top lane.
Likely we have some Irelia buffs, aimed at helping out top in particular, in 8.15. Lot of debate this week over exactly how to do so and how much power we should be adding."

And on LeonaMeddler commented:
Also some time ago I asked bout Leona you guys had noted she still on the radar given her ability to go from "Oh its a Leona" to "Wtf this Leona just solo'd me" at times 
has that changed at all?
Nothing planned for Leona right now. We'd wondered if she might become overbearing with the changes in midseason, not seeing her overperform though. Still agree her design tends to be pretty brittle, in terms of ability to go from struggling to dominant off smallish changes. Don't think it's something we need to act on at least at present though."

As for whether Lissandra's skins would receive new VFX when her tentative new passive comes to the PBE for testing, Meddler replied:
Hey Meddler will Lissandra skins be getting new particles with her passive
Yeah, I expect we'll do different versions of the passive visual effects for each skin. Can't just use the standard ice look for the others, would clash horribly."

Meddler also noted more on the gold funneling changes and it's effect on the jungle:
Do you think the gold funnel changes will hurt jungle and if so, will there be any compensation even if really small?
Goal is no impact on normal jungle play. We'll be looking at that once 8.14 goes live, see if the penalty's having a meaningful effect in non funneling situations."

As for Syndra, Meddler noted:
"Apologies this ended up being a day later, rather than later in the same day. Ended up being a really busy Friday at work. 
Short answer is that the difference in effectiveness for Syndra between pro and normal play is what's making us hesitate on buffs here. She's a bit weak in normal play, but seeing some pro play recently. She's also got a kit that, when she clicks with the current state of pro, can move her up in priority really fast. Going to talk with the designer looking at her next week, see what our plan as a result is. Will then share that back in one of these posts once I've got some direction or details to talk about, rather just a problem statement."

The Stories Behind League's SFX

Here's BananaBand1t with a Nexus article on how champion sound effects (SFX) are made:

[NOTE: Due to embedding issues,this article is best viewed on Nexus with embedded sound clips!]
"When players hear Blitzcrank’s hook or Kled’s ult, they know what’s about to go down. There are thousands upon thousands of sounds in League of Legends, but some of the most important and recognizable are attached to champion abilities. These sound effects primarily communicate gameplay mechanics, but they also help to define a champion’s unique thematic. Imagine if Zoe had a Nocturne-like ultimate; it wouldn’t really fit her character if it sounded dark and menacing, so it’d probably sound bright and menacing instead. 
Creating sound effects for champions is a constant balancing act between gameplay clarity and character thematic. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and it can include everything from recording underwater explosions to smashing watermelons. 
Just as artists create concept art to explore a champion’s looks, sound designers create a sonic palette to explore a champion’s sounds. “A champion’s sonic palette is like a collection of building blocks,” says Brandon “Riot Sound Bear” Reader. “We start by putting together an array of sounds that’ll hopefully cover what we’ll need for the kit, and then we can expand on it and combine the pieces later.” 
The real first step: setting a clear direction for the champion’s sound design.
Designers don’t always need to start from scratch; Riot’s internal library of sounds offers a digital catalog of cacophony. In particular, it can be helpful to peruse (or even repurpose) the sounds previously created for champions who share a home region. Every area of Runeterra has its own sonic language, which is why champs from Piltover tend to have fine and precise Hextech sounds, whereas champs from Zaun have scrappy and cobbled-together-sounding effects. “Not every champion from a region should sound the same, but they should all share sonic characteristics,” says audio director Brad “Riot Eno” Beaumont. 
League’s spells and abilities also need to share a sort of sonic synergy. For example, stuns and snares usually have a hard-hitting tone at the beginning that’s held out—think Twisted Fate’s Gold Card or Morgana’s Dark Binding. Shields, heals, knock-ups, invulnerabilities, and most other common mechanics share audio characteristics because it helps clarify gameplay. Oftentimes the outcome of a teamfight or even a game can be determined by less than half a second of reaction time, so it’s important to make these effects as clear as possible. You might not see that Yordle Snap Trap, but your ears will help you discover that you’ve stepped on it. 
For champion reworks in particular, another strong starting point is the types of sounds used in the original kit. “Just like the rest of the team thinks about the iconic visual or gameplay elements of an existing champion, we think about the iconic elements their sound design,” says Matteo “ChefSpecial86” Stronati. “We try to find ways to keep it familiar while also making it sound better, which can be tough.” None of the original sound effects are directly used in a new sonic palette, but they can they serve as inspiration or even a foundation for the new design. 
When the sound designer has a sonic palette they feel pretty good about, they share it with the rest of the team. At this point, it’s not intended to be a final version as much as a way to explore possibilities. “For Kai’Sa, I tried a couple different approaches in her first sound palette,” says Riot Sound Bear. “The team thought the organic, deeper sounds better fit Kai’Sa’s character than the higher-pitched sci-fi ones, so I focused more on that direction.”

Sometimes in place of sending out the sonic palette itself, sound designers use those sounds to create an audio story. “Sharing our work early is important, not only because it’s an opportunity to ask for feedback, but also because it’s a chance for us to inspire the team,” says Riot Sound Bear. “That’s one reason why stories can be so awesome—they help bring the concept on the page to life.” Below is Pyke’s audio story, during which he attacks a poor bloke leaving a Bilgewater tavern.
Now comes the fun part—recording new sounds in Foley labs. But first, a quick history lesson: Foley originated in the film industry where sound-effect artists would perform sound effects while watching the picture to recreate or heighten the audio recorded on set (it’s named for Jack Foley, who was a sound effect artist in the earliest days of film). When you hear the sound of some dude punching someone in an action movie… that’s the result of Foley.League’s sound designers do the same thing (just not for a film), and because League’s cast of characters is so diverse, Foley recordings involve everything from fireballs and whips to trashcans and Mayan Death Whistles. “Every champion has their own version of Foley exploration,” says Isaac “Audio Ninja” Kikawa. For instance, Irelia’s recording session involved whipping around swords and knives in Riot’s Foley studio, a sound-treated room with a locker full of strange objects accumulated over League’s nine-year history. 
Foley Room Locker

Sometimes the Foley room won’t work well for the types of sounds a champion needs, so it’s better to head off-site for the recording session. For Pyke, the team spent an afternoon at a pool recording sounds underwater, including people screaming and exploding a dry ice bomb. “That last one shook the foundation of the house,” says sound designer Bryan “Ampson” Higa.

Other times, recording sessions can be more digital, like when Riot Sound Bear used a synthesizer to explore laser-y sounds for Kai’Sa’s kit.

No matter what form it takes, recording Foley is all about creative exploration. “Sometimes you’ll just want try something to see what happens,” says Riot Sound Bear. “A lot of the cool stuff comes from happy accidents.” For Xayah’s recording session, the team launched a bunch of small objects from a slingshot and recorded the sounds they made as they soared through the air. Once they ran out of things to shoot, they scrounged through the supply closet. “Audio Ninja was like, ‘I found this old bullet casing back there, wanna try it?’” Ampson says. “And that ended up being the core to Xayah’s feather throw.”

Some other origins for League’s sound effects include…
  • Blood splatters from Kayn’s weapon started as water splatters in Riot’s campus showers.
  • A layer of Elder Dragon’s roar came from using a violin bow across chicken wire and a trashcan.
  • Assorted sounds from Bard’s kit (as well as the in-game shop bells) were created using tiny brass bells purchased in L.A.’s Chinatown.
  • The bright and shimmery tonality on Garen’s ult came from a closely mic’d tuning fork and a finger cymbal hitting a broadsword.
  • Parts of Ivern’s sounds came from constructing a Foley prop called “The Creaker,” a rope stretching across two wooden planks attached to a hinge.
  • Zac’s globby sounds were made by filling a condom with dog food and beans and smashing it against the wall. 
No matter what it what it takes (or looks like), the goal of recording Foley is to create the sounds that’ll be used in-game. 

Sound designers can usually fill out the rest of a champion’s sonic palette after processing the audio from the initial Foley recording sessions. “Most of the sounds are put through a meat grinder of different processes and effects, so what comes the other end isn’t always super recognizable,” says Riot Sound Bear. The way sounds are processed varies from champion to champion, but it usually involves changing the tone and pitch and running the sound files through audio processing plugins and synthesizers, which do things like add doppler effects and distort the sound. 
At long last, sound designers are left with a bunch of building blocks to choose from and can start assembling the sounds that’ll eventually become part of League. “Sound design is like cooking. You take the ingredients and combine them using a bunch of tools, then hopefully you end up with something that’s more than the sum of its parts,” says ChefSpecial86. While the core to Xayah’s auto attacks came from the slingshotted bullet casing, they also they contain traces of… 

All that’s really left now is to get the sound effects into playtests and polish them up. “In early playtests, the focus is pretty broad: Does this champion sound like any other champion in the game?” says Audio Ninja. With 140+ champs, and hundreds of skins, it can take some time to differentiate the new effects from what’s already there. “It can be the most challenging part, especially when we’re working with another champ with a sword, or another champ with a gun,” says Riot Sound Bear. “How do we make them all sound different?” 
This is why the playtests are so important—the more ears on a sound, the more likely someone is to pick up when there’s too much audio overlap. 
Towards the end of development, playtests are more about polishing the effects, which includes balancing the audio levels and cleaning up when and how the sounds play. “We’re really focused on gameplay clarity at this point, making sure we’re not adding unnecessary noise to the game,” says Audio Ninja. A lot of these fine-tuning decisions depend on the type of ability that sound is attached to—if it’s really impactful to the game (like most ultimates), it’s okay for it to take up more auditory space. For example, Ornn’s ult has an audio cue when it’s cast, then a metallic clang each time it hits a champion. It’s ear-catching, but that’s because it’s a high-impact ability and it’s important for players to know exactly what’s happening. 
Sound designers continue working on a champion’s sound effects until the final days of development, which is mostly because any change to the champion in-game will likely impact their sound effects. If an animator changes the path of an animation, or the VFX artists changes the way an effect triggers, or the game designer changes the timing of a spell, it has an effect on the way the sounds should be played. “Audio relies on a lot of teams and their work,” says ChefSpecial86. “But that also means we have the unique chance to tie all of the aspects of a champion together, which is pretty awesome.”

The articles final soundfile is not identified and the file name refers to it as "Mysterious Sound"

Quick Hits

"Teemo was a great first figure for Series 3. . .but we really wanted to launch this series with fanfare so that means the most epic champion of all time is getting an entire collection next week. Limited Edition figure drops July 18th at 12pm PST. So does a Limited Edition Collectible plush and several other very special products."
The FB also provided a look at the new LoL figure series packaging and changes to the authenticity cards:
"We wanted to show the new packaging design for Series 3. Larger product shots on three sides give more display options. We also updated the authenticity card to show off the champion splash art in a more meaningful way and make it easier to match the card with the figure without having to look up the actual code."
"Versus writer here. I can extrapolate a little bit. 
On the lore side, Darius at his core is someone who believes war solves all problems. Your usefulness in battle (and in general) determines your worth as a human being, and when you aren't useful anymore you are rightfully cast aside (ironically this is also what he most fears). He also hates weak rulers for this exact reason, preferring no ruler to an unworthy one. Garen understands the real and severe shortcomings of Demacia, but fights for their causes anyway, even if this doesn't serve to make Demacia any better - in fact, it might just be making it worse. It's less about making people's lives better, and more about protecting the vision of a perfect Demacia. 
I took those aspects of their personalities, upped the power level, and pushed them to the extreme fringes of their own belief systems. Those are the God-Kings. The seeming imbalance isn't 100% accurate -- the numbers for each side's quest completion were, as opposed to last year, incredibly close. As I understand it, Garen very nearly won (he is very, very, very popular in regions outside the US/EU). 
As for community, Garen and Darius is a rivalry that dates back to the Journals of Justice days. They are essentially each other's counterpart from rival factions. It was and continues to be a really revered pairing, and that's why they were chosen. 
Hopefully that explains the thought processes a little better!"
"This year, for NA LCS Summer Finals, we decided to switch things up with our illustration art and offer 10 individual panels that then combined into one single piece. You can download each of the individual panels here along with the final piece of art.
Summer Finals tickets in Oakland are on sale now at Ticketmaster:

2018 NA LCS Summer Finals illustration was done by Tom Barton. You can find more from Tom on:


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • Dark Star Cho'Gath is now available, with 100% of proceeds going to regional charities! From now until August 10th, you can grab the skin, border, new summoner icons, and an emote! Check out our coverage for more!
  • The free skins promotions on Riot social media are heading to the vault! Check out the full details on this page to redeem Riot Girl Tristana, Dreadnight Garen, and Unchained Alistar before August 1st!

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