Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 9/5, Clash PBE Test Details, Dark Star Cho'Gath Charity Results & More

Posted on at 10:23 AM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for September 5th, details on the Clash PBE test happening 9/5 at 4PM PST, Dark Star Cho'Gath charity results, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: September 5 

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for September 5th, including thoughts on future champion releases, mastery curves, 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 delayed or even stopped. If you'd like to see a Tweet whenever a new one of these posts goes up: 
Future Champ Releases 
Some of you will have seen this already in some of Reav3's posts, for those that haven't though, or weren't sure on timings, our current plans for larger champion releases this year currently looks like this: 
  • Worlds Patch (8.19)
  • Sometime after that, Ezreal update (limited gameplay changes, focused mainly on W)
  • Sometime after that, though still expected this year, a new champion
Mastery curves for same champs pre and post update 
The last time we shared mastery curves for some champions one question that came up was how they compared pre and post update for some champions. Seemed like a great question to share some more data on. What we're looking at here are mastery curves for Rengar, Irelia, LeBlanc and Swain. The first pic shows their curves in 2017 between September and December, for players from all regions at all MMR bands. The second pic's the same thing, except with data from June-August of 2018, so post VGU for Irelia/Swain and post partial revert for Rengar/LeBlanc. 
The most noticeable change is to Irelia's curve, which starts a lot steeper than it used to. Both of her graphs are pretty similar beyond about 25 games, with a gradual increase in performance by games player continuing to 50 games. VGU'd Irelia has a much steeper initial curve however, reflecting the need to learn more about how her kit combos and greater mechanical execution. Adding combo and mechanical skill expression can help make a champion feel better to master and tends to be a really good fit with some thematic fantasies (e.g. skilled and nimble in Irelia's case), it does come with some accessibility costs though. Swain's a good contrast here, given his curve doesn't meaningfully change post update, which I'm happy about since one of our goals with him was to maintain his mastery curve. 
Looking at LeBlanc and Rengar, their curves are fairly similar before and after. Both still reward games played pretty heavily, though they're not as punishing in your earlier games. 
Finally, it's worth noting that changes to these champions' kits won't be the only factor behind differences in these curves. Things like which opponents they're most commonly playing against, which items/summoner spells are most effective on them etc will also impact what their curves look like (e.g. if optimal Rengar play involves a lot of AA resetting with Tiamat he'll probably have a steeper curve than if his optimal build doesn't include any in combat active items). 
Context on additional 8.18 changes 
  • Aatrox - Previous changes cut down his excessive pro presence. We're now looking to add some power back in in ways that are targeted more at regular play, with buffs to E healing at higher ranks and R AD at higher ranks.
  • Gnar - We're hitting Gnar's base Armor to make him less of a safe blind pick. Shouldn't be too affected against tanks and magic damage heavy opponents, but should be a riskier pick against many aggressive laners.
  • Viktor - We're reducing Viktor's first Hexcore cost with the goal of more frequently letting him hit an early power spike."

When asked about SwainMeddler commented:
"I think Swain's in a pretty good spot, certainly not worried about him being too weak at present. 
What are the details of the Diana Q bug you're talking about? I can follow up and see how it's being tracked/assessed."

When asked about diversity in bot lane, Jhin, and Rioter responses, Meddler replied:
"I'm sad we've lost some of the diversity in bot lane but don't think we'd gone about getting it in the right way. Getting variety needs to involve a range of options feeling decent and useful, while 8.11 at least pushed a lot of marksmen into too poor a state. It's possible in retrospect we might have put more power back in than was needed, so might have traded off a bit of variety unnecessarily, hard to tell though given performance and play rate trends lag somewhat behind when we lock patches, plus there's just not the same degree of experience with non marksmen in botlane, so still unclear what optimal from some other picks there looks like when really polished. Glad to still see the occasional other champ get picked there (e.g. Swain), would want to take a pretty gradual approach to get some others back if trying though rather than swinging too hard at once. 
Jhin's mobility seems somewhat excessive to me. I incline somewhat towards hitting Hail of Blades, at least for Jhin, as a result. I haven't looked into Jhin in depth personally though, so possible there's some other change that would be more appropriate. 
I think perceptions of radio silence most commonly happen when the issues people want to talk about/get a response on are ones that most Rioters aren't the right people to answer. Regardless of your position at Riot you're still looked at as an official source on anything you post about to some degree, so some topics have a chilling effect on Rioter talking if they're the main things players want to discuss."

On UdyrMeddler commented:
"We don't currently have an Udyr rework underway. Whenever we do I'd expect it to involve keeping his core quite similar (low CD stance swapping, melee range, ability to vary builds in terms of offense/defense heavily etc)."
He continued:
"I expect we'll stick with the 4 stances no ult approach whenever we work on Udyr. Wouldn't rule out some form of windowed power as an addition (long CD passive?), that's just me speculating though."

On AatroxMeddler replied:
"I expect we'll be able to get Aatrox to a significantly better state in terms of pro versus regular play than Azir/Ryze. I believe a chunk of the issue has been his early game strength, which pro play tends to be especially sensitive to. We're trying to put some power back into him later to test that theory, see whether we can equalize his performance more now that we've got a bit of room to buff."

On SejuaniMeddler commented:
"I expect we'll give Sejuani some further work at some point post Worlds. Not sure on timing or details, but agree more's needed there."

When asked about the lack of changes on the PBE compared to previous patches, Meddler replied:
"One of the things we survey players on every patch is how they feel about the current rate of change in the game. From around 8.10 or so concerns there started climbing to extremely high levels compared to historical average. That, plus our own assessment that our changes had been much more disruptive than we'd intended in 8.10 and 8.11 made us conclude we should pull back substantially on change for a decent period of time. As a result instead of putting as much into regular patches we've had people working on preseason development instead. We are starting to see some people, such as yourself, now calling for more change. Getting the right amount's a balancing act though, with a healthy mid point meaning we'll still be seeing some people calling for less while others are after more. This is also a time of year where, when we've made major changes in the past, reaction's generally been noticeably more negative than positive, regardless of the context."

Meddler continued:
"With you that direction of change can be a real pain point for many players at times too. When we dug into things a couple of months back we saw very clear feedback from quite a lot of players though that, regardless of what the exact changes were, whether great or terrible, they wanted a period of stability more than anything else."

When asked about Preseason, Meddler commented:
"Our goal's to have most of the changes in one patch (8.22 or 8.23). Spreading changes out over multiple patches wasn't helpful during this year's mid season, resulting in a longer period before things settled down for the same amount of change."

On AnnieMeddler noted:
"No plans for further Annie changes at least for now. The buff added around the amount of power we were looking to add. Want to give it a while and see what effect it has on her play. 
Teasers like 'colourful mage' are early hints that won't get followed up on for a while. It's cool to see community speculation about what that might involve, we'll generally keep a lot of the mystery though until the champ's reveal."

When asked if Emote/Chroma gifting would ever be added to the client, Meddler responded:
"At some point, yeah, we do plan to add that. There's other work that the folks working on the gifting system are prioritizing first though, so will be a while. Not my area of expertise, but guessing a next year rather than a this year thing."

Clash PBE Test - Staggered Scouting Phase 

Here's Riot Rapwnzel with the details on the Clash test happening September 5th at 4PM PST:
"Hi, everybody! 
As we’ve recently announced, we are getting Clash back on PBE! We have granted complimentary Clash Tickets to your PBE account, so please begin to register your teams on Monday, September 3rd and join us for a 1-day, 4-team bracket tournament (that means you’ll play two games!) on Wednesday, September 5th. 
For this particular test, we will be exercising Staggered Scouting Phases. What this means for us is that we will be able to rate limit the number of Clash matches that begin simultaneously to reduce the load on dependent systems and ensure more reliable game starts. What this means for you is that your Scouting phase duration may now vary (starting at a minimum of 5 minutes) to accommodate a high influx of game starts. 
How to Participate in this Clash test: 
  • Sign up. If you need to sign up for a PBE account do that here.
    • Please note that PBE account eligibility requires that you are Honor 3+
  • Assemble a group of 5 players and register your team on the Clash tab between Monday, Sept. 3rd @ 09:00 PT and 16:00 PT on Wednesday, Sept. 5th.
    • If you don’t have 4 friends on PBE, drop by the PBE Discord and pick up your missing members!
  • Lock-In 30 minutes before the Tournament begins; Lock-In will begin at 16:00 PT on Wednesday, Sept. 5th and close at 16:30 PT.
  • Scouting begins at 16:30 PT and will last for a minimum of 5 minutes
    • this part of the Clash experience, in particular, is what we’re evaluating during this test, so please share any feedback you might have!
  • Compete! (you are guaranteed to play 2 games!)
Important Note: As we’re playing on PBE, all skill-based matchmaking will be disabled. This means matches may be unbalanced, and won’t be like the full launch experience. We are also disabling the Ranked Eligibility restriction for these PBE tests so that we can reduce the barrier to entry and maximize participation. 
Please reply to this thread with feedback and questions or bug reports, and join us in the PBE Discord during the test! Thanks so much for your participation and support! We’re excited to be another step closer to getting Clash back on track!"

Dark Star Cho’Gath Charity Results 

Here's Bilby with a rundown of the money donated to charity with the sales of Dark Star Cho'Gath:
"From July 13 – August 10, 2018, you supported local nonprofit organizations through the Dark Star Cho’Gath campaign. All proceeds from the skin (as well as his icon, emote, and bundles) from that time are going to organizations that represent the values of League players in each region. 
With your overwhelming support, we’re thrilled to announce that you’ve raised over $6.1 million to be sent to these select nonprofits. 
We would like to thank Bryan, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, GlobalGiving, the participating nonprofit organizations, and you. We’re blown away by these results—you’ve made a real difference for so many people around the world. 
Thank you so much. 
In case you missed it: Go behind-the-scenes for more on this skin’s creation, or head to our announcement page for the full list of nonprofit organizations."

Nexus Blitz - Week 4 Feedback and Patch Notes 

With Nexus Blitz hitting the final week of it's live alpha, here's Riot August with the Week 4 feedback thread:
"Week 3 feedback thread 
Hey everyone, this will be the last feedback thread of the alpha, including any remaining updates we release. Though Nexus Blitz's run is coming to a close, we still want your thoughts! At this point, everyone's had several weeks to explore the mode and formulate opinions beyond first impressions; we'd love to hear about how your experience has changed and evolved since the alpha started. 
This week we'll have one final micropatch which may or may not contain a new event ;) 
Thanks everyone!"

Quick Hits


  • Meddler noted a timeframe on when we would see a new Lissandra passive:
"I'm expecting sometime between 8.19 and end of year (hopefully in the earlier part of that period, but not going to make any promises until more certain)."
  • Riot August commented some of what he thought are Kayle's flaws as a champion:
"Her kit is too binary. It lacks variance and high moments. The ult is sometimes an exception here when she isn’t using it to turn herself into an even harder stat check. 
Kayle is a character who has maintained an incredibly high winrate over most of League’s history and yet is never played despite being so powerful. 
An OP champ who is never played typically points to major kit satisfaction problems."
  • Riot Jag posted to R/Aatrox mains about his thoughts on the rework and the community reaction to it:
"I'd like to comment on a few things that have been on my mind for a while, in response to a lot of the threads I've seen here. 
First off, I don't love the balance rollercoaster that Aatrox has been on since he came out, and obviously pro play has been a major part of that. The last few patches have come under the ownership of Live Gameplay, not me, but I trust in them to do good work. I'm think he's a bit overnerfed right now and I'd wager they might pull back a bit on the last few, but I can't speak for them. I'm sorry to all the fans of new Aatrox that have had to endure that. This happens a lot when new champions come out and are met with very high play rates (more on that later) - they often have pretty major associated disruption costs. 
As I said a while ago, I do understand that old Aatrox mains feel pretty displaced by the rework. This is a different champion in many ways. When we collected feedback from Aatrox mains leading up to the rework, they told us the most important aspects were ability to fight to the death better than anyone - specifically, his built-in lifesteal and his revive. We tried to keep that part of his identity, but I can see why a lot of people felt like we should have emphasized different elements. That being said, Aatrox was by far our most requested champion to rework, for years. Hopefully it's clear that when we rework a champion's gameplay, our primary audience is not solely the players of the champion who were already satisfied with it. We wouldn't touch it at all, if that were the case. 
Old Aatrox was not a champion that was healthy for League. I see a lot of the old Aatrox mains wished there was a different designer on the project - so be it. But no matter who was going to be put on the project, you were not going to get a drain-tanking basic attacker that was also good at sticking to targets. I can accept being the focus of your disappointment, but know that all of the design department agreed that Aatrox needed radical changes. We do feel like the Aatrox rework was a success. Despite how many threads I seem to get tagged in, no one at Riot is talking about reverting the rework. 
Finally, regarding why communication has been limited - it's because this community does not foster good avenues for communication. Most of my attempts at talking to you guys here were met with downvote spam to bury comments, hate threads, and bad-faith attacks. I know there are a lot of people here trying to have productive conversations - in fact, I see you arguing with other members about this very topic a lot. But I pretty clearly wasn't getting productive conversations here, so I stopped. I know I haven't posted on this subreddit in a few months, but I suspect it'll be much much longer before the next time. I don't blame the community for being upset, but I don't think most of the exchanges have been conducted here in a way that merits me trying to engage anymore. 
Anyway, I'm still around as an adviser for Live Gameplay whenever Aatrox comes up, and I've been in their ear more often lately about giving him some love. I'll keep having discussions with them, because I certainly do care a great deal about the experience that Aatrox players have. And I always will."


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

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