Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 9/14 & 9/19, October Sales Schedule, & More

Posted on at 4:46 PM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for September 14th and 19th, the October sales schedule, a new /Dev blog and /Dev diary on Ranked 2019 changes and more!
Continue reading for more information!



Table of Contents


Quick Gameplay Thoughts: September 14 

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for September 14th, including a look at average games per champion 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: https://twitter.com/RiotMeddler  
Average games per champion 
Wanted to share some somewhat different data today that looks at, when you encounter a particular champion, how many games on average the person playing that champion will have played on them. This is related to the mastery curves talked about previously, showing how far through a champ's mastery curve your opponents or team mates will likely be. Figured this would be good to look at in part since common arguments I see are 'X champion only has a high win rate because only mains play them' or 'Y champion is OP despite a low win rate because most of their play is new people bringing their win rate down'. It's also a pretty easy to display piece of information, compared to something like mastery curves, so for once we can show all champs easily, rather than just a subset. 
As you'll see below the average number of games at the high end and low end can vary radically. That doesn't necessarily mean equate to 'most popular' and 'least popular' though. Some champs are popular and have player bases with a lot of average games played (e.g. Yasuo and Lee Sin). Others are pretty niche, but, when you do encounter a player, they're probably played that champ a lot (e.g. Anivia). At the other end of the spectrum new champs especially have low averages because, well, they're new, and people haven't had time to build up as many games yet, even if they're really popular picks (e.g. Kai'Sa). Some champs also have low averages because people are interested in trying them, but conclude what's on offer isn't for them (Ivern's a good example of this). That's not to say those champs don't have mains who've gone really deep on them too, just that they represent a smaller proportion of total games played on that champ. 
Data below. This is from all MMRs, in all regions.
Odyssey 
Hope you've all been enjoying Odyssey! Keep an eye out if so for a dev blog coming next week that will talk about its development, looking at things like the intended feelings to capture, approach to difficulty levels, work in progress augments (some of which didn't make it) etc. Additionally once the mode's been out for a while we'll pick your brains on how various parts of it feel (e.g. augment system, Kayn fight etc), so that if we take another crack at similar PVE in the future we'll be able to use that feedback to improve things further. 
If you're still having problems with the mission of augment systems, apologies. We've addressed a number of problems that cropped up with those, still working on some though. This has been a demonstration that the mission system especially needs to be bulked up somewhat if we're going to be putting this much weight on it. I expect we'll continue to do a lot of mission stuff in the future too, so we'll be investing more time into making that system more robust. Those issues are ones that the PBE can't catch either unfortunately, given they're about load on various server functions that PBE doesn't push the boundaries on enough to reveal problems (nor do some of the smaller regions either incidentally)."

Meddler provided his thoughts on Zyra:
"Been seeing the bugged plant AI reports recently, someone from QA's looking into what we're tracking at present, see if that's a known issue, if it's already been fixed internally etc. For those of you seeing that, when did it start (or get worse)? 
Q shape - We considered doing so earlier this year, based in part of feelings from a few of us here that it might be the right move. Did some surveying of Zyra players after they'd played a game as her to see if that would be a welcomed change. Somewhat to our surprise vote was fairly strongly in favor of keeping the current Q shape. Result could be skewed somewhat by people who really miss the circle playing less, so not being in the sample group as much, was a clear argument from current Zyra players though that a reversion wouldn't be welcomed. 
Regarding mid lane Zyra versus support Zyra, I think substantial changes would be needed to make Zyra a viable mid at high MMR. Her kit, right from launch until today, has had some elements that have been a better fit for the support position than mid, even if she did get significant mid play initially. In particular her E as sole defensive tool, but also farming/harass tool, leaves her really vulnerable in mid. Combine that with things like weaker than most roaming, lack of safety, we'd need to change quite a bit I believe to make her mid competitive with her support play. Attempts to narrow the gap with smaller changes, like the seed CD refund on kill, have helped a bit, but haven't moved the needle meaningfully enough at high MMR. At low/average MMR she does ok already statistically, though do see some vocal dissatisfaction from players about her mid lane state on Boards and Reddit certainly."

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: September 19 


Meddler also posted his gameplay thoughts for September 19th, including 8.19 context, thoughts on Kassadin, 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: https://twitter.com/RiotMeddler 
Some more 8.19 context 
Our thinking on a few more things we're looking at for patch 8.19: 
  • Janna - As mentioned last week we're testing a buff to her passive's contribution to AA and W damage. Trying a larger buff this week (35% at all levels, instead of just late game), though might well go back to scaling values. Looking to get a clearer read on exactly how much power this lever gives.
  • Kog - We're been testing out buffs to Kog's Q shred, aimed at strengthening him a bit more as an anti tank pick, given he's currently a bit weak, that's been one of his historical niches. We’ve got some concerns about pushing a shred too high though, especially on a champ with reliable damage output like Kog. More likely we go for safer buffs at this point (e.g. potentially a bit of base MS and R range)
  • Thresh - Looking at giving Thresh a bit more power in the early game in extended trading/fishing, without buffing his all in when it happens. Testing Q mana cost and CD buffs as a result.
  • Nunu - Putting a bit of power into AP builds, since we're seeing those be quite a bit weaker than tank builds on average. Aiming to add only a small amount of power to tank builds and avoid buffing AP so much it becomes the only build you should choose. Also worth noting that what appears to be a significant nerf to his healing off champs is actually just a tooltip change (was always lower on champs, but tooltip didn’t reflect that) 
Kassadin 
We're also looking at Kassadin, though his changes will probably be in 8.20 at this point. Likely direction is that we chip a bit of damage off his Q and/or E AP ratios, make him a bit less dominant when he really gets rolling, given he's now got an easier time getting there with the lower ult CD early on. Haven't playtested those changes for him yet though, so possible our approach changes depending on how that goes. 
Odyssey Leaderboards 
In case you haven't seen them already we've been regularly posting Leaderboards for the Odyssey high scores, both top 10 by region and globally. 
https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/developer-corner/6J4vJkNs-the-odyssey-extraction-leaderboards-updated-sep-17 
Something that's been particularly cool to see is the variety of different comps players have been using to post said scores. We were seeing a lot of Yasuo stacking early on, recently we've seen other things creep in, like a 1 Sona/4 Jinx strat that a couple of teams have pulled off really effectively. 
Why we don't always buff a champion's defining strengths 
A question I saw crop up quite a bit last week we when first talking about buffing Janna's AAs and W was why we were giving her damage instead of buffing her protective/peel spells, given those are why you pick her. We do often target a champion's defining traits when buffing them to try and get/keep distinction between different champs. In some cases though we'll get to a point where adding more power to those strengths starts creating other problems. Adding too much peel and shield to Janna or healing to Soraka for example can lead to excessive safety for the allies they're protecting and low interaction/consequence play for extended periods as a result. That means if we want to buff them that finding other places to put that power's sometimes the way we think we should go. Some of our recent buffs to some assassins have also involved a similar situation. While they're characters defined by their ability to burst down a target that doesn't necessarily mean that buffing their burst damage is always appropriate. We'll then go for things like ult CD for target access on Rengar, or increased slow % on Kha'Zix W for utility as a result."

October sales schedule 

Here's Riot Evaelin with the October Sales Schedule:
"Check out all the champs and skins on sale this October! Like previous sales schedules, we’re not posting the exact dates for each champ and skin, but they’ll all be on sale sometime next month. 
Just a heads up—since we’re publishing these in advance, we won’t offer partial refunds on champs and skins purchased before they go on sale."

/Dev Diary: New Tiers & Placements in Ranked 2019

A new /Dev Diary (and accompanying /Dev blog) are out covering Ranked changes in 2019:

"Meet Ed, Primus, and Thiago. They’re working on two new tiers and a new placements system."

[Full video transcript here!] 


/Dev: Top Tier Changes to Ranked for 2019

Here's Sapmagic with a /Dev blog with more details on the 2019 Ranked changes:
"Hey everyone! Ed “SapMagic” Altorfer here, back again to talk about Ranked. With all the news around new tiers and placements, today we want to go in-depth on the very top of the Ranked ladder. Specifically, we’re talking about how we landed on Grandmaster as the new tier between Master and Challenger, and a few improvements we’re making to how the ladder looks and feels in-client. We’ll also detail how position ranks will work at Master tier and above when they enter regional previews next year
WHY WE’RE ADDING GRANDMASTER 
If you’re Master or below, you might be worried that we’re just adding more distance between you and your Challenger dreams, but our goal is actually to kill a meme: the Diamond V scrub. No offense, but the meme exists because there’s a very real skill difference between the top and bottom of Diamond—and it turns out this is true within most of the top tiers. This difference in skill muddies the meaning of the entire tier as well as the achievement of reaching it. 
The issue slowly appeared over time because there are a lot more players in ranked now than when the system was created almost five years ago. As the number of players at the top—except for Challenger—grew, so did the skill bands within those tiers. This resulted in the top divisions of Diamond looking a lot more like Master tier than Diamond V. 
We wanted to solve that problem because ranks like Diamond, Master, and Challenger should have a consistent meaning. Our first idea was to break Master into divisions and make it work more like the tiers below it. Ultimately, we didn’t feel like that would do enough to differentiate the tiers and make them feel meaningful; we were worried it could make a new Diamond V-style meme out of Master IV. With divisions, you’d get a more accurate rating but not an especially meaningful one, which would only end up solving half the problem. 
We decided to pursue a slightly different idea: Adding a new tier above Master called Grandmaster. This gives everyone at the top of Diamond and above a more accurate rank, and it makes the achievement feel more meaningful. Competing at the top of the ladder should broadcast how great you are at League—adding Grandmaster gives the best players a chance to do exactly that. 
If you’re a Master-tier player today, you’re probably wondering if you’ll stay in Master or move up to Grandmaster. The answer is…both, kinda. Assuming you’re exactly as skilled as today, the best Master players will earn Grandmaster next year. 
MORE COMPETITION, MORE CLARITY 
One of the defining characteristics of the top of the ladder is running into the same players over and over. To embrace that, we’re making a change that we hope will encourage rivalries by telling you exactly whose spot you’re taking—or who is planning your proverbial demise. This extra touch should make games feel even more competitively charged when you’re on the cusp of promoting or demoting. 
We’re also planning to make some other quality of life improvements to the presentation of the ladder in the League client. Today, trying to figure out how close you are to promoting or demoting in the top tiers requires tedious tab-switching and scrolling, which makes something that should be clear into a major pain point. The revamped UI should make it much more clear how many points you need to keep or claim a spot. 
ABOUT POSITION RANKS 
For regions previewing position ranks, you’re probably curious how that affects you and your rivals at the top of the ladder. In short, it doesn’t. As your ranks rise, the behind-the-scenes tethers that link your positions grow shorter and shorter. By the time you reach the top of the ladder, your MMRs are tightly-linked. Once you promote into Master, your position ranks collapse into a single rank much like today. 
We believe this is the right approach because the kinds of skills that get you to Challenger, like top-tier macro, expert vision control, and high mechanical execution, are often transferable between positions. It’s not universally true for every skill, but if you’re truly great at League, it’s hard to keep you down. 
We’re excited to see what competition at the top of the ladder looks like next year. As always, we’re open to your feedback, so let us know what you think and hit us up with your questions in the comments—or, better yet, click the Ask Riot button at the end of this post. Thanks for playing, and see you on the Rift—but not really, because my skill caps out somewhere between Gold and Platinum. 
If you want a quick refresher on some of our previous posts, check out the links below for more information: 

Mastercard Joins LoL Esports as First Global Sponsor 

Here's an announcement from LoLEsports on a new sponsorship with Mastercard:
"Today we are excited to announce our first global sponsor - Mastercard! With this multi-year partnership, Mastercard will be the exclusive payment services partner for League of Legends Global Events, which include the Mid-Season Invitational, the All-Star Event, and the World Championship. 
Mastercard has a storied history of sponsoring some of the world’s most prestigious sports and entertainment properties like the PGA TOUR, Major League Baseball, The Open, The Australian Open, Rugby World Cup, UEFA Champions League, and The Grammy’s. We are honored to have our biggest events join the ranks of these iconic properties and have Mastercard bring their best-in-class activations to League of Legends fans worldwide. 
“Esports is a phenomenon that continues to grow in popularity, with fans that can rival those at any major sporting event in their enthusiasm and energy,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard. “Our Priceless platform is built around connecting with people through their passions. We are excited about the experiences and benefits we can bring to the world’s largest esport - both in-game and to the millions of League of Legends fans that watch and attend the tournaments each year.” 
Mastercard’s support for League of Legends esports will kick off with the 2018 World Championship and continue over the next few years. You’ll see the partnership come to life at Worlds onsite, in broadcast, and through various promotions worldwide. Mastercard will also be curating unforgettable Priceless experiences. During the 2018 World Championship Final, Mastercard will offer several lucky fans once-in-a-lifetime experiences which will include: 
  • A behind the scenes tour and a rehearsal viewing of the Opening Ceremony
  • An opportunity to watch a game with a League of Legends pro player from VIP seats
  • An on-stage playtest of the gaming PCs the pros will compete on during the World Championship Finals 
“We’re thrilled to team up with Mastercard on this groundbreaking partnership that will provide meaningful and long-term value to our fans,” said Naz Aletaha, head of esports partnerships at Riot Games. “Mastercard is among the first of world-class brands to take such a big step into esports at the global level, and we’re proud to have them support League of Legends esports events alongside their other premier sports and entertainment sponsorships.” 
The 2018 League of Legends World Championship will begin on October 1st and will feature the top 24 teams in the world competing for the Summoner’s Cup."

Alienware Amateur League of Legends Tournament 

Here's SandalwoodGrips with details on the Alienware Amateur League of Legends Tournament:
Alienware, in partnership with Intel, is proud to host the North America Alienware Game Arena League of Legends Tournament. Teams will battle for a total of $23,000 in cash prizing plus a trip for four teams to Las Vegas. The AGA Championship will take place at the Wall Gaming Lounge, located in the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. 
Team rosters may consist of 6 players; 5 plus an alternate. The team members must be able to commit to all tournament dates (providing they continue to advance) as well as travel to Las Vegas November 30-December 2, 2018 should they be one of the top 2 teams. Team applications form here: https://goo.gl/forms/Gq0XpGoktKls6vaC3 
The online tournament dates are: 
  • October 13 & 14: Winner bracket rounds 1, 2, 3 and loser bracket rounds 1, 2, 3
  • October 20 & 21: Winner bracket rounds 4, 5 and loser bracket rounds 4, 5, 6, 7
  • November 3: Winner bracket finals and loser bracket rounds 8,9,10
  • November 4: Qualifier Finals
  • December 1st: Live Finals in Las Vegas 
*Open to US team players and must be 18+ of age to enter. 
For additional details about the event, visit: https://na.alienwarearena.com/page/aga-team-information"

Quick Hits

"Hey all, wanted to update you on the state of our windy boi. 
For 8.18 (current patch) we are probably not going to touch Yasuo anymore. With the flow bug fix (Yasuo was generating flow at 1/2 speed) he's gained 3% win rate. From being down 4.5% at higher to 1.5% and 4% everywhere to 1%. That feels like a clean win for that but we do want to do more for the feels of the champ that should also bring his power up a smidge. 
For 8.19 (currently on PBE) The EQW fix is in so you can windwall cleanly again as well as the EQ with tiamat at the end. Also fixing a couple of feels with the Q3 tornado. 
In total we are fixing about 12 things with yasuo as a result of the rescript, that are mostly geared towards feels of how he plays. In 8.19 he will HOPEFULLY return to his glory and feel great again, and arguably should feel betterafter this re-script. 
FYI Riot Ranger and GreaterBelulugaWhale are the dudes your should thank, I'm just a messenger/another salty yasuo main. 
Love y'all"
"Animation and Voice by Nevercake Check out Nevercake's channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/nevercak..."

Reminders

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

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