Red Post Collection: Ranked Changes - Update & Known Issues #2, Quick Gameplay Thoughts: 12/12 and More!

Posted on at 9:23 AM by Aznbeat
[Added Nexus Blitz Mid-Patch Update - 12/13 Balance]

Today's red post collection includes an update on Ranked changes issues from Riot SapMagic, Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for December 12th, ending support for Windows XP and Vista in 2019, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Mid-Patch Updates - 12/13 Nexus Blitz Balance Update 

Some Nexus Blitz changes have gone out to the live servers, here's the details from the 8.24 Patch notes:
"12/13/2018 Nexus Blitz Balance Update 
Let's start with the buffs! 
  • HEALTH GROWTH 85 ⇒ 95
  • BASE HEALTH 630 ⇒ 700
  • ARMOR GROWTH 3.5 ⇒ 4
  • BASE ARMOR 28 ⇒ 32
  • BASE HEALTH 540 ⇒ 600
  • HEALTH GROWTH 87 ⇒ 100
  • BASE MANA 350 ⇒ 400
  • BASE MANA REGEN 7.4 ⇒ 10
  • BASE HEALTH 600 ⇒ 700
  • ARMOR GROWTH 3.5 ⇒ 4
  • BASE ARMOR 32 ⇒ 35
  • BASE HEALTH  585 ⇒ 620
  • BASE ARMOR 27 ⇒ 33
  • BASE HEALTH 528 ⇒ 620
  • BASE ARMOR 22 ⇒ 28
Lee Sin
  • BASE HEALTH 570 ⇒ 600
  • BASE ARMOR 33 ⇒ 36
Nunu & Willump
  • BASE HEALTH 590 ⇒ 650
  • HEALTH GROWTH 90 ⇒ 100
  • BASE ARMOR 32 ⇒ 36
  • ARMOR GROWTH 3.5 ⇒ 4
  • ATTACK SPEED GROWTH 2.25% ⇒ 3%
  • BASE HEALTH 565 ⇒ 650
  • HEALTH GROWTH 95 ⇒ 105
  • BASE ARMOR 33 ⇒ 40
  • BASE ARMOR 38 ⇒ 40
  • ARMOR GROWTH 3.75 ⇒ 4
  • BASE HEALTH 560 ⇒ 600
  • HEALTH GROWTH 92 ⇒ 100
  • BASE ARMOR 20.8 ⇒ 25
  • COOLDOWN 150 - 100 seconds (levels 1-18) ⇒ 100 - 80 seconds (levels 1-18)
  • COOLDOWN 25 - 20 seconds (levels 1-18) ⇒ 20 - 15 seconds (levels 1-18)
Ghost Poro
  • COOLDOWN 40 seconds ⇒ 25 seconds
Minion Dematerializer
  • INITIAL COOLDOWN 180 seconds ⇒ 120 seconds
Doran's Lost Shield
  • HEALTH 80 ⇒ 100
  • HEALTH REGEN 12 ⇒ 15
Enchantment: Warrior
  • ATTACK DAMAGE 60 ⇒ 65
Stat-Stick of Stoicism
  • COST 7777 gold ⇒ 7337 gold 
And now for the nerfs! 
  • HEALTH GROWTH 94 ⇒ 80
  • ARMOR GROWTH 3.75 ⇒ 3
  • BASE HEALTH 519 ⇒ 490
  • HEALTH GROWTH 80 ⇒ 70
  • ARMOR GROWTH 3 ⇒ 2.5
  • HEALTH GROWTH 75 ⇒ 70
  • ARMOR GROWTH 3 ⇒ 2.5
  • HEALTH 580 ⇒ 537
  • MANA 500 ⇒ 418
  • MANA GROWTH 11 ⇒ 8
  • HEALTH GROWTH 105 ⇒ 90
  • BASE ARMOR 26.9 ⇒ 20
  • BASE HEALTH 565 ⇒ 530
  • BASE ATTACK DAMAGE 63.5 ⇒ 57
  • BASE ARMOR 39 ⇒ 34
  • ARMOR GROWTH 3.5 ⇒ 3
  • ARMOR GROWTH 3.8 ⇒ 3.5
  • BASE HEALTH 585 ⇒ 550
  • HEALTH GROWTH 95 ⇒ 90
  • BASE HEALTH 482 ⇒ 465
  • BASE ARMOR 28 ⇒ 24
  • ARMOR GROWTH 3 ⇒ 2.5
  • MANA GROWTH 45 ⇒ 35
Dark Harvest
  • BASE DAMAGE 20 - 60 ⇒ 15 - 55 
Finally, a few other things. 
URF Deathmatch
  • OUT OF COMBAT BURN Ramps up over 30 seconds ⇒ 20 seconds 
We've been fixing these bugs over the course of Nexus Blitz's time on live. Now seems like a good time to recap! 
  • FLAMMABLE MATERIALS Teams can no longer win Bardle Royale events by hopping in the Battle Sled and doing donuts in their fountain until the other team burns to death
  • HEAT EXHAUSTION Tanks with tons of regen can no longer outheal the burn from URF Deathmatch and Prize Fight, making those events take an eternity to complete
  • NO RUNNERS Sion, Nunu, and Kled can no longer leave the URF Deathmatch and Prize Fight rings
  • ACCESSORY Riders in the Battle Sled now properly get mission credit for enemy champion knockups
  • LOOKS WEIRD Rengar's health bar no longer bugs out if he dies during URF Deathmatch with gray health available
  • FLAT TIRE Rift Scuttlers no longer sometimes get stuck above the first rock in the Scuttle Race event
  • RED LINES Turret targeting lasers no longer sometimes get stuck on champions
  • OVERLY ULTRA RAPID FIRE Champions can no longer get more than 80% cooldown reduction in URF Deathmatch
  • WRONG NEXUS Killing an inhibitor during Sudden Death no longer lets you kill the enemy's actual nexus instead of their walking nexus"

Ranked Changes - Update & Known Issues #2 

Check out the second update on Ranked changes and known issues with them from Riot SapMagic:
"Hey everyone, Ed “SapMagic” Altorfer here on behalf of the Ranked team. Last week, we started rolling out the first batch of Ranked changes to live—Iron and Grandmaster tiers, the removal of Division V, Ranked Armor, and new placements. Most of the features are live and working well, but we’re still working through a handful of issues. Today I want to give you a quick update on those and let you know when you can expect fixes. 
Issue: Some players are experiencing low LP gains and/or high LP losses. 
When we added Iron and Grandmaster, we bumped many players up from Division V to IV, which affected LP gains. We also experienced a glitch where some players saw a dramatic increase in LP gains, allowing them to get a couple divisions above where they should be based on their skill. We corrected this, so it’s not happening to anyone else. But since some players now have an inflated rank, they’re seeing larger LP losses and smaller gains than they usually do. 
On a related note, later today we’re planning to switch Ranked over to newer tech we’ve been using in other queues to prepare for position ranks next year. When we do that, some additional players may experience unexpected changes to their LP gains and losses. 
We know this doesn’t feel great, but discovering these issues in Preseason helps us ensure they don’t happen at season start. These issues will correct themselves because of the season reset, so the current plan is not to make changes. If you’re experiencing a different issue that’s still related to LP, hit us up in the comments. 
Status: Resolved, No Changes 
Issue: Returning Ranked players get a provisional rank of Iron IV after one game. 
This is due to a bug with the changes to placements. Returning Ranked players—that is, players who have ever had a rank—should be seeded based on their past rank/MMR. 
We’re planning to correct this in 9.1, so returning players who play placements after that will seed based on their MMR. Starting next week, players who completed their placements in 8.24 and ended up miscalibrated (e.g., Bronze rank but playing in Platinum or Diamond games—sorry Rush) can open a ticket with Riot Games Support and one of our agents will help make corrections. For players who don’t, that’s ok—the issue will correct itself during the season reset. 
Status: In Progress (Target 9.1) 
Issue: Players smurfing on fresh accounts seed in Iron and climb too slowly. 
We made a change so new accounts seed in Iron to improve the onboarding experience of Ranked. This had an unintended side effect for some smurf accounts where a player’s rank and MMR could desync (e.g., Bronze rank but playing in Gold or Platinum games), making the climb feel very grindy and unfair. Sorry CoreJJ. 
Starting new accounts with no prior Ranked games in Iron helps avoid new players seeding in Silver and demoting rapidly to Iron or Bronze. The climb for smurfs will a bit more grindy as a result, but at the same time we want to avoid smurfs playing in Gold or Platinum games while still in Bronze. We’ll be accelerating LP gains for these players so their ranks and MMRs stay closer together. After the season starts, we’ll add even more mechanisms—things like the ability to start with some bonus LP after promoting and more aggressive division skipping—to further increase the speed at which these players climb. 
Status: In Progress (Target 9.1+) 
Issue: Players are able to see provisional ranks on third party sites. 
We’re aware of an issue where players are able to see your provisional rank through third party sites. 
We’ll correct this by the time the season starts so that provisional ranks are private and only visible to you. 
Status: In Progress (Target 9.2) 
UI Bugs 
In a few places, players have reported confusing or broken UI elements: 
  • [Fix for 9.1] The profile tooltip displaying past rank is incorrect for some players
  • [Fix for 9.1] The profile tooltip currently says “Past Highest Rank” - we’re planning to change it to “Last Season’s Rank” reflect what it is: your highest ending rank of all queues from the previous season
  • [Not Started] When clicking a different player on the ladder on the Ranked dashboard the summoner name is not displayed 
As I mentioned in my previous post, if you’re seeing other issues that aren’t captured here or you just have feedback about how things are going so far, let us know in the comments. We know these issues are inconvenient and we’re focused on fixing them as soon as possible. Thanks for all your help and feedback, and we’ll see you on the Rift!"

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: December 12

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for December 12th, including details on patch 8.24B, champion mastery curves after reworks, 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: 
Mastery curves for recent updates 
Last time we looked at some mastery curves we were too close to the release of various updates to compare how the champions performed pre and post update. It's been a while since then though, so wanted to take a look at how Akali, Aatrox and Nunu compare before and after. 
Post explaining Mastery curves for anyone who missed it: 

And another with some additional curves in it: 

Aatrox, Akali and Nunu pre update
Aatrox, Akali and Nunu/Willump post update
Aatrox - Ends up with more climb in the later parts of his curve, suggesting players are getting more benefit from their ongoing learnings with him between games 30 and 50. Trend suggests there's likely ongoing performance gain beyond 50 games, whereas old Aatrox had mainly flattened off by that point. Mechanical mastery seems a likely cause. 
Akali - Very similar curve overall. 
Nunu and Willump - Had a steeper curve than you might expect pre update, I'd imagine given how his approach to jungling/counterjungling was actually pretty distinct, even if not mechanically demanding. Curve is steeper now, likely reflecting both the kits previous skill tests and some new execution ones introduced with the update (E and W use). 
For anyone wondering, no, we don't have enough data to look at Neeko yet. Will get that into a post sometime next year though! 
Working on some ranked irregularities before season starts 
We've been seeing a few issues with where some accounts are placed in the new ranked system. More details on that and how we're addressing it to come soon. TLDR for now though is:
  • We want to put genuinely new accounts into Iron because it's a better experience both for those new players and others who previously got matched with them in what ended up being really uneven games
  • Smurfs are currently getting put into Iron but then not climbing really rapidly as intended, so their MMR and rank get desynched pretty badly at times
  • Returning players should be placed based on their MMR, but are currently getting put into Iron sometimes.
  • We're working on a bunch of fixes for the above, plus some other polish, at present. 
What's likely in 8.24b 
Patch 8.24b, our final balance changes of the year, will be out next week. Run down below of what's likely in it. Anything not listed that you're seeing on the PBE is almost certainly a 9.1 change or later. Given this patch will be live for longer than usual and our ability to respond to balance issues is extremely limited during the holiday period we're being careful not to swing too hard on any particular thing, hence a larger number of small to moderate sized changes. 
  • Aurelion Sol
  • Caitlyn
  • Corki
  • Singed
  • Varus
  • Vayne
  • Volibear
  • Warwick
  • Outer Turret MR/Armor post 14 min (40 instead of 0)
  • Forbidden Idol based item buffs (details TBD at time of writing)  
  • Akali (possible changes move to 9.1, targeting 8.24b for now though)
  • Alistar
  • Cassiopeia
  • Kassadin
  • Pyke (focused on mid Pyke)
  • Tiamat
  • Zeke's 
Likely 9.1 buffs
  • Ashe
  • Jinx
  • Kalista
  • Nasus
  • Sejuani
  • Xayah
Some other future work:
  • We'll be working on crit items early next year, not sure on exact patch though yet.
  • For Irelia we'll be looking at mechanics changes as follow up to recent balance adjustments, probably in 9.2.
  • We're still discussing Trist and whether to do something for her in 8.24b, something in 9.1/9.2 or if we should wait crit item changes, given she's probably the champ who rises or falls the most based off changes to crit.
  • Buffs to some enchanters are likely at some point early next year. Would like to get a bit of peel back into the game, though don't want to swing too hard and over correct either, so probably will separate champ changes from Forbidden Idol item buffs."

When asked about Spear of Shojin and Atma's Impaler, Meddler commented:
"We'll look at Shojin's again as a candidate for early next year. Got a version in testing that's been showing some promise, including a Spirit Visage style increased healing gained effect that helps distinguish from other items a bit more. 
No plans for Atma's at this point."

As for Tiamat, Meddler replied:
"Tiamat - bit too strong a spike as a rush item, power of wave clear offered's very high even if not always appreciated. 
Compensation - Potentially. Might mean we buff WW a bit more than we otherwise would for example. Also open to helping any other champs hit hard who shouldn't be brought down a bit power wise anyway."

Ask Riot: Neeko Edition 

Check out this week's Ask Riot, covering all your questions about Neeko - "Scrapped abilities, concept art, eggs, and more."
This week, it’s all about Neeko, the Curious Chameleon! 
Did Neeko have any crazy abilities during development that didn’t make the cut?

At one point, she had a high-range trap nest (think 2000 range) for her ultimate which took a long time to arm but did a lot of damage. The idea was that you’d lay it in a place you thought the enemy would go, and disguise yourself into an ally to lead them there. It turned out to be ridiculously frustrating to play against because people didn’t feel like they could go anywhere since they did not have any clue to where she could have cast the traps. 
Game Designer

What did Neeko look like in early concept art?

Since we hit the idea of “a chameleon vastayan” pretty early on, she looks pretty much like the initial concept. In the early explorations, she was wilder and less influenced by civilization. But actually, the way she’s evolved to look now is because she’s constantly learning from and mimicking other people, and that makes her less wild and more like a human being. 
Senior Concept/Character Artist 
What were some of the inspirations for Neeko?

Skekses: One of the early inspirations when I pitched the “chameleon vastaya” idea was Leeloo, one of the characters from the movie The Fifth Element. I love the way she learns, the way she moves, and how curious she is. 
FauxSchizzle: Personality wise, there was also Starfire, Mantis from Guardians of the Galaxy, Eleven from Stranger Things, X-23, Stitch… very quirky, fish-out-of-water characters who have tremendous untapped power potential. They’re often stronger than they know, but always good-hearted and open. 
Skekses: All of this combined with the gameplay hook of “a champion who can copy the appearance of other champions” made for the perfect ingredients to make Neeko :) 
Is Neeko a vastaya, with human blood? Or is she a Vastayashai’rei?

Neeko is not a pure Vastayashai’rei, but she is closer to it than most of the other vastaya. The Oovi-Kat tribe splintered off from the vastaya tribes very early and have largely lived in isolation, so their magic is more pure and ancient than other vastaya. There is very, very little human blood in Neeko’s lineage. 
Someone like Xayah—who longs for a time before the vastaya were diminished by the pact made with humans—would freak out upon meeting Neeko. She’d probably feel a little envious because Neeko is so strong with spirit energy, but it’d also make her hopeful that the vastaya aren’t as diminished as she perceives. 
Senior Narrative Writer 
What’s Neeko’s favorite food?Neeko loves to try new things, but her current favorite is cheese breads, both the ones found in Valoran and a similar pastry made by her home tribe. I wonder who invented the cheese bread recipe first? 
Senior Narrative Writer 
How’d you get Neeko’s passive to work?

Even though we had a mimic mechanic in Black Market Brawlers in the Trickster’s Glass item, it was created by combining a bunch of existing code rather than being a custom-built system. With Neeko, we needed to engineer something that could fully support the disguise mechanic. This was not only a rewrite of the disguise code, but also cleanup for existing systems like clone interactions with buffs and debuffs. There are some small bugs and edge cases with Neeko’s passive that we need to fix, but with the new code we can solve them systemically rather than build a million special casings. 
Game Designer 
Why does Neeko have to be in the center of the fight to use her ultimate when she’s a mage?

We kept her range relatively low because the disguise and clone gameplay was much more interactive when she had to take risks herself to be effective (this connects back to why we moved away from the “trap nest” ability as her ultimate). Having unusual win conditions like “jump into the frontline as a ranged champion” also gave the Neeko player more feedback on when they tricked the enemy. 

Game Designer 
… does Neeko lay eggs?

Stop. Asking. 
Senior Narrative Writer

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."

Ending Support for Windows XP and Vista 

Here's Riot Cactopus with details on ending support for Windows XP and Vista in 2019:
NOTE: If you're using an operating system that's newer than Windows XP or Windows Vista, just ignore this post. Otherwise, read on!

"Hi folks, 
In May 2019 (after patch 9.9), League of Legends is going to stop supporting Windows XP and Windows Vista. 
You've probably got questions! We've got answers below: 
Why is Riot doing this? 
Microsoft itself no longer supports Windows XP or Windows Vista with security updates. It's getting harder every day for us to maintain a secure League of Legends experience for the very small number of League players still using XP, requiring a disproportionate investment from our engineering teams. 
How many players will be affected by this change? 
Usage of Windows XP has been falling rapidly over the last few years. When we most recently pulled data, we found that under 1 percent of players globally are still using XP. Usage of Vista is even lower. And we think that by the time we end support for the operating systems next year, even fewer will be playing. 
When exactly is this going to happen? 
Patch 9.9 will be the last patch that supports Windows XP and Vista. It should roll out on April 30, 2019. When Patch 9.10 hits on May 14, official support will be dropped. 
How are you making sure that XP and Vista users are aware of the change? 
We'll post another reminder about our plans a couple of weeks before we end support. If you're running one of the impacted operating systems, we'll hit you with a pop-up notification in the League client to remind you to upgrade. 
If I'm still playing on XP or Vista, how can I make sure I'll still be able to play League? 
Basically, you'll need to upgrade to a more modern version of Windows. We plan to maintain support for Windows 7, 8, and 10 for the foreseeable future."


"8.24b - December 17th 
9.1 - January 8th 
We were working on those two patches simultaneously, so they're going to be lighter than desired most likely. We'll be getting back to meatier work starting in 9.2."
  • So You Wanna Make Games?? Series from Riot Games: YT / Website
"In this video, we talk to game artists about the purpose art serves in games, as well as some of the foundational tools they use to achieve a desired experience: shape, color, and detail. These tools are leveraged across the full art pipeline, and this video provides a brief overview before we dive into each of the art sub-disciplines later in the series."
"Our team wanted to be a bit more transparent around server issues, as well as other information that the NA playerbase may want to hear about. This is 100% a work in progress, so feedback around what’s here, or what you might want to see, is highly appreciated! 
Your weekly dose of server problem-os, NA League news, and other! (Now moved to Thursday) 
Absolutely nothing happened this week. Nope. Nothing at all. Not Nexus Blitz returning, All-Stars, and Snowdown either. 
Bunch of possible Neeko issues brought to QA for validation and testing
Thanks to all posters bringing up possible issues 
Server Stuff:
  • Gifting RP down (12/5/18, ~ 6 days). A plugin change caused gifting to fail. Updates to services were needed and the fix went out with a bunch of other under-the-hood improvements.
  • Snowdown Pass issues (12/6/18, ~ 1 hour). The Snowdown Pass could be bought without actually being added to your inventory, costing RP and enabling you to buy the Pass again and again without getting anything. The mischievous poros causing the problem were rounded up and weaned off eggnog.
  • Mission completions slightly delayed (12/11/18 ~ 40 minutes). A change to logging mission competitions server side caused the service to slow down, delaying rewards. Reploying fixed the issue and all delayed missions were successfully found, hidden within the bends and folds of LAN cables connecting servers together. 
Game Stuff:
  • Target MMR incorrectly set for new season (12/5/18, ~ 1 day). Server side MMR values had been set incorrect, leading to players getting huge LP gains/losses depending on tier location. Updating the target MMRs brought LP gains/losses back to within normal ranges. Consolation prize: MMR wasn’t affected, even though your LP may have been.
    • For additional Ranked info, look here
  • Sion’s Unstoppable Onslaught actually unstoppable (12/9/18 ~ 30 hours). Sion could ult out of Nexus Blitz Prize Fight, and if he made it to the fountain, he was unstoppable AND invincible. Oops. Had to make Sion just a little stoppable to fix this case. 
Player Support Trend: 
If your League Client isn’t launching properly after the last patch, you may want to consider cleaning out some of those old saved replays/highlights you’ve got inside of your Documents folder (C:/Users/(username)/Documents/League of Legends). We know years and years of dunks and fail flashes are awesome to keep, but maybe it’s time to turn some of them into highlight reels and nuke the rest. 
Feel free to see if you can Blitz through me or Morgageddon on Nexus Blitz this weekend. Catch y’all in the Rift! 
Couch Commando & Morgageddon"
  • Check out the trailer for 7 Days Out, coming to Netflix December 21st, featuring an episode covering the 7 days before the NA LCS finals!


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

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