Red Post Collection: Quick Gameplay Thoughts 1/25, Season Start 2019, Universe Update, & More

Posted on at 7:36 AM by Aznbeat
[Added Day 4: The League Universe in Season 2019 | /dev diaryDay 5: Skins in Season 2019 | /dev diary and Esports in Season 2019 (and Beyond) | /dev diary]

Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for January 25, a Season Start 2019 page being updated daily, updates to the Universe, details on the Sylas AMA, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: January 25 

Here's Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for January 25th, including thoughts on crit item work, Akali, Aatrox, and Irelia, 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: 
Crit Item Work 
We're currently aiming to ship changes to crit items, plus potentially some other associated work, in 9.3. Our goals for that look like:
  • Crit marksmen players have an appealing crit build path
  • Marksmen (crit especially, but others to some degree) have improved ability to get some defensive effects when needed early/mid game
  • Satisfaction of play for crit marksmen games increases
  • Changes range from power neutral to power positive depending on the marksmen in question (e.g. Tristana has room to be stronger, Sivir probably doesn't) 
How we're looking to accomplish those goals:
  • Pulling some power from crit builds late game to put it earlier. Stronger 2 item spike especially, with crit synergies kicking in quicker. While we don’t think crit builds should be as powerful on 2 items as other builds are, given their late game’s noticeably stronger, we think we made the difference too large with our changes last year.
  • Reducing anti synergies between some items and frustrations like builds overcapping on crit
  • Changing some items so that it's not such a large damage loss to get some defenses into builds for crit users
  • Miscellaneous other changes 
Some specifics of what's currently in and looking pretty solid:
  • IE goes back to increasing critical strike damage though not as much as it used to (225%). AD also gets increased to give it a larger early impact
  • Essence Reaver goes back to a AD, Crit, CDR, mana return item. Mana return's on every AA and CDR is a flat 20%.
  • The current ER effect (AAs lower CDs after ult cast) gets moved to a new item with an AD, health, CDR statline (using the name and icon of Spear of Shojin, the original design of which we concluded was too overlapped with other items, Sterak’s especially). Goal is to have it be useable by both some marksmen and some other classes as per current ER.
  • PD gets a Lifeline passive that grants a shield when you fall below 30% health, also grants MS and ghost on basic attacking a champion. Loses the damage reduction from the enemy you last hit, though. Shift overall towards much more a burst mitigation item than a duelist one. Current PD has very few core users, with the two most noticeable, Trynd and Yasuo, champs who pivot between Shiv and PD depending on the tuning of each. Goal is to ensure Shiv’s a good option for them as a result, with a Shiv buff likely both to help them and other users.
  • All upgraded crit items go to 25% crit (IE, ER, PD, RFC, Shiv, Hurricane)
  • Stormrazor remains an AD/AS item, though now with a unique passive that amps your Energized effects (Fleet Footwork, Shiv, RFC) when they trigger. 
Still being worked on, details less certain:
  • Tuning on Spear of Shojin. Might cut the basic ability CD reduction to 10% per hit for example from 20%. Stat line on it compared to ER is more generally appealing and want to avoid it being extremely dominant.
  • Looking at other defensive effects, including things like whether defensive base stats should be adjusted, whether it should be more feasible for marksmen to build defensive boots when needed etc.
  • Item costs, exact numbers on many items. 
Akali, Aatrox and Irelia 
Wanted to share some thoughts as well on where we're up to with these three champions, given they've been challenging to balance and have been the subject of a lot of discussion recently. The core focus is on giving them more meaningful weaknesses, so opponents have clear windows/ways to play against them, rather than on power. A secondary focus is reducing the sheer number of mechanics on their kits.

We had nerfs to Aatrox in 9.2 (Q ratio, E CD), with the primary goal being just trimming some power from him, since we felt he was overpowered in most contexts. We've got some follow up work in 9.3 as well aimed at giving opponents better ways to play against him. Power impact of those changes to be determined after we’ve assessed 9.2. 
We're testing two main directions at present. The first is giving his enemies more periods of time where his E isn't available. That likely means removing the charge system from it so he can't use one and still rely on having another whenever he wants it. Still debating whether the right version of that is a shorter CD single cast or a longer CD double cast where he can still dash twice but has to use the second close to the first (like Renekton E). Second change is we're probably removing E's spell vamp against minions, with some increased HP5 to compensate, so that he's not as able to shrug off harass as easily whenever he's able to push waves.

Getting the immediate question out of the way first, yep, we'll be removing Akali's shroud making her untargetable under towers. We don't think that alone will solve everything with Akali, but agree it's a good change, especially given even many Akali mains would prefer that the effect be removed and power spent elsewhere. The original intent with the shroud working under towers was to give Akali similar dive capabilities to other assassins, despite her longer kill times, while also adding some additional uniqueness. While it accomplished that it did so at a high counterplay/frustration cost, though for quite a while we were very split internally on whether the cost was too high or not. 
In terms of other changes we're also looking at Akali's sustain and whether, like Aatrox, she's potentially shrugging off harass too effectively via her Q heal. We generally want champions able to create and win all ins with some reliability to be more vulnerable to harass. Debating at present whether, if we do remove the Q heal at max energy, we should replace it with another mechanic or not. For those of you who play her regularly is that something you enjoy optimizing around or not?

Like Aatrox, Irelia just got nerfed in 9.2 and we'll need to see how those changes landed. Again like Aatrox we're also looking at some follow up work to add more counterplay to her, reduce how much agency’s in the hands of the Irelia player versus her opponents. That work's a bit earlier on than work on Aatrox/Akali. Likely approaches include making W more (or only) effective against physical damage so she's a less universal pick, improving visual effect clarity on E so it's clearer when you will/won't get hit, changes to improve her top lane performance. 
At some point long term we'd also like to make it so Irelia's got a more distinct niche, make sure she's bringing something distinct to a team so that when she's a good pick isn't purely dependent on her general strength. The extra damage to shields on her passive and disarm on R were attempts to do that during her VGUs original development. Our conclusion was though that they weren't pulling their weight in that regard, so it was better to strip them off given problems they created, given Irelia’s been an ongoing issue, then find better ways to get needed distinctiveness at a later date. 
Damage Adjustments 
As mentioned last week we've been working on some targeted changes to damage output. Likely have details to talk about next week. Target is to ship changes in 9.4, in part so we can see how 9.2 and 9.3 affect things."

On Spear of Shojin, Meddler commented:
"At this point after a lot of testing, yeah, we don't think Shojin's niche was working well enough. Too overlapped with a ranged of other AD+defense (HP or other) items and not particularly bound to light fighters either. Might revisit the space sometime, but no immediate plans, hence repurposing the name and icon for this work instead."

On Crit items, Meddler noted they would probably come to the PBE today:
"Looks like the files got moved over last night so probably on PBE today."

Season Start 2019

A Season Start page is now up, providing new info about season 2019 each day!

Day 1: Awaken Cinematic

"Why do you fight? 
Awaken, you restless - fate is calling. What will your answer be?"
Day 2: Ranked & Gameplay

"Join Safelocked as she shares some first details on ranked, regular, and rotating gameplay in League."
Day 3: Champions

"Join Reav3 as he takes you through the roadmap of 2019's champions."
Day 4: Universe

"Join Ghostcrawler for a preview of where the world of Runeterra is heading and which stories you'll see next."

Day 5: Skins & Events

"Join IAmCarlos as he reveals which themes will show up in 2019-- and which champs will finally get another skin."

Day 6: Esports

"Join Magus and Bradmore for a look at the future of Worlds, MSI, and college esports."

Season 2019 Starts Now! 

Here's Dyquill with a rundown on new season missions:
"Season 2019 starts now! The new and improved Ranked is live - check out what’s changed with the new system, including the three-split season, new rewards and ways to show off your rank, and a preview of position rank. 
Big things are happening in 2019. Click here for daily videos and the first details on what’s coming next for champions, skins, events, game modes, esports, and the extended League Universe. 
Finally, there’s a slew of missions available right now to kick off your season:
Completing each of these unlocks another mission:
Completing all of these unlocks the Season 2019 Commemorative Icon (Prestige Edition).
All missions are available starting with Patch 9.2 through 23:59 PT February 4. See you on the Rift!"

Universe Update

The Universe has been updated with a new story, as well as some tweaks to Garen and Lux's bios!

“Why send us all the way out here?” said the soldier leaning against the wall of the gatehouse, arms folded across his chest. “There’s blood on the streets of the Great City, and we’re sent to the border?” 
His name was Bakker, and Cithria had never warmed to him—he was prone to seeing the bad in every situation, though to be fair, in this case there was truth in his words. 
The rest of their comrades stood nearby. None of them looked particularly happy about their predicament. "

[Full story on the Universe!] 

 [Garen Bio on the Universe!]

 [Lux Bio on the Universe!]

Magic is Rising: Stand With Sylas | League of Legends

"Demacia is built on a lie. All these noble ideals and promises of a brighter future - they were never meant for us. For too long have we mages had to hide in the shadows, and it has cost us everything. 
It is time we stand up and fight back!"

Sylas AMA

The team who created Sylas is doing an AMA on both Reddit and the Boards! Go ask your questions and check out the answers from the team!
"Brothers and sisters - be shackled no more. We'll start the revolution at 11:00 AM PDT and run until 1:30 PM PDT. Gather all your questions in the comments and we'll return in a couple hours to set the answers free.



  • SapMagic on duo restrictions and issues:
"On duo restrictions, here's an update:
- There's a couple bugs affecting duo restrictions
- They impact players who had rewards taken away
- If either player lost season rewards, they will not be able to duo
- Fixes for all known duo restriction bugs on the way in 1-2 days"
"On Ranked borders, here's an update:
- New loading screen/border rules got delayed to 9.3/9.4
- There's a bug with the old loading screen
- It affects players who had a rank in Solo/Duo AND Flex
- If the higher of the two was Division V, you see the border for the other"
"Season start is always an exciting time in League – new champs hit the Rift, ranked starts fresh, we get sick new cinematics (have you seen Awaken and A New Journey?), and oh so much more. This year we wanted to celebrate Season 2019 with some of our incredible League fanartists, so we commissioned ten stellar artists to create some custom pieces of super cool art to get people hyped for the new season!"
"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! 
Twitch Rivals just ended, Pre-Season is officially over tomorrow, LCS returns this weekend, and the Season 2019 opening cinematic created a whole bunch of screenshots (someone made a screenshot for every frame in the song...wut). 
  • Wrong Season Border still ongoing
  • Thanks to everyone who played games with us 
Server Stuff: 
Crafted skins not currently in the store require a relog to use (1/18, ongoing) A change to an old db structure causes a desync between player inventories when new items are crafted. Players can then craft skins, but the Client will think they don’t have the new skin until the Player relogs. Until this can be fixed, players may need to relog to see skins they crafted that aren’t currently available in the store (legacy/limited skins). 
Game Stuff: 
Wrong season borders showing in profile (1/8, ongoing) Well, last season ended and we pushed out the banners for last season, but it’s not the correct banner and can even show the wrong division as well. To fix it, we’ll wait for the next full patch to deploy with 9.2. 
Player Support Trend: 
Looks like there’s a slightly higher number than normal of log-in issues. Check here for info about how to ensure you can log in before contacting Player Support! 
Morgageddon & Couch Commando"


To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!
  • The Blood Moon is rising! Check out the new skins, chroma, and more in our Blood Moon coverage!
  • ARURF+ will be hitting live in Patch 9.2 on January 28th! Here's Riot Wrekz with all the details on the changes from the 9.2 PBE cycle!

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