Red Post Collection: League Director & Replay API, Quick Gameplay Thoughts: Feb 8, & More

Posted on at 10:49 AM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes details on the League Director tool and the Replay API, Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for February 8th, this week's new Ask Riot, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

PBE: League Director and the Replay API (new content creation tools)

Here's Riot ThEntropist with details on a new Replay API and League director tool:
"Hey content creators! Over the last year, we've been trying to improve our creator support programs, with a focus on leveling up globally. 
Hopefully you've seen global initiatives like the League Partner Program and checked out the new All-Star Event format in 2018. With those, we want to help connect streamers and video creators to each other and to Riot, but for this post, we're gonna look to the future and talk about our plans around the bread and butter of content creation: actually making cool shit. 
Enter: the new Replay API and League Director. 
League Director is a downloadable content creation tool that hooks up to the new Replay API on League (more on this below). Play a replay from your match history, boot up League Director, and you'll have access to a timeline, camera tools, video exporting, and a lot more. 
Here are a few of the features we'd love for you to try out: 
Free camera movement
Element visibility
Timeline editing
Video exporting
We're happy to also announce that League Director will be open source, meaning community developers can create their own copies with new features and modify and release them as they wish as long it's free and fully available. The current landscape of community-created tools require a lot of manual fixes by their devs as League patches, while League Director should require minimal upkeep (fingers crossed). 
League Director is just one example of a tool that community developers could make using the newly-released Replay API. We're really excited to see everyone get stuck in and get creative with the tools we're opening up to the public. Read more about that here
One note on League Director: consider this release a jumping off point for the community; we're likely not going to keep updating the public tool with large content updates. For the public release, we hope the community can continue owning and developing League Director beyond its current capabilities through the Replay API, but please give us your feedback on what works and what doesn't! 
Right now, the tool is only available in English, but will be usable on replays on all servers from the current patch. We hope to release the tool for all live servers during patch 9.4
Before we go, we all want to give a huge thank you to the work that community creators like SkinSpotlightsand League of Editing have been doing over the last few years to push the boundaries of what's possible in League's engine. We have been using SkinSpotlights' Creator Suite alongside our own tools and art internally for a while now - gameplay trailers like SylasThe Day Before Snowdown, and The Coven and the Eclipse would not have been possible without resources from the League community. 
Download League Director from Riot Github (PBE only for now, full release in patch 9.4) 
Check out the Replay API on Riot Developer Portal"
He added:
One of the Gameplay Capture Artist on our team made some simple tutorial videos, check them out if your interested in learning the basics of the tool: 
Feature Rundown
Example Shot Walk through"

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: February 8

Make sure to check out Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for February 8th:
"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: 
Loading Screen 
As some of you will have seen by now we've got the first update to the loading screen live in NA at this point. We’re working on a couple of issues that have cropped up, expectation is we’ll be able to turn it on elsewhere as well fairly soon once everything is functioning as intended. We're still aiming to add some additional features to it as well, like a team chat window, in upcoming patches. Those patches will also be a great time to make any other needed changes, so feedback on what's there already much appreciated. 
We've got a pass on Rek'Sai underway at the moment, hoping to ship some changes in 9.4. Focus is overall on feel more than power, aiming to improve how it feels to play her primarily. The other piece of work we'd like to do on Rek'Sai is some power shifting so she's not a bit weak in average MMR while strong in high. While it's possible some clarity/QoL changes might help out a bit in that regard expectation is that will probably need to be separate work still at some point too. 
Biggest changes are: 
  • R only being dodgeable if someone teleports a larger distance away (1000 units +, so similar behavior to other targeted dashes).
  • Burrowed Q grants 25 Fury like other spells do 
Those are then paired with some smaller adjustments to things like Fury bar color when full, clearer Tremor Sense VFX for champions, auto burrow on respawn. 
We've got some Conqueror changes likely for 9.4. Those are part of our ongoing work on hitting problematic damage cases or lack of effective enough defensive options, alongside things like the Ignite/Smite upgrade changes, revised crit items, nerfs to out of line damage heavy champs like Brand/Zyra etc. They're also targeted at addressing some more Conqueror specific problems: 
  • Lack of windows playing against Conqueror (it's almost always up)
  • Conqueror negates intended weaknesses on some champion's kits too strongly (bad against tanks primarily)
  • For a rune intended to be chosen for its sustained damage Conqueror's output's often quite bursty. 
Direction we're trying as a result: 
  • Gives Adaptive stacks on damaging champions with spells or abilities, making damage output backloaded and not something you can prepare with minion combat.
  • Now requires max stacks (5 at present) to trigger true damage conversion and converts 10% instead of 20%, substantially reducing Conqueror's ability to negate defenses by itself while still hopefully serving as a useful safety valve on defense stacking.
  • At max stacks also heals for same amount converted to true damage, moving some of its power to keeping users healthy enough to stay in sustained fights longer, rather than in dealing enough damage to make those fights shorter. 
9.3 follow up 
Thoughts on a few champs post 9.3 now it’s been out a few days
  • Akali - As expected is in a very weak spot. Our plan is still to put power back in once we’ve got a good on the most appropriate ways to do so (don’t want to just reintroduce her as a major problem). Looking into that already, timeline’s uncertain (9.5 more likely than 9.4)
  • Kai’Sa - Seems to be struggling a bit post item changes. Not confident yet how much of that to attribute to items just leaving her in a weak state versus builds having not yet shifted to whatever her new optimal is. She tends to get affected harder than most by changes to items given the breakpoints she needs to hit for her abilities. Open to buffing her if needs be, but don’t want to do so before we’ve seen a bit more play and adaptation to the changed state of things.
  • Yasuo - Looks too strong post crit item changes, also not unexpected. We talked about whether we should bundle nerfs in with 9.3 but concluded we were better off seeing where he landed to understand how much power to take out. Nerfs expected in 9.4."

Meddler commented on the changes testing on the PBE for Conqueror:
"Possibly we'll need another balance lever to balance out melee and ranged. So far stack duration's been testing pretty well to control that, not opposed to varying number of stacks gained in some way if needed though."

He continued:
"We're testing the healing there because we want to offer power in longer fights without pushing more damage into it. Stripping off the healing means we either just leave it weak so you simply shouldn't take it or buff the AD/AP and/or true damage conversion."

Meddler went on:
"Continuing to land AAs and spell hits that stack Conqueror in the first place will extend its duration. We're talking at present about whether or not DoTs/periodic damage (e.g. Sunfire) should refresh stack duration or not even though they won't add stacks. 
Galio wise still discussing what we should/shouldn't do. Changes certainly hit him hard, very convinced he was quite out of line though beforehand."

On Yasuo, Meddler commented:
"Our starting point with Yasuo nerfs will be to look at the buffs he got middle of last year, see whether we should revert or partially revert them. Can't guarantee we'll go down that path yet, but definitely look at that before assessing other options."

On Akali, Meddler replied:
"We don't want to just put power back into Akali without some confidence we're doing so in a healthier way. Realize that sucks for a couple of patches and apologies. Goal is a better long term state so her balance doesn't bounce back and forth constantly."

On Evelynn, Meddler noted:
"We've got a meaningful bugfix or two in 9.4, nothing planned beyond that though, not seeing indications she's struggling at present."

As for Riven, Meddler commented:
"We took a look at Riven during 9.3's development. Conclusion was we should wait and see how the ER/Spear of Shojin change affected her, then nerf if needs be. Spear's better for her in some regards, weaker in others. Will assess for 9.4 as a result."

On Aatrox, Meddler commented:
"We want to take a bit more time to see where Aatrox settles after his recent changes. Unlikely to have changes in 9.4 at least as a result, 9.5's potentially open if something's clearly needed."

And on Karma, Meddler replied:
"Last I checked with the Champion team they were still waiting on some engineering time for some work on reducing allied CDs. Will see if we've got any ETA on that."

Ask Riot: Ranked and more Ranked 

This week's Ask Riot is covering all Ranked questions - "Placement games, position ranks, decay, and more."
"This week, we’re answering your Ranked questions with Riot SapMagic, lead for the Ranked team. 
How are positional ranks going?

We’ve had a crazy week since position ranks launched, but overall we feel cautiously optimistic. Queue times, position assignment rates, and game quality overall are the same or better than last season, and we’ve seen positive feedback from players who appreciate being able to branch out and play something they aren’t as good at yet. We’ve also seen plenty of constructive feedback. Based on that, here are the three biggest topics on our minds right now: 
  • Swapping — Last week we patched a bug that let players take advantage of position swapping at high MMR. Going forward, we need to continue watching for potential abuse cases like this to ensure the systems we built to mitigate bad behavior are working properly.
  • Incentives — LP splashing is intended to be an incentive in two ways. First, you earn bonus LP for your main position when you win autofill games, which should feel good since it’s still less punishing if you lose. Second, if you’re throwing matches or it looks like you’re not bringing your A-game, negative splashing—which affects your main position—should quickly get larger and raise the stakes. We’re looking at how we can improve the effectiveness of those incentives.
  • The Grind — We’re keeping a close eye on players who play a lot of different positions to determine whether we need to adjust splashing or rewards. We’re already planning some changes to promotion series that should help Fill players as well. 
Lead Designer for Meta Game Systems  
How does decaying work with the new position ranks? Will you decay for positions you haven’t played recently, or are your ranks safe as long as you are playing one position?

Decay hasn’t changed too much for position ranks. Here are the rules:
  • Decay now starts at Diamond IV rather than Platinum IV
  • Each position that is eligible for decay has its own decay timer
  • When you play a position, we reset the timer for that position and every position with a lower rank
Decay rules for Master+ are unchanged from last season:
  • Each game you play in Master, Grandmaster and Challenger tier is stored as a “banked game,” up to a maximum of 10
  • Each day, 1 banked game is removed from your reserves
  • When your banked games reach 0, you’ll lose 100 LP per day until you bank more games
  • Wins and losses both count toward banked games; all that matters is that you play 
Lead Designer for Meta Game Systems 

Why is the position ranks queue only in 2 regions?

With position ranks, we’re interested in how satisfying off-position games are, how effectively splashing deters bad behavior, and whether players value having a more accurate view of their skill. We can’t get a clear read on most of those without players getting hands-on experience during the season. 
At its core, position ranks is a pretty huge change. We’re taking steps—like tracking both position ranks and current ranks in all regions—to ensure players don’t lose progress if we have any issues, technical or otherwise, but we still believe it’s responsible to roll out the feature carefully so we can react to feedback before getting it in everyone’s hands. 
Lead Designer for Meta Game Systems 
Why can’t we choose a role we don’t want to play?

Over the years, we’ve experimented with a couple of alternative position select systems, including one where you could “veto” a position. Essentially, it ended up sucking because everyone chose to veto Support, which lowered matchmaking quality and increased queue times dramatically. 
Autofill was introduced as a last resort way of ensuring people don’t sit in queue for a ridiculously long time. We try to avoid autofilling you if we can, but the design challenge here is striking a balance between you getting to pick your position, not having infinite queue times, and getting fair matches. Currently, the only way autofill wouldn’t be necessary is if each position had an equal amount of demand—20% of players—literally all the time. This is a tricky thing to get right, but we’re going to continue looking for ways to get you the position you want and make every game feel winnable. 
Lead Designer for Meta Game Systems 
Have you ever thought about letting people hide their ranks so others can’t see them on their profile?

We get requests like this from time to time, but the answer is: Probably not.
Ranked is meant to be a public, head-to-head competition where players are measured against each other. It’s a mode that players use as a way to know how good they and their friends are at the game. Making rankings and matches public for anyone to see is an important part of reinforcing that. 
Lead Designer for Meta Game Systems  
How does the provisional system work? Because I won more games than my friends in placements and got placed in bronze 1, and they all got placed in silver. But I used to be in silver last season.

During placements, we consider a few pieces of information: your past rank, your MMR, and your win-loss record. 
When you play your first game of the season, we give you a provisional rank based on where you ended last season—you should expect it to be about a tier lower. Then, during the rest of your placement games, your LP gains and losses will largely depend on your MMR and your record against the teams you face. 
Any or all of those variables could be different from one player to the next, and if they are, that could explain why you got a different result. You’ve got this though; good luck on your climb—I’m sure you’ll be Gold in no time! 
Lead Designer for Meta Game Systems

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."


"Current Zed changes planned for 9.4"
"Your weekly dose of server problem-os, NA League news, and other! 
9.3 makes you love or hate Akali again, we’ve got a new loading screen, and there’s some new items in game. Take a gander before playing, or rush right into Ranked (we all know what happens…) 
  • Wrong Season Border should be fixed
  • Holler if they’re not!
Server Stuff: 
Hey! Look! Nothing broke this week in regards to servers getting players in game properly! 
Game Stuff: 
Games show flex queue borders incorrectly (1/24, ~2 weeks)
A bug caused incorrect ranked borders to be displayed in different game modes. The fix required a full redeploy, so we bundled it in with 9.3 and should be fixed! Be proud and show off your Bronze Border! 
Player Support Trend: 
With a new patch out, if you’ve got an issues updating, check the patching guide here. Also, if you’re running out of space, take a gander at /Riot Games/League of Legends/Logs/ and see if it’s larger than a gig. If so, you might want to nuke a few dozen... hundred logs. 
Morgageddon & Couch Commando

"New to League of Legends? Let us help you out with some of the frequently used vocabulary -- today we discuss feeding. Basically, don't do it."


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

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