Red Post Collection: /Dev: State of Ranked, Ask Riot, EUW/EUNE Clash Test, and more!

Posted on at 11:51 AM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes the most recent updates on Ranked from Riot SapMagic, this week's Ask Riot, details on the upcoming Clash test on EUW/EUNE, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

/Dev: State of Ranked

Here's Riot SapMagic with the most recent dev blog on Ranked - "We reflect on the season, reveal the rollback of position ranks, and detail a partial reset for Diamond+."
TLDR: We’re happy with some of the Ranked changes like the placements rework, and positional matchmaking is an improvement in several areas. However, the reception of position ranks hasn’t been as positive, so we’re discontinuing the global rollout and ending the position ranks preview in KR and NA on March 13. We also concluded our investigation into Diamond+ matchmaking/rank issues. To fix them, we’ll be setting all Master+ players to Master 0 LP and demoting Diamond players by one division, floored at Diamond IV, by late March. 
Hey everyone, Ed “SapMagic” Altorfer here, back again to talk about Ranked. Last week, we recapped some of the biggest issues we’re facing with position ranks, high-skill matchmaking, and the top of the ladder. In this article, we’re detailing our solutions and timeline for fixing those issues. Since this is likely to reach a broader audience than our initial update, we’ve included some information that might feel repetitive if you’ve been following along. Alright, enough introduction—let’s dive in and talk about the state of Ranked. 
What’s Working 
So far, many players seem to be enjoying the placements rework, which starts you off at a more predictable rank and gives you feedback after each game. We’re also excited to see what we can do with splits—we think rewards that unlock and rank up with you in real time have a ton of promise. 
On the matchmaking side, we’re happy with how positional matchmaking—not to be confused with position ranks—is working. Queue times have improved for many players and off-position win rates have gone up. On top of that, primary position rates have improved, and in many cases, autofill rates have gone down. 
With some of our other changes, it’ll take more time before we know whether we need to make additional tweaks—specifically, we’re interested in your feedback on split reward content, borders, and past rank banner trims. 
Position Ranks 
With position ranks, we decided to run a preview in North America and Korea as a way to gather feedback and iterate on the feature before rolling it out more broadly. Six weeks into the season and after numerous bug fixes and tweaks, a significant number of you are still frustrated with the grindiness, low satisfaction of off-position games, and teammates not taking off-position games seriously enough. 
That’s not just on social media either. We’re constantly polling players to understand what they like or don’t like about League. Since position ranks launched, we’ve seen a dramatic negative shift—by 20 to 30%—in satisfaction with the feature in both North America and Korea. 
After reviewing your feedback, we regrouped and considered all the changes we could make to improve the system. Ultimately, we didn’t feel like we could make position ranks the experience you deserve by tweaking LP splashing or making changes to promotion series. Many of you simply aren’t happy with the core trade-offs of the system. 
Since the beginning, we vowed to develop this feature with you and promised we would roll it back if you weren’t enjoying it. We stand by that promise, so on March 13 we’re ending the position ranks preview in North America and Korea and discontinuing the rollout of position ranks globally. 
Here’s how the rollback will work:
  • Your highest position rank becomes your new rank. We’ll preserve your rank, LP, and promotion series status and progress. If your highest rank is provisional, it will carry over with the same number of games remaining.
  • You’ll keep your rewards. Your Ranked Armor and any split rewards will stick around and you won’t lose any progress.
  • All Promotion Helper benefits carry over. We’ll remember the highest rank you’ve achieved across all positions and use that to determine Promotion Helper eligibility.
Even though we’re ending the position ranks preview, we made a ton of improvements to matchmaking in the process of building the feature—like faster queue times and higher primary position rates—that we’ll be keeping. We’re also looking into keeping positional matchmaking, which would make off-position games more fair even without position ranks. We’ll share more when we have a solid plan. 
High MMR Matchmaking/Ranks 
We’ve also seen numerous matchmaking issues affecting players in Diamond and above. Some of this is expected since we rebalanced the top tiers and expanded the size of Master, as I noted in our previous update, but there are some legitimate issues we need to fix as well. There are two in particular we want to address. 
First, adding Iron and Grandmaster tiers introduced a bug that allowed a nontrivial number of players—up to 155 on one server—to get to Grandmaster despite having a win rate below 40%. Another related bug allowed some Diamond players to climb to higher ranks than they should’ve been able to. 
In both cases, we fixed the underlying issues that let players get to higher ranks than they should’ve, but now players feel stuck since they’re losing more LP than they gain while their rank recalibrates. On top of that, we’ve heard consistent feedback that the top of the ladder feels less legitimate due to the lingering effects of these bugs. 
Given enough time, decay and normal play would get these players back to where they belong based on their skill, but it could take several months or longer for that to happen, during which time high-skill players would continue to feel frustrated about the quality of their games. 
Instead of leaving the ladder in its current state for a large chunk of the season, we’re going to perform a partial ladder reset in all regions in late March for players in Diamond and above. While we’re currently targeting late March, we need to thoroughly test our approach or we could risk introducing new problems. Once we have a firm date, or if we need to adjust the timing, we’ll share the details with you. 
Here’s how the reset will work:
  • Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger players will become Master 0 LP. Resetting the top of the ladder will accelerate the demotion of players who got to Master through exploiting early season bugs and help normalize LP gains.
  • Diamond players will be demoted one division, floored at Diamond IV. These demotions will improve—but not completely fix—LP gains for players who got to higher ranks than they should have early in the season.
  • You’ll keep your rewards, but they’ll match your new rank. You won’t lose any reward progress, but if you have the Split 1 emote or armor upgrade, they’ll match your post-reset rank.
  • Grandmaster and Challenger will temporarily lock. Grandmaster will unlock one week after the reset and Challenger will unlock the week after that.
A mid-season partial reset is painful, so we want to limit it to as few players as necessary to fix the issues outlined above. We’re not seeing these problems at lower ranks, so it would be unfair and unnecessary to reset progress for all players. We’re deeply sorry for the frustration we know this will cause for players who earned their spot legitimately, but we believe this partial reset is necessary to preserve the integrity of the top of the ladder. 
What’s Next 
On behalf of the team, thank you for working together with us on position ranks and the rest of the Ranked changes. We’re committed to working with you to build experiences you love. Sometimes that means taking big swings and missing the mark. We’re hope that over time we’ll get to share the benefits of this approach to development, and we hope you’ll be willing to join us on the next journey… wherever that may take us. 
Until then, if you’re seeing any other issues that aren’t captured here or you just have feedback on Ranked, let us know in the comments. Thanks again for all your help and patience, and we’ll see you on the Rift!"

Ask Riot: Loading Screen Chat 

Here's this week's Ask Riot - "Plus robots, Ranked borders, and champions in off-roles."
"Hi everyone, today we’re talking robots, Ranked borders, chat, and champions. As a heads up—look out for another Ask Riot next week, then we’ll be back to biweekly posts after that. 
Why isn’t the border I achieved last season showing up on the loading screen? I got gold and it’s not showing, although it shows on my profile. 
You’re not going crazy or anything, we changed up how the loading screen works as part of our Ranked changes for Season 2019. On one hand, we really liked the way borders made a lot of players push for a certain rank so they could show it off to everyone for an entire season. On the other hand, the border didn’t reflect your current progress. In practice, that meant many players didn’t feel rewarded while they were climbing.
Going forward, your border always reflects your current rank. That means if you finally hit Gold, your border will change instantly to reflect your accomplishment. The past rank reward didn’t go away though—it’s part of your banner, which is on your profile, in the lobby, and on the loading screen. To see it on the loading screen, just click your player card to flip it over. 
One quick note—for Normal games, Ranked borders are currently tied to whether you’ve selected your Ranked armor or Prestige border in the summoner icon selector. We’re looking into changing that so you have more control over how you show off to others. 
Lead Designer for Meta Game Systems  
Is it true that there will be chat on the loading screen before the game starts?

Aww yiss, the long-awaited loading screen! We originally planned to have this super-duper feature ready when the new loading screen shipped. Unfortunately, we discovered issues that would degrade the chat experience. We want all players to have a great first experience with the chat model, so we’re working hard at getting this feature ready to deliver to players worldwide. 
We will continue to share updates with you on what our plans will be. Thank you for your patience! <3 
Quality Lead for Loading Screen 
When a champion deviates from a lane or role you intended, do you try to support its new position or get it back on track to where you think they should be

Effectively, it’s case by case, which I’m sure can feel frustrating. As a rule of thumb, we try to support the new position, but admittedly there are quite a few reasons we might choose to intervene. This could happen when the resulting gameplay of the new position is unhealthy and/or uninteractive, or when it actively comes at a cost to a specific player need the champion was supposed to be filling. 
For example, when Pyke started looking incredibly strong in mid lane, we actively made some changes to him to encourage his support role a bit more because he’s intended to fulfill a very unique play experience there (that isn’t offered by really any other champion). For something like Kayle’s rework, we’re unlikely to be concerned with whether she’s played mid or top because her play experience isn’t intended to be substantially more compelling in either position. However, we would consider making changes if she seemed much better as a jungler than laner because that would probably be the result of attempting to hide her intended weak early game from PvP scenarios. 
Lead Live Gameplay Designer 
How is robotic evolution seen across Runeterra? Would someone like Orianna be treated differently than humans?

The only region where anything approaching “robotics” has been created is Piltover/Zaun, and that is mostly the augmentation of living bodies with increasing levels of tech. There is always an interesting question about how much of yourself you can replace before you are no longer really human—and does that give you a different perspective on the world, and those around you? I’d be far more worried about how I see myself, if I was just a few organs in a mechanical shell! (Note: some Rioters already suspect this to be true.) 
There are places in Runeterra where golems of stone or wood walk the earth, or people are quite happy to reanimate the bodies of the dead… but those are all primarily magical in origin, rather than technological. I’m not sure what they would make of the automata created without magic, if they were ever confronted by such things. 
Blitzcrank is one of the only examples we have of an automaton achieving any level of true sentience. (He’s still working out some of the bugs, but he means well.) Even so, he’s not particularly well known even by the people of his home city—it’s not that his existence is a secret, but there might be some folks who could feel very threatened by the creation of artificial life, whether it was accidental or not. 
Lead Narrative Editor

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."

[EUW/EUNE] Clash Regional Test on March 11 

Here's Draggles with details on an upcoming Clash test for EUW and EUNE:
Regional Clash Test launches on March 11 
On March 11, team creation for a Clash test opens in EUW and EUN. Tournaments run on Saturday and Sunday. It is free to participate in the test (you won’t need a ticket) and you can play over both days or choose either one. To participate in the test you need to be ranked and above Honor level 2. 
We’re running regional Clash test to test new features that keep tournaments running smoothly in competitive regions like BR, LATAM, LATAS, EUN, and EUW with huge numbers of Clash teams. 
Here’s the schedule: 
Everyone who participates in the two-day test will receive Loot Boxes, a Summoner Icon, and Victory Points which add up to unlock in-game Banners and team logos. 
What We’re Testing 
We’ve spent a lot of time on solutions to address server load. In this two-day beta, we’re specifically testing our Tier-based phasing and phase cap functionality. Tier-based phasing allows us to stagger start times for different tiers. You’ll receive a lock-in time depending on your team’s combined Tier (Tier IV starts earlier and Tier I starts later). 
Regions with an overload of teams may experience phase capping. As the time to lock-in gets closer, you’ll see an alert featuring available spots if brackets are close to filling up. If you are unable to lock-in and play a tournament because of phase capping, your ticket won’t be used. Once these features are tested, we’ll be closer to launching Clash. 
Keep up with Clash 
Thank you for participating in these regional tests. Create or join team starting Monday, March 11th and enjoy the Clash weekend.

Tier-based phasing 
Players will start their matches at different times depending on which tier their team is placed in.Tier IV matches start first, followed by Tier III, Tier II, and Tier I matches ~45 minutes later.
  • Why doesn't everyone start at the same time?
    • Splitting up tier start times means Clash teams will hit our servers in chunks, rather than all at once. This significantly reduces the risk of Clash falling over!
  • How am I supposed to plan my weekend if I don't know for sure when my matches will start?
    • We'll let you know your team's tier and match start time during team formation. You'll be able to plan around your start time well in advance!
  • I'm Tier IV. Can I choose to play against higher skilled teams in Tier III, II, or I for a more convenient start time?
    • Nope. We applaud your bravery, but that'd give your opponents an unfair advantage over other teams in their tier.
  • I'm Tier III, II, or I. Can I choose to play against lower skilled teams in Tier IV for a more convenient start time?
    • Nope. You'll steamroll 'em.
Phase caps 
Each day of Clash has a hard limit on the number of teams who can lock in to play. Most regions won't experience the cap, but it's a pretty bad experience for players in regions that will.
  • I was excited for Clash and now you're not going to let me play?
    • Phase caps are a necessary precaution to ensure Clash doesn't make League fall over again. We're not happy with capping as a permanent solution since it's shitty to be turned away at the door when you wanna compete, but the tech and infrastructure issues that originally caused Clash to fail will take a long time to fix. Phase caps let us offer Clash to the majority of players while we work on those fixes and improvements.
  • You're going to take my money without letting me play?
    • Phase caps kick in during the lock-in phase, which is when players buy in with tickets. Since you won't be able to lock in if Clash caps out, you won't lose your ticket. It'll still be around for you to use on any other day of Clash, whether that same weekend or in a future tournament.
  • How do I know if I signed up in time?
    • Phase caps take effect during each day's lock-in phase when enough full teams of five lock in. Teams that assemble their rosters early in the week don't have an advantage over teams that come together right before lock-in phase begins so make sure everyone on your team shows up on time!
  • So when you say 'cap', how many people are actually gonna get to play?
    • Even for regions we expect will hit the cap, the majority of teams will still get to play. This won't make things feel any better for the teams who do miss the cutoff, of course :/
  • I hit the phase cap on day 1, am I donezo for the weekend?
    • Phase caps reset each day so you can try again on day 2.
  • If I hit the cap on day 1 and enter on day 2 can I still get the best rewards?
    • Unfortunately not since those go to players who go undefeated throughout the entire weekend. You'll still get rewards for the games you play on day 2 though!
General Clash questions 
  • When is Clash coming back for real?
    • We'll have more to share on next steps for Clash after we see how this weekend's test went!
  • Why should I believe that Clash will work this time when it's broken multiple times before?
    • If you're skeptical after our first attempts to get Clash off the ground, we totally get it. We hope you'll give us another chance this weekend!
  • If Clash breaks again this weekend, what happens?
    • We'll make even more improvements and run even more tests until it works. We're fully committed to bringing you a team-based tournaments mode that we believe will be the best way to play League."


EDIT: Thanks for all your questions! That's the end of our Kayle and Morgana AMA! We'll continue to pop into the thread throughout the day and answer as we can, but until next time. 
Prepare to serve justice! We'll be answering questions starting at 11:00 AM PST until 1:30 PM PST. Feel free to start posting your questions now and the team will ascend to smite down your inquiries at level 16 (in 30 minutes). 
Here are the mortals who will be prepared to answer your questions: 
/u/RiotAugust - Design | /u/Jellbug - Narrative | /u/EdwinMols - Production | /u/Lonewingy - Concept Art | /u/RiotLankyTree - VFX Art | /u/LiquidLazers - Audio (on Kayle) | /u/Riot-iZac - VFX Art (on Kayle) | /u/Auberaun - QA (on Kayle) | /u/Riot_Koyuncu - QA (on Morgana) | /u/shioshoujo - Comms

Kayle and Morgana Information:


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

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