Red Post Collection: A Message from Joe and the League Dev Team, Quick LoL Thoughts: 3/27 & More

Posted on at 9:26 AM by Aznbeat
Today's red post collection includes a message from New001 and the League Dev team on whats happening at Riot during the COVID-19 outbreak, Meddler's quick LoL thoughts for March 27, a new Ask Riot, and more!
Continue reading for more information!


Table of Contents


A Message From Joe and the League Dev Team


"Lead producer Joe “New001” talks about what we’re doing in League, esports, and beyond in response to the COVID-19 outbreak."

Quick LoL Thoughts: March 27

Here's Meddler's quick LoL thoughts for March 27 - "Thoughts on avoiding power creep, getting more Narrative into Events, and Event Pass adjustments.":
"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 
Top Lane 
Looking at our recent changes that have impacted top lane play we’ve seen some noticeable shifts on a couple of significant angles. In terms of position preference (how many people choose to queue as top) we’ve seen preference rates increase meaningfully over the few weeks or so, making top a position with average to somewhat above average appeal depending on which region and MMR band you’re looking at. Then, looking at in game trends, we’ve seen top become the lane that most commonly has the first tower taken in it, more damage contributed from top laners in team fights, more kills by top laners etc. Given those signals and some other secondary ones we’re holding off on any further top lane focused impact focused work for now at least, given both player interest and ability to affect the game have increased as hoped. 
Balance Framework: Avoiding Power Creep 
On another SR balance related topic we’re also making some adjustments to the SR balance framework thresholds which are one of the key ways we identify potential balance targets. Specifically we’re going to be lowering the winrates at which nerfs are suggested for Average, Skilled and Elite play by %. Overall we’ve been quite happy with the balance framework. One of our conclusions during a recent review of it however was that it was skewed a bit more towards buffing than nerfing for the non pro play categories, resulting in a bit of power creep at times. The goal with this adjustment is to correct that as a result. 
If you’re unfamiliar with the Balance Framework and would like a bit more info on it in general, more can be found at the link below. One meaningful change since that was written is that we’re now also using win rate for the Elite category, having slightly expanded the audience for that category and validated that win rate is a meaningful measure to consider in that context too. 
https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en-us/news/dev/dev-champion-balance-framework/ 
Event Pass Adjustments 
TL;DR here is: 
  • In upcoming events, it'll take slightly longer to unlock Prestige skins when comparing against the recent Night & Dawn and Mecha Kingdoms events.
  • However, earning tokens will still be noticeably easier than it was in events prior to Night & Dawn.
  • Milestone missions will be down to 15 points needed per mission rather than the 20 that every event other than Night & Dawn has required. 
Events used to ask you to play around four games per day to earn the event's Prestige skin. Your feedback was that that was too much, and we agreed, so we decided to lower the play requirement to between two and three games a day. Since most of us can't play as much during the holidays, we decided to go even further for the Night & Dawn and Mecha Kingdoms events and lowered the requirement to around one-and-a-half games per day for those events specifically. 
However, because many players no longer had holiday commitments and their play time went back up during Mecha Kingdoms in January, we saw a lot more players getting the Prestige skin or Prestige Points during the Mecha Kingdoms event. 
We want prestige skins in events to be something you have to work for—not just something you easily get for buying the pass. During Mecha Kingdoms, the vast majority of pass buyers got enough tokens to unlock Prestige Mecha Kingdoms Garen, even those who didn't play much. 
So, we made the choice while working on Galaxies earlier this year to reduce the tokens being granted such that it typically takes between two and three games per day to get a Prestige Skin. We believe this will help keep them more exclusive, but because this requirement is significantly lower than the approximately four games per day required from events last year, we hope it still feels fun and fair to achieve. 
On a related note we’ve also adjusted the number of points needed for milestone missions. Historically those have needed 20 points per mission to complete. For Night & Dawn we tried 15, though we had it back to 20 for Mecha Kingdoms. After reviewing both events our conclusion was that the increased accessibility of milestone mission rewards Night & Dawn had was appropriate so we’ll be sticking with 15 points required going forwards. 
As always, we’ll be reviewing this event and your feedback to help inform if we should make further adjustments. Thoughts much appreciated. 
Getting a bit more Narrative into Events 
We’ve been working on improving events this year, particularly since they were an area we didn’t invest in as much last year. In addition to bringing back event game modes and pass/mission improvements, something we’re also looking to try is getting a bit more narrative into the event experience. That means taking the chance to tell some of the stories of the alternate universes events are generally themed around and driving those narratives forward. Narrative like this isn’t everybody’s thing but we’d like to deliver a bit more of it for those players who do want to engage with it. 
Our first foray into a world where events deliver more narrative is Galaxies. We will be telling the story of Lux, and as described by our writer Yichao: 
"Faced with the growing threat of Thresh and the Dark Star, the Cosmic Court sends Lux to confront the corruptant. But she herself faces a difficult choice - cosmic duty, or dark ambition. By participating in the event, players will decide which path she walks - and how the story ends." 
Based on feedback from this approach with Lux's story, we'll look at potentially incorporating more narrative in similar, or possibly even expanded ways, in a future event. 
Need for a game mode where you pick your champ 
Finally, one more event related note. A piece of feedback we’ve received regularly is that some players would really like an event game mode where you get to pick your champ that also has a shorter game time than SR/ARAM do. Makes sense as a point of feedback, especially given our last few events have been either random champ select or limited control, with Poro King, ARURF and One for All. As a result one of our goals now is to deliver an event game mode that has shorter times and standard champ select rules this year."

Ask Riot: Making Fiddle's VO 

Here's this week's Ask Riot - "How’d we create Fiddle’s new VO? Why are splashes sometimes different than in-game models? And more.":
"Welcome to Ask Riot! 
Before we get to the spook, we have an announcement: You can now submit your questions again! To do so, head over to the new submission page, drop your question in the box, and send away. Thanks for bearing with us as we adjusted to the new site. Now for today’s topics… 
This week, we’re talking splash art, item lore, and how we created Fiddle’s new VO.

How’d you make the VO for Fiddlesticks? It’s spooky af. 
As you might expect, crafting the iconic voice of a champion begins with a compelling—and in this case, brilliantly spine-tingling—performance from the voice talent. When you start with a deeply evocative portrayal of the character through sublime voice acting, my job as a VO designer becomes a lot easier. It unlocks the ability to take a really interesting starting point and push it to the next level of the otherworldly, the unsettling, and the downright weird. 
As soon as I heard the early auditions for Fiddlesticks, I was hooked. Kellen Goff, the voice actor, brought a stunning range of dynamic textures and colors to Fiddle’s voice during records, which gave me an amazing performance to push and pull, splice and enhance to unearth those special and bone-chilling moments. The sessions with Kellen yielded gem after gem of self-contained horrifying textures that I simply needed to glue together into a mosaic of death. 
To see how Kellen does it, check out his video below (3:40 and 4:58 are both spooky spots.)

When it came to the core design, it felt only appropriate that the voice of Fiddlesticks would serve as a sonic parallel to the creature itself: a dry, rattling, disjointed, vaguely humanoid form with a terrible demonic presence just out of sight, occasionally peeking through and threatening to burst forth. To this end, I started tinkering with a lot of different effects: some subtle, deeper doubled textures that would intensify on certain sinister words; a hint of a dark, cold, oppressive reverb; and even some inhuman animal and insect textures woven throughout. It was important that Fiddle never felt like it was utilizing the anatomical tools of a human with a voice: lips, lungs, or any other organic matter. It couldn’t get too wet, too gurgly, too feral. That’s not who Fiddle is. It’s a macabre, breathless monster driven by a deep need to hunt without truly understanding speech.
- Riot Zimberfly, VO Director

Is item specific lore a thing that could happen? I don’t know about anyone else, but I personally would love to read a canonical short story involving the items of Runeterra. Rabadons, Lich Bane, etc.… 
For many folks, one of the most exciting things about League of Legends (the MOBA) is all the tiny little nuggets of lore scattered throughout it from the past ten years of development. And while some of the shop items are fairly unremarkable, others almost cry out for a proper backstory. Sometimes literally. 
However, it can be tricky—though not impossible—-to tell an interesting narrative entirely focused on a sword, or a piece of armor, or a magic gem. A weapon can’t generally be the protagonist of a story… unless it’s one of the five remaining Darkin, of course. But stories with great characters that also feature these artifacts in some way? Heck yes, sign me up. I want to learn more about this Doran fella… 
I’ve seen some fantastic theories out there about, say, the Lost Chapter, Tear of the Goddess, or the legendary Blade of the Ruined King, and it’s almost certain that we will tell more stories featuring items like this in the not-too-distant future. 
- Riot Scathlocke, Narrative Editorial Director 
Why do in-game models sometimes differ from splash art so much? For example, Nightbringer Aphelios is black and red in his splash, but has a lot of blue in his actual model. Aside from instances like Blood Moon Aatrox where the color saturation is upped for better gameplay clarity, what is the reason for these differences? 
While splash art and in-game models are closely connected, they have different goals. With in-game models, the top priority is gameplay readability. Since splash doesn’t have that consideration, our big goal is to create deep immersion and something we call “cinematic believability” in our illustrations. You can think of this the same way a comic book character translates to a big blockbuster movie. The movie version will have higher-detail fidelity in the costume, materials, and render, including invented details that didn’t exist in other versions. There will also be dynamic, moody lighting depending on the scene’s emotional tone or setting. We even think about things like camera distortion, lens flares, dust motes in the air, and film grain. All of this stacks up to make something more believable, and more cinematic, than other representations can achieve. 
Sometimes the mood and light can mean colors aren’t as punchy as they might be in the model textures—like Nightbringer Aphelios’s cool, dark scenario—and it can also make other colors really pop, like the bright red tassels on his jacket. That said, we don’t want the splash art to feel totally different from what you see in game, so we do take the time to compare the splash to the in-game model—we even try to “model” the character so they match the pose in the splash art. 
Ultimately, we want to make sure we’re keeping splashes and models close to each other while still hitting our unique goals. 
- Riot Owleycat, Illustration Art Lead

Have a question? Head here, drop your question in the box, and ask away."

Reminders

  • The Galaxies 2020 event is running now through April 27th, including new skins, chromas, missions & rewards, loot, and the return of One for All for the duration of the event! Check out our post for a loot at the new content, or the FAQ for the full details!

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