Red Post Collection: Behavioral Systems: September 2020 Update, Quick LoL Thoughts, TFT: Fates Pass & More

Posted on at 8:37 AM by Aznbeat
[UPDATE: Added in Lucky Fuwa screenshot, Summer Game Fest reminder, & more!]

Today's red post collection includes an info drop on the upcoming TFT: Fates Pass & cosmetics,  the latest behavioral systems update from Riot Codebear, Meddler's quick LoL thoughts, plus new Little Legends, Arenas, and booms, new Prime Gaming loot, the K/DA fan club, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Quick LoL Thoughts: August 28

Here's Riot Meddler with his quick LoL thoughts for August 28 - "How we assess gameplay work, Quest skins."
"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: 
How do we assess our own work part 1: Gameplay 
Today I wanted to start covering something a bit different, sharing some details with you all on how we judge our own work. My hope is that makes it a bit easier to understand our approach on some things, gives more shared context for future conversations and is potentially just of general interest to a few people too. This time we’ll cover MOBA gameplay focused teams. Future posts will then look at TFT, personalization/cosmetics, tech, some aspects of marketing and player communication etc. 
These posts will be broken down roughly by team though not in a way that's fully representative of our internal structure since I've focused more on teams that have very player facing impacts (e.g. game balance) and less on those that are more internal facing (e.g. tools development). It also doesn't cover some aspects of League of Legends that are handled by other parts of the organization (e.g. Esports is a separate part of the company to the LoL team, chat moderation is done by a cross game group as is player support etc). It also doesn't cover all the things we track, just the key points. 
With that out of the way first up we've got Champion Team. Here we're looking at how players engage with a new champion or VGU, how that release impacts the wider LoL ecosystem and how maintainable the new/updated champ is. To assess those things we look at measures like:
  • Play rates for a champion, especially how many average games a player puts into them if they play them in the first place (depth of appeal with mains). How many people play them (breadth of appeal) is also of interest, though not to the same extent as depth. Focus is on long term interest, not just interest around launch time.
    • We're not aiming for every champion to have high breadth and depth of appeal, having some niche champs who are really loved by their players is fine. We don't want champs are neither broad nor deep though (champs few people play and those who try them don't play them much)
  • Player surveys on the champion's theme, personality, art quality etc
  • Tracking rate of balance changes and bug fixes needed post champion release
  • Internal assessments on complexity, technical risks, efficiency of development etc
  • Degree to which the champion broadens our IP, letting us tell different types of stories, fleshing out factions, better representing under represented groups (e.g. our roster still skews towards male champs even though our more recent releases have had a better gender mix). 
With the Summoner's Rift Team (sometimes referred to as the balance team, though they do a lot more than just balance) we're focused heavily on providing a compelling, fair and deep gameplay experience. That means game balance, choice structures, counterplay, creation of highs and lows, variety of play experience etc. Key things we look at to assess that are: 
  • Champion Balance for existing champions (not new releases, champion team are responsible for a champion's numbers on launch).
  • Game pacing, looking at things like how snowbally games are, when towers fall, amount of PVP action etc
  • Player surveys on things like champion frustrations, rate of gameplay change, champion damage output and tankiness etc
  • Correlations between gameplay changes and levels of player engagement including looking at player desire to queue up for the 5 different positions in LoL
  • Balance and meaningful choices for supporting systems like Items and Runes 
Our next gameplay team is the Game Analysis Team, also known as the playtest team. Their role is to be a source of expertise on LoL, able to provide strong analysis, repeated playtesting on content followed by actionable feedback and demonstration of what high skill play on upcoming content, features or adjustments probably looks like. To assess that work we look at: 
  • Ability to predict impact of balance changes based off internal playtesting and theorycrafting (SR team is responsible for making balance changes, GAT for providing predictions on their impact which SR team then determines whether/how to act on)
  • How predictions fare for new champ/VGU launch balance and change in balance over time as players become familiar with the kit
  • Ability to quickly identify problems during development of content and systems letting teams working on those features avoid wasted work going down the wrong path (e.g. a new game mode's most optimal way of being played is extremely unenjoyable, leading to a no win situation for players)
  • Overall value provided to the teams whose work they analyze 
Up next is the Competitive and Meta Systems Team. This is a group that are focused on some of the around game experiences like competitive rankings, some aspects of progression systems, some areas where player behavior and gameplay intersect etc. To judge success here we look at things like:
  • Ranked engagement like how many players play this season versus last, how does their engagement change over the course of the season etc
  • Clash engagement, including how many players try Clash and how many return for subsequent tournaments
  • Matchmaking quality which includes how small the MMR differences between players matched together is, time taken to match players, proportion of players who get their first choice of role, autofill rates etc
  • Player Behavior metrics around things like AFK rates, frustration with negative behaviors from other players (note: this has only recently been taken on by this team, another group was previously responsible for it)
  • Player sentiment on features like Ranked, Clash, Matchmaking etc 
Finally we've got the alternate game modes team who are responsible for MOBA experiences that aren't standard Summoner's Rift. That means ARAM and event modes like URF, One for All and Nexus Blitz. When looking at work in these spaces we consider:
  • Play rates of those other modes, both average engagement and spikes in engagement
  • Player sentiment on alternative modes, including for event modes whether said modes are a key part of what excited players about an event (whether or not they played a lot of it was it something they were excited for?)
  • How much alternative modes drive new engagement (players coming back after an absence or playing more because of the mode) versus how much they just move hours from one mode to another 
Quest Skins 
In the coming weeks, you may start to see the phrase “Quest Skin” floating around, so we wanted to provide some context around what that means. We are testing a new skin type (not a new skin tier with a different price) that will be purchasable in the near future. It’ll have some new features with specific technical needs which is why we need to have it on PBE and tested in advance. It won’t be launching this patch or in the immediate future, but stay tuned for more information!"

TFT: Fates Pass and More

Here's Riot Beernana with details on the TFT: Fates Pass - "Everything you need to know about the Fates Pass, Little Legends, and Arenas in TFT: Fates":
"Teamfight Tactics: Fates is coming soon, and it wouldn't be complete without a whole bunch of new ways to show off your style. Get ready for a new series of dragon-themed Little Legends, Ionia-themed arenas that react to your board state, and rip-roaring new booms. Last but not least, we're formally introducing the Star Shards system as an alternate way to level-up your Little Legends. So, let's dive in! 
Star Shards 
Starting with Fates, you’ll be able to level up your Little Legends by purchasing Star Shards. If you're looking for the 3-star version of your favorite Little Legend, this’ll be the way to do it. If you're just looking to broaden your collection, eggs will still be your best bet. 
Here's how they work: 
Getting Star Shards 
Star Shards will be available in the store and through the Fates Pass+. You’ll get a total of 300 Star Shards from the pass. Star Shards will be available for purchase in bundles starting from 625 RP. This base bundle will have enough to star-up most Little Legends once. We’ll also have larger bundles with bonus Star Shards if you really want to grow your collection. We’re still looking at adding other ways to purchase or acquire Star Shards, but those will be coming in future updates. 
Using Star Shards 
After acquiring some Star Shards, head on over to the loadouts selector where you’d typically pick your Little Legend. If you select a Little Legend that’s eligible for an upgrade, just click it and the poros that run the backend of the store will handle the rest. Note that all upgrades are non-refundable, so make sure you spend wisely! 
It’ll take 100 Star Shards to upgrade Rare Little Legends (like Pengu Featherknight) and Pass+ Little Legends (like the Astronaut Molediver and Star Guardian Silverwing) for the 2-Star to 3-Star upgrade only, 125 Star Shards to upgrade Epic Little Legends (like Extra Spicy Featherknight), and 150 Star Shards to upgrade Legendary Little Legends (like Ravenlord Featherknight). 
Other Notes 
There are a few Little Legends that won’t work with Star Shards since they don’t have additional tiers: 
  • Victorious Little Legends
  • UFO, Star Guardian, and Jade Emperor Sprites
  • There may be other Little Legends in the future that will fall into this category, but we’ll let you know if you can’t use Star Shards for them 
Outside of those restrictions, the only requirement for using Star Shards is that you already own the 1-star version of the Little Legend. 
Three new arenas—Festival, Kanmei and Akana—are not only decked out in Ionian splendor, but also react to the state of your game. These arenas will change based on your wins, losses, streaks, and three-star champion deaths. They'll be available for the same price as previous arenas 1380RP for 1 and 2900RP for a bundle of all 3. 

Little Legends
Fates comes with three new dragon Little Legends. Ao Shin, Umbra, Choncc, and all of their non-legendary variants will be available for direct purchase in the store. They'll cost 750RP for rares and 925RP for epics They’ll also be available in eggs if you're not looking for a specific dragon but still want to fill out your collection, or if you want to land that legendary variant. 
Ao Shin 
A descendant of the Storm Dragon lineage, Ao Shin is a guardian of the storm, wielding the duality of gentle rains and the ferocity of lightning and thunder. 
As a whelpling, Choncc is eternally hungry and perpetually sleepy. While favored for their mellow nature, Choncc can be roused to ferocious power if provoked—or cajoled into action with the right snacks. 
Umbra, a shadow dragon, appears guarded and reserved at first. However, once a mortal has earned their trust, they show sweet affection and fierce dedication, conjuring shadow and flame to defend their allies.

The Fates Pass
You know the drill: new set, new pass. This one will work similarly to previous passes, with more missions at the start of the set and fewer towards the end. Early missions will challenge you to try out all of the new traits and champions. As always, completing these missions and playing games of TFT will give you XP to unlock eggs, emotes, and eventually the Journey's Destination Arena. 
If you upgrade your Pass to the Pass+ for 1295RP you'll unlock a whole bunch more along the way, including Star Shards and: 
  • A new lineup of booms to blast your enemies
  • Sprite's new Jade Emperor makeover
  • A Fates-themed Fuwa
  • Two additional Fates arenas
Ranked Rewards 
TFT: Galaxies ranked rewards are coming in patch 10.21. 
You'll receive Victorious Hauntling if you reached Gold or higher in one of the 2 Ranked stages. You'll also receive Triumphant Hauntling if you reached Gold or higher in both of the Ranked stages. 
Emotes will be awarded for Galaxies' second Ranked stage and have updated for future Ranked rewards. 
That's all for now! Fates is heading to PBE in just a few days and everything mentioned in this article will be available starting with patch 10.19 in mid-September. With that, we’ll see you on the new mystical Convergence!"

The TFT twitter later shared an image of Lucky Fuwa that was missing from the original article!
"We forgot to include a picture of this adorable little nugget in the article earlier - - but you can earn the Lucky Fuwa from the TFT: Fates Pass+


Behavioral Systems: September 2020 Update

Here's Riot Codebear with the September update on behavioral systems - "Sharing our changes coming in the next few patches.":
Hey everyone! Another month, another update. Our current goals haven't changed since last month (you can read more about them here) and today, we'll be focusing more on some individual experiments and changes we have planned through the end of the year. 
We’ve recently shipped and analyzed some behind the scenes changes to Intentional Feeding and AFK detection and punishment, so let’s quickly dive into the results and then talk through some of our next experiment designs in more detail. 
Intent to Lose and AFK Detection and Punishment 
In 10.15 we rolled out our first background experiments in the Intent to Lose and AFK behavior spaces. For AFKs and Leavers, we tightened up our punishment and detection loop to be more impactful on the first AFK. Our goal here is to immediately address the AFK instance and deter future AFK abuse. This especially includes cases where a player AFKs multiple times in a row in the same play session and harms many other players in a short amount of time. 
In some test regions, players hit our AFK punishment thresholds faster, meaning a steady increase in penalty application. 
In other test regions, we saw a steady decline in both AFK detection and penalties after an initial immediate burst that occurred when we tightened our thresholds. This signals a reduction in repeat offenses, which is a trend we would like to see continued. In order to make sure we’re confident that this is indicative of a global behavior, we’ll be continuing our V1 rollout to other test regions to validate before confirming live everywhere. 
For Intent to Lose in-game behaviors like intentional feeding and griefing, we dark-launched some initial changes that saw more than a 500% spike in detection and punishments. That spike, however, included a spike in false positives we weren't happy with. We've shelved these V1 changes in favor of a V2 set which will be rolling out to test in the next month. 
Overall, we’re happy with our first pass, and excited to kick-off the next iteration. 
Early Surrender 
When we set out to improve our detection systems we also began to look at mitigation strategies to lessen the hurt in games where we know there are AFKs or leavers. 
The fastest way to improve the experience when it happens is to get you out of that game as quickly as possible. To that end, we are going to update the surrender system to account for AFK players on your team. When an AFK is detected, we will refresh the surrender cooldown and alert your whole team, allowing you to surrender again immediately. In addition, games with an AFK player can be surrendered earlier. If you want to play it out or wait for the player to return, that’s still possible, but if you’d just like to move on to the next game, we understand and want to make that as easy as we can. 
We’re making sure to keep track of these changes with a close eye to assess negative impacts to gameplay in the form of increased surrender rates or premade abuse cases. 
Early Surrender improvements are targeted to ship in patch 10.22.  
LP Mitigation 
We think that it sucks to have a hard-fought ranked game ruined by an AFK player totally tank your LP, and we suspect you agree. We’re going to be rolling out a new system that reduces the LP you lose from a defeat where an AFK or leaver was detected on your team. This doesn’t mean that every game with an AFK player is a free mulligan—we’re going to take into account how the game was going before the player AFKed, and how often it’s been happening. If you were losing beforehand, bullying someone into AFKing isn’t going to save you from an LP hit, but you’ll receive some recompense when a game turns for the worse because your Yuumi’s cat ate their ethernet cable. 
LP Mitigation improvements are targeted to ship in patch 10.24. 
We’re committed to delivering meaningful, and measurable results and we’re excited with what we’ve seen so far in our analysis of new systems. We’ll continue to communicate monthly about our progress. Lookout for the next article where we’ll be featuring our results from our Int and AFK detection V2 and taking a look inside our more comprehensive Code of Conduct."


One additional change coming in 10.18 is to improve clarity and consistency on Shyvana E. Not really intending for this to be a buff or nerf directly, but rather a long term improvement for the spell/game.
  • Love K/DA and want to keep up on all the news? Check out the K/DA Official Fan Club, with bios, art, tweets, and more!
  • Riot Hylia tweeted the PsyOps Ezreal Summoner Icon will be geting some tweaks in 10.19:
"Hey everyone, seen some feedback from players regarding Ezreal's PsyOps Summoner Icon not featuring marks on both sides of his face after we updated the model with them; we'll be integrating a fix to update it to match the model in patch 10.19!"
  • L J Goulding has shared a set of Targon updates to the Universe!
[1] "Okay! There was a slight delay, but the final piece of this week's #LeagueOfLegends lore update is finally live!
= Targon's art galleries and text have been reorganized, with some new nuggets scattered throughout for all you diehard story fans..."

[2] "Mainly, this is now more in line with the most recent content from 'Realms of Runeterra', as some folks noticed there were increasing discrepancies creeping in!"
  • Summer Game Fest tweeted a heads up on upcoming Riot Forge information on Monday August 31st at 10:am PT!
"Join #SummerGameFest on Monday August 31st at 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET for an update on new ways to explore Runeterra from@Ghostcrawler of@RiotGames,@RiotL4T3NCY of@RiotForge , and@JoeMadx of@AirshipSyn"

Other Games

"Ask VALORANT, and we respond. This time we go deep on the state of the Operator, why updates are rolled out rather than all at once, and insight into what’s going on with the sound of footsteps."


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