Red Post Collection: LoL Pls: Client, Clarity & State of the Game, Ask Riot, Legendary Skins & More

Posted on at 10:56 AM by Aznbeat

Today's red post collection includes a new lol pls video on the client, clarity, and the state of the game, this week's Ask Riot focused on Legendary Skins, League Displays, & fighting toxicity, a new TFT Dev Drop video looking at our current set and into the future, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Client, Clarity, and State of the Game | lol pls - League of Legends

Here's a new lol pls from Safelocked and Meddler, including thoughts on the client, clarity, the State of the Game, and a peek at an upcoming skin, Space Groove Nasus:
"In the first edition of lol pls, League’s executive producer Safelocked shares the latest on the client and game clarity. She’s joined by design director Meddler, who covers League’s current game state. 
0:00​ - Intro
0:41​ - State of the Game
1:59​ - Mythic Items
2:46​ - Burst and Healing
4:11​ - Role Strength
4:59​ - Snowballing
5:51​ - The Client
6:51​ - Game Clarity
8:39​ - Space Groove"


Clarity in League

Check out this dev blog on clarity in League of Legends - "Hitboxes, color palettes, silhouettes, cats, skins, and more."

"Hi everyone, today we want to talk about game clarity in League. It’s one of those things we’re always thinking about behind the scenes, but it only really becomes noticeable when we get something wrong—like when a hitbox doesn’t match an effect or a skin is too hard to read. In a perfect world, this never happens. But with over 150 champs and 1000 skins—not to mention items, runes, and neutral objectives—we’re bound to make mistakes sometimes. 
That said, we think we can do better, which is why we’ve been putting extra effort into gameplay clarity in recent years. You’ll see this in things like champion VFX and SFX updates, but it’s also something we’re constantly thinking about during development. So today, we want to share what that looks like for champions and skins. 
But first, let’s talk about our goals. 
The Unbreakable Vows 
We see clarity as the ability to understand what’s happening in League and respond to it. Because League is highly competitive, this is obviously quite important. 
There are three major things we strive for:
  1. First and foremost, gameplay should be clearly conveyed. League’s visuals and audio should help you quickly identify and react to champions, spells, and attacks. You should also be able to generally understand mechanics just by experiencing them in game.
  2. The second goal is to always preserve hierarchy. This is a fancy way of saying that the most important thing at any given moment (like a major ultimate or CC) should draw the most attention. This means maintaining a proper hierarchy both within a champion’s kit and between champions and other gameplay elements (like item effects).
  3. Finally, noise should be kept minimal. This doesn’t just mean audio—visual noise adds up quickly and can make it difficult to react properly in teamfights. Flashiness can feel great, especially with skins, but it comes at a cost. (Exception: Spells with big gameplay effects can and should be noisy, to a degree.)
Now let’s jump into the fun stuff, aka how we design champions with clarity in mind. 
Ults, Cats, and BFGs

When we think about clarity for champions, there are two main considerations: silhouettes and abilities
Silhouettes are the single most important thing for champion recognition in League. This is basically a champion’s shadow: What do they look like shrouded in darkness?
A good silhouette is one with a defining primary characteristic that’s unique to that champion: Think Senna’s gun, Diana’s moon weapon, or Yuumi… being a cat. Even when we make skins, a champion’s primary characteristic should never change. 
Silhouettes also include animation, but ideally that’s more of a bonus differentiator rather than a main one. For example, Ivern’s lanky figure stands out on its own, but his goofy walk also adds to his recognizability. 
Lee Sin, on the other hand, has a fairly generic shape, so a lot of his silhouette is carried by his animations. (Which is okay, although it can complicate skin design, which we’ll talk about later.)
Beyond easy recognition, a champion’s silhouette should highlight their source of power. This is especially important for new players who have to learn what 150+ champions do. If you see someone with a bow, you can assume they’ll fire arrows from a distance. A champion with a staff probably casts spells. And one with shotgun knees… shoots… you?
The size of a champion’s silhouette can also say something about their playstyle. For example, larger champions with bulky armor are probably tanks or fighters. A tiny innocent yordle probably isn’t.
Last but not least, it should be clear which direction a champion is facing from their silhouette alone. You should know whether someone is charging towards you or away at a glance. 
The second major consideration for champion clarity is their abilities. This is an area that can quickly become frustrating, particularly when hitboxes don’t line up with their effects. Over the past few years, we’ve been working to update the VFX for some of League’s older champions who aren’t hitting the bar, and we have more VFX updates planned for 2021, starting with Hecarim. 
Champion VFX Updates
Hecarim’s VFX Update 
Beyond hitboxes, one of the most important things for abilities is that they follow hierarchy rules. In other words, the amount of attention an ability grabs should match its level of importance. 
How important a spell is depends on a lot of things, including… 
  • How much damage does it do? Spells that do more damage should draw more attention. Zoe’s Q is an example of this done well—it’s bright, saturated, and has an audio cue ahead of time.
  • Does it CC? Spells with hard CC and/or high-duration CC should stand out. Taric’s stun is a good example—it’s bright, there’s an audio wind-up, and a well-defined hitbox.
  • Is it dodgeable? If something is dodgeable, it should draw more attention. While not a champion ability, Arcane Comet is an example of this done poorly—the big circle on the ground implies a lot more dodgeability than what’s realistic.
  • Does it have a large impact on play? Spells that drastically change how you play with or against them should be flashy. The audio and visuals and on Kayle’s ultimate are a good example—it’s bold, but the impact is high.
Beyond upholding hierarchy, there are specific gameplay considerations to a spell’s audio and visual design. Feel free to click through if you’re curious! 
Ability Considerations
Projectiles should convey the direction they’re traveling, even without motion. This can often be accomplished by “blurring” the tail end of the effect. 
Filling Up Buckets 
The main clarity challenge with skins is creating something that feels meaningfully different from the base champion while ensuring they’re still recognizable. If we go too hard, then we sacrifice game clarity. But if we don’t go hard enough, it’s not going to feel satisfying. 
In a way, skin development is like filling a bucket, where each discipline—like animation, VFX, SFX, and so on—can dump some water in. Our goal is to get that bucket nice and full without overflowing it.
How much water each discipline adds varies from skin to skin. Sometimes we focus on VFX and SFX, so we keep the model and animations closer to base. Other times we go for a full animation refresh, so we split the difference elsewhere. In the end, the complete experience should make it quick and easy to identify the champion at all times. This means we’ll never turn everything up to 11, as we’d end up with something exciting that’s seriously damaging to clarity. 
You Care About What!? 
Now that we’ve addressed the timeless struggle between coolness and clearness, let’s run through some specifics. 
A champion’s silhouette can be broken into three parts: primary, secondary, and tertiary. A champion’s primary feature should never be removed or significantly altered in any skin. We’d never give Senna a pea-shooter or turn Yuumi into a human, for example.
There’s a little more leeway with secondary and tertiary features, especially if a champion has a strong primary read. High Noon Senna is a great example of this: Her body’s silhouette is noticeably different from her base, but because she still has her iconic gun, she’s immediately recognizable.
Champions whose silhouettes are carried through animation can be challenging to make Legendary (or Ultimate) skins for. This is because changing their animations has a greater impact on their silhouette, which adds more water to the bucket. If you add in some flashy VFX, SFX, and model changes, it’s easy to lose the champion’s identity. This is another reason why we want every new champion to have a strong primary feature. 
We use a champion’s base abilities as the clarity bar when designing skins. In other words... Every ability should be at least as clear as the base skin because skins should never be pay-to-win. Abilities on skins can be slightly clearer than on base, but we don’t really want anything to be pay-to-lose either, so our goal is clarity parity.
Established shape language should be used for skins as well, like scrolling-down lines for spell shields.

Abilities should also maintain hierarchy and not add excess noise to the game, which means we should be intentional with the extra bells and whistles. That said, we sometimes overshoot this. We want to make the best, most exciting skins possible, and it’s a delicate balance between that and gameplay noise and hierarchy. 
In the end, our goal is to release skins that feel great with abilities that are clear even during the most chaotic teamfights. With that in mind, here’s a look at some specific changes we’ve made during development because of various clarity concerns. Peruse at your leisure! 
Changes From Development 

Shan Hai Scrolls Jhin 
The borders of Shan Hai Scrolls Jhin’s Curtain Call originally faded out while the ult opened, making them very difficult to see during the opening sequence. We adjusted the lines so they’re always visible." 
Now onto a few final considerations, starting with maps. Surprising no one, skins should be clear no matter which map you’re on. We haven’t always been the best at this, but these days we check every skin across all maps to make sure we don’t end up with any more Freljord Taliyahs on the Howling Abyss.
It’s important that any significant or lasting transformations are only be used during homeguards or other empowered states. Spirit Blossom Ahri’s fox transformation is an example of this done well—you only see her full-fox form in homeguards and human-fox form while her ult is active. 
On the other hand, near-permanent transformations like Solar and Lunar Eclipse Leona’s are something we’d like to avoid going forward. Unless you’re familiar with the skin, it’s unclear whether her glowing means she’s transformed or has Q active and is about to bop you.
Cosmetic Animations

Last but not least, let’s talk about cosmetic animations, like recalls, dances, taunts, and so on. In short: None of these animations should provide a competitive advantage. This may seem obvious, but sometimes these animations get too flashy (especially when spammed) or have champions “abandoning” their hitboxes. 
Pool Party Renekton is the poster crocodile for this. Spamming his recall sure looks fun, but it’s distracting and his hitbox never changes, even as his model appears to move upward. Going forward, we have a strict rule where champions must stay in their recall circle for at least two seconds, but really, we’d like it if they stayed there all the time.
The End 
That’s all we have for today! We hope our extra efforts around clarity become more noticeable with time. If there are any skins or champs you’re curious how we approached clarity for, feel free to send ‘em our way using this form
Thanks for reading. You’re all lovely. Goodbye!" 


Ask Riot: Legendary Skins

Check out this week's Ask Riot - "How we choose champs for Legendaries, League Displays, and fighting toxicity.":

Welcome to Ask Riot

Today we’re talking Legendary skins, League Displays, and ridding the Rift of meanies. 
Also, please send us all your questions! One question = one hug for Amumu. 
How do you choose which champions to make a Legendary skin for? 
When selecting a champion for a Legendary skin, there's a few factors that come into play. First, Legendaries take quite a bit more time to develop than Epic skins, so we tend to prioritize champions that are pretty broadly popular
Next, we take a look at our big thematics of the year and start going through each one, identifying potential Legendary skin candidates based on a number of factors, including… 
  • How recently a champion has received a skin: If a champion seems like a great fit but is getting another skin around that time, we’d probably pick somebody else.
  • How well they fit into the thematic: This one’s pretty obvious.
  • What their current catalog of skins looks like: We would want to avoid stacking a champion with nothing but sci-fi skins, for example. (Some overlap is okay, but we do try to diversify options.)
  • How much we could elevate the fantasy by taking a skin to the Legendary level: Does being able to change more animations, voiceover, and exploring other Legendary hooks let us tell a more exciting story for this champion? 
One other less common way we might choose a champion for a Legendary skin is by concepting a broadly appealing champion in a prospective thematic we find really exciting for them. Then if it works well, we’ll build that thematic around them—Spirit Blossom Thresh and Ahri are an example of this. We really want Legendary skins to be the best expression of a fantasy for a character and skinline, so no matter how we choose them, we want to make sure that everyone is excited about it. 
Riot DevinSage, Producer 
Could we get an update on League Displays? 
Over the years, the teams who originally launched League Displays have taken on different projects, and working actively on those projects has taken priority over maintaining League Displays. Unfortunately, that means League Displays hasn’t been kept up to date, and the bug backlog has crept up (including issues with downloading). 
We'll be doing some investigation in the coming months to see if there's a more scalable way to maintain League Displays long term or provide alternative ways to enjoy League artwork. 
Botley, Development Manager 
Is there anything we as players can actively do to help with getting rid of toxicity in the game? Apart from not being part of the problem. 
In a highly-competitive game, sometimes tempers run high or mental kabooms take place. We know this can be one of the worst experiences in League (or any game for that matter), and when it happens to you, it can make you feel helpless. 
In addition to practicing your own rock solid mental game and continuing on in relentless pursuit of victory, you should use the report button in the post game lobby and Champion Select. We've done a fair amount of work to improve the qualitative and quantitative criteria for evaluating reports over the past year, which means they're more effective at identifying problematic behavior. This coupled with ongoing improvements to how we detect and address disruptive behavior outside of reports is moving systems in the right direction, though again, we expect combating toxicity to be something we all have to stay vigilant on for as long as competitive games exist. 
If you end up leaving the post game lobby without remembering to report, we also accept reports on our support site
In short, stay strong and report where you see disruptive behavior. 
Riot Codebear, Senior Producer 
Have a question? Head here, drop your question in the box, and ask away."

Mid-Patch Update Hotfixes

A handful of hotfixes went out over the last week, here's more details from the 11.5 Patch Notes:
"3/8/2021 Graves, Kled, and Jayce Bugfixes
  • W - SMOKE SCREEN BUGFIX Fixed a bug where W - Smoke Screen would block abilities when cast on top of Graves
  • MURAMANA BUGFIX Fixed a bug where Jayce would end up with two Muramanas upon upgrading Manamune to Muramana and casting E - Acceleration Gate on an ally
  • SKAARL BONUS HEALTH BUGFIX Fixed a bug where Skaarl's total health was not being treated as bonus health for Kled
  • SKAARL GRIEVOUS WOUNDS BUGFIX Fixed a bug where remounting onto Skaarl as Kled would be affected by Grievous Wounds
  • SKAARL DISMOUNT BUGFIX Fixed a bug where Kled's dismounted health would not regenerate past the amount he was at when he remounted
  • SKAARL RESPAWN HEALTH BUGFIX Fixed a bug where Skaarl would not respawn at full health after Kled's been killed
  • GUARDIAN ANGEL BUGFIX Fixed a bug where Kled would gain Courage even while his Passive - Skaarl, the Cowardly Lizard is on cooldown as he's revived by Guardian Angel 
3/8/2021 Ranked Ladder Update 
We're disabling all Riot-created pro player accounts created after January 7th, 2021 to address unintended differences in LP gains/losses which resulted in an unfair advantage over non-pros in reaching the top of the ranked ladder. These accounts will decay out of the ladder over the next few weeks. Pro accounts created before Jan 7 are unaffected. Pros will be given replacement accounts with fixes made to the starting MMR. This update has already begun and may take a few days to complete."


TFT Dev Drop: March 2021 I Dev Video

Check out the latest dev blog from Riot Mort on TFT:

"Out with the old set, and in with the new! Looking back at Fates and forward to TFT's next set."

Mort added:
[1] "Also I'm so proud of the team for reaching these numbers. 10 million Daily Active Users is awesome, and so much Fates has been played! Someday hopefully we can share even more numbers! 
Thank you to every single one of you who has enjoyed TFT so far. Wouldn't be here without you."

While not as exciting as what the future set may hold, The TFT twitter also released a preview infographic for balance in the upcoming 11.6 patch:
"Patch 11.6 drops next week! Here's a preview of what's to come."


"11.6 Patch Preview with the tentative changes. 
Some of these are still probably getting some small adjustments but it's nearly done. Thanks for the feedback so far."

Other Games

LoL: Wild Rift
"League of Legends: Wild Rift is coming to the Americas!

That's right, players in Brazil, LATAM, and North America—your time has finally come. But while in the past we've simply added new countries to our ever-evolving Regional Open Beta FAQ, the Americas server is different enough to merit its very own FAQ."

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