Red Post Collection: Champion Insights: Gwen, Prime Gaming Loot & More

Posted on at 4:57 PM by Aznbeat
[Added Scruffy's QGT: April 2]

Today's red post collection includes champion insights for our latest champion, Gwen, new Prime Gaming loot, the Wild Rift open beta in NA, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents



Quick Gameplay Thoughts: April 2

Here's Riot Scruffy's quick gameplay thoughts for April 2 - "SR Project List, Ranked LP Adjustments"
"Short Term Gameplay Project List
Something I thought would be good to update you all on are the various improvements and additions that the SR team has planned for the next few months. Timelines may change, and nothing is guaranteed to ship, but we still want to share our plans and goals for a few small projects in flight.
  • Rammus - Almost done, so close! We’re hoping to wrap up the tuning and art changes to get the small Rammus update in for patch 11.8.
  • Sona - Some of you may have seen already, but we’re working on some buffs and quality of life changes to Sona. Overall goal is to clean up some of the feel bad mechanics (like the mana cost restrictions) and build up her fantasy as a “super scaling with AP” late game enchanter. We’re removing the mana refund when granting an ally aura and lowering costs across the board. Also we’re adding a new permanent stacking buff that gives her Ability Haste and AP throughout the game.
  • Taric - Taric isn’t in a terrible spot, but we think he’s being held back from the best state he could be in because of the unhealthy synergy he has with Yi using a jungle funnel strat. In particular the Taric E + Yi Q combo removes the intended counterplay. So our plan is to make adjustments to the way that combo works, giving us some room to buff Taric more generally.
  • Top Lane Agency - We talked about split pushing last time, and paired with that we want to put a bit more power into the top lane position generally. We’re still exploring a few different options, but a few promising leads include buffing items primarily used in top lane, adjusting turret plating to allow for more gold opportunity for top, and adjusting objective focus towards top side. These changes will take a bit of iteration because systemic work like this often risks incentivizing bad strategies that we’ve seen in the past like lane swaps.
  • New Tank Item - We had talked previously about a new “split push matching” tank legendary in the works. With the loss of a few split push focused items over the years we wanted to fill the gap for tanks who wanted to create solo pressure in a side lane. We’re very close to a design that we’re happy with, and starting to move into the next phase of fully building out the item with final art and scripting.
  • Tahm Kench - Tahm Kench update isn’t forgotten, but still has a good chunk of work to do on the art and audio side to be shippable. We’re still making slow and steady progress.
  • New Enchanter Item - We’re still iterating on designs for a personal defenses focused enchanter legendary. A lot of the high level goals are testing well, but we’re still ironing out the exact details that we think gives us a unique and healthy item to fill this space.
Keep in mind, outside of these small projects we have many big changes still in flight - new champs, VGUs (Mundo and Udyr), Preseason (top secret still), and Player Behavior systems. 
Ranked LP Adjustment 
We have a small but positive adjustment for our ranked LP system that just shipped in patch 11.7. It’s a small shift in LP gains to make them slightly smaller but more positive skewed. So smaller gains and losses might take a player getting (+16/-16) to (+14/-14). And positive skew would take a player from (+14/-17) to (+15/-15). The specific differences will vary from person to person, because of everyone’s unique rating and match history. 
Thanks again for playing with us."

Champion Insights: Gwen

Check out Gwen's champion insights article from Riot Cashmiir - "Cut from a different cloth."
"Do you remember your favorite childhood toy? Was it a white teddy bear? Or a beefy action figure? Or perhaps a princess who reigned over Stuffed Animal Kingdom by day and fought crime by night? 
These toys, and the memories they awaken, are universal. No matter where you’re from, no matter the circumstances of your childhood, no matter your race or identity or background... we all have that one toy. So what’s stopping a Runeterran from having one? 
Who’s to say a Camavoran peasant girl never ran through a field of wheat with her selfmade princess doll in tow? They would’ve stayed in that golden field until day turned to night. Gwen, she’d have been called—a name that sounded so perfectly royal to her young maker. The doll’s dress lovingly crafted to match the intricate designs on the Camavoran warships in the harbor. Everything about her made by a girl who dreamed of one day going to the castle herself. 
And maybe one day they’d get that chance. Doll and maker would travel across the sea, experience royal life, and maybe, just maybe, marry the prince. And then the three would live happily ever after. 
Except that’s not how the story ended. Not this one, anyway. 
A Toy From a Bygone Era 
Gwen’s story started, as many champions do, with a goal: create a “peppy skirmisher.” Following Viego with a champion of similar seriousness and gloom would’ve left League feeling xX2edgy4meXx, so the team looked towards the opposite end of the edgelord scale, to joy. 
“We have a few champions who fall on the ‘joyful optimism’ spectrum already, like Lux and Seraphine,” explains narrative writer Michael “SkiptoMyLuo” Luo. “So we needed to make sure we found a new approach. One of the perspectives we haven’t explored is someone who’s amazed by everything—even the little things like the feeling of grass or the smell of the ocean. Things we normally ignore because, to us, they’re so mundane.” 
Gwen’s original concept artist, Paul “Zeronis” Kwon, used this idea to create a spread of characters who might understand the unbridled joy of life. But there was one particular concept that stuck out to everyone: the doll.

“Gwen has some memories of her life as a doll, but now she can finally interact with all the things she’s only seen before. And she’s amazed with all of it,” SkiptoMyLuo says. “The narrative team sort of envisioned her as someone during their first trip to an amusement park. They’re brimming with joy and excitement to do everything—eat cotton candy, ride the rollercoaster, play games. It’s just the feeling that everything’s really, really amazing and you just have to experience it all.”


But that still left the question of where Gwen would be from. Zeronis’ concepts showed a cherub-faced girl in a lolita-style dress, which could feel pretty foreign in Runeterra. So what would her story be? And how would the team make sure she felt anchored in League? 
Luckily, it was around this time that Viego was taking form... 
Isolde, Viego’s beloved wife, came from a land conquered by Camavor. The daughter of peasants, Isolde found joy in more “humble” pastimes, particularly sewing. But like most little girls her age, she still longed to travel across the sea to visit the kingdom’s lavish palaces. In an attempt to play out this life, she created her own princess doll, Gwen, whom Isolde imagined was the picture of regal elegance.

“Camavor’s culture is a hybrid of conquistador-era Spain and Victorian England. The style of that time is very baroque with emphasis on embellishments and attention to detail. We wanted to make sure that that style came through in Gwen, both as a doll and human,” shares concept art lead Gem “Lonewingy” Lim. “To help make her feel less modern and more high-fantasy Runeterra, we borrowed from shape language found in Camavor. The swirls on her broach and three-point embellishments can be found in the clothing Viego wears. But it’s different enough to still feel like a little girl tried her best to copy the style she saw on the royal family." 
IN HER HUMAN FORM, GWEN CARRIES OVER HER PINK STITCHING FROM HER BUTTON EYE AND WEARS A MODEST DRESS, MEANT TO CAPTURE HER MAKER’S YOUTH 
A Cutting Edge Weapon 
Every champion should have a clear silhouette that highlights their source of power. Senna has her BFG, Darius has his axe, and Sona has her super rad keyboard etwahl. So when Zeronis drew Gwen’s early concept, he gave her absolutely massive scissors. And they just sort of cut struck a chord. 
“Gwen’s interesting because she’s from a millenia ago, but I still needed to make sure she kept some unity with the Shadow Isles, which is where she’s from for League classification purposes,” Lonewingy explains. “So I focused on ways to add wickedness to her scissors and I just realized that... Scissor engineering is really complicated! I had no idea how genius scissors were! I spent so much time researching their design to make sure they’d open and close correctly—especially for something that’d be found in that time period.”

Lonewingy landed on a design that highlighted the intricate Camavoran craftsmanship while still feeling like they could belong to a Shadow Isles champion. But there was one more thing the team needed to complete Gwen’s scissors: their sound. 
Scissor sound effects are tricky. They’re not particularly loud, they’re snippy and snappy, and honestly they sound kinda... boring. They don’t exactly scream “play this really fun, high-octane champ.” So sound designer Oscar “Riot Zabu” Coen needed to find a way to make scissors sound fitting of the peppy doll who wielded them.

RIOT ZABU’S SCISSORS USED TO CREATE GWEN’S SCISSOR SOUND EFFECTS

ORIGINAL RECORDING OF SCISSORS
“I actually used a few different dollar store scissors to make Gwen’s scissor sound effects,” laughs Riot Zabu. “I have a very... unconventional way of working that involves a lot of DIY and just f*&^ing shit up. The upside is that it means I’m really familiar with audio repair tools, which was helpful when working on Gwen because I was able to use those tools incorrectly to create some really unique sounds to make her sound effects sound exciting and rewarding.”

Gwen’s final scissors sound effects 
Threading the Needle 
So now we’ve got Gwen, the peppy, scissor-wielding doll-turned-human. But there was still something missing... like the whole skirmisher gameplay part. Only kind of important.
Skirmishers are League’s “1v1 me bro” mentality incarnate. They want to scrap with high-value targets and then get out to keep doing whatever it was they were doing (like stealing their jungler’s raptors). What they don’t want is to jump their target and then get dogpiled by the rest of the team. So it helps if they can isolate their prey or pick fights on their own terms. 
One of the ways we can give skirmishers an edge in their endless fight for the perfect 1v9 is by giving them a zone of power where they excel. And when the team started working on Gwen, they already had one in mind. 
“I’d actually been working on Gwen’s zone control spell before the rest of the team started—before peppy skirmisher was even an idea, actually,” recalls champion designer Dan “Riot Maxw3ll” Emmons. “When Gwen started to take form, we wanted to keep this particular spell because it fit with her personality. It’s like she’s saying, ‘I have all the fun tools and you don’t,’ then she gets to force her enemy to play her game with her on her terms.” 
The problem was that her enemies could just leave her zone. No one wants to fight the enemy when they’re at their strongest, so the answer to Gwen’s “welcome to my thunderdome” spell was to just leave. And that’s when the team realized that they needed to give Gwen the tools to actually force enemies to play her game.

“When I took over Gwen’s game design, I tried all of these really wild ults that were centered around her being able to keep people in her zone,” explains game designer Stash “Riot Stashu” Chelluck. “Her ult was always needle-and-thread themed, so we used that to yank her enemies back into her zone. It was really fun to play as, because your victim’s teammates couldn’t do anything to help. There was another iteration where she’d spear two enemies with needles and then swap their locations.” 
There was just one problem. Gwen was made to be a skirmisher, which means she should be a high damage carry. But giving a high damage carry a bunch of crowd control means you’re creating a busted champion. 
Every champ in League has a power budget that includes everything from CC to team utility to raw damage output. So if Gwen had a high-CC ultimate, then she’d need to do less damage in return. That’s not really what 1v9 skirmisher players are looking for, so we needed a better solution for keeping enemies in Gwen’s playpen. 
The answer? Gwen now has the ability to move her zone of control once, letting her chase down any enemy attempting to leave. In other words… This playpen has wheels.
Weaving in the Ends 
Gwen might feel strange at first. After all, she’s stuck between Camavor—a long dead empire—and Runeterra, a strange world she’s excited to explore. But she should still have an air of familiarity to her, of timeless comfort. 
Perhaps she’ll conjure up memories of a favorite toy, of playing until the streetlights came on, or childhood dreams of the person you’d someday become. And if not, at least you’ll have a joyful new champ to run it down with."

Miscellaneous

  • Riot Sirhaian tweeted a look at Rammus' upcoming changes heading to the PBE soon, including new VFX! Here's a twitter thread showing off changes for each skin!

Other Games

Wild Rift

"Yes! At last! The Wild Rift Open Beta is now live to all players in the Americas. You can download it here right this very second.

We appreciate the patience, feedback, and enthusiasm from players around the world who helped make this possible; we can’t wait to see where you take us from here.

To kick off the launch of Open Beta in your region, we created an interactive art piece where you could learn little-known trivia about each of our champions. Those with keen eyes who found all the hidden crystal shards also uncovered a surprise! That artwork is now available for download for a limited time, so grab it while you can!"

"A monstrous patch is bringing a horde of champs, changes, and choices to Wild Rift! Wanna gank any lane? Galio’s just a stone’s throw away. Wanna choose your lane? Queue up with Position Preference. Want… just one lane? All Random All Mid is in testing. Welcome to Patch 2.2!"

  • Glorious Jinx Wild Rift exclusive skin preview:


Legends of Runeterra

"Patch 2.5.0 brings a VAST array of card updates, new additions to Lab of Legends, and… is that a manatee? Patch Notes➡  https://riot.com/3wdOKnR"



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