Red Post Collection: Gameplay Thoughts 5/19, 10 bans in regular play coming soon, May Early Sales, & more!

Today’s red post collection includes 10 bans coming to to regular play soon, Meddler’s quick gameplay thoughts for May 19th, the May skin and chroma early sales up through May 22nd, and more!

Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

10 bans in regular play coming soon 

Starting in Patch 7.11, ten bans will become the norm for all draft Summoner’s Rift modes. Here’s Draggles with more:

“Starting in patch 7.11, the ban phase for all draft Summoner’s Rift modes will feature five bans per team instead of three. We’ll be rolling the feature out to all regions throughout the patch. As a heads up, we’ll be upping the number of owned champions required to play ranked from 16 to 20. 

As we announced earlier, the 10 bans regular play format is different from the pro scene. We’ve made some changes to how the system works detailed below.

FORMAT 

The pick intent phase hasn’t changed. Every player can indicate the champion they want to play. 

This is followed by the new ban phase. The biggest change is now every player bans a champ. All 10 players ban simultaneously, with the ability to “hover” bans for coordination, and without seeing the other team’s possible choices. Your team’s intended bans will be displayed next to their portrait, and when locked, they’ll transition to the top of the screen. We also added indicators a few patches ago so you can easily identify what your team plans to pick and ban. 

After both teams lock their choices, each team’s bans are revealed to the other (bans can be duplicated across teams), and the pick phase continues as normal. 

DESIGN 

One of our main goals with 10 concurrent bans is to increase player control in champ select. We want to make sure no matter where you sit in the champ select order, you have a fair chance to choose a ban and even your chances in lane. In the current system, for example, players given second pick on blue side have no ban and are fourth pick overall, meaning the chances of getting a power pick or a counter pick are pretty slim. Giving more agency to all players in the draft should even this out. 

For the first time, everyone can remove a direct counter to their lane. For example, if you main an immobile mage support, you can remove Blitzcrank from the running, or secure Tryndamere without relying on a teammate to ban Teemo. Simultaneous bans can cut the time in champ select from anywhere between 30 seconds and two minutes, getting you into game way faster. 

So, why aren’t we implementing the esports format in solo or flex? It pretty much comes down to the needs of a team of organized players being very different from individual players placed on a matchmade team. In organized play, having some knowledge of your opponents’ strategy means you can pivot your pick and ban phases to specifically target weaker players or home in on a small champion pool. 

In today’s queues, splitting the draft results in rough scenarios where players picking last can face heavy target bans in the second phase. Situations where you’re fourth pick, with at least three or four bans aimed at your position, would be common. We’re also taking into account the cost of lengthening champ select by up to two minutes – making intentional (and unintentional) dodges feel way more painful for the other nine folks in the lobby. 

We do realize there is now a disconnect between regular play and professional play, so we are working on bringing the esports snake draft format to an organized team mode, but we’re not quite there yet. Something something soon™

In a few days’ time, we’ll post a /dev blog on Nexus where we’ll go deeper into why we decided to move forward with simultaneous bans – as well as examples of other formats we tested. 

FAQ 

  • How long do I have to ban?

We’re still testing overall timing, but the ban phase is currently 35 seconds. 

  • What happens if I don’t want to ban something?

We’re adding an option to select “No Ban” if you want to live dangerously. We also wanted to add a failsafe in case two or more teammates rush to ban the same thing in the last few seconds – you’ll default to “no ban” instead of incurring dodge penalties. 

  • Do I still have to lock in my bans?

No, but you still have to hover something! We’re still experimenting with this, but to reduce as much friction as possible, we’re trying out these rules:

  • If you hover a ban and lock in, you will lock that ban, and it will be unselectable by teammates.
  • If you hover a ban and don’t lock in, that champion will be locked at the end of the ban phase.
  • If more than one person hovers the same champion when the timer runs out, that champion will be banned. However, duplicated hovers won’t dodge the lobby because this could be painful in combination with last-second lock-ins. Basically, if you make a selection at any time during the ban phase, you will avoid dodging.
  • If you don’t hover a ban and don’t lock in, you will dodge the lobby.

If this ends up sucking, we’ll make changes as needed.

  • What happens if two or more players try to ban the same champ on my team?

As soon as one player locks a ban, the champ is no longer selectable for that team. If this happens in the last few seconds of the ban phase and two teammates try to lock at the same time, the second player’s lock will default to “no ban” as a last resort to avoid dodge penalties. 

  • What happens if two players ban the same thing on opposing teams?

There is a chance of duplicated bans across teams. Giving visibility into the enemy bans before time runs out causes the strongest strategy to be waiting until the closing moments to bait-and-switch bans with your opponent, which sounds unfun. This also reduces the chance of certain meta champions being banned across every game. Y’all know who we mean. 

  • What happens if my team tries to ban my pick intent?

Much like before, this is still allowed by the system. Now, though, because there are way more moving parts in champ select (and intended picks could unintentionally go overlooked) we’ve added clear indicators on the champ select grid to show the hovers for your team. 

  • Doesn’t this mean some champions will be banned every game?

Hopefully no; this was part of the design decision into allowing duplicate bans overall. In a snake format, the later players banning have more of an implied responsibility to take out the meta bans for the patch. There are outliers to the meta ban situation – particularly in high level games – where less-played champions like Shaco have multiple dedicated one-tricks that are still at risk of being banned out, but trying to balance this system for these outliers is near-impossible. We will be keeping an eye on the champs most likely to be permabanned across all tiers, and will make changes if necessary. Maybe we’ll just make everyone else OP to compensate. 

  • What’s happening to custom games and Twisted Treeline?

Custom games live on a legacy matchmaking service and so we’re going to be launching with no changes to custom Draft pick or Twisted Treeline. 

We’ll be fixing the inconsistencies a bit later. 

  • Draft pick
    • This queue remains unchanged until we have moved this queue to the current matchmaking service; six bans alternating
  • Tournament draft
    • Will now be using the esports format (split draft), but the pick-ban flow may be a little weird-looking and unclear for a while. We wanted to give an opportunity for everyone to play around with the format, and will be cleaning up the UI for this in a later patch
  • Twisted Treeline Ranked Flex
    • Bans remain unchanged; six bans alternating 
  • What if I want to practice using the 10 bans esports format?

Tournament Draft custom games will now use the esports draft format, but things will be a little odd-looking for launch. We’ll be cleaning up the UI for this in a later patch to be more representative of the split draft flow. 

You can also check out a web-based esports draft tool over at http://prodraft.leagueoflegends.com.”

Over on reddit, Draggles added:

“I’ll be around in the comments for any follow-ups. We’re gonna be doing a devblog next Friday over on Nexus to go a bit deeper on the format and some other formats we tried. what’cha got, reddit”

When asked about the duration of the pick intent phase, Draggles noted:

“with all the new moving parts, it’s likely pick intent will be 15 seconds (though for the first few plays, things will seem quite rushed)”

When asked about the total timing, RiotChomey noted:

“It most certainly is faster. 

We’ve currently got 18 discrete phases (planning, 6x bans, 10x picks, finalization).
We’re cutting it down to 13 discrete phases (planning, ban, 10x picks, finalization) and looking to cut it down more.”

May Early Sales: 5.19.17 – 5.22.17 

The May early sales will be available through May 22! In addition to Elementalist Lux (who went on early sale last week),  four skins and one chroma set are discounted!

“The May Early Sale is officially here! To kick things off, the following non-Legacy skins from the past 4-6 months are going on sale from May 19, 2017 00:00 PT through May 22, 2017 23:59 PT!”

Quick Gameplay Thoughts: May 19 

Meddler is back again with his gameplay thoughts for May 19th. Today’s topics include Zac, Guardian Angel’s pbe changes, LeBlanc, and more:

“Morning all, 

Smaller bits and pieces today. We should be in a spot where we can start talking about some of our plans for the rest of the year soon, for now we’re still in mid-season followup time though. 

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 put 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 

Zac 

Looks like we definitely overbuffed Zac in 7.10. We’re looking at the best way to tone his power down at present, and figuring out just how out of line he is or isn’t. Possible that happens in a hotfix, more likely 7.11 changes though unless we get a clear read on what exactly the biggest issue is and it looks urgent enough to not wait. 

Guardian Angel 

We’ve been testing a nerf to GA on the PBE, exploring a approach where it’s less effective on champions doing really well already (higher CD, CD reduced if you’re dying repeatedly, thereby bringing the total number of ‘deaths’ it procs on somewhat closer for winning/losing teams). That’s shown some promise, we’re going to hold off on shipping it or other changes for now though. It’s not clear enough GA’s a problem, rather than just really popular but overrated. Planning to reassess for the next patch. 

Icon Updates 

Should be a few more of these coming soon. Up next, Amumu and then, if memory serves Ahri. 

Yasuo 

Mid-season was kind to Yasuo, leaving him noticeably stronger. We’re taking some power out in 7.11 as a result, reducing the duration he can hold his Q buff after hitting a target (both the initial buildup buff and the knockup buff). Some of that’s reducing the duration Yasuo can threaten with the Q3. It’s also intended to make Yasuo more dependent on allied knockups, making him a more or less attractive pick based off team comps. That’s likely a direction we’ll continue to investigate in future as well. 

Le Blanc 

We got back to looking at LB this patch. LB definitely needs work, she’s been a problem since her update in pre-season. The changes we’ve been testing aren’t hitting the mark at present however. We’ll be looking at possible directions again next week. Apologies for ongoing lack of details on this one. 

15 minute unanimous surrender 

The early surrender option went out a few days ago in 7.10. We’re seeing a bit of early friction around it in some games, based off the earlier test we ran in Oceania for a couple of months that’s not unexpected. What we saw there was, after a settling down period, surrender rates before and after the introduction of the earlier option were unchanged. Effectively some games that would have been surrenders at 20 became surrenders at 15 instead. Other things we were measuring (afk rates, number of reports per game etc) didn’t meaningfully change. We expect we’ll see a similar trend in other regions, going to be keeping an eye on that though. If that’s not the case would certainly be worth discussing adjustments (is this a feature that’s a good fit for some regions but not others? Is 15 mins the correct time? Etc).”

Riot Shrieve on the Zac changes, noting:

“I mentioned in another thread that he’s in the live balance teams hands going forward. They’re currently looking in tempering Q’s damage and modifying either E’s damage or telegraphing it’s landing point earlier (only one of those, not both). That being said those are only the preliminary things they are looking into and quite likely could change. They’ll be monitoring games and player sentiment to see if anything else sticks out to them as particularly egregious. 

Currently winrate is strong across all 3 roles (Jungle, Top, and Support), with jungle being the large outlier (54/55%).”

When asked about Sion changes on the PBE, Meddler commented:

“Quote:

Hi, Meddler, hope you’re doing well. 

I noticed some changes for Sion on the pbe, the one exciting me the most being the buff to the health scaling for his shield. 

How likely is that change here to stay? Do you think Sion is in a good spot with it? 

Thanks for your consideration.

Something like that’s likely to stick around. It’s part of a pass on a number of tanks that are struggling a bit post mid-season so need some adjustments (Mundo’s another candidate, pretty sure we’ll look at Malphite as well).”

On LeBlancMeddler replied:

“Quote:

I don’t think he’s talking about just straight buffing her. LeBlanc is suffering Poppy Syndrome: her kit is near impossible to balance due to the mechanics of them rather than the flat numbers, so she’ll remain weak until she gets her mechanics reworked.

Yep. We’ll be looking at both buffs and nerfs, potentially some functionality adjustments as well.”

Meddler also replied to a comment on Blade of the Ruined King and what the changes were aiming to do:

“Quote:

Could you explain what you’re trying to do with BotRK? At first it looked like you were changing the stats between melee and ranged. Now it looks like you are flat nerfing it across the board.

We were looking at whether a ranged/melee split on the current health damage made sense. Conclusion was that at least right now the issue most in need of solving was the amount of sustain offered though, hence we’re hitting that to start with.”

He added:

“We’ll be dropping the Lifesteal to 12% and making no other changes at present (not doing the ranged/melee split).”

When asked about LucianMeddler responded:

“Quote:

So this has nothing to do with Lucian? he’s the one who gets the most out of it, even if you kept the melee/ranged changes 

I think that simply nerfing the sustain won’t affect lucian much, he will still dominate because, again, he can proc it more than anyone else, champions like Jinx or Tristana find themselves incredibly behind when compared to lucian proccing that thing… in the case that this is true and that Lucian makes BotRK a staple item on his kit no matter what, would you guys choose to tweak Lucian or to continue work on the item?

We’ll be nerfing Lucian a bit. We think it’s appropriate that BotRK is a strong item on some ADCs and that was one of its original intended goals that the recent changes to it were meant to reinforce. 

We’ll probably be increasing Lucian’s Q mana cost, reduce his power across the game a bit that way, especially for non ER builds (when ER’s in a decent spot Lucian should want to consider it). Might also reduce his ult range slightly, further reinforce the shorter range marksmen identity (less sure on that bit for now though).”

On RammusMeddler replied:

“Quote:

What’re the team’s thoughts on Rammus following his rework? The ult slow is pretty great, but having his speed reduced by 60% just by pressing W feels pretty bad and makes Swifties a must-buy on him.

Doesn’t seem dramatically out of line either way, too early to say much else yet.”

When asked about Rek’Sai‘s mini rework and what to expect next, Meddler responded:

“Quote:

Hey Meddler my question today is that with Rek’Sai’s mini rework coming this cycle does this mean the pipeline is freed up for other similar scope reworks for champs who need them like Azir or Kalista and on a side notes it’s a starting to get a little confusion with how many sized scope changes you guys are pumping out lately

We’ll be looking at another similar sized update post Rek’Sai yeah. Not sure who that’ll definitely be though (Azir a possibility, but I think there are moderate odds he takes longer and we do someone else first with simpler to solve issues).”

On the Yasuo changes, Meddler  responded:

“Quote:

Soooo, how about instead you guys take away Yasuo’s second passive (the crit one) and buff him in other areas so he doesn’t get broken when you buff crit for our poor adcs? 

Just a thought. Don’t hate me for it, Yasuo mains, lower banrate is better.

Crit’s not intended to be a purely marksmen stat. As Tidal Tyrant points out below it’s also valuable to have a multiplier on Yasuo that makes his damage dependent on more fragile items. Crit’s a great choice for that given the other stats it gets paired with. Without something like that a balanced Yasuo would skew much more bruiser ish.”

And on MalzaharMeddler  commented:

“Quote:

Are the Malzahar changes coming back this pbe patch? If so, how different will those changes be compared to the previous pbe patch?

It’s likely they’re in the next patch yeah. Should be on the PBE now, or later today. In addition to the W changes and R having some damage shifted/added to the beam there’s also a shorter Q cast time and slightly longer delay post cast (Malz gets freed up to act a bit earlier, opponents get a bit more time to dodge).”

When asked about the new 10 ban system and duplicate bans, Meddler provided the reasoning behind it:

“Quote:

Off-topic
But duplicate bans in the 10 ban system is going to result in wasted bans
Resulting in player frustration

Yeah, I’d imagine there’ll be some people who feel frustrated sometimes that they’ve ended up with a duplicate ban. We felt that was appropriate however for a couple of reasons:

  1. This format gets through champ select quite a bit faster. We want to get people into game fairly quickly, given that’s usually much more fun than champ select.
  2. One of our goals with more bans was to give every player a guaranteed ban, increasing the amount of agency they have. We want the right compromise where everyone can remove something they don’t want to play against every game, but people still have the best odds within that constraint of themselves getting to play what they do want. More agency, and more fairness based off position in champ select, are what we’re aiming for, not more of the roster unavailable to play.”

On Banshee’s VeilMeddler commented:

“Quote:

Thoughts on banshees? Why it is cheaper than zhonyas? Same stats and the spell shield is at least as strong as the stasis if not more in some situations. Just a personaly opinion, but the tradeoffs for banshees  is too small right now considering how hard counter it is against a lots of champion. I also feel mages are too safe with banshees  and zhonyas  together and i worry it will hit the mid lane diversity hard. (especially on competitive SCENE) banshees could rly handle +200g.

We are seeing Banshee’s be a bit too effective as a rush item. We’ll be upping its combine cost and MR as a result, leaving its power later in the game similar but reducing its early game impact.”

And on Lissandra and any potential changes in works, Meddler replied:

“Quote:

Thank you. Are you still working on a new passive on Lissandra? I remember a Rioter said that her PBE passive did not hit the mark so they decided to give her a reduced cooldown on her current passive instead while making another one.

No work’s going on at present, we’re putting the time into other things instead (designer who was doing so’s currently on the Malz changes for example, along with some support item adjustments that will hopefully be in 7.12). 

Would like to revisit someday, but didn’t feel like the correct use of more time after we’d spent a while on it already. It’s a definite area for improvement, but not as urgent as other work.”

Lux: Binding Light | League Animation Workshop

The fourth League Animation Workshop animation is out – check out Lux: Blinding Light:

 “LUX: BINDING LIGHT

A young Demacian mage has a secret she must hide – not just from her family, but the entire kingdom.

Lux: Binding Light came about when we invited one animator to explore their unique vision of the Lady of Luminosity. The result was this intimate, evocative character piece.

Explore Lux

More information and other animations available here.

Quick Hits

[Quick Hits is our own collection within a red post collection, often including easy to digest stories, specialized information, and/or repeat info you may have missed in other posts!]

1) Ricklessabandon tweeted a changelist for Malzahar’s upcoming 7.11 PBE changes:

“okay, the next pbe update (should be tomorrow) will have the full set of malzahar changes that will ship in the 7.11 patch”

2) The Riot Games Merch Facebook posted a “alternate” video showing off the Gentleman Gnar figure. Check it out here!

“Thanks for all the great comments about our new Gentleman Gnar animation! We thought you all might enjoy a look at an “alternate” version the team was playing around with. Presenting: Illumignarti . . .(you can always see the original on his product page here: http://riot.com/2qBzHDj )”

Reminders

Last up, a few reminders on upcoming and ending soon promotions and sales!
  • MSI 2017 in-game content is now available, including new icons, the legacy Conqueror Karma and more!  Conqueror Karma, returning legacy skins, and more available through May 24th. MSI 2017 continues off with the Knockout Stage n May 19th. MSI Capsules are also in the shop for 600 RP on broadcast days!
  • The ultimate tier Elementalist Lux is on early sale for 2450 RP through May 22nd!
  • YOUR SHOP is up on the client through June 6th!  
  • As mentioned in the 7.10 patch notesAscension is returning in the RGMQ from 5/19 – 5/23 and 5/26 – 5/30!

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