Red Post Collection: May 2nd Gameplay Thoughts, Heimerdinger Changes for 7.10, Animating Xayah, and more!

This afternoon’s red post collection includes Meddler’s quick gameplay thoughts for May 2nd, a new /dev on animating Xayah, a look at tentative 7.10 Heimerdinger changes in the works, and more!

Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

Meddler’s Quick Gameplay Thoughts, May 2

Meddler is back with his quick gameplay thoughts for May 2nd, including a few brief comments on the 7.9/midseason patch and what to expect with 7.10 PBE starting later today:

“Morning all, 

Mid-season goes out tonight/tomorrow barring any last minute unexpected problems! Really looking forward to seeing how you folks find it and how it changes our perception of what needs work in 7.10 and beyond. 

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 

More 7.10 changes 

7.10 should be hitting the PBE today, and with it some in development work. Since we’ve had to start development on that before mid-season was live it’s more likely than usual that we may need to change direction a bit on some of this stuff. Changes include: 

  • Ivern: Lowered movement speed, higher health and mana cost per camp taken. Dude’s just straight too strong
  • Rakan: Shifting some power from his E (lower shield strength) to his Q (100 more range) and probably W (bit more damage at present). Looking to ensure his play’s not too dominated by just ally shielding. Probably power neutral overall.
  • Rumble: Shifting some damage from Q to Overheat auto attacks, with the goal of making his laning a bit more interactive (Overheat autos require him to draw minion agro). Also aiming for power neutral, but with better game health. 

PSA on Rift Herald 

One thing I’d suggest watching out for with the new Rift Herald that goes out tomorrow is that the channel to summon it is interruptible. Hadn’t thought about that myself much until yesterday when during a playtest I tried summoning it just as a teamfight was starting to break out for a bit of extra pressure and someone promptly CC’d me, stopping the channel which also consumes the item. Recommend learning from my mistake on that one and either hanging back a bit when summoning or taking advantage of opponents trying to do so too far fowards. 

Mid Season Spotlight 

I’d imagine most of you have already seen it, for those that haven’t a Mid Season spotlight went out yesterday though. Worth a look, and also at the end includes a brief glance (super brief) at one of the screens from the 5 ban system for ranked/draft that’s being worked on right now. 

ARAM Followup 

7.8 contained some adjustments to ARAM. We’ve been analyzing how those have gone and will probably be doing a bit of further followup work, hopefully in 7.10. Details to follow.”

When asked about LeBlanc, Meddler commented:

“Quote:

Hey meddler, 

You mentioned future work on lb, any news on what and when that will be coming?

It’s currently in testing, though I haven’t had a chance to play it yet myself. Hoping to give it a look sometime this week so I speak more usefully about the details.”

On what he is personally excited for in 7.9, Meddler replied:

“Quote:

Hey Meddler, 

what are you most excited about for the next patch? 

I want to rush down a lane with Yorick, Herald and the Maiden as a sort of unstoppable force.

In terms of what impact it has on the game, Rift Herald, particularly how it shapes mid game objective play. 

In terms of how I personally play though I’m really looking forward to the support starting item changes, coin especially (I play a fair bit of support, so that’ll impact my own experience a lot). “

When asked why there is work being done on ARAM balance, Meddler responded:

“Quote:

how is it about to balance the game first? Summoners Rift aint balanced!

If we didn’t work on things like ARAM until everyone online agreed SR was balanced we’d never get to work on ARAM ever. SR’s still our main priority by a large margin but having a couple of people put some time into ARAM every so often is something we think’s worthwhile.”

On nerfs to dominant junglers, Meddler replied:

“Quote:

With mid-season trying to put tanks back in the jungle, is there a plan to nerf down the excessively dominant junglers (Lee and Graves in particular) if they continue to crowd everything else out with their safe, fast clears and ability to still powerfully gank?

We might have some Graves nerfs in 7.10. Not sure yet on Lee Sin, though being discussed.”

Heimerdinger Changes for 7.10

Fizz Enthusiast hit the boards with a thread on tentative Heimerdinger Changes in the works for 7.10:

“Overall Goals 

  • Make Heimer less oppressive against melee, which gives us room to buff him (specifically, reducing the amount of punishment melee champs take when being ambiently in range of turrets and tagged by the “pheromone” mechanic [Heimer’s attacks and spells tag champions, which cause turrets to automatically target them]). 
  • Increase Heimer’s viability in midlane. 
  • Buff underperforming R options, so that RQ is not always correct.  

General Thoughts 

  • Heimer has historically been a tough champion to just buff in isolation because of his tendency to ambiently destroy melee matchups. 
  • When he is strong, usually results in non-interactive lanes by pushing them in constantly. 
  • Attempting to absorb the general counterplay of “dodge spells” into the turret gameplay and subsequently be able to make them stronger. 
  • We know that Heimer players enjoy playing him for the turrets and so, we are trying to find a way to make the turrets have better gameplay without isolating Heimerdinger players. 
  • Heimer is generally more performant the lower MMR you go (or worse the higher you go), meaning that when Heimer is “viable” in higher MMR’s, he will usually be absolutely destroying lower MMR. 
  • In this sense, it is desirable to inject some skill into his kit to allow him to be more viable in higher MMR without breaking lower MMR. 

Changelist 

Stats 

  • HP Regen: 2.2 (+0.35) >>> 1.4 (+0.11)
  • With new passive, doesn’t need abnormally high HP regen.  

Passive: Hextech Affinity (P) 

  • Moves 20% faster around turrets (SR turrets and his own turrets) – 300 range.
  • Gives him a reason to play and maneuver around turrets apart from damage. 

Turrets (Q) 

  • Base Damage: 12 / 18 / 24 / 30 / 36 (+0.15) >>> 6 / 9 / 12 / 15 / 18 (+0.3)
  • This is a large nerf and significantly hampers early game ambient turret damage in laning phase, but builds back up in mid game
  • Cooldown: 24 – 20 >>> 20
  • Turrets can hold: 1 / 2 / 2 / 3 / 3 >>> 3
  • Beam attack time to charge: 16 >>> 50
  • Greater emphasis on landing spells to have your turrets perform (in laning phase), rather than autonomously destroying people
  • Mana bar (for beam attack) changed from blue to white (instead of having a blue bar on top of another blue bar). 

Rocket (W) 

  • Mana Cost: 70 – 110 >>> 50 – 90
  • Cooldown: 11 >>> 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7
  • Each rocket hit on champions charges 20% of each nearby turret’s beam attack.

Grenade (E)  

  • Grenade hitbox: 210 >>> 250 (stun hitbox stays the same)
  • Cooldown: 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 >>> 12
  • Make it less punishing to fish for E’s in lane
  • A successful E hit on a champion charges all nearby turrets to full beam charge.  

General thoughts on R Spells   

Big Turret (RQ)  

  • Given that RQ doesn’t consume a cooldown, this is likely to be used in a lot of cases. Didn’t feel impetus to change it (was exploring some iterations where it was used as a sieging tool (attacks slowly, but has high range and low in-combat value to nuke down turrets).  

Big Rockets (RW) 

  • Still feel like this spell is usable on follow up CC and sometimes off a grenade stun hit, but didn’t feel comfortable increasing its damage.  

Big Grenade (RE) 

  • Base Damage: 150 / 200 / 250 >>> 150 / 250 / 350
  • AP Ratio: 60% >>> 90%

** RE on live is usable, but given that it consumes your E cooldown, it COULD be more powerful. 

Would say candid feedback is most helpful. Want to see which things people like/don’t like.”

After a long reply on the post, Fizz Enthusiast commented on some of the changes to his rockets and turrets:

“If you land multiple rockets on somebody and the turret starts firing its laser attack, it won’t go over the cap until it fires off the laser beam.”

On leveling interactions and some of the changes, Fizz Enthusiast replied:

“Quote:

Looks good, but one idea I had for making the turrets a little more fair against melee champions is to decrease the normal turret attack range while increasing the beam attack range slightly. This allows melee champs to approach them more easily. 

Or, make them work like a reverse gromp, having to take a couple of shots to build up to their full damage or attack speed. Would make it just as viable if you try to stand in the turret range and attack him while making it easier to approach the turrets to kill them. 

Just some ideas. What you have would probably help though. I especially like the ability to carry 3 turret kits at all levels of the Q, because maxing Q first on Heimer is mandatory currently. 

I specifically wanted to loosen up levelling restrictions, so that they can be more versatile.”

On his W, Fizz Enthusiast replied:

“The W changes are intended to be helpful for the midlane. We’ve been seeing W max be relatively successful (as the passive allows you to get some good angles for poke).”

When one commenter stated it sounded more like a nerf, Fizz Enthusiast replied with the idea behind the changes:

“The idea is that you are actually able to defend your turrets when people go to smash them, because your spells are helping your turrets survive. On live, the turrets just defend themselves which results in (usually) binary “i kill them, or I don’t kill them and die” types of gameplay.”

On the beam mana bar wording, Fizz Enthusiast commented:

“On live, the charge up beam for the beam attack is blue on top of another blue bar (making it hard to see). I just changed it to white, so you can actually see it charging up. The actual beam functionality is the same. 

Heimer has been seeing relative success mid in our playtests.”

On the R empowered E, Fizz Enthusiast responded:

“Quote:

This is probably a silly question but why does the RE have to eat up the cd? 

why not let hiemer make a big aoe stun splash in the team fight and have the normal e up after to priority lock someone specific or try to catch someone that escaped. That would proabbly a better buff then dmg (seeing as your picking RE for cc over RQ AND RW dmg. Plus i feel heimer always needed a buff in teamfights because aside from his RQ the ambient dmg that tends to happen in teamfights pretty often just murders his turrets and w and e have always felt a little too low impact in those 5v5s 

aside from that the q nerfs seemed scary but i took deep breaths and read everything else, i love the new passive and the way the turrets interact with his other spells is nice and there were little buffs here and there so i think its fair over all.

We don’t really like the idea of having large AOE 2.5 second AOE stun, because it will likely monopolize the other options.”

When asked who had created the changes, penguin answered:

“Quote:

These changes look really good on paper. Was this the same guy that reworked Aatrox? The numbers here might be a bit iffy, but it’s a pretty solid direction. He’ll get kills by accident much less frequently, and he’ll have some new tricks up his sleeve.

No, this was done by Fizz Enthusiast/phroxon while Aatrox was Ricklessabandon.”

On the beam and slow interations, penguin responded:

“Quote:

The concept to me looks great. One of my concerns is that if you’re putting more power into the beam (Which I think is a good direction), you might want to make it faster. It is fairly easy for ranged champions to dodge it already even without trying just by walking. Forget if they have any kind of mobility. If it becomes this core to his kit, it needs to be a reliable reward.

The slow being easier to land on E helps with some beam reliability from my experience”

/Dev: On Animating Xayah 

A new /Dev is here, with Fluffynus taking us through the process of animating Xayah’s fast feathers:

“Hi everyone, Senior Animator Warren “fluffynus” Goff here to give you some insight into Xayah’s development from an animation perspective. 

When building animation for new champs in League, we set out to accomplish two main things. The first is to clearly communicate gameplay; this includes the actual attack animation (and ability animation, death animation, etc…) as well as the feelings attached to them. The second is to define the personality of a champion by adding little quirks of their character into the game. In short, we want a champion’s animations to be clear and satisfying when auto-attacking and using abilities, while also true to the persona of the character. 

Xayah’s rapid-paced gameplay and complex wing created some animation challenges: How can we make her movements look good, even when they happen quickly, while also showing off her feisty personality

A NIMBLE REBEL 

Xayah Concept Art

Xayah has low cooldowns late-game and scales well with attack speed, so we knew she’d eventually be jumping between spells and autos pretty quickly. Because of this, we explored a bunch of attack styles early on to find what synergized well with her kit and felt satisfying, even when rapidly flinging feathers. We also wanted Xayah’s wing to look natural during her animations (regardless of the speed), adding another layer of complexity. 

Things we learned from exploration: 

  • Xayah’s wing looks great when she spins because we can create really interesting shape changes (#SpinToWin).
  • Xayah—and her wing—are not soft or floppy; her movements are direct and tight, which match her personality.
  • It looks much more natural when each of her wing’s feathers start and stop separately, especially during faster animations.

With these learnings, we were able to start creating animations that looked and felt good, even at high speeds. 

AN INFINITE SUPPLY OF DEATH QUILLS 

We work at 30 frames per second when animating auto attacks and spells for League. Xayah’s autos and abilities can be interrupted after about ten frames, which means we only have .33 seconds (ten frames) to anticipate and show the attack animation. Because of this, we have to be very specific about how we pose Xayah in each one of those ten frames. Her attack animations need to be distinct and obvious, so every player can recognize what she’s doing, while also seeming agile and dangerous, so she’s fun to play. 

Xayah’s overall character and shape language is sharp, so we decided to make her animations feel snappy and responsive and for her wing to act like a wing, rather than a lifeless cloth—this also reinforced her spitfire personality. Since Xayah (probably) builds attack speed and can cast spells between autos, we kept the blends between animations to zero. In other words, she can immediately move from one animation to the next, with no frames in between. This is something we normally avoid, but with Xayah, it helped her feel really responsive and quick-footed. 

For Xayah’s basic attacks, we wanted to make sure players could clearly see when she was about to auto, so we used a big anticipation pose and held it for five frames. After that, we popped into the actual attack and then the follow through. 

All of this had to happen within ten frames: 

  • Frame 1-6: Anticipation
  • Frame 7-8: Attack
  • Frame 10+: Follow Through
Xayah’s Auto Attack Animation

Keeping the action to three main poses makes it more readable for players, as they first see the anticipation followed by the shift into actually throwing the quill. 

SAY THAT TO MY FEATHERS 

Animating Xayah’s wing was a huge challenge, and we tried quite a few designs and rigs before landing where we are now. The final version has 39 bones, which is nearly as many as some champion’s have in their entire bodies, so animating her took a little longer than usual.

Xayah’s Wing with Visible Controls 

Controlling the shapes of her wing during fast actions was especially important because we didn’t want it to seem stiff or unnatural—our goal was for Xayah’s wing to feel like it was weighted and under her control, kind of like extra fingers. Even though the rest of Xayah’s animations feel concise, the wing maintains a fluid-feeling throughout each motion before ending in a wing-like pose. 

For example, during Xayah’s ult animation we controlled the shape of her wing so it spun smoothly while Xayah launched into the air but still felt snappy when she unleashed her Featherstorm. 

Xayah’s Ult Animation 

Animating Xayah’s attacks, abilities, and wing took some experimentation before we landed on a set that has clear gameplay, feels satisfying to play, and captures her fiery personality. We’re excited to finally see Xayah and Rakan together on the Rift, and we hope you guys enjoy the duo!”

PBE Livestream: Midseason 2017 – Tank Update 

MiniWhiteRabbit is back with a Midseason Tank Update livestream featuring the rioters who worked on each update:

“Join GentlemanGustaf, Beluga Whale, and Shrieve as they talk about the 2017 Midseason tank update at 1:30 PM Pacific to 4:00 PM Pacific on May 3, 2017. Leave your questions, memes, and dreams in the comments below so we can address them during the stream!”

The VOD will be available tomorrow after the broadcast.

Chroma Available This Month

The three new chroma for Ekko, Shen, and Vi that we saw in 7.9 will be available some time this month and the Chroma 1.1 site has been updated with the usual previews:

  

Look for a full post when they are up and available in the shop for purchase! Video previews here.

Quick Hits -Ezreal Nendoroid Previews & OCE Art Contest

[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) LoL OCE held an art contest in celebration of all things Demacia, and the results are in! Check out the post for all the great Demacian Art. Featured below is art by community member Koonu:

2) The LoL KR Facebook released a video teasing the upcoming Ezreal Nendoroid figure – was previously mentioned this would launch as a KR exclusive and have a global release later:

“Ezreal’s weird story made by fancreators, 강종택 and 강민규! Ezreal has been trained to PraY. then, how performing is his ability?

Check this animation out.

Ezreal Nendoroid can be purchased at the Shin-chon pop-up store. more details: http://event.leagueoflegends.co.kr/popup-store/“*

*Translation from KR user Sevn

3) For a limited time when you spend 65$+ in the Riot Merch Store you will recieve a free Demacia hoodie. Visit your regional merch store for more info.

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 round one of Round 2 of play-in stage on May 3rd
  • As mentioned in the 7.9 notesDark Star: Singularity heads to the RGMQ from 5/4 through 5/15.

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