- Rakan and Xayah Bio & Stories
- 4/12 PBE Update: Cosmic Blade Master Yi splash, new Cosmic summoner icons, and more!
- EU LCS Summer Promotion [April 6th and 7th – April 13th and 14th]
- Champion & Skin Sale 4/14 – 4/17
- New Loot: Dreadnova Darius
- Xayah and Rakan: Wild Magic
- 4/13 PBE Update: Cosmic Dawn Rakan & Cosmic Dusk Xayah splash, Updated Conqueror Karma splash art, and more!
- [UPDATED] Intro to Midseason 2017
Table of Contents
- Quick Gameplay Thoughts: April 14
- Designing the God Fist
- Ask Riot: Gangplank Announcer and Weakened Exhaust
- Client Beta Update #3: Closer to Completion
- Quick Hits – Ghostcrawler GDC Talk, Jason’s Story, & more
Quick Gameplay Thoughts: April 14
Meddler is back again with his gameplay thoughts from 4/14 – including thoughts as 7.9 and midseason prepare to hit the PBE, unanimous surrender at 15, and Rek’Sai’s future mini update:
Short post today as mid-season stuff nears PBE. We should have an overview of the mid-season gameplay changes coming out later today, with a bunch of additional details to follow Tuesday next week.
Non mid-season stuff in 7.9
We won’t be doing much in the way of regular balance changes in 7.9, given the mid-season changes will shift a lot of balance issues around anyway. We are still putting time where possible into looking at some issues we think we’ll want to return to after the mid-season regardless though. Those include an assessment of Gunblade’s status, looking at getting Malz back to solo laning effectively and further exploration into possible Heimer changes (small ish in scope, wouldn’t want to ship them unless we felt we could give him both better counterplay overall and more power overall).
Unanimous Surrender at 15 minutes
We’ll be getting back to looking at/talking about the status of the test in Oceania soon after mid-season. Bunch of thoughts on how it went and what we should or shouldn’t do next then.
Speaking of post mid-season things we’re finally in a place where we’ve got some of the needed art time to work on Rek’Sai’s mini update. Apologies for the delay on this one since we first mentioned it, in retrospect it’s a case where we might want to have waited until the schedule was a bit more locked down before talking about its progress.”
Meddler continued, noting there that there would light vfx work on Rek’Sai:
Wait so Rek’Sai’s update is gonna include a visual change? Or when you say art do you mean artists to help you render new abilities and such? Also please don’t take my farm alarm.
Correct. Nothing too major, but enough we can’t just have designers make adjustments to the existing assets.”
When asked about the fate if Hextech Gunblade, Meddler commented:
I noticed that some people are worried Gunblade will get nerfed because of abuse cases such as LeBlanc, what are your thoughts on that?
Not sure yet, that’s why it’s on our list of things we need to assess now so later we can make better changes if needed. Its effectiveness certainly varies a lot champ to champ, it does also just have a lot of raw stats for its cost though.”
When asked about who was up next for splash updates, Meddler answered:
This probably doesnt fit in here as it’s not a gameplay related question but now that Karma’s splash update is out, do you know / can you tell us which champ is next in line for splash updates?
From memory we’re doing splash updates for some of Sejuani and Maokai’s splashes, with some of them at least coming in mid-season.”
On Kindred, Meddler gave his thoughts:
What are your guys’s thoughts on kindred? do you have any plans for them?
At some point post mid-season we still want to do some work on their scaling.”
He also gave his opinion on the state of the jungle:
What are your thoughts on the state of the jungle? I feel like this season has been really rough for Junglers. At first we were the strongest role, probably much too strong, and it the role overall was nerfed, but I feel like in the course of a month or so, Junglers went from one of the stronger roles, to almost the weakest, aside from probably supports. It’s so ridiculously hard to keep up with XP unless you steal farm from lanes, or find a side lane to farm. Usually I’m the same level as an ADC which seems wrong to me. And before the response is that I’m low elo and no idea what I’m doing, the same is being said by higher elo players who know far more about the game than I do. If at any point in the game you fall behind as a jungler, or your lanes lose and you lose priority in your jungle, you’re basically out of the game with the way XP works now
I believe the jungle’s around the right level of impact at present. It’s a role with an enormous amount of influence over the early game in particular, with the ability to create uneven fights then better than any other. Equal average XP gains as solo lanes isn’t appropriate as a result. It’s also a position we’ve put through more disruption than most, so we’d really like to leave it in a stable place systemically for a while if possible.”
As for context on the Randuin’s Omen / Thornmail changes we saw testing in the 7.8 PBE Cycle, Meddler commented:
Context on randuin/thornmail changes from a few days ago?
Both Thornmail and Randuin’s have been somewhat problematic historically, particularly given the expectations some people have of Thornmail (‘I buy it and auto attackers just lose’). We were exploring a combination of the two to see if doing so could resolve issues on both sides. Some promise there, though came too late in mid-season’s development to be appropriate to try and ship in mid-season itself. Might come back some day.”
Designing the God Fist
“Making a new skin for League is kind of like rowing a boat across the open seas—there are endless possibilities, but the only way to get anywhere is to know the destination. Because of this, we create a vision statement for each skin at the beginning of development. This brief description outlines what we want the future skin to look like (and sound like, and feel like), and acts as a compass that guides everyone towards the same goal.
God Fist Lee Sin’s vision statement was, perhaps unsurprisingly, “Lee Sin is a god.” Every step of the way, the team would stop, look at their work, and ask each other, “Does this make you feel like Lee Sin is a god?” If the answer is yes, full speed ahead, and if not, well…it might be time to change course.
Here are just a few of the ways God Fist Lee Sin’s vision statement shaped the skin throughout its development.
MASTER YOURSELF, MASTER THE ENEMY
When we say, “Lee Sin is a god,” what does that really mean? Who is this guy? Is he actually a god, or is he like 99.9% god?
In other words, what’s his story?
|Early Exploration for God Fist Lee Sin|
To explore those questions, the team crafted the tale of the God Fist: Through training, discipline, and fighting stronger opponents, Lee Sin had practically become a god. “He’s always looking for someone to push him to that next level,” product manager Paul “Pabro” Bellezza says, “but really, it’s about himself—he’s holding himself back.” Still, the lack of competent opponents has made him pretty salty.
As a result of his vigorous training, Lee Sin is now powerful enough to detect the energy of the world around him. He’s still blind, but he’s so damn close to godhood that he’s beyond mortal sight (in other words, he can land a Q with his eyes closed, much like your ally jungler, amirite?).
I AM NOT A MAN, I AM A GOD
|God Fist Lee Sin Concept Art|
Base Lee Sin is a pretty lean dude, so we wanted to bulk him up to convey his superhuman strength. However, the first versions of the model were so excessively swole that you couldn’t tell it was Lee Sin anymore. Concept artist Elena “Hellstern” Bespalova says, “We wanted people to see the skin and think, ‘That feels like a god!’ not, ‘I’m not sure who I’m seeing.’” Even though we wanted him to feel over-the-top, we toned him down a bit and went for a more “ripped” figure than a “super buff” one.
|God Fist Lee Sin, Final|
The God Fist also tried on a whole spectrum of colors throughout development; Hellstern jokes, “It was like 50 shades of Lee Sin.” After some research and internal feedback, we felt like gold was the best choice because of it’s association with divinity.
YOUR WILL, MY HANDS
It’s tricky to alter Lee Sin’s animations and visual effects because his gameplay is so precise. “Players really rely on his visuals to understand exactly what he’s doing,” VFX artist Seth “MechaHawk” Haak says, “so we tried to make him feel godly while still clearly being clearly distinguishable as Lee Sin.”
|Exploring God Fist Lee Sin’s Abilities|
Animator Drew “sandwichtown” Morgan used Lee Sin’s ultimate to show off the God Fist’s kung fu finesse. Sandwichtown created multiple variations of punches and kicks for his ult… including a massive axe kick. When the team first saw the WIP animation, they weren’t totally convinced. “But when he did that kick in-game, we were like, ‘That was amazing! Did it feel godly?’” development manager Elie “Riot Ve1vet” Lehman says. “Then we were like, ‘Hell yeah it felt godly! He just axe-kicked that Yordle in the face!’”
Finding the right visual effects for Lee Sin’s hands took some time; for a while, the God Fist had fiery hands, but it felt too Brand-like. It then became electricity, which seemed pretty darn powerful, but it was chaotic and didn’t feel particularly ascended. MechaHawk says, “Finding the VFX that conveyed his theme without feeling elemental or low-magic was tough, but when we tried the glowing golden aura, it felt divine.”
The “Lee Sin is a god” vision statement even helped shape his death animation. Since gods, or almost gods, probably don’t feed die, we separated his physical body from his ethereal spirit; when Lee Sin’s health bar reaches zero, his golden aura ascends as his body falls to the ground.
|Death Animation WIP|
CAN YOU HEAR MY FISTS?
Audio lead Boon “Boondingo” Sim started developing the God Fist Lee Sin’s sound effects before his animations and VFX were complete, but because everyone was working towards the same vision statement, they fit in perfectly. “I was really trying to capture his divinity in a nonverbal way,” Boondingo says, “and I went for a Tibetan Buddhist feel, with lots of bells, chimes, and gongs.”
God Fist Lee Sin’s Q
God Fist Lee Sin’s Ult
God Fist Lee Sin’s dialogue was defined by one of the first things we decided about the skin: the backstory. Because Lee Sin believes the lack of challenging opponents is the sole reason he hasn’t achieved godhood, he’s become impatient, bitter, and rather arrogant… but he doesn’t realize the thing keeping him grounded is himself. His dialogue was crafted to tell this story.
God Fist Lee Sin’s Voice Over
DEFINING THE FUTURE
Creating a new skin is a collaborative effort, so making sure everyone is on the same page ahead of time is really important. Having a clear and inspirational vision statement, even if it’s as simple as “Lee Sin is a god,” helps guide everyone towards the same goal while also acting as a quick-check for all decisions made along the way. Ultimately, vision statements help ensure everything makes sense together, from the visual effects to the voice over to the character model.
And for the God Fist…it was a match made in (vision statement) heaven.”
More on God Fist Lee Sin available here.
Ask Riot: Gangplank Announcer and Weakened Exhaust
This week’s new Ask Riot is here, covering announcer packs, why exhaust was weakened, and what lies beneath Summoner’s Rift:
“Welcome to Ask Riot!
This week it’s the Gangplank announcer, exhaust changes, and what lies beneath.
Will we ever get the Gangplank announcer back? What about other announcer packs?
The Gangplank announcer pack was a blast to make and we’re glad you guys enjoyed playing with it! We’re not against the idea of bringing back the Gangplank announcer — or even making new announcers in the future.
These would be based on opportunity, though, and not a regular thing like say skins, game modes or champions. If it makes sense and fits well with a particular event (and sounds awesome :D), it’s something we’d definitely explore. I wouldn’t expect them at regular intervals for now, though, and there aren’t any current plans to put the GP announcer back into rotation.
L4T3NCYLead Designer, Rotating Game Modes
Can you talk more about why you weakened exhaust? Is this part of the plan to enhance support champions?
Exhaust felt like it doubled down too hard as a damage reduction and damage amplification tool. It already flat out reduced damage dealt by its target and its slow is potent enough as a catch tool for focusing down enemies in many situations. In a sense, we were trimming some of the fat off of Exhaust that we felt made it too universally potent as a summoner spell choice — we wanted choosing Exhaust to be part of your strategy, not just a default option.
This was not part of the plan to enhance support champions and we recognize that the change does lower the power of support picks who relied on its efficacy interim, but we feel the game is better holistically for more roles after this change.
WAV3BREAKGame Designer, Live Gameplay
What is under Summoner’s Rift?
Each warrior slain or support who sacrificed themselves to save their ADC seeps into the gritted soil of Summoner’s Rift upon death, absorbed into the dirt, their life essence working its way past the tangled jungle roots and deep into the bedrock of the battlefield.
There, the souls sit and sift over time, slowly being refined as the champions whose feet still tread above them gradually wear them down like a groove rubbed into a rock (with enough patience). And just before the soul slips into nothingness, when all that remains is the slightest grain of the mighty legend it once came from, the speck of soul drips to the deepest, bottom-most layer of Summoner’s Rift, crystallizing into a hardened crust of pure salt.
RIOT TIGER LILYEditor, Worldbuilding Team
Have a question? Head over to Ask Riot and sign into your League account. Check out the Pro Tips, then ask away.
We promise to read every question, but we can’t guarantee they’ll all get answers. Some questions may already be answered elsewhere, and some won’t be right for Ask Riot. This isn’t the best place to announce new features, for example, and we might skip conversations on issues we’ve talked about in depth before (though we can clarify individual points).
We are listening, though, so keep asking. We’ll make sure your questions are heard by the Rioters working on the stuff you’re curious about.”
Client Beta Update #3: Closer to Completion
This week brought us a third update on the Legacy Client replacement plan, giving more details on the phases and timeline of what will happen as Riot continues to push the updated client towards live release:
“Hello good people and also Yasuo mains,
Recently we’ve been talking about why we have to replace League’s legacy client. We’ve got a number of highfalutin technical explanations, but it boils down to this: The sooner everyone’s using the updated client, the sooner we can start delivering cool new client features.
Last month, we introduced our plan for replacing the legacy client. We’ve just completed Phase 1 of the plan and begun Phase 2, starting in Oceania. Below is an updated look at the plan.
The Legacy Client Replacement Plan
NOW COMPLETE: Phase 1 – A small group of randomly-selected players from Oceania, Russia, Brazil, and the Latin America servers were automatically upgraded to the new client, although they still had the ability to launch the legacy client from the login screen. No big problems were encountered during this phase.
MONDAY, APRIL 10 IN OCEANIA: Phase 2 – All players in Oceania were automatically upgraded to the updated client, with the legacy client turned off. We’ve begun Phase 2 in some shards in China and Garena regions as well.
Phase 3 – Assuming Phase 2 goes well, more regions will be automatically upgraded to the updated client, and the legacy client will be retired. This will happen automatically when players launch League without requiring the download of additional files (beyond that of the regular patch for that week). Soon after Phase 3, we’ll replace the legacy client with the updated client on all publicly-hosted game download pages.
Phase 4 – We’ll automatically remove legacy client files from your machine to free up space.
Note: This gradual rollout will give us time to monitor player feedback and make adjustments in response. We’ll alter these plans or delay the rollout if we find that more significant changes are necessary.
SO WHAT’S NEXT?
That’s a good question, imaginary caps-lock person. After each phase, we’ll evaluate how the updated client is doing compared to the legacy client. If it’s performing at least as well or better than the legacy client, we’ll move forward to the next phase. If we see serious problems (like widespread bugs preventing players from getting into games) we’ll slow down the client rollout process to address the issue. Removing the legacy client is the most crucial part of this process, and we want to be extra careful about it.
Assuming Phase 2 goes well, the next step is to officially end the client beta in all other regions, enacting Phase 3 and upgrading all clients in all regions. If you’ve opted into the client beta—as over 90 percent of players worldwide have already done—this process won’t affect you beyond removing the “Launch Legacy Client” button from the new client’s login screen.
Got questions? We’ll stick around in the comments.”
“Article author here. We’re almost ready to end the client beta and fully replace the legacy client, but I’d be bullshitting y’all if I said we think the client is 100% perfect or doesn’t need ongoing improvements.
So, below I’m compiling a list of complaints players have about the new client. We’ll pass around the list internally to make sure relevant project owners know about them.
Reply to this comment with your feedback on how the client should improve going forward and I’ll edit this comment to include summaries of the problem.
I’ll also reply to any questions y’all have in this thread. I’ve started off the list with some of the most common complaints.
- You can’t tell which type of queue you’re in once in champ select (ranked or normals). The legacy client clearly showed the title of the queue in the top-left corner of champ select, but the new client does not.
- Drop-down menus makes editing masteries take more clicks (and scrolling) when compared to legacy client. The new client’s drop-down menus in general are disliked by some players, as seen elsewhere in the client. We’ll think about how to solve the UX issues they’ve been causing.
- Players are forced to wait until pick phase is over to choose their skin. This was not the case with the legacy client.
- Champ search could be improved in a few different ways to let players sort the list how they want.
Chat and the Friends List
- Players dislike being unable to close or minimize the friends list. This could potentially be solved by allowing players to cover that area with other content.
- The chat module covers up vital parts of the client, including the “confirm” button which lets players get into game. This can be solved by popping out the chat module and moving it wherever the player wants, but further work could probably be done here.
- Public chat isn’t being rebuilt, which makes it harder for players to find people to play with during events like party IP weekends. We’re working on some other chat features that might alleviate this problem, but it’s good to keep it in mind in case it’s something we need to tackle more directly.
Profile and Collection
- Profile is missing many of the “career stats” which were available in the legacy client. We’ve actually committed to rebuilding more stats into the client during upcoming work on the profile page.
- Players are unable to unlock champs or skins from collection. This is a feature on the legacy client that hasn’t yet been brought over.
- Players generally don’t like the drop-down menus on the Runes page. This is probably something that we can solve with future work on runes that we’re planning to do anyway.
- The “first win of the day” timer should show the countdown down to the minute or second rather than just the hour.
- Some notifications hover for a long time on screen and can’t be manually dismissed.
- The item set creator tool isn’t yet in the new client. There’s currently a team developing it, but I expect it’ll take some time before it’s complete. That being said, we didn’t remove item sets themselves, and all your old item sets will keep working. Also, we let third-party developers build item sets using our third party API, so while I’m waiting on our dev team to finish rebuilding the item set creator tool I’m personally (just speaking for Cactopus here, not Riot) using this website to make my item sets: http://lol.item-set.com/#!/editor“
On chat rooms, The_Cactopus remarked:
Will chat rooms be implemented in the new client or not?
No plans for it. I know some people use it to find people for party IP weekends but I think some other chat features we’re working on will address the problem.”
On further optimization of the new client, The_Cactopus commented:
I’m sure you’ve heard this many times, but the client runs suboptimal compared to the older client even on powerful hardware.
But the animations are too beautiful to turn off 🙁
We’re gonna keep optimizing but the animations are really optional if you’re having issues.”
cCc Grumbles cCc also popped in to answer a question on item sets:
I have a question, when will the new client integrate build pages? I miss the days of not having to type into the search bar the items I want to build.
We heard the feedback and we’re working on item sets. They’ll be back in one form or another sometime after the transition to the new client.”
Riot Cactopus added:
“You’re talking about the item set creator tool. We initially weren’t going to bring it back, but we changed our minds based on player reaction. There’s currently a team developing it, but I expect it’ll take some time before it’s complete.
That being said, we didn’t remove item sets themselves, and all your old item sets will keep working. Also, we let third-party developers build item sets using our third party API, so while I’m waiting on our dev team to finish rebuilding the item set creator tool I’m personally using this website to make my item sets: http://lol.item-set.com/#!/editor“
On issues with chat and profile pages, The_Cactopus commented:
So far there are 2 things i’m thinking about:
- Not being able to see your friend list WHILE in champ select, you can’t know if your friends are in queue/champ select/in game, who’s connected/who’s not.
- Not being able to see more than the top 3 mastery champions on a profile.
- Not having the amount of mastery points over the champions icons on the top 3 mastery champions
- I think the RP icon on the top right of the client should be red with black outline like the original Riot icon, and the IP one should be white.
- High elo spectate in frontpage again pleaaase :c
All of these things were available on the old client, i’d love to get these back!
On a side note, idk if it is really reliant to the thread but most of the time the match history takes a long time to load when it doesn’t on the old one.
- Not being able to see your friend list WHILE in champ select, you can’t know if your friends are in queue/champ select/in game, who’s connected/who’s not.
We’re gonna make it so you can start chats from the chat module in champ select. Does that solve the issue?
- Not being able to see more than the top 3 mastery champions on a profile. Not having the amount of mastery points over the champions icons on the top 3 mastery champions
Both things we’ll think about when we start on that profile page improvement work later this year. Good notes.
The other stuff you mentioned I can bring up with the team too.”
Quick Hits – Ghostcrawler GDC Talk, Jason’s Story, & more
[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!]
“Every intern finds their own way to Riot, this is Jason’s.
While pre-med at Vanderbilt University, Jason realized he needed to pursue something more inline with his passions. A gamer his whole life, he’d long immersed himself in the worlds created by the games he loved. He became fascinated by the visual effects that made the game and characters come to life.
He set out to teach himself VFX before putting together a portfolio and applying to art programs. His drive, talent, and passion landed him an internship here and ultimately a return offer.
We asked him what his story would look like; this is what he made.
Learn more about interning at Riot on our University Programs page:
- As mentioned in the 7.7 Patch notes, All Random Summoner’s Rift returns in the RGMQ from April 14th – 18th!