Red Post Collection: New Merch on 11/20, Notes on Micropatching, & more

Today’s red post collection includes a teaser for upcoming merch in the Riot Games merch store, discussions on micropatching, multifactor authentication, & more!

Continue reading for more info!


Table of Contents

New Merch Coming on 11/20

The Riot Games Merch FB teased an upcoming merch drop on November 20th. This comes after the CN store added new merch items to their lineup:

“One week until the biggest merch event of the year, including the drop of the last Limited Edition release of the year. 11am PST November 20th.”

Check out some of the new merch from the CN store here.

Quick Hits

“It’s based primarily off how easy it is to assess the possible impact of a change. 

  • Game code changes tend to higher risk changes, so we’re more hesitant to micro patch them. Game code here refers to the core functionality of the game, stuff like how units move around, how fog of war works, that health exists as a concept etc. For many changes, even if they look pretty simple, they can impact so many different things it’s not appropriate to micropatch them (micro patches have really limited testing compared to normal changes).
  • Game script changes range in risk from high to low. Game script (Lua in our case) controls things like how specific champion abilities function, or how items work. Some changes are easy to assess and therefore safe to change (e.g. changing ‘If X>0.1’ to ‘If X>0.01), especially given worst case scenario is normally that you just mess up one champion ability or whatever. Other changes by contrast tend to cross the risk threshold if they involve changing a lot of logic throughout the script (what I’d assumed would be the case for Muramana but turned out not to be). Things like rewriting how Pix follows Lulu/people she’s E’d for example are much more complex.
  • Raw numbers changes. These are normally safest of all, changing something like a spell’s damage, a champion’s base HP etc. A few of them still have some risk, in particular if a champion’s scripts are really dependent on them (e.g. spell cast ranges). Generally we can change these pretty safely provided there’s a strong enough need (still better to get a full cycle of testing in, both from a bug and balance perspective).”

“There are no individual teams anymore. People move around from project to project and each project generally has a totally new mix of people. 

Things may change (which happens a lot) but the current order of things is:
Swain > New Champ > Irelia > New Champ > Aatrox > VGU 

Reav3 also noted the next two designers of upcoming champions:

“The one after Zoe? RiotJag. The one after that is EndlessPillows.”

Edit: Even if you disagree with the reasoning below, don’t downvote me too much! I want more people to see our honest response to this question. 

This orange essence thing is a spicy one but I’ll take my best shot at addressing it. The most honest answer it comes down to is that we wanna be able to spread out orange essence type loot and rewards across multiple systems without having to take an additional huge revenue hit at the same time that we’re making runes free. 

I’ll explain what I mean. 

Basically, when we first started giving out skins and stuff through the loot system, the only way you could get it was by 

1) paying for it
or
2) earning it through the mastery chests. 

Going into 2018 you’re also gonna get skin content through things like events and honor (lets call them “orange shards” since we’re really talking about anything that can be disenchanted into orange essence). We lowered the disenchant rate on shards, and we’re giving out more shards. 

So that’s what I mean by spreading it across multiple systems. I think we’ll actually have to wait and see whether players feel that the additional shards from the other systems make up for the disenchant rate changes. Preseason shipped with some other upgrades to loot like bad luck protection and chances for double drops in chests, and I think we’ll have to wait and see how that feels for players before we’ll know. 

Now, there’s another question implied here, which I think also bears addressing: “Why can’t Riot just give us more orange essence and more shards?” 

The answer is that we make money on League through RP sales, and we want to be really responsible about how much we cut into RP sales when giving away stuff. Giving away skins and cosmetics through our in-games systems is something we have to manage really carefully—if it becomes to easy to earn orange essence and shards, RP sales would go down a lot (why pay for it when you can just get skins for free?). Even though League is free to play, we do need to make money and manage it responsibly so we can reinvest it back into the game. That’s why making cosmetics too easy to get for free would be irresponsible for us, as a business. 

I know it’s hard to get excited about an explanation like this, but I hope it makes sense! 

ONE MORE LONGISH EDIT TO CLARIFY A POINT: 

I don’t want to make the promise that the orange essence amounts you get will “even out” or be the same as before. There’s way too much variance in the rates that people get OE from mastery and all the other systems for us to say that with a straight face. And the truth is the nerf to OE disenchant rates was significant. 

It’s more than we reigned it in to give ourselves wiggle room with these other systems. And honestly, the revenue hit from making runes free was a factor we considered as part of that. The goal is to make rewards systems that feel meaningful, rather than just constantly increasing the amount of stuff we give out every year because player expectations keep rising. 

It feels icky when we start talking about protecting revenue and budgets and shit, but we’re open to feedback on this stuff. I see basically no one talking about the double drops or bad luck protection that we already added to the system, so I wanna wait for a while for people to get used to the changes. 

I do see people here talking about how this hurts those who like paying money for chests, and that specific problem is one I think we’ll have lots of discussions about internally. 

“I’ll bite, since I work in security I can talk about MFA and why it is hard to implement. I’ll preface all of this by saying that I desperately want MFA implemented, but it’s a lot of work.

  1. Spaghetti or legacy code. I know it’s a meme, but it’s a real consideration, especially when a system has to scale up to 100 million users per month and it absolutely cannot fail once because players get locked out of their accounts.
  2. The likelihood is most users who use MFA have nothing to worry about because they are likely to be more security conscious, so there’s little gain in terms of actual security unless we can offer incentives to the broader playerbase to adopt security measures, which leads into..
  3. Determining an effective incentive to get players utilising MFA is hard. We’d need to find something that would appeal to all players. The only thing I can think of here is a free skin, which would appeal to both veterans and newbies, but then it would have to be a new skin so as to not give out a skin everyone has.. okay, so now we have to design a new skin, what champion should it be for? What thematically makes sense?
  4. Options for MFA. A lot of players, particularly in less wealthy countries than Western Europe and the United States, may not have a compatible smart phone that enables them to use MFA – so releasing an app that only works on smart phones is gonna to feels pretty bad man and again it reduces the impact of the security measure. Text messages could work, but that would involve having to work with a carrier in every country we work for so that users do not get charged for SMS (which is a lot of work).

And to be clear, MFA is 100% vital for most of your accounts including league and I agree that we need it. However it really is not that simple especially when you weigh it against the other things that the engineering teams are doing (as Riot Maple mentions in their post). 

In short, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made, systems that need to be changed globally and while I agree that this should not take four years to develop on it’s own, it’s not as simplistic as you may think – and I say this as someone who on their first day at Riot said they wanted to help push this. It’s just not that easy.””

“Due to popular request…”

  

“What’s it like to record original sound effects for League of Legends? No gain, no pain!”

Reminders

To round out this red post collection, here are a few reminders on current promotions or limited time events!

  • With preseason comes a handful of missions to complete matchmade games and earn rewards based on things you’ve previously owned, time played, etc. Be sure to check your missions in-game!

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