- Red Post Collection: July Sales Schedule, Gameplay Thoughts for June 20th, Azir Gameplay Update, & more!
- 6/21 PBE Update: Honor login theme & more!
Table of Contents
- So, about those SKT skins… 2017 Edition
- Ask Riot: Marc and Brandon Edition
- It’s time for June bundles!
- Team Composition: Play along with Annotated scores
- LoL in June’s Loot Gaming Crate
- Reav3 on Champion Updates
- Quick Hits
So, about those SKT skins… 2017 Edition
Here’s SuperCakes back with an update on this year’s upcoming SKT World Championship skins, dicussing their pricing and the upcoming addition of sound effects for each skin.
“Hello players who love Skins, players who love SKT and, in this particular case, players who love SKT Skins!
When we first shipped the SKT Skins to PBE, we heard some concerns over their pricing. More specifically, we have a “Guide to Skin Price Tiers” on our player support page that promises that 1350RP skins would have new sounds, and some of these SKT skins don’t.
First, I want to apologize that we’ve not updated this guide in so long. When we originally wrote it four years ago, our philosophy on pricing skins was different (not dramatically, but still). When we change our thinking, this also means we owe you an explanation, and we failed to do this.
In the case of these SKT skins, all of our normal playbooks were thrown out. We didn’t look at them as an individual set of features, but rather a holistic experience. We wanted to create World Championship skins that are highly commemorative and, because they are rev-shared, give you an opportunity to honor SKT in a really meaningful way.
We don’t charge you for “our effort.” There is no evil overlord tracking our hours and converting that into RP. But, there is a level of value and quality that we strive for when creating content and once we hit it, we price accordingly. In the case of the 2016 SKT World Championship Skins, we believe they are priced fairly for what they are: a high quality execution across a number of dimensions, even if those dimensions don’t 1:1 match our checklist.
But we also know we made a commitment, so we’re going to live up to it. We’re still planning to release these skins at 1350RP in Patch 7.13, but we will release an update to them soon after that adds in sounds and checks those boxes. Honestly speaking, we’re not sure if the skins are necessarily better for it. That’s why they weren’t part of their original design. But we also don’t feel that we’re holding up our end of the bargain otherwise.
This conversation also gives us an opportunity to revamp our policies to match how we currently approach our work. We owe you an updated explanation that really gets into why we make the things we make. We’ll probably also update or retire that article once we can.
We’re really excited to launch these 2016 SKT Championship Skins, and thank you for all of your feedback to help make them the best they can be.
Ask Riot: Marc and Brandon Edition
The newest Ask Riot is now available, this one celebrating one year of Ask Riot with questions for Marc “Tryndamere” Merrill and Brandon “Ryze” Beck:
“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.”
It’s time for June bundles!
June is coming to a close and that means it’s time for June bundles – in the shop through June 29th!
“Grab these limited time bundles now through 6/29/17 at 23:59 PT
Backline Divers Bundle – 50% off at 2587 RP (4479 RP if you need the champions)
- Super Galaxy Shyvana
- Firefang Warwick
- Debonair Vi
- Cursed Revenant Nocturne
- Warring Kingdoms Jarvan IV
Gray Screen Gifters – 50% off at 2699 RP (4901 RP if you need the champions)
- Dynasty Ahri
- Queen of Diamonds Syndra
- Dragonblade Talon
- Headhunter Akali
- PROJECT: Zed
Why’d You Fight? I Was Splitting Bundle – 50% off at 2511 RP (4105 RP if you need the champions)
- Nemesis Jax
- Frostblade Irelia
- Nightmare Tryndamere
- Pool Party Fiora
- Headhunter Master Yi
Your Tower Tickles Bundle – 50% off at 2399 RP (4258 RP if you need the champions)
- Worldbreaker Nautilus
- Bear Cavalry Sejuani
- Gragas Caskbreaker
- Ironside Malphite
- Guardian of the Sands Rammus
Team Composition: Play along with Annotated scores
Ed the Conqueror’s latest NEXUS post includes annotated scores for Camille, Kled, Tahm Kench, and more!
“At Riot, we’re very lucky people—we get to write music for awesome projects, inspiring champions, and exciting esports events. We set out to write music that stirs emotion and becomes a soundtrack worthy of the love players have for League.
And sometimes, League players want to take a bit of our music and give life to those notes through their own fingers. (As composers, there’s nothing quite as fulfilling as hearing how musicians around the world re-imagine the music we’ve created.) But we’ve also been so busy writing new music that we haven’t really taken the time to help you access the music already out there. Some of you have gone through extraordinary lengths to figure out our (sometimes complex) work, and while we appreciate the effort, we’d like to make things easier on you by sharing more of our stuff.
We think releasing sheet music is long overdue. So instead of waiting until we can clean up the scores, we’ve decided to release some of the raw sheet music we used during our recording sessions.
These are the same scores that musicians, conductors, engineers, and our teams have used. Some of them look OK, some of them look like they were made in a rush (they were). Some have mistakes in them, some are nearly flawless. Some were modified during the recording session (“Should we take the trumpets an octave below? Let’s extend that A for another two beats. Cellos, make that a mezzo forte “plus”, not a forte.”), but these verbal changes are not caught on paper. If something looks weird, we challenge you to see if you can figure out what happened during the session by listening to the recording!
We’ll be working towards providing more sheet music to you, either in this format or another. We can’t quite promise how or when just yet, but we will do our best to deliver as much as we can.
Kled, the Cantankerous Cavalier
Kled is one of those projects where musical execution was crystal clear from day one. I decided to play with the big guns (a big, heavy brass and woodwind section with a cello ensemble) pitted against an assortment of bluegrass instruments (guitars, dobro, mandolin, banjo, etc.).
Despite Kled being a very straightforward character, I *did* attempt to bring some musical finesse to the music, especially in how the density of the voicings change throughout the various musical phrases. We recorded the brass and woodwinds separately from the celli, which did help bring out the intricacies of the string writing.
Also, I’d like to take a moment to express how grateful I am to be working on a game that allows me to write a tuba solo! What a rarity these days!
Ed the Conqueror
Camille, The Steel Shadow
The main melody for Camille’s theme was originally developed on a synth while researching electronic textures, but it was later adapted for violin. A lot of the melodic motion came from using the pitch bend wheel on a keyboard, something I probably wouldn’t have done had I known it would ultimately be played on violin. This resulted in an interesting and angular theme, depicting her leaping and surgical precision.
There was a lot of experimentation in balancing the acoustic and electronic instruments to contrast between woman and machine. At one point, the texture of the piece started to sound a little too “PROJECT.” A lot of the electronic and motoric elements in the louder sections were rewritten for cello, ultimately reinforcing Camille’s elitist nature and making the music more exciting! It also led to the middle, more baroque section, which was fun to write.
I purposely left out bow markings from the score because I wanted to see what options we could get at the session. I loosely notated triple stops for the violin in the last big section and asked the player to improvise the bowing technique to get a thick sound. The cellist played that part similarly but an octave lower.
A big GG to Mark Robertson, David Low, and Michelle Packman for their masterful playing!
Tahm Kench, The River King
The meat of the Tahm Kench theme can be found here in this guitar sketch. I felt the melody really came to life after I stumbled into a little vintage guitar shop one afternoon, coming across an old 1930 Robert Johnson style National Resonator guitar. I swear the thing was staring at me from the wall and had a life of its own—I never played slide before, but with this guitar I could play like Ry Cooder (ok, not really :P). Still, it was a weird feeling! Somehow it seemed like a mini-Crossroads Legend, which made sense with Tahm’s story and him being a demon and all.
The dark ambient beds in the piece were made of bunch of processed guitar stuff in collaboration with Lustmord (master of dark ambient). The Vocal Hums were performed by the amazing Dug Pinnick of King’s X.
This score offers a glimpse into the editorial process that frequently occurs after recordings have taken place. We decided to remove several bars from the introduction after hearing the recordings and added solo vocal and cello parts, giving some more melodic and textural interest. As a side note—the main theme of this piece was actually composed for a different project, for a champion that isn’t from Demacia. This actually happens surprisingly often with music: While working on a project, we’ll end up writing a melody that we feel works as a musical theme but doesn’t quite fit the project we we’re working on. Sometimes these rejected themes find second lives in surprising places.
LoL in June’s Loot Gaming Crate
The Riot Games Merch facebook posted that a League of Legends item will be featured in the upcoming June Champion Loot Gaming crate – a monthly mystery box of assorted video gaming loot. For those interested, they’ve also provided a 15% off code for anyone looking to sign up.
“Wanted to let this channel know that Loot Gaming by Loot Crate is featuring a League of Legends item in their #CHAMPION crate this month! Head over to loot.cr/leagueoflegends by 9pm PT on June 27th to secure your loot, and use discount code “RIOT15” to get 15% off your order.”
More information available on [Loot Crate website]. Sign ups open through 6/27. June’s Champion LOOT GAMING crate contains items from Fallout, Brutal Legend, League of Legends, and Battletoads.
Reav3 on Champion Updates
Following up the Champion Roadmap, June 2016. Reav3 jumped back on the boards for more discussion on champion updates and a few thoughts on where certain champions are:
Clarifying points of focus, Reav3 commented:
“That comment wasn’t directed towards VGU selection which has a different criteria then roster projects. That comment was about the future of class updates and smaller reworks that aim to fix large gamehealth problems and increase champion diversity in the current cast.
The comment meant that we won’t just pick the small roster scope reworks based on a class but that we would also prioritize the champions against other champions that need work that aren’t in a specific class. Azir for example needs some small work done (not VGU level) so he is being prioritized against other divers that also need work.”
When asked why they choose not to do mostly visual only champion updates these days, Reav3 noted:
Hey Reav3, can I ask you something? I know you guys already said that we won’t receive only Visual Gameplay anymore. But with your new policy, isn’t logic do Only Visual Updates too? There’s champions that needs only Gameplay updates because they’re feel outdated. But also there’s champions with a solid kit but that have texture/vfx extremely old. I’ll use Veigar as examples. His kit is very nice. And his thematic as a dark cosmic mage yordle is really cool. But his Vfx are so old (specially his basic attack, Q and E). So, why aren’t you guys considering only Visual Updates to this kind of case.
The main reason is that Visual updates aren’t really appreciated nearly as much as a Gameplay update. They also take MUCH more resources. Small gameplay updates generally only take a designer and then a small amount of anim/vfx/audio work depending on which abilities change. VU’s take Character Artists, tech artists, concept artists, splash artists and much more VFX, audio/anim work.
If we wanted to do VUs again we would have to spin up a whole team dedicated to doing VUs unless we wanted to significantly slow down the amount of VGUs we are doing which we don’t want to do as players have shown they really love and want more VGUs.
When we do a GU update tons of player try out the new champion. In General whenever we do gameplay updates to the game or champions it gets players excited to play league. We don’t see this same response for VUs.
Lee Sin for example is pretty old visually though it doesn’t really stop him from being one of the most popular champions in the game. On the other hand If a champion has unhealthy or dated/boring gameplay very few people will play that Champion.
Sorry for getting very producer-y here but I hope that makes sense.”
As for thoughts on Akali’s position on the list, Reav3 commented:
“Akali is very high on the list actually. She is a champion that is very loved by a lot of a players and has become more highly requested for a VGU every year. We think she has a lot of potential if we gave a her a big modernization VGU similar to WW.”
When asked for thoughts on Dr. Mundo and Garen, Reav3 noted:
That’s nice and all, but is Mundo having any work done on him soon? What about Garen? Both have been contenders for “worst top laner” for a while now.
Mundo is pretty high on our list for a full VGU. He needs a lot of work so he will probably be more in the Galio/Sion camp rather then the WW/Eve “Modernization” camp. After WW and Urgot we want to take a little break from Zaun-themed champions though.
Talking to Live Gampleay, who will soon be in charge of the small reworks, they feel Garen is definitely on the list for s smaller “Rek’Sai” scope thing at some point, not sure when though.”
When asked about thoughts on Volibear, Reav3 commented:
Question about GU’s:
Since you’re now doing GU updates instead of class updates, does that mean Voli could potentially receive one instead of a VGU since his art isn’t that bad?
Voli definitely needs a full VGU. His art/theme needs a lot of work.”
Really? Is your first instinct to how with rebuilding him from the ground up ala Sion/Gallo or a modernization ala Eve/WW?
Also is his art really not up to riots Standards? I didn’t think it was that bad.
Probably closer to something like Poppy, which means a lot of game play changes but more of a modernization on his theme/visuals then a complete overhaul. This is just my gut feeling though, we could come to different conclusions when we actually start work on him at some point.”
As for if a Zilean update may come in the future, Reav3 commented:
“Hmm. Not sure who previously said this but Zilean is on our VGU list just not super high on the list. He needs work at some point down the line but there are currently champions that need it 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!]
1) Ricklessabandon on upcoming changes for next PBE cycle (7.14) ~ more details upcoming:
 “before i disappear into work + ffxiv mode again, i’ll likely be posting up pbe changelist previews this weekend for anyone interested~”
 “likely changes include reworking the reward for amulet coin’s quest (maybe other changes to the line as well) and light work on diana + udyr”
 “Ya, I don’t care for them either currently. Have spoken with a few of the team members and think the next iteration will be better.”
3) r_MoshiDog commenting on account security in a related reddit thread:
“Riot is concerned with account security and we have an initiative going on now to develop additional account protections for our players. In the coming weeks, you will see an update to the League client that will notify you to take action to verify your email address if you have not already.
Having a verified email address with your League account will allow us to block a password change on your account until you submit a code that we email to you. This is important for all players to do and I encourage you all to go to the www.leagueoflegends.com website, login, and go to the Account Settings portal to verify your email address today.
As we begin to phase in new security measures, we will be leveraging a verified email address to confirm the activity on your account. Over time we are looking into expanding the use of additional factors for authentication and may add the option to use a cell phone instead of an email. We will likely be offering the option for players to require a secondary factor for logins at some point in the future. Right now our focus is on doing more to detect and deter suspicious login activity and to do more to block malicious users from getting very far with taking over your account”
4) Riot Weszt shared part three of his series deep diving into the design and UI of Team Builder:
 “Part 3 concludes this series. Thank you to everyone who enjoyed it and Team Builder. My humble thanks to everyone who worked on it as well.”
:”In Part 1 of this series, I talked about the problems we were trying to solve with Team Builder, the goals of the feature, the UX design process, what we learned from early explorations, and our initial design principles.
In Part 2, we looked at how we put the design principles for Team Builder into action with specific design tactics.
In Part 3, I’d like to finish the series with a few embarrassing moments plus a design technique that I developed from working on this project to help solve complicated interaction problems.”
“This week on The Dive the gang are diving into the Rift Rivals format, what a League of Legends Hall of Fame would look like, and as always they’ll keep you updated on the state of the game and the NA LCS.”
“Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham could have been the NA LCS Rookie of the Split for the Spring season, but he hit the rookie wall instead. As Akaadian struggles to find the balance between playing for himself and sacrificing for the team, he gets guidance from team owner, and 3-time NBA Champion, Rick Fox.
DRIVE explores the motivations behind the best League of Legends players from the NA LCS.
Go West Young Man (Predator) – Kenneth Aaron Harris
MATTER OF TIME! – Jordan Baum, Michael McNamara, Travis Margis”
“Spring Split might have felt predictable, but Summer is a different story- everything’s been shaken up in the League of Upsets. Catch up on Week 3 of the EU LCS with Flashback.
For more EU LCS coverage, schedule, vods and more, check out http://lolesports.com
8) Rift Rivals kicks off soon! Check out [this recent LoL Esports article] for latest event and ticket information. details on the Rift Rivals:NA vs. EU will take place on July 5-8.