Today's red post collection includes Meddler's quick gameplay thoughts for 1/5, a new Nexus article on how Ornn was created, a Very Serious Ask Riot on New Years Resolutions, and more!
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Table of Contents




Quick Gameplay Thoughts: January 5

Here's Meddler with his quick gameplay thoughts for January 5th, covering upcoming balance changes for Patch 8.2, game pacing, Rengar, and more:
"Hi all,
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
Patch 8.1
Happy 2018!
We've been back at work this week and have been looking at what should be in the upcoming patches. Our focus is particularly on what should now be a priority based off how the game played out over the break.
Because of the way patch development works (patches need a lot of testing) patch 8.1 got locked last year just before we went on holiday. That means that, with a few possible exceptions as below, 8.1 will be the same as what was on PBE over the break. Adding stuff this late in the process has the same risk of serious bugs and balance issues as a micropatch/hotfix. We need to be really conservative with both how much we change and the type of things we change as a result. That means we're mainly working on a bunch of stuff for 8.2.
Things that might get added to 8.1 that aren't on PBE:
A few high impact bug fixes (e.g. Galio W shield, a bug with Revitalize making people untargetable)
Possible Zoe nerfs
Possible Sona buff
Reducing the amount some of the Kleptomancy gained items sell for
Patch 8.2
Patch 8.2 by contrast has a full development cycle and there's plenty to be worked on. Some of things we're looking at below. This isn't a complete or final list. Some things will get added and some will get removed as we work on the patch.
Runes:

  • Further Klepto work, likely reducing the differences between best and worst case users (nerf the strongest/buff the weakest).
  • Manaflow Band nerf (still reducing need to manage mana too much)

Items

  • Runic Echoes Buff (help AP junglers overall)
  • Assessment of Relic Shield line on non supports (appropriate or abusive?)

Champion Nerfs:

  • Vayne
  • Ezreal (if Klepto changes don't look like enough)
  • Ornn
  • Kha'Zix
  • Malz
  • Zoe (if not nerfing in 8.1 as above, follow up assessment if 8.1 nerfs happen)
  • Blitzcrank

Champion Buffs:

  • Nunu
  • Viktor

We've also got a range of champs we'd like to get to soon but who didn't make the initial cut for our 8.2 planning. They're probable candidates for 8.3 or 8.4, though it's possible some slip into 8.2 still. Trynd and Yi buffs are in that category, as is a Fiddle buff unless the Runic Echoes change helps him enough. We talked about Syndra as well as a possible buff candidate for 8.2, she's got a lot of bug fixes in 8.1 though, some of which are likely to add some power to her, so we'll see where she's at after those.
Game Pacing, Snowball etc
Additionally we'll be taking a look at a range of aspects of game pacing during the 8.2 development cycle (game length, snowball, time to kill etc). Uncertain yet if we'll ship changes during 8.2 aimed at that in particular at time of writing. Identifying balance targets is a quicker process, hence the list above, for a topic like this we need to spend more a bit more time however. More on this next week, well aware it's a topic on a lot of people's minds that's not addressed in much detail here. The thing we'll be looking at first is laning phase and whether that's ending too quickly, with corresponding spread of snowballing across lanes.
Rengar Q changes
As we mentioned in December we're planning on changing Rengar's Q back to an empowered auto attack. Timing on that's not certain yet, it's not fully implemented or tested. There are also a few new assets that will need to be made for his Mecha skin, since that didn't exist back before his Q got changed. Should be early this year, though won't in 8.2 at least. Details on which patch it'll be in and whether there are other accompanying changes to come as soon as we've got them.
Edit:
Couple of updates worth mentioning since time of writing. We're going to move both the Sona buff and the Klepto item sell amount changes to 8.2, given both are intertwined with the state of Klepto overall. Sona buff currently in testing is a partial revert of the Q mana cost increase from 7.24 (50-70, versus live 60-80 and prior 45-65)."
When asked when we would see Swain's VGU on the PBE, Meddler replied:
"Quote:
Can we expect Swain's teaser/reveal this month? Its been 3 month since the last roadmap teased him...
It'll be fairly soon. We generally treat VGU teasers like new champ teasers, not giving away their exact dates or details ahead of time so I won't mention anything beyond fairly soon."
On Ornn, Meddler commented:
"Quote:
Hey Meddler happy new year. Squad5 mentioned that a possible source of Ornn's issues was how strong he traded in lane with Brittle, is that what you are looking at
For Ornn we're currently trying a higher ult CD (140-100, versus live 130-70) plus a change to the W where he can be immobolized or displaced during it (the flame still continues, but he doesn't keep moving forwards if hit by a root or knockback or whatever)."
On Skill of Elixir, Meddler commented:
"Quote:
Looking good so far, but can I ask about skill of elixir? I feel like it can be a little unfair, giving you half the benefit of a level up for pretty much free. The bug that causes the ability level up icons for skills to be on your screen for the rest of the game if you get to level 18 after using a skill of elixir is irritating as well.
That bug is fixed in 8.1.
Looking at Klepto Elixir of Skill isn't one of the major issues. It's power's often significantly less than half a level's worth, given in addition to not getting the base stats you're sometimes putting that point into a skill that gives fairly limited value, especially if it's your third max. Optimal play as a result is sometimes to just sell it for gold as a result (one of the items likely to get a lower sell cost as a result, that's not an interesting strength and Klepto doesn't need that extra income).
Edit: Sounds like I might be confusing my Elixirs and which ones can/should sometimes be sold. Oops."
As for Nunu, Meddler replied:
"Quote:
Yay, patches are starting up again.
Do they already have something in mind for Nunu?
No details yet, though should have some next week. Long term he needs a VGU at some point, so some of the focus here will be just on effectiveness, rather than trying to solve a lot of his kit."
On Gangplank, Meddler replied:
"Quote:
I wanted to ask you about GP, the dude seems to be performing pretty well rn, But Kleptomancy definetly seems to be the most commonly used Keystone on him. I was wondering how he's doing with Keystones Other than Kleptomancy.
GP's on our watch list as potentially too strong, from memory a decent amount of that strength is likely Klepto though. If recall correctly he's performing noticeably better with it than other Keystones, so reducing it's range of effectiveness a bit hopefully puts him in a good spot power wise and opens up his rune choices a bit more (Klepto still a good choice, but not as dominant in many cases). "
Meddler noted when the season would start:
"Quote:
Season start when
Mid January between 8.1 and 8.2."
On Lethal Tempo, Meddler commented:
"Quote:
Any thoughts on Lethal Tempo? I feel it under preforms compared to PTA and Fleet Footwork
It's almost never a good choice at its current tuning and design. Needs some work, though not as much as other Runes hence we're doing those first."
When asked about Kha'zix changes, Meddler replied:
"Some combination of passive damage and R evolve is what's been on our minds. That's just a preliminary take on his state though, need to dig deeper too."
Forging Ornn

Here's Morgageddon with details on how Ornn was created:
"Some champions have a pretty smooth journey from concept to launch, skipping through the production pipeline with nary a blip or delay. Others, however… let’s just say there are a lot of traps on the road to champion-dom, and not all concepts manage to avoid them. Here’s the story of one such champion—a Living Forge who smoldered for almost four years before finally making his way to the Rift.
A SPARK AND A DARE
Four and a half years ago, Riot held an internal contest to create the next League of Legends champion. Anyone could submit a pitch; the best ideas would ascend to the top via an ongoing stream of upvote/downvote 1v1s. The top ten champs would then have a dev team assigned to them to explore the possibility of moving into production. We called it “Hot or Not.”
Player Support Lead Rammi “DigitalRam” Mohammed dared me to enter the contest and place in the top 10. With gusto, I came up with three champion pitches. One was really bad. Like single-digit-votes bad. Another almost cracked the top 10 barrier, but missed it by that much. My third entry endured two weeks of fierce voting, finally ending its run in second place. That idea? “Living Forge”—a warrior who crafts his own weapons.
A meeting was scheduled where designers, artists, programmers, writers, and I would meet up and discuss who and what this Living Forge could be. It was only after the meeting appeared on my calendar that I realized Living Forge was possibly the next greenlit champion in League, and that he might even launch in game within a few months. But the meeting was delayed, and rescheduled, and delayed, and rescheduled, and rescheduled… and delayed.
Finally, in late fall 2013, it happened. At the meeting, artists, designers, and writers threw out rapid-fire questions: Where did Living Forge come from? Who or what is Living Forge? What do we want him to do and be in the game? And, in what turned out to be a pivotal moment: How can we make him break League of Legends?
The answer to that last one was: “Make him a mobile shop.” At first it seemed absurd, but after much discussion, we solidified it into the cornerstone idea for a blacksmith-type character. Living Forge’s initial concepting meeting ended with a loose direction as to who and what he could be, and some hastily-written kit ideas. Nothing was set in stone yet, but we had good ideas on where to explore next.
Some hurried chicken scratch notes around possible kit explorations, late 2013
In the next meeting, we continued exploring Living Forge—and here the first of several surprises appeared. Turns out Art Lead Joshua “HUGEnFAST” Smith had also come up with the idea of a Living Forge-type character for Hot or Not, and had even drawn out several sketches of his creation.
Pre-Development Ornn, several options, mid-2013
Merging the ideas was a no-brainer. With the combined strength of an idea people liked, some sick art to match, and the enthusiasm of the team, Living Forge seemed ready to enter prototyping, with a possible launch in early 2014.
Except he wouldn’t launch in 2014. Or 2015. Or 2016.
COOLING DOWN
In 2014, Riot began completely reworking our champion production pipeline, with every in-flight champion either getting moved or ice-boxed (aka delayed until further notice). Living Forge, unfortunately, fell into the latter category. The new process for pitching champs involved attending a monthly pitch meeting, presenting your idea, and then either celebrating it entering the pipeline or heading back to your desk to incorporate feedback. Living Forge made several appearances over the next few months, each time receiving a few improvements from a handful of interested designers.
The burly blacksmith seemed like he was slowly staggering toward the finish line—which would technically be the starting line—when, in mid-2014, another obstacle popped up. It turns out we planned to use the “forge in the stomach” idea with the upcoming rework of a certain loveable (but not huggable) undead juggernaut.
Rework Sion Concept Art, mid-2014
This type of bump in the road wasn’t new—at least, not in the champion pipeline. Many times, an awesome feature or new idea ends up working really well with a champion that’s already in development or being reworked. Bard’s meeps, for example, were originally attached to the champion idea that became Ivern.
Thankfully it was only Living Forge’s chest that needed work, but there was another roadblock on the horizon.
REWORKING THAT THING WE REWORKED
As 2014 wrapped up, in typical Riot fashion, we redid the thing we already redid and reworked the champion pipeline (although we still use this system today, so maybe second time’s a charm). In the current system, designers plan releases around a needed role or playstyle fantasy, such as “top bruiser” or “invisible assassin” or “fish tank.” This created a lot of clarity around upcoming champion launches, but also eliminated the need for public pitch sessions. Now Living Forge’s development depended on people remembering the idea and a perfectly-timed open position for a champion of his type.
2015 rolled by without Living Forge appearing in the pipeline. 2016 came and went, bringing its own roster of new champions—just not Living Forge. For a champion that always resonated with designers and benefitted from a strong initial surge of momentum, it seemed like the embers sustaining his development had finally fizzled out.
However, in late 2016 the Champion team slotted a new Vanguard for development—but didn’t have a locked champion idea to go with it. League needed someone to start fights, live in the top lane, and change the momentum of a game at a moment’s notice. As ideas floated around, someone remembered an old chunk of coal that could easily be polished into a sturdy top laner and provide a unique, team-wide benefit. With a single spark, Living Forge’s embers reignited and he entered the running against two other ideas for the coveted Vanguard release.
This time around, the theme, design, and timing were all in Living Forge’s favor. The champ that started as a dare—and suffered years of hurdles, delays, and from-scratch reinventions—won this last popularity contest and finally entered the real production pipeline. After years of work, what would become Ornn was finally ready for the forge.
Curious about what happened next? Check out notes from Ornn’s actual development in his Champion Insights story."
Ask Riot: New Years Resolutions

This week's Ask Riot cover's their new years resolutions going into 2018:
"Happy 2018! This week on Ask Riot, teams share their super serious New Year’s Resolutions.
COMPETITIVE

  • Spin up the Definitely Not Victorious skin line for Silver players; make sure it’s still not for your main champ
  • Add a “True Rank” for the tier you would be if it weren’t for your noob teammates
  • Create “Autofill-Only” queue with 10x LP gains/losses
  • Launch the new way to play League competitively: Trynamic Queue
CHAMPIONS TEAM

  • After merging Champion Update and Champions teams we’re happy to announce our newest champ: Ryze, The Rogue Mage.
  • Rework Ezreal’s passive to “Treasure Hunter: Whenever you do damage to Champion gain a consumable item.”
PERSONALIZATION (AKA SKINS TEAM)

  • Six. More. Ahri. Skins.
  • Remove damage bonus on Legendary+ skin tiers
PATCH NOTES

  • Add a mission to read the goddamn patch notes
COMMUNICATIONS

  • Finally tell Reddit how we really feel
  • Never tell Boards how we really feel
  • Correct “Ask Riot” product name to “Argue with Riot About Your Chat Ban and/or Tell Them Which Champions to Nerf”
GAMEPLAY

  • Kleptomancy nerf: Your champion now occasionally steals your BE
  • Add new “minion timers” to indicate time remaining until a minion respawns
  • Temporarily disable minion timers to address an in-game issue where Aurelion Sol’s stars don’t appear in the correct location.
  • Sunset minion timers
NARRATIVE

  • All existing champions rewritten to be two people and a Darkin
  • Yordles are now Vastaya in glamours
ESPORTS

  • The esports team is really excited about the future of our 2018 resolutions and can’t wait to share them once we’ve wrapped talks with the involved organizations, players, and permanent partners.
PLAYER BEHAVIOR

  • Train for the next Tyler1 Championship Series
OTHER META-GAME STUFF

  • Give replays an “Export as Word Document” feature
  • Add a “lowlights” tab (it just shows your replays, but to everyone)
MERCH

  • All merch now made from vegan leather
  • Try to stock fewer of everything
ECOMMERCE

  • Orange Essence now disenchants into Blue Essence at a rate of 15.7% divided by your total play time multiplied by the number of champs you own minus 1% of the pre-conversion value plus the converted Blue Essence amount divided by the current patch’s Bronze V Yasuo win rate (adjusted by region on a bi-quarterly schedule)
  • Launch RiotCoin ICO

Thanks for reading this week’s Ask Riot. 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."
Quick Hits


"I just went in and turned down frequency of how much she talks! Should be out 8.2."
They also noted some changes to Rek'Sai SFX volumes:
I know the exact sound you're talking about - I think it's part of the tremor sense Passive when she's burrowed! I just did a pass on Rek'Sai's volumes overall and that should be out in Patch 8.2, so keep your ears open for it."


"Happy New Year!
This week on the Summoner Showcase we’re doing another ALL submissions episode of the show; we pulled every one of these from the comments and submissions that you personally made and sent in. Just watch the video already The Summoner Showcase is back for 2018 and we’re starting the year off right with an ALL SUBMISSIONS episode! If you’d like to see your stuff show up on the Summoner Showcase, post it in the comments below, reach out to us on Twitter, head over to the Facebook page and submit/post, there’s tons of ways to show us your League creations!"
Reminders

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

  • Snowdown is here through January 8th, including new Draven, Jinx, and Poppy skins, returning legacy skins, missions & rewards, summoner icons, emotes, Poro King and + Snow Battle ARURF, and more!


  • Just in time for Snowdown, the Riot Games Merch store has been updated with a variety of new items including a preorder for an XL BRAUM unlocked statue, new shirts and plush, a free holiday ornament with purchase, and more!






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