I want to take the time to shine a light on our recent live service issues. This is going to be pretty dense but it's what you want and deserve so here it goes...
To start with. We are aware of the poor experience that European players have endured this past week. Since I cant change what's happened, I want to apologize and give some additional information on the reasons and scope of the monstrous lag on our servers hosted from Frankfurt.
As we pointed out before, the issue is actually related to the hardware problem our partner had earlier this week. This was related to an unstable piece of network equipment that failed over to back-up on several occasions and caused some periods of network instability and bad player experiences. We have been working with our partner for the last couple of days on a fix. This resulted in 2 separate maintenances and finally the faulty piece of hardware was replaced on Wednesday/Thursday night GMT. Initially, we thought that we had the problem fixed. However, the next day during peak hours, we continued to get reports of lag from players. We quickly got the team together and realized that we still had an issue.
We contacted our partner and they too started their own investigation. The problem only appeared during the peak times and worse yet affected only some of our servers spread out across the 4 environments (EUW, EUNE, TR, RU). EUW and EUNE were the most heavily affected platforms so we disabled ranked games because of the degraded state of the service. As our combined efforts continued, we examined every piece of the multiple circuits that connect us with to our partner and finally found an issue in one of them. It was a faulty link that had been accidentally enabled during the maintenance on Thursday and was the issue underlying all the issues over the last few days. This circuit has been disabled and has cleaned up the lag issues players had been experiencing.
Moving forward, our next step is to ensure that we can more effectively control the traffic coming into our data centers by plugging directly into the internet backbone. With the new Amsterdam data center (still on track for Q1 2014), were going to introduce RiotDirect a new dynamic routing system managed by Riot network engineers, where we will be responsible for every single aspect of our own traffic in Europe. Although, this will be essentially invisible to the player, the results will help provide a better quality of service for our players. In the meantime, during the upcoming week, were finalizing deals with multiple ISPs and will be getting them directly plugged into our data center. This will allow us to move some of our game servers away from existing connections and onto this new system. This plan should provide smooth holiday gameplay for our European players.
Again, I want to say that it truly troubles us when our players experience poor service. I promise you that we hear and feel your pain. We also commit to keeping you updated as our new systems and data center plans unfold so that you can see how we are trying to constantly improve and evolve the quality of our service for you.
Keep in mind this is all purely opinion and I do not speak for the competitive level. That said, I've used each of these junglers so far and have fought against them as well both losing to them and beating them a few times. I firmly believe you learn more about champions from playing against them than playing as them - at least in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. That is not to say you should assume you know everything about a champion when you've only ever faced them but that it becomes easier to separate what contributed to your success (or failure) with x champion in terms of your personal skill/knowledge contribution and the champions natural abilities.
Overall the Season 4 jungle choices have stayed pretty much the same but the changes have allowed a few junglers to rise above the rest. Not surprisingly, a lot of these junglers were already powerful junglers and were dominant at some point in Season 3 but indirect changes have allowed certain aspects of their jungle prowess to shine brighter or once again. This list might not surprise many people and it may disappoint a few others but it is as I said, the transition between Season 3 and Season 4 has caused only a few stirs in jungle choices.
Ranked solo queue is a unique beast. As far as competitive online games go, there is no other experience that quite captures the same unique feel of the solo queue feature in MOBA games. If you are reading this, then you probably already have some concept of what solo queueing into a game with nine random strangers can be like. When I see people complaining about solo queue, it is always the same set of stock complaints:
“I always have trolls on my team”
“My teammates always feed”
“Someone always goes AFK”
“I get raged at and reported for no reason”
“I can't carry because my team just doesn't want to win”
I hate Riven, but I also love her. More than anything, she represents various design decisions that I really dislike and can be unhealthy for the game. This is not about a champion being overpowered, but some champions are infuriating and continue to be even after they have been nerfed. Riven just happens to be the one that really bugs me. Let's see just why I hate Riven (and Champions like Her).
Have you figured out what the new Vision Wards are for? Have you really grasped what the vision changes were for and what you should do now? I think many people, myself included, have been frustrated by a lack of vision on their team and by a sense of frustration, a sense of “I don’t know what to do any more, this is stupid.” Reminiscing about the “old days” might follow. Ooh, you’re on your way to feeling like an old man.
First, you have to truly understand how vision has changed before you can understand how to use pinks, and how to ward. So I’ll try to explain what has really happened.
In the old system, vision was actually not strategic in the slightest. If items were starcraft units, wards would be the unit that decides the game, and whoever has more of them wins. Does that sound interesting or fun to you? Whoever had oracles and more wards, especially pink ones, simply controlled the map. That was it. You bought your vision victories. The old vision system, put simply, was vision domination through gold superiority. The new system can’t be about dominant vision due to the nature of pinks. You can only have stronger vision. The new vision system is about making deliberate, strategic decisions. If you can stick wards everywhere, there’s nothing to worry about. But right now, you will never have that ability no matter how much gold you get. So now, if you didn’t think about it much before, you should now.
Tips: *Dash through a minion to have Sweeping Blade available to chase your opponent should they flee; Dash directly to your opponent to preserve a minion as your escape route.*At level 18,Yasuo's Steel Tempest reaches its attack speed cap with 50% attack speed from items.*Last Breath can be cast on any target that is knocked Airborne,even by one of your allies.
Previously: *When Yasuo lands two Storm's Edge's in a row,his next will fire a tornado.Watch and listen for the associated sound to prepare to dodge.*Move through or around Wind Wall if you wish to continue damaging Yasuo while it is up.*Last Breath can be cast on any target that is knocked airborne,even the knockups of Yasuo's allies.
Opponent Tips: *Steel Tempest is very narrow.Dodge laterally if possible.*When Yasuo lands two Steel Tempests in a row,his next will fire a tornado.Watch and listen for the associated sound to prepare to dodge.*Yasuo is at his weakest just after he has launched a whirlwind.Engage at that point.*Yasuo's shield from Resolve lasts only 2 seconds.Dealing damage to him will trigger it.Wait it out,then engage.
New Barrier Icon
Showdown (Re-)Enabled on PBE!
Update: Tried it in-game - everything seems to work as intended!
Hey everyone! The Showdown featured game mode has once again been enabled and is now playable on PBE!
As before, you win if any of the following happen: -In a 1v1, first blood wins! In 2v2, the first team to get two kills wins. Suicides count towards the victory kill condition. -The first team to kill a tower wins the game. -The first team to score a combined 100 CS wins the game.
As a reminder, you are allowed to heal, shop, and recall to base whenever you want on Showdown.
There is a minor known issue where the Recall spell does not have sound when cast on Showdown, but we'd love to hear about any other issues you encounter. Please feel free to leave any feedback about the Showdown game mode here!
Polish on the Snowdown skins that we'd previously reverted
Tons of general bug fixes
Snowdown Showdown game mode
This build also includes many of the balance changes that had been made over the course of the last week, which we reverted last night. We have not yet fully "caught up" with our previous state and expect an additional patch tomorrow.
There’s been a ton of discussion around our LCS team contracts, which stipulated active LCS players couldn’t stream a variety of other games.
First, background on why we did this: there’ve been instances of other game studios trying to buy access to League fans by using (or trying to use) LCS teams/players to promote their competing games on stream.
The way we chose to deal with this was clearly an overreach. It hit our goal of preventing companies from advertising through LCS players, but it also encroached on pros’ ability to have fun and entertain viewers during long Challenger queues – and we realize that’s not cool.
After reading all of your comments and having a LOT of internal debate over the last 24 hours, we’re going to be changing the LCS team requirement to something that more closely matches our intent. While under contract to the LCS, teams and players can’t accept sponsorship from other game companies to promote other titles. Besides that, they are free to stream any games they want.
I'll be hanging around to answer questions if you guys have any. Thanks for helping us make a better decision on this.
I think it's admirable that you took your fanbase's/player-base's happiness into account. Your sport has the unique position of having players who will broadcast themselves playing that sport many hours during a week outside of their professional play. I understand that's relatively new territory, and you guys are figuring things out just as much as we are, in some aspects. I am trying to picture that happening with the NBA or the NHL now...
I think you hit upon something very unique to our sport. Most players of other sports don't get the chance to practice so visibly on stream for hours on end. What's interesting is that the concept of a pro player's stream has evolved along with esports itself - before, a stream was just a way for playersto have fun and share their passion for the game with others, but now it's almost something more official. Players represent the league, their teams and their own brand while streaming now. We use streaming to broadcast our official channel - so we're still trying to figure out this kind of media. -------------- Thank you, Whalen for taking the time to discuss the issues here. Seeing you step forward on this topic makes me really proud to work here. :)
[Update: Removed Again!] New and Updated Mastery and Spell Icons
Several patches went out today. One of them contained the following weird masteries and spells:
Suppression Looks like this was a mastery that was only rumored to be in development and was supposed to reduce the cooldown of Stifle by 10 seconds and increases the duration by 0.5 seconds. There were also a few other effects tied to it, but nothing was confirmed. We'll have to wait for the servers in order to have anything sure.
Observer Another interesting addition - this was a spell, replaced by the Spectator Mode! It was used by Riot staff to observe games due to its power to remove the fog of war.
Cleanse The interesting thing here is that the icon used for Cleanse in this patch is actually the icon for Stifle - the spell mentioned in "Suppression". Said spell was removed for being 'too OP', but was later reworked as "Exhaust".
Fortify Another removed spell - this one was taken out of the game in 2011. It allowed players to buff their turrets and make them invulnerable. As already mentioned, this patch is simply weird.