The News Roundup: Co-op vs. AI Now Available on Twisted Treeline, Elise and the Shadow Isles AMA, MLG Fall Championships

RoG Article Recap

Co-op vs. AI Now Available on Twisted Treeline

The beta for the new Twisted Treeline in full swing, and now you have the opportunity to scope the lay of the land by playing against AI opponents. To help you get a handle on the new gameplay, we’ve added TT to Co-op vs. AI matchmaking for the first time ever. Here you can try out new builds and test your skills against Beginner and Intermediate bots specifically designed for the new terrain and mechanics. You can also add these bots to your Custom games if want to practice on your own, or fill the gaps in a game with your friends.

You’ll find the Twisted Treeline bots waiting for you in your next Co-op vs. AI or Custom game.

 Reddit AMA - Elise and the Shadow Isles

From what I've seen so far, Elise seems to be in a class of her own. She's an AP scaling champion with weak ratios, but is not a support, meaning she scales the best with Penetration and CDR. Was that the goal of the champion or did something go wrong somewhere?
Yes - you're right some things are odd with Elise's specific numbers. Let me try to explain that really quickly.

Elise is not only a bit different of a classification (AP Bruiser transformer), but also was really down to the wire, to be frank. Since she's also a more complicated character to understand everything about in real high-skill games, we had a hard time getting her exactly where we wanted before launch.

The good news is we're talking about how to help this out;

  • There's some issues with the human E being lackluster. This is an easy place to improve.
  • We're going to look and evaluate the stats and ratios.

We're gonna start light and watch her as people do play more - we wanna make sure we're not buffing Jayce, essentially :D

I actually feel that Elise is really strong, until you hit late game. Being a huge Ahri player early on, it really surprised me when I saw that Elise's Es did 0 damage and was really mediocre even when leveled.Chaox played exclusively Elise for a few days and came to the conclusion that top lane Elise with Penetration items + FH was really strong, so I'd very careful where and how she gets buffed.Overall, Elise is pretty fun to play and I'm looking forward to what you guys may be changing about her.|
Yeah - we agree here. Want to take a soft approach. :)

I've mostly wondered why Elise's E does no damage on either human nor spider form. Are you planning on adding some? Possibly some changes in other areas to balance her because that would just make her laning phase stronger. It just feels strange because pretty much every stun does damage and the few untargetables do as well (Fizz/Vlad).
It's something to consider, but spells with major utility can be made stronger in their utility functions if you leave damage off. Additionally, a character with 7 skills has massive burst potential (Nidalee has a heal and trap so that her burst is lower, for example).

Spider E is also plenty strong on its own :)

Please explain Jayce then.
See the problem?

It's not black and white, but the problem is clearly evident.

Was she designed with that new climate in mind or the live one? Can we expect new specialized items to cater to this new class, outside of 'borrowing' items that other classes might favor?
It's about a variety - we want some characters to be more closely tied to their role, and we want some to shake it up. It depends on the character design individually.

Transforming characters have, essentially, double the mechanical space to work with, so we tend to do it more often here than other places - it's cool and makes sense.

So what's the story with Morde, Hecarim, and the King? The quotes from the Lady of the West and the Lord of the East seem to indicate that Mordekaiser and Hecarim have both been somehow corrupted and brainwashed by some force, is this the King? And speaking of that, who is the King? Is he analogous to the Red King in Stephen King novels? Will he play an important role going forwards? Might we one day see him on the Fields of Justice even? :DAlso, what inspired you guys to put the lore in the quotes from the capture points? How are you guys planning to implement more major lore stories without creating a whole new map going forwards? And how is the lore between the Valoran city-states as well as Shurima, Lokfar, etc. going to progress? Are they all going to be united against the Shadow Isles, or are their squabbles and progresses going to be advancing too?

EDIT: Also, did you get some inspiration for the new character of Mordekaiser from the Shrike in Dan Simmons' Hyperion series?
We do want to do more major lore events in the future.

We want to tie our maps more closely to our world, so when we get the chance we will work with the art team to solidify the connection between maps and areas of our world like we did with Shadow Isles and Twisted Treeline.

However we want to be able to tell stories about areas of our world even if there isn't a themed map associated with it. For example, probably not going to do a Bandle City themed map any time soon, but we still want to develop more lore for Bandle City.

But yeah long term my hope is we tie Dominion, Summoner's Rift, closer to our world. The Crystal Scar is cool for example, but no champions really come from there except for Skarner.

Yes there is a King figure in the Shadow Isles in fact there is an item named after him - Blade of the Ruined King.

There are definite hints as to who he is, and what his relationship is with some of our shadow isles champions. We will release more information about him over time. He is a central figure in the Shadow Isles who is tied to it's creation and it's curse.

Oh wow, I never figured out the connection between the character and the item. That's really cool. So does that mean he's a ruined king as in he was a king on earth (maybe during the Rune Wars) or is he more of a ruined king in the sort of Lucifer and blah blah fall from heaven blah blah sense? Because Elise says "death was another world and I was at it's door" in her login speech (is this canon?) which kinda points to it more being the experiment of a King long ago and something happened to the ruler, but I dunno. I am also at least personally against turning the LoL lore into a religious allegory, especially for a religion that doesn't actually exist in the universe of the League.Oh and one final thing (this probably isn't final but whatever): are the souls of most of the inhabitants of the Shadow Isles imprisoned somehow? And if so (or even if not), is the King also imprisoned?
Elise's login VO is canon though she may be speaking metaphorically when she says death is another world. Can't confirm some of your other theories, but good theorizing!

Why didn't Evenlynn get special lines like Morde, Karthus, Elise, Hecarim, and Yorick did? Will future Shadow Isle's champs get such cool lore treatment as well?
So I will confirm that Eve's story involves the Shadow Isles.

We did not want to release specter lines for her because we don't want to give away the story. We are open to recording specter lines for her if players remain positive about the experience of capturing altars on Twisted Treeline. We wouldn't want to record until we were ready to release more information on her lore.

Are you the kitae in kitae's bloodrazor?

Why is the left altar saying to hecarim when he caps it, that he should not trust Mordekaiser?Also if this is Lore related, are you planning to get more lore in the actual gameplay, like these altar interactions? And a last question, who are these 2 Altars? The lest 1 is a women that seems to deosn't like some of the shadow Islers that much and the other one, on the right side of the map seems like an evil man who awaits a king?
The altars are an experimental way of integrating more lore into the game. Glad you are interested in them, and we are watching player reaction carefully to see if we should do more interactions like this in the future.

We have developed an epic and comprehensive story for the shadow isles that we hope to fully explore in the future. The interactions at the altar are giving hints at this storyline. I am glad you are curious as to why the spirit is telling Hecarim he should not trust Mord, I am not going to reveal that today but it will become more clear over time.

However I want to give you something so let me tell you a bit more about these two characters.

The man and the women are husband and wife. They died thousands of years ago and their spirits are forever bound to the place of their death. Over time they have forgotten much of what they knew of their life.

The husband has almost completely forgotten his life, and his wife, to the point where he has become a zealot for the shadow isles. He literally doesn't remember he was ever alive, except in rare moments of lucidity. He is proud and eager to serve those who represent the interests of the shadow isles.

His wife still remembers fragments of her life, and her humanity. She is tormented by her undead state, and longs to be free. She misses her husband, wants to be with him, and also wants him to be set free. Though she is a tragic character, she is also a vengeful one. She judges the champions of the shadow isles for their actions both in death, and in their former lives.

We hope to do more interactions with more characters in the future. However, we want to make sure that any such vocal interjections into gameplay are neither repetitive nor disruptive.

Love the whole shadow isles theme with this patch, very cool. Are there any plans to do more area themed patches like it? Like a Demacia patch, etc?
Sounds like a good idea to me.....

How will the removal of the Twisted Treeline affect Maokai's lore?
We are planning on doing a lore update for Maoki in the future.

As a preview, Maoki will not become an undead tree. He will retain a connection to TT as a connection to the Shadow Isles, but he will not be a Shadow Isles champion. As a proponent of nature, he will see the shadow isles as an abomination.

Do you plan on making other themed events? You made Halloween and shadow isle a big thing and that was great! New TT is great as well, but do you plan on doing stuff like this for The Void? Or frejlord etc...
I think that's a great idea

Do you like spiders?
Yes because the hold the secrets to great power and eternal life. Also, would you like to take a boat ride with me?

Hey, thanks for the AMA. Quick question that was probably already answered: the map is still in beta, how long will you wait, and which data will you look for to "balance" it ? Champion statistics? Are you in touch with some pro players helping you to make it better ?
There's lots of data to look at including death times (when are people fighting), game lengths, gold earned, champs used, etc.

You'll definitely see some changes to TT as we continue to make sure it's smoothed out on the rough edges (Level 1 teamfight snowballing is a concern) so it has deep replayability like SR.

I remember hearing similar things when Dominion came out. After a few minor tweaks here and there you guys haven't really touched it. Do you plan to do more with TT than you did with Dominion and is there any support for Dominion coming soon? Also what are the odds of seeing soloqueue ranked on TT/Dominion or draft mode for TT?
Yeah - we've had a bad support structure for this in the past. We've fixed that now for this launch Dominion will need heavy work before maintenance, but it'll get some too after that

Do you find it ironic that this patch is doing two big things (Ward Skin Test + TT rework), but you can't use the former on the latter? :P
Sure another way of looking at it is the ward skins make sure that all our maps can have a spooky feel for Halloween. TT is already spooky so it doesn't need it as much.

But, sure there is irony there.

Elise is an epic mix of sexy and badass. Is there a specific inspiration that helped you make her so awesome?
we looked at lots of strong sexy female types from films and games to retain the human alluring side of her as she can get lost within the badass spider feature/half.

How did the idea for Elise come to you?
Originally, we had a cancelled champion called the Spider Queen. We ended up ditching her for a number of reasons, but there was a lot of cool stuff in the idea of "Spider" and "Queen." :)

We started there, and it took us a lot of iterations to get to Elise. The "spark" of Elise as you know her was based on two qualities that brought it together:

  • The idea that she would be an evil noblewoman who turned into a rad spider
  • Paul Kwon's sweet concept art that depicted Elise

After that, we also tried to make sure it lined up with the Shadow Isles/Harrowing release, which just seemed really appropriate for her.

Why didnt karthus get more to say? =( I feel like he could say more,also because his lore got changed. I would love to see some more love for the old lich in the future =P
Can you give me some more details on who you would like to see?

For instance, one of Karthus' quotes at this point is "Share... My curse!" while in his lore it is made pretty clear that he made himself what he is willingly. So why call it a "Curse"?Besides that i think that he is a bit limited in his number of lines compared to newer champions. A nice global voice (Bankplank laugh) when he hits his "R" for instance would give it just that little bit of extra flavour.
Oh ok I get you now.

I would be happy for us to rewrite and re-record Karthus' VO. We're a little cautious about that because players get used to certain lines and whether they are accurate or not they can become a pleasurable part of gameplay.

Miss Fortune is a good example. A lot of her lines are a bit silly, but I love them as a player of Miss Fortune.

So, we'll consider this in the future but we want to move forward cautiously.

How hard was it to release the new TT map just in time for Halloween?
We started working on TT with the highest of quality in mind and not for any event or holiday. it was just a bonus that it was finished and ready for Halloween.

Is there some more lore coming with the the shadow isles revamp?
This is our biggest lore release ever: - three bios (Elise, Karthus, Mordekaiser) - lore text on the Shadow Isles website - Elise login screen lore - Specters on TT have lore lines

But yes we do have more shadow isles lore coming over the next few months.

What was the original conection between the shadow isles and the old twisted treeline?
There was no connection between the old TT lore and the new TT lore beyond the general themes of twisted and unnatural magic.

Why did you make vilemaw so strong and how did you got the this name
I can talk about the naming part.

On old-TT we had a dragon named Ebonmaw. We thought it would be a nice tribute to him to keep the "maw" portion of the name. All in all we went through about 30 possible name iterations and picked Vilemaw because we liked it the best. It sounds creepy and strong.

You may have noticed there are some bones in Vilemaw's lair. These represent the remains of Ebonmaw getting nommed by Vilemaw! This is tribute not canon ;)

Elise's art looks a lot like the old woman that talk's to spiderman(the one which teleports him, and gives him advice), were you in any part inspired by her when creating Elise? or you just felt like a spider champion was missing from the game?
No we didn't look at the woman from Spiderman as inspiration. We did think a spider was needed in LOL. We are always looking for a archetype, and themes that are unused. The main reason for creating Elise is that she just looks awesome and would be a win for our players.

I love the integration of the lore in the actual gameplay. I'm also loving all of these new champion interactions with one another. Are we going to see more champion dialogue interactions?
If player response remains positive we will consider recording more specter VO for new champions and some old champions who could use specific lines (Maoki, Eve when the time is right).

Do you take the lore in consideration before or after you design the art, map, etc...? for example, did you reach out to the lore to create the altars or you came up with the mechanics first and then adapted it to the lore
The mechanics came first. Initially the altars were just capture points that gave a buff. We saw an opportunity to make them more meaningful by adding personality (the two specters) and lore (the lines they say to individual characters).

Game design involves sometimes seizing opportunities like this and running with them! If we hadn't done the specters at the altars we would have found another way to integrate lore into the map in a way that enhances mood, without disrupting gameplay.

Is there any plans for more shadow isles champions in the near future?

My question is: are there any plans to hype up the lore for the Shadow Isles? Or any plans to get more involved with lore in general again?
I think what this comes down to is personal lore preferences. We definitely understand that some players will prefer longer written lore like JOJ/Judgements. Other players though prefer audio lore like the spider queen login screen, or specter in-map VO. Others prefer comics, videos, etc.

Right now we're trying out different forms of lore to figure out what works best for us, and for our players.

Additional text based lore is also a possibility. We're still doing bios, and we could do other forms of text based lore but if we do so we'll find a way of doing it which is satisfying for more of our players.

How do you plan on developing the lore between Shadow Isles Characters? Especially between Mordekaiser and Hecarim?
Yes we have developed the story of Mord and Hecarim. We are working on new ways of delivering stories and lore to players. The story of Mord and Hecarim is one I look forward to telling more of in the future.

Due to the change in location of the Twisted Treeline, shouldn't it be moved on the map to the Shadow Isles in the top left corner?
Yes, we're going to update the client to show the correct location of the Twisted Treeline. Some work is being done on that page that has to be completed, or we'd have to do the change twice.

How much did you want lore/story to influence this change? A simple change of mechanics or design would have kept it interesting but the fact it comes with its own set of lore makes it even more loveable. Did you feel that lore/story HAD to infulence the change? [Wanna be lore dev :P]
I think we recognize that lore is more meaningful when it's tied to content that players enjoy like maps, champions, skins.

We could have told Elise's story on it's own, but the hope is that players enjoy all the content and lore more as a package than they would as individual elements.

Lore-wise, does the old Twisted Treeline still exist (meaning that there are two corrupted forests) or has the old Twisted Treeline been erased out of existence?
We use "comic book rules" for our lore. This basically means new trumps old, but old is valid within it's own context.

When I talk about lore timelines I use champion releases as "issues". So from issues 105 (Kha'Zix and earlier) TT was outside of Zaun. With issue 106 (Elise) we've remade TT and placed it on the Shadow Isles.

Did you plan to shorten the duration of the matches by changing the map?
Yes - absolutely. The old turtling had to go.

MLG Fall Championships: Buy Tickets Now!

Major League Gaming welcomes League of Legends to their Fall Championship in Dallas. From November 2 – 4, eight invited teams will battle at the Dallas Convention Center in hot pursuit for their share of $30,000.

Our very own Phreak and Jatt join a caster line-up that also includes Deman, MonteCristo, and OptimusTom. The teams competing at this event are Azubu Blaze, Counter Logic Gaming NA and EU, Curse Gaming NA, NaJin Sword, Team Dignitas, Team Dynamic, and Team SoloMid. Many of these teams competed in the Season Two World Championship, so the competition will be intense. 

If you’d like to attend the event live from the convention, purchase your spectator passes here.

To learn more about the MLG Fall Championship, check out MLG’s website.





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