The News Roundup: Season 3 starting, RiotEzreal answers questions - New Champions, and more


RoG Article Recap

Season Three Path to Pro – Online Ladder Completed

The period to place for the online qualifier for Season 3 has ended

As 2012 comes to a conclusion, so does an important phase of our Season Three Path to Pro, the Online Ladder.It all started 2 months ago, when the Path to Pro was revealed. For the first time, more than pride was at stake in the 5v5 Ranked teams ladder. The opportunity of a lifetime emerged: a chance for anyone to become a professional and salaried League of Legends player and compete in front of an audience of millions.Tens of thousands of teams competed during the Online Ladder, which concluded on December 27th. Now the results and rosters of the top 32 ladder teams are being validated in preparation for the Online Tournament, which will run on January 4th & 5th in both Europe & North America.

RiotEzreal answers questions, New Champions, Announcer Packs, and More

The rioter known as Ezreal hit the forums today with quite a bit of information, such as that alternate announcer packs are in the works, new champions and more. Read through our compilation below or check the red tracker page

Hey Guys,

I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to update this thread. Things at work have been pretty hectic lately (in a purely amazing way). So the first time I've had to repost on this thread is on vacation (just like when I first had a chance to start this thread =-P). I hope you'll forgive me, and I'll try to do this at least once a month from now on...if not more often.

As always feel free to check out my @RiotEzreal Twitter, as I'll always post in it whenever I post in this thread (just makes it easier to track).

I always thought Lux was really similar to Morgana in terms of their kit. Drop-on-the-ground AoE, Snare, Shield.
Absolutely, her kit was actually designed around taking the dark elements from morgana and seeing what they would feel like if they instead used light elements (primarily Q/W/E). Good catch!

Will you guys ever redesign champions just because they could be more interesting or fun? (Opposed to redesigning champions because they need fixing)
I'm talking about someone like Wukong. He's not bad but c'mon, his kit is a bit bland. He only has one way to use his abilities. E -> Q -> R or W
Well, our primary focuses in doing champion updates are as follows: make the character more fun, fix the core problems, and don't remove what make the character fun in the first place. So yes we redesign characters to make them more fun.

That being said, I don't believe we would update a character like Wukong. We specifically made his kit simple with easy combos and a single ability that can be used for amazing effects. Take for example a lot of our early champions. Yes they are easier to use than our newer champions, but that is by design. We want champions that new players can join the game and fully understand on their first play through. Having a wide range of characters in both skill level and play style only improves our play experience.

Will Riot ever have a system where we can purchase the announcers voice to be something else? possibly popular champions?
Will we ever see Kog'maws daddy?! I love kog'maw, please tell me his Daddy will appear sometime soon!
Just also want to give my support for releasing Lissandra the Ice Dervish! I'm a huge fan of Sejuani and all of Freljord, please give me my third princess =D
More Sejuani skin please! are they on the works?
I hope we offer players alternate announcer packs, though honestly it hasn't come up that often. I recently brought this up to one of our design departments, and we are going to look into it again.

As for Kog'maw's daddy...there is only one way that I could see him in our game...and that is in epic ridiculously large boss form. So here's hoping that we eventually do a void inspired map that will allow enough space for Kog'maw's dad to fit in.

Hmmm, that's +1 for Lissandra.

please MR. ezreal, can you say to your riot team these bugs, because i wrote the trundle bug in the forum 1 year ago and still not fixed :/

-Leona can reset auto attack after her Q (like the old garen with bug before it got fixed)
-Trundle Q base damage cannot crit.
-shaco clone does not take into account AD runes"
The Leona note is not a bug. On next hit abilities should all reset your auto attacks. Learn it and love it, it grants a butt ton of extra damage.
I'll bring up the Trundle bug.
I'll bring up the Shaco clone bug.

Are you the main designer on any champs right now? If not, then what are you doing at riot right now?
Well, I transitioned from designing individual champions to leading the champion ideation process (initial art/design/theme) some time after releasing Ahri. Recently I have also joined the Creative Design team in coming up with awesome new ways to integrate lore into our game (GIVE ME IDEAS HERE!!!).

If someone was looking to get into the gaming field as game journalist or working inside Riot on the community part for example dealing with the community, handling Q&A and support tickets, do you have any suggestions for a major?
There are plenty of colleges which focus on journalism, and if you don't go to one then simply get a degree in Writing. As for ways to get into the community, simply put your face out there. I have met tons of people who simply became known in our community from making youtube videos, or starting up league websites. Good luck!

Hey Erzeal,Will there be a concept similar to Link and Toon Link, Pikachu and Pichu being in Smash Bros? Like Older version of Annie(that many wanted) and pre-mechanized&rebuild Urgot. They can have similar skills or same but more powerful but lacking in aspects that their younger/previous counterparts have and vice versa, etc. If not as a released champion but as skins?
Well, we have already done this in the past with a few champions. Lux has a number of inspirations from Morgana, and Darius has a number of inspirations from Garen (spinning to win, and his own brand of execute). And heck, I would love to have a time assassin who takes inspiration from Zilean...though there hasn't been traction on that for years =-

Hey ezreal, you've answered so many questions, and I really appreciate it. I want to ask you a question that I CANNOT find the answer to anywhere.Why was ap lulu so nerfed? She was op, but now ap lulu mid isn't considered viable, and I remember specifically hearing that ap mid lulu was supposed to be preserved.
There were two primary problems: Support Lulu would deal too much damage late game, and AP lulu would dole out too much support late game. She simply did two different roles too well, and had to be brought in line with one of them. As such, we opted to keep her in a support role

Hey Ezreal,Are there any plans (even if very long-term ones) to remake/redesign champions that are considered "unfun" to play against? To name the three worst offenders: Yorick, Darius and Teemo.I do NOT think any of them are overpowered, but I do agree that they are just plain unfun to play against. There's so little counterplay option available besides "kite darius" "try to ignore Teemo" and "survive Yorick and hope his carry sucks".
Yes. There are three primary reasons to remake champions: they are not fun to play as, they are not fun to play against, and they simply don't fit in the game. Now each of these can be remade based on a designers opinion of them. But playing against is one of the primary metrics we take into account when remaking champions.

What do you think about mana/energy stealing items? Possibly an active that uses the opponents mana to cast your own spell? Example: Veigar uses the *insert name of item* against a Nunu. Veigar then ults (would use 150 mana lets say) and instead of the mana being reduced from Veigar, it is stolen from Nunu instead. T

his would only be able to work in a direct relation (Energy steals energy, mana steals mana, etc.)We have removed spells and items which have done this in the past. Check out Zileas's post on Anti Fun Patterns to learn more!

I have 2 questions:1) Can we expect a new female AD ranged carry anytime soon? The past few have been Graves, Draven, and Varus. The top 3 are Ezreal, Corki, and Graves. The female AD ranged carries could use some new woman-power.2) Can we get a new mage that is ice based? We have Anivia but I just don't feel it with her. When I say ice mage I think of Crystal Maiden, Lich, or AA from DOTA rather than Anivia. I guess more than anything I'd like a freeze and the slow debuff.1 and 2
2013 will be a good year for you...

Dear Ezreal,I am about to undertake a massive undertaking: to read all 309 posts from start to finish. Wish me luck?As for questions, I have 3:- How is it that you are able to maintain a thread of this size? From past experience I know you answer most if not all of the questions. Do you think other rioters might do something like this as well?- I believe that every skillshot, apart from nautilus' dredge line, can travel through walls. Are there any plans to make another skillshot that doesn't travel through walls?- Zigg's bouncing bomb explodes on impact with turrets. What led to this design choice?- Have you thought about adding a champ that has the ability to deflect skillshots with a skillshot? Say someone is aiming a mystic shot at you and you deflect it to the side. Any design problems with this?Whyyyyy would you do that to yourself!!! Though for doing it I will answer a few of your questions =-P:
1) Haha, I haven't been able to keep up very well recently...and I mostly post here on weekends and vacations. So it's not too sustainable for the average Rioter.
2) Skill shots will generally travel through walls unless they have an express gameplay reason to interact with walls. For example: a skill shot which bounces off walls, a skill shot that attaches a mine to a wall.
3) Zigg's bouncing bomb explodes on terrain, and turrets count as terrain.
4) We have considered it, and ultimately decided that it doesn't add great gameplay. We would rather have a shield that blocks skillshots (imagine a shield that extends to 3x the length of a champ that would block skill shots coming at him).

Ez don't u think that the release of syndra and kha zix its a little unfair for viktor players?, with syndra u only have to max your abilities to gain the bonus and kha zix gets an evolution every 6 lvls, meanwhile viktor has an item slot occupied by an item that late game its a little weak , only the red core worth the money the other 2 are really weak in term on stats, also viktor only can upgrade one of his abilities. I know that riot want to innovate with new mechanics , but try to innovate with mechanics that work and are fair for the other champs , also his E has been bugged since release and never was touch.if u release more balanced champs the less champs u need to rework.
Not at all, they each have their own design space, and having a unique item is within Viktor's design space. I would actually say the problem you are facing is the power of Viktor's item slot. Personally, I would love to see it get a tier 2 item upgrade, to make it more worth the slot.

Hey Ezreal, You should check out Shushei's team (I Want Cookie) or stream sometime he plays Ap Ezreal and hasnt lost with it in tournaments, yet.

Awesome, I miss watching Shushei's Gragas! And now I get to see AP Ez too.

I've been pondering it for a while now, have you ever played Dark Cloud? If so, you know that cat girl with the slingshot? I'd love to see a champion with that kind of weapon. I've taken notice already that here at LoL you guys base a lot of champions off other things, and that's really cool. So maybe make the cat girl an option? Thanks for the thought.

I've played Dark Cloud 1 & 2, so I do remember the catgirl with a slingshot. And yea, I could see a slingshot as a weapon, but it is pretty far down the list of potential powerful weapons in my mind.

Ezreal uses the left glove right? Will we ever receive a champion with the right glove? I love Ezreal concept thank you very much for creating him 

We actually considered this for a dark magic user recently, though we ultimately canned this character because he wasn't quite reaching the ultimate evil magic feel that we needed him to.

Besides the support that morello teased cannot wear shoes. Are there any other support champs in the works? 9 months it will be most likely between Lulu and this support which is way to long  have you thought about making 3 supports a year?

Well, we work on champions as far as 8 months ahead of time. So yes, there is at least one more support in the works. And one of the coolest characters I have seen in League of Legends.

Make Lux's E (Lucent Singularity) and Gragas' Q (Barrel) castable a second time while they're travelling so they detonate on arrival instantly instead of having to wait for it to land before being allowed to re-cast.Maximum harass range and burst speed are noticeably slower with higher pings like Australians which handicaps them. This can be easily fixed by making those spells castable a second time while they're in air/ rolling.

I love this idea and I will pass it on to the live design team.

Have you considered a (maybe sand worm-like) champion where the abilities are based on moving around underground?
For instance:

An ability that moves the champion underground for a few seconds, gaining resistances and making them unable to autoattack, but enabling another ability that has them do AoE damage above them, or just constantly doing AoE damage above them. An ability that has them dig under a wall to a set point.An ultimate, where they dig down and move to a point and burst out of the ground, doing knockback/damage/slow.

Well, yes. We have considered making a Yordle in a drill tank. Imagine an ultimate where the drill tank goes underground and pops up in a targeted area, dealing damage and creating a one way tunnel that your allies can go through... CRAZY INITIATOR!

So why hasn't Urgot been remade yet? Im not mad about it (Yes I am) but i haven't even heard anything about an Urgot remake at all. Last I had heard someone had labeled him as a mistake of a champion.

It turns out remaking Urgot is hard, really really hard. And he is another character that clashed with season 3. We simply needed to ask ourselves what was more important, remaking Urgot or updating all of our items, masteries, jungle, and more.

In the League we have monsters, kids, ninjas, archers, a thing that spits to people....but, for some reason, we don't have any Samurai (I know, Samurai Yi and Warlord Shen, but they don't count, they are skins, not full champions), so, why u don't include a Samurai champion?, it would give more diversity to the League, and sincerely, i would buy him/her.
Please, answer me, i want a Samurai

Well, we are constantly looking to fill common archetypes that we have missed, and we definitely still have space for a true samurai in our game.

Dear ezreal, you've explored the concept of directionality in the past with mechanics like mocking shout that only slows when the target's back is turned, or cass' ult which only stuns when the target is facing you, but how about a champ that takes less damage from one direction than another? Say, he's got a giant shield, so he takes less damage from the front than when he's retreating. If you feel that's too restrictive, how about a champ that can alter the direction from which he can take less damage, say a psionic mage that moves a psionic force field around his body?

Yes, I fully expect that we will do this some day (directional shields for damage mitigation). Also, that's a pretty crazy awesome idea for the psionic mage. I'll have to think about that more to figure out how to make it feel great.

1) any news on Katarina and Cassiopeas' father or the champ who killed him(if its the champ who killed him will we be seeing Talon defect from Noxus?)
2) i don't suppose you have any digging based champs in the works
3)is Sion in the list of reworks and if so any hints as to whats being changed.
4)would it be too unfun if a champ could spawn a bush or remove a bit of terrain
5) will a delay of game start ( like on dominion you cant leave the well for a few seconds) ever be implemented on Sumoners Rift or Twisted Treeline that way everyone could buy items and get to lane regardless of how slow their comp is at relatively the same time
6) when will the phantom theif Caitlyn is chasing make an appearance
7)Lastly will we be seeing any champs or at least maps of the other 2 known continents on Runeterra

1) Not yet, but who knows.
2) Haha, I was just talking about the Yordle Drill Tank. But he is not currently in the works.
3) Not sure unfortunately.
4) Well, Caitlyn's original kit used to spawn brush (instead of her trap). So I could see it happening...though there were plenty of reasons to avoid this ability: weird interactions in lane, weird interactions with monsters, and more...
5) I don't think so. The delay for Dominion is more about the style of map: an objective based map where the objectives can be taken at minute 1.
6) I could see this happening in the future. But I would like to see that phantom thief be upgraded to something more awesome first...
7) We still have plenty of Valoran to discover before checking out other areas of Runeterra.

What Makes a Jungler a Jungler to Riot?

Riot gave some insight in how they see junglers

I think something that makes a champion successful in the jungle is how much that champion values - and can thrive - being in Fog of War. In Rengar's development, we knew that he didn't have a competitive clear time, but he also didn't need it - his lane-ganking (with Thrill of the Hunt) or just basic sidelane ganks utilizing his passive along with Empowered Bola Strike made him incredibly strong there. 

Kha'Zix, Elise, Diana, and Vi as well all had a significant number of jungle tests - even if we didn't expect that position to be their primary/popular roles, they are all champions that have strong dueling/cc and prefer to get the jump on the opponent.

Zed is a champion where i'm probably the most happy with how his jungling turned out - CertainlyT and i got to work very closely on Zed, and at the time he was a poor jungler at best. He was functioning as a solo laner just fine, mind you, but when he was only a laner (and balanced to be one) he was incredibly frustrating...on demand slow (at the time it wasn't tied to mimicked shadow slash) and potent ranged poke + super escape made laning against a Zed so frustrating some of us didn't even want to participate in playtests. However, opening him up to play in the jungle allowed us to not only drain some of the strengths of his laning, but also increase his mobility/trickiness across the board - the Zed player was casting W more often and jumping over jungle walls, and the opponents had specific windows of time they would be expecting him within the laning phase, which ended up just being more fun across the board.

Of the champions i've mentioned, i think their jungles are quite potent - but almost all of them have to skill/build/play differently to account for their new role. Elise forgoes a sustained damage build and prioritizes raw damage and approaches with rappel to hit-confirm a cocoon into instant-kill. Vi, Zed, and Rengar will all stalk opponents from shaco-esque angles of approach. 

tl;dr IMO, the more a champion can make use of burst damage/mobility from the jungle, the more potent that champion can be played there, whereas heroes like Garen/Darius who favor accruing advantage over time and attrition-based combat don't get to exercise the full extent of their strengths. I believe junglers are less 'Can this person jungle?' and more 'Why do you want to jungle them

Is Diana Evil?

IronStylus went into great detail regarding Diana's lore and champion design

Lots of fun stuff in here, some of it right along the lines of what we were thinking about when we developed Diana, some other things that have given me pause which I hadn't thought of before.

This is all open to individual interpretation, but myself, I do not see Diana as inherently evil. I see her as someone who was pure and whole, who has since collapsed in upon themselves to become the nihilist. To me, Diana is the absence, that's the compelling thing about her. It is not necessarily the strength of her convictions as it is her utter lack of consideration or regard since surrendering the better part of herself.

Leona is full, Diana is empty. That emptiness however is a force nonetheless. Leona is the fertile and the light, Diana is a desolate and the dark. She is the vacuum. A vacuum can still kill you. She is exerting a pull where Leona is forcing a push. In that they a complimentary. Diana is doubt, while Leona is faith, and trust. For Leona, Diana represents the direct insertion of that doubt into her world. Despite Diana becoming what Leona abhors, a taker of life, Leona isn't stupid. Being presented with a force given form that is directly conflicting with her beliefs she would have to question as to whether she has the whole story. Meanwhile, as Leona's unwavering faith falters, Diana has hit such a depth of nothingness that she is left with a completely perverted certainty. Leona's world is shattered, Diana's becomes concrete. Maybe Diana was willing to embrace shades of grey before, but not any more.

This isn't to say she doesn't believe in some sort of balance, or that the convictions she has inside her do not aim to restore some sort of equilibrium. But I believe that this is mainly a story about her, not the power which she has embraced. I feel that she has been so hurt, she has endured so much needless suffering, that she has gone to the very limit that any rational human can handle in the face of irrationality that there is nothing left for her to do but to collapse, to succumb and to let something otherworldly take her. She is the sane voice in a world of insanity, finally facing that inevitability, with that amount of blind objective reality being forced upon her, she has no choice but to give in finally.

As some have mentioned some of this is parallel to what Leona faced. Leona makes a choice, during the time she is most vulnerable a higher power steps in. Diana also makes a choice, but she relents, she despairs, becomes vulnerable and the higher power intercedes. Unlike Leona however, Diana is not really lifted up, she is dragged down. As the saying goes, the way out is through. 

With Leona, she has to face death, face the abyss, but not fall in. She is saved before she parishes. Her conviction makes this so. Diana too must face death, look into the abyss, but must fall. That choice to let go is what facilitates her ascendancy. Reverse that now, to "present day" Leona must now face having to let go while Diana is now burning with conviction. 

Also, when I speak of conviction, I do not necessarily mean that she is doctrinally driven. I feel that Diana has gone fully hyperbolic. What she feels is not rational. That's the kicker, she used to be so. She is the embodiment of what has literally been scorned or ignored and has something to say about it. This is her upswing coming from the depths. This is the pendulum swinging way too far. This is the overcompensation for her own personal saga and the disposition of the power inside her. She is the power personified, but that power is not looking for balance, not right at this moment.

There's a common thing we latched onto when developing her, and it was the Darth Vader arc. The way I look at it, Vader is not evil, he is also a nihilist. He is not driven by political power, or ideology, or military might. His argument basically boils down to; The power of the Dark Side is too great, resisting it is futile. If you are in my way, you will die by my hands and I will speak not a word of it aside from what a pitiful fool you are for getting in the way of something far beyond you.

That's my feeling at least, and that's how I feel about Diana and Leona actually. Anakin Skywalker had to succumb. He had to give in, and by doing so he was carried along by a torrent of which he saw no salvation from, nor any way out for someone standing on front of it. Even with his own son, his feeling is as I said, take my hand and stand with me, admit to the power, let it take hold of you, or die. It doesn't really matter in the end. Vader has no love lost for his son, someone he should love.

Diana feels similar I think. Despite any feelings that may be present, she has to give the same ultimatum to someone who she cares for, someone that stands in the way of a power which supersedes anything Diana might feel outside of its torrent.

Is Diana evil? She may be now. But she also might be nothing. I choose to see this story as not one of good and evil, but of full and empty. How full or how empty Leona or Diana are at the various points of their story mirror each other. Who will end up being full, and who will end up being left with nothing? What will full mean? Is there a balance that can be sought?

We'll just have to wait and see..