Full Freljord AMA Roundup
If you missed the massive AMA on reddit today, we have you covered with a massive roundup of every post. This goes in order of each riot poster covering: "IronStylus", "RiotNome", "Kitae", "Brackhar", "3PEET" , "RiotRunaan", "MorelloRiot", and "RiotMeddler". They talk about upcoming champion reworks. Next Ultimate skin is not Freljord related, talk of Mount Targon and more!
Updated with Riotpraeco
Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)Q: [Mutterscrawl]What are the chances for Ashe to get an "Avarosa" skin or Sejuani to get a skin that makes her look like Serylda, or perhaps a skin that shows what Lissandra looked like in the distant past?A: [IronStylus]Ooooh, i'd love to see that!
Q: [IronStylus]I have a question for YOU guys! What sort of events of this sort would you want to see in the future? What part of the world do you feel could benefit from the Freljord treatment and what do you think they should include? I'd really love us to continue with these initiatives, and I'd like to know what our players want to experience, where they want to go, and who they want to get to know better! *cough*Mount-Targon*cough*A: [TomTomKenobi]Shurima Desert could have many cool secrets! The Plague Jungles look very dark and mysterious, too. Moving away from places, I really really really enjoyed the Ionia vs Noxus battle and the true/real repercussions in the game (new boots and lore). Keep up the good work and thank you! EDIT: Maybe open a door to the Void and have all the LoL characters team up to destroy the spawns! (i.e. zombie apocalypse; new coop game mode...)
Sivir is a possibility, plus some others that haven't been announced that we've been touching on ;)
Q: [anotherlblacklwidow]Now that Freljord has passed and content doesn't have to be icy, should Scorched Earth Renekton be considered upcoming? Or has it been more-or-less shelved?A: [IronStylus]I know he's not shelved.
Q: [keymaster16]part of faction battles is each faction has something that appeals to the players, ashe is for the 'good guy' crowd, Sejuani the 'might makes right' crowd. but what kind of faction is Lissandra? what about her faction appeals to players? thanks in advance for doing this!A: [IronStylus]I think those who like intrigue and sinister deeds!
Q: [questir]Any hint who is the next for the model rework?A: [IronStylus]Depending on priorities, there's a few that are up for grabs. Sivir is one, but we might have someone different before that ;)
Q: [IronicallyMature]I loved the patch. So much fun! I see all the names of the people here to answer questions and I am so curious I must ask: Are your "names" just previous screen names you used, or do you come up with them upon being hired? Also, do you all refer to each other by your screen names (e.g.: "Hiya, IronStylus!" or "Stop screen peaking, Runaan!")?A: [IronStylus]I created mine when I was hired, but I believe Runaan had hers for like.. ever! It depends, I might refer to Morello as Morello, but he's my friend so usually I just call him Ryan ;)
Q: [Jayjayko]I wanted to ask, it seems almost every single Ice/Freljord Hero got a remodeling or remake to bring them up to todays standards. Why is it Anivia's main splash has been and still is untouched? It really does look bad and she could look so much more fierce and graceful.A: [IronStylus]That's mainly a lack of bandwidth issue with splash.
Q: [Enhe]Hi guys! Just three simple questions **1Âº** *Why Nunu didn't get a model rework with Trundle and Sejuani?* **2Âº** *How many time do you need to create a model from 0?* **3Âº** *Don't you guys think that Ashe would need a new Re-Rework for her model to be even more renewed like Sejuani and Lissandra?* **(I feel she need it, like new wearing style or something like that)** Thank you guys for this AMA! I LOVE YOU! **EDIT**: I Forgot about something i wanted to ask.. **Â· What do you think about the custom "Hide & Seek" mode? there's a hope of see it like an official game mode?**A: [IronStylus]1) That's just a bandwidth issue mainly. We actually have some progress on a new model, but it simply didn't slot in with our main priorities. The Relaunch team is small and it was a big endeavor for us to not only take on Trundle but Sejuani as well. We do feel Nunu needs a Relaunch though! 2) Depends on how extensive the Relaunch is. A base champion plus skins might take like.. 2-3 months depending on complexity. This can differ from case to case though. 3) I talked about this last night on the forums: I actually think Ashe could use a more appropriate look in relation to her context. Same goes for pretty much all the Freljord Champions that don't quite feel contextually "Northern", or any champion really that was developed without a broader world context in terms of IP. The same could be said for champions like Caitlyn who doesn't really fit in with Vi or Jayce, to Swain, who given the more recent Noxian champions feels out of place between Darius, Draven and even Katarina. You watch Game of Thrones and the characters from the North feel like they're from the North. Heavy leathers. Animal hides. Furs. Depending on how far North, you have dark cloaked figures to almost arctic warfare barbarians dressed in white. I wouldn't put anyone in armor really, but I'd love it if when you look that them you can see how the cold (or whatever environment) has affected them. They don't need to be bundled, but they need to feel prepared, hardened or otherworldly looking in their bodies, showing how their biology has adapted to the extreme environment. As I like to say, it's all about the context defining the concept
Q: [Yakra]Snowbunny Leona, with a snowboard and ski pole?A: [IronStylus]I dunno.. I like magnificent frost/fur coat Leona skin with ice shield and ice sword ;) Sunbathing Leona might have to do as an alternative!
Q: [MadameAshen]I don't know if anyone has asked yet, because there's 345 comments and, in all honesty and offense-less possible, I don't want to read through half of the complaints. But rather than asking about the game play, I'm very much interested in the world design. When I was watching the video for the music (which was fantastic by the way, drove me to the point of tears of how much dedication you guys put in), I saw many other art that was done about the world that the League of Legends partakes in. I want to know more about the world, and I simply love this theme and conflict that was suddenly implemented. It makes the world feel alive. I don't mind the changes to the back stories behind some champions, it's great that they're partaking in the world. I would love to see more changes to the world as it progresses, for all the champions that have not found a true purpose in life, and all the future champions to have a place to stay. Do you have any plans to changing summoner's rift? Or actually considering finishing Twisted Treeline and implementing some kind of story line behind it? I feel like the game in itself has its popularity heavily set on Summoner's Rift and ARAM now, which leaves other maps and functions useless. The Riot team did a fantastic job in reworking ARAM, but I would like to see all-round balance of the maps. Everyone avoids Domination like the plague, and only (if any) bot games are played in twisted treeline. I only joined the league a few months ago, and I still have no idea what domination is, or what to do in it. I want to know more about the world, but at the same time, I think everyone else needs to understand the world more as well. Perhaps you could also make a Noxus-themed map. As vile as they are, they are still part of the world. There could be many other game modes out there that are attractive, and it would be most welcome to me as a gamer to experience more of the story of League, and slaughtering my brethren on a bridge is only the start, I'm sure.A: [IronStylus]I can answer a bit here. I really want to see us expand upon the world and make it a living breathing place. I'm not really sure about integrating it into maps, that can be a big task. However, I really want to see us at least do this sort of thing where we do the website treatment, maybe something through the client, interactive maps, etc, that really show us a peak into the world.
Q: [Luqizilla]rafajedi at the brazilian forums asked why Shyvana got an Ice Skin but has no relation with any of the tribles? She'll get into the Freljord lore?A: [IronStylus]We sort of wanted to explore some "alternate reality" here, showing what champions might look like in an interaction with this event. Sometimes the theme just makes for a nice treatment for the champion!
Q: [yeleryon]I second this question as I see this patch as being one of Riot's bigger lessons and I am happy to hear that they actually learned a thing or two with the making of Freljord. Follow Up Questions: 1.) Will Champion Relaunches be fleshed out more towards community feedback more before actual conceptualization to see the most pivotal qualities necessary to be retained in the Champions? 2.) How was the process to transform murder bridge into HA? Were there reservations about certain aspects of HA? Some skepticism. 3.) What direction will HA take now? Will development be in waiting or will we get usual updates through new Champs and features?A: [IronStylus]I can answer part of this: I think we want to message Relaunches better. We want to explain goals and the direction we feel we want to go, like Morello did recently on the subject of Sion. I've done some digging myself and we also have research initiatives we can do with players who are passionate about these characters and how to retain what is special.
Q: [KennTheSavage]Was there any brainstorming into adding ward skins for the Freljord? I was expecting new ward skins to be released for this since there hasn't been any new ones since Halloween. When will we be seeing new ward skins?A: [IronStylus]We ideated new ward skins recently ;)
Q: [EnigmaKO]Can you give any background info or hints at all as to who the "Seeker" is that is mentioned by Lyte on the Howling Abyss? Will the "Seeker" ever be manifested as a champion?A: [IronStylus]Ooooh, neat idea!
Q: [Yakra]This patch has felt like a full blown expansion; and I love it. Shadow Isles / new Twisted Treeline was good, but this was outstanding. I guess my question is... why? I can't put my finger on the differences between these two content releases, but the outcome is radically different. And I'm sure this is by design, and the result of Riot's analysis on player preferences and desires. What were the major data points/elements that were acted on for Freljord?A: [IronStylus]Shadow Isles was a great prototype. New Champion, new map, etc. It sort of set the standard. Due to the success of that patch and the engagement surrounding it, we knew we wanted to do something more expansive. Once Lissandra became a fleshed out character we were able to find an inspiration point to build off of. I'm not sure about data points but I do know in an anecdotal way that it was quite popular.
Q: [Raizen1337]Really big job from u, that's why RIOT is good at this :) Im really happy with this patch, i hope u gonna keep this good work! Btw, i really want a Poro plush, plz, can u make some of these?:D Wonder some prizes wouldbe that like Teemo's hats on some tournaments like LCS etc.. :)A: [IronStylus]So glad you're enjoying it! Ditto on the poro plushie idea! :D
Q: [Sour_Jam]Sejuani had changes to her appearance, but hasn't had major changes to her lore like Trundle did. So what changed in the artistic direction that made you want to update her look?A: [IronStylus]As has been said before, weâ€™re an iterative game. We felt that Sejuani didn't quite deliver when it came to the context of the character. We wanted to make her feel more impactful, and feel more substantial. Some of this was accomplished just by changing how she was dressed, giving her more appropriate gear for her natural climate. Another part of it was making her look more fierce. We think we achieved this with changing the way Bristle was modeled, as more of a hybrid fantasy sort of animal, and Sejuaniâ€™s stance on Bristle. We wanted her to feel and look more aggressive, harsher, a real northern barbarian but with a semblance of style.
Q: [ravagger]It would be awesome a Piltover patch as big as this one, Â¿Are you guys thinking about something like that? Every piltover champ reminds me of steampunk (and i love it) PS: Keep up the good work ^^A: [IronStylus]I would LOVE to! Piltover is a super rich environment full of colorful characters like Jayce, Vi and Caitlyn.
Q: [redditors_blow]honestly Ilove your game but hate you riot. downvotes for all riotersA: [IronStylus]Well I'll upvote you regardless :(
Q: [Mechasunset]There's aren't many Avarosans. I'm not sure why.A: [IronStylus]One word: Hippies.
Q: [Gokai]Well here's my questions. Mostly I'm looking for some response from the Lore team but there's questions for all in here too. **1.) How would you feel about increasing rerolls on the ARAM maps?** One of the main problems is two bad ARAM rolls. Any chance we could see an increase on that? Alternatively, any chance at going back on a reroll in case you preferred the old champion? EDIT: I do realize people want it to be ARAM but it was just a suggestion. Happiness should take minor precedence over it being all **random** all mid. **2.) What inspired you all to make the Freljord focus for this patch?** By far this is the biggest "lore event" there has ever been in League of legends. Was it a product of the lore team? Everyone? Just a few passionate people? Along with that why Freljord? Was it a test to see how the community reacted to expanding out a zone that had a bit of information to it? **3.) Are there further plans for large-scale content patches like this or was this a one time thing?** Will these content patches include HUGE changes all in one patch *(IE: New maps, new champ, several reworks all in one)* vs. lots of minor changes spread over several patcches *(One new champ, one rework, so on.)* Also, do you guys want to focus on unknown areas/fairly ambiguous areas *(Desert, Jungles, Bilgewater, etc)* versus fleshed out zones *(Demacia, Noxus, Ionia, etc)* The main curiosity I have is if you guys want to start out with big projects and make them all revolve around a central theme like Freljord in this patch or if you guys want to go slow and do a new champ and release, a new rework and release. So on. **4.) Why use Quinn for the champion reveals/rework reveals?** Just curious. Was it because she was newest? She fit the best? Why not use a Freljord champion? It's just a lingering question I never quite figured out. **5.) How does the Lore team (and Riot in general) feel about the 4th faction that emerged on the League Forums?** This is more of a personal interest but I wanted to see how they reacted to the "Marvelous Armada" that suddenly sprung up on the general forums. Mostly I was interested in seeing how much Kitae liked someone wanting to be a part of the lore or how upset Kitae was at the jabs at the lore, as well as the lore team in general and even Riot itself at someone both trying to be a part of their lore as well as make himself/herself a star of it. [This thread](http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=3392882) specifically seeming to be where it started. **6.) Was Lissandra alive when Amumu was? If so, did she know him/his kingdom?** This bugged me when I thought about it. Clarification would be nice. Don't have to spoil anything if you had ideas but I thought Lissandra might have a harsh word or two for the sad mummy. Thanks for answering these! I appreciate the time it took for you guys to do this!A: [IronStylus]I can answer a couple of these: 2) It was a HUGE effort but one that occurred very organically in the teams across design, features, art, creative, etc. We all were inspired by each others work and it really fed itself. It was indeed a tough push, there were producers in charge of owning the project, but it was a very, very big collaborative effort. 3) We have some stuff in the works ;) As per usual we don't have time tables because content and context is always evolving. I do feel as though we'll break out other patches like this, at least if players feel Freljord in particular was valuable. So, thanks for your support! I do very much want us to flesh out areas which are ambiguous and less developed.... especially Mount Targon ;) 4) Quinn was indeed new, but we found her to be a good vehicle because she could go where other champions couldn't.. in a way. She was actually a Demacian ranger, who's job it was to scout, to assess threat, and to go deep into unknown territory. I think we might in fact use her in this capacity a bit more as we explore new regions. She's a great vehicle for players to see through due to Demacia being sort of a standard fantasy touchstone. 5) Actually, the Winter's Claw is allied with the Armada! SO YEAH!
Q: [Hman9x]Favorite game of thrones character/scene?A: [IronStylus]Joffrey. OH! You mean my favorite in the character I DON'T want to see gruesomely killed! I honestly really like Jaime Lannister for some wierd reason.. maybe because of that fancy hair. *swoon*
Q: [dollinge]Just curious, was this patch meant to be released earlier? I updated my desktop to fit the patch, but was thinking it was odd having winter theme when it's just about to be summer.A: [IronStylus]Not 100% sure on this, but because of how ambitious this event and patch were, it did take a lot of marination time!
Q: [UnseenAlchemist]So I guess we will eventually see something like this for all the regions. Right?A: [IronStylus]I'd really love to. I'd love to see us really bust out and create a deep exploration of all of our territories! I'd love to see the inner workings of Piltover, or what Noxian standard military soldiers look like. Also.. I'd really like to know what Mount Targon is like ;)
Q: [ConfirmsEverything]Would you rather fight 100 Poro sized Nashors, or 1 Nashor sized Poro? Edit: You also smell like Poro-Snax at the moment of fighting them.A: [IronStylus]Hmm.. 100 poro sized Nashors sounds like a terrible, biting death. The 1 Nashor sized poro would be death by cute! That's much more agreeable to me.
Q: [Prawn_Salad]So I never realized how much internal concept art you guys do until I saw that "Music of Freljord" video and saw all those amazing paintings of the Freljord. Do you guys have plans to share any of them to the public? Knowing what it LOOKS like makes the land feel so much more alive than just a backdrop for its inhabitants. Seriously, will we get to see any of this? Come to think if it, in the video we keep seeing a statue of some queenly figure holding a bow. Is this Avarosa? Also, are you guys done with Freljord lore for a while? While I'm a fan of you guys developing other settings, I REALLY want to know what made Serylda so important that she's mentioned alongside Avarosa and Lissandra. And if the answer is yes, could you at least give us some tidbit about Serylda? Which side she fought on during the war, maybe? Also I keep wonderinghow Sejuani got the Seeker's Armguard if Lissandra really is the Seeker that the Iceborn ghost references. Oh, oh, last question, I promise. Is the Iceborn ghost named Gregor, Greyhorn, Greyor, or what? It's kind of hard to hear.A: [IronStylus]We have tons.. like.. TONS of concept art. Most of what you saw in the mini-doc was done for that component of our IP development. We're deep in the process of fleshing our the world of Runterra. That process was expedited by the Freljord event and that created a wealth of very polished art that inspired everything from champions, skins, Howling Abyss, etc. I'd love to see how we can make this art available, I'll check with our art director to see if there are any plans!
Q: [GutsyBat]I really appreciate the design of Lissandra, it's a very cool departure from the typical lady type we get in the League. Was she inspired by Elesh Norn? (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?multiverseid=214352&type=card)A: [IronStylus]Lissandra had always been a topic of discussion. We had two Freljord sisters, where was the 3rd? Initially she was â€œThe Ice Dervishâ€ and was envisioned to be more of an assassin, with ice blades growing out of her. She was regal and almost â€œgoodâ€ looking. She had some elemental aspects to her but she was very traditionally human. Not much traction was gained with those particular concepts. It just wasnâ€™t really striking a chord with anyone. One of our newest concept artists at the time, Trevor Claxton, tried to take a stab at her soon after he came in. He proceeded to create something truely unique, and almost alien. His image of an otherworldly type woman carried upon a trail of black ice was a spark. It was that concept that spurred new ideas of how super-natural and strange Lissandra could be. What worked about this concept was that this person felt like a queen, but not in the standard crown wearing way. She was indeed regal, but she was terrifying. She was almost abstract in her anatomy and shapes. It was this real breath of fresh air that spurred something that everyone could get behind on. It created a lot of momentum in helping Lissandra turn out as amazing as her concept. I'll have to ask Trevor, but Elesh Norn might have been inspiration!
Q: [Kitae]A lot of this depends on you guys, if you like faction themed patches we would love to keep doing them! We have a lot of cool factions that deserve a chance to be in the spotlight.A: [IronStylus]Exactly. We're hoping that the reception has been positive so we can bring about more piles of content that furthers the depth of our world!
Q: [fVANILLA]Which allegiance are you; The Winter's Claw, The Avarosan, or The Frostguard!?A: [IronStylus]WINTER'S CLAW! We hit things!
Q: [Apeist]How long ago did you guys start developing Freljord?A: [IronStylus]Around 9 months ago I'd say but nothing concrete was ever said, like, WE WILL MAKE A FRELJORD EVENT, until Lissandra evolved. That sparked the fire for Freljord.. or made the idea.. snowball. HEH!
Q: [Siarus]I think Freljord was an amazing themed patch and congratulate you all on your hard work! **My question** is if you guys plan on coming up with other bigger themed patches in the future?A: [IronStylus]Fun stuff is in the works ;)
Q: [vakabiel]Michael - Would you say that Game of Thrones had any influence on the story line for Freljord? You can see little nods to it but the main story feels like a large nod. Also - in the video we see a lot of artwork that looks like other areas of the world yet to be revealed... could those be coming out in the game or maybe even in another different game tied to the same lore?A: [IronStylus]I'll default to a few of the lore bros here, but GoT is definitely beloved by many of us. So, I wouldn't say it had influence, but any epic tale of fantasy is always inspiring! That art is mostly for us to flesh out the world with. It certainly affects the development of the IP as a whole, and it might inspire awesome stuff in the future!
Q: [safetyseal]Nome, why are you so obsessed with hurting the adorable, little fluffy Poros? ;-;A: [RiotNome]Something so fat and puffy was meant to be blown up.
Q: [PseudoSwag]I also noticed you can chase the poro's into your fountain and they get killed by the laser. Was this intended?A: [RiotNome]I don't know. Was it!? >:D
Q: [ArchangelPT]What are Poro snacks made of?A: [RiotNome]Free-range, grass-fed Avarosan game hens and non-ZMO Freljordian herbs! Although... my first draft of that tooltip had grass-fed Yordles ;)
Q: [ArchangelPT]Because you coded them as minions [you dirty liar](http://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/1di1mc/the_strategic_use_of_porosnax/c9qm08b) ADMIT IT!A: [RiotNome]Minion pets bro, minion pets.
Q: [deleted]][deleted]A: [RiotNome]For Howling Abyss, there were two scrapped gameplay mechanics that were attached to the high winds state. * When the high winds started, players would lose linked vision a la Nocturne's ultimate. This would allow players to make big scrambles and jostle for position. * When the high winds started, icicles would fall from overhead onto the bridge, forming destructible walls that blocked skill shots (they were destructible after one shot). They formed in semi-random (designer-determined) layouts. We didn't have enough time to iterate on the mechanic before committing to the art, so we scrapped it. A lot of people liked it, so maybe we'll revisit the idea in the future!
Q: [ConfirmsEverything]Would you rather fight 100 Poro sized Nashors, or 1 Nashor sized Poro? Edit: You also smell like Poro-Snax at the moment of fighting them.A: [RiotNome]100 Poro-sized Nashors. These other Rioters are failing to consider that the 1 Nashor-sized Poro likely has several million smaller Poros inside. Or maybe they want that?
Q: [CreepyJester]I love how the towers in The Howling Abyss decay when damaged, do you ever plan on updating Summoner's rift to have the same effect?A: [RiotNome]Summoner's Rift is our most popular map, so it means we'll have to do a lot of performance investigations and research before porting a change like this over. On Howling Abyss for example, there's a fairly complex logic system that swaps out the current turret mesh with the appropriate destructible/destroyed mesh at the appropriate time. There's performance considerations for every little bit of visual flair we do, and we'd want to make sure we do it right.
Q: [aydindrill]Hi guys! First of all, the Freljord event is AWESOME! I love the music, the new map, and Lissandra is one of my favorite new champions. Amazing... I do have a few questions! * The Shadow Isles launch with the new map was nowhere near as popular or as well received, do you think this had to do more with the map itself (ARAM popularity vs Twisted Treeline 3's popularity) or with your launch strategy? * I see you have "fun stuff in the works" - how cryptic! Does that mean there will be new lore updates like you did with the Freljord, where you tied more champions' stories together and give them a home? I would really like to see the Kumungu(I think) jungle (Zyra and Nidalee) expanded upon. If you do stuff like this, will it be an updated map (I'm magining a Demacia/Noxus spin on the Crystal Scar.. ooo) or maybe something new altogether? * Okay here is my Poro question... I love these guys, when I play ARAM and see one I apparently have such a distinctive poro giggle that my boyfriend across the room can tell that "oh no she is playing with Poros again..". Any skin implementations in the works? Sejuani riding a giant tusked Poro? Corki on his Porocopter?? Fizz with Poro-Snax to bait the beastly Poroshark to break out of the ice-covered water??? Or maybe even...merchandise? :)A: [RiotNome]We learned a lot from the Shadow Isles launch on all fronts (art, design, engineering, etc.) and used that knowledge for the Freljord event. That said, ARAM is an immensely popular mode. We do plan on going straight back to both Twisted Treeline and Dominion and re-evaluating them from a design standpoint though. There's a lot of very cool systems-level changes on the table. The additional of per-map champion balancing, which I've spoken about on the forums in the past, will also help now that it's nearing completion with a good UX and tech solution.
Q: [collegeboy211]How does one make the announcer call HA "Murder Bridge"?A: [RiotNome]I have no idea what you're talking about... :)
Q: [Odous]"slight nerf to long-ranged poke champions." Brilliant. Great move. Since that is a concern, what about overall vision? Once your two towers are down you can't see far down the lane at all. Thanks!!!A: [RiotNome]This likely won't change, as there's not much use for greater breadth of vision on the map. On the topic of vision though, I will say that we experimented with some additional gameplay mechanics very early on. One of them involved detaching allied vision during the high winds (think Nocturne's ultimate). The idea here was that the periodic high winds would blind your character, creating a state of frenzy that would break up the monotony of long-range poking. It'd also allow melee characters a great chance to run in and capitalize on disorganization.
Q: [Rhiro]Hahahha. There has been a whole topic about you, not picking that latern, But I am sure you already know this. Still, you're officialy infamous now.A: [RiotNome]Yep, I saw it. I giggled.
Q: [adventsugar]And Can I have a plushie of them ^_^A: [RiotNome]I'd rather have a Poro beanie bag myself. Or a beach ball. Or water balloons (filled with smaller Poro water balloons). Kick! Punch! Throw! >:O
Q: [Hman9x]Favorite game of thrones character/scene?A: [RiotNome]Jaime's got a swag wardrobe. Cersei's easily my favorite character though. I like conflicted characters with realistic motivations.
Q: [Zypheriox]Did the name Poro come from the word Reindeer (Poro in Finnish), as they seem to resemble a cute little reindeer-y animal? Or is it merely a coincidence?A: [RiotNome]We didn't have any Finns on the Howling Abyss team as far as I know, but I do recall us realizing very early what it meant in Finnish. It's a pleasant coincidence I suppose.
Q: [vavoysh]Is there any chance of making it so that the teams can be as unique as possible? Like, only have a repeat of a champion if there's no other choice (for instance, one account has only all of the free champions, so if he wants to reroll there will be a repeat champion)? It's a lot more fun when every champion is completely unique, as opposed to, for instance, each team having a morgana/fiddlesticks/free week champ.A: [RiotNome]As far as I know, you can only have duplicate champions when someone re-rolls. We're fixing this soon, last I heard.
Q: [ImNobodyReally]In my experience the removal of Warmog's has made all AP teams a lot more powerful in general than a team with such an obvious flaw of being stacked to one damage type should be. Would you consider changing Banshee's Veil to the dominion version - [Odyn's Veil](http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Odyn's_Veil) on HA to give more options to counter these kinds of team compositions? The passive on Banshee's Veil feels extremely underwhelming on this map and I think the way Odyn's is designed for constant aggressive play would better fit the pace of HA games.A: [RiotNome]That's not a bad idea, actually. Now that Howling Abyss is done, we do plan on revisiting both TT and CS from a design standpoint. There's a lot of work to be done, and large item overhauls are a big part of it. The HP/MR options are a bit sparse on Howling Abyss, so we'll keep that in mind for future changes!
Q: [fitkidgil]I want to outright state that this AMA is one of the many reasons why I greatly apprecitate and adora Riot as a game company, not only do they listen to the fanbase, they give everyone a chance to ask questions and interact whether its here on reddit, or at a con. Also, from watching the champion spotlight for Sej... Phreak, i hope you get that cold cleared up :)A: [RiotNome]Did you like how I didn't grab that Thresh lantern? #1 playz. Sejuani rolls alone baby.
Q: [WisWis]can u explain the falling towers because they look like they occur when something in the game happens ( tower falls , first blood etc..)A: [RiotNome]On the live client, the map determines at the beginning of each match whether each individual tower can be destroyed. If it can, a nearby champion death will cause it (and the accompanying chains) to crumble. In the next patch, the system has been reworked. Instead, each time you die near an intact statue, there's a chance for the statue to be destroyed. Once a statue is successfully destroyed, there's a smaller chance for the next one to be destroyed. On the other hand, if a statue *fails* to be destroyed, then the chance for the next one will be slightly increased. It's a small systems tweak that should make the experience feel better by stretching out the destruction, but still offer the "every game is different" experience the original system was trying to accomplish.
Q: [Bergolies]Was there any debate over whether or not to add bushes to the map? If so, what were the main concerns?A: [RiotNome]The map layout was largely finalized while we were working on Proving Grounds, and we did have some discussion about the brush and Health Relic placement. It was largely about *where* to place the brush rather than whether there should be brush at all. Brush does give melee champions a lot more opportunities to advance, especially without wards.
Q: [Insidertpk]the epicness is still rising i see :) keep up the good work!A: [RiotNome]There's actually a lot of optimizations and minor systems tweaks coming with the upcoming patch (and the one after that). Much of it will be transparent to the player, but should result in a subconsciously superior experience.
Q: [petakaa]I LOVE that you can target them with pings. Nice touch!A: [RiotNome]Unintended! We weren't entirely attached to the name "Poro" until it leaked on PBE because someone pinged it. We had no idea that was possible. *I suppose, as someone who really loved that name, it worked out well.*
Q: [fVANILLA]Which allegiance are you; The Winter's Claw, The Avarosan, or The Frostguard!?A: [RiotNome]Frostguard, because I took a personality test on MySpace and that's SO me.
Q: [golf1052]And chasing them into fountain lasers...A: [RiotNome]Yes, yes >:D
Q: [lenaro]Can you explain the rationale behind the following balance changes to ARAM? - **Shop buying range.** On PG you could walk back to the shop and buy as long as you didn't pass your inhibitor. This gave defenders a chance and made the map less one-sided. [A lot of people are unhappy about this change.](http://www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/1do7z6/the_aram_shoplaser_area_seems_a_bit_off/c9s9laf) - **Warmogs removal.** (Warmogs countered poke teams and gave melee a chance. Why would you remove it?) - **5 pots limit.** Did anyone ask for this? Was this an oversight? This also really seems like a buff to poke teams and to teams with healers. - **Poros showing you if bushes are occupied.** Some people like this and some don't. - **Fountain laser range** is [still not clearly shown](http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?p=35639634#35639634). - **Perspective changes** (the camera is zoomed out further and more straight vertical). - **Shop range visibility.** The shop fails to clearly communicate that it is no longer usable. It can take a while for grandpa to walk away on purple side, and blue side shop is kind of confusing as well. PG immediately showed that the shop was closed when the blue walls came up. Additional questions: - **Will ARAM matchmaking be improved?** I would never join a custom ARAM game that didn't kick all non-30s. Why am I forced to carry level 25s by this matchmaking system? - **Are we going to see ARAM-specific balance changes like you [promised for TT and Dominion](http://www.surrenderat20.net/2013/04/upcoming-map-specific-balance-changes.html)?** Like map-specific nerfs to Janna, Jayce, Nid, Yi, Soraka, etc. and buffs to Shyvana and Trynd? - **ARAM ranked?** - **Did you take into consideration how many champions each of the three factions has, for purposes of the icon contest?** It's a lot easier for someone to want to side with one of the five Avarosan or four Winter's Claw champions than the two Frostguard champions (and one is brand new and the other has brand new lore - so basically people don't know either of them). I ask because many players are assuming there will be some sort of "most picked faction" reward, like with Ionian Boots. - **Is there a solution in the pipeline for framerate issues on HA?** Many people have much worse framerates on HA than they did on PG.A: [RiotNome]I'll try to answer as many of these as possible. * We'll be expanding the shop buying range in a future patch. * Warmog's didn't counter poke teams; poke teams dominated early game, and used that advantage to snowball into late game. What Warmog's did was counter ranged teams, and allows melee champions to *eventually* become useful, but among good players, almost always win. We added the Guardian's Horn to fulfill the niche that a health/regen item *should* have filled early, but still remain useful mfrom mid-to-late game. * They're a gameplay mechanic now, and it's intended ;) * The perspective is different from Summoner's Rift, but should be identical to Proving Grounds. Regardless of its differences to other maps, it was a judgment call we made very early. It allows players to see more of the map art, but also gives a slight nerf to long-ranged poke champions. * Shop visibility will be much better once the range is properly extended. Additional answers... * It's unlikely you'll see any ARAM-specific balance changes immediately. We may decide to come back and do slight adjustments in the future based on data and how well the TT/CS changes are received. * I believe the icon contest simply requires you to win 10 games wearing the icon. You don't need to play a champion of the faction. * We're working on performance!
Q: [Insidertpk]From 1-10 what do you think about the freljord music?A: [RiotNome]It sets the mood for sure! I'm actually re-tuning the high winds system to match the pace of the music for the next patch. It's gonna be awesome.
Q: [ashelia]How did you guys come up with the idea of feeding the Poros and them exploding? BECAUSE THEY ARE BOTH THE BEST AND WORST. BEST BECAUSE CUTE OMG. WORST BECAUSE I'VE LOST AN ARAM DUE TO THEM. MY TEAM MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE JUST KITED THE POROS INSTEAD OF FIGHTING FOR THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES... D:A: [RiotNome]Well, our animator CaptainLx made a death animation, and we wanted to find a way to use it, so naturally it turned into "how many awful ways can Poros die". We threw around ideas like "what if the Poros got squished when the turrets crumbled over them" and "what if they ran really quickly, so if you actually caught them, you would step on them and they'd explode." Brackhar vetoed them those ideas... blame him. Poros exploding after eating snacks ended up being a pretty innocuous way to use the animation.
Q: [elotionKING]Reveal the secrets of the Poro's. Edit: Just gotta say that the Poro's are so freaking cute that I stare at them sometimes during ARAM games.. I've died because of these creatures..A: [RiotNome]The secret's been long discovered! We're working on some additional Easter Eggs though...
Q: [Gannic]Lissandra, in one of her easter eggs, speaks of getting her revenge on Averosa yet leaves it at that saying it's "a story for another time". Do we get the rest of the story or shall I be sad forever?A: [Kitae]You will be sad for... a little while... but not forever!
Q: [Baron_Smashdown]I have a few questions, but first, why has Brand's lore not been changed to match Olaf's? Brand's lore still states Lokfar is a distant land, while Olaf's new lore change for the Freljord event has reworked Lokfar as a peninsula on the coast of Freljord, their lores directly contradict each other. Second, why was Gragas' lore changed? He already had a connection to Ashe's tribe that could have easily been used to make him an ally of the AVarosans via the Journal of Justice. Finally, why has Lissandra joined the League of Legends? She's spent centuries trying to keep the Watchers a forgotten secret, but now she's roaming around the fields of justice prattling on about how the Watchers will return and giving away all the secrets she's worked so hard to keep.A: [Kitae]Brand's lore still works as is! He will get an update eventually but we didn't feel he needed one for the Freljord event. Gragas' lore was more of an update than a change, we clarified his story and strengthened his ties to the Freljord. As you say - he already had a connection to Ashe's tribe, we just made that more clear.
Q: [Huwodro]Exactly how cold (in Celsius) is the landscapes of Freljord?A: [Kitae]As a Canadian I can say depending on where you are in the Freljord, and what the time of the year is, the temperature ranges from +15C to -50C (pre wind chill)
Q: [Animoose]1) Will the fight between the 3 sisters be deadlocked so there's never a "winner" or will we see progressions? I really want Trundle to backstab Lissandra, not be waiting for the right time to strike... forever. 2) Will we see any alignment changes? Or any additions to the Frostguard? New champ or current (or both)? 3) Any ETA on the in-game event? How is it triggered? 4) Is the new ultimate skin related to the Freljord? 5) I know Trundle just had a rework, but (not counting Traditional skins) he's still one of the few champions with only 2 skins, as well as Rumble. Will either have a new skin in 2013? This last one is off-topic but I really need to know: 6) Will we EVER see soloqueue 3v3? After map-specific balancing has been handled maybe? I *HATE* the limitations on it. There isn't even a draft mode atm.. Why? Thank you for taking the time to do this, and thank you for the many great hours of LoL :) PS as a Trundle main, this rework is the best thing to ever happen to LoL for me. Amazing job <3A: [Kitae]We are definitely going to progress the Freljord story and big changes are totally possible. We could see champions switching tribes etc. In the end there will be only one Queen of the Freljord.
Q: [roflsbaka]I've been playing the game for almost years now and I'm loving the direction riot is taking with all this lore development. Keep up the good work! :) Also it'd be pretty cool if you guys replied with Happy Birthday :D Just turned 20 todayA: [Kitae]Happy birthday <3 <3 <3
Q: [slasher67]Riot do a lol based movie pleaseA: [Kitae]Would love to some day :O Movies are hard.
Q: [dextersdad]Petition for mods to change the name of this thread to: We made poros, AMAA: [Kitae]Why didn't we think of this....
Q: [joebo3001]Well, you came out with the Freljord, is there any plans on a themed battle like there was with Noxus vs Ionia?A: [Kitae]We're trying a more personal challenge in this case, joining a tribe. What we like about this is, as a player you make a powerful choice, and receive a permanent reward.
Q: [gbromios]Is it pronounced "frell-yord" (no?) or "FRELL-jjord" (i think its this one) why did you make trundle all badass and not kind of gumpy like before :<A: [Kitae]He's badass and grumpy now!
Q: [Merixen]Do you have any ideas of making Frozen Heart Lissandras heart? That the item gets a story, It would be awesome if Lissandra sacrificed her heart to get immortal and it ended up in the market.. Well do something about the Heart! The FROZEN HEART!!A: [Kitae]Cool idea not sure if we will do it but it is a cool idea.
Q: [IronStylus]I have a question for YOU guys! What sort of events of this sort would you want to see in the future? What part of the world do you feel could benefit from the Freljord treatment and what do you think they should include? I'd really love us to continue with these initiatives, and I'd like to know what our players want to experience, where they want to go, and who they want to get to know better! *cough*Mount-Targon*cough*A: [Kitae]Upvote and share your ideas please! We want to hear from you guys.
Q: [Mutterscrawl]What are the chances for Ashe to get an "Avarosa" skin or Sejuani to get a skin that makes her look like Serylda, or perhaps a skin that shows what Lissandra looked like in the distant past?A: [Kitae]I think the Lissandra skin is a good idea. Ashe is not Avarosa, and Sejuani is not Serylda. I don't think dressing them up as their great great great great (etc.) grandmothers is a great idea, but I could see us releasing artwork in the future depicting Serylda and Avarosa.
Q: [GizenZirin]Lorewise, the Freljord patch has been probably the best patch we've had in a long while, but so far at least, it still seems to have some of the same problems that the Shadow Isles patch had. Which is to say, for all the fancy websites, rewritten bios, and even a new champion, nothing has actually *happened*. Despite all the hype, the Freljord is pretty much in the same state that it was when Sejuani and Volibear were added over a year ago, which in turn is barely any further progressed from the very first issue of the JoJ when Lissandra pledged fealty to Ashe (which is still in effect as her identity as the Ice Witch is a secret). So my question is, is there still more to this event that hasn't happened yet? Anything coming in the next few days or weeks that we can look forward to that will give a sense of forward motion in the story? Or have we seen all we're going to see from this event?A: [Kitae]We've set up an awesome war between interesting factions, if we resolved that in a week or so that would really not give the conflict an opportunity to reveal interesting stories. The fight to be Queen of the Freljord is more interesting than one of the champions being Queen of the Freljord. But, we will progress the story, and ultimately we will want it to reach resolution.
Q: [Mutterscrawl]The Frostguard seem a bit sparse with just two champs (Three if you count Blackfrost Anivia) compared to the larger Avarosan and Winter's Claw groups, was this intentional or a result of time constraints?A: [Kitae]Lissandra is kind of an underdog. We're ok with her tribe having less allies, and it leaves open the opportunity to release a new Frostguard champion in the future. It was more important that the Freljord champions ally with the right tribes, than getting the number of champions per tribe evenly balanced.
Q: [Ninavi]First of all congratulations on such a major update to League of Legends. I am looking forward to next project similar to this. So here are my questions: 1. I must say I am impressed with Sejuani, I liked her before and think she was viable enough, but she is perfect now, I made a PENTA kill with her on my 1st game with her (old Sejuani), but are you considering to make Queen Sejuani skin a reality in the future? 2. How come you decided to completely ditch Trundle's old lore and not incorporate it somehow into new (his old clan eventually died, came in search of another, new start, wanted to be loved/feared, insert new lore here XD). 3. Lissandra's monologue when you win a match at Howling Abyss, explains alot, like who the 3 sisters were, that they were Iceborn and that Avarosa wasn't happy with not being free and not having a choice. My question is will we ever get to know what happened between Avarosa and Lissandra (Lissandra mentions she had her revenge), and also where was Serylda at the time of conflict (story only mentions Avarosa and her iceborns on one side and Lissandra/Watchers on the other)? 4. I see you gave Ashe some new VO and quotes, is it the same voice actress? 5. When Lissandra was posing as Mauvole and she named her successor Lissandra, was there and actual another person named Lissandra? After Mauvole "died" she stole her identity (looks) and reclaimed her rightful name? Seems a bit weird if she would just named her successor without people actually knowing how Lissandra looks? 6. When Lissandra was 1st revealed in Justice Journals, was she planned to be an ice witch from beggining or can you share how her character development went before she became an Ice Witch?A: [Kitae]We definitely want to reveal more details about Avarosa and Serylda and the time of the three sisters. Serylda played a big part. The majority of Lissandra's lore development started about nine months ago. We planed the seeds for her character with the Journal of Justice, but the major creative decisions like the Watchers and the Ice Witch were made more recently. Lissandra has ruled the Frostguard tribe for centuries, taking on a new identity with every generation. We haven't revealed the specific details as to how she takes on different forms but that is an evil and creepy story to tell in the future....
Q: [Diulee]Will the tribe with the most unlocked summoner icons win the Freljord war ?A: [Kitae]This event is about players choosing a tribe. The conflict has only begun!
Q: [Keyblader001]Would you guys ever make a frost guard champion? they look somewhat like vikings, I think it would be cool to have a hack and slash kind of champion looking like them.A: [Kitae]I think that could happen.
Q: [Fischtreu]Will there be a Dominion rework packed with Lore? ;-) Riot plz!A: [Kitae]it could happen....
Q: [Luqizilla]Some players are asking at the brazilian forums if the things the NPCs talk about refering about the wind or something ancestral spreading the abyss, what they are talking about?A: [Kitae]The easter egg voiceover that plays when you win a game of The Howling Abyss has some hints as to the nature of what lies at the bottom of the Abyss....
Q: [bematti]Hey guys! First off, Freljord patch, INCREDIBLE! Second, is there any chance there already is a new themed patch in progress, or to be developped soon? Cause these patches are the best so far in the history of League of Legends, exploring this patch was like christmas :) . Thanks Riot!A: [Kitae]It is possible....
Q: [favelle]Will the victorious tribe get an exclusive item commemorating their win? (Not unlike Ionian Boots of Lucidity)A: [Kitae]We expect this conflict to go on for a while, when it resolves we would consider representing that in the game. However there are a bunch of Freljord items right now, like Iceborn Gauntlets, and Seeker's Armguard!
Q: [Pinewood74]What factors will affect the outcome of the war in the freljord? Will it be an event like the Ionia event or is it already decided? Can the community influence it like have a themed battle we can take part in and whichever side performs better wins?A: [Kitae]Right now we're focused on setting up the conflict. We're not in a rush to resolve it. It just got here! We have a lot of stories to tell within this state of conflict in the Freljord.
Q: [Crobison94]First of all I love the new Freljord stuff, it is awesome and Lissandra is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. I was wondering if you had any plans for the void, seeing as it is my favorite faction, considering you stated you might give other factions this makeover thing. Thank you!A: [Kitae]I would love to do a void event!
Q: [Flodgaard]Why did you add so many sound effects to the shopkeeper on Howling Abyss?A: [Kitae]Shopkeepers were an unobtrusive way for us reveal lore and backstory to players without interfering with the game. We're always looking for ways to combine lore with gameplay, but never at the expense of gameplay.
Q: [CognitiveAdventurer]His host found brand locked in an ice cage, did he not? ;)A: [Kitae]Yup! I wonder who made that cage....hmmmm.
Q: [TheAncientGut]1) Will be Brand be getting a lore update to place him in the Freljord as well, given that his host found him in Lokfar (which is now part of the Freljord)? 2) What is the relationship between Brand, the Watchers, and Lissandra, if any? 3) Will we be hearing about the story of Lissandra exacting her revenge against Avarosa within the next few months, or do you have more long term plans in mind for that story? 4) The Freljord patch consolidated a lot of champion bios to take place in this one region. Is this signaling a tighter approach to world-building on Riot's part in the future and can we expect other regions to get the same treatment? 5) Would you have considered releasing this Freljord content in a large patch like this if there weren't a map launch associated with it? Is Riot considering any large lore patches that don't come with an associated map launch? 6) How will you continue the story of the Freljord? Thanks so much for your time and for this awesome patch! It was really exciting making all the changes on my champion schematic and seeing all these new connections develop!A: [Kitae]We definitely don't think new maps are a requirement for faction lore events. We have more factions than maps by far! However, with the Howling Abyss we had a cool opportunity to upgrade the map and set it in the Freljord, so we took it.
Q: [TheAncientGut]1) Will be Brand be getting a lore update to place him in the Freljord as well, given that his host found him in Lokfar (which is now part of the Freljord)? 2) What is the relationship between Brand, the Watchers, and Lissandra, if any? 3) Will we be hearing about the story of Lissandra exacting her revenge against Avarosa within the next few months, or do you have more long term plans in mind for that story? 4) The Freljord patch consolidated a lot of champion bios to take place in this one region. Is this signaling a tighter approach to world-building on Riot's part in the future and can we expect other regions to get the same treatment? 5) Would you have considered releasing this Freljord content in a large patch like this if there weren't a map launch associated with it? Is Riot considering any large lore patches that don't come with an associated map launch? 6) How will you continue the story of the Freljord? Thanks so much for your time and for this awesome patch! It was really exciting making all the changes on my champion schematic and seeing all these new connections develop!A: [Kitae]The Story of the Freljord will take a while to tell, it won't be resolved in the next few months! We're not specifically setting out to consolidate factions, but we are looking to tell stories involving multiple champions, and we want to establish relationships between champions. We will shuffle things around occasionally to hit this goal. We're really open about how we will do further Freljord storytelling. For the patch we had: a video, multiple voiceovers, lore shopkeepers, Quinn's journals. Nothing is off the table for future storytelling.
Q: [TheAncientGut]1) Will be Brand be getting a lore update to place him in the Freljord as well, given that his host found him in Lokfar (which is now part of the Freljord)? 2) What is the relationship between Brand, the Watchers, and Lissandra, if any? 3) Will we be hearing about the story of Lissandra exacting her revenge against Avarosa within the next few months, or do you have more long term plans in mind for that story? 4) The Freljord patch consolidated a lot of champion bios to take place in this one region. Is this signaling a tighter approach to world-building on Riot's part in the future and can we expect other regions to get the same treatment? 5) Would you have considered releasing this Freljord content in a large patch like this if there weren't a map launch associated with it? Is Riot considering any large lore patches that don't come with an associated map launch? 6) How will you continue the story of the Freljord? Thanks so much for your time and for this awesome patch! It was really exciting making all the changes on my champion schematic and seeing all these new connections develop!A: [Kitae]Brand - Brand was never from Lokfar, the body he possessed was from Lokfar. While Brand definitely wants to burn the Freljord, that's because the Freljord is part of the world and he wants the world to burn. But Brand may know something about Lissandra and the Watchers.
Q: [Lars-Redzinx]Why does Lissandra look like Lady gaga? [Lady Lissandra](https://twitter.com/parmandorc/status/319569915055058945/photo/1)A: [Kitae]Lissandra has been around for a thousand years. I think a better question is - why is Lady Gaga cosplaying as Lissandra?
Q: [wFusion]Was the Freljord patch exhausting for you, Rioters?A: [Kitae]Sleep is for the weak. I'm weak.... Can I sleep now? :X
Q: [WollieNL]When will we see a development in the war of the Freljord?A: [Kitae]We definitely want to continue this storyline, but I can't give you a specific date right now as to when the next development will be released.
Q: [Axanor]I've visited the Freljord microsite, but it's very vague as to which champions belong to each of the factions. It would have been really neat if each faction had 5 champions representing them so summoners would be inclined to battle faction vs faction. My question is: Why is Trundle the only Frost guard champion besides Lissandra? It seems incredibly random. Also, I noticed when the Freljord event began, the free champs switched to all of the freljord champs with exception to Janna. Is Janna somehow tied into to Freljord lore? How so?A: [Kitae]First let me clarify which champions support each tribe: Avarosan: Ashe, Tryndamere, Anivia, Nunu Gragas Winter's Claw: Sejuani, Udyr, Volibear, Udyr Frostguard: Lissandra, Trundle So why is Trundle the only Frostguard champion besides Lissandra? For each of the champions, we looked at their character and motivations, and found the tribe that would fit them best. We weren't concerned about coming up with "fair" or "even" teams. Lissandra actually feels great as an underdog, and what's important is that in a war any of the three tribes could be victorious.
Q: [peachiebaby]i love the journals and lore... would there be a small book/story or something that could be spawned off this? :( it brought me back to fantasy when nothing else (after reading GRRM's song of ice and fire series) could!A: [Kitae]We would love to do full length novels when the time is right.
Q: [andre2694]Are you planning to do with other regions (Ionia, Noxus) the same that you just did with Freljord? Btw, nice AMA, I'm very pleased to see this :DA: [Kitae]I'd love to but what matters is what you guys think and want! Let us know your thoughts on which factions should be featured in events like this, and how we can improve future events.
Udyr's primal nature made him a good fit for our most savage faction. While Udyr has always had strong ties to Ionia, revealing his Freljord origin increases his depth and lets him participate in more stories. Anivia's old lore already had her in a guardian role in the Frlejord, but her origin was a far off planet. We wanted to deepen her existing guardian ties to the Freljord by making it her true home over her adopted one. Now as an immortal cryophoenix, Anivia can play a part in not only today's stories of the Freljord, but also ancient ones.
Q: [Jflash94]Yeah, my biggest question is why you decided to make Udyr winter's claw I mean everything points to him being avarosan especially with Ashe helping Ionia during the conflict with noxus Is their any strong motives, and reasons behind him joining winter's claw?A: [Kitae]Sejuani represents a more traditional and spiritual side of Freljord. Udyr's connection to the primal made him a good fit to fight with the leader who has the deepest respect for the land and it's traditions. With that said, I don't think Udyr would hate Ashe, or even specifically want to kill the Avarosan. He would likely council Sejuani away from the warlike path to focus on the true threat to the Freljord - the growing corruption.
Q: [bigasian3695]To keep the icons, you guys stated that we had to win 10 games. Can these 10 games have to be specifically Normals/Ranked Summoner's Rift or can it also be Normal Aram Howling Abyss?A: [Kitae]Any non-bot games done through matchmaking qualify. So yes, normal howing abyss aram games qualify.
Q: [DanielZKlein]Stallions Efe on the German forums asks: Demacia is very preoccupied with what's happening in the north, but what about Noxus? What side are they on? Does the Frelojordian threat to Demacia mean an advantage for Noxus?A: [Kitae]A united Freljord could be a danger to any of the factions of Runeterra. Their divided nature is the only thing that has stopped Freljord from rising to become a dangerous power. If Ashe is victorious that would be the safest outcome, due to her diplomatic nature, but even then Freljord is a dangerous sleeping giant.
Q: [DanielZKlein]Mrakesh asked on the German forums: Why does Lissandra not have an explicit reason for joining the league? It seems the last couple of champions don't have anything in their lore that explains why they would join the league.A: [Kitae]We used to put one liners in bios to describe why champions joined the League. These weren't satisfying, and they weren't good stories. Our focus now is on telling compelling stories that help players understand who a champion is. If you look at all of Lissandraâ€™s story elements (bio, login screen VO, howling abyss easter egg, video, Quinnâ€™s journals) you can build a complete understanding of her character and motivation.
Q: [Subt1e]What made you want to use Freljord as the new ARAM map, and not some other aspect of LoL lore? I love the new ARAM map, the attention to detail & atmosphere is amazing.A: [Kitae]When we were developing Lissandra's lore, we were inspired by the visuals of the proving grounds and the idea of a bottomless chasm. What is at the bottom of a bottomless chasm? Something evil. That core idea grew into the idea of the Watchers which form the basis for Lissandra's lore. So in some ways, the proving grounds inspired the Freljord event!
Q: [vakabiel]Michael - Would you say that Game of Thrones had any influence on the story line for Freljord? You can see little nods to it but the main story feels like a large nod. Also - in the video we see a lot of artwork that looks like other areas of the world yet to be revealed... could those be coming out in the game or maybe even in another different game tied to the same lore?A: [Kitae]There are definitely a lot of thematic similarities (cold, ancient evil, magic) but while we are all fans of Game of Thrones we see the story of the Freljord unfolding in a very different way.
Q: [fVANILLA]Which allegiance are you; The Winter's Claw, The Avarosan, or The Frostguard!?A: [Kitae]Lissandra! She's got 1000+ years of experience.
Q: [Yetttti]Which tribe icon is the most popular so far?A: [Kitae]It's actually neck-and-neck. We wanted all three tribes to be appealing in their own way. What we're seeing is broad support for all three tribes. That's awesome, it makes their conflict way more interesting!
Q: [Apeist]How long ago did you guys start developing Freljord?A: [Kitae]What iron stylus said. We knew we wanted to do a faction themed patch that would be bigger and better than Shadow Isles. When Lissandra started to evolve, we all got really excited about making Freljord that event.
Q: [Siarus]I think Freljord was an amazing themed patch and congratulate you all on your hard work! **My question** is if you guys plan on coming up with other bigger themed patches in the future?A: [Kitae]A lot of this depends on you guys, if you like faction themed patches we would love to keep doing them! We have a lot of cool factions that deserve a chance to be in the spotlight.
Q: [Hman9x]Favorite game of thrones character/scene?A: [Kitae]Favorite character - Tyrion Favorite scene - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-SdNHq9RZc
Q: [esiii]Can i change icon after 10 win? Nice idea is massive match where play 3 teams from Freljord. Team with the biggest win ratio or some like that get some time/full time reward.A: [Kitae]Once you unlock your tribe's icon you can safely change your icon. However, if you choose to display another tribe's icon and you win 10 games you will switch tribes.
Q: [Insidertpk]From 1-10 what do you think about the freljord music?A: [Kitae]11
Q: [the_Magnet]Will we be getting Proving Grounds back as a custom game map? I really like that map. :(A: [Brackhar]Nah, Howling Abyss has fully replaced it. The Proving Gounds crumbled away into that non-descript black void due to all the awesome battles that happened on it.
Q: [ChaliElle]every time I get Poro-Snax in ARAM I'm luring all the poros into fountain to watch them BURN in the 'light' of true LAZOR. Yeah, I'm evil person.A: [Brackhar]You monster. à² _à²
Q: [FuriaDelMONO]I used to play ARAM all the time before the update and I usually got in a game in a matter of seconds, on the new map I literally have to wait almost more than 20 minutes in queue before I can join a game, the only thing I want to do is play the less serious game mode that is ARAM, but the long queue is making it really punishing for me when I just want to have a relaxing time, I do not care about playing versus more skilled players if it means that I have to wait more than 20 minutes to play the game mode, are you intending to maintain this queue matchmaking system? Cheers, I understand if you do not have time to respond to this comment, I just want you to know about my concerns and I get it if you do not want to make changes just because of a small minority, keep up with the great work, everything else is great!A: [Brackhar]The queue times shouldn't be that long; I'll look into it.
Q: [mattiejj]Is there a higher chance on rolling free to play champs in the ARAM queue? Or is it just my lady luck who isn't smiling? :(A: [Brackhar]Nope, there's not.
Q: [angrehorse]Have you ever considered making aram not so random in the sense that so a team won't get 5 melee champs who have little to no harass or bad situations like that?A: [Brackhar]Briefly, but part of the appeal is figuring out ways to take these supposedly "bad" comps to victory. Additionally, if you really don't want to run 5 melee champs the rerolls are there to help you out.
Q: [Nahro45]First of all I want to say thank you for the new Map! It is awesome! It is really fun to play on it. :) To my question: every time I play on the map my FPS drops really hard from 45 to 10 ~ 15 on Howling Abyss! It lags and it is really hard to play like that... I already turned all my settings down to "low" but it does not help! Have you guys anything planned to solve the problems with the Howling Abyss map on bad PCs or Laptops?A: [Brackhar]We did focus a lot on performance before we shipped the map, but there's still more to be done. Optimization is kind of a black art though, so I we'll see how far we can take it.
Q: [Mapsai]How many hidden passives Poros have?A: [Brackhar]All of them.
Q: [Jes00jes]Rerolls are a great addition but it's really frustrating to use a reroll, then someone dodges the game and you now lost your reroll. Is there a way we can get them back if the game is dodged by someone other than yourself?A: [Brackhar]You only lose a reroll if someone in your premade was the person who dodged, otherwise you get refunded.
Q: [illusionedeyes]Why did you make it possible to kill the poros? (Also I'm a big IronStylus fan, so hi :D)A: [Brackhar]I blame Nome. à² _à²
Q: [Ansarum]I really like the way that the towers now crunble in howling abyss! are you planing to implement that visual "tower is at 50% health" on the other maps?A: [Brackhar]I want to!
Q: [Hman9x]Favorite game of thrones character/scene?A: [Brackhar]Tyrion and Jaime. Tyrion is awesome in any scene he's in, and Jaime has a pretty great character arc.
Q: [cobaltflames]Poro champion please? He can be a bunch of Poros on top of each other in a trench coat disguised as a man.A: [Brackhar]Riot plz
Q: [buttclapper]There seems to be more fps spikes while I play on the ARAM map. Is this server sided or is there something wrong with my computer?A: [Brackhar]The map is definitely more demanding than Proving Grounds was, and as a result some PCs that have older video cards struggle a bit with it. We are continuing to look for ways to optimize the map though.
Q: [ConfirmsEverything]Would you rather fight 100 Poro sized Nashors, or 1 Nashor sized Poro? Edit: You also smell like Poro-Snax at the moment of fighting them.A: [Brackhar]1 Nashor sized Poro. I'd prefer to die of cuteness. :3
Q: [DoctorUnique]Where did u get the idea for little fuzzy things (poro's) that u can slaughter in the laser turret!?A: [Brackhar]Why does everyone want to kill the Poros? You monsters. ;_;
Q: [thelilcatfishy]How hard was this patch to pull off? Were there any serious hitches or things that you got stuck on? Thanks for doing the ama btw :)A: [Brackhar]Pretty difficult, honestly. This was one of the larger content patches we've ever done, and just getting all of the disparate pieces to land at the same time was a challenge unto itself. So many different teams were involved in the release that coordination was quite tricky, especially since we weren't willing to compromise on quality. And thank you for playing. :)
Q: [Jruyd]Is the MMR for matchmaking into Howling Abyss separate from the number you use to match us into Summoner's rift? I'd hate to play a bunch of ARAM games and find my skill level in other game modes radically adjusted one way or the other.A: [Brackhar]Yeap, it is.
Q: [TankTheFlyingTurtle]Is it slightly more zoomed out on Howling Abyss? If so, why?A: [Brackhar]Yeap. Mostly it's zoomed out because Proving Grounds was also zoomed out, and back in the day we did that so that you could see more of the bridge on that map. Given the amount of depth and parallax we wanted in Howling Abyss we didn't see a need to change it.
Q: [RiotNome]Well, our animator CaptainLx made a death animation, and we wanted to find a way to use it, so naturally it turned into "how many awful ways can Poros die". We threw around ideas like "what if the Poros got squished when the turrets crumbled over them" and "what if they ran really quickly, so if you actually caught them, you would step on them and they'd explode." Brackhar vetoed them those ideas... blame him. Poros exploding after eating snacks ended up being a pretty innocuous way to use the animation.A: [Brackhar]WHY ARE YOU SO OBSESSED WITH KILLING THE POROS?! THEY'RE TOO CUTE TO DIE! ;_;
Q: [paul8]Will there be more maps in the future featuring the Freljord environment? I was really thrilled to see that there is so much potential and concept art that was not used yet (or I did not see in the Howling Abyss yet). Keep up the great work!A: [Brackhar]Mmmm, tough to say really. I definitely agree that Freljord provides a ton of opportunity for telling additional stories, but so do a number of other locations in the world. My guess is that if we were to do another map or map update we'd likely visit another area before we came back, for that reason.
Q: [Subt1e]What made you want to use Freljord as the new ARAM map, and not some other aspect of LoL lore? I love the new ARAM map, the attention to detail & atmosphere is amazing.A: [Brackhar]A bit of it was a result of timing - we were discussing the idea of a Freljord event back even while we were working on Twisted Treeline, and given that we wanted to upgrade Proving Grounds in general we saw a nice opportunity to tie it into a larger event as a whole. Additionally, a big icy bridge over an infinite abyss seemed like a pretty cool idea in general. :)
Q: [golf1052]Why have the CC timer bars been on and off in PBE? I've been noticing them in the champion ability videos too.A: [Brackhar]We've been doing various different tweaks to the feature to get player feedback, so we've been turning it on and off as we've been making changes.
Q: [LemonLce]What was each of your favorite parts of the Freljord to work on?A: [3PEET]I really enjoyed working on the breakable statues and towers. Also figuring out how to create s nice stylized look for our snow and ice.
Q: [Brackhar]I blame Nome. à² _à²A: [3PEET]Its not Nomes fault that illusiondeyes is a big IronStylus fan. :P
Q: [nrgbar]First off: I LOVE all of the League related (concept) art and I admire all of you!! Now for my questions: How did you guys become concept artists? What was your education/job history before you came to work with riot? Any tips for someone (like me) who wants to work as a concept artist (in the gaming business)? Thanks for doing this ama!A: [3PEET]Draw every day. Get on some art forums and get feedback. Being humble by taking critiques well and learning from them is the key to success.
Q: [Mapsai]No, no, I didn't want to know how many Poros have hidden passives. Just... how many passives each Poro has? Or the answer is still the same?A: [3PEET]the answer is still 'All of them'.
Q: [Chaosblazer]The one thing I never understood was how Shyvana got turned into an Ice Dragon? Like, does she just have to change what she wears and BAM, a new dragon form?A: [3PEET]When I change clothes, my dragon form changes too.
Q: [ThienPro123]If you were a potato in a busy intersection in Alabama and there were two waffle houses to your left and right, and you had to choose one, and you had to decide quick cause there was a lot of traffic, and also you have a carrot with you that has bad gas problems so he has to use the bathroom quick. Waffle house #1 has their usual line up of food, but they don't serve their food with plates, they just plop the food down on the table. Waffle house #2 only serves pancakes, but you're not in the mood for pancakes you're in the mood for some waffles. So what's your favorite color?A: [3PEET]blue
Q: [Rarepig]Do you guys plan on making any more structures on other maps like inhibitors or even the nexus on other maps like summoner's rift destructible, just like on HA?A: [3PEET]We are doing a lot of experimenting in regards to destruction. Hopefully we can eventually propagate this throughout the rest of the game.
Q: [Fluxbeam]How does it feel? (Best question in the world, *sarcasm*)A: [3PEET]cold
Q: [TheJerseyDevilX]Are their any plans to overhaul any other maps in the near future?.A: [3PEET]Yes, we will eventually be overhauling all of the maps.
Q: [SkettiOnToast]Does the (purple side) Piltover shop keeper's robot flying pet thingy have a name? It reminds me of the film Robots. Edit: Piltover shopkeeper: http://goo.gl/nlsrC (the hovering thing I'm referencing is next to the shopkeeper) Wonderbot from Robots (2005): http://goo.gl/tZrSs Was it inspiration?A: [3PEET]Geeves. :)
Q: [trabez]Will you guys update the other maps to look more like the new Howling Abyss map. Like the turrets falling apart etc?A: [3PEET]Eventually, yes
Q: [roflsbaka]I've been playing the game for almost years now and I'm loving the direction riot is taking with all this lore development. Keep up the good work! :) Also it'd be pretty cool if you guys replied with Happy Birthday :D Just turned 20 todayA: [3PEET]Happy Bday! Go kill some poros! :)
Q: [aardappelsalade]hi.A: [3PEET]hello
Q: [FearDaBeast]How long did it take to make the map?A: [3PEET]5 months from concept to completion.
Q: [fVANILLA]Which allegiance are you; The Winter's Claw, The Avarosan, or The Frostguard!?A: [3PEET]Winter's Claw
Q: [BloodySpenno]How long did the whole process of creating the Howling Abyss take?A: [3PEET]We started working on it with a very small team after Twisted Treeline remake went live.
Q: [Elffi]Did you get the idea for the name "Poro" from finnish language? Poro = Reindeer :)A: [3PEET]Yes!
Q: [hitstreak]Howling Abyss is BEAUTIFUL! Well done guys. Will we see an overhaul of Summoner's Rift to match that attention to detail? Seeing the towers crumble and the level change depending on how the fight is going has been amazing!A: [3PEET]The goal of the Environment team is to bring the immersion and visual quality of League of Legends to the highest point possible while improving the clarity and gameplay experience. The rework of Twisted Treeline was a good step in the right direction. We implemented a lot of new techniques and technology and worked with creative to push the Shadow Isles lore. With Howling Abyss we tackled a lot of tough challenges such as pushing depth, destruction, weather, ambient creatures, unique shop keepers and many other aspects. We will continue pushing the quality bar while answering as many tough questions for what we can and cant do in our game. I don't have any specific details about Summoners Rift, but I can say we will eventually be overhauling everything that is not at the highest quality. :)
Q: [Gp5Aloy]Why can't I kill those white little fur-balls. They haunt my dreamsA: [3PEET]Kite them to the laser.
Q: [Thrillar_villar]How many times has Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby been brought up in the making of the Freljord?A: [3PEET]417
Q: [DXCharger]Alright, who came up with the Poros and how do I give them a high-five?A: [3PEET]Collaboration by the environment art team.
Q: [mcjeebs]what gave you guys the poro ideaA: [3PEET]The environment art team had a meeting to discuss the overly aggressive feel of the map. We decided we needed some some whimsical elements to balance it out. We did some simple concepts and Poro came up. :)
Q: [gnoka]So is the new Anvia skin cannon and is Anivia evil now?A: [RiotRunaan]It isn't explicitly canon. Blackfrost Anivia represents a "what if" scenario: what if Lissandra won the war in the Freljord, and corrupted the land with her dark magic? Anivia herself would be corrupted, and Blackfrost Anivia is the result. Her protective nature has been twisted; now, to "protect" her home, she seeks to freeze the whole world solid to keep its inhabitants from hurting each other anymore. When everything is frozen and still, only then can there be peace.
Q: [xTrizz]Is Runaan Hurricane named after your name :D?A: [RiotRunaan]Mmaaaayyybe. ;P
Q: [Luqizilla]AlexStrike at the Brazilian forums asked what will Demacia do with all the information that Quinn brought back?A: [RiotRunaan]Demacia has acknowledged that the Freljord could potentially become a threat in the future, but as the war there is just beginning to unravel, they're not going to interfere just yet. So long as the Freljord is busy fighting itself, Demacia has no need to fear a united barbarian front crashing down on their borders. Jarvan will certainly be keeping an eye on the Freljord, though, and maybe Quinn will go on another scouting mission eventually.
Q: [fomorian]Am I going crazy, or was anivia's VO updated as well? I don't think I've seen it brought up, but I'm sure she talks about the freljord a lot more than before.A: [RiotRunaan]Yes, Anivia's voice over was updated as well for many of the same reasons. :)
Q: [zerorat]I'm just curious about the order in which the Trundle re-work took place. Did the idea of the Freljord becoming the next big thing simply provide a reasonable setting for good ole spaghetti head to become an Ice Troll? Or, on the other hand, was Trundle slated to become an Ice Troll already, and then you guys said, oh wait! Here's some icy champs, lets make an event out of it? More or less, I guess the question is about what comes first in champ development, the setting, or the specific champ's flavor? Does it vary from champ to champ?A: [RiotRunaan]The Trundle rework has been a long time coming. He was actually re-concepted as a frost troll long before the Freljord event began to take form. Once things started to fall into place for the event, though, we saw an opportunity to give Trundle a bigger role in Runeterra by giving him a part to play in the story of the Freljord. As a few other Rioters have mentioned, it was really Lissandra's development that kick-started the Freljord event. Typically, the idea for the champ's core flavor or theme comes first, and story/setting second, but it does vary.
Q: [GeneralStarscream]Lore-wise, what does Trundle think of the other factions? Would he side with any of the other sisters given the chance?A: [RiotRunaan]Trundle is a crafty fellow. I think that he'd be quick to change sides if it benefited him in the short term, but ultimately Trundle's on Team Troll. Currently, he sees Lissandra as the best means to an end. He's had a lot of run-ins with the Winter's Claw and considers them fierce, if foolish, and he's picked off several fringe settlements of the Avarosan as well (see Quinn's journal). Eventually, though, Trundle believes the trolls will rule the Freljord... he just has to choose the moment he strikes wisely.
Q: [roflsbaka]I've been playing the game for almost years now and I'm loving the direction riot is taking with all this lore development. Keep up the good work! :) Also it'd be pretty cool if you guys replied with Happy Birthday :D Just turned 20 todayA: [RiotRunaan]HAPPY BIRTHDAY! <3 :)
Q: [Hman9x]Favorite game of thrones character/scene?A: [RiotRunaan]jaime and brienne 4lyfe
Q: [Mooskitt]Why the Ashe voice change?A: [RiotRunaan]As one of the oldest champions in League of Legends, Ashe had a very limited VO script. We wanted to bring her up to the amount of lines we give our new champions (similar to the way champions like Twisted Fate and Annie got updated scripts with their visual upgrades) as well as give her tie-ins with other champions for the Freljord event. Her voice actress is the same.
Q: [wFusion]Was the Freljord patch exhausting for you, Rioters?A: [RiotRunaan]A little bit exhausting... but EXTREMELY rewarding. :) Everyone involved poured tons of love and extreme effort into this thing, and it's amazing to see it finally get out to you guys.
Q: [Luqizilla]gabrielcarioca asked at Brazilian forums what are Poros? (Beside being cute little things you want to bite!)A: [RiotRunaan]Mysterious, ice-dwelling fuzz balls who have found a home near the Howling Abyss. They enjoy mocking and toying with those who cross the bridge. :P
Q: [fVANILLA]Which allegiance are you; The Winter's Claw, The Avarosan, or The Frostguard!?A: [RiotRunaan]The Winter's Claw. >:D
Q: [a_cute_lynx]what was the reason you guys removed the ashe + tryn marriage in the lore?A: [RiotRunaan]Don't worry, Ashe and Tryndamere are still married, that detail wasn't removed from the lore (in fact, it was never specified in Tryndamere's original bio either, it was a story development in the Journal of Justice). Still canon!
Q: [Ikzegkaas]Can yordles survive on Freljord?A: [RiotRunaan]Hmmm. An interesting thought. If a yordle could survive in the Freljord, would one call such a creature a "Freljordle?"
Q: [iccirrus]Since Blackfrost Anivia was made,does this mean Battlecast Anivia was scrapped? side note,Battlecast cho bug,is anybody working on fixing that?A: [MorelloRiot]I think a lot of people mistook early Blackfrost work as Battlecast - we never were making a Battlecast Anivia :x
Q: [Foxka]Do you guys ever think there will be more than 5 man teams? Like a 10v10 map?A: [MorelloRiot]Nope!
Q: [Minilynx]I have a question regarding the lore, the main one being if Anivia has teamed up with the Avarosan for peace as she fears the corrupt ice, what does Blackfrost Anivia mean? Also shouldnt Trynd be a member of Winters Claw seeing as how hes all about war and rage?A: [MorelloRiot]Blackfrost Anivia is the vision of a possibility - what would happen if the Frostguard were successful. Specifically, we wanted to make this still be Anivia, but under the shackles of being warped and corrupted. She still wants to protect the land and the world, but her method is twisted...she sees freezing the world solid, so it can't hurt itself anymore, as the only viable option. It's a tragic glimpse into what would happen to such a noble character should the land become warped by Lissandra.
Q: [pkj91]Question for Morello, it's not about the Freljord patch so I understand if this one will be left unanswered. Why change Morello's Evil Tome's name into Monerolelironimicon? I find it hard to pronounce. On topic: Love the patch :) Looking forward to other themed maps in the futureA: [MorelloRiot]Basically, it was always supposed to be Morellonomicon, but due to a localization issue, we had to shorten it. Once we got that fixed, I wanted it to have some flavor - but I agree it's hard to say!
Q: [TreTech]Hinting at a 50 Cent themed champion. You heard it here first!A: [MorelloRiot]Vanye West
Q: [ChrispyCaspa]are you guys planning on doing more area-themed mega patches?A: [MorelloRiot]Depending on how much people dig it. If players like this as much as we hope they do, then yes!
Q: [KiLLa16-]Will there be any more balance patches? Do You think that there are specific champions that are overpowered atm? Maybe there are some You are planning to improve, some that are rarely played like heimerdinger?A: [MorelloRiot]Well, I mean we've been doing balance patches for 3 years, I think it's pretty likely we'll keep doing it ;P
Q: [Jayjayko]I wanted to ask, it seems almost every single Ice/Freljord Hero got a remodeling or remake to bring them up to todays standards. Why is it Anivia's main splash has been and still is untouched? It really does look bad and she could look so much more fierce and graceful.A: [MorelloRiot]Only so much time to get things done - Occam's Razor :)
Q: [TheXthDoctor]@Morello Forgive me if this has been asked already. I read recently that there was some thinking going around about Ashe's passive with the Freljord release. Is there anything you can share about the work being done on this?A: [MorelloRiot]It's not associated to the event at all, but we're testing out some new ideas for her passive. No ETA yet!
Q: [Mutterscrawl]Are poros baby Frostwatchers?A: [MorelloRiot]They're more like Frozen Watcher McNuggets!
Q: [SHIT_IN_HER_CUNT]Hi, I made this post on the forum with some interesting response and i'll post it again. Since her initial release I've had a ton of fun with her, she's probably the sole reason I managed to get Gold in solo que initially and I do quite well with her. But since her update, I feel as though more than just number and ability tweaks have changed her... for more than just good things. I absolutely feel her W is now worse. I know right, you must think I'm insane but hear me out. Sejuani pre-rework had her W dealing damage and being a nuisance simply by running near an enemy. It had a solid range and the moment you tapped W boom the damage was out! Now, you can be kited and almost literally shut down with no damage, relying strictly on charge or worse, your ultimate to even do anything. This makes builds that incorporated Rylai's Crystal Scepter to be very risky now, as W may simply not even function at all when trying to get a hold of the back line. Making her have to use an auto-attack also means her attack animation is that much more important now, requiring you to invest in attack speed more than before for jungling (most took 15% but now it's a must imo with little to no alternatives). Her Q upgrade is great. The change itself, no complaints. Good job. Her auto-attack animation now feels much less responsive and clunky as opposed to before, almost as if it was totally reworked (slower/doesn't respond as fast) as the animation takes longer to wind up. I've made sure to look into that more and it seems very true right now. Her ultimate has always been comparative to Amumu's ultimate with range. Which is great! The problem is, now more than ever I tend to drop ultimate's on enemy and it simply causes a slow, and feels much more unreliable especially on any enemy that intercepts the hit. The damage feels more consistent sure, but that's not why I use it. I also greatly appreciate the speed increase on the animation as that has helped land it far more than usual. Her E also feels quite good, pretty much same as before I would say. Good job. The passive update was perfect though once again the auto attack requirement a bit irritating. I think this all comes back down to Amumu having similar effects for dealing damage with 0 requirement to do them, just being near = damage.A: [MorelloRiot]Basically, you have to manage your in-combat time better with W - you can't just auto-damage with it. This requires more interaction on the Sejuani player. You're very correct the ult is a lot less reliable - that's on purpose. We want skillshots to be, ya know, "skill"shots, so missing with it and getting the desired effect makes it less skilled. But by reducing the reliability, we were able to buff the stun duration, especially late-game.
Q: [TerraRising]Morello, a follow-up question: Will community feedback (GD posts, surveys, etc) become more or less of a factor when implementing or starting major changes?A: [MorelloRiot]We do a lot of user research on the scientific level (davin leads this up), and pay attention to the forums and feedback, but we factor all this in overall. Sometimes, we'll do things that aren't popular, but feedback is important on how to do it better or what pain points players feel when doing it. Basically, we're never going to move to a design-by-committee system or anything, but we're never going to just ignore feedback and trudge ahead. We may disagree sometimes, or there may be a bigger picture that players aren't able to see, but it doesn't change that feedback matters and is important :)
Q: [NarbYo]Is the upcoming ultimate skin Freljord related?A: [MorelloRiot]Nope :D
Q: [RCIX]Thanks morello, I've always appreciated that you're willing to be honest and upfront even when not everyone may like what you say.A: [MorelloRiot]np! :)
Q: [Insidertpk]From 1-10 what do you think about the freljord music?A: [MorelloRiot]I listen to it when not playing the map - that's about the best review I could give.
Q: [HarperClown]Honest question,are you content that champs like yi, jayce, nidalee, lux potentially ruin games by making one team more lopsided than the other.A: [MorelloRiot]It's random and mostly a mode for fun - it's not competitively balanced, nor will it be!
Q: [liquidscurvy]I'm curious why you guys didn't add ward skins for each of the tribesA: [MorelloRiot]The actual answer was lack of time - this is something we really like as an idea.
Q: [ivanzfg]So, with the sejuani and trundle rework, they got really stronger...how'bout ashe? She's kind of weak as an adc...Any change to her?A: [MorelloRiot]We're looking at her passive, though nothing major. Ashe is not that bad, but she is specialized.
Q: [fitkidgil]I want to outright state that this AMA is one of the many reasons why I greatly apprecitate and adora Riot as a game company, not only do they listen to the fanbase, they give everyone a chance to ask questions and interact whether its here on reddit, or at a con. Also, from watching the champion spotlight for Sej... Phreak, i hope you get that cold cleared up :)A: [MorelloRiot]<3
Q: [Chaosblazer]The one thing I never understood was how Shyvana got turned into an Ice Dragon? Like, does she just have to change what she wears and BAM, a new dragon form?A: [MorelloRiot]Many skins are not canon, and are just cool outfits :)
Q: [TerraRising]What lessons have Riot learned from this whole Freljord process? Specifically, I'd like to know what the company/teams have learned in order to better handle some of the anger and frustration over how the whole thing was revealed and handled by the various teams.A: [MorelloRiot]To me, I think the biggest takeaway is how to more smoothly apply changes. This is something we already have a bit of practice with in game balance, but I think talking a little earlier and getting people's expectations set before we make changes (and understanding how to both meet our long-term goals and be less disruptive) is a big lesson. See my Sion thread on the forums to see what I mean.
Q: [LemonLce]How many reruns of sharkweek did you watch before you were able to get Lissandra's head right?A: [MorelloRiot]We live every week like it's shark week.
Q: [DangQue]Why are there no bananas growing in Freljord?A: [MorelloRiot]Because Soraka is not a Freljord champion.
Q: [PerryTP]I read few days ago about Sion rework and Morello mentioned 1 community idea. Splitting his kit into 2 champions I think. So one being an undead lifesteal tank, is it possible that his other kit will be on Omen or is Omen gone forever? (unreleased champion, looks pretty cool).A: [MorelloRiot]Omen is cancelled, and my post was I will not be splitting Sion into two champions, but likely rebooting the whole thing from scratch.
Q: [Lars-Redzinx]Why does Lissandra look like Lady gaga? [Lady Lissandra](https://twitter.com/parmandorc/status/319569915055058945/photo/1)A: [MorelloRiot]Lissandra has been all up in da club.
Q: [AMajali]Are you planning to make all Freljord icons avaliable,cuz that would be really coolA: [MorelloRiot]Nope - the whole point is you pick one. Choose wisely!
Q: [Theoroshia]Why aren't melee adc's being reexamined to make them viable? Perhaps a BKB like item?A: [MorelloRiot]They are, though BKB removes so much gameplay, we're not considering a really ham-fisted solution like that.
Q: [FatedTitan]Why did Riot push the Trundle remake out after the outcry from Trundle fans? The reveal threads still have massive downvotes on them and the hard questions that were raised by Trundle fans were ignored and given a generic response instead that didn't answer anything that was asked. Morello even stated that messing with a niche character is a mistake and that they learned that with Trundle. If you learned that it was a mistake to mess with Trundle, why push the relaunch? Why not make him a completely new Champ and leave Trundle how he used to be as the underdog leprous troll?A: [MorelloRiot]To be clear, I didn't say it was a mistake - the new Trundle is doing exactly what he meant to do, but instead I'm saying I think we could have been smarter about how we did it so we could not have to cause so much conflict with current Trundle fans. Basically, the hard and not-popular answer is that legacy is only one piece of the equation, but in these discussions, legacy is the only axis being discussed. Legacy has value, but I think the value of it here is lower than making it so Trundle actually fits into the world and has some ties to other champions - and artistically, not having a "poop champ" is a win overall. In the future, I want to make sure we do change things more carefully to balance this more, but not avoid changing what needs to be changed. I explain some of this in my Sion thread as well. I can't dig in as much in as I was less involved with Trundle overall, but the two things are: it's not worth totally redoing the whole product a few weeks before it launches because there are legacy concerns, and we'll never remake a champion into 2 champions. Some stuff is not worth keeping, and I know that's not the answer a lot of invested fans want, but it's real talk.
Q: [fVANILLA]Which allegiance are you; The Winter's Claw, The Avarosan, or The Frostguard!?A: [MorelloRiot]Frostguard, because magic.
Q: [razieylol]why did you guys decide to make Lissandra more of a utility like mage instead of the typical assassin/burst/nuke mage were used to seeing? Did you ever intend on seeing her get support play as well?A: [RiotMeddler]Ice lends itself to control based abilities, as does Lissandra's manipulative, domineering personality. Support play wise we figured she might be a situational pick, particularly given how effectively some comps manage to use Zyra/other mages traditionally seen as mid picks instead.
Q: [SunnyDMagic]As an avid player of the old Sejuani I have a lot of questions involving the rework: 1. I have an interesting question regarding player perception. The Sejuani rework was actually a pretty decent nerf to her numbers wise, and slight changes to risk and reward. Yet everyone I've talked to that hasn't played the old Sejuani too much thinks that the new Sejuani is way stronger. I think that this is very interesting that people's opinion on Sejuani changed so much despite the main changes being visual. What is it that makes people see the new Sejuani as more powerful? Is it the new looks? Her new feel? (because in-game she has a very hefty feel to her) or is it that Sejuani was always pretty powerful and the rework just turned attention toward her? 2. The old Sejuani had a very nice kit in my opinion, everything had really good synergy with everything else in her kit. It feels like the new Sej doesn't really have that, especially her new Q. The problem with the new Q is that it is now only single target, which feels off in many situations. What was the thought behind the decision to change the Q to a single target skill? 3. Piggybacking off my previous question about Sej's kit, I'd like to ask about the removal of frost's slow. The old passive on Sej was actually extremely useful, but it didn't have too much of a visual effect in game. It allowed a Sej with only 350 movespeed to keep up with an enemy with 389 movement speed. This was a big deal in keeping on your enemy and making sure they kept taking your damage. With the new Sejuani, there is really nothing keeping them near you after the 2-3 seconds of E, and unless you burn ult they're free to just walk away if they're faster. What was the thought behind removing the slowing part of frost from Sej's kit? 4. When Sejuani first came out there was a saying about her that said after 30 minutes she was just a walking ult. This later got proved wrong, but I actually feel as if this is true of the new Sejuani. I feel that the reason for this is the decent nerf to her w, which when calculated with 2000 extra health bought comes out to about 500 less damage, this includes the 50% extra damage on frosted targets old Sej had. Late game there really isn't much reason to focus her in a teamfight, unlike a lot of other tanks in the game. What are your opinions on this subject? 5. Continuing off the previous question, I am pretty unhappy with the changes to her W. The old W felt very responsive and was simple in its application. In contrast, the new W feels very clunky and unnecessarily complex. My main gripe is with the second delay between activation and when the aoe damage starts, even if you decide to double tap the W. Beyond that I dislike that the modified auto attack doesn't scale with health, unlike the rest of the skill. I feel like these are slight problems because there isn't anything beyond the E and R if you decide to burn it that keeps them near you, so it feels like you need to pack all the damage you can into the 3 seconds that E is in effect. What was the decision making process in giving her a delay in her aoe, and making it also have a modified auto attack as part of it? 6. Her ult had a couple of changes involved with it, it got an extremely slight range buff, I'm not 100% on this but it feels like the aoe of the burst was shortened by a good amount, now everyone within the aoe is stunned for a full 2 seconds instead of 2 for the person hit and 1 for everyone else, and now if you miss hitting someone it applies a slow within the aoe. I feel like this change added on an extremely substantial risk, for only a small change in reward. What are your views and thoughts regarding this? If you took the time to read through all this I would like to thank you, and please know that I do not mean to bash on the new Sejuani too much, it's just that the old Sejuani was one of my favorite champions and the change took her from the teamfight aoe queen I loved and changed her into an armored jungling warrior. Either way though, thank you for the time and effort you put into reaching out to the community!A: [RiotMeddler]1. Our goal with the Sejuani rework was to shift power around, make it more visible and increase her risk reward on a couple of skills a bit, not to nerf or buff. I believe that the change in perception of Sejuani is a combination of some successes there (the addition of the knockup on the charge for example, in exchange for harder to perceive damage on the W) and all the extra attention she's got due to the Freljord event/her visual rework. 2. Primary reason for making the charge single target was power. While testing the rework internally we had Sejuani consistently dominating games and removing a bit of AOE damage helped bring that under control. A secondary reason was consistency, having enemy champions take the damage but not the knock up felt odd and making the skill an AOE knockup wasn't an option. 3. We've found permaslows to be really difficult to make both satisfying and balanced when they're available throughout the game and not gated in some form (mana/CDs/something else). Something we wanted to do with Sejuani was increase her high moments but also give a few more options for counter play for the enemy in exchange, and the removal of the permaslow was a part of that trade off. Having said that Sejuani still has a knockup, one of the strongest multi target slows in the game and an AOE stun/slow, so she's still pretty sticky compared to most champions. 4. Most tanks fall off late game to some degree and Sejuani does follow that pattern. Her damage is pretty solid/arguably a bit on the high side compared to other similar champions and she brings a lot of utility/disruption to a fight so we're not currently concerned about her having a lack of late game impact. We are keeping a really close eye on both her and Trundle in terms of performance though and will be tweaking them as needed. 5. We wanted to involve Sejuani's flail in her kit a bit more, give a small optimisation moment (correct use of auto attack reset) and give the enemy another small moment of counterplay (avoid the auto attack reset, take a bit less damage). 6. The burst radius on the ult hasn't changed, though both it's range and speed have been increased slightly. The full stun for everyone versus slow if you miss is a shift towards a higher risk/reward patten. The worst case scenario for the Sejuani player is definitely weaker, a 2 second AOE stun at long range though is incredibly powerful and a substantial increase in power compared to 2 second primary target/1 second others, so we're happy with that change at present.
Q: [alvinthousands]i might get downvoted for lack of knowledge, but im confused as to whether lissandra is still under the sworn fealty to ashe or not.A: [RiotMeddler]Ashe currently believes Lissandra is a normal young woman who's recently become the leader of her tribe and is supporting Ashe's efforts to unite the Freljord. Lissandra has other plans.
Q: [RedArmyForce]I heard about something in howling abyss... if one team has lissandra and the other have Ashe, there is a quest saying "the war has begun" or something like this. it is true O.o?A: [RiotMeddler]It's true, though it's not just Howling Abyss and it's not just Lissandra/Ashe that can trigger the quest either - Sejuani can be part of the fun too and the presence of other champions on the teams can also matter.
Q: [flychance]Would this type of ability (casting a stasis... essentially a CC of sorts) on an ally ever potentially be used, or would the potential trolling capabilities be a deterrent? I liked that in the case of Thresh it is the allies choice to get pulled (although, sometimes their not using my lantern when it would save them is annoying) so that they can't really be trolled, but know if something was implemented like Lissandra's ult on an ally that it wouldn't be a choice for the ally.A: [RiotMeddler]It's a possibility, though there definitely a number of problems to solve there. Making the ability opt in would solve a lot of those, though as in a reactive mid combat ability we'd need to make sure it felt responsive to both caster and ally. It's also an ability I feel would fit best on a champion with a strong 'protect my allies' theme, so most likely a tank or support for example.
Q: [lauq]What was the idea behind the sort of brainwave/heartbeat animation on Lissandra her helm/head? (I haven't read the lore, sorry) It just looks a bit strange and silly in my honest opinion.A: [RiotMeddler]That's there to indicate that her passive's available. We wanted something that suggested power being held ready that wasn't too loud an effect/just the usual glowing hands visual.
Q: [Erateon]Hey! I have a question that's intended mostly for Meddler, that is what do you think of Lissandra's early to mid game? I have played a fair number of games with her, ever since she came out and in the early game she can't quite "burst someone down" when it really come to it. Her late game is amazing and insanely rewarding (I get triples all of the time :D ) but I feel like she lacks something early on to have a decent laning fase. Outside of that! I love your champions! Until today Zyra was my favorite, but Lissandra stole my heart, and Syndra before her <3I would also like to congragulate you for making Sejuani so insanely fun to play with! (I generally love your champions.)A: [RiotMeddler]Thanks! :) So far I'm pretty happy with Lissandra's early/mid game. Some of her match ups can be pretty tough, given the amount of utility/roaming potential and team fight power she can bring we did want to limit her laning potential/burst somewhat however as a trade off. I also suspect we'll see her run top a bit more in future as a situational pick if there's a champ she does well against there and a difficult match up mid, though that's just a theory based off some of our internal testing.
Q: [atz3ro]This isnt a question about Freljord specifically (which was an awesome patch though, congrats). I have two questions. - What goes into making a new champion vs what goes into making a reworked champion (Lissandra, Trundle, Sejunai)? - Summoners rift used to change with the seasons a while back. Any chance we will be seeing that again? (WTB snow capped summoners rift)A: [RiotMeddler]New champions we start by identifying what sort of character we want to make in terms of visual design, lore and gameplay and then spend a whole bunch of time iterating on those elements until we find something we really like. It's comparatively blank slate work. With a rework by contrast we're looking to address gameplay issues and/or upgrade a champion's art/model/sound. Reworks are tune ups/problem solving basically, so operating within a more confined space, which brings a different set of challenges. In terms of total work involved the two can be fairly similar, depending on just how comprehensive the rework is.
Q: [LemonLce]There are "secondary quests" for the Freljord champions in the game when they hit level 18. Do you have plans of adding more of these in the future, but with more functionality (Like with Rengar/Kha'Zix)?A: [RiotMeddler]We're really interested in exploring the potential for these sort of interactions and will be looking into more in future where they're a good fit. Adding gameplay effects (power, not just visual/lore rewards) however is something we're really cautious about since we don't want these quests to distort gameplay at other players' expense or require us to nerf champions to account for that potential power spike.
Q: [RCIX]Random oneshot question: Was Lissandra's ult not made to ally cast for the obvious/ally troll reason? Because it would be so cool if i could save my allies :(A: [RiotMeddler]Power and playstyle were the primary reasons. Adding an allied cast option would have incentivized Lissandra towards a more defensive style of play, waiting for the right moment to save an ally, rather than being rewarded for using Glacial Path to get into the midst of a fight and then ult herself or an enemy as appropriate. On a secondary note this also ties in with Lissandra's personality. She's not really the protective, nurturing sort and, while her dark ice is beneficial to her, being trapped in it's not going to be a positive experience for her allies.
Q: [fVANILLA]Which allegiance are you; The Winter's Claw, The Avarosan, or The Frostguard!?A: [RiotMeddler]Frostguard. The world will freeze.
Q: [LemonLce]So here's a design question. When playing Lissandra (or in my case watching her being played) I notice alot of really cool mechanics and gameplay features that stick out. What's the motivation behind her ultimate? Both how it functions, and how it translates into feeling like an Ice Witch in the game.A: [RiotMeddler]We were aiming for a few things with Lissandra's ultimate. The first was to try and create an interesting choice between two different uses (self cast/enemy cast) to add some extra tension to fights as both the Lissandra player and as the enemy. The second was to try and create a gameplay link to a key element of Lissandra's lore, the desire to see the cold return and everything freeze. The final big reason was that we wanted to give her a high impact, short range ability, that, when needed, would allow her to survive in team fights, so that she could continue to build/play more like a mage than a tank, despite having both initiation capability and short range CC.
Q: [Hideayoda]What inspired lissandra? She seems so unique to the other mid champs and her play seems drastically different as well and what do you think of her from a player stand point?A: [RiotMeddler]Visually we wanted something with a somewhat alien, no longer human look, hence the unusual proportions, head dress etc. On the gameplay side we really wanted to capture some of Lissandra's personality in her abilities - vicious, manipulative, dominating. We also wanted to explore a niche we haven't used as much, a shorter range mage with strong initiation potential, whether in lane, team fights or ganks.
Q: [golf1052]Why have the CC timer bars been on and off in PBE? I've been noticing them in the champion ability videos too.A: [RiotMeddler]We're still ironing out a few of the details with the CC timer bars, hence their extended time on the PBE and in internal testing. They're definitely on the way though.
Q: [punikun]I have a question for the composers since you made video specifically for the music. Always wanted to know the process of arranging a musical piece for a game, is the composer asked to fit something in a specific setting, are the instruments given or the lenght or is he free to do whatever he sees fit. And what is the typical order of arranging itself, are they trying out instruments and see if they sound well with what they have in mind ? And do you have tips for those who want to get better at arranging in general (mainly beginners) ? :PA: [RiotPraeco]It depends on the individual company you work with, that can vary a lot. I am very, very lucky at Riot, because trust and creative freedom is given to me in many ways that is pretty much unique. People from the Art team, Creative team, Game Design team and so on give me a lot of input and feedback, and that input and feedback then drives my development of that music. It's important to not try to create something that matches their idea only, because you will always be trying to match and create something that you yourself don't even fully have control over in your head. Take the feedback and input, and give it the meaning and weight it deserves, but then follow your own idea and own interpretation of where this should go. Arranging is something that I myself still have to learn a lot about. However, it is important to understand the sonic characteristics of the instruments. Where do they sit? Woodwinds give more of an organic, natural feeling. Often, instruments sit in the same range, but have such different sounds. Should I have Bassoons or Tubas and Trombones take over in this section? Should I bring in violins, or trumpets? Be conscious about what the purpose of the music is, what effect you want to achieve.
Q: [zepiseq]Hi guys. i agreed with Siarus, and im wondering about the full soundtrack from freljord. Is it possible to get ?? because i loved this music <3A: [RiotPraeco]I will try to upload all of the Freljord Music sometime later on our soundcloud.
Q: [Ayasuna]Great work by every team on this patch but I'd like to commend the music team especially, being a music lover myself ;w;A: [RiotPraeco]Thank you!
Q: [fomorian]When can we expect a musical update for SR? I think you guys will agree it's been a while, and after what you guys did with HA I'm really pumped for it. Also, whose idea was it to attach the crumbling of the architecture in howling abyss to ingame events like first blood? I know that first blood causes the bridge at the top of the map to crumble, and that killing towers also causes stuff to crumble, and potentially multikills also cause crumblings. I think it was a great touch and really makes the map come alive.A: [RiotPraeco]Just responded to the music question in this thread, you can maybe look it up.
Q: [wormivv]I know that SR was reworked last year, but do you plan an update to Summoner's Rift to make it match howling abyss? Like the way turrets destroy, the dynamic music change, it's so awesome that it makes me wanna play more arams. Also say Hi from me to the music composer, the music is EPIC. Are you planning to release more behind the scenes videos like the one about making music?A: [RiotPraeco]Hi back. Yes, I just responded to a similar question, you can look it up in this thread. We actually have filmed quite some material of music recording sessions that we had, including all sorts of different ones (recording modern music like Vi, recording the Draven chants, but also recording 90 piece orchestras playing our music). I think the plan is to turn all that into a bigger video at some point, but I'm not sure when that's gonna happen exactly, but I think it will.
Q: [Pobaxi]Hi, thanks for doing this. * Are there any plans to move certain ARAM map features, specifically tower decaying as they take damage and the dynamic music changes over to the Summoners Rift map? * Will Summoners Rift get some new music in the future? *edit* * Will you release a longer version of the Freljord theme?A: [RiotPraeco]Our goal is to get every aspect of our game to the highest quality bar possible. That counts for everything musical, too. My goal is not only to have the same musical features(dynamic music development, death track, etc.) on Summoner's Rift, but go even further and find more ways of adding awesome musical moments that fit and make sense. At this point, there's isn't really any concrete details that I could share with you guys unfortunately, but be assured that I will make sure it's the best musical experience it could possibly be.
Q: [CptAloha]After the making of freljord, will you be working on more lore based content? Also, can we please see more "making the music of ____" vids? The freljord music was just absolutely superb.A: [RiotPraeco]I'll do my best to film more of our music production! :)
Q: [Darktire]There seemed to be a lot of pride taken with the music in this patch (for good reason! It's awesome!). Did you guys contract outside musicians for this (or any music project) or do you have musicians on staff?A: [RiotPraeco]Presuming you mean the musicians who played the music in the video, those are all LA musicians that we contract to play for us on this project. We actually know them all personally and are good friend of ours, which makes it even more fun to work with them. :)
Q: [wetshrinkage]I just want to say thank your for the behind the scenes video on the music production. So inspiring.A: [RiotPraeco]Thank you, I'm very glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully, we will be able to expose more of that kind of stuff in the future!
Q: [dervd]How long did it take to compose a full theme song, for example, the Freljord Theme?A: [RiotPraeco]We have worked on that for roundabout half a year. There are many aspects that had to be considered, and we took our time with it. Freljord's history is very sophisticated and rich in culture, and yet, the land is very rugged and rough to live in. There had to be a certain intimacy in the presence of the mix of the instruments, which is why we added many solo instruments, and throughout all the music, there usually are 1 or 2 instruments that "lead the way". Whenever I had thought of a scenario of music being played in Freljord by the Freljord people, I was rather thinking of a few single people, sitting around a bonfire, playing their old and traditional melodies.
Q: [mskalandunas]Hey guys, thank you so much for doing this! I've loved the whole Freljord event. I have 2 questions, both for the music team behind the theme and implementation of the music. 1. Iâ€™ve noticed that the music in the Howling Abyss has a lot of really cool stingers added in for different in game events, for example taking a tower brings in some massive drums and dying fades in some drones and creepy whispers. What else did you do to make the music in the Howling Abyss so fluid and seemingly endless? 2. In the Freljord theme, at the latter half of 00:06, there's this low sort of war-like brass sound. What instrument/combination of instruments is that? Thank you so much for doing this!A: [RiotPraeco]1. Basically, apart from the victory/defeat and the death-track, there are 5 different music tracks and phases with different intensity to support a conscious emotional development of the individual game. The music shouldn't just feel the same throughout the whole game, but progress with it. We also added a few other ambiences to glue the whole sonic experience together, so the sound effects have a nice "cushion" to sit on. 2. That instrument actually had a very conscious concept, thanks for asking, I like talking about that one. :) Basically, I talked to Sam Estes, one of my good friends, and told him "Hey, can you develop me an instrument that sounds like an ice giant carved out a gigantic tree and then blew air through it, to create this huge and intimidating tone, that still sounds very organic and natural?" - And that he did. :) He's a very talented instrument designer: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2197265/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1