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Tons of New Preseason Info, Challenger Tier Immunity, Trinkets, PBE Changes, The Future of Dominion, Halloween Contest, and More

Important: Unofficial PBE Patch Notes for 10/23/2013 - Team Builder Intro, Jinx, Morgana and Zyra Changes, The Preseason Draws Closer!Haunted Zyra Blooms in the Darkness!


Tons of New Preseason Info

Several pros were invited to Riot HQ to give input on the new season changes and they shared some pretty interesting pieces of information.
Doublelift posted a screenshot of a game he played and people spotted Madred's Bloodrazor in Master Yi's possession.

Cloud then replied to an excited player's question regarding the Bloodrazor:

Xpecial on the other hand slipped the information that Janna's AP will scale up the AD her shield gives:

Snoopeh put the info on a fourth jungle camp out there:


This triggered a response from Morello:

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

What? Is this not counting buff camps?
Correct - fourth -small camp-. We've been calling it 4th camp so long internally, I totally forgot to explain that!


Daniel Klein replied to a question on Twitter regarding assists:

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Whoa, hey, wait, what, I missed this earlier, you get ASSIST-streaks now? What are the tiers? "Participant!" - "Helpful!" - "WINGMAN!"
@tbskyen they're not really streaks--they don't reset on kills. Instead, an assist is worth more the larger your kill - assist gap


In the meantime a HUGE thread was started on the Official Forums on junglers and support gold income.

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

No details yet, though junglers likely won't be outearned by supports unless they have an amazing game or the jungler has a weak game. Some variance based on performance is intended (since that's something the other roles deal with too).
So the total gold coming from the jungle will be comparatively less? I guess that helps supports in terms of relative gold to laners as well if the camps won't be yielding as much relative gold to laners either
Well with support gold going up, all gold will be comparatively less to the supports, since they get so little now. Total gold is generally going up, but we're still tuning how much and how you show skill to get it.
As part of the jungle gold flow issue, do you think that you are going to move away from the current jungle system, where junglers are obliged to spend at least 700g on items like spirit stone and madreds, with very little stat value from that cost, just so that they can jungle effectively?
Not in this update - though I'd like Lizard and Wraith to be better.

I think the jungler should get more XP if they farm the jungle (requiring less lane-stealing to just meet an average level) and be able to farm heavily if they're a Yi/Trynd style jungler.

There will be a gold disparity between solo lanes and non-solo lanes to make sure there's some strategy and tradeoffs to where you put champions, but that doesn't mean we can't improve it!
I guess we'll have to wait for the explaination, I don't know how killing more jungle mobs will require skill unless you're trying to turn everyone into a Meteo's Jungling type style in where you have to be efficient by maximizing everything in your camp and creating efficient ganks as to not lose time on killing your jungle so that you can get the most gold possible?
My statement was for supports - jungler gold is being tweaked a bit, not overhauled. Support gold is a big systems change that has a bigger impact.
Did you fix the concern of nonsupports over taking the position since it offers more gold?
We're still tuning around this, but we agree this is a major issue to avoid.

We want flexibility in the duo-lane role, but we think it's imperative to avoid making core support characters (defined as Sona, Janna, Soraka, Lulu, Nami and Taric) have a primary role in League. Since the roster's a bit smaller, though, we want occasional mage and tank members down there, but not at the cost of supports being there.

While we have to see how effective our tuning is, this is a #1 priority issue for fixing if it's not good. More on this soon.
Why do you guys at Riot seem so reluctant to give supports equal gold flow to the other laners?
I personally think that its better when all champions are allowed to have roughly equal gold and xp at nearly all stages of the game so that instead of gold advantages dictating victory, the better, more *consistent* team wins
If you look at Dominion where gold flow is basically equal for every champion at nearly all points in the game, supports aren't at all overpowered even when they have carry level gold.
Plus, you nearly always have that window to demonstrate your and your teams skill by outplaying opponents because with no severe gold/level disparities both teams have to play their best from start to finish.
The biggest problem with this is that it creates a flat experience as opposed to a well-paced ones where you can have high moments. Flattening the game out is one of the biggest reasons Dominion is unpopular overall.
I notice you're looking at carry junglers, but what about tank junglers?
I don't mean posers like J4 and Vi. Actual slow clearing, super vulnerable, hard ganking junglers like Nautilus and Maokai. They need help. Do you guys have any plans to help them?
They don't need that much - in fact, it wasn't long ago that they ere pretty good picks. In competitive, they have a weakness of collapsing teams being hyper-aware, and require the right environment to work.

Rammus, Nautilus, Amumu, etc are meta-dependent on if they're top picks. That's fine as your team comp and opponents are directly related to their power offering overall. Fighters are more self-sufficient overall and be a big deal in the dive-heavy teams we see now.
Morello, what about support XP? Supports tend to fall behind everyone else in levels it seems.
I think this applies to support and jungler (they're highly incentived to kill snowball or steal lane XP), and it's something we want to fix for launch. If not on launch, before preseason is over.
Could you rephrase that? Do you want that those core support characters dominate the position or do you want more role diversity in the support position?
I agree that Dominion is strategically rather flat, but does unequal gold/exp income really add depth?
It does because of what characters can do what - gold availability is a choice when picking a champion and position, and optimizing that is a part of League that's worth maintaining.
he probably meant he wants to avoid shoving them out, but changed his phrasing halfway through.
Yes. We want to avoid shoving supports out (and there are changes that address specifically this - I think Xelnath is going to make that article) - since at current balance, this would happen without changes.
Are you gonna be reducing jungle income yet again? You've done it every season so far and it's making it so hard as a jungler, especially with how readily available wards are.
No, increasing.
What about jungler items? Staying the same price? I just wanna know because it'd be nice to be able to play carry junglers again and not have to get a ton of kills to get my items.
We're going to add a few new items (and adjust non-Spirit Stone ones) to try to bring carry junglers as a realistic opportunity. They'll have to farm hard and gank less, but we want to provide tools for that.
How are you going to do that? Adding items that improve healing, shields and even CC or buffs? Would be nice, but what do I know what problems that could cause.
The detailed post coming up will explain more specifics. *Evil laugh*
*gag*
You'd have a better argument if you targeted the lack of scope expansion. Or the imbalance. Or the fact it's been next to ignored for 2 and a half years. Giving supports a chance to do more than ward***** does not "flatten out the experience".
Callllm down dude.

We're giving supports a lot more gold and ways to use it. That does not mean they need 20k gold at the end of a game to do that, anymore than the jungler needs the exact same amount.

Gold disparity creates meaningful strategy in roles/positions. I think that's important to the game.
That didn't work out last time. Do you have any measures in place to prevent non-junglers from abusing these items and getting them nerfed indirectly affecting junglers reliant upon them? (my poor pony...)
+X gold from Monsters. If you buy it on a laner, well good for you
When can we expect the post? Soon? SoonTM? Tomorrow? Now? I DEMAND ANSWERS
Some this week, some next. Pwyff handles the "when"
Why don't you actually watch some of our tournaments before you make incorrect assumptions like this?
Dominion gameplay is hardly flat since combat revolves around consistent team fighting where tactics, positioning, and proper itemization are not only key elements but create far more high moments than Summoner Rift's "Kill the carry; fight's done."
Seriously; come watch DominateDominion #80 this Saturday. If you can still claim honestly Dominion is 'flat' after watching the full tournament I won't ever debate the point with you again. Otherwise you're just allowing your anti-other-mode bias to be flung around with zero substance to your arguement.
If a core part of the experience of League of Legends for most players is the feeling of growth based on actions, that is flat on Dominion. That's factual because we purposefully flattened it!

The problem is that the good elements of Dominion are hard to resonate with player because that core reward loops is a primary satisfaction method that League promises. Dominion players are motivated by other cerebral reward loops and high action.

In this case, I speak to gold growth.
btw, while on the topic of Junglers.
Spirit of the Elder Lizard is GARBAGE. Is there any plans on making it viable again after Blue Ezreal ruined things for everyone? I don't know why you nerfed that item just because it was broken on Ezreal.
Doesn't that imply the problem is on Ezreal and not the item itself?
Not going to talk about tactical champion balance as that's going to be a mess for a bit!
You didn't address his question at all. Did you even read his comment, or do you genuinely have no idea what he's talking about?
No, because I'm not here to debate Dominion. I'm speaking to the comment of: "Giving supports a chance to do more than ward***** does not "flatten out the experience".

Agreed. We're doing that. It doesn't require the same gold to do. It's telling me "if you don't give me all the gold, I'm trash and support is bad."
I was able to hit Diamond I with Maokai just recently, and I'm curious how the changes you're making will adjust him along with similar jungles, because I still think he's good (in Solo Queue at least). How does the enemy team being "hyper-aware" facilitate changes?
It depends on vulnerability of collapse/escapes/popular comps at the time. When assassins are all the rage, then dive-heavy junglers are amazing.
Totes. Probably has nothing to do with the fact you have 2-3 people on a team that handles every non-SR map, Dominion included.
Probably nothing to do with the fact it took you guys 2 years to actually start balancing out the OPs.
Probably nothing to do with the fact Brackhar said you guys just needed to "flip the switch" to give us ranked two years ago. Two years later, no ranked still.
Probably nothing to do with the fact that Dominion is so different from how SR and TT work (lack of laning phase being one of the big ones) and you guys never made a tutorial for it or anything, so people Q up and herp derp because no one is told the basic premise of the damn map, outside of three sentences that pop up on the side of the screen as "tips".
Probably nothing to do with the fact that outside of the first couple months you guys do your best to forget it exists and never advertise or talk about it, right?
Probably nothing to do with you guys taking almost half a ****ing year to fix the dodge penalty not working in draft, which is now 100% dead except on Mondays when the community does what you should be ****ing doing and trying to revive it with draft day.
But yeah, it's the fact there are no spikes, right? It's clearly "one of the biggest reasons" Dominion is in trouble.
These are all contributing factors. Agreed.

You guys are right here - my bad.
Will the Madred's Razor line get more items in it than merely Wriggles lantern? Are the camps getting more powerful next season?
We're trying to get a Wriggle's 2 that cashes in the growth. Not sure if it'll be in the initial patch.
I'm surprised that Alistar, Blitzcrank, Leona and Thresh don't make this list. ISTM that currently they're being played exclusively as supports or not at all, even more so than say Zyra. Was that not how they were intended?
I have nothing against mage/supports being able to choose their role. But the tank/melee supports really don't seem to have the oomph to make it as fighters, and often have kits that are unsuited to jungling (Leona's passive is particularly often brought up as being bad for solo laning *and* for jungling). So if they can't support, they have nowhere else to go, just as much as Sona or Soraka.
Maybe the changes to gold and vision will bring tank/supports some relief. A CC-heavy caster support can be horrendously under-itemized and still be doing something (some people seem to think that this is practically the definition of the class), but if you're supposed to tank and don't have tank items, you're not going to be able to get your job done from the midgame onward. (Perhaps because of this, I don't really think of Thresh as a tank, but rather as a highly CC-focused support with a protective spell.)
I'd also kind of like to see some of the other tanks like Galio, Malphite, Nautilus, Maokai, Rammus, Sejuani, Shen, and maybe even Jarvan, Cho'Gath and Udyr become possible support choices. (Well, I suppose some of them are probably *possible* now, but YKWIM.) If some utility-heavy mages can have the option of going support, why not tanky fighters, particularly ones with decent utility in some form? That would bring a lot more variety to the lane, even if it didn't completely push out the more heal/buff oriented supports.
Ideally, I think, "support" would only define what you do during the laning phase, not for the whole length of the game. The idea of being a half-a-player that can only provide vision and die fast from 15 minutes on seriously needs to go away. Champions with excellent utility shouldn't also do tons of damage, at any stage of the game, but that doesn't mean they need to be completely pathetic in a fight or get instantly melted either.
And IMO the concept of a vision specialist, while it seems cool at first, interacts very poorly with the way gold and items work in LoL. Spreading vision responsibilities and the costs that go with them around the team would be healthier for the game.
Sorry this turned out kind of long -- as someone who likes the actual supporting part of the support role, plays it a lot, and wants to play some of the champions mentioned above and make more contributions to a team with them, apparently I have a lot to say on this topic.
This is just the difference between support characters EMOTIONALLY (my character is purely designed to help!) and Tanks who play primarily duo-lane. Alistar and Thresh walk the line to an extent, but we know how they work when they get gold. The core supports have balance based on no gold, which needs to be changed when you give them gold!

Tanks are a class of helpers too, but the fantasy of the character is different.
Madred's Bloodrazor? That's what the information from SOURCES is saying.
Heh, not as it used to be at least.
What do you mean by that? I don't understand the wording or the intention behind this change.
Also, I think the Madreds line should definitely have at least three items total within it, because right now it's kind of a joke since Wriggles doesn't have the three minute ward anymore.
It means an item that upgrades from Wriggle's, and then adds PvP power after jungle farming has ended.
Will there be a trade-off for not ganking as much as support junglers? Or will I be able to just farm in my own world for awhile until I become really huge on carry style junglers.
Depends on how you scale and your gank power. Some characters have good ganking and need to use it to fill their slot. If you scale low, and gank hard, that's the playstyle that makes sense.
As a player who's always been in the duo lane since I started playing MOBAs 4 years ago and moved to League 2 years ago, and played both Support and Hard/AD Carry near exclusively up to Plat 1, I can say I know a little about how the roles work, and I'm seeing a massive issue with all this talk about increasing support gold.
The reason the support role exists in the first place is because of how gold works in MOBAs. The more gold you have the more powerful you are and the more gold you can get. Ever cent you get early game has an exponential effect on how strong you are at 20/30/40 minutes etc, and in all MOBAs there's one role that scales hardest with gold, more than any other role. In League, this is the ADC.
Therefore, logically, you want to funnel as much gold into that player as possible, as in a game with 5 players, the team with 4 average players, 1 huge player and 1 small player will beat a team of 5 average players, because the player fed lots of gold early can snowball. Therefore, the idea to create a role who could funnel all their cash into the rest of the team, but specifically the Hard/AD carry was born, a role that didn't need much gold to be proficient, a supportive role.
So what's this have to do with S4 giving supports more gold? No matter what they do to increase the amount of gold supports get, the team that finds a way to move as much of that gold potential from their support to their carries, specifically the AD Carry will win.
Supports aren't broke because they don't have any gold potential, they're broke because any gold they get is a loss of gold potential for a teammate. But gold potential the support loses isn't just in gold not gained, every 75 gold the support player spends on wards, especially early game, is 75 gold another player can snowball off of. Every oracles the support buys is 400 more gold pottential for a carry. Every 3105 gold a support spends on Aegis of the Legion is 760 gold each other player doesn't have to spend on MR and HP/5. Even if you increase global gold gains and nerf gold from CSing to compensate, you're actually giving more gold potential to the carries who have to worry even less about buying defensive items and wards as the support has more gold to cover it for them. Not to mention it would reduce the value of being skilled at CSing.
The same hold true with junglers. "Donating" wraiths and buffs is inuring a loss of gold potential on yourself to increase that of your carries.
Because getting the most gold on the right people wins the game, and carry junglers and carry supports just can't do as much with the same amount of gold as carry carries can, and conversely carries can't do as much without gold as junglers and supports can.
The simple fact is (TL;DR), the more gold a support gets or has the potential to get, is just more gold they have to sacrifice for the team. Support power must be power given without gold OR be unable to funnel as much gold, and become an off-carry. I may only be plat, but as a support player I truly do feel giving more gold to supports is the wrong way to go and will only increase the number of selfish mid-lane supports. Supports should have large base values and very low scaling so they can be powerful without gold, but not overpowered when they do get it.
(I copy-pasted this from my reddit post, if any of the issues I bring up have already been answered in this thread feel free to ignore those parts)
What you say is true! That's why we're specifically using solution sets that disallow that gold to be funneled or attractive for other prime gold earners.
In Dominion or ARAM, however, Sonas can build equal items to the ADC.
Q+Powerchord combos with a Sheen, defensive items, and Hybrid Penetration runes backing it up let her actually out-trade basically every ADC in the game and creates a really interesting dynamic wherein you can actually contribute meaningful amounts of damage and become a legitimate threat against squishy targets.
I understand how that feels good and is fun, but I don't understand how that's "rich"? You just beat up people by hitting Q Powercords?
I might be a little late to the party, but...is autoattacking people as an ADC "rich?" Did I miss something important?
Not if you outtrade everyone as opposed to other considerations.
So...the elephant in the room, why the change from "We can't just make jungle camps worth more because laners will take it" that's been in effect all season?
Because if a laner buys that item, they can't get the needed value out of it unless they just move into jungler.
Doesn't that just decrease the need for a support and increase the viability of semi-carries like "support" annie, zyra, fidds, panth, and of course nidalee.
With less avenues to funnel gold into the team, what becomes the point of a support? Unless that gold can be channeled into the carry with shields, heals and buffs that scale with the support's gold, there's no reason to have a support character when a mage-like support cannot perform as well as a pure mage with the same amount of gold and a tank-like support cannot perform as well as a pure tank with the same amount of gold
We're adding total gold to the game. That new gold is not designed to be funneled into other characters. Instead, you, as a support, should use that gold to better help your team (which has other associated changes to make this better).
How is that any different from forcing the jungler to buy the item in order to get value out of their role?
It's not. That's how you get more gold in the jungle, and the stats are tailored to be good for them.

ADC's are forced to buy damage items to be good at their role. Now, you can say that some forced items can be unsatisfying, and that's something to discuss on how to improve.
I believe that is why they also change the way wards will be stored and buyable.
Yes - this hooks into that a lot.
ugh all these little tidbits of info just make me want the full announcement sooner ;; can't season 3 just end already?
Hehe, I wish we were done and could just release. These next few weeks are gonna be crazy in here.
Anything that is forced is unsatisfying. ADC's have CHOICE in their damage items at least. Junglers are forced down 1 path, the Machette. They have no options. They are forced to take smite, they have no option to take Barrier, Exhaust, Ignite. This game is never going to evolve when you keep enforcing such restrictions and its why the "Meta" of Top, Mid, Jungle, ADC+Support has been unbroken for 3 years.
PLEASE STOP IT. PLEASE. What do I have to do to convince you that smite is the root cause of all your balance problems? Look at DotA, no gold income problems there and no solid unbroken meta. There is depth there on the strategy level, unlike here where its just "Pick this months overtuned champion and combo it with AoE CC". That game is mechanically broken yet it has more strategic depth, this should NOT be the case.
That's a direction argument, because you don't weight the costs of extreme freedom for anyone to do anything. We focus much more on tactical play combined with strategy, which drives a different set of decisions.

If you want to farm the jungle, then you should choose a character who wants to farm the jungle and buy an item that makes you super good at that. With that gold, choose what new items you buy. The choice lives in the income expression, not the acceleration method. You need Smite because it's something we added to the game that players found invaluable - should we force that out for the sake of directionless variety?

As long as the construct is "objectives matter," then Smite will always be a must pick. A guy who kills monsters with high health will like that spell.
Morello, are you putting any thought into ways to fix large problems during the season? For example, I feel like you knew the majority of issues revolving around supports and jungling about a month into S3, but you chose to not address them until season end. Have you considered a larger update mid season to fix major issues, with perhaps a slight delay rolling into the second half?
I ask because some of us had the unfortunate luck of enjoying supporting/jungling, and S3 was fairly unenjoyable as a whole for those roles, at least compared to S1 and S2, in my opinion.
Perhaps - we're talking on how to do this. Right now, the season is something we try not to disrupt that heavily, and the resource allocation is a nightmare (though this is getting better right now!)
Sorry but I call Bull. You focus is on appeasing the masses with EZ mode options since you are unable to communicate to the players how to play for themselves. Hence you have a Button for securing objectives, hence you enforce the top/mid/adc/jungle/support meta and anything, anything that appears which contests it you squash instantly.
There is no strategy derived from restriction. Freedom breeds creativity, creativity breeds strategy, strategy provides depth. What you are doing and have done is adding needless complexity and that is not depth. Forcing players to have a jungler, forcing them to remain the jungler, that isn't tactical in the slightest.
When it comes to direction, you have been lost for 3 years.
Which depending on the type of jungler you are should be a item suited to the champion NOT the role. Jungler isn't a role, its a style. Sure some champions are better at this style of play than others, just like some champions are better at supporting than others. However there is no reason a support shouldn't be allowed to build AP if it had the gold to do so provided that is the strategy they wanted to execute.
Having jungle items that are only good at jungling means you are inferior to champions with items that are designed for fighting champions. This is why the "popular" junglers atm are the ones that break your fragile system and start with a Dorans blade, an item that doesn't restrict them.
No, smite will always be a must pick while it exists. You can't pick something that doesn't exist. The counter to smite is smite, remove smite and players will have to depend on their own skill to secure objects instead of the "Free Buff button" while also allowing them to be more useful endgame and more aggressive early.
The smite argument holds up a bit here, I'll agree. There's nuance here, but I'll call up the statement that illustrates why we will not agree on this issue on a high level;
There is no strategy derived from restriction. Freedom breeds creativity, creativity breeds strategy, strategy provides depth.
This makes two logical fallacies that make this a non-universally true statement;

* We care about the other, individual player's experience (you don't get to be outpick someone at champ select and **** on them in lane for 15 minutes). This is important, but not the point I'll discuss.

* Full freedom does not make a more strategic game. In fact, restrictions can create strategies that optimize and use those restrictions. Is football a strategically shallow game because it has a single Quarterback? Is Chess an unstrategic game because you can't freely modify your pieces? Is Magic a weak strategic game because of 4-per deck limits and mana curves?

Full freedom, instead, says that the experience is about discovering and trying a large variety of strategies, and how they interact would be emergent. This creates a very chaotic (which can be very fun!) experience that focuses on that chaos as the primary engagement point. The cost of that is a completely unbalanced game where there's no expectation of having a good or fair experience. Chances to lose before the game starts. Lack of satisfaction from not having any clarity around what success might look like. This is fine, but is not what League of Legends is or wants to be.

Instead, we think it's not OK to tell linemen they don't get to be on a team, and embrace that if you sack the guy with the ball, you made a big play. Teamwork, strategy and tactics are not a myopic definition of "complete, total freedom to do what I want" anymore than Counter Strike should embrace GTA-type fun to increase options and variety.

Strategy is important, but League's expression of that differs than previous MOBA purposefully and unapologetically. Smite on Cooldown? That's a new decision set to make when thinking on Dragon. Enemy bought a Wriggle's to farm up on Yi? We better go deal with him. IMO, far more actually interesting than "Yi bought a Blasting Wand instead of a Pickaxe."

So I don't think we've been lost for three years, I think you've wanted a different game for that long. And that's OK, but this is always been how League's been different, and we're not going to shy away from that - and instead add strategic depth in ways that actually create meaningful in-game decisions.
Sorry Morello, but this doesn't address the issue. Supports are probably the characters who benefit the least from stats, but work better without without items than other characters do, or at least that was before the heavy nerfing.
An Annie with a some AP will be better than a Sona with a some AP. The damage potential plus on demand stunt beat her 120 CD stunt and 0.7 two target attack.
I'd suppose you'd want to address it with that scaling utility issue, but how will that even work? Like current Taric's Shatter? Or will we now have supports with little to no scaling and all stats going to increase utility?
I'm certainly concerned that this scaling utility thing will become something like the abilities of pre rework Karma. You'd think a champion able to increase her skills to level 6 was something really cool and powerful, but since everything was balanced around her ultimate, a level 6 skill non enhanced was weaker than another character's level 5 skill, meaning she had to use an extra point to achieve a level that was still below others if not increased.
What I mean with this is that with scaling utility, all their base effects are going to go down for obvious reasons, and then they'll need items to achieve a level of knockup, slow, stun, etc... that probably mage champions could do by simply having leveled the skill, or even on level 1 for one point wonders. I don't really see how will this be balanced.
We have a solution that will be grossly mistuned to address this when we launch. More when Xelnath posts on it!


He snuck in another thread to share some insight on the S4 resists:

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

I know you mentioned Void Staff and Last Whisper nerfs for season 4, but what other changes will be made?
I.e. The penetration formula's state, and how negatron cloak went from 48 to 40 MR and how Chain Vest went from 45 to 40 armor, etc.
These will have to be post-launch due to scope and time, but we generally want to move % pen to a "bonus armor/MR" system. LW and Void should counter stacking, not be fantastic damage items against all targets.

Concerns Regarding Challenger Tier Immunity

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Hey Summoners,

We've seen a few posts recently about concerns with Challenger tier immunity that we wanted to address. These concerns largely seem to be the result of some misconceptions about how the system works, so I wanted to clarify:

Here are some of the top issues that have been raised:

  1. There are over 50 people sitting in a promotion series in right now and they're going to break challenger tier at the end of the season when they all get in. This is simply untrue. As of this writing, no region has more than 10 players sitting in a Challenger promo series. Furthermore, the difficulty of getting into a Challenger series automatically increases based on the number of people already in one (given our qualification criteria), so it's literally impossible for more than 50 people to be in their Challenger series simultaneously. And it's unlikely that will there ever be more than 15 or 20.

  2. Players can get in a Challenger promo series and then just stay there until the end of the season. This won't work as Challenger promotion series have always expired after 5 days.

  3. Players who wait to enter Challenger right before the end of the season will have an unfair advantage as they can exploit the immunity period. Waiting until 5 days before the season ends to try to qualify for a series is risky as it will be incredibly difficult to get into a series at that point, and there's no guarantee that the player will even win that series. In other words, it's a gamble of risking it all on one promo series (competing against others who are doing the same) versus maintaining a challenger rank earlier.

    It's likely better to just get into Challenger now and then attempt to defend your spot, with clear feedback on how you're doing since the (non-immune) player with the lowest LP is always kicked out of Challenger when a new player enters. Also in any ranked ladder there will always be some gaming of the system around a cutoff point as players vie to ensure they can keep one of the top spots. In the case of leagues - because of immunity - the end of season rush is just spread out over the last few days instead of the last few hours.

  4. Teams can exploit the immunity period by intentionally tanking a team's MMR and then inviting less skilled players in order to give them the necessary wins. We will investigate any reports of this and will strip rewards from teams who engage in win trading and/or intentional MMR tanking. It's also worth noting that because our Challenger tier is exclusive by nature, then tracking exploiters will be much easier.

  5. Players can invite a bronze player to duo queue with them during their promo series to ensure that they will win. This is far from a ticket to easy wins. We are aware that people have tried this technique in the past and have appropriate adjustments built into the system to compensate. At this point our data show win rates between solo queue and duo queue players to be within 1-2% across the MMR spectrum. If a Diamond player duo queues with a Bronze player (and the Bronze player is in fact playing on that account), then the Diamond player earned that win.

  6. Why not reward all players who hit Challenger within a specific time frame at end of season? If Challenger is meant to represent the pinnacle of competitive play, we don't ever want to create a situation where players no longer have an incentive to try their hardest once they reach that tier. If we create any longer time frame for players to receive a Challenger reward, there may even be incentive to fall out of the tier so friends and other high level players could earn the rewards as well. With that being said, we are increasing the size of the tier next season, which should alleviate a bit of the pressure.

To reiterate: if we feel that Challenger represents the pinnacle of competitive play, there are a lot of symptoms coming from what a competitive league is - namely the rush at the end of the season to qualify and/or hold your standings while also trying to do it as efficiently as possible. That being said, if hundreds of other players are trying to do the same, it obviously becomes that much more difficult.

Final note: we also have some additional improvements to the league system that I'm looking forward to sharing with you in the near future. 

- Riot Socrates


Trinkets Will Grant/Deny Vision

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Presumably and keep in mind this is based completely on nothing, the trinket system is going to play a part in the new vision game.
This is correct. Trinkets are a new item type that get their own slot!
A class of trinket items that are designed to grant/deny vision. Possibly with a dedicated inventory slot.
^

PBE Changes: New Revive VFX, Improved Invite Tooltip


More on Pantheon

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

I agree. He needs more depth. This is a major cause for concern in his kit primarily during the laning phase. 2 targeted abilities and a another point-blank cone after a gap-closing stun doesn't leave a whole lot of room to differentiate between average and good Pantheons.
Here's where I'll probably take some flack...

I think the differentiation between good Pantheons and average Pantheons is massive. Proper usage of his passive, knowing the exact damage quantities at which an all-in is an option, modifying your build to deal with a variety of different lane matchups...The actual gameplay may feel somewhat binary (that I don't disagree with) but the metagame around playing as and against Pantheon is extremely engaging in my opinion.

Knowing if/when to trade, how to respond, how to play against a semi-global pressure...

I think Pantheon is non-binary, and very healthy for the 5 v 5 strategic game. He may have problems with feel in the tactical game though.
All i can say is that i seriously hope your dont get a hand in balancing or reworking him, youre clearly too biased to see the big picture.
I don't actually!

Although, comments like this make me much less apt to interact in threads like this.

I don't doubt that my perspective is incomplete, which is why I'm asking for feedback and trying to drive discussion.

This comment does not help me do that at all, and only makes me regret posting my perspective in the first place.
if you want to drive a discussion can you please answer me what you find engaging playing against pantheon early game? especially early game as a mage or an assasin?
Sure!

1. Pantheon is very strongly gated early game by his mana costs. My 2 starting builds are either faerie Charm + 3 hp/3 mp pots + ward, or long sword + 1 hp/1 mp. My all in capability is MUCH stronger with the 2nd, but my sustained harass is much stronger in the first. Playing as or vs a Shen/Malphite/Cho/Renekton dramatically changes this dynamic depending upon what i'm trying to accomplish, and my role on the team. Playing AGAINST this, I know the questions I'm considering as a pantheon player, and my decisions as to how to manage my resources, and whether I'm going to try to outlast his mana pool, bait a hard engage then have my jungler gank.

2. I try not to play mages against pantheon, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. Mages like Malzahar (safe farming with E) or Swain (sustain from ultimate, point and click slow/damage, really likes catalyst and Zhonya's). Other matchups don't go as well, but that's sort of Pantheon's role: the ability to counter and dominate many mid-mages.

Knowing that Pantheon is a champion that is perceived to fall off, does knowing that change your perspective for playing against him? Or does that fall by the wayside due to frustration when you're actually playing against him?

Disclaimer: still not a designer, and still not working on Pantheon in any way, merely a Pantheon enthusiast.

One of the repeated themes from this conversation is that Pantheon is positioned weirdly between a bruiser and an Assassin. His passive suggests auto-attack trading bruiser, but his lack of escapes, and other defensive steroids cause him to explode when focused in a teamfight, and he's particularly susceptible to peels because he only has 1 gap closer, and his full rotation takes 3 seconds to pull off.

I feel like this is a valid point. His base stats (other than move speed) aren't particularly impressive, so even though his AD ratios are absurd, it feels like you cannot utilize them because of how risky engaging with him is. Many people have offered the suggestion that we improve or buff his Aegis in teamfights, and although I don't know how we would do that without dramatically increasing his power level, that seems like a good direction to explore. The question that brings up is whether that can be done in a way which solidifies his role in either direction, or if simply buffing both is a good thing (I doubt that it is tbh).

A second concern is that his early game feels abusive to play against for players who don't counterpick (this is likely a bigger problem in blind pick than draft mode, which is what I play most). The general feeling is that his strong early game requires a relatively weaker late game.

I think this is part of what differentiates Pantheon from other picks. Generally speaking, Pantheon isn't picked for his late game prowess, or even his ability to blow up an ADC. There are definitely other champions that do that better. That said, very few can apply a similar amount of global pressure. This relative power level throughout the game provides different strategic options for a Pantheon pick, and/or team composition including him. I don't have a clear answer as to how to balance these things, but my bigger question is should we? Would moving Pantheon out of his role as lane bully that falls off improve the game and the options you have as a player? Or does that role fit within LoL? I don't honestly know but I think the pros outweigh the cons in this particular case.
If you were expecting it why were you acting like you didn't expect it?
+ snip
I want to respond to real concerns and get real feedback, and give my perspective. There's a difference between constructive dialog and disagreement and non-beneficial snipes.

Thanks to all the people who have weighed in, especially other Pantheon players who clearly have a variety of different experiences and expecations.
Respond to my post please, legit concerns.
Your concerns are legit, but I think I did...My opinion is that Pantheon occupies a fairly unique space. You think it's unhealthy and toxic, I think otherwise.

Probably the biggest difference as that we have different perspectives on the amount of counterplay. In a 1 v 1 situation, I agree with you. Outside of a few matchups, Pantheon has the ability to be a brutally effective lane bully.

What I think is equally important to look at though, is that the game is 5 v 5. Junglers can gank, and with no escapes, Pantheon is left in a dangerous position. Lane swaps are feasible, different builds work (cloth armor + 5 pot for example) and as you noted, his late game doesn't have the same power level as his early game.

Does that mean we shouldn't change him? No. But it does mean that there's more to consider than simply his 1 v 1 lane strength.

Does that perspective make sense?
I would like to add that I believe it should be emphasized that Spartans thrive in battle. Just like the movie 300, Pantheon should be THRILLED to engage many enemies, and I believe it would be thematically appropriate for him to get buffs depending on the amount of enemy champions nearby.
I like this a lot. No clue how it would impact balance, but thematically, this is brilliant.


PBE Changes Q&A

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Hey guys, popping in to answer a few more questions!
Will your rank have any impact on getting into PBE? If you are silver,gold or plat etc.
MMR is one statistic we have access to, of equal importance as your favorite champions, preferred game modes, etc. In some cycles it'll be a determining factor and in some it won't; this is completely dependent on the type of feedback the developers are looking for.
how will we be noticed about our selection?
Accepted testers will be notified via the email attached to their live account (so make sure you're not using a throwaway!)
Does this mean that players will have access to all in-game content, now that playtesters will only have a limited time to actually test?
No. New PBE accounts are initially credited with 100,000 IP and 40,000 RP so that testers can buy the content they're interested in testing, and we partially replenish low balances on active accounts every week so testers can make additional selections as the cycle progresses.

To fully unlock every piece of content would be counterproductive since it would propagate the false notion that the PBE is a toy bin.
what if you already have a PBE account? should I still apply?
Yes! If you're selected to help test in a PBE cycle, you'll be creating a new account under the new system.
you need to make an exception about the PBE to all those streamers and youtubers who provide us regular players with previews
We're working on identifying these individuals, though I'm entirely sure that some of them are going to slip through the cracks on our initial pass. The community team will be looking out for these cases in the weeks following the launch of the new system so let them know if your favorite PBE content creator is left out!

The Future of Dominion

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Let's clear some things up.

These are my personal thoughts in regards to Dominion's lack of popularity relative to Summoner's Rift. I think the lack of phases turns a lot of people off and I believe that's what Morello was referring to when he said "flattened." In both game modes, winning is the obvious goal, but how you do it never really evolves in Dom the way it does in SR. In Dom you rush to the point and hold the point. There are no other meaningful secondary objectives (I'm obviously over-simplifying things so don't be upset here). The quests and stormshields never become focal points. In SR you have a laning phase that evolves into skirmishes over Dragon. Laning eventually completely disappears and is replaced by 5v5 team fights over baron and other objectives. There are clear transitions that empower players in ways that Dom does not.

This is my analysis.

As for future Dominion changes, I just want to make it crystal clear that those are all just conceptual. I think solving some of the phasing issues could be one by reworking the quest system and adding a meaningful objective mid-map. Again, CONCEPTUAL.

Stormshield is a cool buff, but the objective itself is lacking. Best case scenario is "you got a buff." Worst case is "you got picked and died." Sometimes you fight over it, but rarely. It's not very compelling.

CDR enchant has been finished, but I'm still not sold on Dom needing it. It's open for discussion.

This was hastily written and probably convoluted. Apologies. Will hopefully have a better response later.

Teem-O'-Lantern Halloween Contest

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Break out your best set of Mundo-style cleavers and carve your way to every Harrowing skin ever created. This year, we're celebrating Halloween with a League of Legends twist: pumpkins with images of your favorite League content. What happens when you combine the Halloween spirit with League of Legends? We're looking for the most inspiring and spookiest — or maybe most adorable — Teem-O'-Lanterns. Share 'em with us and you could win all — yes, ALL — the Harrowing skins we've ever released.


Contest Entry

How can you take part in our Halloween competition?

  • Carve up a pumpkin with a League of Legends-related image or theme
  • Share it with us via Twitter using the #LOLHalloweenContest hash tag or by submitting it here

Don't forget to carve your summoner name and light a candle inside the pumpkin so we can see it glow. We'll select winners based on the quality of the submission, originality and whether the entry follows the contest rules!


Prizes

Saying every Harrowing skin isn't enough. Here's the list of what you'll earn if you win:


So grab your tools, get creative and share your work. We'll be announcing the first round of six winners on October 28 and the second round of the remaining six on November 4.

For all of the lovable legalese around our NA contests, click here. Good luck everyone, and happy Halloween!

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