Update on Xerath, Soraka's Rework Direction, Dancer Champ Suggestion, Bronze Skill Range, No ETA For A New Lux Skin

 

Important: Unofficial PBE Patch Notes for 12/17/2013 - Turrets and Nexus With New Icons, Riven, Shyvana, Nasus Changes, Item Changes


Update on Xerath

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Hey guys, I should lock down this thread pretty soon. 

We had a meeting last week where we discussed: "Who should we ship first? Xerath or Skarner?"

After some discussion, we decided that due to the timing, we want to ship Skarner first to give some extra jungle love. After Skarner ships, I would expect to see Xerath come back to PBE. 

That said, I hope you guys understand now just how *long* a champion rework can take. I started this thread when I was still trying to understand how Xerath players felt about the champion and it's now been 8 months, with a 3-4 month break while preseason crunch was on. 

The results are:

* We have all new VFX & Sound.
* Every skin has its own unique VFX.
* We have 3 new or heavily modified skills.

What we still need:

* Final design team agreement on the health of Xerath's ultimate
* Competitive level testing (D1 players, etc)
* Final balance
* BUG FIXING OMG
* New VO Hookups ( ... did I spoil your surprise, JayWatford? 

Soraka's Rework Direction: Stronger In Combat Effects and Healing, Weaker Out Of Combat Top Up

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

We haven't started work proper on a Soraka rework, so no details to discuss yet. The direction of the preseason changes (stronger in combat effects/healing, weaker out of combat top up) is where we'll continue to look though for what it's worth. This is a purely gameplay driven rework, so the intent's not to change Soraka's core thematics/personality/appearance etc. Healing/sustain can be problematic in a game like LoL, there are certainly some ways to do it in an interesting, healthy way though (Wish for example's a really well designed spell, offering a real cost via its CD, potential to develop mastery of use and a strong, clear, high moment).

Feedback/ideas for a rework are definitely appreciated. It'll probably be a while before we're discussing anything concrete or looking at her in detail though (got some other champs we want to work on first, particularly those like Sion who could really do with some love).
----------------
The PBE change is actually just a modification of the tooltip, explaining the mana cost mechanic in the ally cast part of the spell instead of as part of the cost sub section above (previous version was long enough to cause display problems in some languages given the limited space available). Infuse in the next patch will still have the same mana scaling/cost as per the current patch.

Riot Has 'Toyed' With The Idea Of A Dancer Champ

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

League has dance emotes, but no Champion who specializes in dance moves (Orianna doesn't count). What are your thoughts on this?
We've toyed with the idea - I generally think it's a good archetype (especially when you have a lot of the "core" ones covered, too). 

It's a bit more challenging of a kit to make, but by no means impossible.

Morello on Bronze Skill Range

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

(Warning: not my dept, but I have some thoughts to share as a designer)

I tend to agree with the problem "Bronze is too big a bucket." Generally speaking, you want divisions and brackets to capture certain bands of players; when there's too many or they're too small, they become incomprehensible, but when there's too many people in one, it robs the division of meaning.

It's also why Bronze has such a wide discrepancy of skill between players in the division - some are legitimately struggling Ranked players that have a lack of certain core LoL proficiencies (last hitting, map awareness, etc), while others are simply less experienced or consistent players that have at least a general competence in most core skills.

I actually think I miss "Unranked" being a thing you could be, personally. Unranked is the nicest way of saying "yeah, you're not doing very well!" without extending that feeling to a majority of the League playerbase! Whatever the bottom League is feels bad, whether you're in Bronze V or Bronze I. 

So, in short, I agree - I'd love to see greater granularity in the bottom of the ladder to give some additional skill division and more chances to achieve a goal for more players. I'll ask the team about this.

No ETA For A New Lux Skin

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Soon(TM)

Though in all seriousness, we still want to do this. What form it takes and when is still up in the air a bit. No news yet!
I can't believe we waited so long for THIS. lol. I hyped a bit seeing this thread got a response...
Well in what world do we announce timelines? :P

I just want to mention this is not forgotten or abandoned, which =! now.
Thanks for the response. Any update on that dragon champion concept that was teased to us a few months back?
Needed to do some more work after we explored the concept additionally, so no news yet!
Exactly how long does it take to create 1 skin in its entirety? I'm honestly interested in how skins are made and the steps that you guys go through.
Depends on the skin - normal skins are faster to make than Legendaries of course. Ultimates are massive undertakings - I think 9+ months per, considering new tech and bugs also.

Mindbullets actually has this kind of information, and it's morphed quite a bit since I worked more closely with the skins team
Thanks for the reply Morello. Sounds like it is going to still be quite a while though...
Expectations were kind of raised though when you said back in January that you wanted to get another Lux skin out sooner than normal, as I figured that another skin within a year would be reasonable.
Whatever it turns out to be, I'm sure it would be worth the wait.
To be honest, I thought that too, but we (and I think correctly) focused on making sure to do skins for some underserved champions first. That changed the equation a bit too.

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