With the 2014 season winding down, we’re once again just around the corner from the time of chaos that is preseason! Rest assured this isn’t chaos for the sake of chaos or disruption for the sake of disruption; the preseason is an important period of downtime between ranked and professional play to set the foundation for the next year of League’s evolution. Over the coming days we’ll publish a series of dev blogs going in-depth with our preseason changes, including the jungle (again!), objectives, and items. While these won’t cover 100% of what’s coming, we wanted to cover the big topics before getting to the fun. For now, let’s kick things off on a higher level.
Mobius1337 from reddit posted the photo from Lucca Comics & Games event, showcasing the concept art of new champion. His/her name wasn't officially revealed yet, but he's been called "Kalista" by many people (potential leak).
Hey guys, just to give you all a bit of context on this -
Our theme for Lucca Comics and Games 2014 is 'The Harrowing' and we have several artist panels showcasing the art of the Shadow Isles. This particular talk was showing how we created ghostly figures used in the concept art and is a representation of an ethereal being that might be seen somewhere in the Shadow Isles. We showed the artistic process of sketching and colouring for all the people watching.
It is not a concept sketch of a new champion. We mentioned that during the talk several times but will make that clearer on screen for future presentations so that we can avoid confusion.
For almost six months, we’ve had the updated Summoner’s Rift stewing on PBE as we made tweaks and changes based on your feedback. Although we’ll continue to refine and optimize, we’re pretty happy with where we’re at right now, so we’ll soon be moving onto the next phase: open beta! Once the 2014 season is officially wrapped, we’re going use a staggered rollout during preseason, pushing the updated map onto live in stages to help ensure server stability. Here’s the order for our planned rollout:
Stage 1: Team Builder and Intro Bot games
Stage 2: All normal modes, custom games, and all other bot modes
Stage 3: Ranked
We expect this rollout could take several weeks and we may delay stages if we run into bugs or server stability issues. That said, our plan is to push it out as fast as we can while making sure its appearance is toaster-friendly and doesn’t Lee Sin kick our servers into oblivion.
Finally, while this is still technically a beta (we're planning to continue to update Summoner's Rift--for example, expect updates in the next couple of patches!), the updated Summoner’s Rift will eventually completely replace the old one, so there will be no separate queues to play on the existing SR. This’ll allow us to focus our resources on improving the updated SR, and avoid splitting the team’s focus by having to make the upcoming preseason changes on both.
From the entire team that worked on this update, we truly wanted to thank you for your feedback! We can’t wait to face you all in-game on Summoner's Rift
His Ultimate and Q, and sometimes W. These are abilities where you will largely not be getting the full benefit of these abilities, because the implied threat of these abilities itself is what they're all about. [...]
There should be a few tweaks for him (some stat increases, bugfixes, usability and mana costs) up on the PBE in the next build (they will be released in the next patch [already on PBE]).
To some of your points about Q and R reliability, those will most likely not change. Those abilities are meant to be very powerful but limited in meaningful ways.
Q has beyond most normal ability AOE base damage and CC, because it is a very committed decision (a good comparison here is fiddlesticks drain). If we wanted to increase the reliability of the spell we would probably make the "snap cast" (not full charge) more effective.
Similarly R enables unstoppable engage and map movement at the cost of great reliability. That said, the R turning is a number that we can tweak easily if we want to increase the reliability a bit more in the future.