Saturday, June 23, 2012

1000RP for Missing Data

Global Network Ops Manager
We have granted players who lost inventory the 1000 RP. We will be following up with each of you via email as well within the next several hours. Spend it as you please. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Missing Data Bug

Sr. Producer, Live Service
Sure--and sorry about not being clear on that from the beginning. Our Database guy addressed a big segment of users last evening/early this morning before taking a quick nap break. I got with him just a few minutes back and he was back at work. And while I don't want to overpromise, especially when we're still triaging, he gave me a very strong commitment on his effort to resolve this.

Thanks for hanging with us,


Sturm Post Summarization

Lead Community Manager
I can summarize and slightly expand on Strum's post a bit. The TL;DR of Strum's post is that we've identified a lot of the issues that slipped through our patch tests, and we've rebuilt our test harness to look for those. It's absolutely our fault that we didn't catch these, but we understand why, and we're going to make sure we plug those holes. 

Patch Outage

Sr. Producer, Live Service

Lance, aka CaptSturm here. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m charged with maintaining the health of the League of Legends live service around the world. As you know, it’s been a rough week here in North America.

We are painfully aware of the problems many of you have been experiencing:

- Extended outages: The North American service has been unavailable for significant stretches of time
- Long queue times: We’ve had to throttle logins and concurrent players due to these issues
- We’ve also confirmed that some players are missing content: runes, rune pages, champions, etc.

This is frustrating for you, and we feel that frustration deeply. This isn’t the service you’ve come to expect and it isn’t what we want to deliver. It’s been code red for engineering and support Rioters, and we’ve been working literally around the clock to identify and resolve these problems.

Many of you have asked for more information on what’s causing these problems, and we understand that desire – I’m going to try my best to give you some insight into what we’re working on, but please understand that our first priority is to put out the fire rather than exhaustively document it.

- This patch is like an iceberg – what you see on the surface is small in comparison to the behind-the-scenes infrastructure changes it includes.
- The problems we’re experiencing are database-related – specifically, it’s a data throughput issue. Our infrastructure handles a massive volume of data and requests every day, and the backend changes in this patch introduced a new bottleneck.
- We put every patch through the wringer including load testing and PBE player testing, and this patch passed those tests. The problems didn’t crop up until we pushed it to live. This has exposed some load testing gaps that we’re going to address (simulating millions of concurrent players is truly challenging).
- Over the last 48 hours, we’ve made substantial hardware configuration changes that we believe will address the problems. We’re actively monitoring the service, but we’re still not out of the woods.

I know the thing you want to hear most is when everything’s going to be back to normal. I’d love to give you a timeframe, but we want to be absolutely confident in our solution before signaling the all-clear. Our number one priority is restoration of a stable game experience.

Thanks for your patience. I’m going to continue keeping you guys up-to-date as we work to fully restore League of Legends to the service you’ve come to expect.


Missing Runes 6/20

Lead Community Manager
Hey everyone,

We're currently looking into this issue to identify the root cause and subsequent fix. I don't have enough information to share what happened or how long this will take to fix, but we're definitely aware that this is happening, and will work as quickly as we can to fix the problem.

Hang tight! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Appear Offline Status

Associate Software Engineer
Oh you ... this wasn't actually said anywhere :) It's an item that needs prioritization against countless other awesome ideas. This doesn't mean that it's not going to be done, but rather that we have a lot to do. A lot of people want this feature for reasons similar to those that have been frequently stated in this thread. Amongst those people are myself and many other Rioters! I've poked a lot of people about it for sure (In retrospect, half of those people were probably Status Kwoh).

So to provide an update of sorts, this isn't forgotten. It's still a topic of discussion, especially now that spectator mode has been rolled out in full. The lack of updates around this is frustrating, I know, but we're always hard at work trying to ship awesome things. I think since I last posted about this, we got mastery pages on the server, spectator mode, lots of client refactors (which might be a little transparent), and more. There's definitely a lot of movement going on here!

So in short, thanks for your patience. While I'm confident that you will enjoy the things we've been working on, it's also frustrating to us when we're met with an abundance of opportunities to make League of Legends more awesome and can't do them as fast as we want :) 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

No Void Champs in Progress

Game Designer
We are currently trying to flesh out the Void in our IP so we can make even more awesome Void champions. So the simple answer is that we currently have none in the works, but we have plans for more in the future. 

On Couriers

Game Designer
I've answered this one a few times, so I'll give a shortened itemized response.
1) We added blue pill as an easier to understand way to get items faster.
2) Couriers led to team infighting when they died.
3) Couriers caused split attention to areas of the map that were not important.
4) Had complicated aspects that were not required (like the flying tax just felt like a tax).
5) Requires good pet controls that we don't have.
I'm sure I missed a few, but hopefully this gives you a good idea. 

A Ward Item Slot

Game Designer

We've considered it, but are not currently acting on it. Honestly, I think it is a good gating tool to stop the sheer number of wards in our game. Oftentimes more wards leads to more passive play. 

Heimer Buffs?

Game Designer

In progress, and looking AMAZING. Though we will likely need new assets, which will of course push it back quite a bit. 

Champion Cap #

Game Designer

I do believe there is a point of having too many champions. Let's take a crazy number like 5,000...that would be too many. We could pull that back to a much more managable number and still feel like that is enough. My thoughts are that over time we will slow down champion production, so that all players can get to know all champions. That being said, as we grow our champion pool, we will gain more options of who to update and remake.

So while I don't believe that there is a single magic number, I do believe we will slow down a bit as the years go on. Though I do not foresee this happening any time in the near future!

Perhaps, I could definitely see Nasus and Renekton getting another Egyptian themed character to roll with. Probably someone of the caster variety. 

Continuation of Lore

Associate Creative Designer

Our approach is still the same as what was stated in the beginning of this thread: we're finishing the JoJ in favor of delivering lore by other methods. We absolutely want to do more than the champion bios you get with each release.

I can't give an ETA on this at all, and for that I'm sorry, but I want to clarify that this is not the end of lore--it's only the end of the JoJ as a vehicle for delivering lore and story development. 

1v1 PG Intentions and Game Time

Technical Designer

We wanted to create something new and fun with this implementation while taking lessons from both ARAM and ARAB experiences. One of my longer term goals is actually to allow for variant rulesets on both this map and for SR; that'll probably be my next Thunderdome project. If I'm successful in doing that then you would be able to play SR without towers in side lines, and conversely play PG without the ambient gold and XP changes. I'm sorry you don't like what we made, but also keep in mind that you can still play ARAM as you've played it on SR until I get an opportunity to do that.

It's not a marketing thing, we just made something we thought was cool. :(

Our goal was to have a game time around 26 minutes, with maxes around 32 or so. If we're getting 40+ minute games then that'll be among the first things we try to balance.  

1v1 PG Details

Game Designer

Hey man, so hopefully I can address some of the concerns you're having. First of all, you're correct in that Proving Grounds as-is is not a faithful representation of classic ARAM gameplay. We took elements of what we enjoyed from both ARAM and ARAB and adapted them to an existing map; the result is that it's something that's similar, but still quite different, but what we hope is an improvement from ARAM and ARAB.

To address your concerns piecemeal, I'm going to refer to Proving Grounds as PG, classic ARAM as ARAM, and ARAB on Dominion as ARAB. Some of the justifications have already been covered by the other posters, so I'll focus on what's not been mentioned.

Health Relics
Health relics, along with brush, are both elements intended to give the otherwise straightforward terrain of Proving Grounds some deeper gameplay. On ARAM, there's the notion of two distinct fronts. You've got purple team in a line parallel to blue, and this is the default configuration until someone initiates or gets caught. While there's certainly merit to this gameplay, it does marginalize the usefulness of melee champs and amplifies the effectiveness of ranged pokers and AoE champs (say, Xerath and Ashe respectively). What we did on PG is break these fronts; you've got champs vying for brush control and scrambling for health relics. It's an ongoing process that keeps the state of both teams quite volatile and provides a lot of openings to capitalize on mistakes.

Increased Starting Gold This was a decision made very early in the project, and it directly relates to the melee/ranged disparity and the general feeling players have when they're "stuck" in battle. To clarify on this, it's when you're low health with no sustain; too low to properly fight, but you don't want to feed your opponents a free kill. Increased starting gold gives players the ability purchase enough sustain or survivability to mitigate this issue, though not enough to solve it. In addition, it allows for a much higher variety in starting builds.

I actually have to go do something right now, but I'll be back to answer the rest of the points. Please note that we do plan to support Proving Grounds; both Brackhar and I will be providing short term support, and I'll actually be jumping onto the live team for the conceivable future to provide long-term support for not just Proving Grounds, but other non-SR maps as well. It's also possible that we add a "classic" mode to the map in the future that removes the health relics, ambient gold and experience, and sets you back to level 1. But for now, I (and the PG team) implore you to play the map as-is and give us your feedback.

Alright, continuing on.

Starting at LVL 3 and Passive Experience
Starting at level 3 was specifically added to address the issue of--you guessed it--melee/range disparity. Starting at level 3 address the problem two-fold. First, on ARAM, melee are hindered for the first few levels due their core design; oftentimes their primary damage ability or crowd control is on a separate ability from their mobility skill. This means that unlike ranged AD or casters, they're effectively unable to participate in battle until they gain both their mobility and primary damage. Second, fighter (and many other melee) design involves the use of three abilities to create a combat loop. Renekton, Riven, Tryndamere, and Pantheon are great archetypes here; compare this to a Xerath who can effectively operate with one or two spells, or Ashe whose biggest impact comes from repeated use of one ability. Passive experience is there to address the snowball factor; unlike Summoner's Rift, Dominion, or even Twisted Treeline, the majority of battles on ARAM/B/PG involve and impact all champions on a team, which means that if an opposing player is taken down, the entire team snowballs, not just the individual. The passive experience gain is there to offset this snowballing, and also to push the pace and try to keep overall game time down.

Narrow Lane
Wide-open lanes are advantageous for AD carries and long-ranged champions. Narrow lanes are advantageous for melee. PG is more narrow than Summoner's Rift, but it's not quite claustrophobic. We experimented with more open layouts but they were very punishing to melee. As you've gathered by now, the ranged/melee disparity was a big factor in why we made the changes we did. I made another (shorter) post on the subject here:

Item Selection
Items are a mix between Classic and Dominion. Bloodthirster was replaced with Sanguine Blade because the stacking nature of BT led it to generally snowball too hard. Wriggle's Lantern was disabled because the attached Ward removed Brush gameplay. We're open to replacing it with a similar item though. Madred's Bloodrazor was replaced with Kitae's Bloodrazor because Madred's was inadequate as a counter item given its price point. 

1v1 Proving Grounds Map

Technical Designer

Hey Dudes!

A little over a month ago, a number of developers and I participated in Riot’s first ever Thunderdome – a periodic, companywide event aimed at allowing developers to work on whatever they want. My team set out to make the Proving Grounds, our basic tutorial map, playable as full on 5v5. This is something I’ve wanted to do ever since I originally worked on the map, and with the help of some other devs (and a good bit of caffeine) we managed to get everything up and running. Everyone was pretty happy with how the effort turned out, and with the upcoming removal of Winter Summoner’s Rift we saw an opportunity to sneak the new map out by repurposing the same UI hooks.

In the next patch, the Proving Grounds map will be selectable in custom games. While we’ve been playtesting it internally as All Random (and lovin’ it) for quite some time now, all the pick options will be available – Blind Pick, Draft, and All Random – because we’re excited to see what variation you enjoy the most. We’d love to hear any feedback that you may have, as both RiotNome and myself will be providing support post release. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Fellow Rioters who helped me sneak this out:
Riot Taco Storm

Soraka Teasers

Sr. Concept Artist

From what I've seen there are major overhauls. I'm not recollecting major details, and I can't really discuss major details at this point, but all aspects of her visuals have been rebuilt.
I don't want to disclose too much more than I already have, however I will point out that, in my opinion, we've made her a lot more attractive! That isn't to say "Oh, I'd proverbially 'hit that' as the kids say these days" but more pleasant to the eye, more cohesive, less noisy, more streamlined and much more elegant. I think people will be pleasantly surprised when they get a look at her.
She will have at least one new skin coming out in addition to her existing skins. I know because, well, I designed the skin =)
Yes, Kat is indeed getting a visual rework along with her skins. It's been similar, if not broader in scope, as she has more skins than Soraka, but Soraka is further along than Kat is.
I can't go into detail unfortunately, but we did not destroy her elegant hoovy-ness.
Hopefully it will indeed be more steady in how we produce them as we have Katarina and Soraka both being worked on simultaneously. We've also staffed up a lot recently, adding more resources to our pipeline to more effectively deliver content that's of better quality. Don't worry, you'll see more visual update reworks =) 

Minimap Size Adjustment

Web Content Specialist
There's a slider for Minimap Size coming in a soonish patch. Just drag it to the minimum. 

Ignite Un-targetable on Minions

Web Content Specialist
We have a fix for this coming in the near future.
You can still ignite jungle monsters, but not minions.
ETA ~3 weeks I think? I don't know the exact timing. 

Ranked Dodging: Elo Penalty Removed

Platform Engineer
We understand that losing elo from dodging does not make sense. We asked ourselves the question “how is dodging affect one’s skill level”, and we reached the same conclusion that dodging will not make a player better or worse in terms of their skill level. So, a change has been proposed by game design, and it has been implemented by Riot engineering. In the new implementation: ranked dodge will not cause any elo loss, instead some other form of discouragement has been added. This change should be released within a month.