PBE Update: Champion & Item Changes; Xerath’s New Kit Revealed, Ironstylus on Future Skins and the New Rotation/Sale!

scorched xerath banner

 

Cheaper spells and changes to Oracle’s Elixir in the latest PBE update, Xelnath goes in detail on Xerath‘s remake, various tidbits from Xypherous and ScarizardIronstylus discusses the issues with creating skins as well as ideas for future ones, Woad King Darius available in the store and the latest Champion Rotation and  Sale!

 

PBE: Champion Changes

PBE: Item Changes

Xerath reforged

Forum discussions

Woad King Darius available!

New Champion Rotation – Week 20!

Champion/Skin Sale – Expires 21st June

 

PBE: Champion Changes

 BrandSquare

       Brand

 

PyroclasmPyroclasm ( R )

  •  Mana costs still reduced from 100/150/200 to 100 at all ranks

 

 

CorkiSquare      

       Corki

 

ValkyrieValkyrie ( W )

  • Mana cost reduced from 100 to 50 at all ranks

 

Missile_BarrageMissile Barrage ( R )

  • Mana cost reduced from 30/35/40 to 20 at all ranks

 

 

KennenSquare    

     Kennen

 

  • Base attack damage reduced from 51.3 to 47

Mark_of_the_StormMark of the Storm ( Passive )

  • Duration reduced from 8 seconds to 6 seconds

 

 

NunuSquare      

       Nunu

 

  • Health per level decreased from 108 to 96

ConsumeConsume ( Q )

  • Damage reduced from 600/700/800/900/1000 to 500/625/750/875/1000

 

 

PBE: Item Changes

 

 

 

ManamuneManamune

  • Mana per charge reduced from 4 to 3

 

oracle's elixirOracle Elixir

  • Duration reduced from 5 minutes to 4

 

 

Xerath reforged

 

 

Xerath Banner

You’ve seen Xerath’s evolution discussed in a recent article. What’s the outcome of all these changes? See below!

 

 

Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: So what’s happening with Xerath?

  • Basic VFX direction is solid
  • Design direction is complete
  • Ability design is basically locked in
  • Balancing phase is starting

We almost cut the auto-attack replacer, but after several playtests where playtesters insisted it was the most fun thing on his kit, we decided to keep it.

What is Xerath now?

Q) Xerath’s Q is still a line-nuke which instantly deals damage along the entire length. W) Live Xerath only has 2 spells with an obvious flow. E->Q. W->Q.  Then his ultimate combo E – R – Q – R – R.   To resolve this, we “split” Locus of Power’s play pattern into two parts.

  • The W -> Q poke combo has been baked into “Q”. Arcanopulse (Q) can be charged, charging the attack takes slightly longer than W-Q, but you can move while charging.
  • The W -> R total annihilation combo has been moved into the new “R”. Read down to see more.

New W) We’ve given Xerath a new basic spell, name TBD, which works like 1 pulse of Arcane Barrage with a mild slow on a short cooldown. However, it has a “bullseye” effect in the center which deals bonus damage.

E) The new “E” has all of the old range W gave to Mage Chains baked in baseline, plus its now a skillshot missile that stuns, making Xerath’s targeting paradigms line up smoothly.

R) During the new Locus of Power, you are immobilized and your spells are free, but you drain mana over time. You can remain in R as long as your mana lasts. Your spell ranges increase dramatically. Instead of 3 huge pulses, you have a very large number of smaller attacks that bombard the target location with aoe explosions. R has a reasonable, but high cooldown. Passive Xerath’s passive provides early game mana regen, plus bonus spell penetration as he purchases mana items. This gives him early game sustain, allowing him to farm into a large-game mage hypercarry  if left unchecked.   Problems we’ve run into and their solutions:

  1. Major Mindshare during ultimate is insane
  2. Major 3000 range with nearly unlimited duration is overwhelming.
  3. Major Xerath is regularly unaware when he is under attack in locus.
  4. Minor Xerath E isn’t reading naturally as a stun.
  5. Minor Xerath ultimate auto-attack replacer was impossible to land.

 

1) Mindshare

Old Xerath has 2 spells, plus a bursty moment when R was up. New Xerath (Xerath 2.0) has enough spells to keep him busy. So much so that during his ultimate, getting a free 5th spell has proven almost overwhelming. One option was to cut the auto-attack replacer completely, but it was so consistently positively reviewed that we instead decided to make it cost additional mana during Locus of Power.   This means that casting your spells is your primary task, but if you need to finish someone off, you can drain your mana pool to fire a rapid sequence of small attacks to finish them off.

2) 3000 range with unlimited duration is overwhelming.

When we made Xerath’s R duration limited by his mana pool, it meant that the length of time he could remain in Locus was much, much higher, based on build. So to counter it, we are allowing Xerath to be knocked out of locus of power when stunned. During Locus of Power, Xerath is immune to knockups/knockbacks and pulls. However, they will cause him to be stunned briefly and end Locus of Power. This gives enemy teams a strong objective. Get to Xerath and stop his ultimate! His max rank range has been slightly reduced so that seeing Xerath attack you means you can reasonably reach him.

3) When Xerath is under attack during R, he doesn’t notice.

We’re hoping that by allowing opponents to stop locus, it makes the moments where you need to turn and fight the guy attacking you more clear.

4) Xerath E isn’t reading as a stun.

We’re going to make the new effect more lightning “shocky” feel and perhaps steal some visual queues from Syndra.

5) Xerath’s R is too hard to hit.

As an auto-attack replacement, Xerath’s R attack was too hard to consistently time and land.  We’ve since removed the effect from his auto-attack timing. Instead, during Locus of Power (R), he cannot auto-attack, but his right and left clicks will trigger a missile under his cursor every 0.5 seconds. These attacks can be queued up by dragging your cursor across the screen while holding down right click.

 

tl;dr I’m feeling *very* positive about this direction. His R feels like the same “blow up the world” feel, but less toxic and frustrating than his old R. It brings area domination on a good cooldown. His new “W” gives him a fun core experience without his ultimate. His new passive, while needing good tuning, makes him feel like the same strong late-game character.

 

 

How does Xerath auto-attack during his ultimate?

 

Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: Basically, during his ultimate, he ceases to auto-attack, but when you right click you fire a missile barrage at the location below it. You can hold down the cursor to fire these as a stream, draining your mana rapidly, but dealing continuous damage.

 

 

 

How do you justify having so many mechanics on his ultimate?

 

Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: Only Xerath could do this – we don’t have another long-range character whose defining quality is being immobile. Him being sessile has opened up several control paradigms that can’t work on anyone else.

 

 

 

What’s the cooldown of his ultimate currently?

 

Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: We haven’t finished the tuning phase, so numbers don’t mean much. It is currently 90/60/40, but I’ll double or halve those in a heartbeat if it means League is a better game afterwards.

 

 

 

 

When will he be available for testing on the PBE?

 

Xelnath Button Rioter Xelnath: I believe we have a while to go before Xerath will be on PBE. There’s a few other things which need testing there first. I need to talk to Pwyff about the timing of Xerath among other things.

 

 

 

 

Here is the current skillset of Xerath that I gathered based on Xelnath‘s posts:

 

XerathSquare

     Xerath

Ascended_Form??? ( Passive )

Grants Xerath increased mana regeneration and additional magic penetration based on his maximum mana.

ArcanopulseArcanopulse ( Q )

Xerath fires a line-nuke which instantly deals damage along the entire length. Can be charged to gain extra range. Xerath can move while charging the spell.

Locus_of_PowerTBD ( W )

Xerath fires a single blast that damages and briefly slows targets in an area. Enemies caught in the center of the AoE take bonus damage.

Mage_Chains??? ( E )

Xerath fires a line-nuke which deals damage and stuns targets hits. Range is comparable to what Locus of Power was granting to the old version of E.

Arcane_BarrageLocus of Power ( R )

Roots Xerath in place, granting him massive cast range but draining mana-over-time. During this time all of his spells are free-to-cast. Xerath can stay in Locus mode for as long as his mana pool allows it.

But wait there’s more!…

The second part of Xerath’s ultimate lets him fire multiple small blasts that deal damage in an AoE. This part has a relatively high cooldown, but the mana-drain stance doesn’t have any  so… this is quite confusing.

 

 

Forum Discussions

 

 

 

Scarizard – On Shyvana’s Changes

 

 

In case you’ve missed the changes to Shyvana, you can click here for an update.

 

Dragon Form doesn’t have its CD reduced with CDR items or while Shyvana’s dead

 

ScarizardButton Rioter ScarizardTo touch on this, the current changes aren’t just to increase fury generation per auto-attack – Leveling Dragon’s Descent also increases the rate at which you gain fury passively – thus lowering the maximum cooldown the spell can have. This should mitigate the feeling you have about her being ‘forced’ into attack speed, but Shyvana is also designed in such a way that basic-attacks benefit you immensely. Building fury is just the tip – Decreasing the CD of your double-attack, increasing the duration of your Burnout and damaging targets with Flame Breath are all pretty powerful when combined with even a moderate amount of Attack Speed.

The basic goal of the changes to R are to first allow her more up-time on Dragon Form, especially for how reliant she is on it for any meaningful late-game fighting, but to also increase the amount of time she can stay in that form while in combat. The counterplay to it is still present – kite her, and she’ll run out of dragonbatteries – but now when a Shyvana’s deeply entrenched into the front lines of a fight Twin Biting repeatedly (and on multiple targets) should make you feel like you’re actually prolonging a window of power. People should -want- to blow cooldowns and make the decision to get you away from a battle, rather than just ‘oh lemme ignore shyvana cause dragon form’s just gonna time out anyways.’

tl;dr is that these changes -do- decrease the cd of dragon form passively (though not at rank 1 – the values are unchanged) but more fighting=more beastmodes

 

Xypherous – Oracle’s Elixir & Stealth

 

If you’ve missed this PBE update to Oracle’s Elixir, you can see the changes here. Or you can check out Xyph’s explanation below.

 

Just updated the Oracle elixir stuff with the secondary set of changes

XypherousButton Rioter Xypherous: Oracle Elixir

  • Now persists through death
  • Reveal Radius reduced to 600 from 750
  • Duration reduced to 4 minutes from 5 minutes
  • Now has a particle denoting the radius of effect

We are aware that making Oracle’s elixir persist through death decreases the risk involved in the item and reduces the overall skill in using Oracle’s.

The question is whether or not the skill involved in using Oracle’s is the right skill we want to encourage for the game – the answer right now seems to be no: It promotes camping the Oracle’s wielder and oracle users not participating in team fights. It also funnels the responsibility of Oracles only in champions that either cannot die or do not fight.

We also wanted to stop the snowball factor from influencing Oracle’s as much because frequently Oracle’s is only an option for champions who were not at risk of dying – something that is much more likely for the winning team than the losing team. While the counterplay to the current Oracle’s is clear – it is not actually doable in most settings when Oracle Elixir is in play – we want the decision points around Oracle to be ‘How do I use this effectively? When do I use this?’ rather than ‘Man – How can I avoid participating in anything that might murder me for the next 4 minutes?’

Note: I just put in these changes now, so they won’t be reflected on the PBE build that is there currently but will happen with the next PBE build.

 

 

Aren’t you indirectly nerfing stealth champions like Evelynn with these changes?

 

XypherousButton Rioter Xypherous: Evelynn reveals herself to champions within 700 units of her.

The new oracles reveals champions within 600 units. Oracle Elixir has never actually been effective at combatting Evelynn from revealing her early and now effectively never actually does anything versus Evelynn.

 

 

How does the Ward bounty system work?

 

Xypherous Button Rioter Xypherous: Basically, the ward bounty system simply checks for nearby Oracle holders and whoever placed a Pink Ward and credits them for a portion of the gold. If you kill a ward without the usual resources – it still does this check, because we didn’t want to create weird pressure incentives where ‘man – I shouldn’t kill this ward as soon as I see it, because then the ward gold will be split.’

 

IronStylus – Future Skins for Diana and Rumble and update on Sunbathing Leona

 

 

You’re working on a skin for Diana?

 

IronStylus  Button Rioter IronStylus: REMEMBER! “In the works” can mean months out from actual release. We aren’t yet to model with this skin yet, so depending on prioritization, could be a little while. However, we’re cognizant of the fact that she hasn’t gotten a 3rd skin post-release.

 

 

 

What sort of theme are you going for?

 

IronStylus  Button Rioter IronStylus: Next skin will be a bit more.. pretty(?) than DV. Little less dark, a little more elegant. That ok?

 

 

 

 

What will her hair be like?

 

IronStylus  Button Rioter IronStylus: Snake hair is one of the aspects about her we probably don’t want to ditch just yet. It’s a big read in game.

 

 

 

 

Perhaps a helmet like on the Dark Valkyrie skin and cloth armor instead of metalwork?

 

IronStylus  Button Rioter IronStylus: I didn’t put a helmet on this one, but I gave some headdress stuff to it. And yeah, I want more cloth.

 

 

 

 

Any love for Rumble?

 

IronStylus  Button Rioter IronStylus: So, not to derail this thread, but I can offer some insight on this. If we’re going to make any skin for Rumble that involves anything that isn’t his current wonky mech, we have to essentially completely remake his rig and animation sets. This is one of the reasons it’s been difficult to get the bandwidth for a Rumble skin that isn’t just a geometry shift.

 

 

There are tons of amazing pieces of fanart I’ve seen of Rumble skin ideas, and some fantastic ideas! The only catch with putting Rumble inside anything from a high-tech mech, to a Sherman tank, or any other contraption, is that he’s almost a completely new champion in terms of rigging and animation. That aspect of a champion, or skin, is a lot of work. It’s presented problems in the past when we had more restrictions on bandwidth.

Fear not though, we have something in the works. Animation right now is going to have the bulk of the work for any subsequent Rumble skin however.

 

 

When will Sunbathing Leona be released?

 

IronStylus  Button Rioter IronStylus: It’s coming along nicely 

If you’re unfamiliar with this skin idea, you can find an official concept art here.

 

 

Iron Stylus – Some champions are harder to work on than others

 Which champions are the hardest to make skins for?

 

Originally Posted by Metronomotopoeia View Post
Just from a development standpoint (not asking for timelines), are there any other champions that fall under the umbrella of “hard to create a new shell”? The third outlier in the “skin pls” threads after Udyr and Rumble is probably Skarner. Is it hard to give him something that isn’t a scorpion body because of animation, or is it just hard to think up a skin for him that isn’t spider/scorpion?

 

IronStylus  Button Rioter IronStylus: Oh, that’s a really great question. Skarner isn’t as hard as you might think. You can make him into pretty much anything, from a bug, to a lobster, to a robot. Not sure the particulars as to why he hasn’t gotten a skin yet, though.

Hmm, actually it’s sort of multifaceted. Because there’s champions who are hard to make skins for logistically (lot’s of assets/models/particles/etc to make), conceptually (base lacks large silhouette landmarks, “big hook”, etc), or technically (older champions, outdated rigs, etc).

So, here’s a list of what just comes to mind for various reasons:

  • Evelynn – Technical.; Outdated model/rig/animations/etc
  • Fiora – Conceptual. Lacking large visual landmarks, she’s mostly just a lady in a costume.
  • Heimerdinger – Technical. Mostly, outdated.. everything.
  • Lissandra – Logistical. Holy ****, so many particles! All of those particles are separate models with seperate, and possibly, custom animations on them.
  • LeBlanc – Conceptual. She’s actually one our most standard of standard human females.
  • Malphite – Technical. Not so much unusable rig, but still has it’s challenges.
  • Master Yi – Technical. Pizza feet…
  • Rumble – Technical and logistical. As stated.
  • Shyvana – Logistical. Basically two champions in one.
  • Sion – Technical. Yikes..
  • Sivir – Technical. Outdated model/rig/animations/particles.. So yeah, rework first.
  • Swain – Technical. Outdated assets, basically also two champions.
  • Taric – Technically outrageous. Outdated assets.
  • Teemo – Existential. Every subsequent skin we make for him unlocks another gateway to hell.
  • Twitch – Technical. Very outdated assets, he’s actually missing legs I think.
  • Udyr – Technical and Logistical. Fairly outdated, but pretty much 4 different champions depending on complexity.
  • Varus – Conceptual. Dude with a bow and purple pants.
  • Xerath – Logistical. Piles of particle work and strange rig voodoo I have no idea how to even describe.
  • Zac – Conceptually and logistically. Virtually no differentiated landmarks on skins, pretty much all texture or animation behaviors can be leveraged.
  • Zilean – Outdate assets, but not really an animation nightmare. He floats.
  • Zyra – Conceptually and logistically. On her body, not a ton of distinquishing landmarks. All of her plants require new models and new animations.

REMINDER! The above list doesn’t mean these champions a) will not have a skin for them any time soon b) are huge challenges to overcome c) don’t already have stuff in the works despite challenges listed. This isn’t a blacklist, this is just what comes to my mind when I think of champions we’ve had challenges with. Each of these challenges can be solved in it’s own particular way. Things are solved sometimes in just updating the assets, like in the case of Tyrant Swain or Battlecast Urgot, or sometimes with a complete rebuild like any relaunch/VU we make. Very much depends on the champion and what we have to work with.

 

Woad King Darius available!


Who wouldn’t pay 975 RP to see a Game of Thrones version of Darius?

woad king splash

Darius_WoadKing_Comic

 

 

New Champion Rotation – Week 20!


Week 20

The following champions will be free-to-play until June 25th!

 

  • Blitzcrank – 3150 IP / 790 RP
  • Caitlyn - 4800 IP / 880 RP
  • Gangplank- 3150 IP / 790 RP
  • Jarvan IV – 4800 IP / 880 RP
  • Jax – 1350 IP / 585 RP
  • Quinn - 6300 IP / 975 RP
  • Taric - 1350 IP / 585 RP
  • Vladimir - 4800 IP / 880 RP
  • Warwick - 450 IP / 260 RP
  • Xerath - 6300 IP / 975 RP

 

New Champion/Skin sale!


Sale 21st June

Enjoy the following champions and skins at a discount until June 21st!

 

Champions:

 

  • Olaf – 395 RP

  • Orianna – 440 RP

  • Rengar – 487 RP

 

 

Bandito Fiddlesticks – 260 RP

 

 Bandito Fiddlesticks

 

Baron Von Veigar – 487 RP

 

Baron fon Veigar

 

Woad Ashe – 260 RP

 

Woad Ashe

 

 

… reworks, reworks everywhere…

Total War Rome 2: How To Lose Friends and Assassinate People

The Total War series has never struggled to convey its epic subject matter. Accompanying the announcement of each new game in the long-running series are myriad screens and videos that depict hundreds of soldiers cleaving bloody carnage on battlefields throughout history. Clearly, The Creative Assembly has chosen a fitting name for its most prized and famous franchise; one that cuts right to the heart of what the franchise is all about.

Of course, any fool can wield a sharp stick and so, as the series has grown in stature, ambition and complexity, so too has the quieter, more devious side of the war effort. It’s unsurprising, then, that diplomacy and administration are vital facets of Total War: Rome 2 and that the title further broadens the scope for effective empire governance and canny politicking with a host of new micromanagement tools.

Some of these build upon the family, agent and faction elements of 2004’s Rome: Total War, while others are borrowed from more recent entries in the series. However, many are brand new and are aimed at facilitating your choice of graceful diplomacy and spiteful double-dealing both at home and abroad.

Central to improving your effectiveness around the negotiating table is a wealth of new statistical information about rival faction leaders. It’s now possible to tell at a glance how a leader feels about your past decisions and whether they approve of the way you have conducted yourself in your dealings with them, their allies and their enemies. The system is similar to that found in Civilization 5, with each significant action given a plus or minus score that is intended to make it easier to predict the AI’s longer term reactions to your decisions and make transparent the reasons for their own actions.

As you would expect, there have been some significant visual improvements made for Rome 2 and while some are merely cosmetic, others provide tangible gameplay benefits. Buildings in cities and settlements are now identifiable on the campaign map, which makes it easier to assess the bias of the city and the disposition of its leader. This, in turn, helps you to size-up how the metropolis is likely to respond to honeyed words or blunt threats.

While a militaristic society is more likely to resist your polite offer to subjugate it and so require a show of force, a more religious or cultural-focused settlement might accede to your request that it become a vassal or client of your empire. The benefits you reap by making a city a client is a steady income in the form of tributes, which helps to fund your ongoing expansion on other fronts. However, such an arrangement is a two-way street and so you’ll be expected to provide protection to that settlement in times of need.

“Whether you forge alliances with cities, make them your vassals or conquer them by force, it all adds to your overall victory points,” explains Rome 2’s lead campaign designer, Janos Gaspar. “However, sometimes it’s nice to create a ribbon of buffer states at your border that are on friendlier terms with your enemy and so use them as a defensive zone.”

Putting the AI to such use is a smart way to effectively manage your borders, especially as your empire grows and your have multiple fronts to manage, but you shouldn’t expect such devious behaviour to pass unnoticed. Your allies will be keeping a close eye on your politicking elsewhere and will rebel if they feel you have no interest in their long-term wellbeing. If that happens then you might have to quash an uprising by diverting forces that you’d earmarked for more important warmongering in order to deal with former friends.

Further complicating your quest for world domination is the fact that it’s not just your foreign policies that are under scrutiny. If you play as Rome or Carthage you’ll also have to contend with powerful families within your realm who will be quick to judge how well you are guiding your mighty empire. Should your interests run contrary to theirs for too long they will be all too willing to take drastic action, as Gaspar explains.

“If you are a perfect democrat and are able to give the right army commissions to the right families, keep the senate happy and unify families through strategic marriages then you can avoid civil war.

“However, if you accumulate too much power or influence then Rome becomes distrustful and starts to view you as a would-be tyrant. Taken to an extreme the other powerful families might want to dispose of you. Likewise, if you make bad decisions and are you’re no longer powerful enough to lead Rome they might ask ‘could you die please?’”

Choosing how to deal with possible attempts on your life, keep the senate happy and quash potential rebellions will require cunning, guile and a keen mind. Evidently, if you’re to triumph in the arena of total war, you’ll need to do more than just stab men with pointy sticks.

Champion & skin sale: 21.6 – 24.6

Give your champions a new look with these skins, on sale for a limited time:

  • Major Ziggs 487 RP

 

  • Samurai Yi 260 RP

 

  • Vindicator Vayne 260 RP

 

Add these champions to your roster, on sale for a limited time:

  • Quinn 487 RP

 

  • Lee Sin 440 RP

 

  • Twisted Fate 292 RP