The wintry version of League of Legends’ [official site] Summoner’s Rift map was a welcome sight for fans when it returned for season 6. The snow had previously been curtailed after the map was given an overhaul because the newly hand-painted environment could no longer be reskinned with festive tiling textures. Now the devs have posted a bit more insight into the process behind the winter wonderland and, as someone interested in game artwork, it was an interesting read. Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘Riot Games’
Hello! So here’s a bit of League of Legends [official site] news which might not sound big at first, especially if you don’t play or don’t watch the pro scene BUT it is a big thing and I will try to explain a little about why. The news is that League of Legends is finally expanding the ban bit of the pick and ban phase you get before competitive matches. Instead of three opportunities to remove a champion from the selection process teams will now get five. Ten bans overall – three each at the start of the phase and then a further two each after some of the champions have been picked. Here’s why I’m excited: Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature Learn how to play the LoL newcomer
League of Legends‘ [official site] latest champ, Camille, The Steel Shadow, is a highly-mobile fighter who excels at single target duels and skirmishes. Camille’s abilities allow her to swiftly shred through her opponents and effortlessly dart around the map. The Steel Shadow is an excellent addition to the roster and shares similarities to Fiora, the Grand Duelist. Despite her strengths Camille requires good mechanical awareness, positioning and target prioritisation. If you’re looking to slice and dice your way to victory, Camille might be the champion you’re looking for. Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature Flickers and flashes
Visual effects in games intrigue me – they contribute so much to the flavour of a character or an experience but often they’re at their best when you’re not consciously registering them – they need to complement and harmonise and blend… In a game like League of Legends [official site] they need to communicate character, telegraph attacks, fit in with the established vocabulary of more than a hundred other champions and let the designers further customise them to create themed skins. Jason Keyser, a visual effects artist at Riot who has been working on champs like newcomer Camille explained to me just a little of what his work entailed while he was over for League Fest earlier this year: Read the rest of this entry »
League of Legends [official site] is forever adding new champions to its roster. Much like I add lip balms and perfumes to my dresser because I hoard them, Riot Games creates and adds new characters every so often because they can and people love to purchase skins for them. Hell, I don’t even play that often and I’m tempted by Arcade Miss Fortune and Jinx. So, there’s another champion on her way, with that in mind, and her name is Camille. Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature Spoilers ahoy!
After five weeks of League of Legends’ World Championships ping-ponging across the United States from venue to venue and gradually shedding teams the final contenders, SK Telecom T1 and Samsung Galaxy, went head-to-head at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the deciding best-of-five. I appreciate a bunch of you might be waiting to watch the rebroadcast or be saving up the VODs to watch over a leisurely Sunday so I’ll keep the spoilers until after the jump. Read on to find out how Season 6 ended…
RPS Feature Korea meets Korea in the final match
League of Legends’ World Championships tournament is about to reach its 2016 conclusion with the Grand Finals in Los Angeles’ Staples Center. The finalists comprise two of the LCK’s top teams (that’s the Korean domestic league, in case you’re new to professional LoL), SK Telecom T1 and Samsung Galaxy. They will be playing for over $2m* as well as the “best in the world” title, and the stupidenormous Summoner’s Cup trophy.
So what do you need to know about the two sets of participants?
RPS Feature Holy what!
This weekend saw reigning champions, SK Telecom T1, take on Korean League’s domestic champions ROX Tigers in a spectacular best-of-five which immediately earned a place as one of the greatest matches of any League of Legends World Championships to date. It’s definitely the best I’ve seen, and it occupied my thoughts for most of the following day. I even found myself pondering bits of it during the rather less compelling showdown between H2K and Samsung Galaxy the following evening.
Read on for the weekend’s Worlds 2016 news, but here be spoilers:
RPS Feature This weekend on the Rift
Here’s a quick and dirty guide to this week’s League of Legends World Championships semifinals match-ups if you’ve not been following the story so far! The TL;DR if even a quick and dirty guide is too much reading is that there will be at least one Korean team in the finals no matter how the weekend matches play out and Europe’s path towards the Summoner’s cup is shooting up several difficulty levels. Here’s a little more:
League of Legends’ [official site] 2016 season will be coming to an end on November 7 (so, the week after the World Championships finals). Perhaps slightly confusingly the 2017 season will be beginning about a month later on 6 December 2016. I wonder if we’re just going to start a month earlier every year from now on and the LoL calendar will start to feel like how you buy a magazine in June and it proudly tells you you’ve bought the October issue. Anyway! That means a pre-season period of about a month in which Riot will be making a host of big season-defining changes.
Let’s take a look at what’s been announced so far, piece by piece as I don’t think we’ve done that yet:
The semi-finalists for League of Legends’ 2016 World Championships have been determined thanks to a long weekend of Chicago-based MOBA-ing for the quarterfinals. But did the wildcards make it through? Are Europe and North America still in with a shot at the title? Did anyone manage to elbow SKT aside on their way to the Summoner’s Cup? I’ll let you know who got through after the jump so, y’know, spoilers ahead!
League of Legends’ [official site] tentpole/flagship event, the World Championships, is ramping up the pressure as we reach the knockout stage. There’s a $1m top prize and a ridiculously enormous cup at stake but what if you’ve not been keeping up with the story so far? That’s where this primer comes in! Here’s what you need to know if you’re only just dipping your toes into the pro gaming waters…
RPS Feature The journey from concept to finished boardgame
Earlier this week Riot announced its first foray into boardgames with Mechs vs Minions – a co-op tabletop experience set in the League of Legends [official site] universe. If you’re a boardgamer you’ll get the basic concept from “Robo Rally meets Descent” with a Legacy-esque campaign component. If you’re not, probably the easiest way to put this is that you’re working together to program little characters in mech suits so they can be victorious in their missions, although taking damage can make them go haywire (as can, for example, misreading cards and forgetting your mech will turn 90 degrees and thus you end up accidentally on the other side of the board throwing a ripsaw into thin air. FOR EXAMPLE.) It’s also heavier than most newborns, coming in at 12.8 lb on my bathroom scales.
I played snippets of the game during development (I guess kind of like videogame previews) so I was pleased to talk with Mechs Vs Minions lead Chris ‘Kades’ Cantrell to see how the idea had developed over time, how Riot had made the ridiculously huge game remotely affordable, and how RPS alumnus Quinns had managed to make more work for everyone (in a good way):
It’s THAT time of year. And by “THAT time of year” I mean the time of year when someone has to try to topple Imagine Dragons’ Warriors from its throne as the best League of Legends World Championship anthem of all time. 2016 is the turn of Zedd and Riot’s collaboration – Ignite, with its cool video and references to Faker’s broccoli japery from 2015 and other key Worlds moments over the years.
Is it as good as Warriors?
Ivern, The Green Father is the latest champion to be announced for League of Legends [official site]. He piqued my curiosity partly because new LoL champion, but also because I’m always interested to see how the nature-themed characters turn out in MOBAs. Ivern sounded kind of treant-ish and treants are one of those MOBA staples where all the games kind of have their own version – Treant Protector in Dota, Sylvanus (well, Grover, the treant Sylvanus rides) in Smite, Maokai in League, so what was Ivern doing that was different?
Riot have announced Mechs vs Minions – a co-operative boardgame based on their mega-popular MOBA, League of Legends [official site]. The game will launch in October (October 13th, to be exact) which makes sense given October is the month of the League of Legends World Championships so millions of eyeballs are on the game at that point. But what does a board game that riffs on Summoner’s Rift look like?
As part of Riot Games’s tenth anniversary as a company, the developers have put out a digital League of Legends [official site] art book. There’s also a physical version which will set you back $75 or $150 for the (out of stock) collector’s edition, but the digital version is free.
There are actually some really cool sketches and pieces of concept art included – I’ve popped some of my favourites below – plus you do get some insights into how particular champions developed, but I’d say it also doesn’t seem to dig particularly deep or offer up meatier reflections on the decisions made over the development of the game.
Yorick, perhaps League of Legends most awkward character, is almost at the end of an in-depth makeover. He’ll emerge from his champion update cocoon after a stint on the Public Beta Environment as the Shepherd of Souls to [hopefully] acclaim and popularity, much as Tai emerged from her fashion makeover at the hands of Cher and Dion in Clueless to become part of the elite high school clique. Lead Game Designer James “Statikk” Bach talked me through the gravedigger’s revamp including how he almost became evil royalty (Yorick, not Statikk)!
League Of Legends‘ [official site] Lead Gameplay Designer, Andrei Meddler van Roon, was in Birmingham over the weekend as the UK’s huge LAN event, Insomnia, was also playing host to League Fest – a dedicated League Of Legends event. I couldn’t get up there but I managed to get a bit of time with Meddler on the phone and, after recommending the Sea Life Centre, we got to discussing the recent patch kerfuffle, the rhythm of game tweaks, favourite game additions and more:
Catching up on what I missed while I was out of town means I’m currently picking through the fallout from an interview with Andy ‘Reginald’ Dinh about how a major change to a part of the early game involving swapping lanes wrought by a League Of Legends [official site] patch affect affects professional players. Regi owns one of the most well-known teams on the LoL scene – Team SoloMid – and called the current situation “absolutely fucking ridiculous”.
I’m going to run through the drama because it feels important to the shape of the current LCS (League of Legends Championship Series) system and also acts as a decent way of explaining some of the problems/concerns around how competitive gaming works in general: