The responses to this thread, and especially the awesome amount of serious Rioter-to-player (and not even just customers, Riot doesn't care whether people asking questions pay or not, which, when looking in from outside, is really an amazing feature), are just showing more and more that Riot LOVES to interact with players, more than any company I've ever seen. It's just astounding to me that it's a habit that LoL never outgrew in its huge expansion of both players and content. Hell, we're even getting designer diaries in announcements, now, not just in hidden A.M.A. threads from individual designers; Riot leaders are actively encouraging designers to talk about development, rather than passively doing so.
One of the first things that really attracted me to this game's development strategy was a browse on the forums around the time of Orianna's release, perhaps a few days prior. I saw a Xypherous post on the subject, and was amazed that so much information (not just info ABOUT the abilities, but insights into how the abilities were designed and what things were taken out in playtesting) was readily available to players. The info wasn't censored by third parties, it wasn't held back as if Xypherous (although this really goes for any designer that's done an AMA/Design thread) was being restricted by a PR team. It was, honest to goodness, a designer sitting down at his computer, late at night, and answering concerns and expectations about his upcoming project.
Riot's evolved a lot from that point in time, but it seems like they've grown to embrace even further responding to and discussing with players, not that they've grown away from it. Whether it's forum sensations like IronStylus or the occasional Zileas troll (although, Zileas' thread on anti-fun design's was probably one of my favorite reads on this forum), Rioters are continuing to connect on not just business-terms (even though I think that in itself is awesome), but on a personal level as well. It's not rare to find a red post in big threads, even though in other companies, even companies that are known for being fairly fun on the forums (Valve Software comes to mind, even though they post incredibly infrequently), such a post is as if a god has stepped down from the heavens to stop by for tea only to return and never be seen again. And it's not just one big mega post, as I thought Tryndamere's would be on the first Riot post. They come back posting again and again, interacting with individual players not just once or in passing, but actively and, many times, hilariously:
Originally Posted by Tryndamere
Maybe this post is drawing too long for such a simple compliment, but I just couldn't keep it from stacking on over and over again. This company rocks, whether or not I think so when servers go down or when GD is making the 500th bogus Darius OP thread. You guys have improved a lot from when I first fell in love with you guys, and if you keep it up, there will be no company that can even come close to touching you.
Edit: In fact, I love you guys so much that I ended up posting this in the wee hours of my birthday morning (EST)! Anyone want cake?