Ask Riot about patches, scripting, and rotations

By Calisker, Ostrichbeernana, Tummers

Welcome to Ask Riot, where we focus on your questions and give you answers.

This week, we talk about the balance of patching for all levels of League play, how we choose the free champion rotation, and what we are doing about scripting.

Have a question (or two...hundred) yourself? Head over to Ask Riot and sign into your League account. Check out the Do’s, the Don'ts, and then ask us something. We’ll archive the answers once we’ve accumulated a few of them. One thing to note: Asking the same question over and over again won’t help your cause.

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“Okay, why not?”

Some questions may already be answered elsewhere or won’t be right for Ask Riot. This isn’t the best place to announce new products or features, and we might skip conversations on issues which we’ve already gone into more depth elsewhere (but we can clarify individual points!). Even if your question isn’t the one being answered, we’re listening, and we’ll be sharing your questions with the Rioters who are working directly on the things you’re curious about.



Since it is so difficult to balance for play from Bronze to the pro level, why not have two separate patches, one for diamond+ and one for those below diamond?

We feel like it's really important to the LoL experience that the pros are playing the same game as everyone else. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. For one, you can enjoy esports on a lot of different levels, but some really engaged viewers understand all of the nuance about item builds and counter picks because they know those details from League. Once you start tuning the game with two different sets of numbers, it's harder to appreciate the decisions the pros are making. It might even be hard to tell if that amazing play was really that hard to pull off or not.
  2. Second, it's really cool to see a pro pick a champion that you love or know really well. Maybe it's all psychological, but you lose some of that if they are playing a different game from you. The reasons they pick Gnar might be totally different and not even applicable to the reasons you pick Gnar.
  3. Third, it's super common during a discussion about a pro game for someone to say "Man, I really want to go play League right now." We risk losing some of that feeling if the pros are playing on a different patch. “Just remember, turrets are more powerful on live than in Worlds, and Vlad hasn’t been nerfed yet, and... .” You get the idea.
  4. Finally, a lot of players look to the pros when they are trying to learn a new champion or strategy or just to get better in their own game. You'd lose some of that if say the pro champs need more hits to kill a jungle mob, or have less MR even after they've finished the same item build.

We’ve been trying to come up with more outside-the-box solutions to solve pro balance and diversity. To use an example from basketball, the three-point line is farther from the basket in pro games than it is in college games. That’s a somewhat subtle difference that has a meaningful impact, but doesn’t change the viewing experience enormously. (I’m admittedly not much of a basketball fan, so maybe I’m totally wrong on that!) I'm not sure what the SR version of a three-point line would be. Longer range towers? Weaker towers? Less gold from minions? Those all might have really unpredictable effects.

My fear is that if we start implementing pro-only solutions, that it leads to a place where we have two versions of Gangplank with different damage coefficients and maybe even different rules about how his barrels work. On top of violating all of the four points I raised above, it also creates that many more opportunities to introduce bugs to the game.

I know your questions also specifically mentioned Diamond+, which doesn’t have all of the viewing ramification of affecting pro games, but point 4 still applies where you have to relearn part of the game as your rank goes up or down, and it might lead to the profusion of different Gangplanks to an even greater degree.

Believe me, as a designer, it sometimes seems like a really attractive solution. We could make Yi viable for Worlds without making him stomp Bronze even more! We could make Azir playable by mere mortals! But I think that's the lazy designer in me talking. At the end of the day, I think the cost to League wouldn't be worth it.

Ghostcrawler, Game Design Director



What are you doing about scripting?

So, we're usually – and intentionally – quiet about cheats and the efforts we're making to combat them. It's a conversation we've thought about starting many times, but have shied away because we don’t want to unintentionally bring more awareness to their existence or make our detection methods easier to crack. We’ve seen our silence lead to wild speculation, and that’s not good. So let’s talk about it.

We want to be clear: Using applications that provide a measurable player advantage goes against the core of the League of Legends experience. It’s cheating. We value League’s competitive integrity. Most of you play fair, which is why it’s so important we remove cheaters from League. Scripting allows a program to take actions on your behalf. We constantly identify and remove these cheats from the game.

Automation in League isn’t new, and we’re constantly fighting against it. It’s a priority for us. We have a well-versed team who uses a lot of different methods to combat cheaters. But we can’t be too detailed because this information would be used against us in this battle. We’re confident in our ability to detect scripting behavior, even if we can’t talk about the secret sauce.

Anyone who bothers to cheat for any significant duration will be identified, and while we wouldn't call anyone out specifically (keeping our enemies in the dark), we're accurately detecting everything you've heard of. We know that’s still not enough and we've got a lot of work to do in preventing this type of behavior in the first place, but as it stands, we'll keep swinging the banhammer to assure you a fair experience when you play League.

RayKay, Anti-cheat team



How do you choose which champions will be in the free rotation?

The free to play rotation is there to give people the opportunity to try champions they don’t own. Additionally, there’s value in providing everyone access to a subset of champions that will frequently appear in games, thereby giving you the opportunity to learn how to play with and against champions you may be unfamiliar with. That’s why when we select champions for the free to play rotation, we make sure that there are at least two champions from each position and also take into account meta shifts regarding champions’ roles.

Some other factors we consider include:

  • How long it’s been since the champion was last on the free to play rotation
  • Team comps and synergies like Braum-Lucian or Thresh-Kalista
  • Lore implications like Kha’Zix vs Rengar, Caitlyn vs Jinx
  • Trying to avoid a rotation that’s holistically frustrating - you’ll never see us put all the stealthers in one rotation because no one wants to play against an Evelynn, Rengar, Shaco, Teemo, Talon comp…
  • Champions that are free through other means are left out of the free rotation (Link to all the freebies) as are champions that have large upcoming reworks (Poppy and Yorick)

JalapenoJeff - Ecommerce Coordinator


2 years ago

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