SRU beta comes to a close

By Riot Aeon

With Patch 5.5, the update to Summoner's Rift Beta will be coming to a close. Since launching this update last November, we've been monitoring games on the new rift, and soaking up tons of player feedback. We greatly appreciate all players who provided feedback and those of you who helped us identify issues with stability and performance.

When we decided to launch SR as a beta back in November, we knew we had some more work to do to fully hit our goals for the update, especially around performance, visual quality, and a few parts of the map that weren’t quite up to our standards. Now, a few months later, we’re ready to remove the beta tag, and to commemorate we’re patching out another bunch of updates for SR. While I won’t go over every single part of the map that we’ve updated, I’ll walk you through the main things that we’ve focused on.

As we’ve mentioned in some of our earlier blogs, one of our goals for this update is to have the environment feel like a place you want to spend thousands of hours in, and used words like charming, fun, ancient, magical, mysterious, untamed, overgrown, and alive to try to describe SR. Throughout our development on this update, we’ve been continuing to narrow in on making the updated rift more and more this sort of place.

This has been an ongoing process and while we believe the release of the November SR update was a considerable move towards hitting our style and feel from when we first launched on PBE back in June, we knew we wanted to keep pushing the experience on SR even further.

A stronger sense of place

And we saw your feedback. Some players waxed, often quite poetically (and some with pretty pictures, oooh!), that they missed some of how they felt when playing on the former map, specifically calling out that the artwork felt a little less vivid and lively than it did on the original version. We heard you, and we’ve focused some additional updates specifically aimed at improving the map environments.

First up, we did an overall hue, saturation, and value rebalance across the entire map. This leads to the overall color palette to feel warmer and the trees and colorful elements (like flowers) to look more bold and vibrant.

However, while we amped up the amount of saturated color throughout the map, we also widened the value range. We’re hoping these broad shifts brings in some of the feel of the old SR while improving gameplay clarity. In this instance the value adjustment should help characters to stand out from the background environment so that you can still clearly find your champion during the chaos of skirmishes and team fights. We’ve also increased the levels of contrast and added more details to the ground in the bases, jungle and lanes to help anchor the champions and increase particle readability.

Next, when we released the update to SR, we were still working on how we wanted to implement lighting and shadows in a uniform way across the whole map. Without broad, consistent lighting, there are many cases where parts of the map can look flat, less detailed, and outside our intended art style. For the 5.5 update, we’ve done a broad lighting and shadows pass across the whole map. Part of this process was updating some of the in-game geometry artwork to feature more three dimensional detailing at various spots throughout the map. Then we added new directional sunlight (and corresponding shadows), which we hope make the environment feel more 3D and consistent.

I can haz pretty end of game screen?

As many of you noticed, the announcement video for the update to SR showed a shiny new end of game sequence that didn’t match with what went live in November. We ran into some technical hurdles that blocked us releasing the full end of game, but ultimately decided that we’d rather get the update into your hands sooner than wait for the fixes to those issues. Now, after tackling a handful of tricky problems, its finally made it in this patch. May all of your future games end in a little more glory and celebration!

Blue is us, red is ENEMY!

You may have noticed in 5.4 we added a new in-game option (on by default in Options → Game) called Relative Team Colors. This option changes the way team minions and structures look in order to mirror the way the rest of the UI in the game works. Regardless of which team you are on, you will now see allies as blue, and enemies as red. The result is your minions and structures will look blue when you are playing on both the north and south teams (and your enemies will always be red for both sides respectively). Many of you may have noticed us slowly making other color changes to League in both the UI and in-game over the last months. Our goal is to achieve a single consistent visual language throughout the game and Relative Team Colors is the last major part of that process. Moving forward, when using this option, you can consistently count on blue meaning ally/friendly and red meaning enemy/hostile.

Performance and bugs

Over the past few months we’ve made a ton of improvements and optimizations to performance. The net result is hopefully better frame rate, quicker loading times, and less hitching in games on SR. Many of you helped us identify issues, and while we are sorry that any of you had to experience a less than optimal experience when SRU launched, we greatly appreciate those of you who took the time to call out issues so that we could find and stomp out a whole bunch of subtle problems and issues.

Additionally, I know some of you may have read everything up to this point and are currently thinking, “More updates! Oh Noes! MY TOASTER WILL DIE!” Well, do not fret! we don’t expect these new updates will cause any negative impact to performance.

And MOAR coming

Lastly, even with the SR beta coming to a close, we’re excited to keep making SR even better. We’ll continue to look for opportunities to update the rift and the rest of League well into the future!

See you on the rift!

Riot Aeon

4 years ago

Tagged with: 
Summoner's Rift

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