Quick Gameplay Thoughts 10/8
Ranked Season 2021 and Season Start 2022.
Today we’re talking about a large catfish, server transfers, and a mythical being.
Also, please send us all your questions! Each one you submit makes our day slightly better <3
We’re still committed to the Tahm Kench mini update and are planning to ship it this summer. We’re feeling good about the gameplay changes, which you may have seen in the recent Arcana PBE video. This was sadly a bit of an oversight and not a secret teaser, as we still need to update some of Kench's animations before he’s unbenched. In case you missed it, our plan for Tahm is to address some long-standing issues around pro binding. In other words, a lot of Tahm Kench’s current power is best utilized by highly-coordinated teams, which means he ends up much weaker for the rest of the player base. To address this power discrepancy, we’re planning to move Devour to his ultimate (and buff it) and turn his W into a less-coordination reliant engage tool (think Abyssal Voyage, but shorter range and just for Tahm Kench… and with some added CC).
RiotPetrie, Product Lead
As many of you are aware, Account Transfers in League of Legends were disabled for several months. This has raised many questions: What was the reason for disabling the service? And why did it take so long to re-enable it? We hope to answer these questions here!
After almost 6 months down, Account Transfers are finally enabled again in all supported Riot regions, with a higher transfer success rate and better operational tools.
The Account Transfer service orchestrates a number of things behind the scenes. A player's account has a ton of specific data associated with it, like your friends list and inventory. This data is distributed across multiple services, each responsible for managing different pieces of that information.
When you transfer an account from one region to another, all of the data stored across services needs to move over. For most players, this process goes smoothly and transfers work as expected—things like their Summoner Name, champions unlocked, and skins purchased would follow them from one region to another. But towards the end of last year, we started seeing more players run into issues where only part of their information would successfully transfer.
This is where things can get tricky; if any dependent service fails to transfer successfully, the entire transfer might fail, or worse, appear to complete successfully but miss crucial account data during the transfer. When this happens, it’s difficult to detect the root cause of the issue, as it could be caused by any one of the dependent services in the chain misbehaving.
This meant that if a player ran into a problem with an Account Transfer, we’d have to manually dig into what happened every time. It wasn’t possible to solve in an automated way, which meant that players would have to submit a ticket to Player Support and wait for the various teams who owned the underlying services to figure out what was wrong. It was creating a pretty bad experience that took way longer than we’d like to resolve, especially as more players ran into these issues.
We knew we needed a better system, so we temporarily put a pause on transfers to give the underlying service a refresh.
At the end of the year, we set out to create a more reliable server transfer experience, which meant upgrading the tools we use to monitor and deploy Account Transfers as well as surfacing some of the downstream errors that were causing problems. During this effort, we discovered some of these improvements could only be made by partnering with other teams at Riot, which took a bit more time—we didn’t want to disrupt their schedule and projects with unexpected work.
In the end, it took a little longer than originally planned to revive Account Transfers, but we hope the backend refresh provides a noticeably better and more reliable experience going forward!
Riot Rapwnzel, Delivery Lead
The very-honest-but-maybe-slightly-disappointing answer is… from a lore perspective, we don’t actually know… yet!
That’s actually more common in collaborative game development than you might think. A team might come up with a mechanic or feature that they want to include, and then only create as much in-world context as is required to ship it. That means that others can then come along later and find ways to tie and connect it to other parts of the lore or the setting overall.
In general, it’s more important that things feel like they fit into the fantasy of a game (and don’t actively undermine something else) than it is to completely explain away every detail of how they fit into the world.
And of course, Aery is ADORABLE. That’s always a big plus.
Riot Scathlocke, Narrative Editorial Director