PBE News

8/21 PBE Update: VFX Update and more

The PBE has been updated! As we continue the 10.18 PBE cycle, today’s patch includes VFX updates for NocturneViktorMalzahar, and the Ignite spell, as well as loot assets and more!

Nocturne, Viktor, Malzahar and Ignite – Visual Effects Updates

Here’s Beardilocks with a post on NocturneViktorMalzahar, and Ignite VFX changes coming to the PBE for testing:

“Hello Everyone!


Riot Beardilocks here to bring you another round of visual effect updates. Similar to the previous VFX updates we’ve made in the past (Ziggs, Thresh, Lux, etc), we’re working on updates to the Visual Effects (VFX) of more champions whose spell effects are in need of some love. In Patch 10.18, we’ll be releasing a VFX Update for Malzahar, Nocturne, Viktor and Ignite!


Our goals for these sorts of smaller scope updates is to improve the overall gameplay clarity of vfx whilst bringing them up to modern League of Legends standards. This means that our efforts are primarily aimed at spells which do not clearly communicate the hitbox. Our goals are not to change the art direction for these skins or champions – those kinds of changes are reserved for full Visual + Gameplay updates (VGUs).

Just like the previous ones, since these are smaller updates geared toward sprucing up some of the oldest members of the roster, they aren’t in the same prioritization conversation as to how we decide who gets a VGU (where we take model, gameplay, and thematic into account too!): they do not affect any other timeline, and are simply dev passion projects.


We’re looking for feedback on their VFX changes, which should be up on the PBE soon-ish. Please try them out there —especially if you’re a main— and leave us your feedback once the changes are up!”

Malzahar

VFX Update aimed at modernizing this old champion’s feel while improving his gameplay readability. We also took this opportunity to get a better look at the Void thematic’s VFXs to better illustrate its modern representation in the Lore. 

Base Kit:

  • P – Reduced some of the noise from the shield. Made it a bit brighter to match other spell shields (this one also negates 99% of damage, so yeah it needs to be visible).
  • BA – New missiles and hit effects.
  • – New quickcast indicator to better represent its actual hitbox (yes, it’s always been that large). Completely revamped the whole effect. Void spikes grow from the ground, revealing Void portals in their heart. These then dissolve into missiles towards each other, damaging enemies. Also new hit effect. Fixed a bug where the hit effect would proc once per missile, even though the damage only applied once.
  • – New spawn effects. Voidlings now follow the natural Void evolution, going from white/bone color to their usual appearance, as they spawn in. Also added an idle glow on their eyes. They also have new basic attack impacts.
  • – Added a beam from Malzahar to his target on cast. Completely new debuff effect, much less noisy, but still chaotic. When it propagates, a beam links the dead target to the new one. It also now spawns a little hit effect on each damage proc. Also fixed a bug where his E would go on cooldown when Malzahar’s target would die during the cast time.
  • R – New beam, hit and AOE effects. The pool should feel more appropriate to the current Void aesthetic in the lore, rather than just “space stuff”.

SKINS:

Our approach when updating skins is to respect skin pricing tiers. Unless a skin is a 1350, we will not add any custom VFX. The exception to this is for older skins who already had unique visual effects. In this case, we allow these unique VFX to be updated to modern standard, regardless of tier.

Overlord Malzahar: Overall recolored effects, since this is a 975. Went for a shadow-y feel. 

Snow Day Malzahar:

  • – Cleaned up and glowier.
  • Q – Completely revamped, with different ground indicators. Big snowballs!
  • – New voidling impacts. Summon effects were good, so we left them alone.
  • – Recolored beams from base, and new snowy E debuff.
  • R – Some more snow, and new edge on the pool. Overall cleaned up. 

Battle Boss Malzahar:

  • Q – New ground indicator. Ships and their shot have been turned horizontally, so they match the actual hitbox. 

Hextech Malzahar:

  • P – Cleaned up and glowier.
  • Q – New ground indicators. Gems are slightly bigger. Cleaned up the missiles. Added some more animation to the whole spell.
  • W – New voidling impacts. Summon effects were good, so we left them alone.
  • E – New hextech-y beams, with cleaned up debuff effect.
  • R – Slight cleanup and timing adjustment on the pool. Added some more hextech-y waves. 

Worldbreaker Malzahar:

  • P – A bit glowier.
  • Q – New ground indicators. Made the wave shot horizontal to match the hitbox. 

(Malzahar updates by RiotSirhaian) 

Nocturne

*VFX Update aimed at modernizing this old champion’s feel while improving his gameplay readability. The primary improvements were around making sure his Q is visible and that the passive clearly communicates the area of effect. Nocturne had too many colours on his kit previously, so we made the decision to unify to just two colours – red and blue. 

Base Kit:

  • – Added a circular effect that communicates the area that Nocturne slashes targets. The passive ready effect has been moved from Nocturne’s hands to be a glow on his blades. This way it is clearer when the effect is ready, and it does not compete with the attack speed buff for space.
  • BA – New swipes and target effects
  • Q – New animated claw that should be easier to see in a busy teamfight. The darkness trail has been balanced so it isn’t so overwhelming for its low gameplay impact.
  • W – New shield effect, with thematic darkness elements.
  • E – New beam and shadow effects. The timing better illustrates when the target will be feared.
  • R – New dash and trail VFX. The hit effect on the target does not look like it should do area of effect damage anymore.

SKINS

Our approach when updating skins is to respect skin pricing tiers. Unless a skin is a 1350, we will not add any custom VFX. The exception to this is for older skins who already had unique visual effects. In this case, we allow these unique VFX to be updated to modern standard, regardless of tier. 

All skins had updates to move the Passive glow from Nocturne’s hands to his blades. 

Frozen Terror Nocturne:

  • All of Frozen Terror Nocturne’s VFX were updated with the same approach as base, but keeping their winter theme. 

Haunting Nocturne:

  • All of Haunting Nocturne’s VFX were updated with the same approach as base, but keeping their spooky theme. 

Eternum Nocturne:

  • P – Changed the glow to the blades, and gave it some high-tech lens flare effects
  • BA – New swipes and target effects
  • Q – Updated to include a shadowy claw in the centre of the ball, to help improve recognisability. Reduced overall noise
  • W – Reduced noise with a high tech galaxy effect.
  • E – Unchanged
  • R – New dash, trail and hit VFX. Nocturne gets an upgraded shadow tornado effect on his body when he activates his ultimate. 

Viktor

*VFX Update aimed at clarifying this champion’s gameplay, whilst also updating visual fidelity. The primary improvements were around making sure his E clearly communicated the width of the affected area. The other changes on Viktor were kept very small scope in order to deliver this in time for Worlds. 

Base Kit: 

  • BA – New trails and target effects
  • Q – Updated shield and beam VFX to feel more Hextech
  • W – Made the edges of the gravity zone slightly clearer, and unified the colour palette.
  • E – New VFX to clarify the hitbox, and better communicate the damage zone when Viktor has upgraded his E. Yes, it really has always been that wide.
  • R – Added an initial impact effect to communicate the burst of damage on initial cast. 

Creator Viktor:

  • W – Made the edges of the gravity zone slightly clearer, and unified the colour palette.
  • E – New VFX to clarify the hitbox, and better communicate the damage zone when Viktor has upgraded his E. Yes, it really has always been that wide.
  • R – Added an initial impact effect to communicate the burst of damage on initial cast. 

Deathsworn Viktor:

  • E – Made effect wider to clarify the damage zone 

Ignite

“Updated the visuals for ignite to reduce the overall noise whilst making it clearer when targets were affected by this powerful debuff, as well as more clearly communicate when the individual ticks of damage occur.

These changes should go to the PBE over the next few days, please test them out and leave your feedback here! 

Many thanks”

Beardilocks also noted Tryndamere would have a small change:

Miscellaneous

  • PsyOps event loot assets added:
    • PsyOps 2020 Grab Bag
      • “Open to reveal six random skin shards and three additional skin shards of 1350 or higher value, excluding Mythic and Limited skins. Gemstone and Mythic Skin Permanent drop rates multiplied by 1.5.”
    • PsyOps 2020 Token
      • “Gained from purchasing event content or completing event missions. Craft into exclusive PsyOps 2020 event content. Tokens are earnable until October 5, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Tokens are purchasable until October 20, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. PT. Tokens expire October 20, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. PT.”
    • PsyOps 2020 Orb
      • “Open to reveal a guaranteed random Skin Shard with a 2% chance to obtain a PsyOps 2020 Grab Bag. Gemstone and Mythic Skin Permanent drop rates multiplied by 1.5.”

Balance Changes

NOTE*: The PBE is a testing grounds for new, tentative, & potentially experimental changes. Be aware that what you see below may be relative to other changes from earlier this cycle! These are not official notes and may be incomplete.

Champions

Ahri
[Ahri has other changes in testing on the PBE! – Context/Changelist]

  • HP5 lowered from 6.5 to 5.5
  • Essence Theft (Passive)
    • Heal lowered from [30/60/90/180 (based on level) (+27% AP)] to [3/5/9/18 at lvls 1/6/11/16 (+9% AP)]
    • No longer needs to hit a champion to heal

Lillia
[Context]

  • Blooming Blows (Q)
    • [Reverted] No longer does 80% damage to minions.

Context & Notes

1) Riot Maxw3ll noted the Lillia changes testing on the PBE this cycle would be reverted soon:

“We had a meeting today regarding Lillia balance as it relates to her balance in 10.18. 

Long story short, based on the increase in Pro presence, we didn’t feel comfortable giving her any buffs given that worlds is soon and we really want to make sure the meta is in a safe place. Given that she’s not OP in top lane, we pulled the minion mod nerf on her Q from this patch.”

2) notquitefrodo on twitter noted that the phantom child mentioned in PsyOps Shen’s Bio is actually a girl –

“the gender is currently a typo — she is, in fact, a girl. she is from another universe. i cannot reveal more than that, though there are hints as to the larger story scattered all over PsyOps Sona’s VO”

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