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The Client

Game pacing, pollution, and the client.

Welcome to Ask Riot! Have a question?

Today we’re talking about client issues, game length, and hextech pollution. We’re going to be taking a break from Ask Riot for one edition—see ya in May!

Q

Are you going to fix the client?

A

Yes. Our first priority is to fix the problems in champion select, as they’re sometimes causing players to unintentionally dodge games because they’re unable to consistently lock in a champion. Once the work on champ select is done, we’ll move on to improving other areas of the client. We’ll start to roll out our first round of improvements in the next few weeks.

Software Architect
Q

Is Hextech a clean energy source, or does result in some sort of magical pollution or something similar?

A

Compared to pretty much every other energy source available to Piltover, hextech seems like the cleanest option they could ever hope for. Once the crystal matrix is stabilized and running, it appears to be able to function almost indefinitely with very little going to waste, perhaps only needing a delicate tune-up every once in a while. By putting hextech devices in the hands of regular mortals, magic is essentially becoming “democratized” in Piltovan society—for those who can afford such wondrous creations, at least.

Chemtech, by contrast, is far more widely available, even if it is more experimental and potentially hazardous. The engineers and scientists of Zaun who dabble in such things are just as likely to end up poisoned or maimed as they are to create something stable and useful.

Lead Narrative Editor
Q

Why are you increasing the pace of the game? The changes from last season and this season seem bent on speeding up matches, which makes comebacks feel improbable and strategy feel pointless.

A

Game times have gone down slightly over the years, but we’re not actively trying to increase the pace of the game. In fact, the goal of preseason this year was to keep game times largely unchanged while making comebacks more possible, which is why we increased bounties overall and increased Baron’s health to make it more contestable. We also added Turret Plating as a way to extend laning phase and regulate the game’s pace.

Statistically speaking, comebacks—which we calculate using a combination of gold lead, epic monsters taken, XP difference, and more—are more frequent in 2019 than in 2018.

That said, it is true that Summoner’s Rift games are shorter nowadays than they used to be in the earlier seasons of League, and comebacks are less likely. This is partially because we’re trying to reduce “decided games,” where it’s pretty clear one team is going to win but the game stalls out (Rift Herald is one way we’ve tried to reduce these games). Decreasing the number of decided games can also mean decreasing the likelihood of comebacks, which is why we’ve added ways to reward players who fight their way back into a game, such as by shutting down fed opponents and collecting their kill streak bounties.

One of the other reasons game times have slowly decreased over the years is because players back in the day hadn’t mastered the map’s mechanics as well as they have today. It was much more common for teams to squander leads or be unable to close out games when they were ahead, leading to drawn-out game times. In other words—players today are better at League strategy overall than they were in earlier seasons, which consequently leads to lower game times across the board.

In conclusion, we aren’t trying to reduce the duration of games, and if game times go down much further, we might even try to increase game length.

Game Design Manager

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Next Chroma Sale?