A general community discussion is underway. You’re all encouraged to continue participating in that on either or both of the threads:
We will continue to visit those threads and discuss.
We also had a staff meeting today, followed by a related community meeting. I’d like to quickly summarize the contents of these meetings here, to further discussion.
I want to continue to encourage people to start matches, rather than waiting for staff members to come by and start them. This was the first topic of discussion in both meetings, and rightfully so: if Factions can be summarized as “faction versus faction matches that drive a storyline”, then those matches obviously have a central role to play.
For starters, I’ve updated the Creating a Match guide, including with a super fancy button to click to submit match results. Next time you see someone asking “any matches?” in chat, consider setting one up, or at least linking them the Creating a Match page so that they can make one themselves.
Everyone is encouraged to make use of the nifty new Factions forum. It includes public discussion areas, as well as members-only subforums for each faction. To gain access to your faction’s private subforum, post in the “Join Your Faction’s Subforum” thread on the front page, and a mod will add you.
The first tournament of the Nyroth arc is complete! The final placements were:
- the Shadow Isles
- the Freljord
Thanks to everyone who participated. There will be one more major tournament before the arc ends on December 22.
Shadow Isles Poll Error
While discussing something about lore events, I opened up the poll results for the Shadow Isles’ votes regarding the island Neritum…and realized that there was a glitch in the total, arising from a duplicate vote. This duplicate vote actually made the difference on a critically close question regarding what to do with the magical gauntlet of the deposed tyrant Kaius. With the duplicate vote removed, two options were tied: keeping the gauntlet (give it to Mordekaiser or something; boost Military power) and giving it to Syndra so she can wreck a piece of Ionia (makes her a potential pickup as a Tertiary option; makes Ionia really mad). It’s worth noting that the Syndra option does not add her as a playable Champion: it simply puts her on the list for potential recruitment.
We decided that, rather than tossing a coin or whatnot, the best thing to do would be to hold a re-vote. We’ll make that part of the mega-poll which I will post momentarily.
Rank for Factions Match Purposes
I have confirmed that Season 3 rank information is no longer available through the Riot API, which powers sites like LoLNexus. So far as we can tell, there is simply no way to find Season 3 rank any longer. (op.gg sometimes has Season 3 rank for certain Summoners, but it’s very hit-and-miss, and mostly miss.) As a result, we switched to using Season 4 rank only, starting on November 11.
So far, we haven’t been able to come up with a better system than using Season 4 rank. We could ask people to declare their Season 3 and Season 4 rank on Featured Match signups, but there’s no way to verify what people say. Sooner or later, someone would cheat, and I dislike systems that penalize the honest. We talked about this at length, and we’re not seeing a clear solution. That said, if you happen to have such an idea, please post it up for discussion.
Last Round of Island Exploration
The tournament will lead into the final round of island exploration. I’ll post a mega-poll shortly, which will contain an island selection poll (among other things). Bilgewater and Ionia get an island each, while the Freljord and the Shadow Isles will explore the final island together, with ample opportunity for cooperation or treachery.
Proposed Change to Champion Pickups and Politics
In Shon-Xan, the main way to pick up Champions was to win Featured Matches, which gave a random chance of unlocking a Champion to the victorious side. This had two major problems. First, it was snowbally, with more wins leading to more Champions leading to more wins. Second, it was random, not in an interesting or exciting way but in a frustrating and arbitrary way. Hextech Revolution worked similarly with research projects.
The current system is based around Politics and petitions to the League: every two weeks, factions get to ask the League to add another Champion to their roster, leading to a roll of the dice to determine if they get them. This addresses the snowball problem, in that there’s not much of a connection between match wins and Favor, but it’s still quite random. It also has the downside of making Politics almost entirely about Champions.
I think we should decouple Champion pickups from Politics. Instead, I think we should use a “flat” system: “you get a Champion, and you get a Champion, and you get a Champion!” The details follow.
Proposed new system: as applied to Nyroth
Here’s how this system would work, as applied to Nyroth.
- This week: each faction gets a Secondary or Core Champion. They can instead select a Tertiary, but that will also consume next week’s pickup opportunity.
- Next week: each faction gets a Secondary or Core Champion.
- The week after that: each faction may select any Champion on its list. (Core, Secondary, or Tertiary.)
(Selecting Aatrox would replace the Champion pickup for that week, as with the current petitions system.)
This system has the advantage of fairness and predictability. It would also free up the Politics system to be about something other than Champion additions. Last, but certainly not least, it’s a lot more clear than the complexities of Politics and Favor.
This would be a significant change, much larger than we’d normally be okay with mid-arc. As a result, we’re only going to go forward with this if all four factions agree.
Arc Schedule: Buildup to the Finale
The Nyroth storyline will conclude on December 22, leading into a pleasant Snowdown experience. More on that later. We have four weekends left in this arc:
- November 29–30: Noxus versus Demacia, Piltover versus Zaun (special tournament)
- December 6–7: Featured Matches
- December 13–14: Final tournament of the Nyroth arc
- December 20–21: Featured Matches
What’s this about Noxus verus Demacia? Read on.
Special Tournament This Weekend: Noxus vs. Demacia, Piltover vs. Zaun
Hold on. I sense you are about to tab over to another window for some YouTube videos. Let me save you a few keystrokes.
With the tournament done, we’re fresh out of Champions, so we decided to try something a bit different for this weekend, November 29–30. The previous arc, Hextech Revolution, began as an arc about research and scientific innovation, catalyzed by the discovery of a Void-touched hextech energy source, the “pyrikhos” or “dark sand”, in Shurima. The situation spiraled out of control in the final weeks of the dispute, ending with an all-out battle between Demacia, Piltover, and Bandle City on one side and Noxus and Zaun on the other.
There is some unfinished business from Hextech Revolution, and we’d like to tie that up in true Factions style, on the Fields of Justice. There are a few objectives here:
- Take a quick break before we launch into the Nyroth finale
- Add some breadth to the narrative universe, and allow Nyroth’s factions to take part in a dispute back in Valoran
- Preview some other factions in anticipation of the vote for next arc’s playable factions
- Resolve a lingering story point in an interactive war
- Allow the Nyroth factions to further define themselves
And, of course, it’ll also just be a lot of fun.
Stakes: Noxus versus Demacia
With the help of Zaun’s mechanized HexKorps, the Noxian legions under Swain’s command broke the might of the Demacian military. Many of Demacia’s finest leaders were messily decapitated on the sands of Shurima, with the rest taken captive. The League had ordered that they be treated as prisoners of war until the Council has issued a ruling on Demacia’s attack on Zaun’s pyrikhos mines, but the Council is in deadlock despite the forceful arguments of both sides.
Noxus declares that these prisoners are war criminals who violated an active League peace edict to launch a sneak attack, in which many Zaunites (and Noxians) were killed. They reject as false Demacia’s claim that they had no choice. With nothing more substantial than an ocean spirit’s crazed ramblings to go on, Demacia had no right to take such drastic action. Jarvan III could have sought a cooperative solution with Zaun, or gone to the League. Instead, they unquestioningly accepted Ceruleana’s word not only that the Void energy in Zaun’s mines would open a Void rift and trigger an apocalypse, but that it would happen so quickly that there was no time for anything other than a brutal sneak attack. In response to the argument that Demacia has already been quite harshly punished, they add that Demacia’s military elite is also responsible for the destruction of the Noxian fleet in Shon-Xan, during which many Noxian civilians were killed. As with the attack on the mines, Demacia made no serious effort to call for a surrender beforehand—arrogantly certain of the righteousness of its actions, it launched straight into a murderous assault on their enemies and anyone caught in the crossfire. The Noxian representative pointedly added that these prisoners, unlike the men, women, and children on those ships, will receive proper notice from the High Command before they are put to death.
Demacia first counters that Noxus left it with no real choice when it filled its ships with both refugees and soldiers, then armed those ships with devastating weaponry that would have blasted the Ionian coastal cities to cinders. The Demacian representative objects that it is insulting to the dignity of the Council for Noxus to feign concern over civilian casualties, given the atrocities it committed in the first and second invasions of Ionia. As for the Battle of Shurima, an attempt at peaceful resolution was made, but Zaun opened fire on the messenger (Quinn) sent to deliver the ultimatum, and although she did in fact (at great personal risk) get it into Zaunite hands, Jinx “forgot” to deliver it. Once Zaun was tipped off, reinforcements were surely en route, and Demacia could not afford any further delay. As for a diplomatic solution, there simply was no time: Zaun’s greedy corporate bureaucracy would stall while it scurried about hiding its profits and crafting a cover-story to avoid blame, and Runeterra would be destroyed while they argued in a committee or a law court.
After months of circuitous legal argumentation and bureaucratic deadlock, the League has submitted the matter for adjudication upon the Fields.
If Demacia wins, the prisoners are to be released to their custody. This will bolster the strength of the Demacian military and significantly improve morale—with its king still imprisoned at the Institute, and its nation publicly shamed by League sanctions, Demacian spirits have been brought quite low. Frustration with the League is rising, as Demacians feel they are being punished for saving the world from annihilation, and suffering victor’s justice.
If Noxus wins, the prisoners will be interrogated by Zaunite PsiKorps operatives. They will then be tried by the High Command and sentenced appropriately. Most will be imprisoned for life, some will be publicly executed, and for a select few the High Command will split the difference by condemning them to the arena for howsoever long they may survive—more of a chance than the children on those transports got.
Stakes: Piltover versus Zaun
Zaun was victorious in the Shuriman dispute, and has gained control of most of the pyrikhos in Shurima. League surveyors have recently discovered new seams of dark sand, triggering rival claims by Piltover and Zaun. Whichever side wins will gain control of a valuable source of energy for the many remarkable inventions created during the Hextech Revolution.
How it will work
These factions will hit the Fields with their full rosters: perhaps 15+ Champions on each side.
The Nyroth factions will not directly participate, but will be allowed to signal their support for either side by vote. Their support will translate into bonuses for their favored factions, such as giving that faction a real ban. (To avoid an awkward ADCless situation, we’ll likely let the factions “protect” a couple Champions each.) If your favored faction wins, there will be some kind of kickback from the victorious faction.
Signups will be handled in Featured Match style, with teams made up of Summoners randomly selected from those who sign up. Summoners will be free to fight for any faction they choose to fight for—your oath only binds you with regard to Nyroth, not these other disputes. Regardless of whom your faction ends up supporting, you’re free to fight for whichever side you select.
Discuss This Update
Here’s a link to a forum thread where you can discuss this post and related issues, including asking for clarification on (or suggesting revisions to) the mega-poll.
I’ll post a “mega-poll” shortly, with these and other decisions for each faction.