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Chat restrictions increase win rates for a "large number" of League of Legends players

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Chat restrictions increase win rates for a "large number" of League of Legends players

Riot Games have loud ways of dealing with the very worst players in one of the best free PC games around, League of Legends - like the tribunal, and the head-on-a-spike reports that follow their rulings.

But one of the quieter tools in their arsenal is the temporary chat ban. Not only does it dissuade players from bad behaviour, say Riot, but it actually tends to improve their performance in the lanes.

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League of Legends patch 4.12 sees Riot prep for Championships with tweaks to Ahri and Alistar

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League of Legends patch 4.12 sees Riot prep for Championships with tweaks to Ahri and Alistar

The last few patches before the League of Legends World Championships are like the final steps before the high jump. Riot Games need to plant their feet just right, or risk bringing the game’s careful balance crashing down.

Patch 4.12 sees the developers shift their weight just slightly to finish off “almost there" champions like Alistar and Ahri, while making more dramatic moves to fix characters who are “skewing champion select in one way or another".

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Riot Games plan to increase number of teams in 2015 League of Legends Championship Series

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Riot Games plan to increase number of teams in 2015 League of Legends Championship Series

Expect ten, not eight, teams in the North American and European LCS playoffs next year. While Riot “can’t promise it’ll happen", they’ve outlined a number of reasons why they’d prefer that setup. They want abolished Super Weeks, a consistent schedule, shortened splits, longer, more exciting playoffs - and more diversity in the players and teams we see filter through to LoL’s top competitive layer.

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Away with the clouds: League of Legends to ditch Adobe Air for its new pre-game client

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Away with the clouds: League of Legends to ditch Adobe Air for its new pre-game client

At any one time, nearly every part of League of Legends is being sized up for a revamp. Urgot is just the latest of many champions to get a new lick of paint, and the Summoner’s Rift is headed for the biggest update in its existence. But as everything changes around it, the game’s client has aged noticeably - creaking under the weight of every new character.

No longer. Riot are busy laying the foundations for a new client, built on brand new tech.

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Riot talk their next major League of Legends champion rework: Urgot, the Headsman's Pride

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Riot talk their next major League of Legends champion rework: Urgot, the Headsman's Pride

Undead executioner Urgot seems like he’s already feeling the effects of one rework too many. A rolling mass of patchworked grey skin and steel grafts, he looks every bit the zombie nazi commander on his third trip back from the other side.

But Riot have plans to tweak the Headsman’s Pride one more time, to address some “substantial game health issues" and make Urgot one of the more accessible League of Legends champions for beginners.

To quote LoL lore: “We can rebuild him. We have the techmaturgy."

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Riot are testing a new tutorial mode for League of Legends: "We think we can do a better job"

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Riot are testing a new tutorial mode for League of Legends: "We think we can do a better job"

League of Legends is one of the 100 best free PC games - but that hardly matters to the significant minority who don’t have the time or crampons to climb its steep learning curve. Riot Games say a “non-trivial" proportion of new players actually lose the game’s de facto tutorial mode, Battle Training.

“We’ve observed some of those same players go on to become Gold-tier ranked players," say the developers. “So this isn’t a problem with the players - it’s a problem with how we teach them."

Hence, Intro Bots - a brand new tutorial mode designed to scale to your level of MOBA experience.

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League of Legends patch 4.11 aims to bring equality to the jungle

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League of Legends patch 4.11 aims to bring equality to the jungle

Everybody knows that you can never truly balance the jungle, because it’s full of cheetahs. But puns aren’t going to stop Riot Games from trying.

In League of Legends’ 2014 season, they’ve noticed that popular damage-dealers like Lee Sin, Pantheon and Kha’Zix have knocked more supportive, tanky junglers “right out of the park". And they mean to bring an end to that.

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Riot temporarily shut down public chat rooms for League of Legends; "They just don't work"

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Riot temporarily shut down public chat rooms for League of Legends; "They just don't work"

Riot Games have decided to close their official public chat rooms. They say the space now belongs to the worst element of the League of Legends community: RP sellers, scammers, and Elo-boost spammers.

In its place, they’re planning a redesigned ‘hangout’ system for specialised in-game communities: mentoring groups, champion theory-crafting channels, casual ARAM collectives and the like.

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10 Ways We'd Fix the League of Legends Client

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10 Ways We'd Fix the League of Legends Client

We've been playing League of Legends for almost 5 years now. Champions have been completely reworked and expanded upon. Items have been overhauled and ressurected. New game modes swarm us every few months now.

But one thing that hasn't really changed much is the client. That clunky ol' chunk of UI that keeps us entertained before we launch into a match. Many third-party developers have tried building addons and supplements to get more out of the screen real estate, and it's got us thinking about what we want to see added or changed in the League of Legends client.

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Here are the many changes Riot have planned for League of Legends' Summoner's Rift

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Here are the many changes Riot have planned for League of Legends' Summoner's Rift

The Summoner’s Rift sees most of what goes on in the lanes in League of Legends. So how does one go about updating such a crucial map? Subtly, but decisively, it turns out.

“We want Summoner’s Rift to be the place we play together for years to come," say Riot. “For this update, we’ve chosen a handcrafted art style that we think will grow and evolve over time, just like the rest of the game."

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League of Legends' Primetime Draven wants to axe you a question

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League of Legends' Primetime Draven wants to axe you a question

Draven is fast becoming League of Legends’ Deadpool: a charmingly self-centered champion less likely to uphold the fourth wall than tip it on its side and use it as a coffee table. About a month ago, the LoL community went wild for voiceover lines leaked from a new commentator-ribbing Draven skin. This weekend, Primetime Draven went live.

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There will never be a League of Legends 2; "I want my great grandchildren playing LoL"

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There will never be a League of Legends 2; "I want my great grandchildren playing LoL"

League of Legends was released in 2009 - the year of Mirror’s Edge and Braid on the PC.

But its genre-defining style doesn’t date, and Riot Games have refused to let it age, applying rolling updates to its graphics and 100+ roster of champions.

The developers consider that a process with no end - they’ll continue to update LoL forever rather than build a sequel.

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Welcome to the jungle: Riot Games' house metal band are releasing an album

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Welcome to the jungle: Riot Games' house metal band are releasing an album

It’s maybe easiest to think of Pentakill as Gorillaz - the self-destructive cartoons given a voice by Blur man Damon Albarn. 

On stage in Valoran, Pentakill are League of Legends champs Karthus, Mordekaiser, Olaf, Sona and Yorick. 

We don’t know who Pentakill are in the studio (we've been told to "stay tuned"). But they’ve done an album.

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Ten players, one champion: Riot introduce League of Legends' One for All: Mirror Mode

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Ten players, one champion: Riot introduce League of Legends' One for All: Mirror Mode

League of Legends is a game carefully tuned to a very particular set of specifications - which means there’s a lot of joy to be found in applying paperweights to its sacred scales once in a while.

Riot did that with One for All - a temporary, alternate game mode that let everybody on a team play as the same champion, if they liked. Mirror Mode is its logical, enforced conclusion: a Howling Abyss rule switch which casts all 10 players in the lanes as the same champion.

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Is this Wembley? Riot are bringing the European LCS to London's Olympic venue

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Is this Wembley? Riot are bringing the European LCS to London's Olympic venue

Usually when a major eSports event is announced, I’ll need to head to Wikipedia to find out what the venue’s normally used for. Not this time: London’s Wembley Arena hosted bits of the 2012 Olympics, which you probably watched, and the 1948 Olympics, which you probably didn’t.

In the years between it’s hosted inaudible gigs from The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones - and will now play temporary home to the League of Legends Championship Series for week five of its EU summer split.

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Riot rework League of Legends' "uncatchable" Nidalee; "Her current pattern is problematic"

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Riot rework League of Legends' "uncatchable" Nidalee; "Her current pattern is problematic"

Riot have been tinkering with Nidalee for some time. She’s been a challenge: a “pretty cool character" with an established fanbase, but also a long-range nuker whose capabilities as an escapist have been causing problems.

The developers have settled on some “significant balance changes" that’ll remould Nidalee’s existing abilities without reducing the cougar to kitten.

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