Introducing the League Client Strike Team29.08.2017

By Riot zerocontext
 
TL;DR:  We have a new team focused on resolving the largest points of feedback in the new client. Let us know what you think!
 
Hello all!  Wanted to give you all a brief update on where we’re at with the new League Client, what we’re now doing… and why!
 
Sooooo you probably remember that little thing we did a while ago when we retired the old, legacy client in favor of a newer client -- right?  Aside from updating the look and feel of the League client, the change did a few other things, such as moving to a completely new codebase, built on way newer technologies, which means it’s easier for us to improve and build on.
 
Although we think the change has been valuable, we’re also acutely aware that it’s introduced some pain for players.  You’ve been clear that while the new client’s visuals and sound effects are generally meeting your expectations, there are other elements that aren’t -- particularly in the categories of performance and reliability.  We’ve also gotten feedback (relatively less, but still significant) around UX design.
 
We’ve created a new team to attack some of these major pain points.
The basic idea is that this new team -- the Client Strike Team -- is going to knock out the biggest issues that impact players.
 
What qualifies as a “big issue”? With a bunch of areas in which we want to make improvements, and only so many hours in the day, we’re going to need to be be hardcore about prioritizing fixes and enhancements in ways that maximize impact.  For example, bugs in Champ Select that can potentially affect EVERYONE (a classic “big issue”) would get priority over a UX issue that impacts only a small number of players.  
 
The hope is that we make a significant and positive impact on the way that many of you feel about the new client.  Issues we don’t take on ourselves can still get some love, they’ll just be handled by teams other than the Strike Team.
 
Another thing I want to be clear about:  Once we’ve taken care of the largest issues, we’ll want to stop and take a look at whether it makes sense to continue having a dedicated Strike Team at all. Other League teams are working hard to deliver upcoming features, but once those have shipped, we should be in a place where those other teams have capacity to make improvements in the new League client.  At that point, it might not make a ton of sense to continue having a separate, dedicated Strike Team that duplicates efforts that can happen elsewhere.  
 
So when we’ve tackled the largest, thorniest issues impacting players, and once we’re confident other teams can take the reins, we’ll probably make the call to spin down the team and put our engineers on whatever is the next highest-priority project.
 
I get that talk about resource allocation and such probably sounds a little too “behind-the-scenes” (even for a Dev Corner post) but I thought it made sense to share our plans so you’re aware that a) we’re hearing your feedback and b) are committing to addressing it.
 
Going forward, you can expect either me or a member of the team to provide recurring updates on what we’re focusing on, or what we’ve changed recently.
 
Speaking of which, our current focus is on three major items:
  1. Improving the time it takes to start up the client and to return from the game (particularly for lower-performance systems -- you might have noticed that we already shipped some improvements in this area with a recent patch)

  2. Fixing crashes and bugs, particularly those impacting flow into the game, thereby resulting in unintentional dodges

  3. Reducing lag for the client, which will have a higher impact on lower-performing systems.  Reducing the amount of system resources that the client requires is likely to be a byproduct of this work.

 
How are we setting our priorities?  How can I influence those priorities?  I’m glad you asked!  We’re constantly monitoring data from surveys about the client, Customer Support tickets and BugSplat crash reports.  We aggregate and review all these inputs, across all region, on a frequent basis to identify what needs the most attention.
 
(We also rely on our regional offices and local partners to capture feedback that gets surfaced in social media and in threads like this one -- although the best way for us to capture feedback at League scale is to use the channels I outlined above… which makes them also your best bet for making sure your feedback gets captured.)
 
OK -- that’s a lot of context from a guy named zerocontext, and a lot to digest.  LMK what you think!