Tl;dr: Your next few patches (8.5 through to 8.8, and maybe 8.10) are going to be larger than usual. Why? New software built by our tools team requires champions to be updated in your game install, and an audio engine update requires a re-patch of audio data. These updates will allow us to create even better in-game content and audio moving forward.
Hi everyone, Riot Eno and Riot Searsha from the Audio and Content Efficiency teams here to talk about a few upcoming patches. Our teams work on the tools and tech that enable Rioters to deliver awesome content to players. In order to level up those tools, we need to lay some groundwork that requires data changes behind the scenes. These updates will make patches 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, and potentially 8.10 larger than usual, so we wanted to give you a heads up and provide some background information as to why.
Two projects are happening simultaneously—Audio will be upgrading to a new audio engine in patch 8.5, and Content Efficiency will be moving champions into a new tools ecosystem in patches 8.6 to 8.8 and potentially 8.10.
Audio team upgrading the audio engine:
Riot Eno here from the Audio team! For several years now, LoL has been using a third-party audio engine. One of our challenges right now is keeping the audio engine robust, sustainable, and supported—even Audio can have trouble finding a good support now and then. To ensure this, we need to update our audio engine, which requires a full re-patch of audio data. The upgraded engine will give us opportunities to improve the audio mix for League in the future, and allow us to continue delivering great sound. When we re-patch all the audio banks in 8.5 you’ll see a patch ranging from around 1.8-2.2 GB total. This number will vary depending on your location since some regions have larger VO size than others.
Content Efficiency tools for developing game content:
Riot Searsha here on behalf of the Content Efficiency team! We’re responsible for the systems that manage all game data for LoL, as well as the tools content creators like designers and artists use to create and modify properties for champions, skins, spells, and more.
As part of improving how easily and quickly our content creators can iterate using our in-house tools, we’re improving how the game’s data is managed. This involves migrating game data to a new format called WAD files, which are managed by our all-knowing, all-powerful Game Data Server. These updates unlock our ability to create even more visually unique champions like Zoe and Kayn, new materials and shaders like you see on Xayah and Rakan, and stunning new maps like PROJECT// Overcharge. And that’s just the tip of the Freljordian iceberg!
Terrible jokes aside, we’re currently busy migrating champion data into the new format, and so far we’ve been able to channel our inner Zoe to portal ult a few champion migrations each patch. However, continuing this way will take well over a year (about as long as it’s going to take me to master Zoe). Since we don’t want to delay all these awesome new features, we’ve opted to speed up the process by aggregating the remaining champion migrations into patches 8.6, 8.7, 8.8 and potentially 8.10. These patches will be larger than normal, however not as large as the audio update in patch 8.5.
We’ve also seen that certain internet sleuths have noticed our work and connected the WAD migration to upcoming champion skins. Clever, very clever. But as we ramp up our work, that won’t be possible anymore—aha, foiled like a surprise Zoe sleepy trouble bubble. Can you tell yet I'm a big fan of hers?
Thanks for reading! See you all out there on the Rift, you can find me in the mid lane wildly chasing stars and missing my skillshots.
We’re excited to roll out these changes so we can make better in-game experiences for you all. Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns!