League of Legends Needs More Reworks of Old Favorite Champions - VRGyani News and Media

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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

League of Legends Needs More Reworks of Old Favorite Champions

With the recent release of Akshan, League of Legends now has a grand total of 156 champions. The game has grown quite a bit from its original roster of 40, and with their commitment to release 6 new champions per year, Riot Games has made it clear that they intend for it to keep growing. However, this explosive growth has resulted in a fair number of champions being left behind the curve. Whether through outdated kits, lackluster visuals, or stiff animations, not all champions have aged as gracefully as others. This prompted Riot to start paying select attention to certain champions that clashed heavily with the modern vision of League. Sion, Poppy, Mordekaiser, and Nunu are just a few examples of successful visual gameplay-update (VGU) reworks. Complete with brand new kits and visuals designed to bring them into the modern-day both competitively and aesthetically. Given the success of past reworks, and with the prospect of having 6 new champions per year to learn and adapt to, it has prompted some in the community to question: would League of Legends be better if Riot put more resources into updating older champions rather than pumping out a slew of new ones?

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Regarding VGU reworks specifically, while Riot has put out a respectable number of VGUs so far, there is a long list of champions who could use one as well. Shaco, Skarner, Quinn, and Tryndamere are just a few champions who would benefit greatly from a full update to their abilities and visuals. Skarner in particular may as well not even exist, receiving a 1 percent pick rate across all ranked queues over the past month. Quinn fares only slightly better with a 2.26 percent pick rate. Not every champion can rise to the top of the meta, and an equal pick rate across all champions isn’t exactly a feasible outcome either. However, when champions fall to the point of irrelevance, it’s clear there is something not clicking with players. Whether it’s their kit design or their visuals, even when certain champions are buffed to increase interest, players are still choosing not to play these champions. And champions that aren’t played don’t exactly have their skins flying off the shelves, which is another reason for Riot to consider putting more emphasis on reworks. When a champion has their model updated, each of their existing skins should be updated as well to match the new visual style. When this happens, it results in a greater interest in the player base to give the updated skins another go. All one has to do is point to the recent buzz surrounding Corporate Mundo’s new skin visuals and animations to see that updates do generate interest in older skin lines.

And while some may argue that the number of champions in need of a full VGU is low enough that Riot can afford to put them on the backburner for now, there are additional champions that require a finer touch as well. Ezreal’s recent ‘mini-rework’ saw only a single one of his abilities changed, coupled with a general visual update, and it resulted in a massive increase in his quality as a champion. For an example of a champion who could use a similar rework, Aurelion-Sol has the visuals to look the part of a modern champion. But his abysmal play rate of 0.7 percent shows that there is something fundamental missing in his kit to entice players to give him a chance. Even if a champion may not require a full overhaul of their kit, there is still so much potential for champions that could be drastically improved with smaller-scale updates. Animations, model updates, smaller kit adjustments- the list goes on. League has been growing and changing at such an exponential rate that much of the earlier roster has simply fallen by the wayside in terms of technical support. And some may argue that it’s in Riot’s best financial interest to keep releasing new champions, as this is one of the best ways to ensure that League remains a constantly evolving, novel experience. However, that doesn’t make it less of a shock when you see Tryndamere’s dated base model running around the same game as one as sleek and modern as Aphelios. League’s art design team has knocked it out of the park over the last few years, which makes it all the more jarring when older champions with outdated visuals clash with the sleeker designs of modern releases. Taking the time to go back and add a modicum of visual consistency can only benefit the game as a whole.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of potential improvements and fixes League could use as a whole. With all the increased attention and effort Riot has been putting into the lore of Runeterra (the in-game universe League’s champions inhabit) there are still several champions with dated voice lines that don’t line up with their new lore direction. Tool-tips for champions in the client itself also show signs of being outdated and inaccurate. Akali hasn’t had a micro-stun on her ultimate since 2019, yet the video example on her champion page still shows this as something that is part of her kit. And not to mention the general bugs and issues still present in the client itself.

The bottom line is there are still a lot of improvements that could be made to modernize the game as a whole. Some of the champions in need of reworks have been in the game since the first few seasons, and it’s a shame to see old favorites slowly become outpaced by the ambitious new kits and visuals of modern champion releases. Riot should absolutely maintain a consistent flow of new champions, but, for what is arguably the most popular game in the world, there is a lack of polish in many areas that have become increasingly difficult to justify. After all, Riot isn’t a small indie company anymore. And taking the time to slow down future champion releases to patch up issues that have been around for a dizzying amount of time would be a big step toward ensuring the longevity of League of Legends both for casual and competitive players.

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