Continuing his discussion from last night, IronStylus is over on the forums squawking more of his opinions on future visual reworks and now chatting about various skins currently in the pipeline.
Continue reading for more information.
IronStylus kicked it off with another dose of his thoughts on visual updates, indicating his perceived level of work for various different champions.
"There indeed is a lot to be learned from our experiences on each of these characters. Going forward we’ve incorporated a lot of input we’ve received, internally and externally in regards to each character you mention.
However, as I’ve said before, Relaunch is essentially live balance for art and thematics. It’s changes made to a character for the holistic health of the game artistically, mechanically, and with greater concern for the IP. Currently there are significant outliers in consistency, visually, thematically, story wise, and gameplay. The goal of Relaunch is to correct those outliers and bring them back in line, where applicable, to address the core of how we want to portray these characters. Skins don’t address these core issues with the champion. Skins are aesthetic choices, not fundamental character balancing.
A while back, champions were never really created with goals in mind. Only recently did we start establishing goals such as established/desired player psychology, what fantasy we are trying to fulfill, how effectively are we allowing a player to roleplay that fantasy, and how generally fulfilling is that character inside the space we want it to occupy. With these directives going forward, we’re applying them retroactively also. Case in point, Relaunch. Older champions are now subjected to the same goal creation/adherence process that new champions go through. The aim is to make them look better, be more compelling/contextually concise, and play better.
I would put Viegar, Malzahar, etc, in a Master Yi tier of relaunch.
Here's the general tier list of VU/Relaunch which is in my brain at the moment.
This is in no way written in stone, but using what precedents have been set can inform the levels of VU or outright rework might be in store for certain characters. This is a comparison list of what has been done, not necessarily how things will be done going forward, but some parallels apply:
Trundle - Full character relaunch. Hard reboot, consists of complete visual, thematic, and complete gameplay overhaul.
Sion (?) - SPECULATORY/SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Heavy visual upgrages, possible change in thematics, major gameplay changes.*
Karma - Character "Chapter 2" relaunch. Soft reboot, consists of evolving visuals, thematic continuation of current story, major gameplay changes.
Sivir (?) - SPECULATORY/SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Heavy visual upgrades, possible change in thematics, minor game play changes.*
Master Yi - VU + Kit rework relaunch. Upgrading of existing visuals along the same lines as the original look. Thematic tightening. Major-ish game play changes.
Sejuani - "Corrective" relaunch. Adjustment of visuals to match thematic goals. Solidifying of themes and storyline, some gameplay changes.
Nidalee/Annie/Twisted Fate/Ashe/Soraka/etc - Straight VU. Might consist of some tightening here and there. Mostly aesthetic changes. Minor game play tweaks.He also noted this on the release of Sivir's VU:
This list isn't really applicable across the board when deciding which character gets which sort of relaunch. It only generally describes the intensity of a particular relaunch, and may vary depending on the character. No character is the same, therefore no solution is the same to solving each’s particular challenges.
*Sion and Sivir are conjecture to a large extent due to how in flux those projects currently are."
"Sivir has no set release date, and we have multiple relaunches burning at one time. You might see something before her."
When asked what some other champs are that need minor touchups or a "fresh coat of paint", IronStylus commented:
"Caitlyn could use some sort of change to bring her in line with the rest of the Piltover champions, even if she remains dapper in her own way.
Irelia is pretty arbitrary in her design, I'd like to see how we can make her definitively Ionian looking. If not, then she just needs some good fidelity upgrades. She's noodly and has low texture quality currently,Elaborating a bit on his Cait comment, he said:
Jarvan is really noisy in game and though I equate him with royalty, i think he could stand to have a little more Demacian flavor injected into him.
Morgana's model isn't the greatest quality at the moment.
Leona could use a pass at her geometry, make her a little less prom-dressy/armored bra wearing.
Quinn could use a simplification pass."
"I agree about the Cait stuff. I think we can keep the top hat though, maybe scaled down just a bit, and give it some function. She can be eccentric, that's cool. I don't mind her being a little Capitol inspired from the Hunger Games. I think that can fit her. I think all Piltover champions sort of notch into that odd fashion sense thing. "
IronStylus also answered several questions on upcoming skins for champions.
For Skarner, he actually revealed TWO skins were in the pipeline for him.
"2 skins are currently in progress for him, but there are no dates set. Skarner can be difficult because any geo swap sort of just makes him feel like a different sort of scorpion.
...but we have a few tricks up our sleeve to make him a little different in coming iterations."
When asked if a Leona is getting a new skin soon, he reminded us Sunbathing Leona is on the way:
"Sunbathing Leona, the skin I started to concept at PAX, is currently in the works."As for a Diana skin, he noted:
"Did a concept for her new skin, I don't believe it is yet into the 3D pipeline however."On the topic of Zyra skins, he commented:
"Pretty sure there's a Zyra skin in the 3D pipeline. I have no clue when it's supposed to come out however. Zyra is a lot of models, a lot of animations, and a lot of particles. She's a rough one for being such a simple plant-lady."
When the topic of a new Rumble skin popped up, IronStylus reiterated the trouble with making skins for him.
"i've said this a lot.
Rumble is completely unusable in his current form for anything other than a jalopy mech. Every cool fan submission, every awesome concept seen, is impossible to do on his current rig and animation set. Basically, the next skin will be a completely new champion in terms of concept, modeling, rigging, animation, and VFX. He's extremely resource intensive and a real pain to work with.
Any subsequent skin for him will basically be the same amount of work as a legendary.
Keep that in mind."
He also noted:
"The new skin in progress will be a much better foundation to build further skins off of. We can do this with a few things. A relaunch can be built on a new rig that was created from a skin if it meets quality standards."