Before we get started, I'd suggest you check out Riot's original announcement and his PBE arrival to get caught up on the newly announced Garen VU if you haven't already.
( Note: Since there have been a lot of posts by several different Rioter's on this topic, I've seperated the posts into General, Skins, and other VUs.)
GeneralFollowing the announcement of Garen's imminent visual update, the first question on a lot of summoner's minds was "Why Garen?! Other champions need visual upgrades more!!".
IronStylus fielded this question in the comment section of the news announcement, explaining:
"I'll address this. We have to space out our champions from High-Risk to Low-Risk. If you've seen what we did at PAX, we've revealed Sivir, but we were honest in saying she wasn't next. All the champions you've mentioned are high-risk, with maybe the exception of Nasus.
Garen is Low-Risk and high reward. Not our worst executed champion, but of tremendous player value in how common/approachable/archetypal he is.
He was relatively "low cost" for how much value he'll bring to players.
Sion, Eve, etc, are all on the List. Sivir is coming up soon, but she also, was high-risk, requiring a lot of ideation.
I can non-hyperboilicly say that he's really epic in his execution and it's a well deserved VU."
In response to claims that "no one asked" for a Garen VU, he continued:
"A large thread did pop up asking if Garen could get a VU.
We've held a high-risk vs. low-risk ever since we did a number of high-risk champions in general proximity. Karma, Trundle, Sejuani, etc.
The fact that "no one" complained about him doesn't mean he didn't need to be updated to fit quality and stylistic standards now in place.
We always run the risk when we change something players are used to, but we do our best to make sure we're fulfilling and enhancing the fantasy of that character. Making them all around more fun and appealing to play by those who love them, and those who are new to the character."
Riot DudeBro also chimed in on the timing of this VU:
"Just to chime in real quickThe quote about it being a scrapped champion previously and now it's a Garen redo is completely false. It's misinformation; not true in the slightest.
Also redo's are released when they are ready... and Garen is ready! Sivir is crossing the finish line so she'll be next and we have another getting close; not to mention a bunch more in various stages of development.
We have a hit list of champs that need redo's/relaunches/visual updates,etc. All the main offenders on there(like Sion) but some take more time than others.
If you have any Garen vfx questions hit me up"
Riot Dudebro also fielded several other general questions about the VU, including: "where did his front flip go?", "Why doesn't he punch people any more?", and "why is his ult less sword and more flashy now??"
"1. I much more prefer the giant jump/sword slash in his rework over the frontflip. I think that Garen with his military background wouldn't be doing derpy front flips. I really like the new animation; it feels epic.
2. He has a giant sword, would would he punch someone? :)
3. This was my doing. I really wanted Garen to feel hyper-realistic and not video game-y. A medium sized sword that appears out of nowhere and lands above someone's head with sparkles is video game-y( to me). A ray of light in a sword sword that cuts through the stratosphere and creates a shockwave feels like a hyper realistic/modern comic book hero. When I was working on Steel Legion we put the Steel Legion sword in on the ult but we ended moving towards a lightning strike with a sword shape inside. I felt like( as well as many others) it was a great direction for his ult and we applied that vibe to his rework.
I'm going to get so downvoted by this response but these are my opinions;I'm hoping I at least addressed your questions and concerns."
Since it's not up on the PBE yet and confusion is stirring, Ququroon also reminded everyone that his new VO is on the way!
"He's getting a new voice. He has special interactions (one of which is now one of my favorite lines in the game). I... believe it's the same voice actor. It at least sounds like him. :D"
As for the updated Garen skins, IronStylus commented:
"Grumpy Monkey did the base and I did all the skins :)
We wanted to push the skins just a bit more. They all equated basically to recolors/geometry swaps. Not a ton of thematic shift. So, for example, we pushed Sanguin more towards almost a vampire warrior. Pushed Desert Trooper towards a Demacian Laurence of Arabia thing, made Rugged a bit more... Rugged, and so on.
We did the same with Master Yi wherever he had simple recolors. Tried to add a bit more thematic flavor."
In terms of new particles, Riot DudeBro added:
"Only Steel Legion has custom particles."
After the intital reveal, several summoners were concerned about the changes coming to their favorite Garen skins - particularly Rugged Garen and Dreadknight Garen.
To soothe their worries, Ququroon noted the team is taking another pass at these two skins to add more "darkness and ruggedification".
"We've heard a good amount of feedback in this direction for Rugged Garen and Dreadknight Garen! We'll look to make some Darkness and Ruggedification passes to see if we can't address the feedback."On the forums, he shared a simliar message:
"I'll confirm that we're currently looking into addressing this feedback. Rugged Garen will be more Rugged, and Dreadknight Garen will be dreadful/darker."
IronStylus also chimed in:
"We're looking into doing a texture update for Rugged Garen based on feedback."
Other VUsAs with the various visual upgrade announcements in the past, many summoner's flocked to the forums to beg for teasers on other future VUs.
Grumpy Monkey jumped in to comment on the status of Sivir's VU, saying:
"Hey Guys! I am looking at these screenshots and I think some tweaks to the faces on the Skins are in order! So expect that to hit on the PBE, also to everyone asking "Sivir Where?" The Relaunch team did a panel at Pax Prime where we revealed some stuff you might be interested in.
Thanks for the kind comments and for the objective criticism! We are still working on tiny things while he is on PBE. Thanks for the feedback. "
When asked about when we might see Sion's VU, IronStylus replied:
"Very high-risk. Going to take a few months."
Responding gameplay stuff, he also also noted:
"Sorry, Morello has already spoken to the most-likely demise of AP Sion."
As "very high-risk" translates to big thematic, lore, and kit changes, Riot Dudebro hammered this point home a bit by saying
"Correct. Present day Sion will be nuked from orbit and his ashes will be thrown into the phantom zone."
As for Morgana getting an update, IronStylus briefly noted:
"Morgana has some issues with rigging and other things. She's a higher risk thematically right now also because she's literally a fallen angel. We have to figure out how that broadly fits into the IP if at all."
As for the timing of any other VU, Riot DudeBro commented:
"we agree on what you guys want to see get reworked and they are on our list. I don't want to give away any clues so I'll just cut this post short by saying, we agree and we hear you on what you wanna see redone. Remember we play the game too and we cringe at some of the old stuff in game :)"