Xin Zhao Gameplay Update - To the Arena!

Posted on at 4:09 PM by Aznbeat
Riot Xenogenic posted a new thread on the boards detailing the plans for our next champion update candidate, Xin Zhao! If all goes well, his update should be in the 7.19 PBE cycle, starting 9/12.
Continue reading for the full thread and further discussion!

Here's Riot Xenogenic with more:
"“Here’s a [Xin Zhao update], and [the reasons] behind it!” - Not Xin Zhao 
Hey, folks! I’m Xenogenic, the designer that’s been working on the update for our favorite spear wielding duelist: Xin Zhao. Before he hits PBE tomorrow, we wanted to explain our goals for this update and give you an idea of what changes you will see. 
Goals for the Update 
First and foremost, we recognized that a lot of players enjoy playing Xin Zhao, so it was important for us to identify and preserve the mechanics that his current players love. To that end, we’ve largely left his Q and E abilities alone. We felt it was important to satisfy our other design goals without hurting what makes Xin Zhao feel like Xin Zhao. 
The primary improvements we wanted to make to Xin’s kit from there included: 
Give Xin Zhao players more meaningful and interesting decisionsOther than understanding when to engage as a melee, there weren’t a lot of decisions to be made. Having more opportunities to make the right decisions (and therefore, more opportunities to win because of making the right decisions) ultimately makes champions more fun to play. This is because those moments give more chances for what we’d refer to as “skill expression” - demonstrating one’s skill or mastery of a champion or the game as a whole. We felt Xin Zhao was lacking in opportunities for skill expression, so adding these decision making opportunities was one way to improve that. 
Give Xin Zhao a unique identity within League of Legends
Xin Zhao’s fantasy of being a master spear fighter and duelist wasn’t conveyed very well in his mechanics, so he didn’t feel like a champion that stood out enough in our roster. We decided to address this by giving him a new ability that provides a spear attack with considerable range, as well as modifying his ultimate to help him create the fantasy of engaging in a 1v1 duel, even during teamfights. 
Make Xin Zhao flexible
This means giving XZ the ability to contribute both early and late game. Also we want him to have tools that he can use when playing from behind. 
Give Xin Zhao a more meaningful place in teamfights
His success when diving the backline is mostly dependent on his relative stats, and if the opponent has the proper CC tools to peel him. Thus, we aimed to give Xin Zhao players more choices than just diving on the backline and better tools to create his own successes. As games evolve, so can their preferred targets and approaches to team fights so they can continue being a strong contributor to their team. 
Summary of changes 
New Passive - Determination
  • The passive portion of Battlecry (every third hit deals bonus damage and heals Xin) was transferred to the overall passive for his kit. 
New W - “Wind Becomes Lightning”
  • This is a 2 part flowing attack with his spear that includes a sweeping slash in front of Xin, followed by a long-range thrust.
  • Slash - deals damage in a cone in front of Xin.
  • Thrust - deals higher damage at long range and slows targets hit for 1.5 seconds. 
E modified
  • The attack speed steroid that Battlecry provided is now rewarded after dashing to targets with E (Audacious Charge) 
R modified- now called “Crescent Guard”
  • Xin Zhao’s ultimate is still an instant cast sweeping circle that knocks enemies back and deals damage. The knockback still excludes the last target he dashed to or attacked.
  • NEW: For 3 seconds after casting Crescent Guard, Xin Zhao creates a zone around himself and will block damage dealt to him from champions outside of his guard area. The duration of this stance is extended slightly every time Xin Zhao attacks an enemy champion. 
The overall goal of this change was to allow Xin Zhao to knock enemies back (besides his primary target) and become immune to damage from anyone outside of the circle attacking him so he can have his 1v1 with his primary target - at least until enemies walk back into the circle to attack him. 
And lastly, it’s worth noting that he’s received a number of new animations, sound effects, visual effects, and even icons. The overall scope of this update wasn’t the same as a full-blown VGU like Warwick, for example, but we did take this opportunity to improve the quality of a lot of his visuals and sounds. 
Thanks for taking the time to catch up on the upcoming Xin Zhao changes. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about the update and look forward to your feedback! 
To triumph!” - Xin Zhao"

When asked if Xin's ult stayed with him when he moved, RiotScruffy commented:
"It moves with him."

When asked about his splash, RiotScruffy replied:
Will he get a new Splash art?
Yep "

Reav3 expanded further:
"Yes but it will come a little while after his release, and only for his base splash"

RiotScruffy commented on making Xin Zhao a more defined diver:
Hey Scruffy can i ask how you feel this update give Xin a more defined Diver niche and what fantasy you guys had in mind for him
The ult especially gives him a super effective self protection from multi dps team comps. 
Eg - I can focus kogmaw and prevent the enemy viktor from ripping my face off."

On animations, Riot Xenogenic commented:
Will much of Xin Zhao's animations be updated when considering making these changes?
Yeah. He has a new animation for W, of course, but we also updated his run animations, idle, his Q animation, etc. A lot of that was just polish but some are new (like the Q sequence - it's now a 3 part attack sequence that clearly shows Q1, Q2, and then Q3 hits)"

Riot Xenogenic expanded on Xin Zhao's R:
"Yes, Xin isn't creating an arena like Camille. Enemies and allies can freely walk in and out of its radius - it's just showing you where the guard area is for him personally. 
He's also fully vulnerable to CC during this - only immune to damage."

When asked why they wanted to preserve the stats Xin Zhao uses to stat check, Xenogenic replied:
"We removed hidden power from a few spots, such as his old passive giving 15% armor shred or his ult giving MR/armor."

As for VFX changes on his skins, Riot Xenogenic replied:
will all of his skins get unique visual effects?
His base effects were updated as well as those for Warring Kingdoms and Dragonslayer"

[More discussion will be added as it happens!]

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