Champion Roadmap: October 2017

Posted on at 11:14 AM by Aznbeat
"Sparkles, Darkin, birds, and blades." Reav3 is back with a new Champion Roadmap dev blog, now on the Nexus, including teasers for upcoming champion updates and our next upcoming champion!
Continue reading for more info!

Champion Roadmap: October 2017
"CHAMPION ROADMAP: OCTOBER 2017 Sparkles, Darkin, birds, and blades. 
By Reav3 
Welcome to another edition of Champion Roadmap! It’s been a couple of months since our last update, and with Evelynn’s recent release I thought it’d be the perfect time to talk more about upcoming champion content. 
It’s been a long time since we had a new mage (and even longer since we released a new burst mage). With this in mind, we’ve redirected some time to creating a new burst mage with the tools to approach a fight from… interesting angles. We also wanted to take this chance to do something a bit more playful and bubbly as opposed to the dark and serious champions we’ve done recently. The new mage will have unique abilities that haven’t been seen before in League, so hold onto your summoner spells and don’t fall asleep, because change is coming… cataclysmic change. Also, sparkles!
Now that we’re further into Swain’s development, we’re ready to talk more about the high-level direction we’ve chosen for him. After a lot of discussions, we felt the fantasy of a “ruthless dictator” with powerful dark magic would lead to a more satisfying game experience for Swain compared to his current title as the Master Tactician. Becoming the leader of one of the most powerful nations implies great cunning and ambition, both of which we still think are critical to Swain’s character. In the end though, it felt right for the raven general to be on the battlefield ripping the souls out of his enemies rather than sitting back in a tent commanding troops. The Noxians are coming, and their ambitious leader is already steps ahead of you. What will you sacrifice? 
After a lot of explorations we’ve settled on who our next big VGU will be after Swain: none other than the Will of the Blades herself, Irelia. Irelia has long been very high on our list of champions with huge untapped potential, and players have been requesting it more now as well. Her thematic fantasy promises a highly agile warrior that uses multiple telekinetic blades to vanquish her foes. Yet, outside of her ultimate, she doesn’t really have any abilities that are delivering on that fantasy, and even her current ult falls a bit flat compared to modern champion designs. Her kit is very reliable, which leads to uninteresting stat checks and makes her more snowball reliant than she should be.
Irelia also lacks a strong strategic identity and place in the league’s current landscape, so we want to take this opportunity to give her some unique tools to master and use. One ability that we do feel has held up well overtime is Bladesurge, so don’t expect big changes there, though the rest of her kit should be going through a pretty major overhaul. Even though we’ll be doing major changes to her kit, we want Irelia to feel like the champion players have grown to love, just in a much more thematically cohesive way. 
There’s not much new to say about Aatrox, but I thought it’d be good to at least discuss his progress a bit. Aatrox is planned to be our largest pure gameplay update to date and as such we’re still quite a ways off on his release. We’re still in heavy design iteration, but once we get something more solid, I’ll be back to talk a bit more about what direction we landed on. Know that we are working on him, though, and we want to make sure Aatrox finally delivers on the promise of his Darkin warrior thematic.
Let me know what you think in the comments below and I’ll try to answer as many questions as I can. Thanks!"
Over on Reddit, Reav3 talked a little more about Aatrox's update:
Does this mean it's going to be bigger than Urgot, Poppy, Fiora, etc.?
Edit: ah it's just the biggest on the game update side.
Largest non-VGU, just GU"
He continued:
Isn't there a degree of an obligatory visual update to the champ in terms of ability VFX/animations etc, assuming he is getting an entirely new kit?
Just thinking of the recent Xin Zhao changes and how that led to some of his skins getting a touch-up.
Yes, he will get updated anims/vfx/sfx for any changed abilities"

On Irelia's upcoming update, Reav3 commented:
I'm really excited for Irelia's update, she has a great thematic potential.
But what will happen to frostbutt irelia with a new splash art?
We will be updated that splash, though we always try to preserve what players love about the splash."

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