Champion Update Preview: Kassadin, Ryze & more!

By Fruity Sebbles

Hey guys,

Fruity Sebbles here on behalf of the Champion Update team. It’s been a while since we last shared what the team’s been working on, and now that we’re wrapping up Tristana’s update I’d like to preview some of our current projects and the thinking behind them.

If you prefer the TL;DR, we’re currently working on a visual update for Kassadin as well as a more general Ryze update. We’re also still cranking away on Poppy’s comprehensive update. Read on if you’d like details straight from the designers!

DISCLAIMER TIME! Please keep in mind the following does not represent a comprehensive list of what’s on our radar or even being worked on. Everything mentioned below is tentative, not tied to specific delivery dates, subject to change, delay, cancellation, obliteration, etc.


In case you missed it, Tristana’s update is now live! As with all our projects, we’ll be monitoring Tristana closely post-release in case she needs any final tweaks. She’ll also be getting a new splash in one of the upcoming patches.


Art thoughts by Riot Tokkelossie

Confession time: I've been a massive Kassadin fanboy since the first time I played him. The misunderstood hero who turns the dark power of the Void back on itself, fighting fire with fire, standing alone against a force that could threaten all of Runeterra - how awesome is that?

We can all agree though that Kassadin's visuals could do a lot more to live up to his awesome premise. As one of the original 40 champions, he's been left behind as League’s visual quality bar has continued to rise over time.

Unlike some older champions, Kassadin has always had a distinct personality and theme to his visuals, and we definitely want to maintain those traits in the course of this update. Our approach has very much been to take Kassadin’s unique identity, locate the most important elements in his visual design, and then refine things to match LoL's current standards. Kassadin's latest splash did a great job of following that approach and served as a useful reference point for our work.

We’re also focused on improving Kassadin’s in-game read. His original model has such a strong contrast between the black costume and its white trim that details become difficult to discern at in-game scale. Nudging his color scheme in ways that improve his in-game read without changing his identity will allow us to really highlight Kassadin’s key visual elements and make him pop on the Rift.


Art thoughts by IronStylus

Ryze inhabits a unique space within League of Legends. He’s not a standard fantasy wizard with white hair and robe. He doesn’t cast magic using a wand or incantations. We want to make sure his update communicates these traits and reinforces his uniqueness. With that in mind we plan to keep his major reads (blue skin, big scroll, spell book) while streamlining and updating some of his details.

With Ryze’s update we want to better convey that he’s a master of magic (and running) in a way that’s kinetic and physical, almost punching his magic out in the same way an expert martial artist expresses his skill. Communicating the runic element is also important, so glyphs, runes, and other forms of character-based effects are key factors.

Since we’re solidifying Ryze’s identity as a solitary and nomadic mage who’s on the run, we want to make sure that’s reflected in his appearance by playing up a more rugged feel to his gear and clothing. Again, we want to remain faithful to his major reads while injecting a little more grit that shows off his resilience as a hardened spell-slinging battlemage.

Gameplay thoughts by RiotRepertoir

Ryze’s kit has a strong identity, but it’s pretty binary based on his distance from you. Get too close and you’re getting hit by the full force of his “always on” kit, every time. This limits our ability to tune him as he’s an absolute terror when his numbers are too strong. Thus, our overall goal is to preserve his particular identity as a "tanky, in-your-face mage" while focusing his power into windows that create more relevant decisions for both Ryze and his opponents.

Essentially, we want to increase the highs and lows when Ryze is in a scrap - bigger wins when he’s skillful, as well as better opportunities for his opponents to interact with his gameplay. To do that, we have to build more unreliability into his kit. Skillshots are one way to do that, with his Q the obvious candidate to become a skillshot in return for longer range. We do like Ryze’s brand of close-range mastery, so rather than turn everything into skillshots we’re building clearer power/timing windows into the rest of his kit.

Finally, we want to better visualize and clarify Ryze’s power as well as what exactly he’s doing to his opponents. Some examples include better presenting his rapid-fire casting and making his E’s behavior more controllable and understandable (again, for both Ryze and his opponents).


Fear not, we’re still working on her! Check her section in last year’s Champion Update dev blog for the early details.


That’s it for now. We’ll be back with more updates as these projects (and others!) move closer to completion!

4 years ago