Creating a champion for League of Legends is incredibly difficult, but how does Riot Games release a new playable character?
Recently, Riot Games put out a developer blog detailing exactly what it takes to put together a new champion and introduce them to fans. From reworks to brand new characters, how does Riot Games release a champion?
Riot Games details process for creating a new champion in LoL
The birth of a champion is an incredibly complex process, involving gameplay, design, and narrative teams all working to make an iconic and thematically resonant character in terms of gameplay, look, and lore.
The big step that Riot talks about is validating gameplay, making sure that the abilities central to the champion’s identity are reasonable within the constraints of the game that already exists. The example given in the post is new support Renata Glasc’s new ability Bailout, a stat boost that can revive an ally.
Big, flashy abilities like this take the most work to ensure a healthy game state. Riot Games has already removed the Chemtech Drake, which had a similar ability gated behind its abilities. The developers go through these sorts of discussions that refine hypothetical abilities into something focused and functional, which was seen with Renata’s Bailout or her new condition, berserk.
Most of these sessions revolve around the ways that mechanics like Bailout negate existing strategies, or make players feel like there’s no reason to engage with the mechanic if possible. Creating a non-interactive strategy is the last thing that Riot Games wants.
Riot also talked about its stance on post-release changes to large mechanics like this. The removal of Chemtech Drake has proven that Riot is willing to listen to League of Legends fans when they don’t like something. In the article, Riot offers possible solutions to Bailout potentially being oppressive, with options including reducing the buff duration or increasing the burn time.