Recently, League of Legends developer Riot Games has released a Jax update, giving the champion new abilities and animations, but this Midscope Update hasn’t been without its problems.
Riot Games has begun to focus less and less on full-scale Visual Gameplay Updates for old champions, in which both the gameplay, aesthetic, and story of a champion are completely revamped from the ground up. In their place, Midscope Updates have been taken up as a more sustainable solution. Midscope Updates involve mid-scale improvements and reinventions of a champion’s abilities without any major visual updates to the character themselves. The most recent Midscope Update was for Jax, the Grandmaster at Arms, and brought with it several issues that Riot Games has finally gotten around to addressing.
Riot promises to fix Jax update animation issues
A post on the League of Legends subreddit shortly after the Jax update hit servers showed some serious problems with the new visual effects and animations. These oddities can cause serious gameplay issues for both players playing as and against Jax. The post revolved around Jax’s visual cues, animations, and visual effects being completely different from the pre-update state, including missing animations and unclear visual indicators that caused clarity issues when playing as or against the Grandmaster at arms.
This expanded to skin-specific issues with newer cosmetics, such as Empyrean Jax having absolutely no animations or visual cues for his ultimate, and simple recoloring of base skin VFX where previously certain skins had their own issues. These issues were brought up during Jax’s time on PBE, but Riot Games seemed reticent to make any changes, letting the initial version be the one that made it to the live servers. Riot Games has promised to address these issues, and has outlined several steps being made to improve the new version of Jax’s visual clarity.
These fixes were centered around the visual issues complained about in the Reddit post and elsewhere on social media. According to designer Riot August, the update shipped to live servers while still entirely missing some visual effects, sound effects, and animations. He says this was partially due to bugs, but also partially due to Riot Games just missing some details of Jax’s kit and abilities when updating the kit. Most of the fixes that Riot August outlined are directly from the complaint post that gained traction on the League of Legends subreddit, with animations being returned to his ultimate, and swapping in special animations that weren’t playing on certain skins before.
This approach from Riot is unusual, as it’s rare for the League of Legends developer to admit upfront to visual issues with skins or champion updates. Still, recent controversy has made the developer take steps to be more communicative and transparent with its fanbase. While Jax’s imperfect launch after his update may have left some things to be desired, Riot Games’ approach to fixing the complaints is one of its more transparent and prompt approaches to these kind of issues.