League of Legends visual updates are always amazing to see, and today, the devs at Riot Games lift the veil on the upcoming Summoner's Rift changes. In a blog series named "Updating Summoner's Rift," Rioters will openly document their progress, keeping Summoners in the loop every step of the way. A few early screenshots were released with the first post as well, and while clearly still works in progress, they're certainly exciting to see.
Andrew "Riot Aeon" Brownell introduces the blog by explaining just what the developers hope to accomplish. In general, they're looking at five main pillars, so the dev blog will be focused around those major points.
Welcome to the first dev blog for our update to Summoner’s Rift! We’ll be doing dev blogs until this update goes live in order to give you guys insight into what we changed and why we changed it.
In general, with the update, we focused our efforts on five main points.
- Clarity and Readability
- Visual Fidelity
- Thematic Cohesion
I’ll try and provide a broad overview of these concepts and let future dev blogs tackle more focused topics. So let’s get into it!
The first has to do with creating an environment where players are given clear visual cues, even with everything that's going on in a match. This leads to Riot's "visual heirarchy," which is how they differentiate between how information is visually conveyed: in-game, champion and unite abilities and attacks, champions and units, environment. Updating the mobs to properly represent their threat level is a big part of this.
Riot's art experts will be lending their two cents as well, since they're obviously pretty important in all of this. Riot Aeon did note that any artwork created is focused, "first and foremost," on enhancing "gameplay, clarity, and readability." Thematic cohesion is another big thing here, because Summoner's Rift needs to feel like it's actually a part of the larger Runeterra universe.
The blog will also bring up gameplay, and how it's impacted by the visual updates. Riot is definitely trying not to affect it too much with the visual updates, but some changes will be made to improve the game as a whole. This means Baron Nashor and Dragon will both be tweaked to make their fights feel more epic.
The new version of Dragon has two unique area of effect attacks (a line attack much like Viktor’s E and a larger AOE explosion), and Baron has a host of abilities that aim to deliver much more of a boss-battle experience.
The next blog post, Riot Aeon promises, will go into more detail on gameplay, including the "slight change" being made to the in-game camera angle. What the adjustment should do is expand the camera screen towards the bottom, and make skill shots more accurate as they reach the edges of the screen.
As for performance? Well, what good is a nicer looking League if it's unplayable? Currently, Riot doesn't have a whole lot to say about this, but the developers are definitely keeping in mind playability.
Keep an eye out for more in-depth updates.