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Summary

On the PBE, Dragon & Baron timers will now update as soon as the information is available to the non-killing team by any means. Riot have an investment in Curse, presumably to integrate Curse Voice (in-game voice chat) in the game. On the forum side, Meddler gave context for the upcoming changes to WotA, the current viability of Doran’s Shield and why Quinn’s experimental changes were reverted on the PBE. Lastly, a fan feature with artist Nips.

 

Recent News

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PBE Changes to Dragon Baron Timers

 

 

 

Why are these timer changes being made

Meddler Final PortraitOur thoughts:

If you’ve got any vision of an enemy champ when dragon or baron is killed you already know the time of kill, given both give a buff. In baron’s case you’re also able to get the respawn time even if you don’t have vision on someone at the time of kill by timing from the buff expiration point.

  • Clearly communicating when a kill’s happened removes a ‘skilltest’ we feel’s a cost rather than a benefit (watching stats/clicking on people for buff counts/pushing tab regularly to check dragon status). Fighting the UI basically.
  • Tracking dragon/baron timers you accurately know in chat’s similarly is something we don’t see as an interesting skilltest (see: jungle timers).

This is also a chance to reduce snowballing. We’d like to see a few more close or comeback games than we currently do and we believe the amount of power having a vision stranglehold offers is a significant part why that’s not happening (map control’s extremely powerful of course). We also feel that contested dragons in particular lead to more interesting, healthy games. Farming/pushing, taking dragon easily because the enemy doesn’t have the timer and then going back to farming/pushing does feel rewarding for the winning team, it generates less interesting play than a contested team fight or possible steal however.

There is some gameplay that’ll get lost with this change too of course (e.g. Ambushing people who’ve come to check if you’ve finished yet when you’re already done and killing dragon as 5 then all recalling to shop so the exact kill time’s hard to guess). We feel the benefits above solidly outweigh that cost however.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Riot Has Made an Investment in Curse

I’m pleased to announce that Riot Games has decided to invest in Curse.

Riot really believes in what we’re doing and where we’re going. This investment boosts our efforts to continue creating what I believe to be the best communication tool in gaming.

In the last year, we’ve seen the size of Curse Voice grow from nothing to over 1 million active players. We’ve added support for most of the top 200 games in the world and are deeply integrated with some of the most popular games our players play.

This is, of course, exciting and positive news for us. We’ve known Riot for a long time, and know that Riot, like us, cares very deeply about the core gamer. I’m excited and confident that this will be good for Curse and for the millions of players we serve via Curse Voice.

Sincerely,

Hubert Thieblot

CEO, Curse Inc.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Whats the context behind the changes to Will of the Ancients

For reference, here are the WotA changes introduced in this PBE update:

 

Buff BoxWill of the Ancients Final IconWill of the Ancients

  • No longer grants 20% Spell Vamp
  • New Passive: Your spells and abilities heal you for 15% of the damage dealt, calculated BEFORE your opponent’s resistances. 33% effect for AoE Spells.

 

Meddler Final PortraitWe’re changing WotA so that:

  • It’s not as effective at letting you heal off a minion wave (no resistances), which is particularly powerful on non mana users who pay no cost for doing so.
  • It’s of similar effectiveness against enemy champions with a moderate amount of Armor/MR.
  • It’s much more useful against really tanky enemy champions.
  • It’s effectiveness doesn’t increase dramatically as you buy Penetration, so it’s baseline performance can be a bit better (less feast/famine).

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Dorans Shield is not a costeffective early defense item

Meddler Final PortraitWe’ve been thinking recently about doing a light overhaul on some defensive items (think a smaller version of the AP item changes coming in 5.13). Doran’s Shield is one of the items we’d be looking at if so. A possible direction for that we’ve been considering is buffing the Unique Passive so it gains extra effectiveness against ranged auto attacks. That’s very much at the idea stage though, rather than something we’ve committed to. One of the things we particularly want to avoid there, and so really need to test for, is the possibility of Doran’s Shield becoming the dominant support buy again. When we’ve seen that in the past it’s resulted in really narrow support picks (huge amount of Leona/Thresh, not much else) and that’s something we don’t want to reintroduce.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

What happened to the PBE changes for Quin Why were they reverted

Meddler Final PortraitThe changes that briefly ended up on the PBE were exploring a version of Quinn where she’d been shifted to be more of a roaming ADC. Idea there was that we might be able to get her into a really interesting space by making her ult into a powerful out of combat mobility effect, rather than a variant combat form. That’s something we’re still really interested in exploring, when time permits. It’s very much a ‘let’s see what this looks like’ rather than a ‘this is what Quinn should be changed to’ at this point though.

[ Link to Post ]

 

Follow Up

Whatre your thoughts on Quinns passive

Meddler Final PortraitI feel it adds a unique feel to her laning phase in particular, and generates some cool gameplay moments. It’s one of her defining features in my eyes (though to be clear I say that as someone that doesn’t play much Quinn).

I’d agree Quinn’s capability to utilize it well, and therefore its contribution, can drop off a bit in team fights. I don’t personally feel that’s inappropriate for that style of minigame though. A lot of their value’s in how they shake up the earlier parts of the game, so some fall off later seems ok.

As far as power goes I don’t have a good enough handle on Quinn’s current state to offer any in depth thoughts.

[ Link to Post ]

 

 

Fan Artist Feature Nips

Hey Summoners! This week we’re speaking with Nips, an esports and comic artist extraordinaire with strong ties to the community. She’s also created a unique library of skin designs, and genderbends that will leave you inspired!

Follow her on Twitter and Facebook to see even more of her art!

If you know someone that you’d like to recommend for a future Fan Artist Feature, please let us know here.

How did you get started creating League of Legends fan art?

I started playing League in 2013 when Thresh came out after A LOT of convincing and hassling with friends. I couldn’t wrap my head around how people could fall in love with a game that only had one map (but who needs a map, anyway). It didn’t take me too long to get to “just one more game”.

Friends started telling me about the competitive scene and they always mentioned a team that reminded them of me….Ninjas in Pyjamas….because their initials were NiP….like Nips! haha. I looked up the players and discovered streaming. I drew little characters for Bjergsen /Malunoo and, not too short after, I discovered Cloud 9. They became my favorite team (still are!! #C9WIN!!!) and fell in love with the competitive world! I soon started following LCS games and did team skins for every team that won! Cloud 9 has been a huge catalyst and supporter in my growth as an artist and in the community. They’ve been so kind and have become a virtual family for me.


What’s been your favorite piece to create, and why?

This is a tough one! I’ve definitely enjoyed all of them a great deal for different reasons. However, even though it’s not a specific piece (rather a “series”), I’ve had the most fun making the champion genderbends. A concept that allows me to work with character personality (my favorite!) to bring a champion to life as the opposite gender while still maintaining the essence of the original. It’s a challenge I love to take and hope to one day bend all of them! I even had Bjergsen and Snoopeh request some of their own. xD


Do you have a dream project you’d like to work on?

As far as dreams go (other than swimming in a pool of Nutella), I’ve been very fortunate to be able to work on my personal comic OFFcell. I love creating characters and telling their stories. I’m so grateful to be able to do that on the daily! The project is still growing and there’s many things I’ve yet to learn but I’m excited to work on it all!!! I do have League-related dream projects too though! How amazing would it be to take part in the creation of a champion; bring them to life! Tell their story! If I ever had that opportunity, I could probably die happy haha.

Who’s your inspiration? Do you have any favorite League fan artists?

I follow so many artists. Everyone has such a different way of putting their ideas on paper and that alone is such an inspiration! My favorite League artist is Alvin Lee . His work is filled with top notch energy and dynamism! He pushes artistic boundaries with every piece and it’s nothing short of impressive every time. As for fan artists, hands down, Rachel J. Like me, she does comics and loves telling stories. Her pieces are always so expressive and smooth!Ippus , Kalce , Melissa, Duet and Uguubear are also some very talented friends and keep me motivated to always get better!

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the community?

I studied biology in hopes of going to medical school and had no dreams of doing any form of art full time. What made me fall in love with the game, and eventually made me commit to art, were the splash arts. I constantly think about how different my life would’ve been without League of Legends; 12-hour days as a heart surgeon with no breathing room to draw! I can’t even picture a day going by without painting! I’m so grateful to have discovered the game and become a part of the community. Constantly growing every day and it’s almost frightening. I’ve had nothing but pleasant experiences with the people I’ve met through sharing my art and I’m in awe with the kind support I’ve received! Words can’t express how inspiring everyone’s been!! It’s truly, truly, truly outrageous!

 
 
 

[ Link to Post ]

 


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

In Store Mystery Icons Banner

Mystery icons and wards are now available in store until July 8th:

 

Snag Mystery Icons and Mystery Wards!

BY WINGFIELD

From now until 23:59 PDT on July 8, we’re beefing up our arsenal of Mystery Boxes with icons and wards. Roll the dice and collect some of your favorites or send a Mystery ward/icon to your friends!

Note: We recently made some changes to gifting restrictions. Be sure to check them out!


Mystery Icons – 150 RP (40% Off)

All the icons listed below are included:

  • Arcade Baron Icon
  • Astronaut Poro Icon (Legacy)
  • Baron Nashor Icon
  • Battlecast Icon
  • Battlecast Poro Icon (Legacy)
  • Blood Moon Icon
  • Candy-Coated Cupcake Icon (Legacy)
  • Carnival Mask 2015 Icon (Legacy)
  • Carnival Mask Icon
  • Carnival Teemo 2015 Icon (Legacy)
  • Carnival Teemo Icon
  • Debonair Icon
  • Dragon Slayer Poro Icon (Legacy)
  • Firecracker Icon
  • Gentleman Poro Icon (Legacy)
  • Gromp Icon
  • Hat Trick Icon
  • Mecha Icon
  • Ocean Week Fizz Icon (Legacy)
  • Omega Squad Teemo Icon
  • Pentakill Icon
  • Shadow Isles Crest
  • Shadow Isles Poro Icon (Legacy)
  • Shurima Crest Icon
  • Sweetheart Icon

 

Mystery Wards – 380 RP (40% Off)

All the wards listed below are included:

  • Armordillo Ward
  • Astronaut Poro Ward (Legacy)
  • Banner of the Horse Ward (Legacy)
  • Banner of the Serpent Ward (Legacy)
  • Bat-o-Lantern Ward (Legacy)
  • Battlecast Poro Ward (Legacy)
  • Battlecast Ward
  • Bouquet Ward (Legacy)
  • Candy Cane Ward (Legacy)
  • Deadfall Ward (Legacy)
  • Dragonslayer Poro Ward (Legacy)
  • Dragonslayer Ward
  • Firecracker Ward
  • Gentleman Poro Ward (Legacy)
  • Gingerbread Ward Skin (Legacy)
  • Golden Goal Ward
  • Gong Ward (Legacy)
  • Haunting Ward (Legacy)
  • Heartseeker Ward
  • Lantern of the Serpent Ward (Legacy)
  • Luminosity Ward
  • Mecha Ward
  • Poro Ward (Legacy)
  • Sad Mummy Ward
  • Snowman Ward Skin (Legacy)
  • Starcall Ward
  • Sun Disc Ward
  • Tomb Angel Ward (Legacy)
  • Underworld Poro Ward (Legacy)
  • Urf Triumphant Ward
  • Ward of Draven
  • Widow Ward (Legacy)

 

 


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.


Champion Skin Sale July 6 Banner

The following Champions and Skins will be 50% off until July 6th:

 

Ezreal Final Portrait

Gangplank Final Portrait

Hecarim Final Portrait

 

Mad Hatter Shaco – 260 RP

Shaco_1

 

Superfan Gragas – 375 RP

Gragas_7 (1)

 

Surgeon Shen – 487 RP

Shen_3

 

 


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

Chroma Packs Banner

 

Chroma Packs are back! We’re bouncing out four new champion base chroma packs and two champion skin chroma packs, all designed with a specific theme in mind. So whether you’re terrorizing your foes with Morgana Haunt or dropping the axe with Darius Forge, these chroma packs re-imagine the champs and skins you know and love.

Champion base and skin chroma packs – 590 RP each

Let us know what you think about this selection of champ and skin chroma packs and who you think we should deck out in colors next! Got questions? Check out the Chroma Pack FAQ here.

[ Link to Post ]

 

Below you can find previews of all the chroma packs available:

 

Caitlyn Rebel Chroma Pack

Caitlyn_9 Caitlyn_8 Caitlyn_7

image (3)

Caitlyn Chroma 1

Caitlyn Chroma 2

Caitlyn Chroma 3

 

Darius Forge Chroma Pack

Darius_5 Darius_7 Darius_6

image (7)

Darius Chroma 1

Darius Chroma 2

Darius Chroma 3

 

Morgana Haunt Chroma Pack

Morgana_7 Morgana_8 Morgana_9

image (1)

Morgana Chroma 1

Morgana Chroma 2

Morgana Chroma 3

 

Tristana Punk Chroma Pack (Rocket Girl Tristana)

Tristana_9 Tristana_8 Tristana_7

image (6)

Tristana Chroma 1

Tristana Chroma 2

Tristana Chroma 3

 

Zac Chroma Pack

Zac_4 Zac_3 Zac_5

image

Zac Chroma 1

Zac Chroma 2

Zac Chroma 3

 

Headhunter Master Yi Chroma Pack

Masteryi_6 Masteryi_7 Masteryi_8

image (5)

HH Yi Chroma 1

HH Yi Chroma 2

HH Yi Chroma 3

 

 


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

Korean Fan Art Contest

June 30th, 2015

 

June Bundles Sale

[ Link to Official Announcement ]

 

Its time for June bundles

WizardOTL Final BannerTap into your dark side, heat things up, remember the good old days, and become the law with this bunch of June bundles!

Snag these limited time bundles now through 23:59 July 6.

 

 


Discount Demons – 50% off at 3298 RP (4907 RP if you need the champions)

Skins included:

  • Blood Moon Thresh
  • Underworld Wukong (Legacy)
  • Reaper Soraka (Legacy)
  • Underworld Twisted Fate (Legacy)
  • Dark Crystal Ryze
  • Lollipoppy (Legacy)

Champions included:

 


Covering Fire Bundle – 50% off at 2208 RP (4044 RP if you need the champions)

Skins included:

  • Wildfire Zyra
  • Vandal Brand (Legacy)
  • Dragonslayer Braum
  • Panda Annie
  • Infernal Alistar

Champions included:

 


Protect and Sever Bundle – 50% off at 2323 RP (4215 RP if you need the champions)

Skins included:

  • Riot Blitzcrank (Legacy)
  • Riot Kayle (Legacy)
  • Officer Caitlyn
  • Captain Volibear
  • Officer Vi

Champions included:

 


You Belong in a Museum Bundle – 50% off at 1981 RP (3770 RP if you need the champions)

Skins included:

  • Frosted Ezreal
  • Jurassic Cho’Gath
  • Jurassic Kog’Maw
  • Dino Gnar
  • Pharaoh Amumu (Legacy)

Champions included:

 

 


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

Free Champion Rotation July 7 Banner

The following Champions will be free-to-play until July 7th:

 

Annie Final Portrait

Caitlyn Final Portrait

Cassiopeia Final Portrait

Lucian Final Portrait

Shaco Final Portrait

Singed Final Portrait

Talon Final Portrait

Trundle Final Portrait

Xin Zhao Final Portrait

Zyra Final Portrait

 

 


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

Champion Skin Sale July 3 Banner

The following Champions and Skins will be 50% off until July 3rd:

 

Lucian Final Portrait

Skarner Final Portrait

Veigar Final Portrait

 

Dragonslayer Braum – 487 RP

Braum_1

 

French Maid Nidalee – 260 RP

Nidalee_3

 

Mafia Jinx – 487 RP

image (11) (1)

 

 


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 
In Store Pool Party Skins Banner


Pool Party skins splash down

BY RIOT BADTOFU

The temperature’s rising on Summoner’s Rift and it’s not just because Draven asked Leona for a Solar Flare to help even out his tan (please don’t ask where he keeps his sunscreen). That’s right, it’s Pool Party time!

 

Strap on your snorkel and join Rek’Sai in the deep end. Just watch out for the landshark’s underwater torpedoes and sudden urge to hop on a jet ski around level 6.

 

Lulu and a pokey Pix are getting bubbly while building sandcastles. But don’t try kicking over these sandy structures, we heard they pack quite the punch.

 

No matter how many times we tell him no diving, Zac can’t seem to stop flying face first into the shallow end — not to mention anyone unlucky enough to get in his way. Now if only we could figure out where he ends and the actual pool begins.

And don’t forget, the Zac Sweet chroma pack is slingshotting into the League of Legends store soon! Mmmmm sugar-riffic.


Sometimes catching foam axes gets exhausting, so Draven’s taking a break to soak up a little poolside sun in trunks that he swears are all the rage in Noxus right now. Sure big guy, whatever you say.


What’s a Pool Party without tunes? Luckily, Big Purple’s got it covered with his masochistic melodies and a laid back island wardrobe that just screams MUNDO!

Slide over to the League of Legends store and pick up Pool Party Lulu, Pool Party Rek’Sai, and Pool Party Zac for 975 RP each until 11:59 PDT on June 29 (1350 RP after that). Pool Party Mundo and Pool Party Draven can also join your sunburnt squad for 975 RP a piece.


The fun doesn’t end there! Because you all earned a special set of rewards during Team Up, the bundles below are available from June 26 – July 2!

Pool Party Palooza Bundle – 6449 RP (10889 RP if you need the champs)

  • Pool Party Lulu
  • Pool Party Rek’Sai
  • Pool Party Draven
  • Pool Party Mundo
  • Pool Party Zac
  • Pool Party Graves
  • Pool Party Lee Sin
  • Pool Party Renekton
  • Pool Party Leona
  • Pool Party Ziggs

Frozen Pool Party Bundle (30% off everything) – 2046 RP (3894 RP if you need the champs)

  • Winter Wonder Orianna
  • Poro Rider Sejuani
  • Snow Day Malzahar

[ Link to Post ]



Below you can find complete previews of the pool party skins:


 

Pool Party Draven

Pool Party Draven will be available for 975 RP.

 

Lulu_Splash_5

DravenLoadScreen_4

Pool Party Draven Model 1

Pool Party Draven Model 2

Pool Party Draven Recall

For his recall, Pool Party Draven sunbathes (minus the sun).

 

Pool Party Draven Q 1

Pool Party Draven Q 2

Spinning Axe [ Q ]

 

Pool Party Draven W

Blood Rush [ W ]

 

Pool Party Draven E

Stand Aside [ E ]

 

Pool party Draven R

Whirling Death [ R ]

 

 

Pool Party Dr Mundo

Pool Party Dr. Mundo will be available for 975 RP. He’s also part of the Pool Party community event and will be handed out to free (along with Mundo) to players if the Tier 6 (55 million points) reward stage is reached.

 

DrMundoLoadScreen_8

Pool Party Mundo Model 1

Pool Party Mundo Model 2

Pool Party Mundo Recall

For his recall, Mundo starts playing his banjo and then he smashes it on the ground.

 

Pool Party Mundo Q 1

Infected Cleaver [ Q ]

 

Pool party Mundo New W

Burning Agony [ W ]

 

Pool Party Mundo E

Masochism [ E ]

 

Pool Party Mundo R

Sadism [ R ]

 

 

Pool Party Lulu

Pool Party Lulu will be available for 975 RP.

 

LuluLoadScreen_5

Pool Party Lulu Model 1

Pool Party Lulu Model 2

Pool Party Lulu Model 3

Pool Party Lulu Recall

For her recall, Pool Party Lulu hides under her octopus costume and looks for her staff.

 

Pool Party Lulu Basic Attack

Basic attack

 

Pool Party Lulu Q 1

Glitterlance [ Q ]

 

Pool Party Lulu W 1

Pool Party Lulu W 2

Pool Party Lulu W 4

Whimsy [ W ] (Cast on Enemy)

 

Pool Party Lulu W 5

Pool Party Lulu W 6

Whimsy [ W ] (Cast on Ally)

 

Pool Party Lulu W 3

Help, Pix! [ E ] (Cast on Enemy)

 

Pool Party Lulu E 1

Help, Pix! [ E ] (Cast on Ally)

 

Pool Party Lulu R 1

Pool Party Lulu R 2

Wild Growth [ R ]

 

 

Pool Party RekSai

Pool Party Rek’Sai will be available for 1350 RP.

 

RekSaiLoadScreen_2

Pool Party Reksai Model 3

Pool Party Reksai Model 4

Pool Party Reksai Recall

For her recall, Pool Party Rek’Sai circles around a frog on a leaf before devouring it.

 

Pool Party Reksai Q Unburrowed 1

Pool Party Reksai Unburrowed Q 2

Queen’s Wrath [ Unburrowed Q ]

 

Pool Party Reksai Q Burrowed 1

Pool Party Reksai Q Burrowed 2

Pool Party Reksai Q Burrowed 3

Prey Seeker [ Burrowed Q ]

 

Pool Party Reksai W Burrowed 1

Pool Party Reksai Unburrow

Burrow / Unburrow [ W ]

 

Pool Party Reksai E Unburrowed 1

Furious Bite [ Unburrowed E ]

 

Pool Party Reksai E Closed

Pool Party Reksai E Reworked 2

Pool Party Reksai Reworked E 1

Tunnel [ Burrowed E ]

 

Pool Party Reksai R 1

Pool Party Reksai R 2

Void Rush [ R ]

 

 

Pool Party Zac

Pool Party Zac will be available for 1350 RP.

 

ZacLoadScreen_2

Pool Party Zac Model 1

Pool Party Zac Model 2

Pool Party Zac Model 3

Pool Party Zac Recall

For his recall, Pool Party Zac leaps into the air and lands in a pool with a rubber Urf.

 

Pool Party Zac Passive 1

Pool Party Zac Passive 2

Cell Division [ Passive ]

 

Pool Party Zac Q 1

Stretching Strike [ Q ]

 

Pool Party Zac W 1

Unstable Matter [ W ]

 

Pool Party Zac E 2

Pool Party Zac E 3

Pool Party Zac E 1

 Elastic Slingshot [ E ]

 

Pool Party Zac R 1 Pool Party Zac R 2 Pool Party Zac R 3

Let’s Bounce! [ R ]

 

 


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.

 

Champion Insights Tahm Kench Banner

[ Link to Official Post ]

 

 

Champion Insights Tahm Kench the River King

BY FIZZNCHIPS

We sat down with the champion ideation team to hear about the process that took an idea – Fish Tank – and turned it into Tahm Kench.

 

 

Game design notes

image (23)As a role, tanks have generally brought one of two things to their team: either they’re in the Amumu/Sejuani camp of locking down an entire enemy team and setting up for a wombo combo, or they help their team lock down and eliminate a single high value enemy target either through chained CC (think Solar Flare into Zenith Blade into Shield of Daybreak on Leona) or by throwing/dragging the enemy into the tank’s team (Singed, Volibear, Skarner). The challenge we wanted to tackle with Tahm Kench was to take a tank who did neither of these, and instead offered something completely different to his team. The art guys got scribbling, and soon started gravitating towards this Big Mouth character. This was a huge boost for us, with the visuals quickly inspiring a mechanic that was relevant to the champion’s visuals and new to League, too: Devour.

Let’s start with devouring allies. We knew we wanted the ability to work on enemies, and we were initially pretty hesitant about allowing Tahm Kench to eat his pals. That said, once we tried it out, we realized that “Tahm Kench the Armoured Personnel Carrier” was actually pretty fun. Aside from the risk of trolling, allies will quickly realize how good it feels when a decent Tahm player has their back. He can eat you over a wall, spit you over a wall, and run fast toward the enemy if you’re a Tryndamere type looking for a free ride to your soon-to-be victims. As the ally, you can also decide when and where Tahm spits you, after a short lockout period. What’s more, being able to pull an ally out of a fight at will is really strong. It can save allies from abilities like Nami bubbles or Vi ults, and generally allows squishies to do Really Dumb Things and get away with it. This should enable riskier plays, particularly from the kind of high damage/low health champs that usually have to pull away from a scrap, or at least fight from the back.



“But Zenon, how is that fair? I just spent all my CC on this guy, we were about to kill him, and then suddenly General Gulp comes in and whisks him away!”

Well yes, imaginary FAQ person, but let me tell you about a few things I added in to help balance things a little. First of all, as I mentioned, while Tahm Kench has this pretty swell devour ability, he lacks a lot of the traditional tools that tanks usually carry around. He can’t lock down enemies at will, for instance, and he has absolutely no utility AOE tools that your average punching bag brings to a fight. Secondly, while eating an ally to keep them safe is super clutch, the ability does come with some baked in drawbacks. Its relatively short range means Tahm, who most of the time will be on a support budget and thus not the tankiest man in the game, will have to stand close to your team, or at least close to members of his team who you want to kill. So uh… you can just kill him if you focus him. Lastly, if Tahm Kench does eat his ally, the ability’s minimum duration means you’ll still have a few precious seconds to leverage your temporary numbers advantage!

“Okay. Tell me about enemy devour.”

As a raw mechanic – taking enemies out of a fight and severely reducing their vision for a few seconds – enemy Devour is incredibly powerful, which forced us to consider the circumstances through which it would be okay to use, even for a few seconds. We knew that Tahm Kench couldn’t just go around eating enemy champs at will – that would be ridiculous – so we started figuring out ways to backload the ability, or establish x criteria that you need to meet before y can happen. For comparison, Malphite can ult into a teamfight at will because Unstoppable Force is a frontloaded ability – it has immediate impact and once it’s spent, he has to wait a long while before he can use it again. Because we had decided he would NOT bring the usual tank toolset of locking down an enemy, we couldn’t allow Tahm Kench the same flexibility, so ended up implementing passive stacks into his kit. So, while Tahm Kench can eat enemy champions and take them out of a fight for a few seconds, he has to hit them with a few basic attacks (or licks) first. This takes time and proximity, and telegraphs his intentions to the enemy team, giving them plenty of time to peel for the River King’s target.



While the rest of his kit certainly adds to his uniqueness (grey health, an idea we borrowed from fighting games, is also new to League, while his ult is a really strong flanking tool that reinforces his Armored Personnel Carrier-ness), it was his Devour that really set Tahm Kench apart from the rest. Hopefully you’ll be able to make the most of the ability and wreak your own different brand of havoc with the verbose villain.



Art notes

by Chris Campbell aka Skeeziks and Gem Lim aka Lonewingy

image (24)The Ideation Process

The first few steps of our ideation process usually involve us setting a broad goal and then chucking around as many ideas as possible before we start whittling things down, centering our efforts around the ideas and hooks that really appeal to us. Knowing we were designing a tank, we started brainstorming literally anything, and a few weeks later, had five or six pretty solid concepts for League’s next tank. Then the culling began!

After killing a few of our darlings, we had two solid ideas that we really liked: Big Mouth and Horror Tank. They each had unique hooks: Big Mouth used its mouth as a central tool, while Horror Tank was more of a vision denial and darkness terror. ZenonTheStoic, being a hairy German metal fan, was a big fan of the latter, funnily enough. We started toying around with ideas as to what these guys could look like, when Gem came up with this charming young chap:

image (25)Initially this sketch wasn’t necessarily tied to any particular champion, but as Zenon toyed around with vision denial mechanics, and we tinkered with Big Mouth as a fish character, the two ideas kinda slowly formed into one. Plenty of fish species have pretty cavernous mouths, and more importantly, the look tapped into a pretty well-known devourer archetype in games (think Kirby, Yoshi, or Pac-Man) which hadn’t yet appeared in League. Also, by creating a large-mouthed champion who literally ate other characters, we had super strong clarity between the character’s visuals and their gameplay… aaaand we could totally nickname the guy “Fish Tank”. It was perfect.


The Devil’s in the Details

image (26)Now that we had a basic look and theme for the champion, we started toying around with details. Initially we tried to incorporate some horror ideas into his appearance. We tried making Fish Tank a deep sea angler-type fish who’d attract his prey with a light, but it didn’t really have the combination of grim and whimsical we were looking for. We wanted to add depth by injecting personality and intelligence into the character.

We imagined his mouth could be more than a source of physical danger – it could also express charismatic speech to lure enemies into harm’s way. This outward charm would be something he used to mask his darker, true intent: devouring his prey! A new piece of art helped to sell this duality of charisma and menace:


This outward charm would be something he used to mask his darker, true intent: devouring his prey!


 


You Are What You Wear

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image (29)To complement this persona, we began to look at his clothing. Gem’s very first sketch of Fish Tank had him wearing a fez (which led to another nickname: Fez Tank), something we really liked just for its sheer panache. See, Fish Tank didn’t just have a big mouth – he was a big mouth, a devious storyteller who wore clothes to try and make him seem a little more human, and a little less threatening to potential prey.

We tried giving him armor, but it didn’t feel right – Fish Tank was a smooth-talker, not a fighter, and he’d spin his stories to gain the trust of his audience. Then we switched to a coat, or coats, to be more precise. He was much too large to wear regular clothes, so stitched two coats together to appear more relatable. Aside from giving Fish Tank yet another nickname – Twocoats – it highlighted the balance between whimsical and grim that we really wanted to find.

 


Fish Tank didn’t just have a big mouth – he was a big mouth…


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Narrative notes

by WAAARGHbobo

image (31)Whenever we create a new champion, the narrative writer starts by looking at the “opportunity space” we want to fill. In this case we knew we wanted a non-CC tank that would be visually tanky without hitting any of the thematics we’d seen depicted before. Our early ideation process involves researching myths and looking for jungian truths about the archetypes before we start writing lots of “story sketches” – short stories (typically 2 to 12 pages) that depict the champion’s character in Runeterra. These aren’t canonical pieces, but instead conceptual reference stories meant to illustrate the personality of the champ and show thematics that we could express in their gameplay and art. They’re written in tandem with work the concept artist and game designer carry out and, in the same way the concept art and early game kit inspires the team, the story sketch is intended to get ideas bouncing between everyone working on the champion.


I began to play with the the idea that his maw could represent more than just a simple physical hunger – his huge mouth could represent any unnatural coveting or unhealthy desire.


 

image (32)We went a long way in developing some other ideas before ole’ Tahm won our hearts and became our focus, but once we started on him we quickly realized he was going to be defined by his giant mouth. So my question became how to build a personality around that in an interesting way.

I began to play with the the idea that his maw could represent more than just a simple physical hunger – his huge mouth could represent any unnatural coveting or unhealthy desire. Around this time, his hat became a very polarizing element: some people hated the thing, while others loved it. Either way, the common feeling was that it was unexpected – it challenged them. I suspected this disunity was a fertile ground which would define his character, so, sitting down to write what would be the last story sketch, I knew it was the topic I needed to tackle. Why did I think the hat was right? I felt the answer would be related to my strong desire to make Tahm’s hunger be for something more than just food.

image (33)What’s the personality of a monster who wears a hat? Why does he wear one? Feeling my way through layers of irony, I began to see a creature that was whimsical, quite vain, very arrogant, and a bully. He was also, perhaps, a little insecure, but should ultimately still be terrifying. He mixed elements of crossroads devils, Japanese kappas, and leviathans. The best version of Tahm needed to balance the whimsy of his hat against a scary undercurrent (which the artist would later visually represent using his snaggle-toothed mouth). This combination would let us have a character who could occasionally be humorous without the risk of seeming derpy.


After a lot of hard work, the team had a very clear idea of what he would look like, the core mechanic of the kit, and what his personality was. Tahm would be a loquacious, two-faced, charming slime ball and we loved him for it. We hope you’ll enjoy this unrepentant villain as much as we do.

 

 


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at nolchefo@gmail.com.