Home > LoL News, Red Posts, Riot News > IronStylus talks Traditional Skin for Caitlyn, Why Some Champions don’t gain Magic Resist-per-Level, State of Yorick’s Rework, Skin Concept Team Q&A Later Today

IronStylus talks Traditional Skin for Caitlyn, Why Some Champions don’t gain Magic Resist-per-Level, State of Yorick’s Rework, Skin Concept Team Q&A Later Today

June 23rd, 2014


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[ Question ] Why do some tanky Champions not gain Magic Resist-per-level? (example, Shen and Maokai)


SmashGizmo Riotlink Button SmashGizmo: Currently, there are 7 Melee characters in our game without MR/level: Kassadin, Kayle, Maokai, Poppy, Shen, Singed, Yasuo.

I can tell you the general thought process behind why we consciously have omitted MR/level on Kassadin and Yasuo, and I can wager some guesses that I’m nearly sure are right for why they were left out on all the others as well.

Kassadin’s passive provides passive defense versus Magic damage. While it’s not terribly interesting, it is still more interesting than a base stat, so basically any power budget we could spend on making this guy better vs. Magic Damage is better spent on the passive than on base stats.

Yasuo’s passive is mostly meant as an anti-burst mechanic to prevent him from getting gibbed by mages. Again, the passive’s purpose was already aimed at solving the character’s needs in terms of mitigating the damage mages do, so any power we could’ve given him on this axis is once again more interesting being spent on his passive than on base stats.

I’m guessing Maokai was not originally given MR/level because his ult is such a potentially strong mitigation tool vs. Mage AoE. He was also made in an older time where a larger % of the tanks didn’t have MRes/level (most fighter tanks weren’t around and of the original tanks, many of them had no MRes/level at the time).

Kayle almost certainly doesn’t have it because she is functionally ranged most of the time.

Poppy probably doesn’t have it once again because of the passive’s ability to mitigate burst damage.

Singed likely doesn’t have it because of the insane amount he gets from his ultimate, so that mages can actually feel effective vs. him when his long duration ultimate isn’t active.

Shen likely doesn’t have it because of the precedence set by early tanks and also because his W is a strong anti-burst mitigation tool.

Now I know this all sounds kinda silly because you can point out a lot of similar abilities on other characters who do have MR/level and the whole thing starts to just sound arbitrary. And there is some truth in that; the decision isn’t totally arbitrary since all of these character have other tools in place to service their defensive needs, but they just as easy could have MRes/level and be balanced around that as not.

When looking at these guys and working on buffing/nerfing them though, it feels like a cheap and easy way to give them a power buff by just tacking MRes/level, but it’s not always the right answer. Take the Maokai changes I’ve been working on this patch. It would be very easy to just inject power into the character by adding MR/level, but at the end of the day what this change says is that the character is currently working in a healthy and satisfying way but just needs some raw power against mages to succeed. And in some cases, that might be spot on, but on Maokai that just didn’t seem like the right approach. Theoretically, there’s only so much you can buff a character before they become imbalanced, so it’s most interesting and exciting when you can spend your buff budget on impactful actions that the player is making rather than increasing their stat line.

So all in all, I will agree with the sentiment here that our MRes base stat system feels kinda arbitrary, but when working on a character by character basis, we frequently forego just adding the MRes/level to them so that we can try to give that same amount of power to them in a more satisfying and/or interesting way. Hope that helps understand it.



Phreak Riotlink Button Phreak: To be honest, it’s pretty inconsistent.

There are two main reasons I’ve seen:

  1. This champion is a tank. They will buy durability itemization anyway, and they aren’t hurting for gold. This applies to champions like Shen pretty well. Of course there are a million who still do, but we generally seem to want “Fighters” to have some innate tankiness.
  2. Sometimes we give champions really weak base stats to make their abilities or item buys more powerful, and just balance around ratios, etc. Nautilus falls under this category (stupidly slow, bad base stats, P/Q/W/R are crazy)



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Following the recent talk of Caitlyn’s VU, players are asking if her original looks will be preserved in a traditional skin (like Karma, for example).


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[ Question ] When the VU does come will it be different enough to warrant doing a traditional skin?


IronStylus Riotlink Button IronStylus: There are differing views on this. 

Initially I thought we might be able to just replace her base and be done with it, then I ran an experiment.

I worked on a concept for her for fun last year, just for the hell of it. It stemmed from a paint-over I did over her in-game model quite a while ago for some style guide exploration. I messed around with removing the dress and giving her pants actually. It was sorta cool. I left the upper part of her body in tact to an extent, mainly just updating the style of the clothing. So she sort of had a bullet-proof corset/bustier thing as well as exposed shoulders with long gloves and also updated the hat. Fine enough, I guess. 

Later I tried doing a front-on concept with this paint over in mind. I did the same design, leaving the shoulders and upper chest exposed. I gave her sort of a half-coat that had short sleeves. Kept the pants, but let the coat replace the silhouette for skirt. It seemed to work fairly well.

Only problem was the exposed skin. The more I tried to update her fashion, add functionality, and tell the story of her being a sheriff, the more the exposed skin just didn’t make sense. Honestly it just looked awkward, like I was exposing skin for exposing skin’s sake. 

I had made a conscious decision to a) make her feel like the sheriff of a major faction, b) make her stylistically fit in with Vi, Jayce and Jinx, and c) give functionality to her gun, hat, clothing, etc to reinforce those themes, while also trying to make her feel distinctly Caitlyn.

So, I started filling in the holes. I threw out everything in my head that I knew of Caitlyn in terms of what she was and looked at things from the perspective of designing a new character. Given all that above info, what would I design? I could hit those notes of feeling representative of Piltover. I could match her with existing characters. I could make her gear work. Even if someone gave me the ambiguous instruction of “make her feel distinct”, there were things I could do. Hell, the hat, gun and fashionable silhouette are the most distinct reads she has, so leveraging those pretty much sums up the path I should take.

So I executed on that. I designed what I felt a one-sheet on her should describe. Sheriff, part of a specific cast of characters, iconic of a specific city-state. 

I got a lot of positive feedback on it. That’s not to say it was, or will be the final word, but people who did approach me said that it achieved the things they wanted Caitlyn to be without sacrificing what made her, her. Now by no means does that say the job of a potential VU concept for her is done. A few other people had differing notes of feedback, which I totally understood, and wanted to take a crack at addressing in any further exploration. 

The concept did change my mind though considering a traditional skin. I didn’t feel as though I could completely replicate everything about Caitlyn. I updated her, I made her more cohesive, but I didn’t 1-for-1 things. That’s the inherent rub of the job. By the results of exploring the concept, I felt as though I couldn’t necessarily have my cake and eat it too (no pun intended). I couldn’t completely capture the feeling of the incongruous charm despite getting a warm reception by other artists who took a look at it. But that’s the thing. Caitlyn isn’t consistent with what the other cast members have set up at the moment, and if our goal is to introduce some consistency, then I probably couldn’t keep a lot of those contrasts. I could objectively make something cool, but it might not address what charm may or may not be lost in the eyes of enthusiasts. 

So there’s the cost-benefit. Remove some of the incongruity, loose some of the charm. That has to be analysed to see if it’s worth it. My feeling is that what I did was a big enough of a departure to warrant a traditional skin. However, some people disagreed. They felt the concept I did was a fine replacement. I currently don’t feel that way. 

So, given my experience, I would ere on the side of including a traditional skin, but I am in no way sure that if she ever does get a VU that we’d make one. Right now she’s on the radar but nothing is planned. Maybe she’ll get overhauled, maybe not. We’ll see. My personal feeling is that I’d like to see a traditional skin. 

But maybe that’s just me trying to have my cake-trap and eat it too.



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[ Question ] Is Xelnath still working on Yorick’s rework?


Xelnath Riotlink Button Xelnath: I am not on reworks at the moment. After discussion, Yorick got moved down the list, relative to Sion and another bloke who will get confirmed sometime after Sion.



[ Question ] What determines if a Champion is on the “high priority” rework list?


Xelnath Riotlink Button Xelnath: I’m afraid I don’t have access to the list, but in general:

* How badly is the design impacting players
* How appealing could this character be if rebuilt well
* How many months of development will need to be invested in new art



[ Question ] Can we have a system where players select their intended hero/role during the draft? 


Xelnath Riotlink Button Xelnath: This isn’t a bad idea. I believe Lyte wants to take a deeper look at the ranked/draft overall though, so I can’t speak to his exact desires.



[ Announcement ] Skin concept art team Q&A


Tamat Riotlink Button Tamat: THE DOORS HAVE OPENED!


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at [email protected]