Ask Riot URF Champion Update

By Calisker, Ostrichbeernana

Welcome to Ask Riot, where we focus on your questions and give you answers.

This week, we talk about the future of Champion Update and URF mode.

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What is the endgame for Champion Update? Will there be a world in which no more champions will need to be updated?

So I get this question a lot, both inside and outside of Riot and I want to to start by saying that strategies at Riot change all the time and that these are just my thoughts on the subject.

I don’t think there will ever be a time when there are no more champions to update. Most champions aren't considered “dated” or “old” when they release. Rather, as time goes on some champions just don’t hold up as well as others. We think a champion is in a good spot if it has strong and cohesive art, lore, and gameplay. However, while a champions might be in a good spot today, as the game grows and evolves from year to year, that champion could eventually be in a bad place.

As technology advances, our big VGU’s and new champions look better and better. For example, we could not have made champions like Aurelion Sol or updates like Yorick a year ago. Yorick’s black mist cape is actually using the same technology created for Aurelion Sol’s tail. That technology didn’t even exist in the LoL engine a year ago. As tech advances, our older characters look older and older.

Design values and design technology also advances over time and we can create more unique and diverse kits for champions. This also makes older champion kits feel more dated overtime. As our understanding of the game changes and the way players play the game evolves older champions may need new or revamped tools to compete with our ever growing cast.

Champion themes also age over time. Back when the original Batman series was on TV it was considered very good, then came Tim Burton’s take on Batman’s theme that was more serious and mature. Recently, Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy have created an even more gritty and realistic take on Batman for a modern generation of Batman fans. All of these were considered great in their time, but if the original Batman series came out today it probably wouldn’t resonate as well with the current generation of Batman fans. Much like Batman, champions that are popular today need to be updated to stay modern and fresh as the game continues over the years.

Currently, we have quite a few champions to get through, by the time we get through those there will probably be a bunch more champions thats look awesome today but won’t be as awesome 4-5 years from now.

-Reav3, Lead Producer, Champion Updates

We haven’t seen URF mode in a while, what is up with that?

In case you missed it, we just announced that URF will be coming back soon as an All Random mode for a trial in the RGM queue. We’re calling it ARURF (it kinda sounds like the noise URF would make)!

But why did it take so long for URF to come back? Well, regular URF was stagnating super fast and had some unhealthy play patterns. For example, it was probably one of the hardest hit modes for a 'stagnant meta' whenever it was released. Games quickly devolved into a slideshow of the 'perceived' best champs. Whether or not they were actually OP (hint, they usually weren't :P), seeing the same 20 champs every game got boring REAL fast. It took the RGM team a little longer to convert URF to be All Random, but we believe that countering the stagnant meta will go some way toward making it a much healthier mode. There’s still no guarantee it will be a silver bullet for fixing URF, but we’re hoping you have fun with it!

-L4T3NCY, Lead Designer, Rotating Game Mode

3 years ago

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