- Red Post Collection: Gameplay Thoughts 4/20, April Bundles, Ask Riot, How We Make Champions, Vision Score Details, & more!
- EU LCS Spring Playoffs: Finals [April 22nd – 23rd]
- NA LCS Spring Playoffs: Finals [April 22nd – 23rd]
- [WIP 7.9 PBE Cycle Tentative Coverage!]
Table of Contents
- Origins: Jinx
- Riot Merch – Demacia Hoodie Promotion & 2017 EU/NA LCS Spring Finals Shirt
- Helmet Bro: The Animated Series – Fed Ezreal
- Quick Hits – Sejuani PBE changelist, NA Client Retire 4/24, & more
- Xayah and Rakan Reddit Q&A
A GIRL AND HER GUNS
There was once a bulletin board at Riot where anyone could share their awesome (or slightly less awesome) ideas for future champions. Always crowded with artwork and kit designs, the board was a place of inspiration for champ designers, even if most of the ideas never made it to official development.
Years ago, illustrator Katie De Sousa posted to that board a picture of a gun-toting, braid-rocking criminal. Prompted by a love for villains and playing ADC, Katie hoped to bring a little bit of chaos to the marksman roster.
The gameplay fantasy for the champion was legit—a weapon-swapping maniac—but when it came to appearances, she looked like a knockoff of Miss Fortune, with a new haircut and fresh ink.
|Original Concept Art for Psycho Arsenal (Jinx)|
Psycho Arsenal, Jinx’s codename at the time, had a lot of potential, but she wasn’t quite inspiring enough to enter development. Thus she remained on the literal drawing board for months…until a small group of advocates made it their mission to bring Psycho Arsenal to the Rift.
One of those early advocates was champion designer August “jinxylord” Browning, who says, “I’ve always wanted to make a weapon-swapping ADC, like a ranged Udyr, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.” While August worked on Jinx’s arch nemesis Vi by day, he rallied with Katie (and a few others) for Psycho Arsenal by night. Eventually support started rolling in, and about six months after that fateful drawing was first posted, Jinx was chosen for official development.
Psycho Arsenal had the green light, so it was time to tackle one of her biggest issues: her generic-ness. Most of League’s female champions at that time looked pretty similar, with a sexy persona and voluptuous hourglass figure. “My instinct is to diversify wherever I can,” Katie says. “I started thinking it’d be cool if she was more wiry and spunky, like maybe she survives on Skittles because she’s so busy causing mayhem.”
Psycho Arsenal became more slender and sinewy while her guns got bigger and bigger. Eventually, her proportions basically reversed; she became a tiny girl carrying oversized, heavy weapons—weapons there’s probably no way she’d actually be able to carry in real life. “That’s when my excitement and confidence really multiplied,” August says. “She felt so much more original and resonant.”
|Concept Art for Psycho Arsenal (Jinx)|
Even though Jinx’s appearance changed quite a bit during development, there were three things that remained the same: her signature floor-length blue pigtails, her manic expression, and guns… lots and lots of guns.
COME ON, SHOOT FASTER
True to the name Psycho Arsenal, Jinx wielded a ridiculous variety of weapons during her development: Pistols, rifles, crossbows, tasers, taser crossbows, semi-automatic machine guns, mini-guns, grenades, a rocket launcher, and even a flamethrower. Katie says, “We just put a bunch of different weapons on her while trying to figure out what her gameplay was going to look like.”
In Jinx’s original kit design, each of her basic abilities caused her to swap weapons—much like the way Udyr switches forms—and her ultimate changed based on which gun she was holding. This ended up feeling pretty boring to play because you were almost exclusively right-clicking on things the entire game. “It just didn’t feel like she had enough fun buttons to press,” August says.
The weapon-swapping mechanic was moved to Q, and the focus became creating two stances with distinct strengths and weaknesses. This was done by distinguishing the attack speed and AoE damage of the weapons: For quick-firing, single-target damage, there was a mini-gun, and for slow-shooting, AoE damage, a rocket launcher was the perfect fit.
|Jinx Concept Art|
Now that Jinx’s kit had the weapons, it was time to add the chaos. “Making Jinx’s gameplay feel crazy was probably the hardest part about designing her,” August says. If you look at her without her passive, she feels like a sniper with long-ranged rockets and traps to keep people away, but that’s just not Jinx—she likes to be in-on the action. In the end, one conversation between QA analyst Blake “Squad5” Smith and August (basically) solved everything:
“What if when you killed someone, you went really, really, really fast?”
“Like, super fast.”
“Blake, that’s crazy.”
“…that’s the point.”
On the first day of playtesting this new passive, Jinx ran into a fight, flashed past the enemy team to kill Xerath, got her passive proc, lost control of the character, and ran into the enemy tower and died. “It was just like, ‘Yep, that’s Jinx,’” August says. “We knew after that playtest that she was finally starting to feel like the crazy girl we wanted her to be.”
And now, hold onto your bullets as we present a list of ults-that-didn’t-make-it, with commentary by August.
Drop the Hammer: Jinx could activate a global cannon floating above the map, causing an oversized bomb to detonate at a target location…after ten seconds. Why it didn’t make it: “People would just walk out of it.”
Homing Missiles: Jinx would fire six missiles that automatically targeted enemy champions, chased them down, and straight-up killed them if they didn’t dodge ‘em. Why it didn’t make it: “She’d use it on bot lane and then randomly kill the enemy jungler, so that felt wrong.”
WTF Missiles: Jinx would fire a massive amount of missiles, which would then travel in unpredictable directions. Why it didn’t make it: “This was way too random.”
Circle of Cats: Jinx shot a bomb across the map, surrounding the first enemy hit with magical smoke—anyone who ran through it was then transformed into a harmless, cuddly kitten. Why it didn’t make it: “Although adorable, it felt a little too indirect and impractical for Jinx.”
Super Mega Death Rocket: Jinx shoots a rocket that explodes upon hitting an enemy champion, dealing AoE damage. Why it didn’t make it: Wait a second…
Actually, Super Mega Death Rocket was one of the first spells tested for Jinx, but the team moved away from the idea. At the time, it did flat damage, so Jinx would just fire it at the start of a fight—it was effective but also pretty lame.
The execute damage wasn’t added until way later in development, when the balance team urged for the change. “I felt pretty reluctant about it at first,” August says, “Because it seemed like a Garen ult, but better because it was AoE and ranged.” Still, it was unique to the ADC space and created a condition on when to use the ult—to secure kills. Plus, Super Mega Death Rocket synergized really well with the rest of her kit, where she could make a pick, then use her crazy passive speed to get to the next fight and continue the carnage.
RULES ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN, LIKE BUILDINGS… OR PEOPLE
One question about Jinx’s personality lingered throughout development: Just how evil is she? Sure, she was inspired by villainy, but is Jinx out to murder people in cold blood? Or is she just trying to have fun, but her version of “fun” happens to involve a whole lot of destruction? August says, “Even though Jinx has killed a lot of people, we don’t really think of her as a blood-drenched serial killer.”
Jinx is just bored and looking for excitement. Sure, she doesn’t really care if people die during the explosions, but she’s not in it for the casualties.
Community Specialist Robert “Ransom” Lo puts it this way:
“If Jinx were walking past a stranger in a dark alley, she wouldn’t just automatically stab them and take their money. But if she were walking past a stranger in a dark alley near a PILE OF FIREWORKS, she would totally blow up the fireworks and unintentionally light the stranger on fire, because fireworks are freakin’ fun.”
|Illustrator Katie De Sousa says,
“I think I secretly wanted Jinx to be even more evil.”
Ultimately, Jinx’s personality and gameplay was about striking a balance between unhinged, dangerous, and crazy while also being fun, approachable, and cute. “The perfect representation of Jinx is probably her music video,” August says. “She’s laughing, having a good time, and blowing shit up, but she’s not necessarily covered in the blood of her enemies. That’s Jinx.”
ORIGINS is a new series where we deep-dive into the development of champions. Feel free to drop some thoughts and feels on the series below and let us know which champs you’re most interested in hearing about!”
Riot Merch – Demacia Hoodie Promotion & 2017 EU/NA LCS Spring Finals Shirt
For a limited time you can snag a free Demacia hoodie for spending a certain amount in the merch shop! From the Riot Games Merch Facebook page:
“Victory awaits! For a limited time get the Demacia Premium Hoodie for FREE (an $85 value) when you spend $65 or more in the Merch store. merch.riotgames.com“
The 2017 EU LCS Spring Finals shirt is now available in the merch shop.
Helmet Bro: The Animated Series – Fed Ezreal
“ADCs were not born into this world fumbling for meaning, Jerry.
Animated by ehlboy: https://www.youtube.com/user/ehlboy
Effects by miccool: https://www.youtube.com/user/micshower
Sound by Hyun: https://www.youtube.com/user/hyunsdojo
Music by Christopher Carlone
**Created in Collaboration with Riot Games**”
Quick Hits – Sejuani PBE changelist, NA Client Retire 4/24, & more
[Quick Hits is our own collection within a red post collection, often including easy to digest stories, specialized information, and/or repeat info you may have missed in other posts!]
1) SolCrushed jumped on the Yorick mains subreddit to created a discussion thread to hunt down possible bug/QoL style fixes to look into!
3) SolCrushed with a PBE boards changelist for Sejuani for the next PBE update:
“Full 4/23 Changelist
Frost Armor no longer broken by minions or small monsters
Icebreker Damage: 15/20/25% -> 10/15/20%
Icebreaker Damage vs monsters: max 400 -> always 400
No longer self slows, not worth
W1 now knocks back minions and monsters
CD: 7/6.5/6/5.5/5 -> 9/8/7/6/5
1st hit Damage: 12/19/26/33/40 (+0.01HP) -> 30/35/40/45/50 (+0.02HP)
2nd hit Damage: 48/76/104/132/160 (+0.04HP) -> 40/80/120/160/200 (+0.05HP)
Bonus damage to monsters: 20% -> 0%”
Xayah and Rakan Reddit Q&A
“1:00PM UPDATE – The AMA has officially ended! Probably some Rioters will hang around anyway, though.
Hey it’s me your friend League of Legends. I’m a video game. We’re gonna do a little AMA right here from 11:00am PST to 1:00pm PST. It’s about Xayah and Rakan. They are characters in me.
A whole bunch of folks worked this part of the game. Imma put their names right below here and then you should ask them questions. Try to make your questions as weird as possible.
SOME RELEVANT LINKS:
- Xayah and Rakan Creative Collaboration Documentary: http://nexus.leagueoflegends.com/2017/04/creative-collaboration/
- Xayah and Rakan Reveals: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/featured/champion-xayah-rakan-reveal
- Xayah Champion Spotlight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgQfr8bMNN8
- Rakan Champion Spotlight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYWNOHM1fSk“
As usual, I’ve done my best to sort questions into similar topics and themes:
Lore & Story
When asked about R&X skins being paired in the future, RiotScruffy answered:
Are Rakan and Xayah always going to have matching skins?
How old are they?
If Ahri and Rakan had a contest to see who can pick up the most guys/girls, who would win? Assume that Xayah is fine with the contest.
Yea, the plan is keeping with the matching skins.
LF narrative to answer those other questions.”
WAAAARGHbobo also replied:
“Ahri prefers to get one person at a time– so she can eat them.
Rakan is a relatively famous performer. Groupies are a thing.
I’m gonna say Rakan, hands down.”
Skekses chimed in as well:
“Xayah is around early 20’s and Rakan late 20’s. Xayah will never let him do it, so probably Ahri will win :)”
When asked about if R&X had met Ahri, WAAAARGHbobo replied:
Did they meet Ahri before?What does Xayah and Rakan think about her?
I don’t think they’ve met yet. Obviously Xayah wants all of the Vastaya to see her cause as just and join the fight. Xayah would see Ahri as somewhat contemptible for her association with humans and desire to be with them/use them– but Xayah looks down on a lot of people– so that wouldn’t make Ahri unredeemable. Rakan would be more likely to feel sorry for Ahri. –but he wouldn’t think about it for very long. (He feels things strongly– but also moves on quickly)”
On why Xayah isn’t jealous when Rakan is near other women, WAAAARGHbobo responded:
Why is there no special interaction when Ahri charms Rakan, with Xayah being near or when Rakan charms other female Champions while Xayah is near? Shouldn’t she be jealous?
They trust each other, are comfortable in their relationship, and both of them are insanely self-confident. Xayah doesn’t think another girl could hold Rakan’s attention like she does. Rakan can’t imagine a guy cooler than himself.”
On why R&X are so cool, WAAAARGHbobo answered:
why do they make me jealous they’re just video game characters
One of our stated goals was to make a couple that was worthy of being envied. i.e. That crazy hot couple at coachella making out and wandering around half-naked. You think they are in a band– kinda hate them for being so cool– but also definitely are excited and say yes when they invite you to an afterparty. That is part of their power– you like them and hate them at the same time.”
On whether charming is a Vastayan only spell, WAAAARGHbobo commented:
Another question, cause Rakan and Ahri are both (presumably Vastayan) do their magical powers/charming ability work in the same way or is there different types of magic (like how Ryze has his powered by runes he collects, for example)
I’m only really assuming Rakan has magical stuff going on cause he is Vastayan, and that appears to be a thing they do?
yeah we began to map out the common magic powers the Vastayans and people with vastayan heritage have access too. Charms, mobility, magic that “comes and goes”, and shape-shifting were high on that list.”
Only champions in game with charm are Vastayans is this something special to Vastayans where they have some special powers over other humans/creatures or it is just concidence?
No, because we are building a universe.. after the game existed for a while we instead sorta of work backward.
We tend to look for parallels to universal myths and tie that to jungian archetypes.
Though sometimes it’s pretty obvious.. i.e. Who has ice magic?… uh people in the freljord. — okay new worldbuilding rule.”
He also elucidated on the Vastayan aging process:
Do Vastayans age the same as humans?
No. They spend most of their lives in places where time is more “fickle.””
On Rakan’s charming personality, WAAAARGHbobo had this to say:
Does Rakan have a severe case of ADHD and a minor case of Narcisism? Because the guy cant focus on anything and loves himself way too much lol.
read his color text. Yes and no. Rakan can focus when it’s important to him– but he’s also really emotionally aware. It would be really, really hard to lie to Rakan– he knows what your feeling.”
When asked about the Vastayan language, WAAAARGHbobo commented:
Did you create a vastayan language ? show me some more
We did some basic work on it. It is related to Ionian– or more precisely Ionia descended from it. I think I put that in the Riot forums… uh somewhere.”
When asked about R&X’s wings/capes, Skekses responded:
are those wings or are they capes? cause i have heard Rioters call them “capes” but at the same time they seem to be able to move them at will, so i’m confused.
During development when we design them probably we were thinking more in wings. But their looks were getting more close to a bird than a human, and we wanted to keep the human look around 70-80% so that why they have the cape style but keeping the full control like a wing does. But of course are more reason about that and probably a Narrative Bro can give you more context on this.”
WAAAARGHbobo continued on the same topic:
How come Xayah and Rakan only have one wing (or cloak) on their side? Is said wing a part of them or just a piece of clothing? What are the wings used for besides throwing the feathers on them?
The clothing is a part of them. They can shapeshift. They are trying to more like humans– and not totally succeeding.”
He went on:
I havent seen anyone else mention this but are they both wearing the same Raptor Cloaks that you can buy in the shop? I noticed while playing Rakan and building one that it looks exactly like Xayah’s. Is there a cool backstory about how they got their cloaks?
Raptors are probably from the same neck of the woods as the Vastaya. Those aren’t really cloaks on Xayah and Rakan– they have changed their bodies to look like human clothes.”
On how Rakan and Xayah met and fell in love, WAAAARGHbobo answered:
So…. why you guys choose to make Rakan a stalker that keeps pushing into Xayah and she sudenlly falls for him?
I mean, theirs story looks a lot like it was made by a teenager girl, not that is a bad thing, but……. It’s kinda creepy to think about this stalker and forced love thing :s
I think people have applied too much emphasis for a single line in Xayah’s bio– while ignoring Rakan’s bio and the stories. Rakan did invite himself along. And Xayah did think he would be bad for her mission. But (and this is an important “but”) she didn’t/couldn’t hide that she was attracted to him and interested. (i.e. every romantic comedy movie ever)”
When asked about other Vastayans’ view on Xayah, WAAAARGHbobo elucidated:
How do other vastayas see Xayah and her acts of rebellion? As a hero whose cause is just, or an extremist who gives them a bad imagr and they’d rather not associate with?
On another note, can we know more about Rengar’s tribe? Like their name, where they live, why they value hunting so much and why they rock those sick dreadlocks
Depends on the person and the tribe. The tide is changing rapidly but it only has very, very limited support at this point.”
On what would happen if WAAAARGHbobo permalink
If Xayah or Rakan met Tahm Kench, what would he offer them individually?
This is a super difficult question for 2 reasons.
- Tahm is a demon (evil spirit) that feeds on human misery– in particular stuff coming from justifying unhealthy addictions (food, drink, gambling etc…) but Xayah and Rakan are in a healthy relationship and don’t really have the sort of problem.
- As Vastaya they are closer to the spirit world than humans– so Tahm would have a much harder time getting into them or tricking them.
that said Rakan really, really likes chocolate.”
On Rakan’s seemingly callous remarks when an enemy Xayah dies, WAAAARGHbobo answered:
In the lore Rakan seems much more defensive and caring about Xayah if she would die but when in game his voice lines of when she dies don’t seem to reflect that. Why is it like that?
We actually recorded a bunch of ally death lines for these two champs. And in game– they just didn’t work– they took you out of the game in a bad way and made a bad situation feel even worse for the player. It just made the overall game experience feel more toxic. (like some of the old crappy Namco arcade games VO where it feels like the game is taunting you for messing up) It was nice from a lore perspective– but didn’t work”
When asked some detailed Vastayan questions, WAAAARGHbobo commented:
About the lore, what was your thought process when instead of just making one new species for Xayah and Rakan you decided instead to somehow unify all the unique champion species into one bigger phylum? Why is it phylum exactly (you can sold me any answer, I’m not biologist)?
What are your favourite lines from VO?
Do Vastaya think that all humans are generally bad or can see beyond stereotypes nd recognise noble individualities?
There is an insights article inbound about this. (early next week?)”
On the relationship between Swain and Rakan (and possible changes when Swain is updated) WAAAARGHbobo commented:
What is the relation between Rakan and Swain? What is Swain exactly? The way Rakan talks about him makes it seem like Swain is a vastayan but not a legit one. Its somewhat confusing.
Swain is being looked at by champup and worldbuilding. Rakan’s line is a reference to OG swain. We will pull it depending on where Swain lands.”
When asked if Xayah hates Shen, WAAAARGHbobo commented:
Does Xayah hate Shen and the Kinou order 🙁
I’m not sure Xayah knows Shen has taken over for his father– but she hates his order and his role. He maintains balance between the worlds– and the borders. She doesn’t feel they are treating her kind fairly.”
Gameplay & Design
When asked about bugs in R&X’s development, EndlessPillows game an example:
Are some (unique) bugs that occured while designing these champions?
The first playtest that Xayah’s E was in, she could also hit allies with it. Rakan was not impressed.”
RiotLtRandolph also chimed in:
“The way their conversations were put together is that one of the champions “is talking” (by playing a sound that has both of their voices in it). For a time, that meant that you could have Xayah talking normally, and Rakan using her voice to talk as well. Was very disorienting.”
On fun stories from R&X’s production, Blaustoise commented:
Any fun stories from their production time?
Some of the VO we tested had Xayah saying “you gonna start it off?” And Rakan replying with “I’m gonna start it off!”
Holy did we ever meme that. Especially the playtest team, every day you would walk by and just hear things like “okay we have a meeting… I’m gonna start it off!”.
It got really bad when we were at dinner away from Riot and people kept yelling to start it off when deciding who was going to order first from a dinner menu. “
When asked about other interactions between R&X, ex. their recall, EndlessPillows commented:
On the live release we have interactions on Xayah W and Rakan E, as well as on the recall. During the designing phase which other gameplay interactions between the two were tried out?
One that I was kind of sad that we dropped was a mechanic where Rakan could drop feathers for Xayah to pull back with her E.
Turns out, Xayah already has WAY too many feathers.”
On what lanes R&X may be viable in, Beat Punchbeef commented:
Did you design Xayah and Rakan to be semi-playable in other lanes other than bot? Or was the goal to design them purely for bot lane where they would work together.
The goal was to make a duo specifically for bot lane. We wanted an experience that would feel really special for people that queue up with a friend. Hopefully this draws new people to try out bot lane as well.”
On why Xayah was a less mobile ADC, Beat Punchbeef replied:
What made you decide that there was a need to go back to a non mobile ADC since the latest ones were all super mobile.
While working on how the two would play together, any version of Xayah’s kit that had mobility on it made her feel far too self sufficient. This made it harder to care about your partner for both players as the ADC didn’t need to worry about getting help from the support and the support, also knowing this, would position differently.”
Beat Punchbeef continued on the same topic:
Generally speaking, short range on ADC champions tends to coincide with mobility on those same champions as a sort of trade off for the power their mobility brings (lucian/vayne/etc). What were the design decisions that led up to giving Xayah both short range and low/no mobility outside of her long CD ultimate?
(Note: Not trying to state an opinion either way on it, I just am interested in champion design and want to know the process for reaching this balance point)
Mobility on Xayah hurt their gameplay patterns when played together. Instead, we gave her the ability to kite backwards really well. This plays extremely well off of Rakan’s ability to get to Xayah from really far away and thus makes them both care about what the other is/can do.”
EndlessPillows also provided their thoughts:
“Xayah can actually be quite mobile when her W is up. Especially if Rakan is nearby.
30% movement speed for 5.5 seconds is pretty crazy, although it requires her or Rakan to stay in combat to keep it.
Xayah also has an AoE root on a very low cooldown. It doesn’t have a cooldown per target either, so once you start getting attack speed and CDR, you can root your foes every few seconds.
She also has a ton of AoE damage that extends past her auto attack range, with almost every ability on her kit being able to multi-hit at 1000+ range. This gives her more team-fight damage than most ADCs when the situation is right, great wave clear to push up to towers, and W lets her take them quickly as well.
To top it off, she has the ability to dodge almost any skill in the game with her ult. Even though the cooldown is long, this is the type of ability that easily wins entire matches. There is a reason no ADC has had it up until now.
So with all that said, Xayah has a TON of strengths. Especially in the ADC space. Something has to give, and lower mobility+range allows us to keep all of these super cool and unique things about her. Her playstyle is on a razors edge, but rewarding if you can pull it off.”
EndlessPillows continued on the same topic:
I’m sure they also had some other spell ideas. Which were those and what were the effect of them? (Did you ever had an spell in mind for Xayah that was a gapcloser?) Is it intended that Rakan can’t press E into B to insta recall with Xayah, cuz rn he has to interrupt or walk a bit around to be able to recall together? Do you plan on releasing Chromas for one or both of them ? And if yes, for the classics or the cosmic ones? And btw. is it intended that all summoners don’t hear the same phrase, cuz I would find it by far better if it that was the case? And thanks a lot btw, having really much fun with Xayah, and my mate with Rakan, really cool champs and a huge reason why I keep on playing League right now! :3
We tried a lot of mobility tools for Xayah, but that made her way too self sufficient. Even though she was a cool champion, she never cared about Rakan. It just wasn’t right for them.
As for Rakan E -> B, we wanted to make sure that you still need to commit to the cast time of the recall, both so enemies could have a more reasonable response, and to make it more clear for everyone involved what exactly happened.”
On Rakan’s passive, Beat Punchbeef commented:
Hey! Love Rakan, he is such a fun character to play, but one question; why does he generate a shield with his passive when he is NOT in his in combat? It just seems weird as hell, but other then that, i LOVE Rakan!
His passive is intended to give him situational tankiness in a way that is 1) windowed and 2) encourages him to build AP. The idea behind this shield is that it’s usually up when you haven’t been fighting and situationally gives you the opportunity to make risky plays to get the cooldown back in the middle of a fight.”
Does it regenerate out of battle if not full likes Malphites? Because I noticed there wasn’t a timer ticking down like there is for Malphites unless it’s completely gone.
When it’s off cooldown it comes up, regardless of combat.
If you leave a fight with it still partially on it will regenerate when you leave combat.”
WAAAARGHbobo also answered on the same topic:
So how did the idea of 2 “Dual” champions come along? Were there any other original concepts for this idea that got scrapped?
That we would make a duo bot lane together was the first idea. We then pretty quickly decided to pursue chimeric humanoid- it was more a question of what that meant.
If my memory serves originally Rakan was a “caster” more like a Morgana.”
When asked about the codenames R&X had while in development, DanielZKlein answered:
You guys have mentioned code names champions have had during development in the past, such as Jinx being known as “Psycho Arsenal.” What were some of the names you guys had for Rakan and Xayah?
They were just the duo. Duo Carry and Duo Support.”
EndlessPillows also replied:
You guys have mentioned code names champions have had during development in the past, such as Jinx being known as “Psycho Arsenal.” What were some of the names you guys had for Rakan and Xayah?
Narrative guys might have some cool ones that I’m forgetting, but I remember Xayah had a “Death by a thousand cuts” as a tagline for her.”
WAAAARGHbobo supplied a few as well:
“Here’s the names they each had in the story sketches we wrote early in development. (Going backwards in time.) They started up much more dangerous fey creatures –you would never want to have a run it with. (the older names reflected that)
Rakan: Vaesre, Beshseb,Yerlk, Aepheer, Aethre
Xayah: Xaya, Irlolri. Ayen. Lelaeka, Melkanii”
On whether the duo champion release was planned from the beginning, Beat Punchbeef commented:
Did you initially set out to intentionally do a dual champion release from the get-go, or did the idea occur in the design process for these champions a little later down the line?
We started out with a mini-thunderdome with duo characters to shotgun test a whole bunch of mechanics all at once. After we did that, we took a step back to evaluate what we learned. Then we started with the traditional DNA (Design Narrative Art) working on these two from the ground up.”
When asked about when he took over for Riot August on Rakan, Beat Punchbeef commented:
Hey beat_punchbeef when did you take over Rakan from Riot August and what are something’s a modern Enchanter should have that Rakan has
I took over for him in May of last year. At that point we had a very early prototype for the character. There were some synergies in place but the character hadn’t taken shape as an individual yet. August had a support themed Vayne tumble on the kit at the time which ended up being a blast in testing. Mobility in the enchanter space felt super fresh so we decided to start building the kit around that.”
When asked about placeholder champions used during development for Rakan & Xayah, RiotBrightmoon commented:
Which placeholder champions did you use in your playtests for Xayah and Rakan? I loved Gnar riding Hecarim for Kled 😀
I remember Rakan being temporarily model of Thresh, with a big wing on him that was actually a giant pink Braum mustache. Please tell me somebody saved a screenshot of that!!”
Blaustoise also chimed in:
“Omg I remeber these… I think it was soulstealer Draven and Thresh, but to give them “wings” we took the particle for Braum’s mustache, made it huge, recolored it, and stuck it on their backs.
It was one of the more hilarious ones I’ve seen”
Beat Punchbeef provided the video:
“I’m digging it up. Edit: Here we go”
“Xayah started off as Vayne, and then we switched to Draven when we knew she would be a knife-thrower (He has awesome throw animations, haha)
Rakan started off as Janna, and then we swapped him to Thresh to more closely match his playstyle/auto attacks.
The catch is that they both had giant Braum mustaches on their backs to look like wings.”
When asked about the DNA team working on R&X, EndlessPillows replied:
In the D.N.A. Structure who did what? Was there design overlap, or a bigger team to make the pair? What was your favourite thing brought to the table from each part to make than a cohesive pair? But also two very separate champions (Rakan DEEEEFINITELY Doesn’t play like Xayah and vice versa)
We had two different DNAs, one for each champion. But we basically acted as a “Mega DNA”, with all 6 people involved in both champions from the start.”
On having more than 3 people on the DNA team for these champions, Beat Punchbeef commented:
How did having a unit of six vs three affect the outcome of the champions?
Imo, for the better in almost every way. We had twice the number of brains working on almost every problem. It was also pretty amazing to work on Rakan with a different team having final say on Xayah. They would make decisions we wouldn’t have and that would give us ideas for things to try on Rakan to reinforce or play off of.”
On inspirations for Rakan, WAAAARGHbobo commented
What was some of the inspiration for Xayah and Rakan?
Pretty early on, I saw Rakan as a mixture of the k-pop star G-dragon and Eugene Hütz from Golgo Bordello.”
When asked about the risks in balance with bringing 2 new champions to the rift at the same time, Blaustoise replied:
Isnt it a risky move to bring 2 matching champions to the rift, considering balance wise?
Must be hard making the champs balance fine, for lets say when a Xayah doesnt have her Rakan, or Rakan doesnt have his Xayah they could be too weak but together they could be broken.
Dual Champions seem interesting but the balancing behind it is what interests me, they shouldnt be too bad alone, but not too broken with each other.
I think I’m pretty geared to answer this (researcher/analyst on gameplay insights).
Short answer is yes, it’s risky. Longer answer is we have a lot of tools to mitigate that risk. The Gameplay insights team is developing a special internal winrate report for Xayah and Rakan as individual champs and as a duo. Obviously we want them to not be too weak individually while not being too strong together, however we still want them stronger together than apart.
Additionally the designers have post launch plans for where we would tune the champions depending on what we see (too weak apart, too strong together, etc).”
On making Rakan reliant on Xayah, EndlessPillows replied:
What was the choice to make Rakan more reliant on Xayah than the other way around. His E is pretty bad without Xayah since its range is really short
I feel like Xayah is also really reliant on Rakan.
Xayah used to be much more mobile (More like Lucian), but then she didn’t need any support at all. Having him around didn’t really make her much better.
Now though, Xayah is significantly more effective if her support is with her (Even though she can still hold her own with her Ult and some well timed roots)
On the buffs to R&X’s abilities when they are together, Beat Punchbeefreplied:
Hey, I love the new champs, good work! 🙂
That being said, why did you go with the option of straight buff to their abilities if used on each other over something more inherent to the kits, like the synergy between Braum’s and Lucian’s passives?
We opted to go for both as we felt both styles would create a very strong relationship between the two characters.
The hard synergies are both fun to play with and a balancing lever for the two characters specifically when played together. They also make you think explicitly about that character when you’re using those abilities.
The soft synergies exist within their play patterns and are things like Xayah’s proficiency at kiting and Rakan’s ability to peel and jump back to her.”
EndlessPillows continued on the same topic:
How did the design process go of adding extra power to a champion depending on another champion being in the game? How did you decide what was too much power to add to a kit that depends on this, and what is too little?
We have a lot of playtesting, and very good players who give us feedback on balance. That being said, having explicit mechanics that only worth with the combination means we can balance just the combination without having to change their solo balance.”
On Xayah’s one line for her ult, RiotAmpson explained:
Why does Xayah say only one thing when she ults? 🙁 Some champs have more quotes for their ultimates.
We initially had several vocal lines for her ult, but most felt too long or not as impactful for the action she was performing. We also wanted her vocal effort of “Feathers FLY!” to be recognizable and iconic, so whenever you heard her say that line, you’d know exactly what she was doing gameplay-wise.”
Oh I see, so something like in Overwatch. I mean I’m not saying it is a bad thing, it is actually very smart, I just found it weird because it’s a sudden change from the way previous champions were done.
Yeah, for sure! I really love how the VO in Overwatch also acted as gameplay tells, so that was definitely an inspiration. It’s something we don’t often do with our League champs, but something we like to experiment with and see what feels best for the moment and action. Xayah’s ult felt like the best place to use this technique.”
On more interactions with each other on future shared skins, EndlessPillows commented:
If the two champions will always have matching skins, will they ever have special recalls/interactions when both are using the skins?
It’s always on the table! Our skins team is super dope. They have a ton of skill and even more cool ideas.”
On whether Kalista was a inspiration for how Xayah works, EndlessPillows commented:
Hey guys, thanks for doing this! So what I’m wondering is, how – if at all – was Kalista on your mind when designing Xayah’s kit, and did you guys take any lessons from her while working on Xayah? A lot of people have noted similarities in their kits and while I’m not convinced they have that much in common, I feel like that feedback has to have popped up a little bit in production.
I can see how the similarities for “Potential damage” with Xayah’s E and Kalista’s E could come from. While we did apply things that we learned from Kalista to Xayah (Like how we can manage the damage falloff), I think they end up feeling very different in practice, especially with the rest of their kits in mind.”
On other fun bugs that happened during production, RiotLtRandolph commented:
Any fun/memorable bugs while creating them?
If Bard ulted one of them while they’re dancing together, the other one would keep on dancing merrily along. Particularly funny if it was Rakan who was statue-d, and Xayah would be flipping and spinning in the air.”
In why we got R&X as a male support and female adc, WAAAARGHbobo commented:
Why is xayah (adc) a female and rakan (supp) the male? Were you trying to avoid the stereotypical gender bias that girls should be the support or was it completely random?
More that we hadn’t made an attractive female ADC in a while and we had not made a non-beefy male support.”
On whether R&X would ever have completely unique recalls/dances, RiotLtRandolph responded:
Would Rakan and Xayah skins ever be able to have unique recall animations? That is one of the major things that new skins bring but I can’t see it ever being possible for them (as they can have different skins)
We have the technology to have a different duo dance if both champions are on a particular set of skins. So it’s theoretically possible.
Basically we can check all kinds of conditions before triggering the specific animation, and which skin each is is one of those conditions.”
On whether a 2 player controlled champion was every considered, EndlessPillows replied:
Was the 1 champion controlled by 2 people concept attempted in development? (I know that you guys don’t want to do that, I’m just curious.) How did it work if it was a thing at one point?
We decided very early that we wanted to allow players to play these champions separately. We didn’t want players to feel like they couldn’t be Rakan or Xayah mains, because they would always be forced to play together. If your support/adc didn’t want to play the other one, it would suck.”
On scrapped abilities for Rakan, EndlessPillows commented:
Hey! Haven’t had the chance to play Xayah yet but I’m loving Rakan. He feels very different from any other support.
Any cool scrapped ability that you can share with us? 😛
Rakan’s E used to have no cooldown, but a per target cooldown like Yasuo E.
Really cool on paper, and pretty fun to use, but it became ALL you would do in fights.”
On the leak from Reddit before R&X’s release, Beat Punchbeef replied:
Did having the surprise of a duo champ leak early take the shine of releasing the champs or do you still think it was a great enough reveal? I suppose it’s also a question whether you thought the leak reached a lot of the community or not.
It’s always unfortunate when it happens. It might have added a little extra buzz to that first day but tbh, I love everything our promotions team did for these characters. Couldn’t be happier with their launch!”
On whether there would be more duo champions in the future, Reav3 replied:
Will there be more Duo champions like Xayah and Rakan in the future? or will this only be Xayah and Rakan’s niche?
Who knows. We have talked about doing a similar thing for a Morgana/Kayle VGU in the future though.”
When asked who R&X’s voice actors were, WAAAARGHbobo replied:
Who are Rakan and Xayah’s Voice Actor’s? I heard claims that Nolan North is Rakan’s VA but not a word about who Xayah’s is.
Can you tell us yet?
because of a whole mess of boring paperwork and boring legal stuff– we don’t give names out unless and until the actor has made a public post -stating that it was them.”
On Xayah’s low attack range, EndlessPillows explained:
We haven’t had a ADC that has a decent attack range in 4 years (Jinx), how come you went with a 525 range ADC instead of a 575+ range ADC?
Xayah has a lot of other strengths that we thought were new/interesting for ADC. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t be able to give those to her if she also had long range.”
When asked about the color scheme used for Rakan & Xayah, EndlessPillows replied:
What was the purpose of the very red-heavy color scheme for both Xayah and Rakan? Usually with color themes in champions, is there a purpose to the colors chosen beyond simple aesthetic purposes?
I’m sure an Artbro has a better answer, but I know one of the goals was to have colors that both complimented eachother, but also looked like they were “one in the same”, in terms of them both being Vastaya and being made for each other in league.”
Skekses also provided some information:
“Always the main pillars to choose any colors for our champions are readability and thematic. Both of them are using Ionia colors theme so thematically we were in a good place, but Xayah is in the cooler part of the color wheel and Rakan in the warmer to match with their personalities.
On the inspiration for R&X, RiotAmpson responded:
What was some of the inspiration for Xayah and Rakan?
While brainstorming ideas and tonalities for Xayah’s audio, I got inspiration from several different places. I wanted her abilities and actions to feel very stylized and sleek, which the last DmC game had in truckloads. Hit-girl from Kick-Ass was also an inspiration, especially how quick and deadly her moments are without feeling metallic. This was important for Xayah because her feathers needed to feel sharp and deadly without sounding like knifes or blades. As for her voice, we drew lots of inspiration from Audrey Plaza’s wit and dry sense of humor and Jennifer Lawrence’s defiance and bad-assery.”
On R&X’s shared dance, EndlessPillows replied:
When Xayah and Rakan dance, they dance together. Do you think this kind of mechanic would be implemented between any other champions? Some ideas that come to mind are Tango Twisted Fate and Eve, or Darius and Draven.
Possibly! The tech was created for Xayah and Rakan, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more stuff using it in the future.”
When asked about challenges creating the new champs, EndlessPillows replied:
Where there any challenges you came across specifically for creating 2 extremely interactive-to-each-other champions?
Totally! There are a lot of requirements to having a spell made to work with another champion. I’m hoping we do a dev blog about it eventually, but there are things like:
Cooldowns that rely on another champion, being able to signal to your ally you want to do a “combo” without having voice chat, abilities feeling weak alone because they were balanced to be used in a combination.”
On why R&X don’t share recall timers, EndlessPillows answered:
How come when one recalls, the other doesn’t get the same recall timer but instead there own, only to recall with like 3 seconds left. If that makes sense.
A few reasons. One is tech. We can’t really remove that bar without making the game think you are no longer recalling (Which we need).
The other is, if your partner stops the recall on their own, we didn’t want them to stop your recall as well (A big reason for this was to stop trolling, where people could just constantly stop you from backing). So if one of the two stops the recall, the other will just keep going as normal.”
On a Vastayan/Yordle mix, WAAAARGHbobo commented:
Ohh that makes me excited for more Vastayans. Question, would a Vastayan Yordle mix ever be possible?
Under the current logic for them, no. But anything is possible with enough time or good enough of a reason.”
Beat Punchbeef group questions #1:
First, wanna say great job guys, Rakan and Xayah are great in my opinion (really love Rakans unexpected personality). Now the questions.
1.What made you decide to make Rakan the support and Xayah the ADC, and not the other way around?
2.How did you decide on Rakans current personality/voice instead of a smooth romantic personality/voice like his looks make you believe?
3.How did you guys decide on the bird/harpy & phoenix theme instead of another animal?
- This largely came out of our discovery about the characters. We talked a lot about how they would fight while working on their personalities and decided that Rakan was always trying to catch your eye (which worked well with his mobility identity) to distract you from Xayah as she killed you with a thousand cuts.
- We wanted him to be charming and likable but there was also something a bit unstable below the surface, especially when it came to protecting Xayah. We drew on some personality references of big rock and pop stars, in both their professional and personal lives.
- We started with chimeran as a descriptor, meaning a mix of several animals. Rakan was borne out of a peacock, since he’s beautiful and always wants you to look at him.”
Beat Punchbeef group questions #2
Really love how the champions look and how Rakan plays.
- How did you come up with the idea for the Q, did you play around with the idea of healing off minions and double for champions?
- Was there anywhere you drew your ideas from for the design of Rakans kit? He kinda reminds me of Apollo from smite with his W and his lady charming attitude, but his E is something I haven’t seen before and is a wonderful ability.
- When designing Rakan, did he change around from being a tank to being a healing support to becoming an almost assassin like support he is now, or did you have a plan from the start for what you wanted him to be.
- when did you start working on these two, did the project start for just one and evolved into two or was it a duo lane release from the start?
Love your work and keep doing what you do :), Thumbs up to the people who made the lines sound like an actual couple.
- Was looking to key off his central mobility spell and also give him something to leash him back to his carry in lane. It’s also a flashy looking spell which was a requirement for everything.
- I like playing some of the more ham supports (blitzcrank) and wanted to make something that didn’t necessarily fit within the traditional support mold.
- He was always focused on mobility but his tankiness, healing, kill power, disruption, etc. all changed quite a bit through various iterations.
- Started as a duo bottom lane. We were trying to capture a really cool experience for people that queue up together as a marksman and support.”
WAAAARGHbobo group questions #1
- “Seemed more fun to make the guy the support– in part cause we hadn’t done a girl ADC in a while.
- Depth. Our goal is to make characters that are more 3 dimensional. The goal was not for Rakan to be a smooth elven voice– that is too obvious trope and worse it does not match his play style. In LOL Rakan is in the middle of a fight– enjoying the craziness– that matches his gameplay and how his personality reacts to stressful situations. We have more than a few lines in there hinting at Rakan when he is alone and what he is like when he is with Xayah alone. He has a thoughtful and romantic side and his voice smooths out when he says those lines. In short, people’s voices change when they are excited.”
- As part of the Rakan and Xayah release we’ll be having a DOUBLE IP WEEKEND starting Saturday morning and lasting through Monday morning (times vary by region!). Rakan and Xayah are also available for IP gifting and two limited time icons can be obtained by gifting or playing as the pair through April 26th See this post for more information!
- As mentioned in the 7.8 notes, Legend of the Poro King returns to the RGMQ from 4/21/17 12:00 PT – 4/25/17 04:00 PT and 4/28/17 12:00 PT – 5/2/17 04:00 PT.