League of Legends’ upcoming yordle, Vex, was originally supposed to be an artillery mage that extended the distance that allied missiles traveled. But it would have cost “multiple years of VFX budget,” according to Riot.
The angsty mage is slated to hit the Rift later this month, introducing some counterplay to the MOBA’s many dashes. Early iterations of her kit looked a bit different, however. Riot discussed Vex in today’s dev blog, explaining how her abilities changed throughout the design process.
“Vex’s original gameplay, designed by [former champion designer] Nathan ‘Lutzburg’ Lutz, created portals that extended the distance allied missiles traveled,” Riot said. “You’d essentially have Miss Fortune ults that went double distance, Blitzcrank hooks from out of nowhere, and all these other really scary, but really cool experiences.”
While extending missiles’ distance would add a unique gameplay mechanic to League, it “just wasn’t feasible.” Every missile ability would need its VFX adjusted to interact with Vex’s kit, which would take up a lot of the developers’ resources. So Riot scrapped the extension mechanic and instead focused on Vex’s lovable personality.
As a brooding and gloomy yordle, it made sense for Vex to be irritated by anything high-energy and annoying—and that’s where dashes come in. The “doom” part of Vex’s Doom ‘n Gloom passive allows her basic spells to periodically interrupt dashes and Fear enemies. While this isn’t especially useful if your enemy is far away, the passive is more effective from close range. And like that, the Gloomist’s kit went from a long-range artillery mage to an anti-dive one.
Vex’s release is scheduled for Sept. 23 with League Patch 11.19.
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