Let’s talk Trist! Originally released a megling champion before uh... they all went away... we’re solidifying Tristana as a yordle while giving her a new model, textures, voicework, ability effects and some targeted kit changes. Yep. Kit changes. Along with number tweaks, Tristana’s E active has gone to join the Heart of Gold and Philo Stone in ye warehouse of olde eqyppmente, and she now has a completely new way to shoot, explode, etc her opponents. Here’s how it works.
Passive: Whenever Tristana kills a unit, her shot explodes, dealing damage to all nearby enemies.
Active: Tristana attaches a charge to a nearby enemy unit or turret. After a few seconds, the charge detonates, dealing damage to the target and all nearby enemies. Attacking the target with basic attacks amps the charge up, making it deal extra damage as it explodes. Tristana can also Rocket Jump onto a target with Explosive Charge for extra damage.
We grabbed a couple of the champion update guys to go through the update and talk about some of the specific changes we’re implementing.
Old Trist was a late game powerhouse who didn’t really have clearly defined weaknesses. Her power dipped in the mid game, yeah, but when you look at other super powerful late game carries (think Vayne or Kog’Maw), she just didn’t have the same Achilles heel-type glowing red spots for her enemy team to pew pew at. She had insane range and speed with her basic attacks, and even when she did get caught, she had a decent knock back AND a lengthy jump that let her GTFO. Changes were needed, and after deliberating with the rest of the champion update designers, we decided to cement Tristana as a daredevil reset carry who gets bonuses from (rocket) jumping into fights while removing some of the safe strength she had in her kit.
Now, instead of operating as an uber safe right-clicker, new Tristana’s power is windowed, with huge power spikes when she’s played to meet specific goals. Her basic attack speed still increases per level, but the boost is lower than before. This makes Rapid Fire actually important, as she’s not just switching from stupid fast attack speed to soul-crushingly fast attack speed. Her Rocket Jump now deals lower base damage, but can deal way more if she stacks up Explosive Charge on her target before landing on their face.
Implementing Explosive Charge brought about a few interesting new combos, too: now you can plant your explosive charge onto the enemy frontline tank, pump up the charge with a few basic attacks, then knock them into their allies with Buster Shot. A bit like a Zilean time bomb and Lee Sin kick in one combo. Explosive Charge is pretty central to her playstyle: by landing the ability on the right targets and making smart use of Rapid Fire, good Trist players will maximize her new E’s detonation before Rocket Jumping in to start off her trademark reset rampage.
Tristana was one of those older champions who was – as Vesh has put it – a bit of a blob. Like Twitch, she had a limited rig, meaning our animators couldn’t add much in the way of personality to her movement, and she was generally starting to look a bit dated next to the more recent champs. We started looking at Tristana through the champion update lens and knew we wanted to bring in a wholesale change, updating her model, textures, rig, and animations until she felt like a unique part of the yordle family.
That’s right – she’s now officially a yordle, too! Working from the standards we set with Heimerdinger’s update, we knew we wanted to push her proportions so that she physically represented her character and theme. Heimer’s a genius, so has a bit of a bobblehead and wobbles around as he walks. Tristana, on the other hand, represents the yordle take on a super cannon commando. Her appearance is slightly more feral and nature-themed than before, with wilder eyes and animalistic ears that steer her away from little girl territory and towards yordle status. Tristana’s cannon is now a full expression of her, too, thanks to exaggerated animations that we’ve added to the cannon itself whenever she uses Rocket Jump or Buster Shot.
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