Ask Riot: Unbench the Kench
The latest on Tahm Kench’s mini-update and the revival of server transfers.
It’s been a while since the last roadmap where we officially kicked off the return of the Ruined King. While we don’t have a ton of new information to share at this moment, we do have a lot of updates on things we announced at the beginning of the year.
In January, we said that the next three champs after Viego would all tie into his return story. Gwen is the first of these champions, but her future remains a mystery. She definitely has a role to play in this twisted tale, but what exactly that is remains unknown… for now.
But enough about Viego and Gwen and the encroaching doom—let’s go on a wacky detour into Dr. Mundo’s VGU. Then we’ll get into the next two new champs, including an update on the gloomy mage’s release timing. Finally, we’ll take a pit stop at Udyr’s VGU, which you all chose at the beginning of the year.
It’s been a bit since the last Mundo dev blog, but I can finally say we’re getting pretty close to re-releasing the Madman of Zaun. Thanks for everyone's patience (man this champion has a lot of skins).
First off, we wanted to share some of Mundo’s new voice lines. New Mundo's VO comes across as a shade or two smarter than current Mundo—it was basically impossible for that not to be the case since live Mundo's lines don't even acknowledge the fact that he's a "doctor," let alone his reasoning (questionable as it might be) for the methods he chooses. As we’ve mentioned before, though, we want to preserve Mundo’s dark yet extremely comical (...and dumb) personality, and his VO is an important part of that.
Another thing we thought would be cool to share before his official launch is the final Rageborn Mundo splash art. In the last dev blog, we showed the final concept art for that skin, and since then we’ve finished it.
Finally, we’re currently putting the last bit of polish on his Legendary skin, Corporate Mundo. We want to make sure that skin hits the quality bar and expectations for modern Legendary skins. The team is having a blast working on it, as you can see by this fun animation Drew “Sandwichtown” Morgan put together to inspire the team.
… okay, we’ll also share a bit of Corporate Mundo’s new VO:
Now that we have gone through that maddening detour, let’s get back to those dark and edgy champions coming next in the return of the Ruined King saga.
During the Season 2021 roadmap, I talked briefly about a charming new Sentinel of Light that will swing onto the Rift this summer. Now that there’s a lot more to grapple with, let’s talk in more detail.
Our goal with this champ was to create a marksman that would primarily be played mid lane. While champions like Lucian, Corki, and Tristana have seen play mid, none of them feel like they were made specifically for that position, with the traits you often see from champions in that lane—like intentionally-designed roaming patterns and a dueling focus. We felt a marksman designed for mid would both add a unique champion to the roster and could also be pretty appealing to a lot of mid lane assassin and skirmisher players.
Things are looking pretty bleak for Senna and Lucian right now, but maybe some new Sentinels can revive their hope.
Yes, yes it can be, so can video game development sigh.
Last we chatted, the new mid lane mage was scheduled to release ahead of the marksman. Since then, we’ve decided our gloomy new yordle needed a bit more time in development as we needed to create some new tech to visually sell her source of power. Also, as her gameplay kit developed, she’s moved away from being an artillery mage and is now closer to a classic mage. She still gets annoyed as hell with hyperactive champions dashing all around her, that hasn’t changed one bit. It’s enough to make her get serious and start clobbering all lifeforms full of irritating happiness dashing around her like pesky flies.
Even with the delay, this champ still has a big part to play in Viego’s story, so expect to see her cast a shadow across Runeterra a few months before she finally decides to get out of bed and begrudgingly deal with all the colors on Summoner’s Rift.
As many of you know, Udyr won the player choice VGU poll earlier this year. Since then we’ve started giving the old spirit walker a huge makeover. We’re still super early in development, so we don’t have quite enough content to fill an entire blog, but we should have one coming in a few months.
In the meantime, we wanted to share some rough sketches Justin “RiotEarp” Albers has been working on to see what’s resonating with all of you.
That’s all for today—we should have a lot more to share after we start ramping down Viego's saga. And after going through such a grim story, what else is there to do but take the next leg of the year head on. Get ready for a new marksman (bot lane this time) that will give you an electrifying glimpse into one of Runeterra's most tenacious regions, one that never knows when to quit.