Passive: Shepherd of Souls
Yorick can have up to four Mist Walkers in his service at once. Mist Walkers instantly die if they move too far from either Yorick or the Maiden of the Mist. A grave is occasionally created when enemy minions or neutral monsters die near Yorick, and all enemy champions that die near him leave a grave.
Q: Last Rites and Awakening
Yorick's next basic attack deals bonus damage and restores some health. If Last Rites kills a target, it creates a grave. If there are at least three graves nearby and Last Rites is on cooldown, Yorick can instead cast Awakening to raise Mist Walkers from the graves.
W: Dark Procession
Yorick summons a destructible wall of corpses that encircles a target area for a few seconds.
E: Mourning Mist
Yorick hurls a globule of Mist that deals magic damage, applies a slow, and marks a target. Yorick and Mist Walkers get a movement bonus when heading toward marked targets.
R: Eulogy of the Isles
Yorick summons the Maiden of the Mist (at higher ranks, she'll bring some Mist Walkers with her). The Maiden moves and attacks on her own. When Yorick attacks the Maiden's target, he'll deal bonus magic damage based on the enemy's maximum health.
Scoop Some Goop from the
Despite longstanding issues with Yorick's design, we felt we had a pretty clear idea of exactly how his kit and visual thematics needed to change. He needed to remain a necromancer, so we knew he'd be summoning some sort of wraiths or ghouls. The new story about the cape of souls on his back gave us the perfect explanation for his ability to bring forth Mist Walkers into the world—he just reaches into the mist and yanks out a handful of ghoulies.
The Mist Walkers, once raised, aren't necessarily the soul of any particular dead person, because when Yorick adds a soul to the soupy miasma of his cape, it works sort of like pouring a cup of water into a swimming pool. When Yorick performs Awakening in-game, he's actually just filling the corpses of his enemies with a cupful of the black mist, scooped fresh from the ghoul jacuzzi on his back. The mist animates the body, creating a Mist Walker.
The monk spade gave us a starting point for Yorick's visual update, but it wasn't hard to find other areas to improve. For one, Yorick's new role as the Shepherd of Lost Souls implies that he should probably be dressing in some sort of ceremonial garb, not just a gnarly pile of rags. "Most of his new getup is made out of stone, sort of like something a weight-training monk would use," explains concept artist Gem "Lonewingy" Lim. "It’s decorative, but it’s also indicative of how disciplined this guy is."
When viewed from the back, the Shepherd's rocky costume also makes him look a bit like a tombstone shuffling around on the Rift. This was intentional, partly because it fits so well with his persistent, deliberate gameplay pattern. When he sets his eyes on a goal, he gets tunnel vision—he wants to just push down a lane with his army. Slowly. Certainly.
He’s ultimately a character that tests your ability to adapt to predictable AI actions," says Solcrushed. "Mist Walkers are a pretty simple AI. It’s like you're a shepherd leading sheep.
The slow-and-steady approach to his animations and design worked particularly well since we'd always wanted to capture the feeling that, as Yorick, you're moving an army. This, says champion designer Sol "Solcrushed" Kim, means Yorick's update had to retain his A.I. horde. "He’s ultimately a character that tests your ability to adapt to predictable AI actions," says Solcrushed. "Mist Walkers are a pretty simple AI. It’s like you're a shepherd leading sheep."
The biggest game design challenge when building Yorick, says Solcrushed, was figuring out how the ghoul raising process works. At first, any minion who was given their Last Rites immediately turned into a Mist Walker. Yorick raised a walker, his enemy killed a walker, rinse, repeat. The system was pretty unsatisfying from everyone, because Yorick never gained a real army, and his enemy had a constant, obnoxious workload to deal with.
At another point in the design process, the Shepherd's ult gave him global ghoul raising. He'd blanket the whole map in darkness, turning everything that died during the cold night into a ghoul. The ghoul army would push every lane at once, and the reanimated corpses of freshly farmed monsters would come streaming out of the jungle. "It was pretty cool, but it was also batshit insane and totally unpredictable, so we cut it," says Solcrushed.
The ultimate goal for Yorick's rework, Solcrushed says, was pretty simple: "I just want players to feel like they finally have a necromancer that’s actually cool."