Aug
12
Remaking Irelia – Behind the Scenes | League of Legends


We started updating champions because we started to see this really big difference between the stuff we’re really proud of releasing and then the stuff that we probably could’ve done a little better when we released it. Irelia’s kind of an unusual choice as far as that goes. She can do everything but she doesn’t
really excel in all those things. Everybody would be a little bit nervous
hearing that like a champion that they really liked to play is getting a massive update. She has a very strong fantasy that’s
resonated with a lot of our players but her gameplay has generally been lacking and actually delivering on the fantasy for one. It’s not fulfilling the fantasy of
multiple blades flying at you or multiple blades who are dancing at you. If we can really nail the blade dancer fantasy we can make her one of the coolest
champions in League. As it stands, there’s like three spells
that are basically — we can call it basically locked
although I’ll probably still tinker with her a little bit. From there on, we’re trying to find the
W and ultimate. What are the most important aspects of
Irelia to players. Let’s focus on that. And then what are the riskiest or least
certain aspects of Irelia to us Let’s also focus on that. More often than not, it actually takes
a few months to really get to the point where we
feel like we have a kit that’s trending in a good direction. This R spell is actually a pretty cool spell, the main questions I have about it are
just like is this right for Irelia, right? It’s like, it’s like a heavy duty like
support ult. Are we turning her into something
that she’s not? Irelia’s Q has always been her defining spell. It is like probably the spell that
players play the character for. The first pattern we hit for Irelia was
through her passive her Q and her E. When we have that, we’ve learned a lot
about what the character is and probably should be. And then we validate that with Player
Labs. We have Player Lab on Tuesday. I know. I think it’d be really really good if
we can get… at least like a fairly indicative
version for both. I think so. Into a good spot by Tuesday night. Player Labs is Riot’s opportunity to
test out our content with players not internally, not with
our development teams but with actual, real players. So we have been looking for people who
either currently play Irelia and like her or people who play top lane skirmishers
or similar characters and like those as well. I think with Player Labs you’re always
a little nervous to see how people respond. I would just jump in, I’d get a huge
free trade on him but I had no way of sticking on him. When I use the W, it kinda like kills
the momentum. It doesn’t really feel like it’s a part of her. Get more than one competing idea for
what she could be doing in W. Like get your top three and then you can poll people and be
like, “Is it cool if she’s shaping the battlefield?” “Is it cool if she’s nullifying spells?” “Is it cool if she’s stopping, saving-”
You know what I mean? Get a couple, and then we can just sort
of judge them. I worry a little about the character’s
impact to the game being relatively similar to a lot of other people. I’m basically looking for things that
Irelia can do that other characters basically cannot. It cannot be overstated how important
it is to take time. What we have are a small group of
players that can play Irelia over and over and over again. The earlier we can get kit locked, the more time we can give them to just play the character with the goal that over time we will
actually hone in on the character’s overall balance to be as close to a
good balanced character as possible. The current version is more diver than
a skirmisher. The lane test was a bit rough. I didn’t see the point of even testing it. Like I had Triforce and two levels up
and I still lost the fight. I like the concept of the anti-poke niche but the reward for it doesn’t actually feel that high. Sounds like what I’ll probably go from
here is basically try lowering her R output a little and then putting some power of that into W. The R feels its getting decently close at this point and then we tried the W which was
really cool but to me, like hitting too high on the execution bar as in like, the character’s getting too hard to play. We have kit lock, so new and old Irelia
players will love her. As you would have probably imagined, we
don’t have her kit locked. So let’s put that back to like an in progress, unfortunately. Oh. I will probably still need like… I would assume about like a week to… like, finalize it out. There’s always some sort of sequence
that has to run through the project. Animation, to some degree, always has to follow when we can get the model rigged. VFX often has to follow timing from animation. So by the time when we’re in January
and production was starting to finish, sound effects still have a lot of work
that they had to get through. I can do first pass on her kit in like two days. So I’m kinda in the spot where like I need to wait for people and I don’t
know how to be useful. Anyone else feel like they’re blocked or similarly not empowered to work on Irelia? IreliaCarriesU is like a really notable
Irelia main in the community and we want to specifically invite him
in to play test. Oh the hard read. Aw no! Oooh. Well even though the stun wasn’t the same I still felt like, oh yeah it’s still there and I can still setup the same stuff
that I used to setup before but at the same time I’m not reliant on
always having my flash up. Getting his read on it at that point was really really helpful. Being able to say like, “Hey, these are some of the things that
we want to hold true.” What do you think? Overall, kit seems to be doing pretty well. Not gonna hate us for this rework? No, no I don’t think so. I think its in
the right direction. Just like seeing the smile on his face,
listening to him talk about it that’s when I knew we can polish things
up, but we’re set. We got kit lock! Has anybody played with the W yet? I went 15 and 1 in the audio playtest. It was disgusting. Music and splash come at the end of the pipeline and they’re going right up until the release. So as Irelia is about to launch. And players are going to start seeing her I hope they look at her as the actual
embodiment of the fantasy that was promised to them so long ago. There’s always that little bit being a developer where you work so closely to this project for so long maybe we’re gonna be surprised, maybe we missed something. I hope that players sincerely love Irelia. And I hope that they perceive her to be still true to all the core elements of Irelia that
they loved before she was remade.