How Many Champions Can Riot Actually Make?

By LoL Smurfs

Opinion

How Many Champions Can Riot Actually Make?

If you’ve been playing League of Legends for long enough, then you’ll probably notice the increasing number of champions. When League of Legends was first launched on 21st February 2009, it had 17 champions available to play. From the recent 7.24 patch, there are now currently 139 champions available in game. With the most champions in any MOBA out there, this raises the question: how many more champions can Riot make?

To answer that question, we’re looking at Riot’s design process and realistically how many more they can produce. With so many factors that contribute towards the design and creation of a champion, there’s lots to cover. Let’s start with how Riot thinks up ideas for their champions before jumping into character development.

thane champion art
Riot are known for creating a range of unique champions, but how exactly are these champions born? They all start with an idea.

The majority of champions come from concept artists after asking several questions. The artists are trying to design a unique champion based on a specific problem or requirement in the game. Maybe there are too many support champions, and they need to make a new ADC. Or perhaps they want to break away from ranged ADC’s and focus on a melee one. Whatever the requirement, the concept artist starts to bring a champion to life by scribbling some ideas on paper. There’s even been cases where a simple scribble on the back of a napkin has become a complete champion in game.

When designing a champion, Riot uses a D.N.A approach which stands for designer, narrative and artist. The 3 step process involves several employees working on different sections to try and fine tune their idea and bring the champion to life.

Once a requirement and concept has been drawn, the narrative will start to be researched for the champion. This means reading lots of ancient mythology and literature to establish some kind of background and history for the champion. Employees will also explore how the champion fits in with the current lore as well as other champions.

After getting a good idea of what the champion looks like and what they’re all about, the next stage is designing their abilities. As you probably know this is one of the most critical steps. If they get this wrong, then they could be left with a completely over or underpowered champion.

The designers work with ideas around the champion and decide how to incorporate these abilities into the champion. Sometimes it’s easy, but most of the time it’s hard. It’s not that of an uncommon case for them to design abilities only to redesign them a few days later. When it comes to making League of Legends champions, there is no exact science.
To give you a more detailed look at how Riot design and create their champions, here’s a cool video they put together.

What About Old Champions?

old and new warwick art

When League of Legends was first released back in 2009, there were hardly any champions. This meant that Riot focused solely on producing new champions for a couple of years. However, after creating several champions over a few years, Riot decided to slow down creating champions and start revamping old ones.

As League of Legends evolves, new lore updates and features are always coming into the game. This means that sometimes, certain champions suddenly become outdated. Instead of working on creating brand new champions, Riot decided that an old champions need to be revamped.

This can be anything from creating new abilities to giving a champion a complete new look and makeover. It might not sound like a lot of effort, but it usually takes around the same time as designing a brand-new champ. As League of Legends gets older, it’s likely that the number of champions made will be reduced while the number of champions revamped increases dramatically.

How Many Champions Are Left?

andreia champion art

Trying to figure out how many champions Riot have left is a tricky task. Eventually, there will become a point when Riot struggles to think up ideas that are unique and original. When this happens, Riot might have to look at other ways of generating ideas. This means they could end up turning to fans and asking for their help. Currently, there are plenty of fan ideas out there for skins and champions. If you visit the official League of Legends forums you’ll see pages of drawings and designs for plenty of champions. Sometimes Riot actually take these ideas and turn them into in-game additions. Although it is very rare.

If Riot do decide that they can’t possibly think up any new ideas, then they’ll most likely work on revamping old champions. This means taking existing champions and making them even better. Whether that means changing their abilities or giving them a complete visual makeover, Riot can provide players with something new without having to start from scratch.

As League of Legends recently celebrated its 139th champion release just think how hectic it will be when they reach the big 200! Not only will that be the most MOBA champions ever made for any game, but it will also be interesting to see how unique the champions are.

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