The next class update will be focused on “traditional” Mages and I’m here to give you guys and gals some of the initial details. Similar to the Juggernaut and Marksman releases, these updates aim to take look at an entire class of champions and accomplish 2 primary goals:
1. Ensure the class as a whole is relevant and satisfying to play
2. Differentiate each champion within the class
Many Mages are intended to lack mobility but have not necessarily been given clear answers as to what they should do about it or why they work without it. For each sub-class of Mages (this is something we’ll dive into more in a different post) these answers will vary, but our intent is to make it clear that each of these champions is powerful in their own unique way.
On the flip side of the coin, many of them no longer meet our evolving gameplay standards of interactivity, depth, uniqueness, etc. This is also an opportunity to go back and adjust these champions (especially some of our older ones) making them more interesting to play as, with, and against.
**Who are we working on?**
Similar to the Marksman update, we’re aiming to release ~6 significant updates. The champions we are currently considering (but are still subject to change) are Malzahar, Vel’Koz, Brand, Vladimir, Cassiopeia, and Zyra.
For each of these champions we aim for them to be 3 things:
1. **Distinct** - offer a unique reason to be picked
2. **Cohesive** - deliver on their core thematic and gameplay fantasy
3. **Healthy** - balance-able and fun to play as and against at all skill levels
Note that given the scope of these projects, we won’t necessarily solve every issue on every champion - and fortunately we won't have to since all of the champions already succeed in their own way at some of the above.
On top of the 6, we are again looking to do a sweep across the entire class (as we did with the Marksman) to find potential tweaks that will make them more unique, interactive, and exciting to play. The smaller-scale changes done to Twitch and Lucian are good examples of this.
**What can you expect? When?**
We’ve learned a lot from our previous projects and better understand the line between something unique and something unfamiliar. Our priority is to find ways to evolve and enhance the current direction of a champion while still accomplishing the above-stated goals.
In some ways, the feeling of change is unavoidable; we are updating these champions so things WILL be different. We’re confident that we can retain the things you guys love while adding new dimensions.
This is all still a far ways off, so don’t expect anything soon. As you can infer from the title, we’re aiming to release these changes around mid-year and we’ve only just begun to delve deeply into these projects.
**How can you help?**
We’d love to have your guys’ feedback and opinion on the Mages before and during their development process rather than only at the tail end - especially for the “big 6” (Malzahar, Vel’Koz, Brand, Vladimir, Cassiopeia, Zyra).
We are most interested in the following about your favorite champion:
1. What aspect is most core or sacred to their identity?
2. What issue bothers you the most when playing them?
This doesn’t mean we’ll be magically giving everyone dashes or any other instant remedies to all their problems (weaknesses often exist for a good reason). Instead, this information will help us understand which direction to take each champion and where the opportunities lie.
We won’t be talking in the short-term about exact changelists since we’re still in such a state of flux, but we hope you guys are as excited as we are about the updates ahead!