Welcome to the short summary of the Riot Jag’s Quick Gameplay Thoughts 7/23 on the League of Legends website. This one covers Akshan and answers questions players had during the whole time he was on PBE. Now, with Akshan released, we think it is appropriate to shed some light on the way Game Designers at Riot think and how they are trying to bring new and unique experiences, and taking balancing issues at the same time.
We’re going to begin with the premise and then make a short summary of each question Riot Jag considered answering on behalf of the team.
If you wish to know more about akshan, check out this Official Champion Spotlight.
Akshan is a mid-lane marksman assassin, built to play aggressively early on in the game by roaming and skirmishing. His intended strengths and weaknesses include:
- Strategic flanking and target access due to stealth and mobility from grappling hook.
- Long range kill pressure with ultimate.
- Unique utility by reviving slain allies.
- Highly self-sufficient due to built-in shield and ability to choose engagements.
- Strong burst damage, particularly when snowballing.
- Windows of top tier roaming from increased movement speed when hunting Scoundrels.
- Access to revive requires killing an enemy (often the most dangerous one)
- Weak reactive defenses, particularly against aggressive melees that can bodyblock his grappling hook.
- Worst-in-Marksman-class sustained DPS.
- Worst-in-Marksman-class attack range.
- Damage falls off significantly with game time.
- Extremely unreliable damage in teamfights.
- No crowd control, and very low value to the team when behind.
“do you have any idea exactly how powerful this revive is?”
The answer is – no. And That’s the point. The job of the champion designers is to make new champions that excite players in unique and novel ways. The players decide the success of a champion by picking, playing, and optimizing him. Jag mentioned that “our best champions are ones who can only be optimized by the community.”
So, they’re not exactly sure how powerful the revive is. We all know how Akshan can blunder or singlehandedly win a late-game team fight. But whether it’s a good or bad thing will be decided when the team gets enough live data.
“Why would you do something so risky?”
Because every new champion design owes players something unique, exciting, and new. Even when the unknown factor isn’t as loud as a revive, players deserve more than 1-to-1 repeats of champions in the same role with the same builds. Without taking risks, Pyke wouldn’t be released, as well as Jhin or Yasuo.
“Why should Akshan have this revive instead of someone more support-y?”
The answer is that it matches who Akshan is as a person. He’s a complex hero on a journey to find a way to be a part of the world. He wants to live in a way that lets him connect with people and help them, even if doing that could severely cost him.
Of course, it’s going beyond that. The revive has to make sense in terms of gameplay as well. Players talk a lot about champions that are not just fun to play as, but also fun to play against. The team wanted to design Akshan as a champion who’s fun to play with.
League is a cooperative game, and winning requires teamwork. That’s why Riot tried to design Akshan in a way that makes his exceptionally selfish character archetype and playstyle (the overlap of Assasin and Marksman)still bring value to the team, so the players can root for him when they see him deep inside the enemy jungle, hunting for a scoundrel. He’s doing that for them.
You can also read Riot’s Quick Gameplay Thoughts about Sona, whose changes will be implemented in the next patch, 11.16.