With Nilah League of Legends now has over 160 champions, but how many more will fit into the game? Does Riot have a cap?
League of Legends has a repertoire of over 160 champions. Do other games have the same number of characters? Hardly. Dota 2, the biggest competitor, has recently released hero number 123. Sure, Super Smash Bros. has a large cast as well, but the 80 playable characters can't reach League of Legends and their number of champions.
But that begs the question, when is it enough? Can Riot sustain constant creation of champions in the game, and when will they reach a limit? In a recent appearance on the Australian podcast Broken by Concept, head of the balance team Matt “Phroxzon” Leung-Harrison addressed this exact question. Will League of Legends stop making new champions?
Is There An End of New Champions in Sight?
According Phroxzon, the League of Legends team has already been considering an end for new champions. So, if you were wondering whether one day we won't be getting any new champions in the biggest MOBA, then the simple answer is yes. But we don't want to jump to conclusions right now because Phroxzon elaborated in the podcast.
It's definitely been a discussion. I think we've still got a lot of flex to go.
So, while the team has discussed it and are thinking about capping out at a certain number of champions, the champion's team won't let this happen just yet. So, don't worry guys, there will still be some more champions coming. We've still got a new top laner to look forward to and a bunch of other characters from Arcane or Legends of Runeterra we'd love as champions, right?
While you have an existential crisis about the potential lack of new champions, we give you some more food for thought:
When Will Riot Stop Making New Champions?
Phroxzon added in the podcast that he believes once champions are 'unintuitive', then they should stop making new champions. What does he mean by 'unintuitive', though? Basically, he described it as champions creating situations that just won't make sense in the eyes of a player. Sure, you could argue that a Yone ult shredding through five champions could be considered unintuitive, but we're talking about completely bonkers scenarios here.
There are a few things that make a lot of champions unsustainable. One is if champions are unintuitive. Let’s say I run into Thresh, he throws a hook, and it looks like a hook, but it just goes over somebody. You’d be like ‘what the hell is that?
He explains that situations like this will make it harder for players to understand the game and properly play it as well. The learning curve would be too big for beginners and adding in such mechanics will just dishearten longtime players as well.
So, every player needs to consume and understand 160 champions to play the game effectively. That becomes a lot more difficult when every hook champion has its hook like function in a slightly different way.
So, while it could be daunting to have new abilities in the game, keeping champions fresh and unique without being too repetitive, the champions and balance team do not want to make things too unintuitive. So while Gwen's W – an example from the podcast – was mentioned in terms of new and unintuitive mechanics, there were also some specific design philosophies behind her W that still made sense to the champions team, which is why she was added to the champion pool.
When Will Riot Release Their Last Champion?
Right now, there are no plans to stop champion production. There are still many types of champions waiting to be made for League of Legends, so don't expect the end to be too near. The champions team have stated before that they will slow down the creation of new champions, meaning we might not get five or six each year, but they will definitely still be working on new champions.
So, get ready for the new top lane champion, as well as the Udyr rework which is set to hit the rift sometime this August. Oh, and we cannot forget about the upcoming Comprehensive Gameplay Update for our boy Aurelion Sol.