League of Legends to get huge graphical overhaul

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By Teo Borconi – 5th June 2014
League of Legends to get huge graphical overhaul

League of Legends has been out for a few years now, and while the game is enjoying massive popularity and continues to evolve and grow, its graphical engine is starting to show its age. Granted, Riot Games has been updating champion artwork and graphics every now and then (the latest visual boost to Karthus is damn impressive, in all honesty), but that only does so much for players looking for high-end graphics. To be fair, Dota 2 does look visually superior, and while the artstyle preference comes down to individual players, there’s no doubt that Valve’s graphical engine is the better looking one.

Well, if looks in League of Legends were a factor for you, fear not, change is coming. Riot Games has just teased its upcoming graphical engine boost for Summoner’s Rift, the core 5v5 map of League of Legends, and it looks absolutely fantastic. The art-style remains unchanged, and the vivid colors are still part of the LoL world, but everything else is getting seriously reworked.

There are a lot of things to be noticed in the teaser trailer. First of all, it’s an appetizer, and we’re likely to see a lot more from Riot Games at E3 next week. Second of all, it’s not just your standard texture upgrade. A lot of the map design went through significant changes, most notably in the jungle and next to the river. Notice the changes to the Dragon and Baron pits and the changes to the wall thickness near the minion camps. These visual changes will not affect flashing over walls or using skills to pass over obstacles, according to Riot. The Dragon animations look particularly impressive, and the long-awaited Baron rework is finally shaping up.

“We’ve made a number of quality-of-life changes around readability, but you won’t be fail-flashing because of the new map. Flashable walls, turret ranges, lane sizes, brush interaction and ward placements are all exactly as they are on the current map. Dragon and Baron feature reworked design and art, driving them toward feeling more intimidating and powerful. From a purely gameplay perspective, we focused on clarity, eliminating randomness in their attack patterns so skilled players can predict and avoid the monsters’ attacks.” reads Riot’s announcement FAQ.

It’s still unclear when these changes are going to land in the game itself, but Riot Games seems to be far ahead in development. It’s likely we’ll have to wait several months before League of Legends gets this visually appealing, but heck, it’s going to be worth the wait. How much performance will be affected remains to be seen. So far, players with modes GPUs or playing from Laptops could easily reach 60 FPS with all the details maxed out, but that’s likely to change. Everything from lighting effects to textures have been bumped up, so there will certainly be a toll to pay hardware-wise. Still, League of Legends will never reach a point where you’ll need a GTX Titan to run, so unless you’re playing from an ancient PC, you’ll be fine. Riot explained that the current build of the new engine is more RAM extensive, but that heavy optimization is currently going on.

What changes did you like the most in the new League of Legends Summoner’s Rift map? Share your thoughts on the visual update in the comment section below!

  • ShinigamIan

    Actually Dota was never a “game that was created with the warcraft 3 engine”, not even a game. It was a mod to warcraft 3 with a custom map, so you needed to have Warcraft 3 installed in order to play Dota. Dota 2 is a game, with its own graphic engine, way better than the one used on LoL.

  • Rachel Morris

    Its a good jump… but no Dota just yet. 😀