New emotes are coming soon to League of Legends, according to a dev post Tuesday by Riot Games’ Alex “Tim Teemo” Kovalenko.
Emotes were introduced briefly during specific events such as the Snowdown Showdown and the League of Legends World Championship. The ideas were good, Kovalenko wrote, but had some glaring short comings, such as being only available in a small window of time, being tied down to a single summoner icon, and the limitation of being able to use only one emote at a time.
The biggest challenge for the development team seemed to be around what emotes were supposed to accomplish, either communication or expression. That led to some concepts that were akin to emblems, rather than emotes.
“To us, a communication tool implies intent on an action; it communicates something related to the gameplay,” he wrote. “Like ‘take baron’ or ‘focus tower.’ We define expression as separate from that; it’s the emotion you’re feeling in the moment.”
The final decision with the emotes was to focus more on the “expression” side of emotes, with emotes designed to relay a certain feeling to teammates, while leaving pings to be used for purposes of strategic communication. Each player will get an “Emote Wheel,” just like the one with pings, where they will have access to five different emotes. The emotes can be changed outside of the game to add further customization options for the players.
The new emote system is ready for League of Legends’ Public Beta Environment, where it will undergo a round of play testing before being added to a live patch. Players will be able to give feedback to the developers on the emotes, what to add, what to clarify, or if they want to use the emotes at all.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games