According to a dev corner update Friday by Andrei “Meddler” van Roon, the continued successful tests of Azir’s most recent update meant that he will be soon ready for the game’s Public Beta Environment.
“Azir’s changes have continued to test well so we’re pretty confident they’ll be in 7.19,” he wrote. “They don’t involve replacing any of his abilities, so sit somewhere between a really heavy balance/tuning pass and a small update. As previously mentioned, a lot of the focus to the update is reducing his ranges to create better counterplay and more risk-taking, then putting power elsewhere. We’ve read through a fair bit of feedback from some people who feel that’s the less thematic fit for an emperor, and understand where that’s coming from, but feel that leaving his range as is and instead removing mobility both fails to fix needed issues and leads to a flatter play style, hence this direction.”
On the more upsetting side of the post, an equally oft mentioned update to Leblanc is still far away. Meddler said that its “extremely unlikely” that the changes will come during the preseason this year, and that it’s most likely coming to the game next year. The reasoning behind the long time frame is due to her many issues in terms of the play style for assassins in the game. There are no planned balance changes for her between now and the update for now.
Xin Zhao update also hitting patch 7.19
Along with Azir, the largely irrelevant champion Xin Zhao will likely get a change in Patch 7.19. Changes were initially teased last month, and Meddler details a number of tweaks to his abilities will take place, as will a few spell and champion animation updates.
Patches might be approached in a different way
Patch changes will potentially be divided into two categories next year, alternating between large gameplay and small gameplay patches. The smaller patches would be for problems that need immediate fixes or very small tweaks that don’t mean much in the grand scale of the champions or game Large patches would have more substantial changes, item changes, or runes adjustments.
The total amount of changes will remain mostly the same over the course of the year, Meddler said, and dividing the patches will have the added benefit of giving the team more time to work on long-term fixes while also possibly resulting in addressing some elements a bit slower. This change is still purely in the idea stage, so players can offer feedback regarding this new patch cycle if they so choose.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games