LoL Skarner VGU - developers comment on the design processes

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League of Legends had a vote on which champion should next receive a VGU and Skarner had the highest votes.

This took place back in 2022 and after nearly a year of designing and updating, Skarner finally has his VGU nearly complete.

VGUs take much more work for developers of LoL due to the complete re-design of the champion.

Skarner was seriously needing this VGU with his visuals lacking the oomph that newer champions have.

Developers have now revealed some information about the process of reworking Skarner and what players should expect.

So, let's look at the Skarner VGU in more detail as we hear from the developers of League of Legends.

Why did Skarner need a VGU?

Lexi “Riot Lexical” Gao explains why Skarner is important for this big shift.

Included as part of the League of Legends client, a survey was given to players to gain insight into their opinions.

Skarner design from League of Legends
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These opinions were related to the least popular champions in the game and why they were that way.

Key reasons for Skarner not being so popular are...

(Un)popularity of Monsters: In general, monster champions are not as globally popular as humanoid champions.

(Un)iconic-ness of Scorpions: With many of the popular champions, there’s a good mix of gameplay identifiers and thematic identifiers.

But with Skarner, the majority of call-outs (90%) are gameplay related, of which almost every single one is related to his ultimate, Impale.

(In)cohesiveness of the Crystal Thematic: Sometimes we’re able to bring seemingly opposite themes together in unique and delightful ways.

Crystal is generally regarded as beautiful, magical and serene. Whereas scorpions are seen as badass, venomous and menacing.

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Skarner League of Legends Lore

Elyse “Riot apothecarie” Lemoine, Narrative Writer dives into the lore of Skarner.

We wanted to take the chance to revisit the Brackern and reinvent what they are as a species.

Where we landed was making the Brackern Runeterra's first earth elementalists, dating back to pre-civilization.

Skarner design from League of Legends
click to enlarge

Ancient and powerful, they're revered for their primal knowledge of earth, which they taught to the people of Runeterra long ago.

Skarner currently resides in Shurima.

However, we thought that Ixtal, with its deep connection to elemental magic, would be the perfect region for them.

With the Brackern as the first earth elementalists, we're exploring them having taught the first Ixtali people how to harness the earth element.

As well as the possibility of them building the first Arcologies.

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Skarner Artistic Direction


Larry “The BravoRay” Ray, Art Director updates us on the artistic design process...

Scorpions are an excellent creature fantasy.

But, does applying crystals to a scorpion elevate Skarner’s theme or detract from it?

Skarner designs from League of Legends
click to enlarge

In the end, we decided to amplify his good/lawful character archetype and scorpion fantasy, completely omitting his crystal theme.

We brought in more of a crustacean’s heavily-weighted shell shape while levelling up his scorpion tail to a three-pronged stinger.

Additionally, this makes him appear like an intimidating indestructible beast to his enemies.

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