Riot Games Shares Status Updates About Udyr VGU
Three months ago in January, Riot Games gave the League of Legends community an update about the Visual and Gameplay Update (VGU) that was in the works for Udyr, the Spirit Walker, stating that it had entered full production.
Riot had clear-cut goals going into the VGU for Udyr. Firstly, it wanted to preserve Udyr’s stance-changing identity and keep him as a primarily auto-attack/melee-focused champion. It wanted to upgrade Udyr’s visuals, bringing them up to modern League of Legends’ standards whilst still keeping his warrior shaman theme intact. Riot also added that it wanted to bring his in-game portrayal closer to how he has been portrayed in the recent lore.
Since many of the fans did not like the antlers that Udyr was first given, Riot also removed them from the design. “No matter how hard we tried to get them to work, they just always looked off. Although the idea was cool, Udyr’s the animal spirit guy, not the antler guy. So ultimately we decided to table the antlers and refocus on his animal spirit fantasy,” wrote character artist Jason “OOYOO” Namgung.
All in all, the January blogpost gave an inside-look into the visual effects, the character art and how it took shape, and how the developer (dev) team tackled the many challenges that cropped up with Udyr’s wilderness theme.
Riot captures Udyr’s essence with this description: “Udyr is more than a man; he is a vessel for the untamed power of four primal animal spirits. When tapping into the spirits' bestial natures, Udyr can harness their unique strengths: The tiger grants him speed and ferocity, the turtle resilience, the bear might, and the phoenix its eternal flame. With their combined power, Udyr can turn back all those who would attempt to harm the natural order.”
What is the status of Udyr?
The biggest update on Udyr’s VGU that was detailed on the new League of Legends Champion Roadmap is that the base skin "is finished at this point." Riot stated that it had already covered everything about Udyr in its January post, and said “he’s still a big boi hanging out in the Freljordian wilds, communing with spirit animals.” Riot is now focusing on the skin catalog of the champion. According to the company, most of the team is working on his Spirit Guard skin, given that it is an Ultimate skin that requires to be top-notch.
“One of the goals for Spirit Guard is to keep some of the essence of old Udyr, so to do that it will represent the time he spent training in Ionia, and will also use the same animals as pre-VGU Udyr (Tiger, Bear, Turtle, and Phoenix). We wanted Spirit Guard to immortalize his old animal forms, while also cranking them up to 11” said Riot.
With the base skin already finished, it is only a matter of time before the dev team rolls out the updated skin catalog. Riot has not yet shared a definite date but as per the pace of this project, we can be quite certain that players may soon see the new Udyr running around on Summoner’s Rift.