Warwick Champion Update on the Horizon

by James Bates

Warwick video
(Photo: Riot Games)

One of the League's oldest champions is about to receive a massive facelift. Warwick, best known as the League's first jungler and perpetual balance issue, has been due for a champion rework for some time. In addition to a gameplay rework, Warwick was also billed to receive an update to his model as well as to his lore -- a change that might shatter his longstanding rivalry with Soraka, who has herself seen her divinity stripped from her in Riot's recent lore updates.

The first glimpse of Warwicks new form was released for all the public to see on Monday morning, and the results were spectacular. Riot introduced the new Warwick via a riveting new minute-long animation that showcased a quality beyond anything the company has done in the past -- a high bar when you consider the quality of some of the companies other visualizations. The animation proved popular enough to not only make it to the top of the League of Legends subreddit, but also took the pole position on the Reddit front page proper. 

The new visualization gave hints of what we can expect from the new Warwick, both in terms of lore and gameplay. The quick chase scene seems to take place in a Zaunian sewer of some kind, which confirms suspicions that Warwick's rework would see him gain a closer affiliation with the city that is supposedly his home. He's also seen to be sporting a new hextech-inspired device on his back that seems to augment his power in some fashion, which finally puts to rest the question of whether Warick's curse would remain supernatural, as it is at the present, or become something more in line with the emerging lore of the game.

All the short animations information dump was grounded in lore, though. Warwick's actions throughout the animation also gave us important clues into what his new abilities may end up being, or which ones he'll retain. It looks likely that he'll be retaining at least two of his current abilities in some form. The animation makes it clear that Warwick is drawn to the scent of blood and that the scent empowers him, making it likely that Blood Scent -- easily Warwick's most distinct and interesting ability -- will remain intact in some fashion. The ending of the animation all shows Warwick jump towards his prey in violent fashion, leading many to believe that his ultimate will likely remain, though Riot has confirmed on many occasions that if his ultimate's functionality were to be retained it would need to become a skill shot or have some added form of counterplay added to it.

More details will be sure to follow, as animations such as these tend to herald the end of the development cycle for a champion. PBE notes should be forthcoming within the coming days, and more reports will follow once they do.

By James Bates

A wanna-be novelist turned coach turned journalist, James is living proof that you never know where you'll end up. He's in love with narrative-heavy games, which he proves by spending his days writing about a game with less lore than Doom. His greatest regret in life is not having his name in the credits of Life is Strange, and it's galvanized him to truly pursue developing games that don't begin in packed taverns and use D20s.