The white, wispy mane of early Ao Shin concept art suggested a champion who was barely there, and so he has proven. Scheduled for release behind at least two other League of Legends champions, the storm dragon has never been anything other than the distant prospect of electrical abilities - and is now officially on hold.
Ao Shin was conceived several months ago in answer to player demands for a dragon champion. A “powerful, elegant being, above the concerns and rules of men”, his was a Chinese-inspired design for LoL’s expanding East Asian audience.
At the time, Riot implied a set of abilities that would bring buffs to allies and thunderous hurt to enemies. But several other champions have been released since. So what happened to the dragon king?
Lead champion designer Andrei ‘Meddler’ van Roon told fans on the LoL forums that Ao Shin will be released someday - but it “won’t be soon”.
“We spent a bunch of time working on Ao Shin but ultimately concluded he wasn’t hitting the mark so put him on hold for a while in order to figure some things out,” said Meddler.
“We still think his concept’s really cool, as is some of the stuff we were trying with him, so do intend to make him someday,” he went on. “Don’t expect to see him anytime soon though, we’d rather be slow, but do a better job of delivering on his potential, than quick.”
It’s a process other characters have weathered and emerged the better for it. Do you remember LoL champion Azir as, um, Seth the Sand Mage?