Riot have updated a champion left untouched for five years. In that time, League of Legends has become a stadium-filling eSport – and we’ve come to expect something entirely different from a ‘Twitch update’. Today, though, we’re not talking streaming channels, but a plague rat reconfigured to define the smell of “contemporary pestilence”.
“We’ve had our sights set on a Twitch update for years now,” wrote Riot. “While some older champions in our game had (and in some cases, still have) the famous pizza feet, old Twitch barely had feet at all.”
So much of Twitch was hidden beneath his great clock, in fact, that his animation rig was “extremely limiting” when it came to new skins – the reason for the neglect over the years. So Riot recently resolved to start again, building a new Plague Rat model from the barely-there feet up.
Riot think they’ve identified what players originally loved about Twitch, and preserved his “comically crazed and sinister” character in the rework.
“Now, his models, animations and voice over reinforce the same slightly manic and silly-but-he’s-still-killing-me-ow-my-face persona,” they said.
Nu-Twitch has been infused with five years’ of tech and vision improvements. His entire lower half is now rigged, and new animations “flow through his entire body” – including his tail. A host of “small touches” complete the new model, including varying run animations based on movement speed, a higher number of VO lines, and a “suitably odious” new splash – though that’s yet to be implemented in testing.
It’s not entirely aesthetic, either – a sound effect and spew of poison particles now helps Twitch players know exactly when they’ve turned invisible via Ambush, and a new on-screen indicator tells enemies when they’ve been Expunged.
In the interest of further clarity, extra particles now show exactly who’s been damaged by Twitch’s ultimate, Spray and Pray.
Nu-Twitch will clamber onto the PBE in the near future, and Riot will be listening out for feedback. What do you make of him so far?