Last week on January 8, Riot’s Season 2021 opening day live stream brought plenty of good news to diehard League of Legends fans. And of course, the mobile side of the community was eagerly anticipating news on Wild Rift.
Thankfully, they weren’t left behind – with a huge pack of updates coming to the Wild Rift over the course of the next few patches.
Wild Rift’s Design Director, Brian Feeney, introduced Wild Rift’s plans for the year with an exposition of the design process – including major changes to the map, a new batch of skills, champions updates, and more. And while there’s a big shakeup in the patches ahead – the team plans to still keep the essence of the League around for the most part.
LoL Wild Rift Open Beta Release
So far, Wild Rift has only been available to players located in Southeast Asia and the East Asian region.
However, just a month ago, the access was extended to other Asian countries, and the continents of Europe, Oceania, and North Africa.
For North and South American servers – they’re poised to launch around Mach or slightly later on this year.
And to compensate American players for the lengthy wait – Riot plans to launch the server with a series of Open Beta events which will provide players amazing in-game rewards like a huge pack of champions, blue motes, and other awesome rewards!
Champion Changes & Updates
Expanding on our earlier statement about Wild Rift’s design process – the team has made a pretty clear point on how they plan to release new champions into the game.
Currently, the plan is to implement new champions in a synergetic manner, filling in the cracks in gameplay and thematics, without shifting the overall balance drastically.
At the moment, the developers are planning on releasing an average of 2 champions every calendar month, with a minimum target of 75 champions being available in the game by the end of 2021. While this is just slightly under half the champions that you’d be able to play in Wild Rift’s PC counterpart – this is still a solid number and offers a lot of diversity to players.
Katarina, The Sinister Blade
Katarina is a “feast-or-famine” champion – a high risk, high reward snowball assasin if you will.
In short, when Katarina pops into the fight – she either gets a pentakill or gets wiped out!
Katarina is well-positioned to be the best champion release this year, all thanks to her exceptional team fight kit and champion skill cap. Her main goal is to deal the most damage possible in the smallest window of time while managing to stay alive if only by a hair’s length.
In comparison to her League of Legends counterpart, Wild Rift’s Katarina is only a tad bit easier in the fact that she’s a little more mobile, allowing her to reposition during her ultimate ability, Death Lotus.
However, this isn’t a total balance breaker as there are quite a few champions that can compete against her in lane. We’re talking about the likes of Fizz, Akali, and Zed. She’s also got some solid counters in team fights, such as Soraka or Malphite (remember, Katarina is very squishy and any hard CC or damage mitigation can punish her kit hard).
Rammus, The Armordillo
Rammus is a tanky jungler that excels in disrupting enemies and keeping enemy carries close to him while dealing, mitigating, and reflecting damage.
In comparison to his PC counterpart, Wild Rift’s Rammus has an additional passive that offers extra movement speed while out-of-combat. This comes in addition to a revamped ultimate ability, Tremors, where he leaps into the air and slams down dealing AoE damage in the process.
He is best matched with teammates that can follow-up his Frenzying Taunt ability with burst damage. For example, some good picks could be Ahri, Annie, Lux, Sona, or Soraka.
On the other hand, Rammus’ counters are heroes that can easily disrupt his engage against a carry, such as Braum, Janna, and Alistar.
REWORK: Dr. Mundo, the Madman of Zaun
As announced recently, League of Legends’ Dr. Mundo will receive a rework/VGU (Visual Gameplay Update).
As such, Wild Rift’s Dr. Mundo will receive the same update later on this year.
You can read all about it in the official announcement on the League of Legends website.
Following the champion changes and plans for a North / South American Open Beta later this year – Riot also announced some major gameplay changes that are set to roll out into the Wild Rift.
Items & Item Shop
Touching base on the recent item shop overhaul in League of Legends, Feeney announced that the Wild Rift team is planning to introduce a whole plethora of new items, and carry over some of the existing ones from the game’s PC counterpart.
ARAM – New Game Mode
The ARAM (also known as All Random All Mid) mode is planned to be released later on this year.
In essence, it’s a PvP game mode played exclusively on the Howling Abyss map. In this game mode, you roll a random champion and get to rushing down the only open lane to duke it out with the enemy team. As always, the goal is to take down their nexus, albeit in a much more fast-paced and action-packed setting than the regular game mode would offer.
Ranked System Release & Improvements
On a very exciting note, it’s confirmed that the first official Ranked Season of Wild Rift is coming up.
At the same time, developers are talking about a new ping system in Wild Rift that’s set to mirror the PC game’s ping system, thus enhancing competitive play.
In addition to this, Feeney confirmed that a role selection system is on its way – which is great news, as it was one of the most requested features among the Wild Rift community.
New Skins & In-Game Events
More events are planned to come this year, one of which is going to roll out this January, introducing Wild Rift players to 5 Yordle champions – Lulu, Corki, Tristana, Kennen, and Teemo – through the Yordle Expedition.
The Yordle Expedition
In line with the Tales of Runeterra, the first event in 2021 is The Yordle Expedition.
In the event, players are rewarded with up to 2 Yordle champions, as well as a limited-edition summoner icon and icon border. This comes alongside baubles, champion poses, 250 poro coins, and up to 6000 blue motes.
This event is set to run from January 9, 2021, to January 29, 2021.
Lunar Beast Event
In February, to celebrate the Lunar New Year, Riot is releasing an entirely new skin-line to Wild Rift. The lineup of champions receiving the new skins includes Annie, Jarvan IV, Alistar, Fiora, and a Wild Rift exclusive skin for Miss Fortune.
Targon and Shadow Isles
Merely glazing over these two events, it can be speculated that there will be a Targon and Shadow Isles related event coming sometime this year, which could introduce more champions alongside Aurelion Sol and Soraka. We’re thinking about Aphelios (Targon), Thresh, Kalista, and Elise (Shadow Isles).
The Targon event may come to be much sooner, as it is the last major destination in the Yordle Expedition ending this month.
Star Guardian Skins
The Star Guardian skin series features a storyline set in an alternate version of the League of Legends universe. This series follows the story of a small bunch of unassuming highschoolers who get sucked into the roles of becoming the protectors of the galaxy in order to protect their universe from cosmic enemies.
Riot reportedly plans to release some of the skins this year, possibly looking at champions like Janna, Lux, Soraka, Ezreal, Jinx, and many more down the line.
Wild Rift Exclusive Skin-Line
With this being an entirely new and exclusive skin-line, not a whole lot of information can be revealed except speculation around the images published by Riot.
BONUS: “League’s Two Deadliest Champions”
Lastly, during the aforementioned live stream, Feeney dropped a pretty cool hint with the following quote: “two of League’s deadliest champions face-off, and hopefully settle their score once and for all.”
This led the community to believe that once Katarina and Rammus are fully rolled out – there will be an additional two champions dropping in. Speculation amongst Wild Rift players leads us to believe that the two champions being portrayed here are most likely Rengar and Kha’zix.
If you’ve kept up with us this far into the article – you’re now entirely up to speed on the updates and changes hitting LoL Wild Rift in the next while.
But if you need a TL:DR, here’s a quick recap:
- North and South American Open Beta servers coming this March.
- At least 15 new champions coming in 2021, for a total of 75 this year.
- More improvements to in-game systems and a ranked system coming.
- Lots of awesome rewards through the many events coming this year
- Plenty of skins to be released, as well as an exclusive skin-line just for Wild Rift.
Let us know what you think of the new batch of updates coming to the Wild Rift this year in the comments below. See you on the battlefield, summoner!