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Vi, the Piltover Enforcer, Revealed!

By NeeksNaman [1]

There's nothing more satisfying than the sounds of your enemies succumbing to an extreme beat-down. Not to Vi Vi, anyway, the newest champion to join the League. Punching, Excessive Force.png Excessive Force, and Denting Blows.png armor-busting brutality are what she's all about.

Abilities

Blast Shield
Blast Shield

Vi charges a shield over time. The shield can be activated by hitting an enemy with an ability.


Vault Breaker
Vault Breaker

Vi charges her gauntlets and unleashes a vault-shattering punch, carrying her forward. Enemy champions that Vi collides with stop her movement and are Airborne icon knocked back.


Denting Blows
Denting Blows

Vi's punches Denting Blows 2.png break her opponent's armor, dealing bonus damage and granting her attack speed.


Excessive Force
Excessive Force

Vi's next attack Excessive Force 2.png blasts through her target, dealing damage to enemies behind it.


Assault and Battery
Assault and Battery

Vi runs down an enemy, Airborne icon knocking aside anyone in the way. When she reaches her target she Airborne icon knocks it into the air, jumps after it, and slams it back into the ground.


At home in top lane or the jungle, Vi's playstyle revolves around pummeling opponents and tearing into and shattering their Denting Blows.png armor. Vi's signature punch is Vault Breaker.png Vault Breaker. When you first activate the ability, Vault Breaker.png Vault Breaker begins charging a powerful punch. Activating Vault Breaker.png Vault Breaker a second time causes you to dash forward, dealing damage to units and knocking back enemy champions. Early game, Vi excels at bullying opponents while shoving the lane with Vault Breaker.png Vault Breaker and the AoE damage from Excessive Force.png Excessive Force. Skillful use of Excessive Force 2.png Excessive Force allows you to quickly clear your lane while harassing opponents trying to get in close to last hit minions.

When team fights erupt, Vi's Assault and Battery.png ultimate allows you to charge through your opponents' front-line and crush their carries. Assault and Battery.png Assault and Battery locks on to an enemy champion. You then chase them down, uppercutting them into the air. Enemies unfortunate enough to be in the way are knocked aside. High damage, Denting Blows.png armor debuffs, and Vault Breaker.png knockbacks make you a disruptive force. Since Vi's attacks and activated abilities apply stacks of Denting Blows.png Denting Blows, you can increase your Denting Blows 2.png damage significantly against armored opponents by just doing what you do best: punching. To top it all off, Vi's Blast Shield.png Blast Shield helps her survive not only big damage bursts, but also prolonged team fights.

Are you ready to slip on your gauntlets and show off your pummeling prowess? Once your opponents get a glimpse of your heavy weaponry, it's punch or be punched.

Vi Screenshots

Dev Blog: From Vision to Violence - Vi's Creation

By Chris 'Pwyff' Tom and August 'groovylord' Browning [2]

Hey Summoners!

Welcome back to another entry in the dev blog! Today we're going to be taking a time machine back to the creation of Vi Vi, the Piltover destroyer of all things squishy. There were a lot of challenges involved in the making of Vi (including thinking up words that begin with Vi-...) but there's a lot to share here, like how we design cohesive champion kits and how many different ways there are to punch things in League.

So without further ado, I'll let Gypsylord take it away!

A Vicious Challenger Appears!

On my first day at Riot I saw a concept art by RiotZeronis for a female 'Piltover Enforcer' on the ideation wall with a post-it note that read: "OMG I will cosplay the *%&$ out of this!" I immediately fell in love with the concept, so I begged Ziegler (the Lead Champion Designer at the time) to let me work on her for my first project.

Six months later Vi was released to terrorize the live environment, much to the dismay of every ADC player ever. In this blog, I'm going to discuss the evolution of Vi's kit over the course of her development cycle while highlighting the design decisions behind some of the changes we've made.

The first thing I did when I got the go-ahead to work on Enforcer (as she was called at the time) was to think of the core beats I wanted to hit with her gameplay. After staring at the concept art for a few hours and hearing her creative pitch (an ex-criminal turned bad cop with giant Excessive Force.png gloves she used to bust open bank vaults) I knew she needed three things:

  • Visceral hits with impact - Big gloves mean big punches and even basic attacks should feel good.
  • Offense as the best defense - Vi is super aggro, so if she protects herself it's because she punched you first.
  • No pansying around - Vi doesn't flit around the edge of combat. She goes in.

I chose the above three aspects to focus on because I felt they best represented something we call a power archetype. When a player sees Vi's splash, they see a punk girl with an aggressive personality and giant oversized gauntlets that she uses to punch things real hard. Creating Vi meant we needed to deliver on that archetype - a super-aggro punk, similar to how someone picks Darius Darius to be a brutal warlord who crushes people with his massive Decimate.png axe. If the gameplay doesn't deliver on the character's power archetype, it can lead to an unrewarding experience that's forced to lean on other things to be fun and satisfying (looking at you Sion Sion)

Kit Cohesion - A Designer's Vice

Let's start with a paper kit (a theoretical champion kit) that got scrapped. You'll notice some base ideas for Vault Breaker.png Vault Breaker and Denting Blows.png Denting Blows that were present from day 1:

Passive - Denting Blows.png Denting Blows
Vi's next attack after each spell cast deals bonus damage and shreds her target's armor.
Q - Vault Breaker.png Vault Breaker
Vi Root icon roots herself and charges up her gauntlets over 2 seconds before dashing forward, dealing a ton of damage and Airborne icon knocking back the first champion hit.
W - Blast Shield.png Come at Me
Vi creates a Banshee&#039;s Veil item.png spell shield that reflects back the first spell to hit her.
E - Excessive Force.png Crush
Vi claps her gauntlets together on a nearby target, dealing damage and Slow icon slowing them. Any enemy killed gets 'gibbed', dealing Crush's damage and slowing in an area of effect while resetting its cooldown.
R - Assault and Battery.png Steampunk Assault
Vi dashes to a nearby enemy (range and speed similar to Xin Zhao Xin Zhao's Audacious Charge.png Audacious Charge), dealing damage and Suppression icon suppressing her target for 1 second. During this time she could recast Steampunk Assault to select one of three effects:
  • Beatdown - Extend the Suppression icon suppression duration and deal bonus damage
  • Slam - Airborne icon Knock the target up into the air and slam it back into the ground, Stun icon stunning all nearby enemies
  • Throw - Airborne icon Throw the target in a chosen direction

After some preliminary playtests with feedback from various designers, one thing became very clear: while some of the spells were quite fun to use, they just didn't feel 'right' for Vi. Vault Breaker.png Vault Breaker was the sole exception to this, having received overwhelmingly positive feedback from day one.

I ended up taking a step back to examine why Vault Breaker.png Vault Breaker was doing so well. The conclusion I came to was the same point I outlined earlier: all of Vi's other abilities just weren't delivering on the character archetype. Excessive Force.png Crush was fun but it felt like a ground slam, not a huge punch. Assault and Battery.png Throw made for awesome plays but why use gloves to pick people up? Blast Shield.png Come at Me was a purely defensive move that was entirely reactionary - it had no inherent aggression. Vault Breaker.png Vault Breaker, on the other hand, was everything I wanted Vi players to feel. It was aggressive. It had impact. It felt very much like something that Piltover's bad cop would do to a fleeing criminal.

With Vault Breaker.png Vault Breaker in mind I decided to scrap much of Vi's kit to start again with this rule: if an ability couldn't be described as a punch, it wouldn't fly. Assault and Battery.png Throw and Excessive Force.png Crush were a lot of fun, but they weren't punches. A good lesson I learned from this was that sometimes awesome mechanics need to be put in storage if they don't accomplish the goal at hand. I still want to put Assault and Battery.png Throw into the game, but it just didn't fit on Vi.

Creating a Viable Ultimate

After a few months of ideation, I ended up with much of the live kit that you see today, except for Vi's Assault and Battery.png ultimate. Here's where she was prior to Assault and Battery.png Assault and Battery:

R - Assault and Battery.png Power Slam
Vi dashes to a nearby enemy (400 range) and Airborne icon uppercuts them into the air. 0.5 seconds later, she slams them back into the ground, Stun icon stunning everything nearby.

If you've ever played a squishy champion against a fed Vi, you likely know the terror that is Assault and Battery.png Assault and Battery. So you're probably also looking at Assault and Battery.png Power Slam and saying to yourself "That spell looks almost fair, why change it?"

Assault and Battery.png Power Slam had two key problems. One, it just felt like a bad Unstoppable Force.png Unstoppable Force (Malphite Malphite's Unstoppable Force.png ult) it was shorter range, it stunned for less time, and the AoE was easier to avoid. Second, and more importantly, Vi as a character didn't have a unique strategic niche in the game. With this kit she did the same job as Xin Zhao Xin Zhao and Jarvan IV Jarvan IV, but unless she could out-stat the both of them (more on this later), there was just no reason to pick her over Jarvan IV Jarvan IV, who brings Cataclysm.png Cataclysm. I felt like Vi's Assault and Battery.png ultimate, if done right, had the potential to solve both problems.

In my opinion, all champions should ideally have a reason to be picked over any other within their role. Each champion needs something unique to them that no one else has. When we do this right, we create characters that don't have to rely on raw power to be appreciated and can instead feel good about that one awesome thing they bring to a team. When you pick Twisted Fate Twisted Fate, you get his global Gate.png teleport and you think of all the awesome ganks you can pull off at level 6. There's always going to be the option to run that global comp and, regardless of power (up to a point) Twisted Fate TF is always going to feel good in it.

As a counterexample, when you pick Volibear Volibear, you can run around and 'do things' but you're only going to feel uniquely outstanding when you're simply out-statting your opponents. If your team wants a tank with a Fling.png flip, you should be running Singed Singed. If your team wants a tanky dude with a crazy single-target Demacian Justice.png execute, then Garen Garen seems more viable. Maybe there are team comps who need a single-target Frenzy.png execute on a tanky bear with a Rolling Thunder.png flip, but Volibear Volibear just doesn't have many things that are uniquely his own and, as a result, he's always going to be judged by how high his base stats are compared to the other champions in his role.

With the above philosophy in mind, I went in search for Vi's unique niche, and came out of the lab with Assault and Battery.png Assault and Battery. Why do you bring Vi to a team? Because she provides the best guaranteed ranged crowd-control in the game. You can't Flash.png Flash out of it. You can't Cleanse.png Cleanse it. You can't dodge it. Vi knocks you up for 1.25 seconds. End of story.

Viewing Vi on Live

My initial desire was that when someone like Vi goes into the fight, the counterplay was less about avoiding that fear-seeking punch-missile and more about what you do after you get Assault and Battery.png Assault and Battery'd. A Vi who gets to her target and smacks it down over time has counterplay. A Vi who gets to her target to punch them straight into grayscale is less than ideal.

Additionally, I'd be more than happy with Vi picking out her target at 800+ range if she's doing it to set up a fellow teammate for a pick-off, but that's also not happening (see above re: grayscale punching) Vi should love extended fights thanks to Denting Blows.png Denting Blows, and her scrappy punch-gal motif seems more in line as a brawler than a bursty assassin.

We're keeping an eye on Vi as she continues to rampage around the live environment, but I hope this gives more insight into how we approach champion design and specifically how Vi's kit came into being.

Media

Vi, the Piltover Enforcer - Login Screen02:42

Vi, the Piltover Enforcer - Login Screen

Lyrics
Vocals by Nicki Taylor from Running the Risk
Vi's Theme - 'Here Comes Vi'


She's such a misfit. Always ready to brawl
It's like her business, roughing up your friends is the law
There is no difference if you believe you're strong
She's a bulldozer making sure you're flat on the ground

She's like a boomerang, who never gives up
She flies in circles till she hits you and you're biting the dust
So just remember this, when she's chasing you down
Face first, you'll be thrown onto the Proving Grounds
She'll knock you out

Have you ever really wanted to be a total rebel flippin' tables on the enemy?
Did you ever try to further improve how fast you punch people through the roof? Oh,
Was there ever any certain time when you thought brute force and style combined? Well,
I guess now's time to shine. Cause finally, she's here, here comes Vi

And as a matter of fact, the best bet one has is to quickly react
To the first attack that's aiming for the bones
Cause she'll never pull back and just risk it

Have you ever really wanted to be a total rebel flippin' tables on the enemy?
Did you ever try to further improve how fast you punch people through the roof? Oh,
Was there ever any certain time when you thought brute force and style combined? Well,
I guess now's time to shine. Cause finally! She's here! Here comes Vi!


Related Music


Vi Dead Eye Teaser00:12

Vi Dead Eye Teaser


  • Vi Early Concept 1 - Ruby (by Riot Artist Josh 'GrumpyMonkey' Singh)
  • Vi Early Concept 2 - Ruby (by Riot Artist Josh 'GrumpyMonkey' Singh)
  • Vi Early Concept 3 - Ruby (by Riot Artist Josh 'GrumpyMonkey' Singh)
  • Vi Early Concept 4 - Ruby (by Riot Artist Josh 'GrumpyMonkey' Singh)
  • Vi Concept 1 (by Riot Artist Paul 'Zeronis' Kwon)
  • Vi Concept 2 (by Riot Artist Paul 'Zeronis' Kwon)
  • Vi Concept 3 (by Riot Artist Paul 'Zeronis' Kwon)
  • Vi Concept 4 (by Riot Artist Paul 'Zeronis' Kwon)
  • Vi Concept 5 (by Riot Artist Paul 'Zeronis' Kwon)
  • Vi Concept 6 (by Riot Artist Paul 'Zeronis' Kwon)
  • Vi Model 1 (by Riot Artist LeRoy Strauss)
  • Vi Model 2 (by Riot Artist LeRoy Strauss)
  • Vi's Bathroom
  • Neon Strike Vi Concept 1 (by Riot Artist Paul 'Zeronis' Kwon)
  • Neon Strike Vi Concept 2 (by Riot Artist Paul 'Zeronis' Kwon)
  • Neon Strike Vi Model
  • Officer Vi Concept (by Riot Artist Paul 'Zeronis' Kwon)
  • Debonair Vi & Debonair Ezreal Concept (by Riot Artist Larry 'TheBravoRay' Ray)
  • Demon Vi Concept (by Riot Artist Paul 'Zeronis' Kwon)
  • Demon Vi Model 1 (by Riot Artist Maddy 'MissMaddy' Taylor Kenyon)
  • Demon Vi Model 2 (by Riot Artist Maddy 'MissMaddy' Taylor Kenyon)
  • Vi Deadeye Promo


References

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