/dev: Rammus, Rift to Rift

Rolling out Rammus' high-flyin' update to League PC and Wild Rift took more than a quick copy-paste.

Rammus: Part armor, part 'dillo, all speed. Rammus' gotta-go-fast gameplay really revved our engines on Wild Rift, and with his recent release in patch 2.2, we thought we'd dive into the reasons why he's adjusted from what you may know from his (almost) 12 years on League PC. More broadly, we'll also talk through how we approach taking champs from your PC to your pocket.

In Wild Rift, his major changes look like this:

  1. Rammus now passively rolls out of combat, and his first ability (Powerball) puts the pedal to the floor, giving him a knockback when he collides with an enemy
  2. Rammus' new ultimate, Soaring Slam, sends him through the air and crashing down to earth, creating tremors based on his Powerball speed

When considering Rammus for the game a few years ago, we wondered: Could we make players feel like they were “driving” Rammus around the map? Here's why this is important: League PC and Wild Rift are both League of Legends. Champ fantasies should be consistent (Janna's not gonna suddenly become a burly bruiser, for example), and you should be able to easily switch between both games without having to totally relearn how a champ plays. Rammus' fantasy is to zoom around the Rift, and driving the spiky lil' racecar felt like a great way to deliver on that. Okay. Now what?

Sometimes, maintaining a champion's fantasy means diverging gameplay in ways that fit each platform. Fizz's “ignoring unit collision” PC passive doesn't make a lot of sense in Wild Rift, for example, since there's no unit collision anyway. For Wild Rift, this usually falls into one of three broad categories:

Dead buttons: No “dead buttons” on the screen that you can't interact with, meaning avoiding passive abilities without active components (like Vi's Denting Blows)

Control opportunities: Making the most of twin-stick controls, with more opportunities for paradigms like skillshots

Design opportunities: Adapting to Wild Rift's smaller map, shorter game length, or a chance to innovate on a dated champ kit

Rammus' changes live between the latter two: Twin control sticks put you in the driving seat to put the “drift” in Wild Rift, and his giant leap for armordillo-kind came from a desire to add a (literal?) high moment to his gameplay. Rammus is often very restrained by the terrain of the map and the units in a fight, so Soaring Slam gives him a chance to break free, opening up a lot of exciting plays that weren't in his old repertoire.


These updates aren't just a one-way street, though. Specifically for that third category of 'design opportunities', when the Wild Rift team puts time into an old champ, the League PC team considers whether that work would be an upgrade for PC as well. Rammus' update also recently shipped in League PC's patch 11.8 with its own adjustments relative to Wild Rift's version:

  1. Without twin-stick controls, PC decided against implementing Wild Rift Rammus' new rolling passive.
  2. PC's version of Soaring Slam has a sweet spot in the center that deals extra damage (think Ziggs' ult) if Rammus cast it from far away, in addition to applying Powerball's effects when Rammus does the Power Slam combo
    • The PC team wanted to find ways to add more variance to Rammus' plays—sweeter success when executed well, and a steeper penalty when executed less well.
    • In a final layer of back-and-forth, we decided against adding this to Wild Rift. The smaller map means Soaring Slam's movement-speed-scaling range is more powerful on WR than on PC, so we didn't feel like it needed the extra mechanic.

Fun fact: Rammus wasn't the first time the PC team worked with Wild Rift to update mechanics on PC champs. A few fairly recent changes in PC were originally designed and tested in Wild Rift: Ashe's Volley increasing arrows with rank; Diana's dash moving to her third ability; and Annie's Molten Shield being castable on allies, to name a few.

We're excited to now have two MOBAs to create new gameplay opportunities for League's champs, working closely as more and more of them are summoned to Wild Rift. Happy rolling!