Why Bel'Veth Slaps

Q&A with a few of Bel’Veth’s developers

With all of the excitement leading up to Bel’Veth’s inevitable consumption of Runeterra, we wanted to celebrate her release by addressing some player questions we’ve seen popping up!

Why was Bel’Veth created as an auto-attack based champion?

Bel’veth, at her core, is lying to you. She may LOOK like an elegant sorceress at first glance, but that false visage conceals who she truly is: an overwhelmingly powerful void monster that’s more than ready to rip you apart on the frontlines of battle and devour your essence (with auto-attacks).

Riot August, Champion Design Lead

For Bel’Veth, we went into development wanting to create a unique, yet broadly appealing champion. We thought about making her an assassin from the Void, but Kha’Zix already occupied the space pretty well. We also considered making her a mage; however we felt that doing this would make her too niche of a jungler for players. Ultimately, we felt a skirmisher would be the best way to meet both of these development goals.

Around the same time, some devs were testing out the idea of a champion with infinitely scaling attack speed. This concept was something that really excited the team and we decided it would fit Bel’Veth’s theme well, so we decided to implement it in her kit (at the time, her artwork was in very preliminary stages).

Ryan “Reav3” Mireles, Lead Gameplay Producer

Why is her champion icon her “human” face and not her “real” one?

Champion icons need to be easy to identify in the middle of a game, even at small sizes. Bel’Veth’s “real” face was designed to be hidden within her splash art in order to capture and portray her angler fish-like design concept. When it came time to translate her splash art into an icon, her “real” face ended up being a gameplay clarity issue, so we landed on her “fake” face as her in-game icon.

Riot August, Champion Design Lead

Why does Bel’Veth have infinite attack speed scaling and true damage?

Much like the Void, Bel’Veth’s infinite attack speed scaling will consume everything in its way… eventually.

Her ramping true damage on-attack helps us to emphasize the strengths and weaknesses of a scaling skirmisher. Her damage ramps up to very high levels against durable opponents, but she’s less effective in the first moments of a fight and so isn’t as good at burst killing an opponent. The more attack speed she has, the faster this damage scales up, stressing just how important it is that she farm early (and consequently, how important it is for her enemies to prevent her from doing that.)

Bryan “Riot Axes” Salvatore, Lead Gameplay Designer

What was creating a manta ray champion like? Do manta rays slap?

The starting point for Bel’Veth has always been this manta ray-like form and that posed some really unique animation challenges. She needed to come across as both regal and monstrous. She’d be flying, but she also had to move as though she were swimming. The contrast between her elegant base form and her horrific monster form was also a lot of fun to play with as her key theme. Strangely enough, it also meant we had to sort of ignore our experience and avoid making her false head too animated, since it’s ultimately not her “true” self.

Riot nickstravaganza, Animation Artist

Working on Bel’Veth was challenging and interesting for many reasons, especially when it came to figuring out her auto attacks. As soon as we started production we tested many ways a manta ray could attack as a melee character (disclaimer: no manta rays were hurt in this process). After several explorations using her tail, spiky skirt, and wings, we decided to have different sets of attacks for different attack speeds. We chose to make her wings slash while her attack speed is low (that’s right, those aren’t slaps). As her attack speed goes up she starts stabbing the opponent and when it gets REALLY high she gets special, speedier stabs while in her true form!

Alex "GambitxX13" Ferreira Simoes, Animation Artist

What do you think of manta rays?

As Riot’s resident (and possibly only) oceanographer, I think manta rays are dope. People who are not oceanographers often confuse them with stingrays, but Manta rays are nice because they won’t hurt you. I do not believe the same is true of Bel’Veth.

Manta rays don’t have teeth or tail spines. They flap through the water in a pretty elegant way and suck down small fish and crustaceans. I have seen them in the wild in places like Hawaii and Costa Rica and they are beautiful to behold. I believe the same is true of Bel’Veth.

Pro tip: You can often prevent stingray stings by shuffling your feet when you walk through sandy marine environments rather than lifting your foot up and stepping down on potential rays.

Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street, Riot’s (only?) Resident Oceanographer

Do you find Void Manta Rays as exciting as we do? Want to slap some sense into your opponents for daring to challenge you? Catch Bel’Veth and her army of void fish minions on the Rift June 9th!