Udyr’s rework has been a long time coming, and we are stoked to see the recreation of one of League’s most “senior” citizens. As it stands, the developers are doing a good, if not a fast job of it.
The goal of the update is to preserve Udyr’s stance-changing identity and keep him as a primarily auto-attack/melee-focused champion. This is what makes Udyr unique and stand out on the roster. To help his gameplay feel more modern, devs want to add a bit more interest to his stances and melee pattern to give some more depth to playing him, as well as make it more clear when Udyr is doing something cool.
So, for that, the goal is to build on Udyr’s visuals, not reinvent them.
As for his narrative, Riot want to bring his in-game portrayal closer to how he’s been portrayed in recent lore and give him stronger ties to the Freljord.
While working on his proportions and base design, which, apparently had to be done from scratch, Riot ended up removing his antlers. While they really liked the idea of them and we tried a lot to get them to work, Riot couldn’t get them to not look goofy because of how hunched over he is.
His base body was pretty straightforward, but his four stances were a major hurdle. Not only were there four of them but Riot also had to make sure each one amplified the fantasy of the animal spirit they’re associated with.
The process for developing these is to incorporate the elemental nature of the stance, with the movement the corresponding animal does, as well as the personality of Udyr and how he might perform it, thus the Phoenix stance is an ice-themed aggressive swipe.
Each of his stances will have a new accompanying effect as well, with his bear stance mimicking Udyr and his chain lightning.