Ahri’s gameplay update has been very successful, with her playrate and presence in LoL skyrocketing. But her visual update is still a ways away, with devs confirming it’ll be coming “early next year”.
After the gameplay update Ahri received in patch 12.3, her popularity has been on the rise. It certainly wasn’t a full rework, but the changes made to the champion made more players gravitate towards her mage/assassin hybrid playstyle.
There are more eyes on the Nine-Tailed Fox than ever, with her being a popular mid laner in casual and pro play. With more eyes comes the realization that she’s outdated visually, something Riot acknowledged earlier this year in an early look at in a video on the pre-season 2023 changes.
We got a sneak peek at Ahri there, but now a new developer blog from Riot gave us a more in-depth look at Ahri’s visual update, along with confirming an early 2023 release window.
What’s changing about LoL’s Ahri in the visual update?
Ahri’s update is categorized as an ASU (Art & Sustainability Update). Essentially, this means that the update is solely focused on bringing Ahri’s visual and audio elements up to date.
Some visual updates and overhauls come with a great deal of new lore and/or gameplay, but, in Ahri’s case, her gameplay update has already come out.
While this make the Ahri update sound like a lighter workload than others, it’s important to keep in mind that she has 16 skins on top of her base model, making this one of the most substantial visual updates for a champion when taking all the skins that had to be remodeled into consideration.
The developer blog showed off a great deal about what’s changing with Ahri, from visual changes and new animations to the new audio and effects for her abilities.
The side-by-side for Ahri’s KD/A ALL OUT skin displays some of the minor changes, and reflects the sentiment put forth in the blog post in that the ASU is “primarily focused on sustainability, aka making it easier to develop skins.”
Additionally, we got some new information on how the version of Ahri in League of Legends relates to her Ruined King: A League of Legends Story counterpart.
The LoL spinoff game featured Ahri as one of its main characters, and it’s been confirmed in the developer blog that the version of Ahri we have in LoL is from after the events of Ruined King.
Elyse Lemoine, Senior Narrative Writer at Riot Games, had this to say about their decision in the blog post: “After seeing her grow so much over the course of the game, it felt like a loss to revert her back to who she was before.”
While the post gave us a great deal of details as to what the final version of Ahri will look like and what’s gone into creating her new models and animation rig, the release window is still fairly vague.
The original preseason video announcing her ASU proposed a release window of “sometime early next year”. The blog post doubled down on that release window, also saying that they’re “going quiet until she’s ready.”