Nearly two years after the introduction of the Rift Herald, the upcoming League of Legends mid-season update will once again attempt to give it purpose.
Posting on the official forums, associate game designer Riot Sotere admitted that the minion has failed to live up to the developer’s original goal of giving teams an objective to play around in the early game.
The problem lies in making the Rift Herald important enough to steal some attention from Elemental Drakes, who at present hold priority for players. The developer revealed that it experimented by improving the single-user buff dropped by the minion upon death. However, that led to empowered champions becoming “impossible” to lane against.
As such, it has been difficult to address the friction. In fact, it was only last month when Riot Games was considering to remove the Rift Herald from the game completely.
The upcoming League of Legends mid-season update hopes to make the Rift Herald work by changing it into a “structure-smashing siege engine.”
It now drops the “Herald’s Eye” upon death, lasting in the player’s inventory for a few minutes and granting Empowered Recall. However, using the relic before it expires summons the Rift Herald back in League of Legends to fight for the player’s team by rushing down the nearest lane.
“She says hello by ramming into buildings from a distance, dealing massive damage,” said the developer. “From there, she’ll steadily smash it to rubble before moving onto the next objective down the lane.”
When summoned, the Rift Herald will only focus structures and minions. However, direct damage will catch her attention. In addition, “summoning sickness” will leave her vulnerable to crowd-control effects. Enemy players can save their towers by stunning or pushing her away. Finally, her damage in the lane is directly tied to her health.