League of Legends developers revealed a detailed first look at the Volibear's reworked abilities, which will be introduced to the Summoner's Rift with the release of Volibear's visual and gameplay rework sometime in the near future.
Back in 2019, Riot Games held a community vote for League of Legends fans to pick which current champions are in need of a rework the most in a bid to give their LoL developers an insight into what are the community's desires and which champions they should focus on. After the vote concluded, it was revealed both Volibear and Fiddlesticks had been chosen by the players and Riot did not hesitate to go to work on revamping the pair.
First in line for the rework was Fiddlesticks, who got a massive VGU at the start of April, which introduced a completely revamped model and ability kit, which brought out Fiddle's dark side and fit in perfectly with the horror theme behind "The Ancient Fear". Now, less than two weeks later, Riot Games developers gave LoL fans the first insight into Volibear's rework, which just like it was the case with Fiddlesticks, will introduce a new champion model and updated ability kit.
The Volibear's new model was first revealed last month and while its new look it did not stray too far away from its original appearance, the new model looks to be at least up to par with some newer releases with much greater detail put into while also having an overall more modern feel to it. Despite a fairly similar look Riot's recent blog post unveiled that the new version of Volibear will feel much more feral and will be better aligned with its Demigod's lore.
"From the start, our goal with updating Volibear was to fully deliver on his promised theme of “lightning-fuelled Freljordian demigod” and create satisfying, modern gameplay to match his legendary status in the Freljord," read LoL developer's post.
"One of the early challenges with Volibear was figuring out how to bridge his personality as he appears in game with how he appears in the stories on Universe.
"His current voice has a calm resonance that gives him a certain honourable dignity. But he’s also a ferocious, ancient god and a literal bear who can overpower you in a fight with the wrath of a storm.
"In the lore, we’ve seen Volibear as the terrifying entity with many eyes, a monster whose back is studded with the swords of lesser men."
Nathan Lutz went on to explain that they were inspired to make the new Volibear feel more "relentless" with a new in-game kit, while also keeping some of his old kit intact, in a bid to keep him more up to date with some newer releases.
“He still runs on all fours and locks down a single target,” said Lutz but also explained that Volibear will still have his target bite, rampaging attack speed and chain lightning, only now it lasts for as long as he remains in the combat.
Although LoL developers refrained from revealing all the details about Volibear's new kit, they have us a sneak peek at his new "E" ability and the VFX behind it. As seen in the provided picture, Volibear's updated "E" ability will create a circular glowing crater, which from the looks of it implies it might be what is left behind once Volibear uses his "shockwave" ability.
It was also revealed that Volibear's ultimate (R) ability is set to receive significant changes and despite not revealing too much about what will the new ability do, the developers hinted it will be in line with his title as the "Freljordian god of storms", while also offering some utility, which is something Volibear lacked to date.
"Our biggest innovations came from his E and R abilities. With the “savage bear” angle locked, we really wanted to push his fantasy as the Freljordian god of storms."
"These abilities will grant Volibear several new utility tools he’s never had before, and aim to give players more to master over time. We’re really pulling out all the stops for Volibear’s ultimate, and we hope you don’t find it too shocking."
Apart from giving us an insight to Volibear's E and R abilities, LoL developers also showcased some VFX elements and textures of his other abilities, which can be found on Riot Games' official website.
New Arctic Ops skin
Riot Games also took this opportunity to showcase Volibear's updated look for his Artic Ops skin, which will come with the release of the update.
"With champion updates, we’re always looking for ways to take older skins and make them something really special now that we have a better understanding of our style, IP, and skin worlds," said Justin "RiotEarp" Albers, the Concept Artist at Riot Games.
“With the addition of Northern Front Swain, we felt like creating a really cool Arctic Ops version of Northern Storm Volibear would be exciting and match the feeling the skin was originally going for.”
RiotEarp stated that the Arctic Ops skin was created by combining the elements of bear and electricity, which gave them the following concepts and ideas:
Riot Games have yet to reveal the release date for the Volibear VGU, but explained that from the time of this announcement, Volibear's release will be shorter than it was for Fiddlesticks, meaning we might see the updated version of "The Thunder's Roar" coming to PBE within the coming weeks.