League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics fans got a sneak peek at three new-and-improved item icons recently.
League lead gameplay designer Mark “Scruffy” Yetter showed off updated item icons for the B.F. Sword, Bramble Vest, and Rabadon’s Deathcap today, explaining that they’re a “work in progress.”
As you know we're upgrading our item icons this preseason. You're going to see a slice of that work in progress coming a bit early with TFT: Fates.
Current plan is to keep everything the same on SR until preseason and do the full update all at once.
(BF, Bramble, Deathcap) pic.twitter.com/Xm6nAvhcOS
— Mark Yetter (@MarkYetter) September 2, 2020
The old B.F. Sword icon is certainly outdated. The updated icon gives a new look to its grip and guard, creating a more aesthetically pleasing sword. Bramble Vest now looks like armor made out of bones and is more unique than its predecessor. And Rabadon’s is brighter and more magical, encapsulating a wizard’s hat perfectly.
Since TFT‘s fourth set is right around the corner, a lot of these new icons will debut in Fates. And League is set to get a major item system overhaul, so these icons will hit the Rift in the preseason patch later this year.
It doesn’t seem like these are the final renditions because Riot is “definitely welcome” to feedback. But fans will get to see a bunch of new item icons when TFT Fates launches in mid-September.
These updates will be applied to every item in the game, whether it be a full redesign of the icon, or a simple retouch and modernization of an item icon. There are five goals that these updates should hit for next year.
First, Riot wanted to make sure that the readability of each icon is clear to all players. This means that every item must have its own distinct silhouette and color palette so it is easily recognized in the shop, in a player’s inventory, or in the scoreboard.
The devs also wanted to ensure that each icon reflected the stats and gameplay of the item being portrayed—people should be able to ascertain what effect an item will have for a champion based off of the thematic sense given by the art.
Each icon has been updated to have Riot’s new, redefined art style, especially since many of the icons haven’t had a visual update since 2009. Familiarity is also a big focus for the artists, as Riot wants to make sure that each icon is still immediately recognizable by the player base.
Lastly, Riot has redesigned some items so that they can be used in other parts of the League lore—fans could see popular items make its way into various stories across Runeterra in the near-future.
You can catch all of these changes and more when the preseason PBE cycle begins in less than two weeks.