During the 2021 League of Legends preseason, Riot Games introduced several major changes to the MOBA, including two new drakes in the elemental lineup.
Both the Hextech and Chemtech Drakes brought their own unique map and Dragon Soul effects upon capture, but many players took issue with the Chemtech Drake in particular. The neutral objective grants players increased damage against opponents with higher health then them. The drake also creates large swaths of camouflaged ground across the four jungle quadrants.
The main aspect players have taken issue with is the monster’s Dragon Soul passive. Upon gaining the Chemtech Dragon Soul, players are given a Sion-like passive, which resurrects players for a short amount of time after receiving lethal damage.
A Reddit thread quickly gained traction as the original poster asked “Realistically will riot admit Chemtech drake was a mistake and remove it?” Though many players on the thread echoed similar sentiments, the consensus found that it was far more likely for the drake to undergo changes rather than see an outright removal.
In response, two League developers explained Riot’s philosophy behind removing aspects from the game, as well as tackling the rumor that changes are viewed as an affront to developers’ pride.
“If we come to the conclusion something is bad, we assess the priority to change or remove it [as] with everything in league,” game designer GreaterBelugaWhale wrote. “While I personally am offended someone would suggest pride would impact my decisions, it should also be noted that pride in a game well made and players having fun would likely be the primary source of pride for a game dev.”
Riot Axes also confirmed the developer team was fielding a survey to assess the player base’s general reaction to the new drakes. “It’ll be a bit before we get results,” Riot Axes wrote. “The reddit and English-speaking social media backlash is clear, but that hasn’t always meant players overall disliked a feature in the past.”
Though the Chemtech Drake may not be removed any time in the near future, players could expect changes in the form of balance changes.