'League of Legends' Developers Consider Removing Chemtech Drake Based on Player Feedback

The team behind League of Legends (LOL) are reportedly contemplating removing the Chemtech Drake if fans are vocal enough about the divisive creature.

Before diving into the controversy, it's important to understand the basics of the Chemtech. Like other elemental drakes in LOL, players can elect to slay this A.I. controlled monster during online matches, to gain significant boosts and become more powerful. In turn, this can drastically alter the course of games, by giving the prospective dragon-slayers an upper hand over the competition.

Elemental drakes have been a huge part of League of Legends since 2019, and they were embraced by fans for how they added a nice wrinkle to the popular eSport's formula.

However, one of the new additions to the bestiary has not been quite so warmly received.

Why Do Fans Hate the Chemtech Drake in 'League of Legends'?

For the LOL 2022 pre-season, the developers over at Riot Games introduced two new dragons into the mix, those being the Chemtech Drake and the Hextech Drake.

The latter went down rather well with the community, as the buffs that it applies are generally thought to be fairly balanced. If you manage to take one of the creatures down, then your team will get minor attack speed and ability haste stat increases. Meanwhile, if you get a Hextech Soul – by killing 4 of the dragons – then you can slow your opponents down a little as well.

The Chemtech Drake on the other hand has been roundly criticized for upsetting the balance of League of Legends. In particular, players are frustrated with its soul buff, which allows teammates to resurrect during battles and even grants them an invulnerable state for a few seconds afterwards.

Many have accused the Chemtech Drake of being "broken" for this reason, as it can single-handedly turn the tide of battle if exploited.

Overpowered items are nothing out of the ordinary in video games and balancing tweaks are often necessary when adding in new content. To that end, Riot did actually nerf the Chemtech Drake in their 11.24 patch (reducing the soul buff attributes specifically) but some have argued that this was not enough to meaningfully resolve the issue.

In fact, a highly upvoted post on the League of Legends subreddit has called for the dragon to be outright withdrawn from the game. Titled "Will Riot admit that Chemtech drake was a mistake and remove it", the thread is filled with commenters expressing frustration with the situation

Many are sceptical that the Chemtech drake will be cut any time soon, given that League of Legends has had similar problems in the past and Riot have typically been slow to address them. As u/Baldude points out: "It's here to stay. It may get changed (fingers crossed) in all the ways possible [...] But it won't go away".

Riot Games Developer Indicates That the Chemtech Drake Could Be Removed

A developer from Riot Games (who is known for engaging with the League of Legends community on forums like Reddit and Twitch) has now waded into the conversation and indicated that removing the Chemtech Drake is actually a possibility.

In response to the aforementioned Reddit post, u/GreaterBelugaWhale wrote: "If we come to the conclusion [that] something is bad, we assess the priority to change or remove it, as with everything in League."

When a fan asked what metrics are used to determine if something "is bad" or not, the developer clarified that a survey will be going out soon to collate data. The fact that this is happening at all suggests that Riot Games are actively considering what to do here and, if the noise on social media is anything to go by, they may get the message that people are displeased.

U/GreaterelugaWhale continued: "We're fielding a survey. It'll be a bit before we get results. The Reddit and English-speaking social media backlash is clear, but that hasn't always meant players overall disliked a feature in the past."

As mentioned in the reply, it will be some time before anything is decided as no survey has gone out yet. In the meantime, we can expect Riot to continue periodically tweaking the Chemtech Drake to fine-tune its balancing.

Newsweek has contacted Riot Games for comment on the authenticity of this story. In response, a spokesperson said: "The survey referenced in the Reddit thread is legitimate and any decisions around Chemtech Drake will be informed by its results."

Chemtech Drake and Hextech Drake in LOL
Image shows concept art for the Hextech Drake (on the left) and the Chemtech Drake (on the right). The latter has been a very controversial addition to "League of Legends". Riot Games