League of Legends champions can vary greatly in how they appear, not only in their character designs, but also in how much effort and technical expertise went into their creation. This puts some of the MOBAs champions in stark contrast to each other, especially when an older model goes head to head with one of the shiny new releases.
Every day, visual improvements are made in video games, with artists receiving more tools and time to express their ideas to your screen. How does a game like League of Legends maintain its consistency when you have 160 different characters to update?
A Reddit user wrote a post explaining how they believe there are around 40 champions that are in desperate need of a visual update. Riot is currently doing around two visual improvements per year, but more champion models are becoming obsolete in that time.
The fact that this isnt exactly true is revealed by a little digging. Riot is currently on track for around six visual enhancements a year, with the majority of them being minor tweaks to champions like Leona, rather than major changes as we saw in August. This does reduce the 20-year timeline to nearly seven years, which is a substantial improvement until we consider that this time is being spent merelycatching up.
The Reddit post proposes a solution; no champion who needs a visual upgrade gets a new skin until that upgrade is complete. Its a significant shift, but considering Riot would only be doing more for itself by adding new skins, the idea isnt entirely without merit.
A commenter adds their two cents to the discussion: Is it really okay for Chogath to look the way he does in ten years? I think it's fair to expect a billion-dollar company to be able to visually transform its outdated competitors in less than a decade.
The developer is in a difficult position. Their game has such a long history that they were seeing a lot of differences between new and older versions, and with no signs of a League of Legends 2 ever coming, the situation is only going to get worse.
The League of Legends 12.17 patch notes provide an overview of the non-visual changes, and this article on League of Legends Zeri nerfs might help you understand how the champion balances are determined.