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-   -   @Riot'sLoreWriters: Please do not write such heavy-handed exposition (http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=3101389)

Marisa 02-08-2013 11:06 AM

@Riot'sLoreWriters: Please do not write such heavy-handed exposition
 
While the sneak peek of the new champion is interesting, the way in which her backstory is written is incredibly heavy-handed and out of place. Giving her a lost love/family member/friend is an acceptable cliche, but going out of her way to waste paper and ink to wax on about the tragedy and circumstances of her loss and be sentimental about events that are far in the past is too obvious; it's a needless recap of things solely for the audience that could have been presented more subtly and in a less patronizing manner. I doubt that this piece of data is necessary as a part of her journal; I expect it to be such a part of obvious backstory that it will be included in her bio from the start.

Additionally, the theme that IronStylus is presenting of "Demacia must change, traditions break down blah blah" is not an original theme by any means. I do not mean that it is a bad theme; merely that saying that "people who cling to tradition will have to adjust" and all that is trite if written alone as the core of a modern story and that I sincerely hope that you have found a way to make it interesting or otherwise engaging.

I really enjoyed the JoJ's writing, but I've been pretty disappointed with the writing of the new lore thus far, honestly, so I fully expect this small critique to fall of deaf ears. I honestly just want the lore to not be a patronizing mess of "plot for the sake of plot."

EDIT: And I made a mistake in the title. Damn it.

Melancholy Exile 02-08-2013 11:26 AM

Yeah, I agree with this somewhat. The latest update felt rather blunt and heavy-handed in its approach.

Solari Brigadier 02-08-2013 02:57 PM

A few years after my friend died, I went back to my old hometown where we used to hang out and cause mischief, and that night my journal entry was a tribute to him and reminiscing about old times. So while I agree that Page 4 was put in for the purpose of giving us a reason to feel sad/compassionate for Quinn, I don't think the journal entry was that much of a stretch.

Nightlynx 02-09-2013 05:02 PM

uhm... it's her DIARY for one...


Isn't that the book where people write sentimental stuff in?

1Eredale 02-10-2013 12:02 AM

So, you're complaining about actual character detailing through alternative froms of lore content...

...Which is what we've been asking for for over a year?

Yeah, well, please stop.

SunKiIIMoon 02-10-2013 12:06 AM

"Tradition is the CORPSE of wisdom!"

Melancholy Exile 02-10-2013 02:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1Eredale (Hozzászólás 34492742)
So, you're complaining about actual character detailing through alternative froms of lore content...

...Which is what we've been asking for for over a year?

Yeah, well, please stop.

So you'd rather people didn't offer criticism, or state their opinions, of Riot's new approach at all unless their comments were universally positive?

Really, in my mind, the issue is that the fourth page feels somewhat out of step with the rest of the piece. All of the other pages show a level of subtlety in their approach, rather than outright stating everything that we need to know about the character, and I honestly feel that "[...] if I don't return, please tell my family to forgive me [...]" is more interesting and compelling than what we see there. The contents of that page feel heavy-handed because they simply lack the finesse of the rest of her introduction. This makes sense, given their more personal nature, but it also feels to me as though they're really quite unnecessary when this part of her character could've been just as easily conveyed by her bio.

Why have we suddenly gone from heavily critiquing everything they do to 'If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything'?

1Eredale 02-10-2013 06:53 AM

I still don't see any issue here. It's not a tax collector's log book, it's a personal journal, and there is absolutely no reason for it to be consistent. Given that: our subject grew up in less-than-fine society and didn't have proper schooling, went through the loss of a loved one, is in a shady line of work, exhibits erratic and spiky handwriting, inserts own sketches in the middle of the journal, is a relatively fine artist of the appropriate mentality given the quality of the aforementioned sketches, and is female on top of all things... I see no reason why she couldn't write more personal things in her journal on occasion, given that she has free time.

Truly, if we perceive the situation from a perspective of ourselves, that is, players and readers, the inconsistency in the content floats on; however, if we consider it from a character's perspective, it makes perfect sense, and to me, personally, is a point of attraction and a plot hook to the character's personality. Quinn is not a noble Mary Sue, and I wouldn't expect her personal notes to match that of the latter.

Now that I've heavily critiqued the subject at hand to reveal its positive nature, I shall repeat myself.

If you're complaining about character detailing through alternative froms of lore content, which is what we've been expecting for so long, please stop. If those alternative forms were inferior in quality, unclear, or otherwise not appropriate, I would have been the first to call the writers out on their results. If we receive a good piece of work that we could learn from, we should be doing so, instead of complaining that it's not the single best thing in the universe.

Melancholy Exile 02-10-2013 08:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1Eredale (Hozzászólás 34497763)
If you're complaining about character detailing through alternative froms of lore content, which is what we've been expecting for so long, please stop.

Forgive me for doing so, but I'm having difficulty responding just because I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this. My sole complaint here is with the manner they approached this particular page, not the actual content within, and I wanted to air that view as a form of constructive criticism. It's my personal opinion that the fourth page feels out of place among the other parts of this piece and that, had they taken a more subtle approach to conveying that information, it would've felt far less ... blunt and uncomfortable, to my eye.

That they shouldn't have told us this at all, I'm trying to say that I think the fourth page feels a little too much like an exposition dump for my tastes. It's a no frills summary of the apparent driving force behind her character, which is made no mention of elsewhere in the piece, and I feel as though it's scarcely more effective than having simply relegated those details to her traditional character bio.

To be utterly frank: I feel as though this preview would be no worse off had that page been omitted entirely.

Every other page establishes some element of intertextuality and aids us in relating her directly to other characters or places in the world, while this one is strictly concerned with her own character and really tells us very little. She and her brother shared a dream and, though his death caused her some difficulty, she pursues it still. It's not something that led to a sea change in her character, such as Riven and the loss of her squad, so it feels rather lost in the scope of a greater narrative that scarcely relates to it. It's not that I don't appreciate them adding this element to her character, it's that it's simply unnecessary for it to be here and that fact really sticks out among an otherwise excellent piece of work.

Shouldn't a character preview be driven by the need to convey a character in the most effective way possible, rather than looking to stick to their short-fallings and limit the information it offers accordingly?

I shouldn't have to read a piece intended to sell me on a character from her perspective to excuse the fact that it neither tells me anything of note, nor gives me any great reason to get behind her. These may be her personal notes but they were written as much for us as for her. If they tell us very little, that's entirely because the guys at Riot settled for taking that approach.

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1Eredale (Hozzászólás 34497763)
If those alternative forms were inferior in quality, unclear, or otherwise not appropriate, I would have been the first to call the writers out on their results.

And, pardon the ad hominem approach, your opinion on such things is clearly absolute.

While I am 'complaining', I suppose, I'm doing so because I truly love the lore behind this game and want it to be as good as it can be. Rather than simply accepting this as 'a good piece of work', I'd prefer to appreciate it for what it is, and the wealth of details it gives us, while also asking how future pieces could be better. Isn't that a worthwhile thing to do?

RiotRunaan 02-10-2013 10:49 AM

Hey guys, thanks for the feedback.

While I do agree that the writing on page four could have possibly been handled in a more subtle manner that matched the methodology of the rest of the piece, I'll defend my position to include the context of her brother's death. You're right, something like this could have simply been included in her text bio (and it actually is), but one of the goals for Quinn's journal was to convey as much about her character as possible to players, and that includes players who may never read a text bio at all. In addition, the piece already has several subtleties to the main plot, as mentioned before. Honestly, during the writing process, I was a bit concerned that readers might have a hard time following it in a few places (this has actually proven somewhat true). I deliberately chose to be heavy-handed with some detail to avoid too much of that problem.

Could I have done it the other way around? Heavy-handed with plot details, light touch on deeper character motivation? Probably. Should I have omitted the information about Caleb's death and its impact on Quinn? Personally, I don't believe so. Heavy-handed as I might have been with it, I'm glad that players are very clearly aware of what Quinn's brother meant to her. Hopefully, the majority can see how it informs the rest of her character overall.

Again, thanks for the feedback. I'll keep all of this in mind for the next piece I tackle. :)


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