A specific problem with the new lore

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Zaenos

Senior Member

11-09-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitae View Post
  • Players read bios to better understand champions. You deserve the same quality experience when reading an older bio as you get when you read a newer one.
  • Bios are the first place players go to learn more about a champion's past, and they form the foundation upon which other stories about that champion can be crafted. This is true for both player-written stories as well as Riot-written ones. You deserve great stories built on a strong foundation.
  • Bios feed our lore, granting insight into our world and other champions mentioned in the bio. You deserve a consistent, well planned fantasy world in which great stories can be told.

With these goals in mind we are starting to bring all champion bios up to today's standards. We’ve brought on some new creative designers (who we’ll introduce soon) to help make this happen, so it won’t impact new champion bios. What can you expect to see when we re-write a champion bio?

  • More focus on personality and motivation. We want you to understand who our champions are, and what they want.
  • A better sense of where champions come from. Every champion has an origin that helps you better understand who they are.
  • More relationships. Whether its friendship, love, or hate, relationships provide a jumping off point for additional stories involving our champions.
  • Closer ties in the world. Many champions come off as totally focused on the League. We want you to have a good sense of what champions do when they are not fighting in the League.
  • To help ground champions further, many champions who were previously summoned from afar will now have closer ties to Valoran.
  • More champion free will. We're shying away from champions being imprisoned, bound, or unable to shape their own destiny. For example, we’d like bound champions like Cho'Gath and Brand to have more freedom. This is pretty scary, but it also is a great potential source of compelling stories.
There's been a lot of talk recently about how displeased some people are with the new bios. I'm one of them, in certain cases, particularly the stereotyping of Warwick and Karthus. However, I acknowledge that part of this is a sentimental attachment to the old character and/or personal preference, and so I looked to see if there was anything empirically worse about the new lore. While it is not pandemic, I did find something: In several recent cases, character motivation has become too specific, and too oriented around other champions.

These stories feel empty because it seems like they'll never go anywhere. Rengar's goal is to kill Kha'Zix, and vice-versa. But this will most likely never actually play out, because doing so would involve killing off one of these champions. But, at least they have the Thrill of the Hunt to add some gameplay connection to the story. For Warwick's new lore, they tied him even deeper into conflict with Soraka, but in doing so gave him an unprogressable story as well. He now has the very defined goal of extracting Soraka's heart, which would presumably kill her. But even if that problem is somehow averted, once his transformation is stabilized, his character loses its conflict. Something similar would happen if the story moved in the other direction and Soraka manages to 'heal' Warwick.

This wouldn't be as much of a problem if the characters had more foundation to fall back on, but while it's easy to imagine that there's more to Warwick beyond Soraka than 'he's just another bounty hunter', we don't actually see it. At least not yet. Alternatively, these characters could gain another source of motivation, but that would imply a change from characters' lore pages being overall backgrounds and a core biography, to being 'the story so far...', which seems to be more the realm of something like the (now-defunct) Journal of Justice instead.

The Journal of Justice entries had very character-specific interactions, and ones that were rather large in scope, but they were modeled off of broader character concepts. Malzahar sent Kassadin's daughter to the Void, Garen and Katarina developed a rather interesting relationship, Swain rose to become the leader of Noxus. However, none of these events created dead-ends for themselves or others.

Unless the approach towards lore is taking a dramatic turn towards highly dynamic character development (that is, continually resolving and progressing champion identities, without fear for alienating the old ones), or accepting champion death as a real possibility, then much of the new lore is fundamentally hollow, because it bases characters largely around events that can never happen.

Riot has stated that they plan to broaden the methods by which the lore is presented. Conceivably, a lot of what seems bad now may feel fine once everything is in place. Hopefully, the feelings of shallower characters will seem silly in hindsight. However, either Riot has something big up their sleeve, or there may be genuine concern to be had for dead-ends being laid in the foundation.


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Cerubois

Senior Member

11-09-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaenos View Post
...much of the new lore is fundamentally hollow, because it bases characters largely around events that can never happen.
I think this is the biggest issue I have with it. Not only are we getting champions who would never join the League willingly, we're getting characters that seem to have no idea what the League is like.

Death in the League is not permanent. You cannot steal people's hearts. You cannot kill each other for good. You cannot kill everyone (as new Karthus seems to be all about).

Then you have characters joining the League that would likely be seen as a threat to the world. Syndra is a great example. She has unlimited magic power, enough to misshape large areas of land at will. There's no way the League would ignore that. They'd shut it down and take Syndra captive so she didn't destroy the world herself, whether she meant to or not.

The old lore might have been unnecessarily vague and mysterious in some cases, but at least it was logical and followed the theme of the story. :/


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Syrino

Senior Member

11-12-2012

One of the things I find to be a problem with the new lore is that while they are focusing on personal motivation on some level they neglect their motivation to join the league. In the old lore each champion had a reason for joining the league as was mentioned in either their bio or in the judgement, the new lore as far as I can tell does not. It is not only this that I could say is a problem with the new lore, but seems to be the most prominent.

There are many reasons people dislike the new lore and what I provided above is only one of mine. I think one of Riot's biggest problems regarding lore is changing old lore. This is like taking a history book and cutting out large sections only to replace it with something else. This leaves people confused on what to believe and destroys something that many loved. A better approach would be to expand on the lore of old instead of changing it, use the new lore you come out with to enhance the old lore. For example if you wanted to focus more on Warwicks personal motivations you can use a medium like the judgements or journal of justice to dive into his mind set a little bit more.

I think the approach they are taking now is of a very destructive mindset in the idea that they want to make a better story by erasing everything first. If that is the case then they should take down all of the lore at one time and replace it all at one time so we don't have discrepancies. These discrepancies make themselves known in places like Zed's lore that doesn't quite work with Shen's lore. I'm sure once Shen's lore gets a rework it will make a lot more sense, but until then it appears contradictory and sloppy. I have loved reading the lore and loved seeing it grow through the JoJ and judgements, but now it looks like it has stagnated.

I agree that perhaps when all is said and done we will enjoy the new lore a lot better, however until it is all in place it just looks terrible. I would love to hear Kitae's thoughts on all of this and on some of the concerns that many of the lore forum goers have. Perhaps there is some way for Riot to assuage our fears and show us that things will be better. I fear that since the lore has moved on slowly for a long time now that many had given up hope on ever seeing additional lore beyond the Bio's and have since left the forum in dismay.

I wish you all the luck in the world.
-Syrino


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KiteMeGood

Senior Member

11-13-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerubois View Post
I think this is the biggest issue I have with it. Not only are we getting champions who would never join the League willingly, we're getting characters that seem to have no idea what the League is like.

Death in the League is not permanent. You cannot steal people's hearts. You cannot kill each other for good. You cannot kill everyone (as new Karthus seems to be all about).

Then you have characters joining the League that would likely be seen as a threat to the world. Syndra is a great example. She has unlimited magic power, enough to misshape large areas of land at will. There's no way the League would ignore that. They'd shut it down and take Syndra captive so she didn't destroy the world herself, whether she meant to or not.

The old lore might have been unnecessarily vague and mysterious in some cases, but at least it was logical and followed the theme of the story. :/
Syndra is willing to cooperate with summoners if it meant keeping her from being permanently leashed. Would rather be summon willingly or be forced forever as a slave of the summoners. Besides, her abilities can bring interest to noxians