Do Facts Belong in Lore?

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Harvester

Senior Member

11-07-2012

Three weeks ago I made a post in this thread: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/...661211&page=42
after RiotNarya made a brief comment admiring the lore/theme department. My post was a message to RiotNarya about League of Legend's lore and it was as follows:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulharvest View Post
I realize that this issue has been brought up time and time again, however I would like to point out that we still have not seen evidence of the expansion or increases in lore release since the death of the Journal of Justice. Perhaps there is a reason for this, but I would like to point out an example of this:

It was explained in Rengar's background that he had faced many ferocious creatures and that he claimed a domain for himself. Where was this domain? There was no description of it, although it seems like it was implied that it was in a jungle. This seems like it would have been a great opportunity to revisit the different locations in Runeterra and more specifically Valoran, perhaps give a basic description of what kinds of magical creatures exist in so-and-so location which Rengar conquered. There was nothing like that. Nothing to expand the universes' lore in a grander sense than the personal story y'all created between Kha'zix and Rengar. Speaking of which, let's move on to Kha'zix.

Khazix's lore does not detail the kind of world he came from. I realize that there is a basic description of the chaotic madness that is The Void, however no description is given in regard to where in the Void he came from, how he came over, or where in the world he came to. They could have been fighting in the Twisted Treeline for all we know!

I do not understand why or how so much work can go into a detailed and well-thought out story like that which is between Kha'Zix and Rengar, yet nothing meaningful to change the overall world or give a new understanding of its wonders comes about. The story and interactions between those two champions are good, however they are so self-contained that I feel like Riot is not trying to add to the world it created.

The entire reason I use those two as an example is because they have a reason to come to the Institute of War: to come closer to their rival and to fight on the world's greatest battlefields. This basic idea is clear from their rivalry and as such they would not need a Judgement. Syndra joined the league to exercise her "new" power and to face off with the greatest of Ionia. This makes some sense, but only if Syndra believes that the only way to achieve her goals is through violence. Diana's only enemy/enemies would be Leona and her clan. Based on my understanding of what happened to her, she had no reason to join the league but to hurt Leona which is, to be frank, a waste of her time which could be used to achieve her real goals. Zyra joined for the same reason as Syndra. Jayce wishes to protect his hesitant people, the people of Piltover.
RiotNarya replied with:
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotNarya View Post
I should really let the creative design team answer this but I will say you are right on. We want a proper lore foundation for League and we are building that now. I can say you won't need to wait to long to see some of the hard work that is being done.
No further comments on this topic were made by any other rioters nor by any members of the creative design team.
A few days ago Kitae made this post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitae View Post
We used to give one liners explaining why champions joined the league. These one liners didn't really give any new information on the champion, and they weren't stories, they were one liners.

No more one liners.

Champion bios are stories, so we're going to focus on telling a great story.

I understand that players appreciate facts, and old-format bios did contain more facts, we are exploring other ways of getting facts to players outside of the bio.
from this thread:
http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/...90670#31090670

This started a bit of a discussion, and Kitae ended up posting:
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitae View Post
That's a fact.

The bottom line is my focus is on getting out great stories to players, not on getting facts out. Facts are great (did I mention I like saying facts?) but they tend to result in a demand for more facts. It becomes a factpocalypse (I just invented a word). Your post shows this - you asked a bunch of great questions. I could respond to each point with an... answer .... but it would generally just spiral out into more questions.

Now I'm not saying we should never answer questions, of course we should, but my focus is more on building redicuawesome (I invented another word) stories. The Shadow Isles was step 1 in that direction. If you liked the specter VO in the TT map, or the Elise login lore, that is the start of where we are trying to take lore development.

I also do want to release more prose, maybe even novels one day.

Patience please, I know it's hard, but that's what we're working towards.
And then this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitae View Post
So the short answer is, we are very interested in telling stories that do not reflect the gameplay of League of Legends. You ask why is the conflict between Rengar and Kha'zix relevant when they can't die in the fields of justice? The answer is, because they can die outside of the fields of justice, and if we tell more stories about their conflict they will undoubtedly occur outside of Summoner's Rift.

I'm not saying we won't tell stories involving summoners rift, twisted treeline, etc. but we are absolutely interested in telling stories outside of the gameplay experience we already know and love. We think the biggest opportunity for stories lies there.

For example - what is the real history between Garen and Katarina? That's a story I'd love to tell, and it has nothing to do with Summoners or the Fields of Justice.

A big part of what we are trying to do with creative is create characters who have interesting stories to tell outside of the League.
The point of this thread is to discuss the place of facts in lore. The Journal of Justice worked out kinks in the lore through articles which concerned multiple champions. Perhaps they were minor connections such as connections between Miss Fortune and Gangplank within Bilgewater seeing as they are rivals (pirate hunter and pirate, respectively). Another example was the connection between Graggy Ice (Drink of choice for Brolaf) when Gragas made a deal to produce Graggy Ice in the homeland of King Tryndamere and Queen Ashe, Freljord. If all else fails, the Mailbag of Justice gave summoners a direct connection to ask questions about the magical Valoran's Champions.

Another series of connections would be between Wukong and Master Yi with the world around them. Wukong's lore gives him a place of origin, a backstory, a reason to join the league, and even a connection to another character of the lore whose name many would recognize. Wukong hails from the Plague Jungle, he dreams of greatness and a chance to fight powerful opponents (which was built up prior to his release via his action/comic strip), he became the student of Master Yi, and his weapon was created by Doran the Master Artificer prior to his accident. Wukong's lore is well put together, he had a magnificent build up that rivals Lee Sin's, and his lore is chock full of facts.

This is my counterexample to what Kitae said would be a factopalypse. Despite so many facts in his lore, his story was still expanded by the Journal of Justice in issue 27 when he was asked about his relationship with Jax. I say a story can either seamlessly contain facts or a champion's story can be expanded upon through careful use of facts. A champion's story does not have to be chock full of facts like Wukong's, but I say Riot must acknowledge that a good background story, in terms of champions, can definitely incorporate facts that add to or reexamine Valoran's already existing lore.

My quote at the top of this thread examines how a very small number of facts can seriously weaken a character or even put a lasting negative demerit towards, in this case, the entirety of the League of Legends' world's lore. I agree with Kitae on the importance of developing a good story for a character is the best way to give a champion, well, character! I disagree with his/her ideas on the emphasis that champion stories should put on facts about the world around them and my post at the top of this thread picks apart the stories for a few recent champions to reveal their flaws. If those champions really do exist in a fantastical but brutal world, then acknowledging that world's existence is the strongest way to introduce a character. If that world stops developing and evolving, then the champions may as well have completed stories with sealed fates.

When I first started playing league of legends, I had ideas about how the development of LoL could change and reflect the lore. Perhaps invasions could happen in a new game mode that changed monthly like at one time the void champions broke out and summoners had to stop them on X map. Sometimes the event would happen on Y map. Another time elemental forces could take control of champions like maokai, brand, and malphite and summoners have to stop them from rampaging on X map. This is just a single example of how an idea can begin in lore, get planned, get planned, and then it would be revealed to millions of summoners the truth of such a fantastic and wonderfully chaotic world.

The Crystal Scar and the new Twisted Treeline are testaments to how much work, time, dedication, and love must be put into a project to really create something great. After following this game for years, I am able to acknowledge and understand that. I believe that the same degree of dedication and thought should be put into the League of Legends lore because Riot has already shown they are capable of it through the Journal of Justice. Even though I doubt that it shall return, let me say this: I expect a lot from Riot when it comes to lore because they have proven they are able to create fantastic works.

Can the lore truly be high quality and good if Riot has some idea that any facts about how an ever-changing world affects those within it get in the way of the story?


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Tekkaman Claw

Member

11-08-2012

The amount of lore surrounding each champion release doesn't really give much food for discussion.

The old method of judgement, Journal, and bio gave myself and my friends a lot to discuss without having to resort to discussions on gameplay. Now any conversation concerning lore is over in seconds.


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NecroticBinder

Senior Member

11-08-2012

Personally, I feel that hiding behind the theory that facts demand more facts is just an excuse to continue using poor writing styles. A good writer knows when to hide facts (Karthus's lore for example, the old one) but they also know that you need facts to help inspire the readers mind.

Quote:
The bottom line is my focus is on getting out great stories to players, not on getting facts out. Facts are great (did I mention I like saying facts?) but they tend to result in a demand for more facts. It becomes a factpocalypse (I just invented a word). Your post shows this - you asked a bunch of great questions. I could respond to each point with an... answer .... but it would generally just spiral out into more questions.
This paragraph to me felt like a cheap way to dodge the question and any further questions. Why can we not have facts on here answered on the lore forums? Yes, you may be pulling the story out earlier to people who care but this is not a bad thing. Just because one statement creates the desire for more to be answered does not require you to answer all of those new desires. A "Factpocalypse" is part of creating a real world, you have to answer questions that may seem irrelevant, you can leave room for people to come up with their own theories but you cannot throw all of the burden onto the people.

Yes, champion bios are a limited format but they are the only format so strangling the lore because you are seeking out other formats is not the way to go. You can learn a lot from the biographies about the world, you can learn how yordles are social creatures from Teemo and Veigar, you can learn some of Piltover's armies from Corki's lore, you can learn about Noxian traditions from Xin Zhao and Alistair. So while they are limited formats, if done properly they are still a good format.

Heck, you even have the format of the forums! The Official RPs were a good way of involving players in the lore and expanding the world. Yes, they take a bit more effort but they are also going to bring the players closer to the world AND let you expand the lore outside of the game.


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viokni

Junior Member

11-08-2012

Sometimes facts are pretty necessary. Rengar and Wukong both came from jungles, but the jungle described in lore surrounding Wukong is much more lifelike.


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Harvester

Senior Member

12-13-2012

Alright, I'm just going to leave a bump riiiiight here.


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Galgus

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Senior Member

12-31-2012

I feel that new champions should explore relevant facts when it can be done without drawing focus from their story.

If Riot wants to have facts focus in a different format, fine, but there should at least be a reference to facts.

Perhaps just a description of one of Rengar's trophy hunts and what he thought about the creature in the fight, with a fuller description on what it was in that other format.


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webbut

Senior Member

12-31-2012

I imagine they want to achieve a 007 status with the lore. You don't watch a 007 movie and question why james bond suddenly looks and acts differently they don't even bother providing you with an explanation for it. They just keep the very core of the characters the same and continue the story like nothing is different.
Where as the new Borne movie essentially had to spend all its time explaining why New Borne was not old Borne because they got a new actor.

I would think that when they add new lore they don't want to have to go back and fix old facts or explain why the new lore doesn't contradict old facts. The easiest way they could think of seems to be keeping facts to a minimum.


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Galgus

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Senior Member

12-31-2012

If they do that, the they just give up on making the world of Runeterra at all interesting.

A better route would be to change old lore if it is bad while keeping the essence of the champions preserved: just not adding facts is lazy.