Do you think the latest lores/lore reworks are better or worse than in the past?

I think the lore is worse overall than it used to be 53 66.25%
Some things have been better, some worse. I am neutral 20 25.00%
I think the lore is better overall than it used to be 5 6.25%
I have not noticed a big difference between recent and past lore 2 2.50%
Voters: 80. You may not vote on this poll

Lore Quality Poll

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Lagginator

Senior Member

10-17-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordOfLoot View Post
First of all, Lagginator, I want to ask that we don't bring up in game model disputes, etc. I'd like this to remain about the lore.
The lore and in-game models are inextricably linked-- both are just different methods of conveying a character, and one should not contradict the other.


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LordOfLoot

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Member

10-17-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagginator View Post
The lore and in-game models are inextricably linked-- both are just different methods of conveying a character, and one should not contradict the other.
Thats true, but its something that the lore writers have no direct control over. If its a problem, it should be discussed, but with the Riot employees who are working on it.
Also, if they are inextricably linked, then it is not a bad course of action to focus on one, as it will show inherent problems in the other. In other words, if the lore is made better first, models could be changed to reflect that (not that I'm saying the models necessarily do or do not need to be changed).


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NecroticBinder

Senior Member

10-18-2012

Personally, I feel that the lore has been going downhill for a while. The champions that seemed to be evil for evils sake, were mysterious and their motivations were hidden. This lead to people being able to draw their own conclusions about the answers behind those and create stories from them. They could use them as misunderstood anti-heroes, villains or whatever else they liked to in their head canon. But, just as important if not moreso was the fact that the rest of the champions motivations were clear for why they were joining and they added to the world. They weren't the self-promoting packages that are being shoved out now.

Without the JoJ, even without judgements, while both conveyed a lot of stories that would have been missed otherwise. Biographies used to add more depth to the world, in ways that extended beyond simply the champion. They were ways that allowed them to explain parts of the societies and show that the societies were not always black and white moralities but something more akin to a shades of grey with a blue orange morality system. For example, singed was useful in showing Zaun's lack of care for the environment and Noxus's ruthlessness when it came to battle. Garen showed Demacia's values, and what the typical soldier would be expected to be, while Lux also showed how far they went. Xin added history to the world of Noxus while being a demacian champ. Ezreal lent to Piltover's opinions on technology, and the past. Caitlyn showed the crime and how it was being handled. Recent champions? Well Viktor kind of explains Blitz's past? Jayce... yea... I have to stretch pretty far to try and justify them adding to the world.

There are of course exceptions, but it can't be helped but feel that the important parts of the lore are things that were planned from before. We know that Leona and Diana's story (At least what we have now) has been planned for a good long while when Iron Stylus hinted at it. The Shadow Isles lore has been mysterious and vague and we know that Riot has tried to do a spider queen before. (Priscilla) While things that haven't been hinted at seem like they were hastily thrown together by high schoolers at best. Take Jayce and Viktor's interaction for instance, the original explanation for their interactions seemed like Viktor was a typical villain who was evil for evil's sake and proceeded to get dominated by the hero.

I reaffirm, this is my personal opinion but I want a story where the characters will act with motivations beyond something as simple as "Take over the world." I want to hear the tale of a man broken by the theft of his greatest creation who slowly delves into madness. I DON'T want to hear a story where said man becomes a villain who acts against the things that motivated him. I want a story where the characters are not always blaring paragons of morality, I want to question whether I agree with what a character is doing even if he seems good. I DON'T want a story where I can pick out the good guys and the bad guys within a minute and then not have my opinion change as time goes on.

For my final statement, I think that we have an unfixable problem. Riot has simply grown too big to be able to pay attention to the lore community, the lore simply doesn't bring in enough to the game to the general player for them to take the time to try and emphasize it. It's the sad path of any company that grows big. While keeping true to the original community and motivations is a nice theory, it will never work in practice because both the company and the community will grow too large for there to be continual, constructive communication between the two in a way that feels impactful.


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DrShroob

Senior Member

10-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Methelod View Post
Personally, I feel that the lore has been going downhill for a while. The champions that seemed to be evil for evils sake, were mysterious and their motivations were hidden. This lead to people being able to draw their own conclusions about the answers behind those and create stories from them. They could use them as misunderstood anti-heroes, villains or whatever else they liked to in their head canon. But, just as important if not moreso was the fact that the rest of the champions motivations were clear for why they were joining and they added to the world. They weren't the self-promoting packages that are being shoved out now.

Without the JoJ, even without judgements, while both conveyed a lot of stories that would have been missed otherwise. Biographies used to add more depth to the world, in ways that extended beyond simply the champion. They were ways that allowed them to explain parts of the societies and show that the societies were not always black and white moralities but something more akin to a shades of grey with a blue orange morality system. For example, singed was useful in showing Zaun's lack of care for the environment and Noxus's ruthlessness when it came to battle. Garen showed Demacia's values, and what the typical soldier would be expected to be, while Lux also showed how far they went. Xin added history to the world of Noxus while being a demacian champ. Ezreal lent to Piltover's opinions on technology, and the past. Caitlyn showed the crime and how it was being handled. Recent champions? Well Viktor kind of explains Blitz's past? Jayce... yea... I have to stretch pretty far to try and justify them adding to the world.

There are of course exceptions, but it can't be helped but feel that the important parts of the lore are things that were planned from before. We know that Leona and Diana's story (At least what we have now) has been planned for a good long while when Iron Stylus hinted at it. The Shadow Isles lore has been mysterious and vague and we know that Riot has tried to do a spider queen before. (Priscilla) While things that haven't been hinted at seem like they were hastily thrown together by high schoolers at best. Take Jayce and Viktor's interaction for instance, the original explanation for their interactions seemed like Viktor was a typical villain who was evil for evil's sake and proceeded to get dominated by the hero.

I reaffirm, this is my personal opinion but I want a story where the characters will act with motivations beyond something as simple as "Take over the world." I want to hear the tale of a man broken by the theft of his greatest creation who slowly delves into madness. I DON'T want to hear a story where said man becomes a villain who acts against the things that motivated him. I want a story where the characters are not always blaring paragons of morality, I want to question whether I agree with what a character is doing even if he seems good. I DON'T want a story where I can pick out the good guys and the bad guys within a minute and then not have my opinion change as time goes on.

For my final statement, I think that we have an unfixable problem. Riot has simply grown too big to be able to pay attention to the lore community, the lore simply doesn't bring in enough to the game to the general player for them to take the time to try and emphasize it. It's the sad path of any company that grows big. While keeping true to the original community and motivations is a nice theory, it will never work in practice because both the company and the community will grow too large for there to be continual, constructive communication between the two in a way that feels impactful.
When you put it that way.... It's kind of sad, really.


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1Eredale

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Senior Member

10-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by painspider View Post
Let's do a compare and contrast:

"Syndra"

[...]

Syndra's lore is rich, and well written. It references Ionian society, greater lore such as the flying temple she obtains, and has an interesting concept. The word choice and many of the sentences are really quite striking. Now, for something different:

"Fiddlesticks"

[...]

Fiddlesticks' story is really lacking, all we know about him is that some Summoner was really strong in magic and reckless and then we get a recount of him summoning Fiddlesticks and killing his colleagues (who don't even get a name, they're so boring). It's a very stereotypical magical experiment gone wrong stuff, and there's nothing special about the composition of the lore, either, especially when compared to Syndra's. There is also no explanation of why Fiddlesticks abides by the League of Legends, what he hopes to accomplish in the League, etc, and though the Institute of War is mentioned a couple times it's the only real connection to any of the other lore... I mean I could exchange that with the College of Winterhold and it would hardly matter.

These are just two examples I'm sure others can come up with more.
I also love playing with words sometimes. >_>

In all seriousness now, it makes me cringe to see how many people lash out at Riot without a second thought as soon as they change something. We are having the same 'change is bad, don't change anything' pattern that is common even in General Discussion, here. I would hate to see my favorite section of the forums turn into General Discussion 2.0.

The general opinion seems to be that any kind of lore rework is utterly bad, unneeded, and so on, with exceptions being where old lores have obvious grammar problems. People always think that the reworks 'destroy' or 'simplify' the characters, especially their favorites. But in reality, they just misinterpret the changes, and don't actually think of what was changed in the lore. Let me elaborate with some examples.

  • First off, lore reworks change EVENTS, not CHARACTERS. This is the first huge point that a lot of people seem to miss. A lore rework may state that the character went through different events in his life - but that does not change any of his personality. A good example is Warwick: his transformation is the defining point of his story, and even though his background is different, his reaction to it is the same - in the old lore, he was satisfied with it, and in the new lore, he took it voluntarily, which means that his personality remained the same.
  • Second, lore reworks may change FOCUS, not EVENTS. Thing is, there's only so much you can squeeze into the three paragraph limit of a character bio. A lore rework may simply bring up new events from a character's past, while not dismissing the previously described ones. Here, the example would be Katarina: her old lore gives us a very vague perspective on her life, and the new lore focuses more on a characterizing event, her first assasination. Does that mean that she didn't take part in the Ionian war anymore? No. Does that mean that she never met Garen? No. Does that mean that she didn't rescue Sion? No. The same goes for Karthus by the way - nothing in his new lore denies that he may currently reside in the Howling Marshes, and nothing says that he no longer fights against the Void. His old lore didn't exactly advertise that either, because it's a behind-the-scenes activity that has to do with a very major plot.
  • Third, less QUALITY means more ACCESSIBILITY. Sure, the new lore lacks the elegant wording and the pleasant sentences of the old one, but at the same time, we have to accept that League of Legends is not a national writers discussion club. There are restrictions on how long a Champion bio may be - and by taking it easy with the poetic language, more content can be batched up in the few paragraphs. At the same time, it doesn't confuse people who are not that good with English yet, making Lore accessible to a wider public. The proof to that is the amount of Lore complaint threads on this forum as we speak, strangely - if Riot maintained the highly sophisticated manner of writing in short paragraphs, it wouldn't attract that much people who are interested in Lore. Surely, the Creative Team can do better, a bajillion times better, for they are not some random people taken off the street, but writers with some actual background and published ones even. Heck, even some people from this thread can write in a more sophisticated way; but the question Riot may have asked themselves is, do we really want to add language complexity to our lore at the cost of audience? Or do we want it to be a bit easier to read and deliver it to more people?
All in all, I would like for people to actually restrain themselves from calling out Riot on the quality of their work until they think about the challenges they have to face while making it. Surely, if they wrote a novel for each Champion, it would be easy as pie to satisfy every single person who wanted this or that event described in their bio; but they have to work with just several paragraphs (can't stress that enough), and they also have to browse a forum that blames them for working their hardest on it. Rioters are also people, give them a goddamn break for once.


If what I wrote changes at least a few minds, I would be happy. The front page of Lore section flows with complaints, and it's disappointing.


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1Eredale

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Senior Member

10-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanity Blade View Post
whoever is in the lore department needs to be shot.
And if you call this civil discussion, you need to leave this thread.


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Hideous Z

Senior Member

10-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Eredale View Post
If what I wrote changes at least a few minds, I would be happy. The front page of Lore section flows with complaints, and it's disappointing.
You make some good points, and I'm updating my thinking as I type this. So be happy

My disappointment doesn't really lie with the new stories they're telling. As I said in another thread, while I personally prefer some of the old ideas to the new ones, I'm willing to be told a new story. My problem mostly stems from the fact that it seems like the lore team has little respect for the world that they created.

Perhaps they had a meeting and decided that the lore would now be focused 90% on characters and 10% on Runeterra. I guess that makes sense from a business perspective or a game designers perspective...or I guess even from the perspective of most people that play this game. The characters are their most marketable property, it makes sense to have them be cool and awesome first and foremost.

But at this point, the world these characters live it doesn't make a lot of sense anymore. Moving Twisted Treeline to the Shadow Isles is a good example. It's a cool idea thematically - the Shadow Isles are a really interesting, unique place. But story-wise, it's makes almost no sense at face value. Who attends a League match on the Shadow Isles? Are they building a ferry there to transport summoners and eager fans to the land of undeath where few can enter a leave unchanged?

When they released Dominion, they built it up as a believable addition to the world. They're not doing that with TT, or for that matter with most of the champion rewrites. They're telling isolated stories that don't really affect the world around them or more than 1 or 2 other characters. Like Kitae said, it's like comic books. And for me, that's really disappointing. Runeterra is becoming Gotham City - not a place that makes a whole lot of sense, just an interesting backdrop that can shift and change to meet whatever best suits the character story they're telling at any given time.

The Fiddlesticks vs. Syndra example is a good one.

I remember reading a post by Babagahnoosh back in the day where he was asked about double summons - like, when both teams summon Ezreal, how does that work? Instead of laughing it off, or just not saying anything, you could tell he took the question seriously. This was a real place he'd help create, and if two teams could summon the same person simultaneously, there had to be a way for that to make sense or the lore starts to fall apart. And he did - if I remember correctly, he went home and came back the next day with a well-written short story that laid the groundwork for an answer that made sense within the worldspace.

So far, there's just not much indication that the new lore team is seeing things that way. Maybe there's good reasons for that, it just really leaves me disappointed.


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ZodiarkSavior

Senior Member

10-18-2012

Eh, Syndra's lore is one of my favorite.

...If you read the AMA regarding her, anyways.

They just did an incredibly poor job conveying it into the margins provided for the section in the client marked as League Lore.


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NecroticBinder

Senior Member

10-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Eredale View Post
I also love playing with words sometimes. >_>

In all seriousness now, it makes me cringe to see how many people lash out at Riot without a second thought as soon as they change something. We are having the same 'change is bad, don't change anything' pattern that is common even in General Discussion, here. I would hate to see my favorite section of the forums turn into General Discussion 2.0.

The general opinion seems to be that any kind of lore rework is utterly bad, unneeded, and so on, with exceptions being where old lores have obvious grammar problems. People always think that the reworks 'destroy' or 'simplify' the characters, especially their favorites. But in reality, they just misinterpret the changes, and don't actually think of what was changed in the lore. Let me elaborate with some examples.

  • First off, lore reworks change EVENTS, not CHARACTERS. This is the first huge point that a lot of people seem to miss. A lore rework may state that the character went through different events in his life - but that does not change any of his personality. A good example is Warwick: his transformation is the defining point of his story, and even though his background is different, his reaction to it is the same - in the old lore, he was satisfied with it, and in the new lore, he took it voluntarily, which means that his personality remained the same.
  • Second, lore reworks may change FOCUS, not EVENTS. Thing is, there's only so much you can squeeze into the three paragraph limit of a character bio. A lore rework may simply bring up new events from a character's past, while not dismissing the previously described ones. Here, the example would be Katarina: her old lore gives us a very vague perspective on her life, and the new lore focuses more on a characterizing event, her first assasination. Does that mean that she didn't take part in the Ionian war anymore? No. Does that mean that she never met Garen? No. Does that mean that she didn't rescue Sion? No. The same goes for Karthus by the way - nothing in his new lore denies that he may currently reside in the Howling Marshes, and nothing says that he no longer fights against the Void. His old lore didn't exactly advertise that either, because it's a behind-the-scenes activity that has to do with a very major plot.
  • Third, less QUALITY means more ACCESSIBILITY. Sure, the new lore lacks the elegant wording and the pleasant sentences of the old one, but at the same time, we have to accept that League of Legends is not a national writers discussion club. There are restrictions on how long a Champion bio may be - and by taking it easy with the poetic language, more content can be batched up in the few paragraphs. At the same time, it doesn't confuse people who are not that good with English yet, making Lore accessible to a wider public. The proof to that is the amount of Lore complaint threads on this forum as we speak, strangely - if Riot maintained the highly sophisticated manner of writing in short paragraphs, it wouldn't attract that much people who are interested in Lore. Surely, the Creative Team can do better, a bajillion times better, for they are not some random people taken off the street, but writers with some actual background and published ones even. Heck, even some people from this thread can write in a more sophisticated way; but the question Riot may have asked themselves is, do we really want to add language complexity to our lore at the cost of audience? Or do we want it to be a bit easier to read and deliver it to more people?
All in all, I would like for people to actually restrain themselves from calling out Riot on the quality of their work until they think about the challenges they have to face while making it. Surely, if they wrote a novel for each Champion, it would be easy as pie to satisfy every single person who wanted this or that event described in their bio; but they have to work with just several paragraphs (can't stress that enough), and they also have to browse a forum that blames them for working their hardest on it. Rioters are also people, give them a goddamn break for once.


If what I wrote changes at least a few minds, I would be happy. The front page of Lore section flows with complaints, and it's disappointing.
I'm going to be honest. I completely disagree, well I do, but I don't. You are partially correct, but I fear that isn't the source of the complaints for everyone. Take my post for instance, I clearly and plainly stated the reason their lore team is going downhill.

It's not that they are changing things. They are changing things in a way that removes the DEPTH of the characters. Take Soraka's lore for instance, it goes completely contradictory to your first point in the list. It takes her from a person who was wrecked by emotion for the people of Ionia and abused her power to help them. She was a motherly figure who crossed the line trying to protect her children. Now? She's a woman who was guided by the stars and was duped.

For your second point, that is a problem I addressed as well. It's not the reworks that are ruining the lore department, by itself at least. It's the fact that the lore we have coming out is going for a much simpler direction, not in wording but in quality. You can write a story in which the characters and world have depth without using over the top sentences and words, you can make the wording of it simple and still reveal the personalities and quirks of the characters. Combined with the lack of actual lore, this means that we aren't getting canon but vague statements from which we are forced to make assumptions. The world itself seems to have slowed in the process of development. Characters continue to come and join, but they don't change the way the world works or clarify it. Zyra, Rengar, Jayce, Viktor, Syndra bring very little to the world development and since these are the only sources of real consistent lore and we KNOW they can be used for world development but are not, it feels neglected.

Against your third point, this highly agitated me. Less quality does mean more accessibility, it also means less quality. Words do not need to be flowery and confusing to combine together to make a readable story about an interesting world, a character filled with depth and the various other signs of a good reader. Take the book series for the Hunger Games, the words were fairly simple yet people felt compelled to read more because they were descriptive, there was a whole world behind the scenes. With the path the lore department seems to be going we are losing the world, we are only gaining individuals who bring very little to how the world actually works.

Now that I have addressed your points I have a couple statements/questions to make myself. What would be your opinion on Jayce and Viktor's original lore? Wouldn't that be an example of simplification of a character while destroying what is relatable to them? Viktor tried to be an absolute hypocrite, a nefarious villain all with no explanation.

Or perhaps we should look to Karthus's new lore? Personally, I liked it up until the end. Then it felt like a slap in the face of Karthus players who liked his lore. It was mysterious, it was unknown, he wasn't a character of pure evil or pure good. His new lore implies that no matter what happens, he's always going to be on the evil side of things now because he wishes to bring death to everyone.

Simplifying the lore to make it more accessible is ok, it's great! It gets more people interested in the lore, but when you have to sacrifice the depth and personality of the character in some instances to do that, then it ceases to be acceptable. What personally drew me into the lore was the fact that while Noxus seemed evil, they had their good side. Demacia seemed good, but isn't exactly nice. The world was not defined in shades of black and white but the new lore is slowly taking us into that direction if not plunging us in head first.

Rioters are indeed people. They do make mistakes, and at least in my case, I'm not harping on them personally. I hound the mistakes they are making, how it feels like the connection to the lore community and the lore that made this game interesting is slowly being withered away to be replaced by a generic form of lore that relies almost entirely on player ideas if they wish to explore it. I hound on the fact that through all of this, we are losing the world we had. We are losing that which is created, it is a slow path but it is one that is slowly occurring. For now, it is Twisted Treeline and therefore Maokai. Next, who knows what will be changed.


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LordOfLoot

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Member

10-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Eredale View Post

I also love playing with words sometimes. >_>
I think the fiddlesticks-Syndra comparison is a very good one, and frankly none of your reversals seem valid.

"Syndra's lore is rich, and well written... the word choice and many of the sentences are really quite striking"

While we could argue all day what constitutes 'well written', you admitted to lower quality writing lower in your post. You also admit that the new lore lacks elegant wording and pleasant sentences. Regardless of if you think its justifiable, it would seem you agree that the quality is lower.


(for fiddlesticks)
"Though the institute of war is mentioned... I could change that with the college of winterhold and it would hardly matter."
This simply isn't true. Fiddlesticks is tied to the institute of war in many ways. For one, his scarecrow form residing there is tied into his explanation of participation in the league. We understand his transformation based solely on the fact that he was an early summoner of the league who tried to abuse its rules through an overzealous summoning. If he were to say have transformed into this scarecrow in bilgewater, we would need further explanation as to how he is in the league of legends.

In contrast, Syndra is a child born in a village in Ionia. After she displays frightening power she is sent to an isolated temple. What have we learned about Ionia? that there are villages, and an isolated temple somewhere. This literally could happen in any city-state in runeterra (maybe not Skyrim :P ). It doesn't give us any further ties to the world, like fiddlesticks does. In explaining how the league handled his situation we get an idea of how they operate. For a system based on justice its frightening to use an evil entity for their games (note that Fiddlesticks just sat there otherwise, so its not like they needed to do so to restrain him...). We learn more about the timeline of the rune wars, and the mentality that was at the core of those rune wars. It builds his character, but it also builds the world.


"There is also no explanation as to why Fiddlesticks abides by the League of Legends... etc..."

It is left mysterious as to why Fiddlesticks works for the league, but it is explained that he does and the circumstances surrounding it. The league decided to use him, he abides by their rules but is still standing guard, etc.

Not only is it not explained why Syndra is in the league, there is no logical answer given her previous lore. Harrow had a few ideas in the AMA for Syndra, but frankly none of them make sense. For a character who is so enraged by the limiting of power that she would ruthlessly murder the man who raised her from childhood it simply does not make sense for her to submit (even temporarily) to a group whose entire function is the limiting of power. This is just like the previous error in Viktors lore: it just didn't make sense for someone who was driven by having his inventions stolen to become an invention thief.

Lastly,
"Fiddlesticks... killing his colleagues (who don't even get a name, they're so boring)"

The difference between those colleagues and Syndra's master is that they don't really affect Fiddlesticks character. Their purpose is to show Fiddlesticks is a killer.

For Syndra on the other hand her master is likely one of only a few people (or perhaps the only person) she has had contact with since childhood. When hes not defined, when we don't have a reason to care that she murdered him, it is a detriment to her character. Shes less of a person, and more of a single personality trait, "anarchy!". If he had been fleshed out, so we understand what he meant to Syndra, if there was more to their relationship than magic nullifier- pissed magic kid, it would be better for Syndra's character overall.


I don't know how you would argue positive points for Syndra, but the kind of step by step comparison you tried to reverse to me just clearly shows how much weaker her lore is


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