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Riot, Destroy the League, Don't Erase it

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Artaher

Senior Member

09-07-2014

What I do not understand is why wasn't the summoners roles simply just changed? Instead of them seemingly to have control over the champion but more or less a partner being able to view the field magically from above and recon much needed info and data to the champion? Ex. If the champion is in the top area of the arena fighting there's no way they could see that they should teleport bot or that they need to recall to defend a location. However the summoner would have a magic view of the field and would relay over to the champion that their assistance is needed and then transport you to the location or cast the spell to recall the champion to the nexus. Each champion is able to speak directly to the summoner who would then relay information to the fellow team summoner that the champion requires jungle to come bot. This would be a simple fix and easily done without doing away with all of them as a whole.


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RiotRunaan

Writer

09-07-2014

Hey guys,

Long time no see. First and foremost, I apologize for my own silence on the forums – we definitely owe you guys more interaction than we've given you, and we know we've messed up on that front. We'll try to do better.

Now, let's dig into this a bit.

Let's start with some of the old canon – something I contributed heavily to. I wrote, more or less, the latter half of the Journal of Justice (Kaldera Carnadine, here), and the presence of the Institute of War was something we wrangled with in telling that story over its entire course. In fact, the whole “conspiracy” angle arose entirely because we were digging for a way for our characters to encounter legitimate political conflict and war – without the IoW being able to step in and immediately diffuse it. What that led to, as you know, was “corruption” within the Institute itself, and champions working covertly together to counter the IoW's influence. It was a cool story (if told through a particularly clumsy medium) – but it wasn't exactly something we could pull again. With the Institute of War in place, we often found ourselves asking: just how can we work around this so the story we want to tell can take place?

Right there – exactly there – is where I see this idea come up. Why didn't we just continue the story line as it was unfolding, and why not let the Institute of War crumble? Why not “end” the League of Legends?

There are a lot of answers to this – answers we considered. One of them is actually an argument I see cropping up right now in favor of keeping the Institute: that it would destroy the framework of the video game League of Legends. Without the League, what is the game? The answer is really, really messy, but it's more or less the same place you get when you remove the LoL story from the game entirely. They become separate entities. We're actually okay with this, but we didn't want to leave a strange lingering tie that muddied the clarity there. The game is the game. LoL's story is its story.

Another part of the answer is that ending the League wouldn't fully remove our ties to it in terms of storytelling – characters will have still interacted with it in the past, the “fall” of the League would still be significant enough to deeply influence all of our champions' lives, and “summoners” would still be a dangling, confusing story piece we'd have to deal with somehow.

Now, I understand that a lot of this is ENTIRELY subjective. A lot of you will say, “that sounds like a cool story!” and you know what, it probably could be. But when we really thought about it and weighed the things we valued about our storytelling, we really came down to the characters being the most important piece. Focusing on them and asking ourselves the question, “what's the best story this champion could have?” often resulted in us acknowledging that the IoW actually played a very awkward and restricting role in our character's lives.

We believe in a philosophy in which story should spring from the characters naturally, not from a very arbitrary plot built around them. Character drives plot.

Secondly, while it hasn't been brought up in this thread directly, I want to talk about the “League of Legends” as a device in our narrative design. As we used to frame it, the player is literally a “summoner” controlling a champion on the Fields of Justice. I've read a lot of concerns that taking away this framework harms the game; it takes away the reason these characters have to fight.

This is going to get into pretty subjective territory again, but I have to say that I deeply do not believe that the League, summoners, and the Fields of Justice were ever a strong framing device if we're speaking strictly in terms of narrative game design. When I play League of Legends, I am not concerned with myself as a summoner – I connect more to the champion him or herself. I am not concerned with the “stakes” of every battle (such as whether or not taxes will be raised in a certain place, or political favor of a certain noble house in Noxus) – none of these things are built into the actual experience, they're more or less described OUTSIDE OF THE GAME entirely. This makes it a weak frame. Sure, we could have worked to strengthen it, but we didn't feel excited by the possibilities there.

“But Ionia vs. Noxus” - yeah, that event was awesome. I wasn't even working at Riot at the time, but it certainly perked my interest. The thing is, though, this wasn't something that was going to work over and over again. The idea that players could influence the story was pretty misleading – at any “story match,” only ten players would legitimately get to fulfill the role of a summoner. In addition, story by vote or story by chance can often end with unsatisfying results (simply because of the random chance). Strong storytelling is deeply crafted.

“But a certain character's entire story focused on his or her connection to the Institute of War!” Yeah, I know these things are sticky; we wrestle with them internally, too. Our philosophy with these characters is that whatever we do to re-shape them should hold very tightly to the “soul” of what a character was in the old canon. Nobody should feel like an entirely new character – their spirit, the “feeling” you get from them, those things should feel true, even if details shift in how they came to be that person.

Orianna and her father, for example – they can still be who you know them to be. She can still be a girl with hopes and dreams that met a tragic end. Her father can still be a man driven to questionable means to bring her back and let her live those dreams. THOSE are story beats that are important to Orianna. The Institute of War is merely a detail, it doesn't define her.

AGAIN: a lot of these are philosophies myself and the narrative department hold, not necessarily things that apply to every player. Many DID believe that the frame story was satisfying, regardless of its objective strength. To those people, I'm sorry, our actions were absolutely not meant to “step on you” in any way – we are truly looking for the best way to tell you guys awesome stories, and we stand behind our decisions.

FINALLY, I know that “proof” of this new story direction has been slow coming. Before I worked in the industry, I would be upset, too – but these things take time. I know it's frustrating to ask for patience over and over again, but please stick with us! Thank you all for being so invested and taking the time to interact with us about this stuff. <3

-RiotRunaan!


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LordHippoman

Recruiter

09-07-2014

Oh holy ****.

Runaan lives.

We missed you. I don't agree with your post, the League kinda kept us from drifting into generic Defense of the Lord of the ThronesCraft fantasy, IMO, because it was something that gave the characters reason to fight other than ~a great and ancient war~, but it's cool to see you.


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General J Swain

Senior Member

09-07-2014

Wish I still cared. Wish you guys had more than excuses to give us after, what, two years of mediocrity?

If you find our lack of faith disturbing, give us something to put our faith in.


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RiotRunaan

Writer

09-07-2014

Quote:
LordHippoman:
Oh holy ****.

Runaan lives.

We missed you. I don't agree with your post, the League kinda kept us from drifting into generic Defense of the Lord of the ThronesCraft fantasy, IMO, because it was something that gave the characters reason to fight other than ~a great and ancient war~, but it's cool to see you.


<3

I understand that feeling - hopefully what really defines our universe is the characters within it, though, and the stories they allow. I'll put it out there that I believe that "unique elements" do not necessarily make a universe or a story interesting. Sometimes they're actually obstacles to real, human storytelling, and they don't actually win you much.


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RiotRunaan

Writer

09-07-2014

Quote:
General J Swain:
Wish I still cared. Wish you guys had more than excuses to give us after, what, two years of mediocrity?

If you find our lack of faith disturbing, give us something to put our faith in.


I wish this too. I know that we gotta put up or shut up. I'm sorry that you've lost faith, and I know that my repeated cries of "please bear with us" can only be put up with for so long - if you have lost the ability to listen, then it is my goal to win you back!


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Wolfenstyne

Senior Member

09-07-2014

I think the problem a lot of people are having the seperation of game and story. Game is game and story is story , I feel is the major point of contention. I don't think you're going to get support, on anything that is done ,unless that changes. Speaking as someone who loves lore in game, if Riot is intending on going forward with that train of thought , then nothing you can or will make matters to me.

Everything Lore wise without having a game base is, frankly, useless and of no worth . There are hundreds of good fantasy stories out there. If Riot doesn't connect the story to the game , then you're just another fantasy story , nothing special to care about.


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Wolfenstyne

Senior Member

09-07-2014

Quote:
RiotRunaan:
I wish this too. I know that we gotta put up or shut up. I'm sorry that you've lost faith, and I know that my repeated cries of "please bear with us" can only be put up with for so long - if you have lost the ability to listen, then it is my goal to win you back!


Here is the problem. Nothing you guys can produce will fix the Gameplay=/=Lore problem. All faith is gone. You can't "put up" something if we already reject the foundation you have laid out.


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GenociderX

Senior Member

09-07-2014

Quote:
RiotRunaan:
.

Now, let's dig into this a bit.

Let's start with some of the old canon – something I contributed heavily to. I wrote, more or less, the latter half of the Journal of Justice (Kaldera Carnadine, here), and the presence of the Institute of War was something we wrangled with in telling that story over its entire course. In fact, the whole “conspiracy” angle arose entirely because we were digging for a way for our characters to encounter legitimate political conflict and war – without the IoW being able to step in and immediately diffuse it. What that led to, as you know, was “corruption” within the Institute itself, and champions working covertly together to counter the IoW's influence. It was a cool story (if told through a particularly clumsy medium) – but it wasn't exactly something we could pull again. With the Institute of War in place, we often found ourselves asking: just how can we work around this so the story we want to tell can take place?


-RiotRunaan!

Well said, better than Opelli's(lol)
Listen, I am kinda leaning to the side that you are making the two separate, because more than anything discussed right now, I just want to see the world of Runeterra.
Progression and all.
You even describe this better than that dev blog. How ever, its all of a sudden. And In game lore events would be nice. But Your right.
Only 10 or 6 people would be able to play the story role for the game and no one wants that's.
And since I've gotten tired of the lore forum being in dismay, Ive decided to go ahead and apologize to anything ive had said about the lore update.
Again, I just want lore progreesion. As well as many others. Although some aren't finding the best way to describe it. And a in- lore event of the fall of the league wouldn't have been bad.
But you still have time ya know lol


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WexAndywn

Recruiter

09-07-2014

Quote:
RiotRunaan:

This is going to get into pretty subjective territory again, but I have to say that I deeply do not believe that the League, summoners, and the Fields of Justice were ever a strong framing device if we're speaking strictly in terms of narrative game design. When I play League of Legends, I am not concerned with myself as a summoner – I connect more to the champion him or herself. I am not concerned with the “stakes” of every battle (such as whether or not taxes will be raised in a certain place, or political favor of a certain noble house in Noxus) – none of these things are built into the actual experience, they're more or less described OUTSIDE OF THE GAME entirely. This makes it a weak frame. Sure, we could have worked to strengthen it, but we didn't feel excited by the possibilities there.


This right here is where the disconnect occurs between the Rioters and the Playerbase. The Rioters believe this makes the story weak, the players believe this makes the story strong.

Let's take another game: Team Fortress 2. The game you guys are basing the 'new lore' off of. In-game, each character has their own personality and their own kind of style. That's cool. Even if you don't care about the storyline at all, anybody can get 'in' with that. But what if you want to know more? Well, there's more in-game, about how the characters are mercs fighting each other for a 200 year old boss. Whose brother owns the opposite team. Now, that's pretty cool, you might say. But how does that connect to the game?

It doesn't. There's a HUGE disconnect between TF2's lore and game. And that's why I dislike it. I don't want to see League take that path. League's storyline is AMAZING, PLUS it synergizes PERFECTLY with the game itself. That's a hallmark of a good story: being creative, but staying within the lines.

What would you rather see a child do: draw within the lines, or erase the lines and scribble all over the paper? That's the question being asked here.