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What has been broken MUST be reforged!

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Angeluslight

Senior Member

09-25-2014

First, I'd like to say thank you very much for undoing the redirection of the Lore Discussion link. Now everyone's threads can continue and I can post this one in the format I'm most comfortable with.

The Boards take over tomorrow! To make sure this has the best chance of reaching Riot as possible, I have reposted this thread here. (http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/GQvw4eyM-what-has-been-broken-must-be-reforged-lore)

Thank you to all those that have supported this thread and the ideas it suggests. See you on the Boards!

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Call me fashionably late to the party, but I am posting about the lore changes.

Before I get down to business, allow me to clarify that this thread is not just another thread to dump complaints in, but to initiate some sort of compromise and suggestions to fix what has been needlessly dismantled. So feel free to speak your mind, but please be civil and try to add suggestions of your own if you have any.

There are a handful of topics that need to be touched on, so I will divide them in as orderly of a structure as possible as well as try to keep things brief. So please bear that in mind if it looks like I've left something out. Everything will eventually expand in the comments as this thread (hopefully) grows with attention anyway.

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TL;DR The first sections deal with what you may have already read from various threads pertaining to the lore changes, so if you've read enough threads like that, you might not have to read them. They define some aspects in question and drive to my main point that you can skip down to if you choose, which is a suggestion to resolve the major changes in progress to the League's lore.

So, if you decide to skip down, look for the section labeled "How do we get the Institute of War and Summoners back into the League?"
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First, let's define a few things:

What is The Institute of War?


It is the foundation, both literally and figuratively, of the game itself and all of the (now former) lore. It gives "League of Legends" its very name and basis of all things incorperated into it, right down to the community itself as Summoners. In short, it's the core of what started the worldwide sensation, from memes to World Championships. It should go without saying that there would (and should) be no "League of Legends" without the "League."

The importance of the Institute in the lore:

It's the epicenter of how all these unique people/monsters/yordles/etc. meet and interact with each other, not just by beating the stuffing out of each other, but in amusing special interactions. The main objective of the League is to keep Runeterra from total destruction by reckless wars, mainly such destruction from the Rune Wars’ devastating magic. It is a place of enormous influence, where politics and wars are condensed to keep the peace. Many champions have their whole lore based on the sole existence of the league, and many more rely on it as the catalyst for the continuance of their story. Yes, this is all stating the obvious, but this is to get mindsets in focus here.

As everything in the game was intended to revolve around the League, it created something rather unique--a place where more than one “super conflict” meets, while still keeping things separated enough. What I mean is that there are different wars going on in different regions with each of them having their own hidden plot that threatens more than each individual piece of land. Demacia and Noxus are locked in everlasting conflict, with Ionia thrown into the mix, and it looks like the Black Rose, or something even darker, aims at undermining the war for their unknown cause. The Freljord is home to several opposing factions with a plot by Lissandra to revive the Watchers and overthrow more than just the frozen mountain range. Then there’s the Void, with very little known about it, that may host the greatest threat yet to be realized.

The Institute of War successfully put all these massive plots into one battleground, keeping conflicts still separate, but having champions from all around Runeterra and other worlds meet each other, creating some interesting rivalries and friendships. This is a very unique aspect I don’t believe I have seen before, and I think this is the seed of “magic” that got so many people invested into League of Legends’ lore.



What are Summoners?


They are YOU! All that play the game, both Riot staff members and average players alike. This furthers the unique essence of the game by connecting the players right into the world of the League itself. Of course, for players that don’t care about storylines, it probably isn’t much of a concern to them. However, on the other end, it gives even more for players that want a game with depth to it.

Summoners in the lore itself are simply powerful magicians. They are by no means invincible or infallible. There are Summoners that have died to champions like Nocturne, Summoners that have failed to wield their own power such as Lee Sin, and even top-tier Summoners that have been fooled or snuck up on like in Vayne’s Judgement story. What does all that mean, exactly? It means they are not an obstacle to the progression of the lore! Most champions seek and abide by the League of their own accord. Summoners aren’t puppet masters, but divided alliance members of their own.

The Champion-Summoner relationship is consensual for most cases, and the whole point was that they NEED each other to be each others’ representatives. Summoners need champions with specific causes to speak their voice on the battlefield in combat, and champions need Summoners to participate and gain the League’s political influence for their endeavors. It’s quite a unique way of making champions all the more deserving of being called “Legends” by having heavy weights on the shoulders of a few, and allowing the players to be a part of that.

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Now that we have those things summarized, let’s get to the important crisis at hand here. It’s not too late to bring the Institute back!

First, allow me to make a few points before explaining how the League does not stop the lore’s progression.


Let’s talk Shurima.

It’s a topic that has been talked about a lot already, so I’ll try to keep it extra short.

From everything that has been revealed to us, which isn’t much, it’s nothing that that can’t be patched to the existence of the League with some rather minor add-ons. I’ll leave that for perhaps another thread to focus on as much can be said about that, but it looks far from an impossible thing to do.

Now, when you mess with a character’s story, you are changing the characters themselves. Just because the champions look and fight the same, it doesn’t mean they are the same person; or in this case, legend. For instance, in the original lore, Cassiopeia was the “charmer” of her noble family, serving with her prowess of intelligence-gathering. She was then cursed and transformed into a being capable of joining her sister in bloody combat. Now, she is far from what she used to be, and comes off as ambitious for her own desires and simply hires and betrays the mercenary Sivir. There’s no more real definition of her character, nor any direct words that tie her to sister, Katerina, and the rest of her family.

Now the Shurima event is over and we’re delving into Noxus, but Amumu and friends are left with no story and no character. And for some odd reason, Skarner is now completely different with no explanation and absolutely no need.


How do we fix this? Bring their old lore back! Now, obviously you’re not going to be willing to undo lots of cinematic work. The thing is, you don’t really have to. With a little work, Sivir, Azir, Xerath, Nasus, Renekton, and Cassiopeia can keep the same story you changed, but keep some of their basic familiar past. It could take some effort, but I think it’s very possible to do that while tying them to the League. This way, there will actually be lore progression rather than an incomplete rework that has left far more questions than we had with the original lores. It probably won't satisfy everyone that got upset over the changes, but we have to compromise somehow.

As for Amumu, Skarner, and other champions effected by these recent changes that have been left completely undefined so far, I would say they could have their lores completely reverted back. They weren’t even mentioned in the cinematics. As far as progressing their lores with the current Shurima changes, Amumu could be hinted as being Azir’s servant or even a past pharaoh with thousands of subjects of his own that he once considered his “friends,” expanding Amumu’s own character. As for Skarner…let’s let him have his own thing in the Crystal Scar like he used to. Not EVERY champion has to be directly tied to a huge plot. That would take their charm away.





“Reborn” and Future Updates


We’re now entering some changes to Noxus’ history, which don’t seem to necessarily conflict with the lore we already know and love. In my opinion, that’s how it absolutely should be. It fixes up one champion instead of changing a bunch at once, and it doesn’t seem to be such a drastic change so far. We’ve yet to see what lies ahead, but as I said before, it’s not too late to preserve the League. There was not much wrong with all of the League’s original lore. All these changes were sparked by complaints of some stories not being good enough, or one champion’s lore conflicting with another’s. But let’s not forget that many of these things could have been easily fixed and patched up without completely changing everything. We wanted to see what happens next, and even some of what happened before. Not a completely different universe that has left us with a multitude of questions. Wouldn’t you agree?

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How do we get the Institute of War and Summoners back into the League?

As I said, this thread was about compromising, between both Riot and the players that made the game what it is. And I come bearing a suggestion on how to tie things together!
Here is my idea on how can we tie the game itself, the lore, and the Institute + Summoners back together while leaving room for expansion:

Story:

The institute of war severely malfunctions due to an attack by an unknown source. Champions lose contact with their Summoners on the Fields of Justice and all of the nexus start combusting on their own. Some champions get teleported back to the Institute while others scatter across to their native homelands. What’s going on? No one knows. And there is no time left to ask the questions “who, what where, when, and why” because chaos has already heightened another level.

The dangerous creatures held captive within the League’s binds are close to breaking free! Nocturne, Shaco, Fiddlesticks, the monsters of the Void, and more are slaughtering all those in their way from breaking the thread that holds them to the Institute’s grounds. The only thing keeping them and their destructive powers limited, just barely, is the Master Nexus located underneath the Institute itself. The core of the Summoner’s magic powers and the main connection router between their Champions is barely holding up.

The creatures draw closer to their objective. The only things standing in their way are a team of champions and Summoners that can still hold their links to them, if only by a minimum. It’s up to these heroes and villains to set aside their conflicts to hold off darkness from destroying them all.

Little do they know, this is only the first of many crisis at hand.



Gameplay:

Of course there has to be some sort of event for this kind of thing. I was thinking of a survival mode. Consistent action like in the Ascension event, but purely defending an objective under pressure.

Your team defends against Nightmare versions of the evil creatures imprisoned by the League to keep them from killing and destroying everything freely. These enemies would be very much like the Doom Bots of Doom; extremely upgraded versions of themselves as the story itself implies that much of their power has been regained with the weakening of the system that binds them.

Kayle fulfills her role to the League as a very powerful enforcer and bodyguard by taking the place of the two nexus turrets that would normally stand tall in front of the map’s main objective. She pushes her power to the limit by consistently shielding the Master Nexus with her ultimate. Her Righteous Fury is also always active, attacking any enemies that come in range of her as she stands stationary in front of the nexus. Depending on how chaotic this game mode would be, she could also heal allies in range of her with an AOE version of Divine Blessing every so often, allowing things to be as difficult as they can be without being impossible.

If Kayle falls, her shield that protected the nexus disappears, leaving it vulnerable. Since it’s already weakened and in “the red zone,” it wouldn’t take much damage to destroy it for the enemies to win. It would have just enough health to leave room for a comeback, but Kayle does not respawn.

For the players to win, they must keep the nexus alive for 20 minutes. Why 20? Because it’s a reasonable time for a small map and it makes for a lot of BotsSurrender@20 jokes. Storywise, it’s because that’s when reinforcements arrive to restrain the creatures and imprison them once more.


***I haven’t thought of how everything would work yet, but it’s something we can all collaborate on. Please, state your opinions on such a gametype and, by all means, pitch ideas on how to complete it.

***One thing I'd like to address real quick is the concern that was brought up some time ago about how many League matches played by players don't make sense because of allies fighting each other and so on. I always thought of them as "Exhibition" matches, per the Institute-Champion agreement. The Institute has quite a lot of influences and popularity as people spectate these battles, right? Well, such a place needs funding of some sort, so my reasoning was that those matches were all set up for the League's benefit to maintain itself and grow.



What does this idea accomplish?


-Lore expansion without replacements! Using the original lores of champions, it expands their individual characters and roles.

-”Near-destroying” the League preserves the existence of Summoners and the Institute while giving plenty of room to expand on the individual wars and stories going on in Runeterra and beyond.

-Summoners claim a deeper importance and relationship with their champions in the times to come thereafter.

-Provides a major plot point without disrupting much of the surrounding existing plots. Yes, there is a common enemy between most of them now. However, with the League currently in shambles, there’s nothing to stop the wars that it interceded with anymore! Every region will be back in arms once more, this time on their own fields. Some paths will cross, others will remain distant. Interesting relationships develop and all stories move forward. Remember, this is only the beginning of ONE plot.

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Looking toward the future

I believe this idea can pave the way for a multitude of interesting story developments with new gameplay that actually acts as part of the stories. Not so much as Ascension where it’s about the current theme, but that “this is what actually happened.” Sure the champions used may vary, but that’s the important part where story and game divide while still being so close. Players have fun using their favorite champions in a scenario that may or may not have included said champs, but players would probably still be happy to be a part of the story one way or another.

Additionally, when it comes to Summoner-champion relationships, Summoners are there to ally themselves with champions for an agreed upon cause, right? Well, why not have events where players can actually influence the progression of the story by playing certain champions against the current plot’s characters? Something of the sort with the event between Riven, Tryndamere, and Diana with their respective icons where players had to vote for their favorite. But instead of fighting with votes, players fight with a certain roster of champions to gain influences for them! Because in my scenario, the League isn’t currently functioning as it once did, the influence I am talking about is in real life, where every win for your champion in a featured game mode is a point for their side.

I think all of this can really solve this issues based on the misconceptions of “invincible puppet master summoners” and “the Institute standing in the way of story progression,” while strengthening the players’ involvement in League of Legends as a Summoner.

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I hope that, despite how big this post is, this will reach many fellow players as well as multiple Rioters so we can work together to put the "League" back in "League of Legends" once again.

You promised to be more interactive with the community when it comes to the lore, Riot. Please, let's get some dialogue going on how we can work together to make things right. Let's not throw away years of interesting lore and Judgement tales that made the Champions of the League legendary.


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The Boards take over tomorrow! To make sure this has the best chance of reaching Riot as possible, I have reposted this thread here. (http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/GQvw4eyM-what-has-been-broken-must-be-reforged-lore)

Thank you to all those that have supported this thread and the ideas it suggests. See you on the Boards!


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Angeluslight

Senior Member

09-25-2014

(Reserved just in case)


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Tamat

Recruiter

09-25-2014

Quote:
Angeluslight:
First, I'd like to say thank you very much for undoing the redirection of the Lore Discussion link. Now everyone's threads can continue and I can post this one in the format I'm most comfortable with.


You're welcome! If you haven't already seen the discussion (http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/TQeLaNU4-update-lore-forum-redirect-removal) regarding why we did the redirect, and our plans to re-add the redirect in the next week or two, please do so!


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Tesla Effect

Recruiter

09-25-2014

This is brilliant, think about the possibilities...


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Angeluslight

Senior Member

09-25-2014

Quote:
Tamat:
You're welcome! If you haven't already seen the discussion (http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/TQeLaNU4-update-lore-forum-redirect-removal) regarding why we did the redirect, and our plans to re-add the redirect in the next week or two, please do so!



Huh. I spent a fair amount of time creating this thread, and the first response is from a Rioter, but not about the actual subject. Oh, the irony. Lol

Yes, I read the part about it being a temporary fix, but I'm waiting to see if this thread will take off or not before I throw the link out there. Plus, threads can sink really fast in the style of forums like the new Boards. I don't find that the most fitting format for major discussions to be seen when concerning stuff like the lore, especially with the sudden and drastic changes. So I'll just give this thread a day or two before I post the link or not.

Thank you for making sure I do not forget about it. If I may be so bold to ask, will you please share your thoughts about this thread and/or direct other Rioters this way? I'm hoping to create a genuine dialogue and compromise with the lore changes, and that can't happen if we don't hear much from Riot themselves.




Quote:
Tesla Effect:
This is brilliant, think about the possibilities...


Thanks!

Trust me, I have thought about the possibilities...a lot. Lol

In fact, the entire idea of the attack on the Institute and the event with the rogue monsters trying to escape is straight from a rather long story around LoL's lore that I've developed over time in my head. A story revolving mostly around my main champion concept on the Player Concept forums who, ironically, was designed to be a sizable expansion to the existing lore. I'd sure like to have the fun of writing it out one day, but that's if he has the improbable fortune of being made into a real champion in the game.

I digress; right now, we need to focus on saving the Institute! I'd really hate to see yet another great game kill itself by turning from its very roots...


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MarkJamRobin

Junior Member

09-25-2014

I bump out of love...


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Dotintheparadox

Member

09-25-2014

Bump bump!


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Motajo

Senior Member

09-26-2014

Aw, the Rito response got my hopes up. But on topic, yes please. The decision to divorce gameplay from story was baffling and jarring, to say the least. I'm not sure I'll ever understand why they didn't just nerf the Institute if they felt it was too omnipotent, instead of removing the entire premise of the game.


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Cookiehime

Senior Member

09-26-2014

Yeah. Anything would do at this point.

But if the writers are really willing to get rid of the League, they could easily give it a proper send-off by taking a page from the history of the "League of Nations." The idea about how to deconstruct the League is already written. Just type League of Nations on Wikipedia and you'll find the solution.

But they'll have to explain how characters can still be used in the arena. Going with the "Champions are now constructs" idea could work. Summoners, having lost their purpose after all the nations of Valoran withdraw from the League to wage war, lose any kind of influence they once had. They won't participate in the conflicts. The 6th Rune War happens. The world has chosen to take this path.

So, since Summoners have mental and biological blueprints (or some other metaphysical loony idea like that) of the champions stored in their archives, they keep the arena and use the replicas of champions to battle one another on the FoJ. It now becomes some kind of sport event like the Olympic games. The replicas will never be near the same power-level as the "real" champions. Just cheap knock-offs.

Summoners be chillin' and playing games while the world is at war. They could go into hiding underground, laugh it off and game on while the world burns.

Was that too corny?

Dw, that was intentional. I'm still thinking of a way to keep the Institute and still thinking about what happens when champions break contracts.


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Takeyo Efthulc

Member

09-26-2014

@Angeluslight

First of all, your event idea is simply brilliant. I would play that mode until the server blew a gasket. (I like Kayle)

Secondly, one thing that you seem to touch upon is actually the single most important factor related to this whole situation: none of the stories they have written in disregard of the old lore, either recently or a while back, have anything that entails the removal of the Institute of War. All of them would be much fuller and much more natural if they were treated as sequels to the old stories and built upon them. All of the Freljord changes are perfect examples, and even the Shurima changes work just as you suggest.

Some call it "nerfing the Institute," but it is really just staying true to the classic lore and working toward evolution defined as "continuous growth" rather than "continuous replacement." Continuous replacement may be a fine strategy for reworking outdated champion kits in game, but as many including myself have lamented recently, remove-and-replace does not work in live story development. One must work with what has been published, and when something needs to be completely changed, a story device should be used to write the old out of the story to make room for the new rather than simply erasing the old entirely. In story development, remove-and-replace is jarring, anti-conventional, alienating, and ultimately just looks lazy and careless. No matter how seriously those making the decision take their actions, it's just the impression that will be given by an external overhaul of a published and well-liked story. Internal rewrites may not always go over well either, but people continue to follow the story because it's still the same story. An external rewrite creates an entirely separate story which those who followed the old story, quite frankly, have little to no interest in and therefore have little to no reason to follow.

Wanting to bring in new lore followers, they opt to let go many of the old followers, but I suggest: why not create a compromise that will help to bring in those new followers without alienating so many of the old followers? It is very clear that this change was not a necessity, but rather an elective. That being the case, why not elect to follow a less abrasive and jarring solution? The original post shows how reasonable this suggestion is. Some might even call it simple. A steamroller is the right tool for many, many situations; just not this one. A wrecking ball is the best way to overcome many, many obstacles; just not this one.


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