Hey lore fans!
I'm kitae, recently-appointed lead designer of Riot's Creative team. Right now, I’m working with the rest of the creative designers to improve the overall quality of our lore, as well as planning long-term story development for League of Legends. I wanted to take a moment today to talk about some of the first results you’ll be seeing from that work.
As you know, Riot is committed to updating older champions. For example, Ashe recently got an art upgrade to her base model and splash. We also modernize the kits for champions, like we did recently with Twitch, Evelynn, and Xin Zhao. We also occasionally update bios, like Shyvana and Jayce who both received updates shortly after launch, but usually we let bios gather dust. That’s about to change.
We think that all of our champion bios should be as well written as newer bios:
- 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.
To incorporate all this new stuff, we will be retelling our champion’s stories, and in doing so some details will change. This is a painstaking process that’s being guided by what the community already knows and loves about each champion. The net result will be better champion bios that, despite some changes, mesh with your expectations of who those characters are. You can think of it like how characters are re-imagined in comic books, TV and movies (for example Adam West Batman…to Dark Knight Batman)...ok most changes probably won't be that extreme.
From time to time, we’ll also need to omit some details that were previously included in bios. For example, in the revised version of Talon's bio, General Du Couteau is still present, but we don't identify him by name. We want players to focus on Talon, not wonder who General Du Couteau is. When a detail like this is omitted this is not a change to the lore, it's a change to what we're focusing on in the bio. General Du Couteau and Talon’s relationship can be better explored in a different story.
We think of champion bios as living documents. We can and will revise bios for quality, whenever necessary, to make them better. This is similar to maintenance of a champion’s kit. We will always discuss significant revisions with you. As we showed with the Jayce bio, we believe we can build better bios by listening to your feedback. This doesn’t mean we can please everyone, but we will carefully consider and discuss your feedback.
We know you want to see new types of storytelling beyond just bios...so do we! Before we can do new stuff to the level we’re shooting for, we first need to build a strong foundation for storytelling. That’s what we’re doing right now.
I’m excited to announce that the first bio rewrites are coming out with the next patch. Shyvana and Fiora’s revised bios will be going live then. We will be doing an AMA for both of these bios, and we look forward to your feedback.