Click to open network menu
Join or Log In
Mobafire logo

Join the leading League of Legends community. Create and share Champion Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account






Or

It's time for the Season 14 Guide Contest! Create or update guides during the following week to compete for the $4,500 prize pool! 🏆
's Forum Avatar

Dev Blog: Exploring Runeterra

Creator: Jovy September 4, 2014 1:28pm
1 2
Jovy
<Admin>
Jovy's Forum Avatar
Show more awards
Posts:
9601
Joined:
Nov 18th, 2011
Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep September 4, 2014 1:28pm | Report


By Tommy Gnox



First of all, though these are technically my words, I'm just one of the many people involved with storytelling at Riot, and what you're about to read is inspired by their collective passion. League of Legends covers a lot of ground at this point, but is ultimately always centered on the gameplay at its heart, so the idea that there are a lot of Rioters connected to narrative might surprise some. That's a big part of why we'd like to talk to you about the current state of League's story, as well as some of the changes you've seen (and will continue to see) as part of our evolving approach to storytelling.


Storytelling as league evolves

Evolution is one of the core elements of League of Legends. Champions, events, skins, splash art, and the maps themselves are just some of the avenues through which we seek to continually level up every facet of the game. We want League to always feel current through design balance, art updates, and new character themes and stories.
That means we have to be willing to look at work we've done in the past and honestly reevaluate it. In some cases – say, with a champion update – the original concept is mostly sound (or even timelessly awesome!) and all we have to do is bump things up to modern standards. Sometimes, however, we look back at decisions that made perfect sense when we originally made them, but are now at odds with our design values and ultimately limit our ability to continually improve League of Legends. That's unacceptable, and in such situations we seek to aggressively reimagine content in a way that realizes its full potential. ||| We want League to always feel current through design balance, art updates, and new character themes and stories.

As players ourselves, it's easy to get excited about upcoming developments – but you, the players, don't always have visibility into what's coming down the pipe, or why. And so we've learned how crucial it is to communicate changes in ways that give you a sense of why choices are being made and what benefits can be expected. In this case, that first requires a bit of backstory.




A bit of backstory

In the early days of League, we created a fictional background that would justify how players could control champions during games. We came up with concepts like Summoners, Fields of Justice, an Institute of War, and indeed, the League of Legends itself – all in an attempt to provide fictional context for in-game action.

After a while, these early choices began to create unexpected problems. Every new champion needed a reason to join and remain in the League, and as their number grew, the net result was that over time the world started to feel, well, small, and eventually less interesting. The institutions we'd designed fostered creative stagnation, limiting the ways that champions, factions and Runeterra itself could grow and change. Furthermore, the very idea of all-powerful Summoners made Champions little more than puppets manipulated by godlike powers. The background we'd created to explain in-game action was ultimately restricting the potential narrative development of the game's defining characters.

Faced with these limitations, our use of narrative elements tightly bound to the original vision (Journals of Justice, Judgments, etc.) dwindled, because they felt fundamentally restrictive to our hopes for a more vibrant and expansive world. In response, we started (with efforts like the Freljord event and recent champion bios) to tell stories that explored the furthest limits of League's original creative framework.

Time and again, we've heard players clamor for more story, fueling our desire to make the necessary changes to bring you bigger and better glimpses of Runeterra and its inhabitants. A lot of you have voiced your thoughts on these changes, and in a variety of ways – with enthusiasm, ideas for further new approaches, or even concern. In all these cases, we're grateful for your interest, and we're committed to both pushing narrative development further and doing a better job of providing insight into what's going on under the hood with story.




Where we are today

At a very broad level, we've decided to push League's story beyond its original focus on explaining in-game action and forge a new narrative path for Runeterra – a world in which the factions and champions we all know and love have full freedom to grow, travel, and kick *** on a worldwide scale. From champion interactions to bios to events (and beyond), we aim to expand the scope of League's story and pursue a more dynamic and wide-ranging world fit for the outsized capabilities and personalities of our champions.

Story has the potential to affect every element of League of Legends, so the decision to venture into new narrative territory wasn't made quickly or capriciously. The need for change only became apparent over time, and the choice was made only after a great deal of deliberation. Further, we want you to know that this new approach is focused on opening up possibilities and unlocking a wider, more fully-fledged world – the point isn't to tear up older stories that form their own cherished part of League's history.

But what does that mean?

Essentially, it means that the game and story aren't one-to-one copies of each other. League as a game is about creating awesome gameplay, while League as a story is about creating deep, vibrant characters and factions inhabiting an expansive world. We don't want to limit story because of gameplay, just like we wouldn't limit gameplay because of story – we want both of them (and all the other elements of League) to have the freedom to be as great as they possibly can be.
||| At a very broad level, we've decided to push League's story beyond its original focus on explaining in-game action and forge a new narrative path for Runeterra...

Does this mean older story efforts like the Journal of Justice and League Judgments are meaningless? Of course not. In the same way that we can go back and enjoy old books, shows, films, art, and comics that have been superseded by more recent interpretations of the same material, League's original lore remains a cherished part of its history. From comic books to classic literature, exploration of the same creative space in vastly different ways is a natural part of storytelling.

Runeterra is a big place, with lots of room to be explored in different ways by different people – including players.




Where we're going


When it comes to storytelling, things will continue forward much as they have done already– League as a whole evolves steadily over time, often in small steps, and the same is true of its story. We'll continue to explore Runeterra through various mediums, in chunks both large and small, and we hope you'll come along for the ride and continue to share your ideas and feedback.

The point is simply that League of Legends constantly evolves, and, as it does, its narrative needs to evolve as well. ||| Communication is where you should really notice a difference. Similarly to the gameplay team's ongoing Design Values series, we'll be back with future Dev Blogs discussing both our latest narrative efforts and our general principles when it comes to developing story in League. For example, one of the principles we'd love to discuss further is our focus on ensuring that champion identities remain consistent regardless of where you encounter them; for example, Darius should always feel the same regardless of whether he's administering an axe in a story piece, the game, or a cinematic. Exploring champions' backstories and motivations beyond what you see in the game doesn't mean they'll suddenly start feeling like different characters; what it does do is offer a huge spectrum of options for fleshing out personalities and deepening connections.

The point is simply that League of Legends constantly evolves, and, as it does, its narrative needs to evolve as well. We couldn't be more thrilled to share this process with you and to hear what you have to say about it. More than anything, we want to rekindle the conversation with you. What stories do you want us to tell? What parts of Runeterra would you like to see?

We're excited to keep exploring the possibilities, and we hope you are too.

Tommy Gnox (but really the whole Narrative team)





Source: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/creative-spotlight/dev-blog-exploring-runeterra


Jimmydoggga 2.0
<Member>
Jimmydoggga 2.0's Forum Avatar
Show more awards
Posts:
2308
Joined:
Sep 5th, 2013
Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep September 4, 2014 5:06pm | Report
Highlights:
No institute of war
No summoners
No league
Everything that mentions them is no longer canon.
Let the plot holes commence!

Basically MOBAFire.
Electro522
<Guide Critic>
Electro522's Forum Avatar
Show more awards
Posts:
467
Joined:
Jun 3rd, 2014
Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep September 4, 2014 5:33pm | Report
Highlights:
No institute of war
No summoners
No league
Everything that mentions them is no longer canon.
Let the plot holes commence!



Apparently, people are not taking this lightly. What I have to say in response to that is let Riot do their job. NEVER underestimate a writer until you have read what they have written.

In my own opinion, I'm excited for this. I have always loved a good story, no matter what form it comes in. Whether it be a novel, a comic book, a video game, or movie, I enjoy it nonetheless. If Riot wants to restart their entire lore, let them. I have a pretty good feeling what they will come out with will be FAR better then what they currently have.
Signature brought to you by Ipodpulse!
DillButt64
<Editor>
DillButt64's Forum Avatar
Show more awards
Posts:
4244
Joined:
Aug 3rd, 2012
Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep September 4, 2014 6:08pm | Report
im glad that summoners are gone, i never saw the point of all powerful peace loving mages summoning random warriors/villains/monsters that volunteered or were captured to fight each other, why wouldnt those all powerful mages just fight each other instead?

same with the judgements (although i did like a few of them) but giving each person a reason why they joined the league would be obnoxious (bad guy #11's reason is "TO TAKE OVER RUNETERRA" just like the 10 before him)

the institute of war was a stupid idea in the first place, a place were political disputes are decided there instead of with actual war, with how many games are played that would mean runeterra has a lot of political problems

of course champions like nocturne and morde and sona would have weird lines if summoners arent a thing anymore but oh well
Thanks to TheNamelessBard for the signature
Jimmydoggga 2.0
<Member>
Jimmydoggga 2.0's Forum Avatar
Show more awards
Posts:
2308
Joined:
Sep 5th, 2013
Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep September 4, 2014 6:25pm | Report
The problem with removing the institute of war is without it there's no reason for some champs to be fighting each other at all.
Also Ionia and Noxus are still at war, brands running around burning everything and lee sin doesn't even exist.

Basically MOBAFire.
PsiGuard
<Retired Admin>
PsiGuard's Forum Avatar
Show more awards
Posts:
10290
Joined:
Jun 26th, 2011
Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep September 4, 2014 6:47pm | Report
I'm hoping this gives Riot writers an opportunity to really make some awesome lore stuff that's better than what we have (which to be honest, does feel rather stagnant). To some extent there are already plot holes in the current lore. Why would Garen and Lux ever be on opposite teams?

I'm mostly worried about what this change could do to some specific champions whose lore is tied closely with the League. Why would Jax fight with a lamppost (or other non-weapons on other skins) if the League didn't forbid it? It's part of what makes his character cool. What is Lee Sin's origin and motivation apart from his current lore where he was a former summoner? That's mostly the stuff I'm more worried about. Other than that, I think this might end up being a good thing. Only time will tell I guess.
Thanks to Fatelblade for the sig!
GrandmasterD
<Member>
GrandmasterD's Forum Avatar
Show more awards
Posts:
7950
Joined:
Sep 26th, 2011
Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep September 4, 2014 6:50pm | Report
Highlights:
No institute of war
No summoners
No league
Everything that mentions them is no longer canon.
Let the plot holes commence!


It's the best thing they could've done, because those are the parts that make absolutely no sense and are nearly impossible to integrate in the general lore. Maybe League's lore will finally get good and interesting, however that can only happen if, and only if, the characters become less one-dimensional.
GrandmasterD
<Member>
GrandmasterD's Forum Avatar
Show more awards
Posts:
7950
Joined:
Sep 26th, 2011
Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep September 4, 2014 6:54pm | Report
PsiGuard wrote:
I'm hoping this gives Riot writers an opportunity to really make some awesome lore stuff that's better than what we have (which to be honest, does feel rather stagnant). To some extent there are already plot holes in the current lore. Why would Garen and Lux ever be on opposite teams?


That will always be an issue, and that's why I was never fond of League's lore, aside from the fact that it was terribly written and constructed.

PsiGuard wrote:

I'm mostly worried about what this change could do to some specific champions whose lore is tied closely with the League. Why would Jax fight with a lamppost (or other non-weapons on other skins) if the League didn't forbid it? It's part of what makes his character cool. What is Lee Sin's origin and motivation apart from his current lore where he was a former summoner? That's mostly the stuff I'm more worried about. Other than that, I think this might end up being a good thing. Only time will tell I guess.


There's a ton of ways Jax could've found his lamppost, and there's a good amount of ways for Lee Sin to become a monk. In Lee's case, all that's important is his protest against the Noxian occupation, and to then fight for Ionia with sweat and blood, a true monk's only possessions.
Electro522
<Guide Critic>
Electro522's Forum Avatar
Show more awards
Posts:
467
Joined:
Jun 3rd, 2014
Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep September 4, 2014 7:09pm | Report
As I said, NEVER underestimate a writer. I'm sure they will figure out something for Brand, Lee, Nasus, Fiddle, and every other champion heavily associated with The Institute. Also, I agree with Dill, with the amount of fighting in League, Runeterra's political problems would make Earth look like a utopia.

I believe the direction they are going to take with this is something similar to that of Hearthstone. The characters of Hearthstone are all based off of the same exact characters in World of Warcraft, where their stories get told to you. But the characters are simply used in the Hearthstone game, and their abilities are similar to that of what they do in WoW. Riot already does this to some extent. Lets look at Ashe for example. She possesses an acient bow that once belonged to Avarosa, one of the original Iceborn, and possibly one of the Watchers. From this, they crafted her kit to have a good amount of crowd control for an ADC.

Since Riot will be starting the lore over from scratch, I suspect they will go in somewhat of an opposite direction then what Blizzard did. Instead of crafting an entire game based off of a story, Riot will be crafting a story based off of a game.
Signature brought to you by Ipodpulse!
DillButt64
<Editor>
DillButt64's Forum Avatar
Show more awards
Posts:
4244
Joined:
Aug 3rd, 2012
Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep September 4, 2014 9:29pm | Report
if you remember Jax was teased to be a Darkin like Aatrox, so he could be some super powerful war fighter demon that had some kind of accident that killed his fellow darkin with a real weapon causing him to use only a lamppost to fight because real weapons give him PTSD and make him sad cuz he killed his friends

lee's important part is his protest, the fact that he was an old summoner that killed someone with his magic may be the reason hes a monk but that doesnt matter he could have always been a monk and nothing would have changed

brand could possibly be shoved into the freljord since thats where he was found (brand vs lissandra/lissandra was the one that froze him)

fiddlesticks could be put into the shadow isles, he might not look like shadow isles but him being the harbinger of doom fits the shadow isles theme of death and darkness, same could go with nocturne

ionia and noxus could still be at war, it gives a reason for irelia/lee/karma/varus/yasuo/riven/singed to be fighting and to a lesser degree soraka and WW
Thanks to TheNamelessBard for the signature
1 2

You need to log in before commenting.

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide