So recently I’ve been chiming in on some of the comments and threads on Reddit regarding lore and what the fans want. Some of the comments have made me realize that my shortened answers are being misinterpreted.
So, before addressing some of the major issues they raise, let me say this:
I DO NOT WANT THE OLD LORE BACK.
Now, I will be honest, I miss the old lore, but I’m not above admitting that some of it was really, really sketch, and the logistics and realities of it were stretching a lot of the different elements of the world itself and the characters within.
That doesn’t mean I approve of Riot’s method of changing it or their efforts to provide meaningful content to those who want it. Besides, what about all the awesome old stuff that happened?
(Seriously. This shit happened. It’s still canon because Swain is Grand General, right? Or is he back to just being a general. How fucking cool is this? What can’t this still be a thing?)
NOW, back to the responses to some people on Reddit because I can’t be assed to write the same response to multiple people.
The first and biggest issue that people seem to have, summed up by Reddit user u/Standupaddict: “I don’t know why everyone want 5 degrees of separation between all the characters. If anything the fact all the champions don’t know each other shows that Runeterra is a large diverse place. Its unrealistic that all the best fighters in an entire continent would happen to be all be related somehow.”
It’s not about every champion being connected to every other champion. It’s about champions being tied to Valoran and Runeterra. Most of that invovles being tied to other champions or existing lore. However, much of Riot’s recent moves have involved creating new lore or new ties to ‘lore’ that doesn’t exist. Stories that they reference as if they were established long ago, instead they don’t exist, and still don’t even months or years later. It’s not about having ties to every single champion through the League of Legends, it’s about having a reason of existing within Runeterra. Even if our gameplay within the Fields of Justice have absolutely NO ties to the lore of said game, we are supposedly playing in a league of LEGENDS. Why is joe schmoe a goddamn legend? Why is he so famous that he’s a ‘legend’? Without anything that ties us to a greater world, without anything that gives us any sense of what goes on in Valoran, how are we to know what is important? How do we know what makes someone worth of being one of these ‘legends’ that we talk about? Most of the time, all we have to go on is a few paragraphs, a few pictures, and the word of Riot that this guy really is that much of a badass. Okay Rito, do us a favor. Instead of telling us that he’s a badass… show us. Make us believe in terms of the bigger world that someone really IS cool and interesting.
Someone also made a point of mention that Riot stopped making the effort of tying champions together with their Champion Bios and Reveals. that’s great and all, I appreciate the fact that the champions are getting more interesting and better overall, and I wouldn’t have a problem with this if there was anything else tying champions to Valoran in the greater sense, but aside from two admittedly mediocre events (especially looking back), there has been nothing that has done that for any of the other champions released or otherwise in ages. Three champions, Quinn, Lissandra, and Azir, have gotten something bigger, something more interesting, something that has tied them into Valoran that hasn’t been either their release or teaser. How many does that leave though? So many still only have tangential connections to Valoran, and even worse, the many champions who had ties to the League have yet to be fixed. Whether it was their entire story or simply their reason for being a ‘legend’ (*cough*Jax*cough*), they’re still just hanging there, unresolved and dangling.
Next, I wanted to address the issues regarding what Riot does well and what they don’t do well with their current lore, and how that pretains to what lore fans (those who have been around and know what it was like) actually want out of the content we seek and keep asking for.
So most people seem to assume that because I want more, better, lore–stories that connect the world we play in to what we’re doing, who we’re playing as– that I don’t appreciate or like what little Riot does put out. I fucking LOVE the art they put out, I love the music, the videos, the maps and gamemodes… they’re awesome. I ADORE the music. It’s some of the most awesome stuff I’ve ever listened to. Demacia Rising? Holy shit it’s like nothing I’ve ever imagined.
But it still leaves us with a massive void. I think Ekko’s background is a good example of what we want when people say that they want lore. It ties stories together, it gives deeper meaning to the history that other champions have, but it also doesn’t get rid of elements we already know and love. It’s a fun and detailed exploration of Zaun and who comes from it. So, this gives me hope for the future, especially Tahm and all his interactions, as well as the Bilgewater event. I’m hoping that because Riot is rewriting Bilgewater as the center of the Blackmarket and all that there will be lots of little hints and things that tie champs together, similar to how Light (the old man on Howling abyss) makes little comments to some champions. I mean… Fucking christ, I think I would just about die if we saw one of the Shopkeeers comment to Jarvan “So how about that dragoness. She likes to make a mess of things, doesn’t she?” or simply a comment about Shyvana crushing on Jarvan. But even then, those sort of little interactions. Those little hints into Valoran… we need more or that. I mean shit, we’ve still got the Shadow Isles, Demacia and Noxus, Ionia, Piltover, Icathia… So many different options… but are we only going to get them every year or two? As big a company as Riot is… can’t be get a little more than that? Comics, books, videos, maps, songs… the options are endless. Why won’t Riot use them?
(This better be good)
Lastly, issues about the actual mechanics of the Institute of War and how Summoners, the Institute, and champions all interact:
This will actually be the majority of a post soon, mostly about how some mechanics of the Institute are really bad for any story and how they could have been better implemented or fixed to actually become a serious, believable, and interesting element integral to the history of Runeterra that was a very interesting idea that was poorly implemented and never fixed because of the early abandonment of the larger lore efforts by Riot.
This post is shorter than I originally intended, but I haven’t really had as much time as I wanted to work on this blog or my writings, so this has just been a short ranting post about my opinions and some of the crap that I see posted by people who don’t understand what the old lore used to be like and the greater implications about what Riot has been doing and not doing for so long regarding their lore.