League of Legends Will Reboot Story, Ditch Old Lore, in Future Updates

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League of Legends Will Reboot Story, Ditch Old Lore, in Future Updates

League of Legends 2

Its a new era for League of Legends, one that reworks some of the game's oldest narrative concepts such as "summoners," the "Institute of War," and possibly the "League of Legends" itself.

Riot always has something brewing with its mega MOBA hit League of Legends, but its latest plans might surprise you. We already know about the huge graphical overhauls coming to the game's primary map, Summoner's Rift, and the steady stream of new champions released over the game's five years. Now, though, Riot wants to redefine the lore that ties League's 100-plus characters together, and some of the story's oldest concepts are winding up on the cutting-room floor.

In a developer's blog posted by Riot's Tommy Gnox, the developer explains that, after much consideration, they decided the stories they wanted to tell with their characters were at odds with the mechanics of the game. This was "unacceptable, and in such situations we seek to aggressively reimagine content in a way that realizes its full potential," Gnox wrote.

For those not as familiar with League's original lore, the basic concept is that each of the game's many "champions" was in fact controlled by a "summoner" (that would be you, the player). The explanation for the champions being brought together in five-man teams by summoners was so that a group called the "Institute of War" could have them safely wage proxy wars, preventing actual conflicts from spilling over into the lands of Runeterra, the game's setting.

Today, though, Riot feels these concepts are too limiting and is seeking to shed some of them in future updates that will rework the game's lore. Gnox continues:

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.

Riot has heard fans clamoring for more story about their characters, and they feel these changes will better allow them to explore that "through various mediums." While the game and story will no longer be "one-to-one copies of each other," this will allow both League of Legends, the game, and League of Legends, the story, to grow at their own pace, Gnox writes. While its a change that may take getting used to for some fans, based on Riot's previous experiments with League of Legends cinematics, its safe to say they have big plans for their story. And speaking of stories, Gnox assures fans that the previous official narrative works, such as comics, are still a "cherished part of League's history," even though they're now non-canon.

What do you think of the change? Was Riot long overdue for cutting ties with its old story, or is Summoner's Rift just not going to feel the same any more? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Riot via Polygon

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Seems pretty ambitious. Honestly, there isn't much point to doing this if you don't have an adequate way of exploring the story/characters in-game. As it stands now, the structure of the MOBA does not at all get along with narrative.

League of Legends has a story?

Who knew? Can't imagine what benefit it has or how it's actually conveyed in the game. I also can't imagine most people even care.

An interesting development. I was fond of the Summoners and Institute of War backdrop because it presented an ideal situation in which disputes between nations could be resolved without actual bloodshed; an idea that, if somehow implemented in the real world, could save an untold number of lives. But I agree that some sort of changes do need to be made - several champions, including Jinx, Vel'Koz, Sivir, and Aatrox (to name a few) don't seem to have a real reason to be affiliated with the Institute of War. I only hope that they don't change Jax's lore too much, because it's freaking awesome.

So.. If there's no more Summoners... Will they change the name of the Summoner's Rift?

I wonder how many champs lores will have to be changed to fit the new storyline. I know Fiddlesticks's and Jax's will, at least.

Really, what's even the point of changing the story? Nobody who plays league really cares about it, do they? It just seems pointless to me. Unless they make their own Dynasty Warriors style game a la Zelda and Dragon Quest, Which I would totally play.

EyeReaper:
So.. If there's no more Summoners... Will they change the name of the Summoner's Rift?

I wonder how many champs lores will have to be changed to fit the new storyline. I know Fiddlesticks's and Jax's will, at least.

Really, what's even the point of changing the story? Nobody who plays league really cares about it, do they? It just seems pointless to me. Unless they make their own Dynasty Warriors style game a la Zelda and Dragon Quest, Which I would totally play.

Lee Sin's will as well, considering that he used to be a Summoner.

Hm...this is probably a good idea. The whole "Summoner" thing didn't make that much sense, but you're going to have to do a lot to work if you want to completely take it out AND make it work. It's not just big things like lore, you're going to have to rework a thousand little things, like Lux saying "Tactical decision summoner" when you select her.

I will watch with interest. I just hope characters don't get their personal stories too butchered.

They've completely fucked themselves with this one. They did it because they didn't feel they could do both the story AND the gameplay without fucking one of them up.

They have actually MADE THE GAME NON-CANON, according to their comments.

La Barata:
They've completely fucked themselves with this one. They did it because they didn't feel they could do both the story AND the gameplay without fucking one of them up.

They have actually MADE THE GAME NON-CANON, according to their comments.

To be honest, storywise the game never made much sense. Why get the strongest warriors in the land if you're just going to control them as puppets? Why would Garen fight Jarvan IV when he's sworn loyalty to him? Why would Garen fight another Garen? How the Hell can they die ten times per match and still be alive? Do they have resurrection magic in this world? In that case why can't Pantheon bring his dead brother back to life? Or Riven her dead friends? Yi everyone in his village? Who are the summoners controlling the champions? What is their end goal politically? Do their views ever conflict with each other? Do the champions always agree with what their summoner team is trying to accomplish? If Swain and Jarvan IV are on the same team I highly doubt it. So why do they stay with the League?

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I'm half and half on this decision. Yeah, some of their lore is a bit meh at the moment, but I don't see how they could only change the negative half without changing the positive half in some way. So, to me, it seems like they'll have to smash down all the lore they've built up and start from the beginning again, while maybe maintaining some core concepts.

Although if they do, what I would like to see from the new lore is a well-rounded World. Currently they already have a map of the in game world and all of it's zones and areas. However, they don't seem to use it much as there are some zones that barely have any lore at all, no champions have ever originated from those zones, and they generally go unused mostly because they're deserts or swamps and so there isn't much variety.

Wait... wait... wait... hold the phone... Just wait a god damn minute.

Vivi22:
League of Legends has a story?

Took the words right out of my mouth.

That being said... I've always wondered why the creatures of the abyss and the undead even participated in these games.

As long as I get Ao Shin eventually, I don't really care.

Well if Riot says this is a good idea, it must be a good idea because the players can't deny.

I'm cool with this. I must be one of the few people who enjoys League's backstory, but I'm a little tired of it. A change wouldn't be bad, the Institute of War has ran its course.

Akisa:
Well if Riot says this is a good idea, it must be a good idea because the players can't deny.

.....don't.....even....freaking......start. I've had enough of those BS jokes from my friend in real life.

If it means I get some form of a series with Vi trying to catch Jinx I can be happy. Either way I'm glad this is happening. There actually is a lot of potential with the set up they had. The problem is that the game grew way too fast and they focused their efforts everywhere else but story. They still could make the Institute of War work and the various factions tied to it but they abandoned it for so long that I guess they decided a reboot would be easier than trying to play catch up.

Vivi22:
League of Legends has a story?

Who knew? Can't imagine what benefit it has or how it's actually conveyed in the game. I also can't imagine most people even care.

Actually, quite a LOT of people cared and are fucking FURIOUS about this farce. LoL used to have a GOOD story where things actually happened, but over the last few years Riot have handled the lore worse and worse and worse until they've finally reached this, the last straw. I don't know why they felt it was a good idea to hire a pack of lobotomised monkeys to staff their lore department, but this time they've gone too far. LoL's once-excellent lore is dead. The game HAS no lore any more.

Arcane Azmadi:

Vivi22:
League of Legends has a story?

Who knew? Can't imagine what benefit it has or how it's actually conveyed in the game. I also can't imagine most people even care.

Actually, quite a LOT of people cared and are fucking FURIOUS about this farce. LoL used to have a GOOD story where things actually happened, but over the last few years Riot have handled the lore worse and worse and worse until they've finally reached this, the last straw. I don't know why they felt it was a good idea to hire a pack of lobotomised monkeys to staff their lore department, but this time they've gone too far. LoL's once-excellent lore is dead. The game HAS no lore any more.

Lorefag reporting in: I was once so furious about Riots numerous retarded handling of the lore, canceling the journal of justice, Aatrox, the Ezreal/Lux ship that I drank an entire bottle of Jack Daniels (plus a few heaping mouth fulls of Lamb's 151 proof) and wrote an article about it (Well it was really about Lux, but there's plenty wrong there) that ended up being twice as long as the U.S. constitution, bought a new keyboard instead of cleaning the puke off it, and dumped it on the internet.

I choose to believe that Ritos decision to reboot the lore is entirely due to my efforts, you are welcome, the one about why Karma is fantasy Bin Laden is still coming eventually

erttheking:
????????

They did actually explain a fair amount of that, both in game lore and in various tie in writings like the (long discontinued) Journal of Justice.

OT: Not happy about this. I don't ever play MOBA for the story, so I'm not super torn up or anything but I actually though league had decent lore at one point. The recent stuff (everything since somewhere after Draven) whether its a new or a rework of something old has been awful so I wouldn't trust their writing to not suck even if I wasn't annoyed about them getting rid of the linchpin that keep the whole damn thing from being a totally meaningless mishmash of unconnected and wildly varied characters.

Vivi22:
League of Legends has a story?

Who knew? Can't imagine what benefit it has or how it's actually conveyed in the game. I also can't imagine most people even care.

Noooooo? Loads of people care, it's fucked up so many characters and characters are the most important reason why people play the damn game to start with. Honestly it's getting totally roasted by a lot of people since if this goes through they've effectively retconned the ENTIRE game, including the actual League that lends League its name.

What the fuck is Sona going to do now? The only reason she had a "voice" at all was a telepathic link with a Summoner and loads of her lines reflect that.

Yeah I see where's they're going but reconning literally everything is going waaaaaaay too far. I liked how they did things before, with people actually being given reasons for being in the League with those few Champion specific Judgements and all. Fuck, Orianna wouldn't exist at all for starters and Nocturne would because a *true* nightmare horror ghost phantom... thing who was only stopped by Summoners binding him into the League when he was doing his original sleepy time murder rampage.

You see what people mean when they say this makes absolutely zero sense? Now for new people they just write some short story for them. Gnar's "backstory" was just some hunter guy getting destroyed by him as he didn't notice the little Yordle was also that massive beast he was hunting. How did this translate to "i'm now in the League lol?"

I guess at least they haven't fucked up Syndra yet, she was always my most interesting character. She's basically a bratty teenager who happens to have to power to rip the earth apart and float her own Doom Fortress in the air indefinitely just to prove to herself that she can. She's practically God Tier in terms of canon power levels. Which is funny because she needed three straight patches of buffs to become remotely good after launch. Not "tweaks" not "clarity fixes" or whatever words they want to use now that "nerf" is a dirty word, she got legitimate massive buffs patch after patch because she was so awful.

the lore before was dumb and made no sense. you think it might have something to do with the new cinematic they released? could the new summoners rift be like a temple area and the champs are battling for the control?

I kind of lost faith in the 'story' when I read about dozens of characters and thought "why in the hell would THEY of all people remain in a fair and balanced Arena?"

Swain is a military commander that commands an entire country. He could theoretically assault the whole system.
Jinx is insane. She'd just plant bombs under all of the Arenas.
Caitlyn is a police officer. Why the fuck would she go to the Arena for 'sport'?

The list goes on and on and on.

La Barata:
They've completely fucked themselves with this one. They did it because they didn't feel they could do both the story AND the gameplay without fucking one of them up.

They have actually MADE THE GAME NON-CANON, according to their comments.

Well it's not like they're going to stop putting 99% of their resources towards gameplay.

When you think about this, this is actually how most normal games do it. You don't get a ten minute speech in the Last of Us about why health kits are so effective and Call of Duty didn't come up with a really complicated reason for the fact that there's actually a player controlling the characters involved.

They've just realised that we can accept differences between the story and what's going on in the game and that doesn't mean that the story suffers. In fact it can be better for the story to not be completely tied down.

It's like that thing Yahtzee said a long time ago, what's better a really detailed explanation for why the bullets aren't actually hitting you in an FPS, there's actually some 'luck bar' and when it runs out a bullet hits you and you die ... or giving the visceral impact of a bullet hitting the character and just accept that it's a magical world where it takes more than one bullet to hit you.

The first one is more realistic, but the second is actually better for the story because it makes you feel more involved.

In the same way it feels much better to think 'I'm playing as Jax, the ultimate warrior' than 'I'm playing as a person controlling Jax, the ultimate warrior, like a puppet' even though the second represents the game better

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I imagine they're just going to start telling stories about the characters going about their lives making enemies and friends and fighting people who stand in their way. The whole 5v5 destroy-the-base combat can just be an abstraction of that. Instead of Warwick and Jax fighting formal rule-based combat, the story will just be that they're fighting.

thought the lore was semi-decent, for a MOBA anyway. On the plus side, I like that they're trying to reinvigorate the lore, it's just a question of whether they screw it up or not.

I fucking LOVE the side quests though, as rare as they come up.

Vivi22:
League of Legends has a story?

Who knew? Can't imagine what benefit it has or how it's actually conveyed in the game. I also can't imagine most people even care.

Ok glad to know I wasn't the only one wondering that? A story? Lore? I always assumed they just dreamed up wacky characters and just through them in... Because! They actually attempted to in some way make sense of it all? Where they drinking at the time?

While I do enjoy the personal backstories of the champions - my main-man Karthus', in particular - I can't help but doubt that the majority of the players take the game itself too seriously to rightly care about the game's story as a whole. That's not to say such players that do care aren't out there, just saying that I'd wager they're in the minority.

Nothing of value will be lost.
The lore and that pathetic jumble of random events they call a "story" is a clusterfuck.

I thought the basic "story" of league of legends was that all the various champions had traveled from various alliances to battle against each other in order to claim fame/fortune/glory/etc.

What's wrong with that? Its serviceable and matches the gameplay. Why get unnecessarily complicated?

That's a shame, the original story (the players being the bad guys) wasn't half bad

Akisa:
Well if Riot says this is a good idea, it must be a good idea because the players can't deny.

Can't stop laughing at this one.

Can they just reboot the players instead? I would play it again if that happened.

Vivi22:
League of Legends has a story?

Who knew? Can't imagine what benefit it has or how it's actually conveyed in the game. I also can't imagine most people even care.

Its conveyed in the game mostly through Easter eggs and character designs. Otherwise yes, its almost entirely peripheral to the game itself (which is why it makes sense to sever the chain of the game's mechanics like Riot is doing). The benefit is that for hardcore fans/lore enthusiasts it adds just a tad bit more depth to the game and makes it just that much more popular. Back in the day they had events based on lore that players could participate in but that tapered off for some reason.

Riot has absolutely no interest in actually developing their lore as demonstrated by them constantly cutting the features that were actually about lore like the journal of justice and the League judgements in favour of having a new sign in music for every champion and crappy action cinematics nobody was asking for.

Moreover they've been so bad at handling their lore i can't possibly imagine they'll be able to weave a whole new narrative on top of such dissonant elements like having mortal enemies fighting together, gameplay elements like respawns etc etc. The summoners were all powerful and controlled the champions because that was the only way you could have such a diverse cast working together.

The lore wasnt great before, but at least it explained the gameplay, if they wanted to improve the lore they should just flesh out the existing champions.

Based on all the cinematics they released, their "story" so far is "and then they beat the living shit out of each other, the end".
If I want to play a moba that respects its lore and actualy tries to make its fighters feel like characters instead of avatars, I'll play dawngate thank you very much.

Also where the fuck is ao shin already?
You don't announce that shit with concept art and then don't deliver for over a year and now The Next Big Thing is yet another ao shin unrelated thing that'll suck up tons of resources.

Considering that they cut the lore department years ago, the story will be just as awful as it is now. I like League of Legends, but Riot area terrible company.

They change more things in League than George Lucas does in Star Wars. The reworks are never any good, Xerath and Gragas were reworked from interesting champions into the most generic trash imaginable, while the lore changes on champs like Gragas and Trundle change them from interesting champions into more generic faction garbage.

The company simply doesn't understand that reworks are supposed to be the ABSOLUTE FINAL RESORT to when they can't fix a champion which is exceptionally weak, using scrapped mechanics (e.g. Dodge), or is breaking the game.

And the lore was much better back when League was first released back when they had their original lore department. They'd write an in game newsletter called "the journal of justice" which would give story updates about Runeterra.

Stats ^1:
they cut the lore department years ago

This explains so much

Spell-check your tags, dude.

On topic, I don't particularly mind the change, since I've been ignoring the story for a while now... Oh, well. Better luck next time.

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