To start us off, here's ADillonMostDirty with an introduction to the Kindred Q&A:
"Hey guys,As usual, we've sorted the Q&A responses into several general categories for easy reading:
We've gathered a bunch of Rioters from the Kindred team for some Q&A about the Eternal Hunters! Whether you're interested in Kindred's gameplay, story, or art, ask away and we'll be happy to answer!
Check out these links if you need to get up to speed:
They Are Coming: Listen to their tale.
Champion Reveal: Kindred, the Eternal Hunters: Check out Kindred's reveal.
Champion Insights: Kindred, the Eternal Hunters: The story behind Kindred’s creation.
A Good Death: All audiences loved a good death, and they loved Magga’s more than any other."
When asked about the release date of Kindred, RiotWrekz noted they would be released in 5.19:
"Quote:He later elaborated, noting they'll be released next week (during the week of October 5th):
Im going to ask the real and only important question... will there be a patch tomorrow? and if so will kindred be in that patch? or will we have to wait 4ever? :(Kindred will be in that patch but will not be turned on initially. They will be enabled later during the patch."
alright, so i know it's normal to have a champion release about 2 or 3 weeks after they appear on pbe, and it has been about a week, are they going to be released with 5.19 after words, or are they going to be released during worlds, but be banned in competition for worlds, like as a 7th ban, but not optional. like you guys put a little lock on them. if its going to be after worlds, then id like my pbe account now. Jk but really, that seems like a long time. why not do the announcement later say about now and released on pbe in a week or 2.All of worlds is being played on the 5.18 patch, Kindred will be released next week (turned on during the 5.19 patch) but they will not be playable in competitive for some time."
Which other positions do you envisage Kindred being used, outside of the jungle, and will this inspire Riot to create more ranged junglers?It would be awesome to see more ranged junglers. It doesn't make sense that only melees can jungle as a hard rule. That doesn't mean we are working on it in the near future, but it would certainly be interesting to continue exploring that space.
Regarding roles, I look forward to seeing how people experiment with them. I believe they will be a primary jungler, but I am interested in seeing how they get played in other lanes."
When asked if Kindred's Q applies on hits, RiotWrekz noted it does not:
RiotWrekz also commented on the W Wolf attacks, noting they do not proc on-hits:Does each of the projectiles from kindreds q proc on hit effects (im especially curious about runaans ) would it mean that there would be 9 projectiles or would it not work at all?Kindred's Q does not apply on-hits."
Can wolf proc on hit effects such as life steal or spell vamp?Wolf does not proc on-hit affects.
Wolf does apply 40% of the damage from Mark of the Kindred, and does apply spell-vamp (but spell-vamp is not an on-hit)"RiotWrekz explained:
What were your reasons behind giving a marksman a non-damaging ult? It seems odd to have a damage dealing carry, and then give them an ult that doesn't exactly help them carry. Not that i dislike the ult, but I love the champ design and can't wait to play them!Glad to hear you like the champion!
The reason Kindred have a utility ultimate (and this is something that we will be doing more in the future for carry classes) is so that they bring something unique to the team beyond damage ability x4. The result of this is that in games when you are not doing well your team can still depend on you to bring some benefit.
This is particularly important as Kindred are snowbally and comparatively more likely to be snowballed against than champions that are able to farm safely in a lane, this makes having a good fallback pattern (deal some safe damage, use your ult to keep fed people alive, try to pick up hunts off assists) even more important to avoid feeling like you are really useless in some of your games."
When asked about some quirks from development, RiotWrekz shared that the initial version of Kindred's R was semi-global!
What are some skill removals / major changes that happened during Kindred's development?The first iteration of the ultimate the ring was semi-global. It would affect everyone anywhere near a teamfight. Over time it shrunk down to isolate the good gameplay."
RiotWrekz commented on this again in response to a similar question:
In the production process, how did Kindred's ult change? Was their ult always an ability that saves other champions?Yes, it was always an ability that stopping others from dying. It started really huge and got smaller over time. It was semi-global at first but we wanted to shrink it to concentrate the big climactic finish when it expires."
As for how Kindred's passive will work on the ARAM map, RiotWrekz noted:
How will Kindred be played on the ARAM map? Are you cutting out the Wolf Mark completely or replacing it with some other function? Will she be available for selection in an ARAM match?They will be available. Wolf's section of the passive will not be replaced with another feature. That said, I believe they will be quite strong on ARAM because Lamb's section of the passive will not be difficult to acquire stacks from in such a bloody environment."
RiotWrekz - Group Responses #1
Hey I have a few questions myself
First. Will there, maybe in a future update if not now, be Keybinds for who on her enemy team she marks?
Second. What makes this champion Pick/Ban worthy over other champions? It seems she is fairly weak early game and that she becomes pretty useless pretty fast if she/her team isn't ahead.
Third. Do you expect any sort of need to Buff/Rework parts of her skill set to come up within the next few patches?
Last. Did the people behind A Good Death get their Inspiration from Patrick Rothfuss' "Name of the Wind" book? The scene with the murdered traveling troop was almost exactly like the beginning of Kvothe's story1) We do not intend on providing keybinds for the selection UI. The reason is that it is only intended to be used out of combat. Keyboard shortcuts are great for really quick accessing things, but in general that is not what the Lamb section of the passive expects you to do. Not providing keybinds helps makes it more clearly an out-of-combat objective setting thing. We don't want it to be confused with a spell or something of that nature.
2) Lamb's Respite is an exceptionally powerful skill. On top of that, I don't believe their early game is actually weak and as people get a better understanding of how to capitalize on early jungle camps they will continue to be powerful. Moving the discussion away from power though Kindred is intended to enable you to run new team comps (double AD while still having a standard mid, dual fighter bot maybe). Kindred is also a new type of carry jungler that benefits heavily from a strong marksman skillset.
3) We will evaluate balance after they release."
RiotWrekz - Group Responses #2
1) where did you guys get the idea/concept on to making this champion ?1) I was working on a kit with a passive very similar to this and we were working to create an awesome concept to match it. Lamb and Wolf was one concept that emerged during this phase and felt like it could become a really awesome champion.
2) what made you guys make a adc/jg?
3) Why cant her ult heal allies and damage foes?
4) Can kindred support?
2) We were working on the kit and it had a passive that was built around the idea of picking a target and finding a way to kill them for a reward. That passive ended up seeming really cool, but being boring in the bot lane position because you only really had two options and it felt like a coin flip at best. Junglers have a ton more access to roaming around and picking who they want to try and kill. It seemed like this would be a great combination with the kit and that it would give us a chance to make a really unique champion who plays very differently.
3) The ultimate is exceptionally powerful and is balanceable because the benefit it gives can also be shared by enemies assuming they are willing to come inside the zone. If the ultimate healed allies and damaged enemies it would be a trap for them to enter the zone, and you would essentially free win every fight.
4) I don't believe so"
Art & Inspiration
When asked how long Kindred has been in development, Riot Stellari commented:
From start to finish how long was the development cycle for kindred?I joined the team in February to start working on the promo, and by then they'd been working on it for a bit-- so I guess about 10 months?"
RiotWrekz also commented on the choice of a Lamb & Wolf to represent Kindred:
What made you choose a lamb and a wolf for Kindred's two spirits? Why not other animals, like a fox, hare or bear?We were looking for contrast between the two of them and felt that the contrast was most present with Lamb and Wolf as they are such polar opposites. It also let us play with their personalities (flipping the masks) more to challenge the expectations of what a Lamb or Wolf would normally be in that pairing."
Is there a reason why Wolf was designed to be more ethereal? I must admit him lacking, at the very least, a torso and set of front legs makes the two feel far less like a dynamic duo visually and more like Wolf is just a side character to Lamb.Kindred is a character that straddles the border between life and death. Lamb interacts with the world more physically than Wolf does to draw that parallel."
When asked about the concept of Yin & Yang inspiring Kindred's looks, FauxSchizzle replied:
Be honest, did kindred draw any inspiration from Yin & Yang.Yes! You can definitely see the idea of yin and yang presented in their appearance. Even personality wise, Lamb feels little but knows everything, whereas Wolf feels everything but knows relatively little.
This is meant to reinforce them being halves of a whole."RiotLamz shared:
How was the process of making Kindred? I heard it took over 10 months! Were there different stages before a character is finally fit to prance around on the fields?From an animation perspective, lots of iterations. Sometimes you think you have something nailed, but then in-game, from the top down perspective it can feel off or isn't satisfying. For example, the basic attacks, if you compare them to ashe's attacks, they have a lot more 'punch' to them, you feel them more and they come across more impact-full. This takes lots of tweaking literally down to single frames of animation.
Her joke animation where she shoots the bow with her feet was actually the E for a while before we iterated further and brought the wolf in. Thats how things can go sometimes as well, you make an animation for something and it gets recycled for something else when another idea is born and fits better."
When asked about Kindred's dance inspiration, RiotLamz shared:
Where does the dance animation come from?To answer the Dance question, here is the Dance video reference
It's from 0:50 to 0:53, only a quick 3 seconds in all its glory!
It was animated by LukeHop a crazy talented animator. We shared some of the emote animations which gave me more time to really polish the gameplay stuff."
When asked if Kindred's visuals were inspired by Chiara Bautista's Artwork, Jaredan replied:
WILL YOU ADDRESS THIS ALREADY?
Did the design council see this before creating Kindred? Was it their inspiration? Is this a coincidence? The artist has no idea and they have declared that they have an issue with it.
I'm not trying to 'expose a fraud' or anything, but this seriously is just too similar. I love the champion, especially Lamb's voice-over, but this needs clarification - especially since Kindred is just such a different champion from the rest of the League.Hi Zaphinine,
We were not aware of Chiara Bautista's beautiful work until after we had already developed and locked in on Kindred's core thematics, and then finalized the artistic representation of them.
Of course, we see the similarities in design between Kindred and the work you reference, but it is purely a case of playing in a similar thematic pool (Yin/Yang, Dark/Light, Predator/Prey, Savage/Serene) and separately coming to some similar cosmetic representations.
Though we think Chiara Bautista's work is wonderful, we were not inspired by it while we were bringing Kindred to life.
We are very careful about the integrity of our development process (for example, it's one of the reasons I unfortunately can't read fan fiction), as we never want to impinge on the creative work of others.
Thank you for the question."Jaredan also commented on the fan concept Dhama that circulated prior to Kindred's reveal:
Does part of Kindred's concept have something to do with the Dhama concept created by a fan?
Nope. Kindred's development was completely unrelated."Jaredan also commented that Kindred was not transformed from the Ao Shin concept:
Is Kindred the result of the "AO shin" concept? thay both seem to have common magical and fluffy visual looks
No. Kindred was born from a very different thematic space."
Background & LoreFauxSchizzle replied:
Jaredan also added:What makes Kindred interact directly with someones death as opposed to someone dying from natural causes?Everyone that dies has a direct interaction with Kindred. Some get to mee them earlier, others only at the moment of death."
What makes Kindred interact directly with someones death as opposed to someone dying from natural causes?The reason for the death is irrelevant to Kindred, it's how the person meets it that matters."
As for if Lamb represents death for "good" people and Wolf for "bad", FauxSchizzle replied:
FauxSchizzle also noted:Do spirits claimed by lamb go to heaven, whereas those claimed by wolf go to hell? Or is there no heaven/hell in Runaterra? what about god/gods? what is the role they play in Runaterra?No! Kindred are not judges of morality. Good people can be taken by Wolf. Bad people can be taken by Lamb."
So, I'm a little confused. Lamb takes the life of those who accept death and Wolf takes those who try to run from death? How exactly would you run from death other than being resurrected? Also, what happens if a person gets killed unexpectedly, like their ship exploded out of nowhere (), who would take the life then?Quick deaths are the realm of Lamb whereas slow, lingering deaths are in the realm of Wolf. Hope this clears up a little of the issue for you."
FauxSchizzle continued, explaining Kindred "are the moment of death" -
Family Jules also added:Kindred seems to be a force of nature, I get that, but there's just one point that confuses me. Does Kindred actively decide who lives and who dies, say if I were to fall down the stairs, would I not die if she decided that I should live? Or can people die without her. Or is it an entirely different thing kind of like with in the "Final Destination movies" like in a good death, where they only kill the people that should have been dead but survived?Kindred don't choose who to take. They are the moment of death. If you see them, it's your time. Some people narrowly escape death, but watch it claim others -- people who survive tragedy -- and in that case it's an awakening one's own mortality."
Who exactly becomes Kindred's target? Are they some celestial being who seeks out those who time has ended?Yes, that's very close to who they are! They are the bringers of death who arrive in the final moments of a mortal's life. Whether their target runs from or accepts their fate determines how peaceful (Lamb) or violent (Wolf) their death will be."
Family Jules continued:
So let's say that a massive amount of people die, like say Gangplank's crew, do Kindred show up to take their souls? Do they only seek out natural deaths, or violent deaths from wars and murders?Kindred shows up to take all souls (muahahaha!), whether natural or not. Per your example, if all of Gangplank's crew were to die, Kindred would absolutely be there in those final moments."
Hi riot,great work you did their with the story but one thing wasnt clear to me about kindred.I understand they both representate death but in what kind of way do they hunt?Do they hunt people that are about to die or are they just living on one place and kill everyone that comes near that place?That is kinda my only question, great work on this champ
Kindred are present across Runeterra. They hunt depending on the manner of death chosen by those whose lives are about to end. Those who embrace their death are released by the swift arrow of Lamb. Wolf chases down anyone who flees from their fate. It isn't a pretty way to go."
On "running" from death and trying to escape Kindred, FauxSchizzle added:
"Quote:FauxSchizzle also added:
How does one even run from Wolf then, or tries to at least?I think the key here is the word "run". It's not always physically fleeing, but a denial of the inevitable; a fear of whatever comes next. In some cases this is physically running (from a battlefield) in others, it's living with a choice one has made and slowly passing away."
So there is alot of interest in Kindred's combined view of the shadow isles and the ilk that calls it home, and there has also been alot of questions revolving around the other "mythical/legend" characters, but what of the celestial ? Could there be some who have escaped Wolf's bite by seeking the protection of Soraka, or even Soraka turning away aid due to Kindred's claim?It's important to note that any true "escapes" from Kindred are essentially more like pauses. Death comes for all things."
As for Kindred being present for all deaths and multiple places at once, FauxSchizzle explained:
So they are omnipresent? since more than one person can die anywhere in the world?Great question! Without neglecting other questions, yes. Kindred as entity do not follow normal rules that apply to us beings of space and time."
As for how long Kindred has been around relative to the game world, Riot Stellari commented:
Stellari continued, commenting on why Kindred takes the form of a lamb and wolf:Where did Kindred originate from in terms of lore? Did everyone suddenly start seeing Kindred around and about the place, or was Kindred always there?Kindred have always been in Runeterra as long as people have known. Some of the earliest myths in Runeterra were about Kindred."
Ok, if Kindred are so old, why do they take the shape of a lamb and a wolf?Lamb & Wolf are just one of the interpretations of Kindred in Runeterra."
FauxSchizzle also commented on the Pale Man story from the original teaser, noting it isn't a true representation of Kindred's origins:
When asked if Kindred has an end or can die, FauxSchizzle commented:There will be a draw in the extended Lore about pre-split Kindred? Or sometimes in the future?Probably not. The story of the Pale Man is not intended to be literal, but a coded origin story, one most likely made up by people, and therefore it grasps certain truths but fails in the details."
Riot Stellari noted:Wait a minute...If Kindred believes every life's only temporary and everything's got a beginning and an end does it imply they themselves can "die"?I love the way you think. I don't think Kindred die in the way that humans/mortal life on Runeterra do, but I do think they have an "end"."
"Quote:Riot Stellari also commented on how Lamb and Wolf feel when asked about a particular quote from the VO:
You probably won't answer, but I became a huge fan of Kindred instantly. And I have been wondering what the relationship between lamb and wolf is. All the lore doesn't really describe their relationship with each. Do they just work together? Are they best friends? Or could they perhaps be in a romantic relationship? (sounds kind of stupid, but it would be cool)They're two halves of one whole, never in conflict with one another. They couldn't exist without each other. I guess you could interpret that how you wish, though I personally see them as best friends. XD"
heres a good question... in the Vo kindred asks wolf what its like to feel, I don't remember the whole context in which it was used though, so this implies that she has no feelings what so ever.... if this is true then why does she laugh because that is a feeling????
Lamb is someone who feels little, but knows many things. Wolf, on the other hand, doesn't know much--but he feels deeply.
Also, you don't have to feel anything to laugh /creepy"
As for if they are good or evil, Riot Stellari explained:
Are they "evil" or can they be classified as positive?They definitely not evil. But they're not positive/negative either. They're a force of nature. Kind of like a tornado isn't inherently good/evil."
When asked what time in history A Good Death is set, Jaredan noted:
Riot Stellari noted:Roughly when and where does A Good Death take place? Excellent story!Thanks! Faux and the team did a great job. A Good Death is set in Demacia, pre-Jarvan III."
Who's the dead king in Kindred's splash? Any backstory on him and why/how he died?It's a noble.
It is not the Ruined King. ;)"
As for Kindred's thoughts on Amumu, FauxSchizzle commented:
Do you think Kindred will be good friends with Amumu ?No. They understand his loneliness though."
FauxSchizzle also commented on what Kindred might think of Ekko:
Rito, if Kindred came for , but went back in time and avoided his death, would Kindred remember, and sick wolf on him? Also, does Kindred issue pardons or sometimes turn a blind eye towards people who cheat death, if it has some positive impact? Sorry for being late but, I NEED TO KNOW! Lore and these kinds of situations definitely keep League of Legends fresh and interesting, so keep up the good work.
Ekko can't rewind death, as evidenced by Chronobreak!
But yes, kindred probably can't wait to meet the boy who shattered time."When asked about the relationship between Kindred and Karthus, Jaredan commented:
Is there any lore between Kindred and Karthus?Also with lore, is there any plans for making a cinematic version of the 'A Good Death' in the near future?Thanks! ~Kindred and Karthus's relationship will be looked at to some extent in Karthus's upcoming new extended character introduction. Expect it in the next month or so.
In my mind (and that's a scary place), Karthus actively rips people away from the fate that should be Kindred. His actions are an abomination to them. You'll get more about Lamb and Wolf's view on undeath and the Shadow Isles in their extended intro—which should be released later today.
There are no current plans for a cinematic version of A Good Death at the moment."
When asked about Kindred's attitude towards Thresh as a character, FauxSchizzle commented:
What is the Kindred attitude to Thresh specifically? He captures souls into his lantern (e. g. Senna), which makes them unable to travel to afterworld or whatever comes after death and meeting with Kindred. Looks like a hostile being to them.Why Kindred didn't intervene when Senna or other souls were intercepted by Thresh? (Obviously, the true reason is they weren't imagined back when Lucian story was written, but...)
Was Terry Pratchett's Death inspiration for Kindred? I mean the part that they come to collect soul after death. Does Kindred have to "kill" a person with arrows/bites in exact moment they die, just like, umm in Pratchett's "Mort" Death slits sword through king's throat at the moment he dies from poison (I'm afraid I don't remember exactly how this went :(, hope you get the point).
Also, when did the scene from Kindred's splashart took place?They do not like Thresh -- or any of the Shadow Isles champs for that matter -- he interrupts the natural cycle of life and death.
Ultimately, they enforce mortality. How other beings steal souls isn't always clear to them either.
Death in Neil Gaiman's fantastic Sandman series, was more of an inspiration.
Great question, I will try to find a specific answer for you, but the dead noble is not a character that's been in any of our lore before."When asked if Kindred was responsible for creating the Shadow Isles in some way, Jaredan commented:
Is there a relationship between Kindred and the event that created the Shadow Isles?Though the Shadow Isles had a wide reaching (and continuing) effect on life and death, Kindred were not directly involved in the event you mention. Though the Shadow Isles could someday be a threat across Runeterra, Kindred know better than anyone that all things come to an end."
As for resurrection and champions like Azir or Sion, Jaredan commented:
What are Kindred's thoughts about resurrection? They dont seem to like the undead of the Shadow Isles, but what about Azir ? Considering that he has died once before, do the Kindred remember meeting him at his end (if they were there that is)?They think it's a bad idea. Also, you are guaranteed that Wolf will be coming for you at the end of your newly borrowed time.
Kindred remembers the end of every being."FauxSchizzle replied:
Drawing from 'A Good Death', Kindred's splash, and other bits and pieces of Runeterra, would there potentially be factions that view either Wolf or Lamb as being the "greater" of the two?
Example: In the splash, it would appear to me that the body is of a Demacian soldier (royalty aside), as the armor has elements that point towards something akin to Lux / Jarvan IV armor. I might infer from this that people of Demacia may view the serenity of Lamb as a proper end; whereas Olaf , for example, may value the chase of Wolf over the arrow of Lamb?
I guess I am asking if there is tension surrounding mortal preference between the two?
Disregard the Shadow Isles here, as it is clear that the likes of Karthus don't support the ways of Lamb and Wolf.
Absolutely, it all depends on the values of the culture.As for if each person meets their own version of Kindred on death,FauxSchizzle commented:
You're picking up what we're putting down."
So once those people died, do they meet their own versions of Kindred?You pose an interesting debate. Is Lamb and Wolf the one true version of Kindred one sees when they die, or do people see their own cultural interpretation of Kindred.
It's interesting, really, because to go one way over another would suggest the power of the conscious mind overrides the spirit world, or vice versa with Lamb and Wolf being a cold, hard truth about death. Both of these interpretations have valid arguments and say a lot about the natural and spiritual worlds.
Each person who died in the Mechanical's camp met Kindred, but did they see a Lamb and a Wolf, or some other interpretation?
Tell me first, what do you think?"
Last up we have a few group responses on lore related topics:
FauxSchizzle - Group Responses #1:
So if someone were about to die, and attempts to flee from Wolf, only to be revived, what will happen? Alternatively, if that person were to accept Lamb, but is forced into life, do they receive Wolf instead?
If someone were to commit suicide, do they automatically accept Lamb, or can they flee and be chased by Wolf?
Do Kindred even have a physical form, like Bard and Tahm Kench, or do they only exist in the spiritual world?
Has any champion personally met Kindred?
Is Kindred intended to have an impact on LoL lore, or are they just a force of nature, a plot device used for others?This depends on if it's a natural revival or an unnatural one. Cybernetics are a long, slow Wolf chase (not all chases are fast). If the revival is natural or CPR or something less fueled by necromancy, it falls more into a "near death experience". They might meet Kindred, learn something about themselves (I'm afraid/not afraid of death) and apply that knowledge to the rest of their lives.
Tricky and dark. Would prefer not to delve into this.
I would posit that they can manifest in physical form, but can vanish from it just as easily.
Never a plot device. Kindred have their own agency and have never been thought of as a plot device.
Whew. Lots of questions here. Congrats on making me sing for my supper!FauxSchizzle - Group Responses #2:
I'm no doubt going to have more questions, but for now
Why does kindred have such limited interaction lines with other champions? By nature of basically all of their jobs, they all should've been close to death numerous times. Like come on, they were begging for a trynd line.
How is Kindred unwelcome in the Shadow Isles? Like what the hell could've gone down that stops death?
Do the Kindred show up for near death experiences?
The personification of death as a lamb and wolf sounds really familiar, definitely like ive seen it done before, but I cant remember where. Any input?For VO, it was important for us to find the champs that felt right (or made us laugh... POP THE BALLOON!). Storywise, I think they would know each and every one of the champs. In this case, they rarely play favorites and exist not as judges or moral guides for champions. Death, after all, takes no sides.
Something very unnatural.
Oh you betcha. See "A Good Death" for an example of this.
Maybe? Opposing yin/yang dualities, I suspect are many similar characters who exist in contrast to each other."
MiscellaneousA Good Death, FauxSchizzle chimed in:
Who wrote "A Good Death"? I found it so serene and beautiful. If it has a book, I'd totally take a look.I did! With the support of the wonderful edits by Jaredan and Family Jules. Thank you so much for saying this :)"
When asked if Kindred's masks can be removed, Jaredan replied:
Can Kindred's masks be removed?Sorry if this is somewhat of a dumb question. :D
Yes, they can. But you don't want that to happen. Ever."
When asked if there will be summoner icons that are related to Kindred, Riot Stellari commented:
Mostly curious if there will be a summoner icons for them at some point. :pyes there will be ;)"
[The icons referenced in this response were also seen during the 5.19 PBE cycle!]