Red Post Collection: Ransom AMA - Lore, Champ #116, & more - and tidbits from Community Platform

Posted on at 4:29 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection features several tidbits from the new community platform and a massive AMA from Ransom, a creative designer, where he chats about lore, champion #116, and more!
Continue reading for more information, straight from Riot's new community platform and the forums!

Tidbits from the new Community Platform

Since it's recent beta launch, the new community platform has been attracting a lot of red attention! Here are a few of the most interesting tidbits, including some balance, champion, and general community platform discussions:

When asked if there are plans to nerf any of the top picks and bans that are currently dominating ranked, ricklessabandon commented:

"i'm looking into ahri and kass as candidates for changes in the 3.13 patch.
orianna isn't currently on the table as far as i know.
zac was changed recently—we're still digesting the data regarding their effects.
corki should have some changes in 3.12 if i'm not mistaken."

Xelnath also reconfirmed that Darius is currently on Riot's radar, following a few other champions.
"Yep. Darius is on a radar, but no ETA. Next champions coming up are Heimerdinger, Xerath, Rengar."

Responding to a request for more info or a timeframe for Shyvana changes, Xelnath commented:
"Unlikely to be soon, that was an accidental leak of a prototype that was a natural accident as we move data around internally. 
We have some file organization problems internally that we are working to address soon(tm). I know this isn't the answer you wanted, but take heart that we think Shyvana's fantasy isn't quite as strong as Riot is capable of making it."

When asked about his plans for Yorick, Xelnath noted that he's still on the back burner pending some other updates:
"He's on the backburner at the moment. I'm focusing on shipping Xerath to PBE, reworking support income, tagteaming vision problems with Xypherous.

It's been extremely taxing - I'm actually taking the rest of the week off to rest. Which brings up an important point - your decision making, priorities and general focus diminish dramatically when you are emotionally drained.

If you find yourself in that state - stop and rest. It helps."

As for some feedback on the new community platform itself, Pendragon noted:
"We're experimenting, plain and simple. We're not forcing anything on you - this beta is something that was announced in General discussion, and is completely voluntary. 
We believe that we can provide a platform for players to interact with one another that's better than we have today, and we're going to attempt to prove that. There are more things to consider than the posts themselves - things like changes in usage patterns, and polling the silent majority. 
What we've released is just the start. We acknowledge that what you see is not a replacement for what you have, and the burden is on us to make the changes necessary to make the decision obvious to many. If that's not something that we can do then we'll have no problem admitting that we were wrong and changing direction. 
Every change, (even potential change) is subject to backlash and that's something that we fully expected when revealing this effort - a level of controversy similar to when we removed denies, or announced that League of Legends would be free. Adaption takes time - both for the people who are interested to acclimate to change, and also for us to respond to thoughts and behaviors. 
If you don't want to participate then that's fine - we understand. Choosing to make a post or two then never showing up again is something that will be reflected in the type of evaluation we're doing on the beta's success, and will be just as revealing and important as the two new discussions you've made in the last 30 minutes. 
I think we do a lot of things that show how committed to creating great player experiences we are and you don't have to search hard to find examples. In exchange I think it's only fair that you give us the benefit of the doubt and allow us to conduct our experiment with a reasonable and rational approach. 
If you want to provide pointed and constructive feedback then I want to have a pointed and constructive conversation with you."

If you have some feedback you'd like to share, leave 'em a post on the community page or hop into the in-game chat channel "communityplatform" to chat with some Rioter's directly.

Ransom AMA - Lore, Champion #116, and more!

Ransom, one of the creative designers, is currently inviting players to pick his brain in an AMA over on the league forums. He's fielding all sorts of questions - including a few teases about the upcoming champion!
"Hi guys, 
Despite working here for over a year, I’ve never introduced myself properly to the community, so this is my AMAA – Ask Me Almost Anything.

If I don’t answer your question, I’m either not the right person to answer it, or I’m sworn to secrecy, or I’ve already answered it in the thread.

About me:
My Twitter is @RiotRansom. 
• I’m a writer here at Riot, working primarily on champions, new champion concepts, and champion teasers like theZac journals, Quinn’s Freljord journey, and the Aatrox mystery. I also come up with cool special projects like the Lucian login screen! 
• In my first days working here, I helped pitched a bunch of new champion concepts like Zed, Vi, Thresh, and Nami. 
• The first champion I wrote for was Zac. My second champion is #116, who is a FEMALE - can you handle the spoilers?! (I just don’t want to have to refer to her as him/her for the rest of this thread.) 
• Quinn X Jarvan OTP. Shyvana who? :P Actually, my favorite romance in the game is between an existing champ… and a champion who has yet to be released. Runaan disapproves of this romance in the same way your lame parents disapprove of your sweet prom date. Runaan is grumpy like that. 
• As I’ve said earlier, if it were up to me, we would pair off all the champions into couples, and then there would be no reason for all this fighting! A prosperous (and romantic!) peace would descend over Runeterra, and League of Legends would become a game about making babies, not about killing people to obtain gold, and then buying items with that gold… to kill even more people! Madness! 
• I’m from Texas. So obviously, my dream is to get more cowboys and cowgirls in this game. 
• I studied creative writing in college, and then screenwriting in graduate school. Although I learned a ton in film school and it’s a big part of me, I would say that it’s generally not worth the exorbitant tuition you would spend these days. So save your money and don’t go to film school! 
• I’ve written a bunch of screenplays. One received an award from the people who give out Oscars. None of them has ever been made into a movie, but that may very well change someday... 
• Before Riot, I worked as a writer and level designer on a Star Wars game and the Mercenaries series. I also co-founded a video game company, secured funding from a publisher, and shipped what might very well be the lowest-selling XBLA title of all time. 
• A few of my favorite video games: Final Fantasy Tactics, Dead Space, FTL, Wasteland, System Shock 2. 
• I’m terrible at LoL, but I’m getting better each and every day because of my positive, non-toxic attitude! My most-played champion is Morgana. Nowadays, I love playing Zyra and Malzahar. I generally like standing in the back and bursting people down, or immobilizing them so other people can kill them. I also jungle Zac (of course) and Sejuani, and jump at the chance to play Ashe when people let me. (Which isn’t often.) 
• I have walked across the entire nation of Spain, from the French border all the way to the coast. Five hundred miles - about the same distance as San Francisco to Los Angeles. It took about 30 days. 
• I’m more flexible than anyone in my kickboxing class. And I can beat the stuffing out of anyone in my yoga class."

[ Note: I haven't included EVERY Q&A, but I've tried to nail everything juicy and sort them into simliar topics! ]

Champion #116 Discussion

Q: Sneak Peek on champ #116 soon?
A: ":) 
In the meantime, I'll start posting links to songs I listened to while I worked on her. Here's the first:"
Follow up Q: Punk chick music? Vi's sister all but confirmed :)
A: "Eh. Here's song #2:"
 Follow up Q: May we see song #3 :P
A: ""
Follow up Q: If you could categorize the 116th champion as a music genre what would it be?
A:"You tell me. Here's another song:"
Follow up A: "One more song I listened to while working on the upcoming champion #116:"

Q: Is the 116th champion, in terms of definition, good or evil?
A: "Good question. She is chaotic neutral."
Q: What is her goal in life?
A: "Most people would say that she doesn't seem to have any goals. But she does. They're just not like anyone else's."
Q: Are we gonna get a cool lore teaser like we did with your previous champions?
A: ":)
No seriously, dude.
Q: What is so special about this champ that makes her unique?
A: "Her sense of humor is unlike anyone else's in the game. Trust me."

Q: Alright based on the clues given, I have a guess as to what 116 might be!
A: "I love reading the speculation of our fans. Sometimes you guys come up with stuff that blows us away, and makes us say, "I wish I had thought of that." There was this one guy who suspected that the person who slaughtered Tryndamere's tribe was Tryndamere himself in some sort of frenzied amnesiac state. Freaking awesome."
Q: What color is the next champs hair?
A: "There is only one other champion in the game who has the same hair color as her. And no - it's not Vi. Or Caitlyn, for that matter. :P"

Personal Stuff

Q: Where did you get your username from?
A: "I shot Liberty Valance"
Q: What's your favorite thing about working at Riot?
A:"Hanging out with some of my favorite people and talking about our favorite champs all day. Also, working on secret stuff and getting excited because we know it would BLOW YOUR MINDS if you knew."

Q: How do I get a gig like yours?
A: "I'm working on a post about a) How to be a writer, and b) More specifically, how to get a job writing in games. Stay tuned."
Q: Who do you think is the most well made champion in League?
A: "From a cohesive art, design, and writing point of view, the two best constructed champs in the game are (for me) Ziggs and Lulu."
Q: Favorite Champ?
A: "You asked who my favorite is from a lore/concept standpoint, and I'm totally stumped. I'll instead answer by telling you my coworkers believe my spirit champion - the champion who most resembles me in spirit - is Shen. This is probably because a) I like to protect people and coming to their aid, and b) I also enjoy being sneaky and backdooring."
Q: What is your favorite role in the game? Who would you say is your best character?
What would you say is your biggest weak point(s) are? (game play wise)
A: "Mid. Morgana. My coworkers will be the first to tell you that my problem is lack of map awareness combined with failure to execute combos properly."

Q: How hard is it to wait for everyone to see the work you did on the next champion?
A: "This is exactly what happens. I self-censor myself all the time, to prevent Riot from releasing the hounds. But mostly because I don't want to spoil the awesomeness."

General Lore

Q: My big question is what would you really want to do with League from a lore and story side that isn't being done currently?
A: "Generally, I want do more storytelling, both in the game and out. You've already seen some of our efforts to do this with the Lucian login screen - this was the first time we animated the story of a champion, told in his own words. And as far as I can tell, you guys were digging it. So we'd like to do more!"
Q: Do you ever feel constrained by the game in telling story? For instance, one of the justifications behind the (IMO) horrid change to Trundle was the opportunity to tell more story. To terribly skew a Runaan quote "Imagine if Trundle turned against the Queen and killed her to take over the Freljord?" Questions like this just seem pointless and impossible to answer because that would mean the deletion of a Champion, which we all know won't least not completely (RIP Trundle). So do you ever feel constrained in your story telling due to these limitations of not being able to continue that story?
A: "Yup, all the time. The world of Runeterra is really complicated and has a lot of history. I can't just write any old story unless it fits in the universe. One of my biggest frustrations when I first started working here was pitching a new champion, only to be told that the story I wanted to write was already in the game in some form I didn't like. So yeah - it's pretty difficult, if not impossible, to conceive of a story in which a champion dies. And that's a big limitation. But no different than what Marvel and DC go through with their superheroes. I mean - do you ever think Batman is going to die?"

Q: Are there any plans for linking the large bits of lore and creating a focused storyline for S4? S3's lore was a good effort and well done, but it still feels like we're just adding snippets of information which is a huge break from the storyline of JoJ.
A: "We're actively looking into delivering new ways and methods of pushing forward the stories for all champions, new and old, all the time. This is why teasers and crazy login screens and Freljord events are happening. So while it may not happen immediately, you can tell from recent history that we're clearly moving in this direction."

Q: So, how is the Frelijord event going to be resolved? Is it just permanently up in the air? Did every player choosing a side in the faction actually mean anything?
A: "Every time we do an event, the state of the world moves forward in time. And all those changes in the world are persistent. You can safely assume that every new event and teaser and login screen we do builds off what came before."
Q:Do you have any plans to put together anything like a League of Legends story mode, or campaign? Even if no plans exist, is this something you would like to see in the future of LoL?
A:"Of course this is something I'd love to see in the future of LoL! You have no idea!"

Q: Ransom, I've always loved the idea of skins representing different points in a champion's life (barring skins like the soccer skins and the TPA skins). Do you think we'll see stories that include showing a champion not with their default look?
A: "I love this idea too. The trick here is that you have to plan really far in advance to make it work. You'd have to go going into making the skin and the CG that this is the plan from like, day zero. But that being said, if we could pull it off, it would be awesome."
Specific Champion Stuff

Q: I hate to be that guy but are we going to see more of a story between jayce and viktor...
A: "I'm with you - waiting sucks. Trust me, nobody is more excited about continuing the stories of your favorite champs than me and the writing team. Generally speaking, though, we've taken faction events like the Freljord event as a way of telling new stories about your favorite champions. I would wager that someday, there might be a similar event for other factions, such as Piltover and Zaun."

Q: Why are Zac and Twitch friends? Like How did this alliance come to be?
A: "They have a lot in common. They were both the results of science gone awry, and they are both generally happy dudes. As for how they met, you'll have to ask Harrow."

Q: Question for you ransom ive played renekton for a long time now and find that hes probly my best champ but were he sits as far as the lore goes is it in the right place like i undertand that hes brothers with nasus but is there more to it then that..?
A: "I love Renekton, too! You guys can safely assume that we are generally working behind the scenes to move the stories of your favorite champion forward."

Q: Quick question - How do you feel about Aatrox now that he's in game, especially in regards to how his story and gameplay clash? To elaborate; your story for Aatrox painted him to be a kind of fighter who focused on rallying his teammates, but his gameplay doesn't reflect that at all. Is that troubling for you, or are you fine with the clashing of gameplay and story?
A: "We try our best with every champion, and ideally, theme and gameplay are always a perfect match. I think Aatrox delivers on the fantasy of being a powerful war demon - and that passive is terrifying in a way that really suits the big guy. I think you make a good point that his lore would seem to suggest that he have more abilities that rally his allies, and it was definitely a point of dicussion for the people who worked oh him. Personally, my feeling is that I want to make sure that the gameplay of a champion is rock solid, and not to write anything that would interfere with the kit. But we also want to tell a cool story. Sometimes these things are in perfect harmony, sometimes there is friction. That's the job."

Q: I'm not sure if this was asked before, and you'll probably gloss over it, but when are champions with outdated backstories getting fixed? I mean Maokai, Brand and Nocturne, whose lores don't make any sense right now since the places in their lore are no longer the same.
A: "We're working on it, but I don't have a timeline for you. Generally speaking, most of the "broken" things about our lore are being worked on. But we want to take the time to do them properly."

Missed Archtypes or future ideas

Q: Hmm. What are your thoughts on another ninja? There's still creative and lore room for more, right? Perhaps a lone ranger (possibly with a light-themed ult) against Zed--but to a lesser extent against the Kinkou? Or perhaps pursuing a deep desire to purge Valoran of darkness?
A: "If it were up to me, there would be twenty more ninjas. And there's no rule that says there won't be another - but as I said earlier, it has to be the right character. Zed was a no-brainer because we had never done an evil ninja master, and he is the best evil ninja master we could make. 
EDIT: Forgot to mention that none of the other ninjas truly delivered on the shadowy deceptive fantasy of a ninja, although Akali does have the shroud and the blink. Which is another reason why we made Zed."

Q:There's one notable archetype that is. sadly, neglected: The wizened old badass. Zilean is the closest we've got now, and he's not quite as awesome as he could be. So. long story short, WILL League Ever see its own Gandalf or Granny Weatherwax?
A: "All I can tell you is that I personally would love to see something along these lines. But having pitched a ton of new champion concepts here, it would have to be the right character at the right time with the right stuff. And that is like catching lightning in a bottle. Sometimes it happens, as it did with Vi. It actually took Vi quite a few tries to become approved as a champion - but once we figured her out, it all came together really quickly."
Q:When will we see a new yordle champion!? ;_;
A: "Obviously, we are never, ever going to stop making yordles. So the answer to this question is always the same: Soon(tm)."

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