Red Post Collection: Aurelion Sol Q&A, March Early Sales, Ryze Rework in the works, and more!

Posted on at 12:11 AM by Moobeat
Today's red post collection includes the Aurelion Sol Q&A, March early sales available through March 21st, Meddler and Reav3 noting a Ryze rework (including model & VO) is in the works, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

March Early Sales

"The March Early Sale is officially here! To kick things off, the following non-Legacy skins from the past 4-6 months are going on sale from March 18 00:00 PST through March 21 23:59 PST!"
Looking ahead, April's weekly sales and early sales have also been announced!

Ryze Rework in the Works

With all this talk on the mid year mage update and upcoming champion updates for Taric and Yorick, Meddler also commented that they have a rework for Ryze planned!
"We do have a rework for Ryze planned. It's likely it'll be after the mage update though, we'd like to both take the time to try and (finally) get it right and would like to bundle at least some degree of visual update with the gameplay changes. That's pushed the timeline back beyond what we were originally thinking."

Reav3 added they plan to update his model, voiceover, and splash art as part of update:
"Plan is for him to get a model and VO update as well. So new splash and new skin splash would be part of that."
Reav3 continued:
"Probably not Sion/Poppy level, most likely Gangplank/Tristana Level"
he continued:
"The amount of design change might be the size of Poppy/Sion if we feel he needs it, his overall theme/lore doesn't really need a full reboot though, just a modernization, like the GP case."

When asked about the timing and if this will effect the large scope Yorick rework currently in development, Reav3 noted it would not as there are two different groups at work here:
"Correct! While there is a possibility that Ryze comes out before Yorick, they won't effect each others timeline as they are 2 separate groups. The Ryze update will be handled by the team working on Taric, while the team that did Poppy is working on Yorick. Some of the members that worked on Taric have already started some early work on Ryze."
He continued (1/2):
A rework on that scale would take quite a while wouldn't it? Are we probably looking at a Ryze rework sometime next season then? I know you guys don't like to speculate about release dates, just curious.
Depends on how fast the design comes along. We probably wouldn't completely re-imagine him, just modernize him, so the concept/narrative time would be much shorter then something like Sion/Poppy for example."
"There are 2 separate VGU groups. So it will be going on at the same time as Yorick. Not sure which will come first as MinionMancer characters tend to be much heavier on scope."

Meddler Grab Bag - Zed, Illaoi, and  Hexdrinker & Maw

Next up is Meddler with an assortment of red posts!
When asked about Zed, Meddler commented that they are potentially looking to reduce his lower rank Q and W damage:
"Usual disclaimer: Win rates, pick rates and ban rates are useful information, but we don't believe they should drive balance decisions. They should certainly be part of the conversation though, particularly when broken down into more applicable stats (e.g. win rate for experienced players over sufficient patches to generate a large sample size). 
With that out of the way we do think Zed's too strong at present. The things we're currently looking at as problems to address are his damage early and insufficient windows when W is down for his opponents to play around. Possible solutions there right now look like lower Q damage below rank 5 (55-235 instead of 75-235?) and higher W CD below rank 5 (22-14 instead of 18-14?)."
Meddler continued:
"If you want a bit more detail on how we approach using stats this article's a good starting point: 
I'm not saying stats aren't relevant, but that you get better balance by using them appropriately as one of the factors you consider."
When asked if they have any plans for Illaoi, Meddler noted:
"Potentially before the mage rework. We're trying some stuff at the moment that's showing some initial promise (shorter E Vessel duration so you're not waiting forever to start normal play again, faster tentacle spawns during that reduced duration, shorter spirit lifetime, removal of the 'hit Illaoi to reduce the spirit's life mechanic since that's not well communicated and is often just a trap)."
Meddler also commented they are tentatively looking at Hexdrinker and Maw of Malmortius for nerfs in 6.7!
"We're considering toning down Hexdrinker and/or Maw in 6.7." 

MYMU - Smaller Changes 

When asked about smaller level changes in the future mid year mage update, Reav3 added:
"Yes. Syndra, Veigar, Fiddlesticks and many others will likely get small non-art changes for the Mage roster project. These will be similar to the Lucian/Twitch/Ezreal changes made during the marksmen update, though some will actually be larger than those were."
GreaterBelugaWhale also replied to a question about Swain, noting:
We have been exploring some stuff on him, such as pushing Q and E further from each other as currently they are both basically just "Dot a unit", but finding improvements we are happy with short of a full VGU are proving difficult
Reav3 added:
"I think we just learned with the juggernaut update that trying to do a small update to a champion that needs a larger update doesn't result in a successful update. This is why we passed on swain for the Mage update. Swain needs work but probably more then one ability with minor art changes can solve."

Aurelion Sol Q&A

To start us off, here's Riot Brightmoon with an introduction to the Aurelion Sol Q&A:
"The Rioters behind the Star Forger’s creation are here to answer all of your cosmic questions! 
Explore more Aurelion Sol info here:
The Star Forger ReturnsChampion RevealChampion BioChampion Insights

UPDATE - the Champion team on Aurelion Sol has done their best answering questions and Ithink we've hit on the majority of questions you've upvoted. If you have more burning questions please continue to upvote them and we'll check back in a few days to answer!"
As usual, I've sorted the questions out by similar topics! Enjoy!


When asked why the decided to make Aurelion Sol's passive visible while he is in brush, Rabid Llama  explained:
Exactly why did you guys decide to let his passive be visible in a bush?
Hey there! I'm sure this question is going to get asked a lot / upvoted a ton, so I thought I'd tackle it first. 
TL;DR: Aurelion's passive is visible in brush so that it's clear and understandable to his opponents, but also because I'm interested in finding out just what happens when a character bends the rules around vision. 
First off, to be totally clear (for other readers) - if Aurelion is in brush, his character model is invisible like anybody else. Can't be targeted or basic-attacked. Only his stars will loop out of the brush, giving the enemy a very good idea of where exactly he is. 
That said: 
Aurelion's stars do a lot of damage - enough that getting hit by an invisible one out of a brush would be a pretty big deal. This presents us with a choice - we can make the spell both strong and invisible, which is unfair (we don't like unfair very much), we can make the spell weaker and invisible, which is lame (we wanted Aurelion's stars to be a big deal), or we can make the spell strong but visible, which is inconvenient (Aurelion can't hide in bushes). That's an oversimplification, but it's the sort of spectrum of choices that we have. 
Given that, I decided to lean hard into the "strong but visible" camp. Present the counterplay clearly to the opponent at all times, and if they fail, or Aurelion succeeds, then Aurelion gets to win
The second part to the decision has to do with a desire to test the limits of the rules of the game. Given that Aurelion was shaping up to be a big, boisterous, magnificent spectacle of a character, it made me think that maybe this was the first character in League to not be sneaky. A star dragon does not crouch in a bush waiting to pounce, he soars above his enemies and rains down the heavens upon them. 
I'll admit that this is (perhaps) my curiosity as a game designer getting the better of me. But I believe that providing new and different gameplay experiences is one of the jobs of a champion designer, and that we should always challenge assumptions. 
So what happens to the game when a character can't hide? What kinds of things can their kit do instead to compensate? What happens to their playstyle when I tell the player that standing still, ever, is a bad idea? What gameplay comes out of being out of vision (so, not targetable) but having your position given away? I'm excited to find out :) 
All that said - I stand by my decision as it is, but I'm also aware that I might just be wrong
If Aurelion comes out and he just isn't finding success because his stars give away too much information, then I'm absolutely open to re-evaluating. League is great in part because we get the chance to take risks and adjust if they don't work out. But players are clever - I'm pretty sure once Aurelion is out there, you guys will figure out how to work around his vision game pretty darn quickly. 
Finally, just so you guys know, if I were to change it later on I would probably go with "Passive stars are visible only when Aurelion is visible. Toggling on W makes them visible on their own, like missiles". This is in part because "in brush" and "out of vision in fog" are so similar to the opponent's view. 
Thanks for reading this far - I went with a long post because I know this is a big topic with a lot of players across the world :) "
Rabid Llama continued:
Having Aurelion's stars visible isn't really the issue to me. It's the fact that their visibility is inconsistent with other skills in the game, i.e. Nunu's ult and Sion's Q (there may be others, but I'm not aware of them). Both of these skills can be channeled in the bush and unleashed when you can't see them. So, if you want Aurelion's stars to be visible, great, but BE CONSISTENT.
I agree that it's inconsistent, which is unfortunate. I feel pretty strongly that skills should telegraph clearly, and if it were up to me Nunu and Sion would work differently - I was actually surprised when I found out after release that Sion's Q indicator didn't draw out of brush. 
It's difficult to change characters once they're out. There's a lot of "grandfathering" in, since their players come to depend on those quirks. That's why we're starting with stars visible - we can try this out, and it's much easier to change them back in line with Nunu/Sion than it would be to do it the other way around."

Rabid Llama  continued:
Heres an idea, you can still see them from a bush, but you gain vision of them only when within 100 units of his orb range. Numbers can be changed but i feel like this would just feel better while not making them op if in a bush
Another reasonable suggestion, though it runs into a bit of a strange edge case where the Aurelion player isn't ever quiiiite sure if the enemy saw them or not. That's why I prefer the all-or-nothing approach a little more, if we were to go with hiding stars - sweeper-ing a brush and then standing in it, you should be 100% sure the enemy cannot see you or your stars. 
Getting the player to understand what the enemy can see is really difficult in League since there's no good way to do direct feedback on it. It's why we frequently fall back to the red exclamation mark particle, which is too noisy for all but the most major of visibility mechanics."

When asked about Aurelion Sol's visibility during E, Rabid Llama commented:
Aurelion Sol wont just pop up on your minimap if he's flying right?
Nope - he's more visible than usual, but it's not global. Basically, if he's in your (or a ward's) vision radius, he'll show up, even on the other side of a wall. But he can see over the wall, too, so you're gonna have a staredown."

As for other types of "flight" in the game, Rabid Llama  commented:
I get that he's a star dragon but why not make him fly? And will there ever be a true flying champ in league? I know he "flies with his e" but I mean hovering over the ground at all times.
We've poked around with kits having that kind of flight in the past, and even on Ao Shin and Aurelion - either permanent flying or a long-duration toggle or being able to hop walls really often. Unfortunately, it does gross things to melee opponents, since they can just never hit you more than once. Going over walls is so powerful that having a character that 1) can ignore walls and 2) has a vision radius is already like 80% of a champion's regular power budget. 
I think some kind of pure-support character could pull it off (e.g. spotter zeppelin), but they'd end up being even more niche than Bard, and for Aurelion we wanted something more straightforward than that."

As for Aurelion Sol's R "Voice of Light", Rabid Llama  commented:
Why did you guys that specific ult? 
Compared to the rest of his kit, it seems linear or rushed, I mean its cool, but I was expecting some soul, star crushing black hole type ult. 
What happened? And why Voice of Light, I dont quite understand it since there isnt much reference to that in the lore.
Yeah, the ult was actually kind of the last thing to fall into place on the kit, and I think players on on point talking about how it's a little underwhelming. Lemmie explain.
TL:DR; We wanted to focus power on the P/W, so the R had to either be (relatively) weak or complicated. Went with an ult that's mechanically really helpful for the character, but thematically pretty lame. 
For this kit, we wanted to focus as much on the Stars of his Passive and W as we could. 
We found that we had a lot of fun, novel gameplay in a simple mechanic, but that it needed to hit pretty hard to be satisfying. So, when it came time to pick an ult, we didn't have a lot of power left to spare. 
Now, a Star Dragon should probably do something really, really flashy with his ultimate. Like, biggest-thing-in-the-game flashy. And we tried a half dozen different things trying to find it. The trick is, something big and flashy has to have a big impact to feel right, which means more power. 
A straightforward powerful ult (Ziggs, Lux) spends a lot of a character's power budget in one place - not a good fit, since we already had a lot of Aurelion's power earmarked for his W. 
The alternative is something like Nunu ult - powerful but conditional. You have to jump through hoops to make it work, which lowers its effective power without lowering its potential impact. Great! Let's do that! 
That's when complexity budget (the cousin of power budget) comes in. In playtest, we found that Aurelion was really hard to play well. His damage depended on his positioning game, and for a champion with no in-combat mobility, that game took a lot of thought. Trying to also do crazy channeled ults or weird strategic things while managing that got really difficult fast. It also made him very feast-or-famine - either he was on point with W and whatever crazy Ult, or he wasn't able to pull off either and we useless. 
After much gnashing of teeth (muuuch gnashing of teeth), I settled on the current ultimate more for game design reasons than for character design reasons - it had the mechanics the character wanted. Burst damage, check. Long-range damage, check. 
Added safety (so you can screw up that positioning game a little and not instantly die), check. 
There's a little bit of character design in there, though. We're hitting the "breath weapon" trope in a way that's a little bit different - that's where the name comes from. It's not "Breathof Fire", it's "Voice" - a much more refined thing than breath - "of Light" - a substance with much more purity than mere fire. 
In my headcanon, Aurelion holds the very fires of creation, the light that ignites suns, inside himself, and with a single spoken word can spark creation. Very "let there be light". 
So yeah, this ult exists to round out the character, to let him adapt to more situations and provide utility for his team even when struggling or behind. Mechanically, I'm pretty happy with it. Thematically, I'm sad I couldn't figure out how to make something more epic work out. 
Hope that answers your question, because I wrote a whole lot of words by accident >_>"

Rabid Llama  also answered a series of questions on Aurelion Sol's gameplay, noting:
What was the biggest influence in this champion and how the kit works?
The two biggest focuses for me on the game design side were fluid movement (to really make his tail look great) and effortless wielding of immense power. Tried a lot of things, but the orbiting stars hit both points wonderfully - constantly moving the character is your whole focus, and he doesn't have to cast a spell to summon the power of the stars, he just has it. (Things cost mana "because video game")
What is your favorite build path for this champion, and why?
He really likes the mage-tank items - Rod of Ages to get your mana total and tankiness up, Rylai's ASAP after that, boots of swiftness for the in-combat movement speed. From there, either Abyssal if you're dying a lot, or Void Staff if you're not, since his target selection isn't great and he frequently ends up positioning like a Marksman does, grinding his stars through the frontline first.
What lane do you like to play the champion, since he can do at least mid and jungle at this time?
He's meant to be a mid, but jungle is an interesting spot - hoping it ends up being a powerful but secondary role. We've tried him top, but he gets shut down pretty hard by certain matchups, and we've tried him support, which might actually be good right now, but in theory the character needs gold to spend on AP.
What was your idea behind his ultimate, seeing that a lot of people find it underwhelming for a star dragon yet it works perfectly in his kit?
Answered this with many words above, but TL;DR this ult is a "toolkit" ult that serves to make the mechanical goal of making the character more reliable and versatile, but misses on the goal of being flashy enough to befit a star dragon
What do you find is the most unique part of this champion, other than he's the first dragon and he has 3 stars circling him?
I love that his Q is technically an infinite-range basic ability, and that it scales significantly in size over distance, both things we've never done before.
What was your favorite part of creating this champion? (like his art,or creating his kit, voice work etc?) 
Favorite part was probably getting the voice auditions back and hitting the one we picked. Gave me chills, and I knew we were really on to something :)"


When asked how they went from a Storm dragon with the original Ao Shin concept to a Space dragon with Aurelion Sol, FauxSchizzle  explained:
How did you go from a storm dragon to a space dragon?
"Great question! It was a loooong process (over a year!) and in interest of answering more questions I'll be brief about it. Pretty much the entire team that worked on the storm dragon concept had moved on to other projects within Riot. Sometime last year, our DNA pod (Design-Narrative-Art) was asked if we felt comfortable picking up the dragon. Since most of the original vision holders had moved on, we decided to start with a brand new thematic and basically start from scratch. We wanted to find something new, something uniquely league. So we iterated. A lot. During the course of our natural brainstorming time, we hit on the idea of a cosmic star-forging dragon with the personality of a rock star. We had loads of support from our colleagues (other designers, artists, and senior narrative folk) who helped us craft Aurelion Sol. "
Rabid Llama added:
"To add to that, we looked at other spins on dragon - stone dragons, smoke dragons, faerie dragons - but space seemed to capture the right feeling of vastness and power and wonder that a dragon like this deserves. Once we hit on that, it was the obvious choice."

When asked the origins of Aurelion Sol's name, FauxSchizzle commented:
Can we get some insight into how his name came to be? Was Aurelion derived from aurora, and then Sol came from the Latin for sun? Did you guys have any other names for him before deciding to go with Aurelion Sol, which is pretty well-suited for a champion of his... ego.
Actually, you're pretty in the ballpark. 
We tried a bunch of other names, but none had the grandeur of Aurelion Sol.
Iomede and Phaxmallion come to mind as names that were floated but didn't really grab our interest.
Rabid Llama added:
RL: In my head, Aurelion came from "Aurum" which is latin for gold (which is seen in its chemical symbol, Au). So the name is "Golden Sun" with a bit of flair thrown on :)
Aurora is also latin, and "aur-" is apparently "to shine", so it's all from the same root."

As for Aurelion Sol's kit and if it was always designed with a cosmetic entity in mind, FauxSchizzle  explained:
Was Aurelion Sol ever not a cosmic entity? 
And did Aurelion Sol ever have a kit that didn't have to do with stars?
Aurelion Sol was born a cosmic entity. I think all of his kit iterations had some sort of star mechanic on them in some way."

As for Aurelion Sol's visual inspirations, lonewingy  explained:
what were Aurelion Sol's visual inspirations? I see some resemblance with Thanos from marvel comics and with Deathwing from wow
I can answer the first question :D as I iterate on Aurelion Sol, I usually looked up some real life references. I mixed some human, feline and reptilian features. I chose the colors close to resemblance of space, so I looked up tons of nebula, night sky etc pictures. The Deathwing and Thanos feel you are getting is the overall character package of Aurelion Sol. Both Deathwing and Thanos have the same feel of an all powerful being who's deservedly arrogant"
lonewingy  continued, explaining why Aurelion Sol doesn't have traditional dragon wings:
What was the thinking behind not giving him actual wings like other western type dragons?
We wanted something different from Shyvana and Summoners Rift Dragon :)"

Riot TreblMuffin  also shared a favorite memory from the design process - making Aurelion Sol's sounds!
"Early on in creating a palette of sounds for "Space Dragon", we used this cool homemade trash can instrument with metal wires bolted across it as well as some metal fencing. We spent hours bowing and hitting this thing with a violin bow. There were some fantastic organic, otherworldly sounds that were produced. 
That was my favorite bit of Aurelian Sol :)"

When asked about Aurelion Sol voiceover lines that didn't make it, FauxSchizzle shared:
Share some with us? Aurelion got so many fun lines, I am sure you had some good ones that didn't end up making it xP
We whittled this script down significantly. But a couple that didn't make the cut: 
"There's so much more to a star than what one can perceive with 'eyes.'" 
Malphite taunt: "Elementals. Act like they own the place." 
"Planetary life. The insufferable by-product of mildly dim suns.""


As if Aurelion Sol considers any other champions as strong as him, FauxSchizzle  commented:
Aurelion Sol seems to think most of the champions are sub-par and mediocre. Does he have any friends or think of anyone as a great entity (besides himself)?
I would think he considers Bard on "his level". Nagakabourous as well."
FauxSchizzle continued:
How does Aurelion know Nagakebouros, did they fight? or did he just see Nagkebouros devour a cosmos?
They have encountered each other before."
When asked about Aurelion Sol's relation to Bard and Kindred, FauxSchizzle  shared:
What is Aurelion Sol to Bard and what is Bard to Aurelion Sol? Same with Kindred (what are they to him and him to them).
Also, who is more powerful? Bard or Aurelion Sol?
Good question! Both Bard and Aurelion Sol are cosmic entities. While they may not have any familial ties (in the terrestrial/traditional sense), they certainly are aware of each other. I can't say which is more powerful at the moment because Bard is so mysterious, plus it's like comparing apples to bags of air.
In regards to Kindred, they represent death. Even celestial beings must end in some way at some point. I wonder what Kindred would look like to an entity like Bard or Aurelion Sol."
and his thoughts on Soraka, Rabid Llama noted:
Couldn't technically he be friends with Soraka o.o.. Star Forger....Star Caller?
I think his interaction line with her ("Twinkle, twinkle little star, do you wonder what you are?") implies that he at least knows something she doesn't :)"

When asked if other dragons descended from Aurelion Sol, FauxSchizzle  noted:
Lore question: Are all dragons descendants of Aurelion Sol? Would that make him the progenitor of all dragons?
They way that I've thought about it is that matter imitates the shape of greater energies, similar to how a logarithmic spiral is found in a nautilus shell and a galaxy."

As for what he means in his VO quotes about just "Targon", FauxSchizzle noted:
"Targon refers to the empire -- the Aspects collectively. (Not an individual person).
The Short Story takes place before the Fall of Shurima."
FauxSchizzle continued:
Are Targonians descended from humans or are humans descended from Targonians? Or are they two sperate races al together?
I believe Targonians and humans are two separate races."

He continued:
From his lore story, he clearly wants to do away with Targon (whatever on earth that is) and he believes himself to be much better than humanity. Which might be true lol But my question is, would it be possible for a human to sincerely impress him or even strike up a friendship with him? For all his hubris, I don't think I'd describe him as evil or malicious....and some of the things he's said makes me think he's not above interacting with us terrestrial beings. I'm just curious about how he'd interact with the denizens of Runeterra outside of being controlled by Targon.
I think the right mix of personality, passion, and intelligence would endear a person to Aurelion Sol. He's definitely not evil or malicious in my book."" 

As for how Aurelion Sol knows the names of Leona and Diana, FauxSchizzle  commented:
Aurelion knows Leona and Diana's names, is this due to the aspects inside of them or due to Aurelion keeping track of Targonians throughout the cosmos?
I think it's a little bit of both, to be honest. He can see the Aspect within, but also hears their chorus-will through the star-gem crown." 

When asked about Aurelion Sol's thoughts on  places in Runeterra besides Mount Targon, Rabid Llama  commented:
So what does Aurelion Sol think of places besides Targon specifically? Would like to hear how he thinks of Demacia and Noxus, for example.
I think that he's somewhere between amused, curious, and impressed by what these little lifeforms have accomplished. It's the mortals that aspire to godhood that rub him the wrong way."

FauxSchizzle  also commented on Aurelion Sol's age in relation to the void:
Aurelion Sol's Bio introduces the idea that he is familiar with the Void (or at least creatures from it), has faced it before, and is opposed to it.
My first question is: Was the Void (and the creatures in it) created before Aurelion Sol, is Sol older, or are they contemporaries?
My second questions is: Are there other entities as old as Aurelion Sol out there in space?
Aurelion Sol is probably much older than the Void. There are, indeed, other entities out there."

As for favorite VO lines, Rabid Llama  shared:
What are your favorite lines for Aurelion Sol?
I think his pick line ("Naturally.") sums his whole character up in just one word and a fantastic delivery. 
My other favorites are his specific champion taunts - the first Leona and third Ryze ones are hilarious, and the Soraka one gives me the chills. 
Really, I love the writing for Aurelion, but his English VO just completely nailed it. So happy with how that turned out. "


FauxSchizzle  Group Questions #1:
Couple Questions:
1) It seems like Aurelion Sol represents a level of narrative power creep that makes everything else in League seem insignificant by comparison. How do you think adding a character who routinely creates and annihilates stars impacts the satisfaction and power fantasy for other characters like Garen whose biggest claim to fame is that he is pretty tough and can spin around swinging a sharpened stick without getting dizzy.
Personally, I've always been attracted to the sheer breadth of storytelling possibilities inherent within League and Runeterra. I do not think that having cosmic entities diminishes more intricate stories of gallantry or wickedness that mortals could tell. When we create champions in the myth/celestial space, I find that it opens the world to explore further types of stories and bigger, grander experiences. Obviously, not every story needs an Aurelion Sol-level character, nor would it be appropriate for him or Bard to show up often. But when they do show up, it's a big deal.
2) Why was the choice made to expand the scope of League from Runeterra to intergalactic?
The people of Mount Targon -- like the Rakkor, for instance -- do not travel to space in starships or anything. They are human and bound to this world in the same manner as other factions.
The Aspects, however, are more like spiritual entities that exist out of time, potentially in other planes of existence. They multiple “possess” hosts on different worlds and use them as their avatars. They don’t have spaceships, so swords and spears (and firearms) are still the de-facto weaponry on each world.

2a) Do you feel that Runeterra is developed enough that their comparatively petty conflicts feel significant against the scale of the Targonians.
I believe that Runeterrans and Targonians alike have their own agendas. It all depends on the scope of the story being told.

2b) Is this a choice to open up the ability to use the IP for other future projects without stepping on the toes of League players?

FauxSchizzle Group Questions 2:
I'm here to reclaim my stolen legacy full list of Aurelion Sol inspirations! ;P
I also wanted to ask:
-Is there any funny bug that you guys encountered while tesying Aurelion?
Not really any funny bugs I can remember, but at one point his body was just a chain of minions, I believe. This was before we'd prototyped out the proxy rig, and when we looked at him in game and it's just a bunch of floating minions, you're like... yeah. At one point during Kindred's creation, the early prototype was lamb with corki just flying around her in circles. That was another "yeaaaaah" moment.
-Did you guys need to ditch any ability concept once the theme of Space Dragon was chosen?
Not really. Aurelion Sol's process was unique in that we started with wanting to make a dragon. In many other cases, we start with a kit hook. So this was a bit of a reverse from previous ideations in terms of how we shaped the champion.
-How did the concepts evolve throughout development? The Champion Insights has a ton of cool artwork, but even the closest thing seems a big jump.
A lot changes from concept art to communicate power/personality and when you actually put the character in game, especially in terms of color, targetability, and mechanics.
-How does Aurelion feel on other cosmic or supernatural beings such as Bard? Is he aware of the Kindred? Being someone who has been around for such a long time, I'm sure he has some good and big knowledge.
This has been answered elsewhere.
-How has the enslavement from Targon affected him? Does he regret the death of some of his victims at what he most likely feels are the orders of fools?
Aurelion Sol's grown tired of his servitude to Targon. He's chafed, but hasn't gone full uncaged fury. One of the things we loved about his personality is that he's refined and regal. He's not willing to blow his top or tip his hand emotionally.
-There's a key moment on Panth's story where the constellation of Pantheon disappears -- dod Aurelion make those stars specifically for this purpose? Did the Targonians actually did that on purpose to keep him in place? Since his story has a very tragic moment for him when he defies them.
I can't speak to this.
-Who did Aurelion Sol's theme? It's freaking cool! What were inspirations/ideas that helped create it?
While I didn't create the music, I can share some of the playlist I listened to while writing the character.
Angels and Airwaves -- Star of Bethlehem
Pink Floyd -- One of These Days
Invisible Conga People -- Cable Dazed
Jay Z and Kanye -- No Church in the Wild
Muse -- Starlight
Third Eye Blind - Carnival Barker (instrumental)
Pink Floyd -- Shine On, You Crazy Diamond
Banks -- Waiting Game
Johann Johannsson -- the Beast (Sicario soundtrack)
Angels and Airwaves -- Reel 5 (New Blood)
Ben Khan -- Savage
David Bowie -- Blackstar
Lastly, thanks a lot guys for bringing this champ to life: He is really something different, and boy he surely has a great personality!
Thanks for reading! ^_^
edit: moar David Bowie was on the playlist, but only Blackstar after it came out. We were heartbroken the day we learned of his death."

FauxSchizzle Group Questions 3:

So given the fact that stars in Runeterra seem to be primarily dragon made, what special qualities do they have? Do they become black holes like stars irl, are they subject to certain rules, anything like that?
They are very similar to stars in our world, albeit crafted by visceral magic from a creature spawned of such power. The dragon known as Aurelion Sol leaves a tiny bit of himself in each and every star he creates. Stars can die naturally, and this natural cycle does not bother him. He can "fix" stars he has crafted in the past, but has most likely rarely done so. Aurelion Sol can see beauty in little flaws.
Aurelion Sol taunts Soraka about what she really is. Could you guys provide a little insight in to how Soraka works with this hanging question?
I cannot, I'm afraid. Soraka is a unique case, and I want to preserve the mystery of Aurelion Sol's knowledge of what Soraka might be.
Is Aurelion Sol unique, or are there other "celestial dragons" in the universe?
We toyed with the idea very early on that Aurelion Sol had "sisters" out in the cosmos, with their own unique talents. Aurelion's was stars whereas "gravity" or "dark matter" would be another's. This idea became what's known as an "artifact" during the development process, in which it means it fell away from being part of the champ's story. Regardless, there is only one star-forging dragon. There are other celestial entities, but whether or not they are dragons has yet to be seen. Most likely, though, not.
Is there any connection between celestial energies and magic as a whole? I'm assuming right now that one sorta sired the other but I dunno.
This is a really interesting question because it makes us dig into the nature of magic. I certainly feel that cosmic energies are a form or genre of magic, but whether or not all magic is celestial, I doubt it. Wish I could be more helpful here.
Were the space Targonians Runeterran native or was that just one of the planets they colonised? Aurelion's lore isn't 100% clear on that.
It's currently a mystery as to where and how the Targonians arose. Aurelion himself has suspicions that aren't 100% confirmed.
Also do the space Targonians have any kind of link to the darkin? That bat winged, horned, golden skinned child from Leona's lore is making me suspicious...
Ah, I can't speak to this as I didn't write the Diana piece. One can never be sure when it comes to Darkin, but I will join you in your speculation.
How is the relationship between Aurelion Sol and folks like Bard and Kindred? Do they know each other well? Hang out at each other's birthday parties? What's the deal here, if there is any?
Probably no big deal. Aurelion Sol and Bard have probably crossed paths before, both being celestial beings and whatnot, but I'm not sure as to the extent of that meeting at the moment. This would be an awesome story to tell in the future.
What's the celestial firmament? I mean of course it's what Aurelion Sol's making; the stars, but what is it fundamentally and how does it work? Also is there a link to the magical friction you guys mentioned when the Bard Q&A came around?
I will sync up with LopingCinder (the awesome writer on Bard) about this when I see him next.
Final question, though this is more about celestial stuff than Aurelion Sol himself. How do planes of existence and different dimensions work within this celestial context?
This is the kind of hobbyist astro-physics talk that makes my brain cry when I try to explain it. Right now, I would posit that Aurelion considers them rather interchangeably.
Do stars have some kind of "will" behind them? Soraka being guided by the stars and Ascension being described as a "gift" and a "blessing" makes me curious about that.
I am curious about this as well :) Aurelion Sol himself says that there is "so much more to a star than what one can perceive with eyes", which says to me that they are more than just pretty lights glowing in the darkness."

Need more on Aurelion Sol? Check out our PBE coverage!

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