Red Post Collection: God Fist Lee Sin AMA, Worldbuilding/Demacia Story AMA, & more!

Posted on at 3:04 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection includes a look at the recent reddit God Fist Lee Sin AMA and the  Worldbuilding / Demacia story AMA, as well as reminders on current promotions and more!
Continue reading for more information!

God Fist Lee Sin Reddit AMA

With the new God Fist Lee Sin skin testing on the PBE for release in the 7.7 Patch, the team that worked on this legendary skin jumped on reddit to host an AMA!
Here's RiotVe1vet to kick things off with - "We are the God Fist Lee Sin team, AMA!":
"Hey Reddit! We are the skins developers on God Fist Lee Sin. We wanted to take some time to today to answer your questions about the god himself or skins development in general! 
Here today we have:
  • Ribtibs1 - Character Artist
  • RiotPabro - Product Owner
  • RiotVe1vet - Development Manager
  • AdamUnicorn - Art Lead/VFX
  • MechaSeth - Art Lead/VFX
  • MIXX3R - Animator
  • Thermal_Kitten - Writer
  • RiotLoveStrut - QA
  • ElenaofTroy - Concept Artist
Here’s our obligatory AMA photo: 
See Lin you on the rift!"
As usual, I've arranged the more interesting AMA answers according to similar topics! Enjoy!

When for how long this legendary (1820 RP) tier skin has been in the works, RiotVe1vet commented:
How much time do you spend on making a skin of this level?
We've been working on Lee Sin since roughly beginning of December and just wrapped him up about 2-3 weeks ago. It takes a lot of time and iteration to figure out what the skin will be, especially a new thematic like this."
and when asked why these chose Lee Sin, she also noted:
Why Lee Sin?
It was a pretty organic decision, Lee Sin is a beloved champion across every region. We felt it was time he got something pretty big in terms of skins."
As for what inspirited the skin or the direction they take when creating it, RiotVe1vet commented:
I don't really have an accurate question but I wonder how a team gets to develop something of this scale with sucess i mean, there are alot of important aspects to take into consideration when boarding this problem and how it is solved is very crucial for success so, what were your priorities when developing this skin?
Ahh so this is... something we are still working on but what was really helpful for us during his development was having a super solid north-start mission statement. "Lee Sin is a god" guided everything, and at every iteration we asked "Does this feel godly?" If yes, good! If no, keep iterating it. We also practice ruthless prioritization on skins, we dig deep into the character to figure out the coolest possible moment and prioritize those features before working on anything else."
ElenaofTroy also commented:
I'm getting a lot of Avatar Aang vibes from this skin. Was the skin inspired by the show?
I would say, this archetype has deep roots. I was looking at a lot of primary reference, such as shaolin monks, Indian mythology, Buddhism iconography."
AdamUnicorn added:
Where did the inspiration for this skin come from? How long has it been a work-in-progress?
A lot of the inspiration for me came from how incredibly difficult and amazing a great Lee Sin player is. Encapsulating that moment of flash > Q > R > Q > E OMG OMG OMG is what inspired the God Fist for me"

As for how they landed on the color scheme for God Fist Lee SinRibtibs1 shared:
How did you decide on the color scheme for this skin?
The name of the game is try something, test it, try again :) we had our initial concept art, we made that, testing it, and then iterated until we landed on our golden god fist :)"
When asked what the most difficult part of the skin was to implement, RiotVe1vet commented:
What was the most difficult part of the skin to implement? How long do skins usually take to make (design, art, sounds, visuals, etc.)
We had a lot of trouble deciding on the color palette actually and we went through many... MANY iterations before we settled on his current colors. God Fist took about 4 months from start to finish"
MechaSeth also commented on Lee Sin having eyes with this skin:
So in this skin he have eyes right?
Technically, yes. Yes, he does have eyes. Bright, glowing eyes! But there is a difference between 'sight' and 'vision'."

When asked how the skin decides to play the several R animations, RiotVe1vet noted:
How is decided which ult animation plays?
It's randomized :P"
RiotLoveStrut added:
"There's actually a pretty-much-equal chance for all three of 'em to play! 33%/33%/34%. You'll just have to guess which one got the extra 1%. ;)"
RiotPabro added he also randomizes kicks and punches for his auto attack:
"He has kicks for both AAs and his ultimate in additions to punches. The animations randomize."

When asked about the choice of dance animation, RiotVe1vet commented:
Whose idea was the van Damme dance? That had me rolling when I saw it, childhood memories! I hate Lee, but you guys did good
It was our other animator, he was... adamant about the dance. Like, we had no discussion about it, he just said "I'm doing this." and then wandered away."
MIXX3R added:
"Our other animator, aka "sandwichtown", was super excited about doing the dance and totally went with it. He did some research on different dances beforehand, but we all thought it was perfect!"
As for how they approached the animation set as a whole, MIXX3R commented:
Hey MIXX3R.. how did you approach the animation for God Fist Lee sin?
First we usually do tons of different poses to get a feel for a new skin, what we call in animation "blocking". For God Fist we did research on so many things, but in the end decided that he should not have one specific martial arts style, but instead encompass many different forms of power. We looked at movies, anime, videos of moves, etc. and wanted to pick poses that conveyed that power. We did look a lot at Muay Thai Lee Sin for timing, as players really do love how he feels. We made his AA and spells hit on the same frame, but animated God Fist to be of a different flavor. Some of the moves we tried were too radical, or went past feeling like Lee Sin and we had to make changes. It was actually a very challenging skin to work on, and we took tons of feedback from Lee Sin mains and testers during the whole process! The team worked very hard through trial and error to create a new fantasy for Lee Sin that was new, but still felt like him. Our approach for him was to try anything and everything in the beginning and remove things that didn't hit the goal of making GOD FIST Lee Sin."

When asked about "skin lore" vs "champion lore", RiotVe1vet noted:
are skins "canon"? meaning, say, Risen Fiddlesticks...Does that skin take place in a world where fiddle was born to shurima? Or are skins made just to make them, with no point trying to give "life" to it?
Yep you're on the right track! Skins are slices of their own alternate fantasies. Kind of like the PROJECT: world or the Star Guardian world, but they're unrelated to Runeterra"
As for the "skin lore", RiotVe1vet reminded it isn't restricted by champion's original lore:
How did Lee Sin's lore affect this skin, what aspects did you have to work around when designing it?
Lee Sin's base lore is absent from this. In this skin he is a martial artist who earned divinity through rigorous training and hard work."
RiotVe1vet continued:
Aren't Gods meant to be mighty and effortless? Lee is the embodiment of work ethic
God Fist wasn't granted his powers, he earned his godliness through relentless, rigorous training"
MechaSeth added:
what is the basic idea behind god fist lee sin, is he kind of like ele lux or SG udyr, a lee sin in the future who's mastered his powers? or is he more of an alternate take on lee sin the way dark star thresh is an alternate version of thresh? And where did the idea for his cocky personality come from? I get the impression you wanted to do something that let devoted players feel good about showing off their lee sin mechanics?
He's a stand alone or alternate universe, so more along the lines of Dark Star Thresh. In this universe he is a master martial artist who earned his power through rigorous training and focus. He’s angry that he no longer has an opponent who can challenge him, and wanders the world in search of a worthy opponent."

When asked if this skin will be enabled in competitive play, RiotPabro shared:
Will the skin be banned from competitive? People are saying the Q animation is kinda weak/can't be noticed...
We've been working closely with the esports and the competitive playtest team to vet this, and have made many adjustments based on their recommendations. We've continued to tweak during the PBE cycle, and our hope is that is viable for competitive play."
AdamUnicorn also answered a question on the team working on the skin:
"We are the god fist lee sin team" wait, how many teams do you have that work on skins? :o
the skins team at large is a variety of developers all working on a number of skins at any given time. We are the specific group of folks who worked directly on this skin in particular."
As for if this same group of folks work on multiple skins together, AdamUnicorn added:
Are these teams actually the same all the time? As a team, which other skins have you developed before ?
They can change sometimes and be the same sometimes. It depends on the needs of the skins and the time we want to get them finished by. It makes it really awesome to work with a variety of developers but not so different everytime that you're always rebuilding relationships."
RiotPabro added:
"There are three skin teams that work together as a mega team called Personalization Content (we also make Wards, Summoner Icons, esport emotes, etc.) Each of the teams are working on several skins at the same time through various stages of development.
Internally, our team is called PC Green and skins we've produced in the past year and a half are: Dark Star Thresh, Infernal Diana, Star Guardian Poppy and Lulu, Project Katarina, Snowdown Graves, Bewitching Tristana and Morgana, Meowkai, and my two personal favorites: Candy King Ivern and Draven Draven :3."

A few Rioter's also explained more on their process or particular role on the team:

When asked about the toughest part of creating concept art, ElenaofTroy commented:
What was the toughest part about creating the concept art? It looks great, Keep up the good work
Solving problems! As a concept artist, you need to solve a lot of problems ( design, sometimes gameplay needs, fulfilling players expectations, overall emotional response) And it feels like you are going through this windy tunnel with your team, carefully carrying this initial spark that got you exited in the first place, and look out for a good spot you can place your foot next, so you still standing tall."
ElenaofTroy added:
what made you want to become a concept artist?
I enjoyed drawing imaginary worlds and characters, since i was very little. Carried this passion through school, then decided to go to art college to get some foundations. My degree says i'm a graphic designer, but after graduation i realized that i want to continue to drawing characters and other cool stuff as a full time job. This decision defined my future path as a professional concept artist."
As for programs used to model and such, Ribtibs1 shared:
what program do you guys use? is it still zbrush
I use a combination of Zbrush, Maya, 3D Coat, Photoshop, Xnormal."
RiotVe1vet also shared what the team might be looking for in concept artists:
You guys have been killing it with the recent skins that have come out, fantastic job. As for a question, what do you typically look for when hiring new artists, concept art in particular?
For concept in particular we look for lots of variety, exploration and breadth of design. When viewing portfolios for concept artists we really want to see the WIP as its crucial to see their decision making process :) Thomas is a great example -->"

Last up we have a series of group questions!

RiotVe1vet Group Questions 1:
Hello, I am a huge skin aficionado, and would desperately love to know the process that skins go through in order to be shipped out. Do skins need to be approved by everyone on the team, or just one director? Are there meetings to determine certain aspects of a possible skin with potential? How do you decide when to pull the plug on a skin a la Sewn Chaos Amumu and Blitzcrank? One more, about how long does it take to create a skin from idea to release?  
I'll try to break this one out and address all your points that I can! * Do skins need to be approved by everyone on the team, or just one director? So this a team effort. Generally the Product owner, in this case /u/RiotPabro pitches us on an idea. In this case it was just 'Lee Sin legendary' and there's a number of channels this can go through. We pitched him a bunch of ideas and in the end God Fist won out as the coolest idea- but the rest of development is many months of iteration and feedback until we all felt really good about the final product.  
  • Are there meetings to determine certain aspects of a possible skin with potential? This kind of is answered by my previous one, but we usually identify a theme or champion and have brain-storming sessions from here. This process is pretty organic so it can come about a couple of ways. In Lee Sin's case we identified the thematic, with some cool features and then had a meeting to determine our focus areas (making him feel like he was a god) 
  • How do you decide when to pull the plug on a skin? A skin usually doesn't get as far as the Sewn Chaos ones before we decide to pull it. Usually in the concept stage we can gauge team excitement and determine if we're going to move forward. 
  • How long does it take? For Lee Sin it took 4-5 months, a good amount of that was just figuring out what a god would look like in our game. Skins range anywhere from 7-8 weeks to 9 months for something like Elementalist Lux"
RiotVe1vet continued, answering a follow up question on spacing between skin relases:
Thank you this is pretty much what I wanted to know about most too. How do you balance starting with themes and starting with Champs so that you hit as many Champs as you can and don't do like 2 skins for one champ in a few months? Jw 
I'm still kind of shocked about the sewn chaos skins, I thought amumus esp was pretty good
We have kind of a rule of thumb to keep skins fairly spaced out as it is (at least 6 months+) but skins development cycles are long enough that we never have multiple for a single champion in flight at a given time. For thematics vs. champions it is super dependent on the idea... for Star Guardian we started with the idea of Jinx in the lineup and that it would be Star Guardian, but then we spent a long time figuring out who else would fall into that lineup. For Lee Sin, we started with just him and then explored ideas for the thematic"
RiotLoveStrut Group Questions 1:
I got a bunch of questions so sorry in advance for a wall of text 
First, personally I think the skin is pretty nice, I like how well combos look like they flow together on god fist lee sin, and the special quotes and animations when ward dashing or pulling off an insec are a really nice touch. 
  • what is the basic idea behind god fist lee sin, is he kind of like ele lux or SG udyr, a lee sin in the future who's mastered his powers? or is he more of an alternate take on lee sin the way dark star thresh is an alternate version of thresh? And where did the idea for his cocky personality come from? I get the impression you wanted to do something that let devoted players feel good about showing off their lee sin mechanics? 
  • whats the overall process for deciding who gets what skins at what tiers? ie: do you start the year going ok we want legendaries for lee, thresh, ashe, and we want to do project skins, arcade skins, dungeons and dragons skins, but you cant do a lee sin dungeon and dragon skin since we've decided hes getting a legendary? or do you start with group themes first then decide with the champions leftover what you want to do? or what. I imagine its pretty complex trying to serve as many champs as you can while still doing the best possible champs for specific themes. 
  • why has it taken so long for a few outlier champs to get any skins (and weren't getting reworks)? ie: Viktor or Cassiopeia, or until very recently Kog'maw, Zyra and Karthus? is it that they don't lend themselves well to many thematics, like I couldn't ever see Cass getting an arcade or project skin? or did you have to scrap skins for those champions at one point or another, leading to large gaps? 
  • Lastly pls give me a cool illaoi skin- maybe an elderwood skin or something along those lines, where you grow big ol trees/vines that whomp you like a redhead in harry potter? JS! I don't expect any answer to this one
I hope you don't mind a lot of my questions were more about skins in general than just GF Lee Sin
We usually start the year knowing that we want to make some skins for specific champs at specific tiers as well as certain thematics that we wanna hit, but things are never set in stone. There's always wiggle room to change things up in case concepts prove out that certain champs don't fit a thematic as well as we'd like or new ideas and pitches come up that make us go "Yeah, we have to make that." 
I can't talk about the exact specifics that go into choosing what skins get made and when for more outlier champs because there are so many data points that go into choosing what skins get development that I wouldn't be able to give you an accurate answer unfortunately. 
Behind those decisions are tons of factors that range from play rate (e.g. if we have a limited amount of resources, then we have to make crucial decisions about how to allocate those resources when we know that content for one champion will reach more players than content for another, and sometimes even take less resources to do so) to champion complexity (e.g. making a skin for a simple champion like Xin Zhao takes much less time and effort than making a same-tier skin for someone like Zac, who has a ton of unique qualities like multiple stretchy animations, submeshes, and glossy textures, which result in more resources being needed in order to make a high-quality skin) to gameplay state (e.g. this champion isn't at a state that we would like them to be at yet in terms of gameplay, so maybe we should hold off on a skin for now to avoid having to rework the skin in the near future). Sorry, I hope this helps a bit! :< 
All I can say is that the champs that haven't gotten skins in a while haven't been forgotten at all! There are mains for every single champion at Riot (including the beloved terror of top lane, Illaoi), so you aren't alone here in wanting skins for your favorite champions! They'll all get skins eventually. <3"
Note that not every response is included and some Rioters are still hanging around the AMA thread! Look for GOD FIST LEE SIN to launch on live in patch 7.7!

Worldbuilding / Demacia Story AMA

Following the recent Demacia lore update including new champion bios and stories, several Rioters on the Worldbuilding team jumped on reddit to answer player questions!
"UPDATE: That's all for today folks! We'll pop in on occasion throughout the day but this concludes the main segment of the AMA.
[AMA] We're the Worldbuilding team, here to talk about Demacia and Galio’s new groove. Ask us anything! 
Sup /r/leagueoflegends! We're the Rioters behind the most recently released stories on Universe, here to answer your questions about the kingdom of Demacia and the people who call it home. 
We recently launched a bundle of new story content around the champions Demacia. Check it out, then come back here and ask us anything. 
Joining us today are writers, artists, and more:
  • Jellbug
  • Dinopawz
  • RiotTigerLily
  • RiotRubinio
  • ReverendAnthony
  • riotwhren
  • Du_couteau
  • Hexadriven
  • LoveCommander
  • DyQuill
  • JohnODyin
  • Jaredan
  • RiotJoppRobin
  • wuddaheq
Let's do this thing."
As usual, I've grouped the AMA responses by topic for convenience:

Writing / Process

When asked about how hard it is to write while knowing they may not be able to return to that storyline any time soon, Jaredan commented:
When it comes to building these plot seeds (the Garen/Lux conflict, for instance), how do you deal with the fact that you may not return to this faction or this part of the world for months or even years? Setting something up for delayed payoff is a challenge - how do you keep the narrative fresh and consistent when you're switching between factions and stories?
One of our long-running issues is this very problem. We know we've had a habit of setting things up and then not moving them along. We're committed to changing that, but we do have to set the table before we can move from the starter and get to dessert. 
Things are in motion to get the various elements of Runeterra clarified and move some of those stories along. You saw some of that with Burning Tides and Shadow and Fortune, as well as the Shurima event, Bloodlines, and some of the bios and color texts that moved that storyline along too. Our answer is to try and make the payoff less delayed than it used to be."
Dinopawz added his own comments on the subject:
"Hi, that's a great question, and it's something we try to balance as we go. We try and touch on every faction as regularly as we can and set up stories - knowing that the original writer may not be the one to come back to it - in the knowledge that a payoff needs to come sooner rather than later. Switching between narratives is what keeps the writing fresh, and allows us to keep things interesting. It's like spinning plates, and we try not to set things up we know we're not getting back to for quite some time. We may not always be successful in that, because writers change or move on, and the original sentiment of how a story was to continue might be lost, but we try..."

On referencing old lore when they work on new stories, Dinopawz remarked:
How much do you guys reference the old lore when writing the new? Do you try to purposely find things to keep and trash or do you try not to think about it to explore an uninhibited new direction?
We do our best to try and honour the lore that's gone before, but sometimes that's just not possible when it contradicts a new direction we're taking with a faction/character etc. The default position I take is that I try and preserve whatever and as much I can, but where I have to cut, I cut or change in a way that still honours what went before as much as I can - in spirit if not in actual words."

RiotTigerLily expanded on how many people come together for art and lore concepts:
Are lores and art concepts made individually, as a group or all the department together? In other words are there any tasks were just one person deals with them? thanks.
It's always a group effort -- artists, game designers, writers, editors, etc. Everyone works together to make sure the character's story and thematic fits their gameplay and makes sense cohesively in Runeterra. Individuals may run point on a certain aspect of a character (head writer, lead game designer, etc), but it definitely takes a village to create or update a champion."

ReverendAnthony commented on the difficulty of keeping within the lines of a champion's personality when writing a new story for them:
One thing that undoubtedly makes your job difficult is that it's hard for characters to really change much--they're more or less static champions in the game. Additionally, you have to be careful that any story you write has staying power, since you might not get to revisit a champion for months or even years. 
Barring the occasional rework (i.e. GP, Sion), how do you introduce character development among characters that can't really "develop?" From a technical writing standpoint, what checks and limitations do you place on your stories to ensure they won't interfere with future stories? Does that make it significantly harder to take narrative risks (and if so, do you think it makes it harder to write compelling characters)? Do you find these limitations frustrating, or an exciting challenge?
It's certainly difficult. We're basically setting up the status quo for these characters, so we can then take them places and change them through proper stories. We just gotta get to the proper stories."
Jaredan added:
"It's not hard for characters to change, though it can be a challenge to match them up completely in and out of game. Burning Tides changed Gangplank and Miss Fortune fundamentally in the story world, while only Gangplank kept up in-game. All of the characters we create are done with an arc for them in mind in which they grow, discover truths about themselves, and explore the difference between their 'wants' and 'needs'. 
Ryze's recent update was done with a certain journey for him in mind. As was Poppy. As was Galio. As was Camille. We do have certain limitations in place (you won't see us making a new Champion that we will kill in the second act of the first story as an unexpected turn), but part of being creative is making limitations into positives. Many of the best ideas come from having to work your way out of a box without breaking it."

When asked why they write lore on a character by character basis, ReverendAnthony explained:
Why did you decide to rewrite lore on a character-by-character basis? I'm honestly disenchanted with the entire lore of League of Legends now, in part because I've been playing since Olaf release, and in part because of the dramatic shifts happening character-by-character. I would have been more comfortable with a complete re-write behind the scenes, followed by a new world rollout zone-by-zone. Why choose to do the lore alters one at a time? Hype?
Quite simply: there are only so many writers, and it wouldn't be feasible to just hold onto everything until all of it was done. If we waited until all of the characters were done before we released it all, there'd be no public-facing lore whatsoever for several years."

On how long it took for the sketches for each story, RiotRubinio explained:
What is the process of the art? And how long does it take to create a piece?
Specifically for these sketches, it was mostly a read story, have conversation with writer, draw type deal."

When asked about ingame voiceover influencing a story, Jaredan commented:
How much, if at all, game voice influence the new story?
I'll always look over the script/directly listen to the VO of the Champ as a triangulation on the core of the character. As editor and stakeholder for ChampUp bios/color text, it's my job to support the team and help make sure that the vision of the update either feels organic from the original character, or is making choices that are resonant and understandable in comparison. It's something I think the team is very good at doing, but it's good to have in mind when giving feedback. The VO is an important part of that process. We'll also drop in direct quotes from the VO into text, here and there."


On Demacia's mage hunting and anti magic opinions, Dinopawz explained:
I think I missed something, but what caused Demacia's literal "witch-hunting"?
Hey... Demacia was founded by survivors of the Rune Wars, so they were, understandably, a bit wary of magic going forward. In their minds they say mages and reckless magic use as things that almost brought the world to extinction. They found a safe haven from the things that almost ended the world, so don't want anyone to ruin that for them."

When asked about the city's interest in expanding, Dinopawz explained:
Is Demacia interested in expansion or are they content with protecting the land that they currently have?
Demacia is a very insular place, one that doesn't see the need to go conquering - since they are self-sufficient and, in their minds, feel they have everything they need. Noxus, on the other hand, has poor land that's doesn't suit farming and ensures they need to always be taking it from beyond. So you won't typically see Demacian raiding parties..."
Jellbug added:
"Demacians have little interest in expanding beyond their territory - they're pretty happy with their current land, which is full of abundant resources as well as stones that nullify magic."

When asked how Demacia keeps mages at bay, ReverendAnthony commented:
I believe Noxus doesn't get rid of their mages, how can Demacia survive conflicts without them ?
Armor and weapons made of magic-dampening steel helps a lot."

As for how Demacia felt about the reappearance of the city of Shurima, Jaredan reasoned:
How do the people of demacia feel about shurima returning to its former glory w/ the return of azir? How do they feel about shurimans in general? Are they enemies? Are the acsended seen as abominations by demacians?
Very, very suspicious. As shown in "The Bird and the Branch," news of the rebirth of the Shuriman capital has spread far and wide. The problem with a worldwide game of telephone is that the truth is hard to disseminate. Taliyah is racing home because she's worried a bird-god has risen to subjugate her family and her people. That's not true, if you ask Azir. But who has?"

ReverendAnthony was asked to explain Demacia's sense of justice:
What is Demacia's definition of "justice"? Because a lot of the things they do seem very unjust, like exiling mages just becausebthey were born with magic, or trying to exile Fiora's entire family because her father committed a dishonorable act (why not banish only him instead?)
I think their definition of "justice" has a lot to do with "tradition," which in a lot of ways is a fun word for "something that we do just because we've done it for the past few generations"."

On why Demacia had a College of Magic when mages were hunted down, Dinopawz elucidated:
Why is Demacia so anti-magic and yet has their own College of Magic? Does it suck (besides Lux of course)?
The Colleges of Magic is one thing that had to bite the lore dust... It didn't make much sense to have such an institution in a place that fears magic and regards it with great suspicion."
He added more about their military:
How does Demacia stay competitive militarily? Technologically they seem be even behind Bilgewater (who have developed gunpowder firearms.) 
Demacia's best soldiers use swords, spears and crossbows while places like Piltover are ages ahead. It also doesn't help that Demacia kinda shoots itself in the foot by denouncing magic outright.
Its warriors are among the best trained, disciplined and brave in the known world. They're the Delta Force of Valoran and that cuts a lot of mustard. Yeah, if they ventured out into the world, they might find it tricky to come up against an army with such weapons, but...there aren't really any armies with those kinds of weapons in large numbers. Each such weapon is pretty much handmade and isn't available in large numbers to make a difference. That might change in (Runeterran) years to come as technology spreads - and Piltover/Zaun's tech is super rare and not yet fully known beyond those cities.
On petricite and whether it was a renewable resource, JohnODyin explained:
Great job with this new stuff! I have a couple questions, especially about magic and how it works. First off, petricite- is it a renewable resource, or does Demacia have a limited supply given that it was said to come from fossilized trees? And how does it suppress magic exactly? Does it straight-up silence magic users like in games or is it more along the lines of making it difficult to concentrate? Lastly, does mana or something similar to it exist in the game's universe and not just the mechanics? As an enthusiast of this sorta thing, I'm really excited to hear more about magic. You have some good foundations! ^
It is a very finite supply. It's made from the Pillars of Demacia, the petrified wood around which their civilization was built. This stuff has to be used sparingly."


Dinopawz explained why readers may have interpreted Lux as a lesbian character:
Some people are saying Lux is a lesbian. Is this true or not?
Hi there, my take when writing Lux's bio and colour text was that the emotional conflict she feels growing up, and the sense of having to hide her true self have obvious parallels with a great many people. Stories are great in that people can take from them what they want, and though those parallels are there, for sure, it's not intended to explicitly say that Lux is gay. It's more about the arc of her journey as opposed to saying one thing or the other."

Jaredan also added:
"I think some people have found a strong affinity with her story of feeling different, harboring a secret that both gives her power, but also makes her afraid of how people she loves will react, as well as the society around her. That can certainly be compared to the struggles that many LGBTQIA folks have experienced, hence that affinity. However, this doesn't mean that Lux herself is actually lesbian."

On Katarina and Garen's relationship, Jaredan said:
Does Lux encourage Garen's relationship with Katarina? How much is Garen willing to risk to make a relationship with Kat work?
That's not something she's aware of. And neither is Garen or Kat, actually. It's a story we haven't done. Yet. If we do. I'm being very vague aren't I?"

ReverendAnthony informed us about the relationship between Garen and Lux:
I truly enjoyed Garens story and his relationship with his sister: a mix of love, fear, and denial.
What does Lux feel about Garen? Does she try and make up or comfort her brother's fears? Is she secretly a bro-con?
Props for the good read!
I think Lux loves him -- PLATONICALLY -- but she's also a little frightened of him. What would he do if he was put into a position where he couldn't deny the existence of her powers?"

On Lux's new VO and the denial of a relationship with her and Ezreal, Jaredan explained:
Since its kinda explicitly in Lux new voice lines, is that something you feel you should match in the lore or are ingame interactions just random eastereggs?
It's a mixture of stuff. We like to use the VO to hint at certain things, poke fun at others, and generally bring possibilities and flavor of who the Champ is. The game is, however, analagous to the story world and not always 1 to 1. Also, the Champ in-game is not always indicative of the character in the story world at any specific stage in their life."


ReverendAnthony helped give an idea of who went through the most iterations when writing the new stories by using Garen as an example:
Which new lore underwent the most iterations and what were some of the unused versions like?
Garen underwent a fair few iterations. Since he's our Captain America in many ways -- a genuinely heroic guy, emblematic of Demacian ideals, etc -- he was hard to get right in a way that didn't, hopefully, come off as too boring. I initially tried to make him more of a creepy zealot, but we pulled way back from that into what you see in the lore now."

Jaredan reinforced his earlier answer on Katarina and Garen's relationship:
When I was reading Garen's color story, I thought for sure it was leading up to a memory of Katarina. It was still amazing with the conflict with Lux, but does this mean, like Lux and Ezreal, that Kat and Garen are no longer part of any canon?
They're not, and never have been, lovers at this moment in the timeline."

In the same vein, ReverendAnthony also denied the existence of a relationship as of this point in the timeline:
When I was reading Garen's color story, I thought for sure it was leading up to a memory of Katarina. It was still amazing with the conflict with Lux, but does this mean, like Lux and Ezreal, that Kat and Garen are no longer part of any canon?
It just means that in Garen's timeline, the bio and his color text occur before any potential meeting with Katarina. 
We briefly had Katarina in his bio, but it felt kinda hamfisted to just shove it in -- you had to mention it and then move onto the rest of Garen's backstory, or you had to devote an ungodly amount of text to what ultimately is a romantic subplot. We decided it'd be better to explore that relationship in a proper story unto itself."

Dinopawz explained his view on Garen's kit as less magical and more magic-nullifying:
So Garen hate magic but this don't stop him for have magic shields and have "magic" ult Also is there in plans do some comics-like story? or it's reserved only for champion teasers?
I'd say Garen's kit isn't so much 'magical' as 'magic-nullifying' and that comes about through a measure of its innate properties as opposed to any enchantments placed upon them. As to comics, we'd love to do some more long-form comics! I love writing them, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!"

On Garen's changes with the new lore, RiotTigerLily stated:
Whats the thing that you feel changed for the better the most?
Much love btw <3
For me -- I feel like Garen changed the most. He's so much more complex now, as a character. He's wrestling with things and his situation is unsustainable. He's going to have to draw a line in his heart someday, or change -- and both of those options come with major consequences for him, what he's devoted his life to fighting for, and who he loves. He's got a lot more weight on his shoulders now... good thing they're so huge."


On Vayne's decidedly meaner actions in her new lore, RiotTigerLily explained:
Why did you decide to make vayne an asshole in her new lore?
I think she's been through a lot, and when people go through hard things, it's very difficult to choose grace over anger. She saw her parents murdered in front of her and no one would believe her when she told them there was dark magic behind the horrific act. So yeah, I think she chose to become a bit of an asshole in order to seek the revenge she wanted and to make sure no one would ever endure or lose what she did. Assholes can be heroes too :)"

ReverendAnthony added:
"Couple reasons:
  • Cause it's cool
  • Because Lucian and Vayne are very similar in terms of promise and characterization, and we wanted to differentiate the two and show a wider moral spectrum than you might be used to, especially for Demacia
  • Because people who do heroic things can be unlikable, and likable people can do un-heroic things
  • Because someone who goes around at night murdering beasts could subsequently turn into a frightening human being; if you can finish reading her bio and feel distanced or even scared of her, I'd consider that a win."
He went on to add:
People refer to her as an asshole because she straight up murdered her "new mother" without the slightly problem or remorse, you built up all the "this is the person i care so much i don't know if i can stand risking her life" and then "well, problem solved, let's get down to business", all of this in the span of minutes at best.
That was intentional."
He explained further:
You then forgot to add the part in her story where she is pushed to an extreme because of that moment too. I understand that you wanted the reader to "feel" that she became sadistic versus the demons because of that moment, but we have to understand the characters with what is officially written, and there is not a single hint at her being somehow affected by killing her "mother", it felt too apathetic for her, not like a "turn point".
I mean, not to argue about how you perceived a story -- if that's how you saw it, that's how it is -- but I was going for an idea that she'd been dealing with all of these competing, confusing emotions about Frey beforehand. This woman is like my mother, but that's terrifying because that means I might lose her. I want to keep her safe, but my job isn't to protect people -- it's to kill monsters. How do I deal with all of these conflicting feelings? Then, suddenly, it turns out that Frey is actually cursed with dark magic, and all those complications suddenly and beautifully disappear. She's my enemy. I know what to do with my enemies. So much simpler."


On whether Shyvana is biologically a half dragon hybrid, Jellbug confirmed:
Technically she wouldn't be a half-dragon though, as per that recent thread on the frontpage. She's a full dragon (Both parents were dragons), she has just been tainted by human magic.
Shyvana isn't biologically connected to her dragon father. He is referred to as her mother's "mate" until he takes up the mantle of protecting Shyvana, and thus becomes her adoptive father. So she is indeed a half-dragon."
She added:

So Shyvana's mother, who is aggressively defensive of her pure bloodline, willingly mated with a human? 
Even in her bio, it states:
'She and her mate planned to name their progeny Shyvana to honor Yvva’s legacy.'
Shyvana's mother Yvva didn't mate with a human -- her egg was corrupted by a human mage before it was fertilized. At that point in time, Yvva and her dragon mate didn't realize that the egg had been corrupted by a human mage, so they still thought of it as their child."
Jellbug continued, explaining the growing issues with Shyvana entering the city:
"Shyvana ripped Yvva's wing from her back" 
back, not shoulder. Did Yvva have four legs? 
Also, while I am a fan of Shyvana's lore update, I feel like after Yvva's death it adopted a fairy tale "and they all lived happily ever after" type ending
Surely people would wonder about J4's new purple friend, and surely some people in the village that holed up in the stronghold resent the fact that many people died to protect some drifter who occasionally brought food
Some dragons do have four legs, yes (like the drakes in the game, for instance). 
The end of Jarvan IV's bio hints at some issues stirring in Demacia. You're right that not everyone in the capitol is thrilled with Shyvana entering the city, and some were definitely resentful that J4 had gone to such lengths to help her. Purple skin doesn't necessarily correlate with magic, though people are certainly suspicious of Shyvana. 
The villagers near where they killed Yvva were more appreciative of J4 and Shyvana's efforts, since they helped get rid of the dragon that was attacking them. 
Thanks for reading!"


On why Galio can't just swoop in and destroy Noxus, JohnODyin explained:
In the lore world, how come Noxus even remains standing. With a behemoth in Galio taking over Noxus should be a simple task, no?
Galio isn't exactly made to travel long distances. He's a home goalie of sorts -- mobile, but only to a certain extent (approximately to the borders of Demacia). Noxus can also counter him by not bringing an archmage to the fight."
Jaredan added:
"That would be a long trip, and it would be hard to sneak Galio into the heart of Noxus. The Noxian army is pretty huge and has its own big-hitters. I would fear for Galio trying to attack Noxus."

JohnODyin commented on why it seemed Galio was less literate in his new VO and lore:
I think my biggest gripe with Galio's change was not so much the personality change, but how his vocabulary is so stunted it makes some gradeschoolers seem like English majors. His original VO obviously wasn't thesaurus level complexity, but he was at least literate. What made you guys decide Galio should sound, for lack of a better term, dumber than before?
he's basically an adolescent, when you think about it. Even though he's been around for centuries, he's only fully alive for a few minutes at a time. That is why."


On Quinn and Valor's understanding of each other, Dinopawz gave his thoughts:
How deep does Quinn's and Valor's understand of each other go (especially in terms of communicating)? And could you give us more info on how they communicate? Hand signals and calls?
My feeling is that it's a mix of all that, hand signals, eye-contact, experience and - perhaps, just perhaps - a measure of spiritual connection between them. Azurite Eagles are so deeply embedded in the fabric of Demacia that perhaps there's some spiritual connection between the two of them."
He continued:
As an add-on, she has an older story linked to the Freljord event too. Is that still canon?
They certainly informed her writing, and it's still certainly not ruled out in her current bio. I think it's more likely she's ventured into the Freljord than deep into Noxus, but those previous adventures could certainly fit in the 'many adventures' she's had as a Ranger-Knight."

Other Champs

On why not all of the Demacia champions had a new story, Dinopawz explained:
Why there's no Lucian, Sona or Xin story?
Yeah, I know what you mean, and it pained us to leave them out. Trust me, we didn't want to leave them out, but we felt we'd be better served in these stories (intended to properly establish the culture of Demacia) with champs who more intrinsically represented the character of that realm. We'll get to them eventually, but for the initial impact, we wanted to focus solely on the champs that are inherently Demacian."

Group Questions

JohnODyin Group Questions 1
1) If Demacians hate magic, how do they feel about yordles and, by extension, Poppy?
2) Speaking of which, how does all the petricite affect her and her magical yordle properties?
3) Have Poppy and Galio ever talked to each other? Or at least, has Poppy ever walked around where Galio is? And if so, what do they think of each other?
4) What happened to all the wyrm/drake mounts mentioned in Galio's bio and why do we only see Demacians ride horses in the Universe stories?
5) Was the creature Lux fought against Nocturne? If so, what was he doing in Demacia, and where is he headed now?
(1) They don't really know about Poppy. Most of them don't anyway. Yordles use glamour when they appear in front of people. 
(2) She doesn't really rely on magic the way other yordles do. And she spends a lot of time outside the city walls looking for the Hero. 
(3) I'm sure they know of each other. I've been thinking a lot of that lately. Nothing ready to ship yet though. 
(4) I honestly don't know. Anyone else know? 
(5) Yes. I will let Graham answer this one!"
Jellbug Group Questions 2
I have two questions: 
1. Are Shyvana and Jarvan potentially a thing, like Katarina and Garen, or is that now just a fan ship, like Swain and LeBlanc.
2. If Poppy is not part of the area you guys specialize in, ignore this question. How strong is Poppy without her hammer? And is the power in her, or is the hammer giving her power that it can only give to her?
1) Shyvana and Jarvan do have a lot in common - they were both named after their parents and carry the baggage that comes from familial expectations. Jarvan's father expects him to be a perfect exemplar of Demacia so he can become the future king, while Shyvana's mother wanted her to be a dragon worthy of inheriting the fire rune. Both Jarvan and Shyvana are not seen for who they really are - I could see them understanding"
Jaredan Group Questions 3

What do you guys think of Jarvan's art/gameplay?
Have you guys considered city batches for visual/gameplay updates? E.g. Demacian update would have updates to Demacian champions.
What can we expect from future lore updates? Any plans for more player interaction with them?
I know I asked a lot so dont feel obligated to answer all of them. Thanks for your time.
I suck at Jarvan, that's my main thought (but I am a support main, so it's not surprising).
I'm speaking for Reav3 here a bit, so hopefully he doesn't find what I'm about to say too stupid, but it's difficult to be effective in updating Champs for the game by basing it on a tertiary categorization, like their region in the story world. 
It might be a case that a region only has one Champ that needs a gameplay update, so that region would be immediately deprioritized, even if that Champ had a lot of need in being updated. Going for adjustments according to gameplay type, role, and overall in-game health, is just a better way of tackling the prioritization. 
It's why I can only let my bottom-lip quiver a little when Volibear (someone who I'd looooove to update due to something awesome WAAARGHBobo has been working on) isn't next on the ChampUp to-do list."

/Dev Diary: Ant in Oz on Demacia

Speaking of Demacia, check out Ant in Oz and Dinopawz in a new /Dev Diary covering the reintroduction of Demacia through the recent Demacia story and champion bios!

For more Demacia lore, check out our coverage or head over to the UNIVERSE site for full bios!

Quick HITS: Scrapped Plant design, Arcade MF SFX fix, & more

[Quick Hits is our own collection within a red post collection, often including easy to digest stories, specialized information, and/or repeat info you may have missed in other posts!]

1)  Fearless  sharing a design for a now scrapped jungle plant mechanic:
What are some other iterations of plants that you guys tested internally
Wackiest plant from playtesting: A pair of plants that created a single use portal between them. Led to crazy invade plays, ridiculous escapes, and a total break down in understanding the state of threats on the map. It was super memorable, but didn’t mesh with most of the strategy structures of LoL."

2) Riot Quickshot has confirmed that Galio will be disabled for LCS Week 10 and the playoffs.

3) Arcade Miss Fortune's auto attack sound effects should be fixed in 7.7!


Last up, a few reminders on promotions and sales ending soon!
  • A set of limited time March Bundles are in the shop though March 30th at 23:59 PT.

  • As mentioned in the 7.6 patch notes, Nexus Siege returns to the rotating game mode queue March 31st through April 4th.

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