On League of Legends and its Lore

The other day, the new revamp for one of League of Legends’ least popular and hardest to balance champions was announced, and bloody hell, it really is a revamp. The new Poppy looks both amazing and much easier to balance. Because sadly Ubercharge-style abilities don’t work in LoL. This is following the release of Illaoi, the second of the tentacle-using champions and someone who can rip your soul out and use it as a punching bag. Of course, with new characters comes new lore, but League of Legends hasn’t been doing great on that mark.

A while ago, before the Shurima event last year and the arrival of the champion Azir (one of the buggiest champions ever – there’s a bug fix for him in every patch), Riot actually announced they were retconning the entirety of their lore. And they did it anyway, despite the huge amount of complaints.

Now, thinking back, this wouldn’t be a problem if they weren’t so painfully slow in actually fixing the mess they made. Numerous champions, without the existence of the Institute of War and the Summoners, could no longer exist or, worse, could destroy Runeterra. Nocturne has gone and eaten everyone’s dreams, unable to be stopped by the non-existent summoners, while Cho’Gath has gone and eaten everything else, no longer confined to the walls of the Institute. Lee Sin could never have accidentally destroyed a village then burned himself alive in protest, now summoners are no longer a thing.

The retcon is taking ages. The Shurima event was a slow step forward, relocating champions such as Nasus, Renekton and Sivir to some shitty, sandy desert, while leaving Ezreal as nothing more than a stupid boy both with a gigantic ego and embarrassed that he’s so awesome. Xerath is now a bog-standard children’s cartoon villain, his old story being thrown away to make room for Azir. The event’s biggest victim was Skarner, who had a really good lore, filled with confusion and conflict in whether he should destroy the humans whose forefathers had killed many of his kind by poisoning the earth with magic, or teach them to not be magic-using douchebags. Now he’s a dumb monster guarding a cave.

What’s worse is that half the champions moved to Shurima didn’t even get proper lore. Rammus is just some spiky mysterious thing, still. Ezreal, mentioned before, got nothing new. Amumu is still a sad mummy. Cassiopeia is now a backstabbing bitch who left Sivir for dead and became Xerath’s minion, rather than a manipulative monster.

After this, there was quite a bit of silence. A little lore was added for new champions but that was it. For reasons unknown, Riot then decided to concentrate on Bilgewater and the Shadow Isles, two places with not a lot of lore, but enough that they could exist whether summoners did or not. Bilgewater is your standard Pirates of the Caribbean pirate city, formerly kept in check by Gangplank until Miss Fortune blew him up. The Shadow Isles is still a spooky dead ghost island, it’s just that some of the characters are slightly more fleshed out. But the fans had already guessed that Hecarim was the one who betrayed Kalista, and that the Ruined King was the guy who fucked everything up. Mordekaiser ended up getting dumped there as an afterthought and Yorick was forgotten as always. The only new addition was Illaoi, who helped Bilgewater not get completely swallowed by the Shadow Isles this time, yet seemed to do fuck all every other time the Harrowing came along.

That’s all well and good, but Cho’Gath, Nocturne, Fiddlesticks, Morgana, Kayle, Brand, Malphite, Zilean and others all have direct ties to the League of Legends, the Institute of War and the summoners. It’s taken this long for Poppy to be removed from this list, but she’s been destined for a rework for ages. Characters like Morgana and Kayle, the warring angelic sisters from another world, aren’t due for reworks at all, when will their lore get changed?

The only news so far of another champion’s lore being worked on is the beloved Taric, everyone’s favourite, quite possibly gay Gem Knight. Poppy’s recent new VO was released and has a couple of hints that Taric’s being changed from Gem Healing Man from Other World to the Spartan ripoff of Mt. Targon. But how long will it be before we get to see the fruits of Taric’s impending visual and lore update?

Also, why does Poppy want to smash Taric in the jewels? That’s just mean.

Everyone would have been fine with the retcon, if only Riot hadn’t taken so long to fill in the blanks. Meanwhile, my headcanon that Cho’Gath has eaten the entire planet is still 100% valid.

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