Poppy as a League of Legends champion has been a pain in the ass for years. She had very little voice lines, a horrible model and a selection of abilities that either made her automatically lose the game or automatically win the game depending on the last time she got buffed, often leaning towards the former, because the latter was fucking terrifying.
Poppy’s ultimate ability, for example, allowed her to become invulnerable to almost all damage from everyone except her target. The idea was that she and her target would fight to the death, but most Poppys used their ultimate on the weakest guy then beat everyone else to death. Because although no one could hurt her, she would and could kill everyone. Alright, I know Team Fortress 2 has Ubercharges, but Medics can’t go around 1v5ing enemy teams.
It was clear as day that Poppy’s abilities were going to be heavily changed. The only part of her kit that survived into her new collection of abilities was her charging dash attack, that stuns people if they get knocked into terrain. Apart from the insane tankiness from her passive ability and the Ubercharge-like ultimate, it was pretty defining for Poppy, and actually somewhat easy to balance. Her passive though, which heavily reduced damage over a certain amount, made it very hard to work out how to actually kill her.
So yes, that kit had to go. So did her model. It was old and actually rather terrifying. Lollypoppy, one of her skins, was well known for inducing sheer mortal fear into enemies. The model quality had gone mostly unchanged since Poppy was added as a champion, and unlike other Yordle characters, she looked like a psychotic blue smurf. With a hammer. Compared Tristana, who had recently been given an update even though she wasn’t in dire need of one (she was just easy to do), Poppy could barely be considered the same species. Thankfully, Riot have done an amazing job with how the new Poppy looks. Apparently she even has blinking eyes, like Tristana. (Although the first champion with blinking eyes was Vel’Koz, but everyone forgets that because he’s ugly as sin!) This is the treatment that really old champions like Nunu, Warwick and Taric can look forward to in the future. Eventually.
There was one thing that didn’t need changing though was her lore.
Old Poppy’s character was rather restricted in-game. She only had about 20 voice lines in total. But outside the game, she had her lore, which not only gave her a sad tragedy of a story, but gave her (and fellow champion Galio) reasons to fight, as well as a reason to have enemies. Okay, it was a bit superhero-esque, maybe even a bit too Batman-y, but it worked for this serious, angry, aggressive warrior child.
The basic story was that her father was a master blacksmith. A Demacian guy requested he make something, a helmet, and Poppy’s dad was so proud, he let Poppy help him make it, and they journeyed to Demacia to deliver it. Unfortunately Noxian scumbags tried to steal the item in question, and Poppy’s dad died. Poppy though was strong enough to not only escape, but deliver the helmet. The Demacian guy was so pleased
Okay really it wasn’t that great, but it’s still better and less… empty than her new lore. Which boils down to her having a powerful hammer, wasting her life traveling the planet looking for a hero, when she’s actually the hero all along. Who made this hammer? Dunno. Why was she given it? Dunno. Why is a Yordle in Demacia? Dunno. And with how damn slowly LoL’s lore progresses, we will probably never know.
If it’s broken, fix it. But if there’s bits you can salvage, why not salvage them? That’s all I’m saying.