LoL: Why did The Game Cancel Champion Connected To Real World Idea?
Riot Games’ LoL champions have a development cycle that, on average, lasts one year. During that time, those responsible for the game try to create the best possible character. They polish the gameplay, design, and narrative to create a cohesive whole that refreshes the gaming experience. Dozens of playable tests are made. They are not forced, so there are no rushes and not too much pressure either on any of the characters in the game.
The important thing is that the news is worth it, not that it arrives soon. However, this long development cycle is not only due to the natural complexities of creating a new protagonist in the game. Also to a work philosophy that League of Legends has promoted in recent years:even the coolest ideas are tried if they have even the slightest chance of working.
This method can slow down the champion creation process even more, but the game needs to evolve. The game added characters which nobody would have imagined a few years ago that had characters like Sylas or Viego in LoL. Stealing enemies’ ults or borrowing their bodies after defeating them in combat is something that would have been immediately out of the question for the first five years of League of Legends.
However, greater creative freedom has allowed these heroes to exist. They indeed generate a little more controversy, but also that most players find them much more interesting.
The strangest idea that could come to League of Legends
August Browning, Lead Champion Designer for LoL, often hosts live streams where he shares some trivia about the game and answers questions. In one of his last streams, a community member asked him about CertainlyT. This is the pseudonym of one of Riot Games’ oldest developers and, in all probability, also one of the most talented to have passed through the company. “He is incredible, he knows how to go beyond the limits of design (…) he has done Thresh, Yasuo and also things like Kalista or Zoe. They are very different characters from each other, “explained August.
Adding some more context to his remarks, he talked about some of CertainlyT’s most interesting ideas that never made it to the live League of Legends servers. “A really fun version of the Akali rework included a mechanic where you could grab allied projectiles and fly after them. You could throw an arrow from Ashe and it would catch. Then the projectile would come to you and you would see that it had an Akali on top of it. It was a lot of fun,” August said. Unfortunately, although they were able to make it work, the Akali rework ended up turning to other equally interesting mechanics that, yes, ended up being too powerful and had to be limited once the character landed on Summoner’s Rift.
What is related to Aphelios?
However, the most curious feature that this developer tried to introduce into the game is related to Aphelios. During one phase of his development, the possibility of connecting his power in the video game with the state of the real world was brought to the table. He is a character deeply related to the moon, and the idea was that his power in the games would increase depending on the phase in which the satellite was, reaching its maximum on nights with a full moon. As surreal as it sounds.
“With Aphelios, we wanted to introduce a tool into the game that would track the phase of the moon in the real world. Thus, the character’s power would change depending on whether or not there was a full moon in reality. The idea was that if you went out into the street at night and you saw a full moon and you thought something like: we should play League of Legends, Aphelios is very strong right now’. We think it’s a very creative way to get people to be engaged in the game. He [CertainlyT] always has creative ideas, which we think it’s amazing.”
The problem when introducing this type of mechanics in League of Legends is that it is a video game mainly focused on competition. This complicates the introduction of mechanics that, while interesting, are not necessarily suitable for ranked matches or professional play. Riot Games has introduced some similar mechanics to the game, but always with symbolic importance. For example, Leona deals one point less damage to champions wearing sunglasses. It is something curious, but whose possibility of influencing the game is almost non-existent.