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This week, it’s Tales from the Rift, skins in parallel universes, champion mechanics, and the state of Kindred.
What happened to the Harrowing?
Harrowing and all the horrors associated with it (Black Mist, Shadow Isles) are still lurking around, just not from a Halloween-only perspective. We wanted to separate seasonal events from canon lore, so we introduced Tales from the Rift. In other words, the Harrowing is a frightful phenomenon that occurs anytime of the year, directly affecting those within the world of Runeterra. Tales from the Rift is a seasonal event with new and Legacy skins returning from the vault during Halloween time, and every year the story is a little different. 2016 was our first venture with Tales from the Rift: The Teemoing. While The Teemoing was theatrically diabolical, a tale from the Rift can take on any form under the umbrella of horror. So, who knows what this year’s tale will be…
How do skins play into the League universe? Are they just cosplays? Are they parallel universes?
Skins exist for us as alternate universe interpretations, like karmic reincarnation. We try and bring the core of who the champion is to a new world and ask “what if?” Some things change, some things stay the same, but there is an aspect to the champion that is still recognizable.
Do you worry that reworks and gameplay updates are wasting cool new mechanics on old champions or making new champions harder to create?
We don’t really worry about this at all to be honest. We value old champions just as highly as new champions, and we want all our champions to have awesome and unique mechanics.
Also, there are still a ton of new mechanics we haven’t implemented in the game. We haven’t run out of ideas yet, nor do I think we are in danger of running out of ideas anytime soon.
What are Riot’s thoughts on the state of Kindred?
Our last mini-update to Kindred has succeeded in positioning them as a scaling late game carry threat as opposed to a mid-game skirmisher. Though they aren’t necessarily performing poorly right now, their kit does feel like it could use some love to help them find their place in the meta.
The mini-update eroded some properties of their gameplay that veteran Kindred players really liked, particularly their ability to shred tankier champions. In recent development cycles, we’ve discussed buffing Kindred, but completing work on them fell in priority due to other systems requiring our resources. That said, exploring directions that bring back some familiar feelings or improving the play quality of Mark of the Kindred’s bounty system seem like proper next steps for us to look into.
It’s important to highlight that we expect Runes Reforged to change the meta-game a lot. This means we will have to re-evaluate Kindred’s state once things settle down (as with all other champions). As a result, Kindred will remain unchanged until after Runes Reforged launches.
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