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New Keystone Runes?

Adding new Keystones, spectating Challenger, Rammus’ VO, and champions with accents.

By Fearless, Scathlocke, Riot Nakyle & Ezreal

Welcome to Ask Riot! Have a question?

This week, we’re talking Keystones, accents, spectating Challenger, and Rammus’ very in-depth VO.

Q

Now that Conqueror hit live servers, are there any plans to add more keystones in the other categories?

A

Yes! Generally, we’ve been using new keystones to open up paths to users that should like most of the rune options, but didn’t have a keystone that was a solid fit. We have some keystones we’re exploring to get some new champions into Domination, and we’ll likely continue to add keystones where we find gaps in player or champion needs. That being said, we don’t think we have infinite space for new keystones.

There are some practical considerations around how well the interface can handle large numbers of keystones in a path. Also, each new keystone requires players to understand a new set of mechanics as well as audio and visual effects. This means that we’ll likely hit a cap where we’d have to add new paths or focus on replacing existing content that’s not adding enough to the game.

Senior Designer, Game Systems
Q

Why do some champions have accents, like Fiora? Is there a logical reason in Runeterra?

A

When our narrative writers and editors work on champions, their characteristics and personality are carefully built from the ground up, as part of the design process (along with art and gameplay). The way those champions speak and use language to convey ideas is very important in players “getting a feel” for them, as quickly as possible.

At Riot we work in English, from a North American point-of-view, and accents are an additional shorthand way to get complex ideas about a champion across, beyond the words they actually use. Fiora is the Grand Duelist, and so by giving her a fantasy version of an accent that sounds broadly French, it can imply several things about her:

  • She is from a Demacian noble family with a slightly aloof attitude to those beneath her, possibly referencing the idea of the pre-Revolution aristocracy.
  • She is highly skilled in what you or I might call modern sword fencing styles, with the three main disciplines of épée, foil and sabre all having French names (and even ‘en garde’ is a French term!) in the real world.
  • She considers herself an artist… and France has been very closely associated with art movements since the Medieval period.

Imagine how different she would sound with a broad US accent, or Australian, or British—each of those carries associations that could help with other very specific character types, but not Fiora as we currently know her.

However, it’s important to remember that this is only true from a western, English-speaking perspective, with our cultural preconception of what being French means. Accent shorthands are not universal across all the regions and servers that League covers, and we work closely with localization teams to find ways for them to make a champion just as relevant in their own, specific cultural view. An “aristocratic swordswoman” might sound very different in Japan, or Germany, or Brazil, for example.

From an in-world perspective, such ideas are much looser. There is no single Noxian accent, or Ionian, or Freljordian. You’ll just as likely hear a sailor from Bilgewater speaking in a rural Russian style accent as a yo-ho-ho English stereotype! It’s all about what fits the character best, in the context you’re hearing them.

Lead Narrative Editor
Q

Are you going to bring back spectate challenger?

A

We actually did bring back the ability to spectate Challenger games, it’s just not on the front page anymore. The basic logic when we were reworking the front-page of the client is that spectate challenger was underused and better served by streaming platforms like Twitch. Still, we tried to find a middle ground last year.

If you’re not sure about where to find spectate challenger, go to Profile, then Ranked. From there, change the ladder to show any of the Challenger lists. Any players who are currently in-game will have an eyeball next to their Summoner Name. Right-click and hit “spectate game” to watch Pobelter carry on Azir. Then play Azir yourself. Feed. Watch Pobelter again. Play 100 more Azir games. You are now ready to think about being as good as Pobelter at Azir one day in the future, maybe.

Riot Nakyle
Comms, Player Behavior
Q

why does rammus have very few lines? my dog wants to know.

A

Back in the day, we recorded a second attempt at Rammus’ VO, and it was… not good. He ended up sounding pretty hillbilly. Actually, it was so bad that we didn’t even want the team internally to hear it, so we rushed to record what’s now his current VO in a conference room in all of about 15 minutes. It was never meant to be final, but we were making champions at such a breakneck pace that it ended up getting launched and localized across the world. Suffice to say, the simplicity of Rammus’ lines soon became a community meme and is now a defining feature of the Armordillo.

Ok? ..ok…

Ezreal
Lead Designer

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Kai’Sa’s V-Neck Suit