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Clash, prejudice and complex skins

Exploring Runeterra’s least-tolerant regions.

By Draggles, IamCarlos & Scathlocke

Welcome to Ask Riot! Have a question?

This week it’s Clash, Runeterran politics, and a glance at some complex skins.

Q

Any updates on Clash? When will it be fully released?

A

As we announced a few months ago, Clash needs some serious backend work to get back and ready for primetime. We’ve run some tests on PBE, and are currently visiting each region in turn to gain confidence in our fixes. If you haven’t already played in a mini-Clash test, you’ll get the opportunity soon! The scope of the tests will increase as we prioritize stability in the service.

We’re testing three major changes to Clash: a staggered scouting phase, to spread out the amount of games starting simultaneously; a more streamlined backend flow, to break out some of the systems that relied on each other to start Clash games; and a disaster recovery tool, for when we may need to easily extend or roll back each game phase.

So far, our results are showing promise, but we still have a way to go before we’re ready to fully launch the feature. Thank you so much for your patience while we get this right.

Comms Strategist, Metagame Systems
Q

Which League skin was the hardest to make?

A

Such a complex question wrapped up in eight words. When reflecting back on the “hardest” skins to make, we have to ask—what do you mean when you say hard?

Here are a few different ways we thought about answering this:

Elementalist Lux was the most intense timewise with all the forms, animations, visual effects and sound effects. But the core concept didn’t really change much from the beginning. We knew what we wanted to make and went for it.

The recent K/DA skins might have been the most difficult line we’ve done in the past few years from the perspective of time and number of people we had to get on the same page. We had to do a ton of research and tried many different designs, and applied a massive amount of feedback and revisions. With these, the concept artists (the true heroes on this thematic, really), went through over 70 different design iterations to make sure the skins looked awesome in game while paying homage to the genre. Normally, 1350s go through about five iterations depending on complexity, so yeah, that was hard as hell.

IamCarlos
Producer, Personalization
Q

Is there prejudice in Runeterra? Which regions are better or worse?

A

Certainly. And just like in the real world, prejudice is often born of fear, pain, or ignorance…

Ionia was a harmonious, balanced place (for the most part) until Noxus attacked. Those who suffered most at the hands of the invaders have become far more aggressive in response, abandoning many of their older spiritual traditions to deal with more immediate conflict. In fact, the province of Navori is now known for its fierce nationalistic distrust of non-Ionians, since the war ended.

And it’s not just Ionia that has reason to hate Noxians. If you’re not part of the empire, Noxus can seem like a cruel oppressor, and many independent nations refuse to allow imperial emissaries to enter their lands. But if you look at it from the other side, it can be argued that Noxus is one of the few truly meritocratic and inclusive societies in Valoran, where individuals are judged by their words and deeds, rather than birthright or notions of “destiny”. Anyone in Runeterra can become Noxian, if they agree to serve the empire first and foremost.

The Rakkor peoples of Targon all agree that life and magic are the gifts of the heavens, and the celestial powers that reside there. Even so, those who follow the dominant Solari faith treat those who revere the moon—the Lunari—as vile heretics, who must be cast out or killed. To anyone else, do these two groups actually seem so different?

But surely Demacia seems like a nice place to live, right? They respect fairness, honesty, loyalty to one’s family and the throne, and everyone does their part in defending the kingdom from outsiders. Those who cannot take care of themselves will easily find charity in their community… So what is it they find so disagreeable about mages, and magic? Why are such things taboo, here? Well, if you look at the founding of their society in the aftermath of the Rune Wars, they were refugees fleeing persecution by rogue sorcerers—over time, in many ways, this fear of magic has come to shape what it means to be culturally Demacian.

So, while there are many things to admire about the different regions and factions of this fantasy world, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that any of them could ever be considered “perfect.”

Lead Narrative Editor

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Assassins and Chromas