League of Legends

Lore Stats in 2020

LeagueofLegends8 - Lore Stats in 2020
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Hi everyone!

Another year has ended, and so I return from my slumber. The Lore Tourney that seems to have become a tradition in the lore community is well underway (Semi-Final 1and Semi-Final 2) and even though I passed that responsibility off to
maydaytaytay - Lore Stats in 2020

u/maydaytaytay, there was another element to it: In the past, I used these to recollect the year, what we learned, found, were excited about. Of course, u/Sharjo already wrote down everything in a big post here, so I want to take a more analytical look at what happened in Runeterra during this year.


Where we started / How it's going

Last year, the state of the lore was the following: 33 champions needed a color story, and 27 still had short biography blurbs. Here's my end of the year post:
The League Universe in 2019: A recap.

While it's sad to see the lore updates go (and not come back in 2020 as I had hoped), after this year, we are significantly better off. Here is how these statistics look now (153 champions up until Rell):

4pux0t2bwc861 - Lore Stats in 2020

Completion Diagram, showing the different levels of lore that still need content.

Half of the short biographies were tackled, and 13 of the 33 missing color stories (in addition to 6 new champions). This especially affects the "missing" champions who had neither. Last year there were 19 of them, with the recent release of Gragas color story, that number was reduced to 7. These unfortunate Champions are Cho'gath, Corki, Kog'Maw, Olaf, Shaco, Talon, and Teemo. On the positive side, (more than) 95% of the cast now exist and have done something in canon.

(Note: I know that Olaf and Talon appeared in stories, but that's not the point, I'm just looking at the bio + color story combination here.)

Biography updates: This is either the first time they have a long biography since the Institute of War times, or small edits to make them more readable.

Diana, Leona, Alistar, Draven, Jax, Malphite, Singed, Kled, Fiddlesticks, Kennen, Braum, Fiora, Jhin, Aurelion Sol, Graves, Twisted Fate, Miss Fortune, Volibear, Trundle, Anivia, Ivern, Xayah, Rakan, Ahri, Yasuo, Riven, Bard, Taric, Zoe, Quinn, Sona, Elise, Caitlyn, Vi, Rengar

New color stories received in this year: Fiddlesticks, Kennen, Volibear, Tryndamere, Sejuani, Rumble, Yasuo, Riven, Sona, Udyr, Ziggs, Vladimir, Lissandra, Gragas

(Note: Fiddlesticks already had an old one, which was replaced. Riot will see if it can be recanonized, like Pantheon's.)

Sona exists! Gragas and Ziggs have a color story, even though they still need a bio. Ahri, Yasuo, Braum, and Miss Fortune had their biographies edited, probably to bring everyone to the same page and prepare them for their adventure in the Shadow Isles.

Our six new champions got both a biography and a color story, as it is customary for every release.

Some more updates to go along with their respective stories: Singed, Kennen, Jhin, Trundle, Xayah & Rakan, Riven, Quinn.

All in all, that's some very nice progress toward giving every single champion their due. On the other hand, it will take at least another year before everyone is updated, and it has already been way too long.


The year in Runeterra

So, let's take a look at the content that was released throughout the year. Here is the region distribution for 2020:

Region distribution diagram for 2020, showing the focus on Ionia

Just like last year was the year of Demacia, this year is clearly the one with Ionia lore. Half of the champions this year were Ionian, then two Noxians with a pinch of Shurima, and one singer from between Piltover and Zaun. Other regions were Freljord and Demacia with a surprising amount of color stories. Finally, we had two comic series: Zed in Ionia (with a quick detour to Piltover and Zaun), and Harmonies in the musical Alternate Universe. Neglected were Bandle City and the Void as usual, Bandle only got one color story (which is set in Shurima), and the Void only got a mention in Jax's biography and proxy lore through Kai'sa and Monstrous.

In terms of the content that we got, I personally enjoyed every single thing (except maybe for one butchered champion release). Yes, it was very Ionia-centric, but there were still two very distinct topics to dive into: The Kinkou, and the spiritual world. Additionally, this was the first year that there were narrative threads that were consistently followed, be it Riven and the Sisters, Yasuo and Yone, or even Quinn, Garen and Cithria. The release of ongoing stories was one thing that made the flood of Ionia content bearable, and I hope for every region to get their share.


Revelations

Okay, but what really HAPPENED this year? Well…

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(The usual notes: This is not a comprehensive list, just the new champions and my personal selection of stories. Some details may vary, and it didn't need to happen in the "current year" in the lore, just had to be released in 2020.)


New stuff

Our first lore game, Tellstones, was published. It's not only a game played in Demacia (especially by my favorite character Cithria), the game itself also was an incredible tie-in for Ryze and Bilgewater. See here and here for more information. I was blown away by the fact that they hid a complete second game inside that package. Secrets hidden in plain sight, indeed.

Despite the corona-infested year of 2020, which delayed a few things, the Zed comic was finished, and a complete comic in an Alternate Universe was released. It seems like the next main universe comic got delayed, I'm looking forward to updates here.

There were also other AU stories, including a multi-part story and one where players determine the fate of the universe.

The in-game events tied to the lore (Spirit Blossom and K/DA) both spanned multiple games with unbelievable new features (dating sim, anyone?), even though especially K/DA was a bit too much for me. Collectible cards depicting an alternate Universe in main Universe regions? Thanks, I would rather have canon reskins of these cards now that the event is over.

And last, but certainly not least, Riot released the long-anticipated Novella featuring Garen, Quinn, and Cithria. I could describe why it's great, but unfortunately, Reddit has a limited length for posts. I'm certainly planning to do another post related to the novella. Right now it's digital-only, but a physical edition has not been officially denied yet. So, there's hope?


Looking forward

The first Riot Forge game, Ruined King, was unfortunately delayed, but it's still upcoming for 2021. Now that we have seen gameplay, it is definitely similar to the previous work of Airship Syndicate, Battle Chasers: Nightwar. I have not played that, but I believe it's a good thing. I'm looking forward to the artwork and small lore blurbs in the background!

Some other things we can expect are more comics, the season start cinematic, and hopefully a dev blog. Please tell us about the current state of narrative, especially the next comics. I also heard some talk about a new platform (something to replace the lost lore updates? Pretty please?), so we should definitely look out for that.

My personal hope includes more of what we had this year, including novella(s?), and maybe even a new Riot Forge announcement once Ruined King and Convergence are out.

Finally, Ghostcrawler admitted just in the last month that Riot is indeed planning to make an MMO. Then there are also the other games, the Projects, but like the new MMO, these are probably far away. If not, maybe I'm proven wrong the next time I'll post this. See you!

Edit: Formatting.

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