So GhostCrawler's recent tweet confirming a Runeterra MMO's development is starting up has me, as a fan of the lore, hyped out of my goddamned mind.
To channel this newfound energy, I started thinking about possible directions the game could take in a key area; playable races. There are a lot of different races in Runeterra, which would provide a frankly ludicrous amount of customisation options for player characters. The trick, of course, is balancing a feeling of power for players while maintaining the uniqueness of "Champions", the characters who are meant to be living legends in this world.
I think the following choices would provide a good baseline, with other things like weapons, magic, or mounts being covered by choices in Faction, occupation/class etc. This is purely my option, feel free to agree or disagree.
- Humans: This lot will be first up because they're boring, but a must have for immersion players. One way to make humans more interesting, would be to give them additional racial bonuses / abilities based on the faction they choose to start with; like extra cold resistance and stamina if they go Freljordian (preferably not just passive stat buffs though, this is only an example).
- Vastaya: Hello furries. The Vastaya have a HUGE amount of variation, ranging from mostly human with some animal bits attached, to basically animals with human intelligence. Good luck coding this character creation menu.
- Minotaurs: Giving this lot their own spot, as it's never specified if they are a sub-type of Vastaya or not. Alistar's bio says that Minotaurs are native to the mountains between the Immortal Bastion and Piltover/Zaun, but since the Noxian takeover of the region, it's possible that many moved elsewhere.
- Trolls: Trundles bio states that trolls are, "found in many of Runeterra’s least hospitable environments." Trundle's is by far the largest known tribe, but it is not the ONLY tribe of trolls, opening this race up as a playable option.
- Yordles: Legends of Runeterra showed that Yordles are a bit more common than previously thought, and so why not let players become cute, cuddly Satan-spawn?
Some options here for in-world character alteration, which may or may not be limited by race.
- Cyborg: Heading to Piltover & Zaun should definitely open up the player to some sweet upgrades, assuming you have the coin to pay for them. Probably different options depending on race.
- Ursine: Were-bears? Were-bears. Let's face it, a Yordle taking this option would be hilarious.
- Shadow Ilses Wraith: Everyone dies, but why let that spoil the fun? You'd likely have to cover up if you want to go anywhere other than the Isles though, the average person is probably not up for a chat with Skeletor.
- Void-touched: Nami's story "Into the Abyss" as well as other tales around the void show that creatures can still function after being corrupted by the void, so if you want to go a more evil route this could be an option, through Malzahar's cult or other quests.
- Targonian aspect: Players should definitely get a reward for climbing Targon, but this should not be it. Leona, Diana, and friends kind of lose their "champion" status if everyone and their mother can become an aspect.
- Shuriman ascended: The process for becoming ascended has been lost for thousands of years. You want a fursona? Play a Vastayan.
- Darkin*: Asterix here, because there is potential to have a few Darkin weapons which grant their powers to players, and transfer their "curse" upon a PvP kill.
- Void-born: No being Vel'koz and terrorising Ionian women. If you want to join Malzahar's cult, fine, but these should really serve as antagonists.
- Ice-born: With rare, seemingly genetic traits like this, either EVERY player would have to have it, or NONE can be, to make things fair. The ability to use true-ice weapons is the big thing separating champs like Ashe and Sejuani from the plebs, so no un-melting maces for you.
- Demon: No, you don't get to be Eve's boyfriend, she's not a one man kind of woman anyway.
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