Riot hosted a Q&A answering questions the community has about Sion’s rework. Here’s the summary:
Like I mentioned in other posts, we’re not doing a Traditional skin for Sion, because ultimately we don’t believe that we can faithfully and fully deliver on an “Old Sion experience” with the Sion update within scope. For this particular post I’ll focus on the VO aspect:
Some players are really attached to the Arnie quotes, but that’s only really describing the English voice-over experience, for a reference most meaningful to only specific players around the world. I’m not saying that delivering on that isn’t valuable, but rather that we decided it was more valuable to focus on the more advanced and full VO experience for all Sions and skins that would be meaningful regardless of region or language.
Sion’s updated VO is more cohesive with his identity, and for the first time in League of Legends, he is able to ramp up and down in overall intensity as the battlefield conditions change. Retrofitting his existing Arnie VO into this new system and supporting it long-term so that the few players that currently own Sion are able to have what we believe to be a low-quality (non-cohesive and extremely short-script) experience, was not worth it, especially when taking into account how little the existing Traditional skins are owned or used in-game.
Personally, my feeling is no. It’s the reason we didn’t just upgrade him in terms of fidelity. We broke him down and rebuilt him in probably the most intense of champion updates ever, and most likely ever to happen. While we have love for old Sion’s charm, I feel in my heart of hearts that the new Sion adds significantly more value than the old charm possessed.
We tried a few different ultimates before we eventually found the one you see now. The first few focused on him smashing the ground and creating massive areas of new terrain (think of a giant trundle pillar). As you have likely inferred, those didn’t work out because they blocked off too much of the map space creating some awkward gameplay spaces.
We then decided to try the slowly accelerating charge that gave him CC immunity.Then we added the steering, then we made it go a huge distance etc. These things usually start in one place and over days of iteration we end up with something awesome.
Sion from the Glory Days would indeed be really cool. For this project we focused entirely on the existing skins to make sure the funny ones were as funny as possible and the badass ones were as badass as possible, but who knows what’s in store for future skins .
First of all, Sion will definitely not be getting a price increase with the update. We’re still considering how the increased Champ update pipeline might affect overall pricing (if at all), but that’s still pretty long-term at this point.
As for your other question, Sion will not be getting a Traditional skin. We focused 100% of our effort on the base Sion and his existing skins, to make sure our new Sion is the best version of Sion we can possibly deliver.
As you’ve said, we did create three traditional skins a while back. In the past, we used Traditional skins as a way of allowing players to represent the older merits of a character that we may have glazed over during the creation process. We weren’t always confident in what we were shipping, and in extreme cases, necessitated a traditional skin to execute on them in a way they should have been done. This is shown to an extreme in the case of Karma’s fans, something that we know we could have done better.
The team has been doing updates for two years or so now, and we have a bit more moxie as to how this whole rodeo goes. We feel we’re able to better respect the old, while pushing the bar as hard as we can. We didn’t up and change Sion from an undead to a frozen warrior. He’s still the same exact fantasy he was before, just executed in a way that he was originally meant to be.
If the team as it is now existed in the past, there are mistakes that we wouldn’t have repeated. Karma wouldn’t have lacked her fans. Trundle would have better enveloped the ‘leper jesus’ he was so affectionately known for. Sejuani would have just realized that a bikini wasn’t appropriate snow wear. These are things that could be fixed in the future, but we prefer to continue moving forward, as there are still a large amount of characters that need some love coughpoppycoughevecough.
Essentially, we don’t feel like traditional skins are the correct answer- the only way to show our love for older content. We still push for constant and continuous improvement in our updates, but we want to do so in a way that best shows respect for older content as a whole package.
I’d like to see our sound gent C3sound speak to that but I know there were some serious technical issues in getting all that hooked up. Also, speaking to the audience of Sion players, the voice is really specifically an NA component, and considering the amount of work it would take to technically add back in the old VO, that effort was directed entirely to giving players the world over a quality experience.
Yes, while English speakers and fans of Western media that involves Arnold is charming to us, we’re sort of in the minority actually. By a wide margin the accent, the mannerisms, the reference, aren’t understood by a huge chunk of the world.
Again, I appreciate the charm, but 1) those fairly “cheesy” chunks of old content don’t really translate, and 2) we wanted to really let the new Sion shine and not be diluted by things we wanted to evolve past. We have a lot of confidence in new Sion. This is indeed a bit of a blank slate, but we decided that after a huge discussion on the matter. The call was not made easily.
We don’t really have anyone “in charge”. The entire team is there to make sure they’re making a holistic product. Though we do have this guy Fruity Sebbles who’s our producer on the team. It’s ultimately his responsibility that we make the thing we’re trying to make.
From a visual standpoint I can definitely say that the personality, tone, and imagery that I got from The Mountain when reading A Song of Ice and Fire was very inspirational when designing Sion’s look.
There’s a natural opposition between the two that I wanted to lay the groundwork for. The dichotomy between the eternal guardian and the undying destroyer felt really compelling for a rivalry that would endure ages. Plus there’s a certain irony to the fact that Galio is an artificial being who’s gained a sense of humanity and Sion is a man who’s become more of a warmachine than anything.
“Time to cut your strings, puppet.” If only he knew.
The main idea behind the peg leg was to show history. After decades upon decades of battle, even the greatest warriors are bound to lose a limb or two (or heck, even die once or twice in Sion’s case).
It is the very same. The statue, in a way, is art; a stylized interpretation of Sion by a Noxian master sculptor. Also, just like Sion changed and evolved over the years, so did his axe, in its own way.
Related note: being stuck inside a Cataclysm with a Glory in Death Sion is not a positive experience.
As a Sion player, I often feel like if I’m eating CC for my team I’m doing my job. He’s great at “soft taunting” enemies to focus him instead of his squishy allies.
If the Sion player is is stunned, knocked up, or silenced during his Q, the channel is interrupted but he is refunded a bunch of his cooldown so he can use it again more quickly. That way, it’s satisfying for the opponent to be able to stop his Q, but not crippling to Sion’s combo.
The E was a move that we wanted to be both a soft setup for his Q and provide some interesting play for him in lane around the minion line. It’s early iterations actually had an extremely short (almost melee range) initial cast and he could only hit far away opponents by punting minions. This was actually working out very well when he was in lane, but in mid/late game when a lot of fights were happening away from minions he didn’t have much use for it. This resulted in us extending the first cast’s range a bit to allow for some medium range use without minions.
Currently the best way to see how much charge you have reached is to look at the cast bar that appears right above the ability icons (bottom center of screen). We didn’t really come up with any ways of showing the actual knock up number as he charges without it appearing overly “HUD” like or gamey. I think players will likely get a feel for how much power they will get out of different length charges.
Similar to Karthus and Kog’Maw, Sion will first revive with Zilean or Yorick’s ult. After those have expired (or he dies again) he will go into his passive.
There is a little bit of forgiveness if you “shave” the edge of a wall, but you’re right Sion is a big dude now. Threading the needle between walls and turrets for example is not recommended, though technically possible for the most elite Sion pilots.
Invisible corners on the map can be more annoying to Sion than to most other champions. Thankfully the Summoner’s Rift Update will help this quite a bit by cleaning up some of collision zones and better matching the map visuals to the gameplay space.
My favorite was when Azir and Sion were both in testing, and when Sion would ult the Azir wall, he’d get knocked back– but he’d still be in the charge. So he’d bounce off the wall over and over, trying to get through faster and faster. It looked like an enormous Noxian fireball jumping on a Shuriman trampoline!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at email@example.com.