League of Legends, the popular free-to-play MOBA, recently started a very intriguing event. A quick overview of a few of the ways LoL works, which I promise is important. League of Legends is free for players to download. You need only to make an account on the website for use in the game, and the game is free for you to play. But you could also get something like a League Smurfs account too if you are an experienced player of this game. Every week there is a rotation of 10 free champions for players to choose from to try out. If you’re interested in checking out a range of smurfs go to websites similar to unrankedsmurfs.com if you want an account that could start with more then 10 champions. After completing each game players earn IP, or Influence Points, they can use to buy champions for use permanently. You accrue these points at a pretty slow pace, which helps keep the player playing longer. Champions can also be bought with RP, or Riot Points, which players purchase with real money as a sort of shortcut to unlock champions faster than with IP. You might also want to check out elo boost since it means players can progress quickly in the game without having to put all the hard work in.
This is where things get interesting. Riot Games, creators of League of Legends, just spent the last few months reworking a champion, Gangplank. Champions are generally sent to be reworked by the devs when they are being played less and less and seem outdated to the current meta of the game. The last character reworked was in fact Gangplank. Along with the rework for Gangplank came a game spanning special event. The Bilgewater Event, which launched with the new and improved Gangplank. The event is being released in multiple acts, which is reshaping the background of many champions who hail from the Bilgewater location in the League of Legends lore, as well as the locale itself. Not only are the new backgrounds being slowly released in a pretty interesting way of chapters throughout acts, and pretty well written I must say, but certain objectives are being given to players to complete on the new ARAM map, a popular mode. These objectives include destroying enemy towers, winning games, killing enemy champions, or killing enemy minions.
At the beginning of each act players can choose a character, or characters, to follow. Giving them each a different objective to complete and a free summoner icon to boot. Through each act, it’s shed light onto a few champions and their story in this new lore, changing the background and history of the champions Graves and Twisted Fate a few times over the course of the acts. The biggest shake up, however, just happened. At the end of Act III, a champion was killed. Video game characters die all the time, but they come back. While playing League, the champions die all the time, but they come back. It’s just the video game thing today. Except, this was different.
In the game lore, Gangplank is dead. There is even a little warning in the game client that pops up when Riot discovers a game breaking bug and has to disable certain features in the game. There is one during this event. Gangplank is dead. He has been disabled in all queues. So, this champion, that Riot spent months reworking, re-balancing, and making relevant, and launching a new event around, Gangplank is unavailable to players. A champion who was just released and many players just spent their IP, or that they perhaps purchased with RP, using their real hard earned cash, is unavailable.
Now, I’m sure this isn’t something permanent. It really can’t be. Riot Games just spent a good majority of a good portion of their team’s time reworking a champion for re-release in their game. And his rework was pretty great, he brought a new little meta to each round with his ability to help in fights across the map. But, alas, this new reworked Gangplank is dead, in all intents and purposes across the game of League of Legends. He’ll be back, I’m sure of it. Just when though, I don’t know.
I also really hate Miss Fortune right now for “killing” Gangplank in canon. I just spent 3150 IP on him and was learning to love him. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty interesting move by Riot Games to kill off and make unavailable a specific champion through their new interactive story of Bilgewater. So far this event has been pretty grand and I can’t wait to see what they may do with other characters who hail from different areas.
Now I really want to see a story arc like this reworking both Shen and Zed. The resident ninjas of League of Legends, or is that too tacky? I’ll be tacky anyways, I want to see that.