> After a lot of discussions, we felt the fantasy of a “ruthless dictator” with powerful dark magic would lead to a **more satisfying game experience** for Swain compared to his current title as the Master Tactician. [...] In the end though, it felt right for the raven general to be on the battlefield ripping the souls out of his enemies rather than sitting back in a tent commanding troops. <
Even if hoped that maybe with Swain they would refrain from watering down a champion theme in order to appeal to broader/younger audiences... i expected disappointment.
My compliments to Riot games here, because "sitting back in a tent" was exactly what made Swain stand out as a champion, and what made him a true noxian leader. I'll explain myself:
In the lore, Darius favored Jericho Swain's ascent to power because he recognized in him the cunning of a master tactician, and not because his might as a "battelfield soul ripper". Darius didn't look at him on the battelfield "ripping souls out" and said: "shit, i should make this guy our leader. He's sooo COOOOL ripping souls off in the battelfield. He should definitely command our armies". You don't win wars "ripping souls out" on the frontline. You win wars masterfully moving armies in your tent; outsmarting enemy generals; being always one step ahead. That's the non-13-yo way to look at it. As a strategist you don't charge in the fray. We have plenty of champions who do that already.
You lost something that made Noxus look something more than the one dimensional nation on the strong bad guys always fighting. Something very important. Something more than "he's the strongest so must be the leader".
**Swain, being an old man and a cripple, was generally considered useless as a soldier by Noxian standard. Sure, he posseses great demonic powers, but it was implied that his double nature was actually a secret. He wasn't of noble origins. He wasn't a legendary war veteran either. So what brought him AT THE TOP OF A WHOLE NATION? Nothing but his own qualities. His competence. He was what Noxus needed most, in a period of heavy losses on the military field. He may be useless as a soldier, as a fighter, as a warrior... but he's the perfect leader. Darius, as a true Noxian, noticed those qualities and supported him openly in his ambitions: he didn't factor in his physical strenght, his birthright, or how many souls he rips out of his enemies on a daily basis.**
I honestly expect the new Swain to be significantly younger and not a cripple anymore, which is sad, because it's one more champion falling in the streamline of the target audience tastes. If you try to appeal to the minimum common denominator, the quality of the content you create will go down year after year.