Why We Like Galio (and Why New Galio Doesn't Live Up to Him)

http://i.imgur.com/a5xtq.jpg This is meant to be a collection of my constructive criticisms concerning the Galio VGU. This is not meant to be me blindly hating something because "old good, new bad." I am legitimately putting down why I think Galio was cool and why I think the new Galio doesn't live up to that. And also some thoughts on the positive aspects of the VGU (because it's not _all_ bad). I wanted to wait until all bio, story, etc were all released before making any judgments. I am also not judging inherent quality like graphical fidelity, execution, etc, as all of this is top notch and not the focus of this post. **Gameplay** First, I'll get the gameplay out of the way. I intend to focus more on the visual and story aspects of Galio's character since I really don't play Galio all that often. I enjoy him more as a character. That said, I did want to touch on it briefly. Old Galio was really fun, and a nice change of pace mid lane to counter magic-heavy teams. His ult was very fun to execute and even though I didn't play him in normals all that often, I was always excited to nab him in an ARAM. The new kit looks like even more my speed, a tanky initiator meant to function in many roles and can peel too. My biggest concern is the overlap with Shen's kit; Galio just seems like he has a really similar kit to Shen but does everything better (AOE taunt on basic ability, global ally teleport, etc). He does seem like he might be overtuned as well. Overall though, I like the direction the gameplay team went with him. I think generally the folks on Gameplay do a great job of keeping the feel of a Champion's kit but updating it and coming up with something fun (with some exceptions, but this isn't the time or place for that). **Lore** Here we come to the part that old Galio was much stronger at. A quick synopsis of old Galio lore: the sculptor Durand made statues for many places all over Demacia, imbuing them with magic and bringing them to life in order to protect the various towns and villages. Galio was his magnum opus, and he was tasked with protecting the creator himself. Noxus sends elite assassins after Durand, of course, and Galio fails to protect him. Utterly devastated, he sits there for hundreds of years at the site of Durand's death, little more than a statue. He is finally stirred to fight for Demacia again when a little Yordle {{champion:78}} unknowingly inspires him with her determination. New Galio lore has little to nothing to do with this story. A brief summary: proto-Demacians discover a material that can resist magic effectively. They build their city walls from the stuff, but it is little help in battles abroad. They task sculptor Durand with creating a statue to bring with their armies, protecting from magic and inspiring the troops. The magic that the stone absorbs allows Galio to become sentient, but he remains in a dormant state without the presence of enemy magic, only springing to life every couple of centuries. This gives a bittersweet edge to the tale, as Galio is enthusiastic to be able to fight and help the Demacians he holds dear, but his own actions cut short his brief bout of movement by killing the magic that brings him to life. Giving credit where credit is due, the new backstory does a great job of incorporating Galio's "magic tank" fantasy into his bio. I really like the descriptions of the material he is made from and I think it adds a lot. It's one of the only things that makes sense to add, and doesn't completely ignore Galio's original story. I can't say the same for the rest of it. They pretty much took the idea "protective statue" and the name "Galio" and that's pretty much all that's left. While old Galio's story is by no means flawless, it was a lot more personal, while also incorporating his Demacian patriotism (although admittedly, his Demacian roots needed fleshing out). New Galio's lore tells us over and over how much he holds these people dear, even though he can't move or interact with them, and even though these people often live and die without ever knowing Galio is sentient. He still wants to protect them. It was a sad thing that he couldn't protect all these people because he couldn't move. That's all well and good, but old Galio lore didn't _have_ to **tell** us. We just got it. Galio was protecting the man whose work was essential to keeping Demacia safe. This was very important to all of Demacia. But it's also important to Galio himself on a personal level. He's protecting his creator, essentially his parent, and failing that is a huge loss emotionally for Galio as well as for Demacia as a whole. There's a reason Uncle Ben dies and Batman's parents are dead; this is a huge factor in a hero's character development. Heroes need a call to action, a raison d'etre, and a lot of the time the death of someone integral to the hero's history is what kicks off their journey as a character. They know what happens when they fail, the stakes are high, and they owe to that person's memory to continue their work. New Galio helps the greater whole of Demacia, but has literally zero personal connections. Durand is little more than a footnote in New Galio's bio. With old Galio, we had both. We had the importance of greater good, and we also had importance on a more personal level. **Personality** The primary mood of Galio's tale is definitely sadness. All his original lines (especially their delivery) and actions reflect his melancholic backstory. Galio is a Demacian, through and through, but you can tell from his voice that he doesn't like fighting, he doesn't like the consequences. He does what's needed to protect innocents, because he knows all too well the cost if he fails. He's one of the few Champions--let alone Demacian Champions--that is not loud and boisterous and extremely confident. He's confident, but reserved. Patriotic, but not rambunctious. He's the Sentinel's Sorrow. New Galio is pretty much nothing like this. I will admit that there is a certain air of bittersweetness to his lines knowing his backstory, but this has the unfortunate side effect of making him act absolutely nothing like Galio. There's nothing wrong with champs like Braum or Draven who are over-the-top and enthusiastic about fighting. But that's not Galio. He's just not one of those characters and I for one like seeing a variety of views and personalities in our Champions. This subtle change in his backstory has made him feel unfamiliar, which is a big no-no for VGUs. If they kept nothing but Galio's melancholic personality, I might not be compelled to write this way too long post. However, this Galio is nothing like old Galio, and he doesn't evoke any feelings of old Galio. If a VGU does nothing but evoke the _feeling_ of the original champion, then it can at least claim some success. With Galio's VGU, this is not the case. **Visual Design** I won't spend too much time here, as I think this is much more objective and honestly are more minor complaints. https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/YPkgrKq9J9zGLXdhtss-v12P3vY=/640x0/filters:no_upscale()/i.imgur.com/geoaV8P.jpg In Riot's insights into designing Galio, they state that Gargoyles are little more than fancy rain spouts. They completely missed the point. Gargoyles are indeed just really fancy ways to drain water, but they _represent_ a way to ward off evil spirits and protect the building. In this way, Galio is a gargoyle. However, gargoyles are not very Demacian. Fair enough, they wanted Galio to look more heroic and less monstrous to suit the rest of the Demacian Champions. Despite this logical reason, I disagree with the visuals they produced. The number one thing that bothers me is his color scheme; as in, where's all the color? Ignoring the fact that they threw out Galio's original colors entirely, there's just nothing appealing to look at. It's all this blinding white, with a few spurts of gold to mercifully break it up. Why not add some more blue, another common Demacian color? Even ignoring all this, why is he so big? He wasn't called the Colossus before so this is entirely an added element to his character. The splash art makes it extremely clear that he towers over _everything_, he's even crushing somebody's house. Riot's Galio Insights specifically state he is "**mountain-sized**". It seems rather difficult to defend people without crushing them at that size. This is not only ridiculous, but doesn't even make sense in the context of this new story. Demacia wanted a statue they can take with them to war as protection. Isn't something this big way too cumbersome? If it's going to be this big, why not make it a wheel or a cart so it's easier to transport? If Riot wanted to make Galio big, by all means make him big, but maybe try making him Optimus Prime-sized and not Godzilla levels of huge. It feels like Riot got overzealous with this idea of "Colossus" and didn't stop to think it all the way through. His overall design is just sort of bland. He's little more than a man-shaped statue. It makes me wonder what happened to all of these concepts? https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8_AhmOSSk5M/WMrUFaW7HCI/AAAAAAAAgIA/ffYilATMbfELFv8BHT-RO1iiR575J53uwCLcB/s640/LOL_CMS_55_Article_01.jpg Why weren't some of these designs implemented? They could have added some element of beast to him without looking completely monstrous. I also see more opportunities for varied color in this concept art as well. His wings were cleverly changed, though, to resemble the Demacia symbol. This is one design element I can get behind. As for the rest, it's mostly just dull. **Conclusion** I realize that this post will likely get lost to the depths of obscurity or maybe get downvoted immediately or otherwise go unread. It's also very unlikely anything about Galio--particularly his lore and personality--will change in accordance with this post or any others like it. I mostly post this to try and convey how VGUs ought to be handled, in the hopes that someone will read and take it to heart, maybe think about it a little. These are BIG changes and while I expect BIG changes for any given VGU, there has to be some elements of the old character for fans to gravitate towards. I don't want all this wasted potential in these half-baked stories to just get dumpstered, I want to see them develop and grow. While reading the Champ Insight, it became clear to me that Riot wanted to make the Colossus, and not the Sentinel's Sorrow. I know their intentions are good and they just want to give players a cool character, but unlike a brand new champion, there is a history the developers are expected to draw from. I think Gameplay is really good at zeroing in on the important and fun elements of an outdated Champion's kit and redesigning them based around it. Lore and visuals have a worse track record, and really need to learn from their experiences. In conclusion, old Galio was refreshing in how melancholic and purposeful he was in his service to Demacia. His story had way more elements to relate to and to expand not only the character Galio but also the world of Runeterra. While new Galio has some decent elements, overall he doesn't capture the feeling I expected from a champion with the name "Galio". Thanks for reading and feel free to discuss :) Edit: Thanks for all the great discussion! I have posted another [companion piece](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/gR7195cZ-sion-how-to-update-a-champion-properly) of sorts to this, doing a similar analysis of how effective the VGU was for Sion, and doing some light comparisons to Galio. If you're interested, feel free to discuss Sion over there!
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