Dear Riot and fellow League players...
Im here to express my worry for the Ezreal rework. The gameplay and visual rework sounds like a somewhat healthy change for the character howEVER... I dont really feel like what you are doing here is the right direction for the character. Well It maybe is the right direction for him but I think the execution is not that great. Im gonna try and compile everything I feel about this rework in a somewhat easy to navigate breakdown but wether its gonna work or not...well thats for the readers to decide. There will be a bit of a TLDR at the end for all interested in the thread that didnt wanna go trough a wall of poorly articulated text.
1)Concept and execution
-Now letts talk about the basic idea behind the rework. Ezreal was apparently designed to feel kinda like a pretty boy anime protagonist ever since the begining. Thats the info I got anyways. I would assume even if that wasnt true that was somewhat the desire with the current changes. He definitely feels a lot more anime now (thats a turn off for me personally since anime kinda only works well in anime) but much like an anime protagonist there are good ones and bad ones. While character flaws are what define a good anime protagonist, hell a good character all around its impotant not to have ONLY unlikable character traits. Even if you do it that way some should be resolved almost ASAP. That is probably the biggest reason why those flaws exist in the first place. To propel the protagonist forward, to journey out , proceed the plot and resolve his internal/external conflict. I have been playing league for a looooong time now and I know that Ezreal wont be updated in an episode to episode/chapter to chapter way to a point where we get to see him grow into a likable and dependable character.Even if he does get a lot of lore focusing on his character development wed still have this joke of a character as the actual playable one. Its a slap in the face to all of us who like the character. With the current rework Ezreal is entirely unlikable. He is loud, obnoxious, unable to keep himself from shouting memes and pop culture references, looses track of the difference between real people behavior and anime characters. If the character feels fictional to a point where you cant suspend your disbelief then that is likely not a good character. He represses his emotions and tries really hard to look cooler then he really is , he fanboys over girls despite it being a common trope in anime to have the main character sort of oblivious to romance at all. At least shonen characters operate that way and I cant exactly fit ezreal in a harem because harem characters tend to be perfect and by extension mostly boring. He isnt slice of life because his life is too unlikable and out of this world. So at the end of the day he is all and nothing at once with an accent on nothing. But thats just a bit of the problem though. He isnt obnoxious in a likable way like Draven, Jayce and most recently Taric are. He is just full on annoying brat. I believe toning that aspect down and reflecting on it further in the lore would be a good way to create character development . We wanna play as the cool protagonist with maybe some flaws sprinkled in to make him feel real, not the weak and obnoxious one with next to no redeeming quality other then good genetics. I have been character loyal to Ezreal for a long time now. I played him in and out of meta. I found his cocky personality cool because he never really came across as insulting and had the backbone enforce that. He was skilled , intelligent and good looking. There was reason why he was so arrogant. He was also a thrill seeker and didnt want things like maps or traveling a beaten path. He wanted to face the world head on and satisfy his thirst for knowledge . He didnt depend on fame he knew he was cool. He knew it! Big part of being cool is not shouting it everywhere and demanding attention. The new Ezreal cant even walk forward without bragging about it or begging for aprooval. He is a brat and if you create a character that stays a brat forever then people will hate your character.
To recap the idea for his story is great but I think a more likable character in game is better then fixing him only in lore. Most people dont bother reading the lore sadly. They just wanna play the game as a cool character. You dont want him being a meme...I know I dont. Memes fade away and become irrelevant very soon. That is not the kind of youthfulness you wanna portrait.
2) Lore vs game representation
-In this here section i will focus entirely on how the lore and in game representation clash. I will mostly only talk about the reworked Ezreal and try to forget what he used to be like. I know change is good and we should do our best to accept changes but that doesnt mean we cant voice our concern over the changes. This is a problem I think League has overall but I will do my best not to skew into other topics for now.
So in essence this rework destroys the Ezreal we grew to love and cant even stay consistent with its own story. In the story(reworked) he is doing all of this in hopes of getting his parents back. Honestly Ezreal is a very clever young man so I find it hard to believe he is still in disbelief BUT I know plenty of people live in denial so its very much possible and cant knock him down because of it. Its a pretty decent plot point...HOWEVER...I dont think he ever properly makes it clear in the game that he never really grew up and that he had a somewhat bad childhood. His circumstances explain why he acts the way he does now. He doesnt want to be a ghost , he wants people to notice him...to recognize him. THATS FANTASTIC!!! But to the people playing the game without reading the lore (the majority) He is just a flat out brat who annoys the ever-living shit out of you. He never even mentions his parents or how he really feels. It makes it very hard to sympathize for him. Troublemakers in anime like Naruto were always presented to the viewer in a way where we could understand why they act the way they do. They carry a lot of emotional pain and cant really move on or change because they are stuck in a pattern of doing bad stuff to either get revenge or recognition. But all that ends up happening is people start to give up on them more and more causing them to get even worse and worse in order to signal they need help.
As for the explorer side of things? He isnt a prodigal explorer anymore. He actually kinda sucks at exploring. His lore has him basicly fail to prepare for his journey and sets him up as this idiot dead set on ruining historical sites rather then exploring them. He is a boy acting out a fantasy for all the wrong reasons and couldnt care less for the artifacts themselves....unless they gave him status. This is also reflected in gameplay interactions. In his interaction with Ashe his character is completely lost on us as a "lol funny omg" joke is prioritized over character integrity. He doesnt even know what the Averosan sculpture is despite " borrowing" it . He also doesnt just explore but he steals. He steals stuff even if the stuff had a rightful owner (as in not just tomb raiding) I know I said I wouldnt bring out old Ezreal much here but the old one would have at least known or cared what artifact Ashe gave him. He wanted to know. Thats just one example of Ezreal just being unbearable and unfaithful to his lore.
-Basically I feel that the way this rework was handled made a good concept fall flat and even ruin a character. It failed to stay consistent between the story and actual gameplay. As a seasoned Ezreal main with a strong passion for the character and a VERY strong bias towards him I find myself unable to play the rework simply because of how bad his personality is. I had a simular issue with characters like Jin Kisaragi from the BlazBlue series. No matter how good or even fun the character is their annoying and downright unlikable nature makes me avoid them like the plague. In some cases characters like this might even get to be universally hated to the point toxicity towards the player base. Couple that with a kit that some players find cheap (even though in ezreals case I dont think it is. He is a high skill high reward carry with plenty of counter-play) and you have a recipe for disaster. He will only be played when he is good and due to that cause him to be even more unlikable in a simular way the Mercy rework completely ruined her for Overwatch to a point where people universally hated Mercy mains with a passion. I dont wanna play a champion that disgusts me and most people who play him/against him and I want even less for that champion to be my previously all time favourite one. And even if I did like the champion I dont wanna be hated or made fun of for playing a champion hated by everyone. I personally find him worse then Teemo and people like to hate on Teemo a lot sooo its not looking good. I know you guys probably wont do anything about him but as someone whos only connection to the game left is this champion...I really hope you give him justice. Even if this is a somewhat new route and personality to the one I grew to love I think it can work really well if you just adress the flaws more heavily in his story and give us a little bit more mature ezreal who actually really cares about what he is doing. One who is actually operating on a little bit more of a level then a 12 year old with daddy issues. Please give this rework the justice it desirves. No matter what route you go with him PLEASE just make him a likable character. Sit down and ask yourself if you like him? If the answer is trully yes then I must be a minority and wont complain about anything else. But if deep down inside you guys at riot, and you guys who play the game...if deep down inside you know this isnt a well made character then please just redo the voice lines and remove some of the memes and "lol so random" moments. I dont want a out of touch manbaby ....I want a character...I want a CHAMPION.