So, I guess I’m not entirely sure where to start.
The primary decision I’m trying to make here is whether it is worth buying a bad skin for a champion just so Riot will consider it profitable and release more content for them.
Here is the context. I am a Kalista OTP.
Kalista launched November 20th of 2014 with her, from what I’ve been able to piece together from the community of Kalista mains, most popular skin, Blood Moon. This skin launched at 975 RP and is still her most favored skin. A little less than a year later Championship Kalista was released, also for 975 RP, and with an overall high impact over worlds that year, it makes sense that she was given the Champ skin. Due to her popularity that season, despite Riot’s best efforts to give Bang a Sivir skin rather than a Kalista skin, Kalista ended up getting her next skin the following year, August 18th, 2016, again for 975 RP. Now I can’t remember the source, but I do recall at some point Riot mentioning that worlds skins don’t interfere with the champion’s regular skin roadmap (if anyone has that reference, I would appreciate the link), meaning that the time that had passed since she had gotten a scheduled skin was a little over 6 years, 2,234 days. Even not taking that into consideration, the amount of time that passed between her latest skin, SKT, and her newest skin was a little over 4 years, or 1,597 days.
I’m going to refer to this article quite a bit so I’m just going to leave this here:
I want to bring up all of the contradictions between things that happened for other champions versus Kalista, and how much we as a community it seems we are often disregarded.
I’m pretty active within the Kalista Mains discord server, and while obviously we are not the all-encompassing feelings of every Kalista main out there, I feel as though we are a large enough segment of the more committed Kalista mains out there that I’m going to refer to us as such. I’m speaking solely for myself here, but I can safely say that I believe many of them would agree with the bulk of this post.
The large majority of us despise Marauder Kalista. To many of us, it seemed like Riot released this filler revamp of an old 750 RP skin line (which I loved the old Warden and Marauder skins, they were great for the cheap price) for less popular or more niche champs just so they could say they hadn’t gone xxx+ days without a skin anymore. So, they lightly spruce up those old looks and try to pass these off as 1350 RP quality skins, in attempt to knock out all those champs who had gone forever without a skin off the list. And while yes, this was absolutely a slap in the face, some of the events that have happened since the announcement of the skin have felt much worse.
Here is a small, condensed overview of a few of the things that happened after.
There was a thread listed in the subreddit for the PBE for feedback on the skin.
Many of the comments were ignored, which hurt. We were upset that after over 6 years, her only other non-worlds, non 975 RP skin was going to be so similar in color scheme to her launch skin, one that many Kalista mains still argue is by far better than Marauder Kalista. There were complaints about the volume of her auto attack sounds versus the rend sounds. While probably not important to most people, being able to differentiate the sound of the rend from the auto has some mechanical intricacies that wouldn’t be as easily understood by someone who doesn’t play the champion regularly or to a more complex degree of skill, so not responding to something that has an impact on gameplay felt like an oversight. I think most importantly, however, was the feedback in regards to the chomas. Many of us were willing to overlook the fact that the skin itself didn’t feel like a skin that was worth 1350RP if we could at the very least have some decent color options. For whatever reason, Riot absolutely refused to hear us out on out feedback for the chromas. For those unaware, the base for Marauder Kalista is red, but the chromas change her full model into other, mostly monochromatic colors. The problem is that her model sits with the chroma-colored spear in hand, but when she throws it, the spear that leaves her hand is base red again. It looks terrible. And we heard all sorts of backlash for this complaint. “Not everyone’s chroma projectiles change.” Yes, but some do, and in this case, it looks awful if they don’t, because it is terribly inconsistent. While also awful, it would have looked better to just keep the red spear in its totality. “They probably couldn’t code them to be different colors.” Nope, Championship chroma spears change color based on the chroma. “They wanted readability and if they changed the spear color then no one would be able to tell that they were her spears.” If this was the case then there wouldn’t be chromas for other champions that did dramatically change the color, or even skins that offered variance in projectiles. They were willing to change the color of the Zed model that appears in Withered Rose Syndra’s recall, but not the most important part of Kalista’s kit?
Despite all the effort we put into trying to be heard, any complaints we made were removed from the primary League subreddit, and all responses we got on the PBE feedback thread felt like a way to divert our displeasure to somewhere where no one was going to listen.
Since this all happened, here is a small list of things that I can think of off of the top of my head that make us feel very ignored in all of this.
While having literally zero affect on the gameplay, they changed the size of Yuubee’s eyebrows because the community was unhappy with it.
Senna players hated how the guns didn’t adequately change colors with the chromas, so Riot updated all of them.
In the 10/6/2021 patch notes, it listed that they had updated J4’s walls to match each chroma, as well as updated Dawnbringer Vex’s chromas to have the colors fit more seamlessly overall.
It just feels so disrespectful to have every bit of criticism we had towards an already disliked skin, something we were just trying to salvage, be ignored, when other champions seemed like they were so effortlessly getting the changes they deserved.
This next part is unrelated to the skin issue, but pertains to how it seems like Kalista is an abandoned champion, so feel free to skip this part if you’re uninterested in the lore or gameplay bugs.
She played outwardly no part in the almost year long story line in which her uncle was the primary focus. Even though a lot of the story pertained to Viego’s origin story, Kalista was mentioned once in a small bit of promotional material explaining his relation to other Shadow Isles Champions and side characters.
I still talk to people who don’t realize that Kalista is even related to Viego, let alone the other smaller details of their lore.
While Kalista was the reason for Isolde’s death and she went out to find the Blessed Isles for Viego, none of the stories that were released mentioned any of this at all. But it’s not as though it was retconned, because the piece above confirms it wasn’t. So why was she seemingly forgotten?
A short story was released for her during the event, in which she was mentioned in a few short paragraphs near the end, but the story wasn’t really about her.
The comics that were released blatantly go against Kalista’s lore, specifically stating that Veigo found the Blessed Isles himself. She is also a commander in his army and the reason Isolde was poisoned, so why, within all of the art involving the moment of that attack, are there only generic placeholder figures, when it would have been minimal effort to just include Kalista instead?
Throughout all of the promotional material for the Ruined King game, she’s not present, but Braum is a playable character? Someone from across the continent? Granted, not all of the information about this is out, so there could very well be some lore that clears all of this up, but as of right now, it’s another thing that it feels like she should be included in where she hasn’t been. Within this past year, Kalista had some ghost nerfs done to her rend ratios, and the amount of effort we had to put in to figure out all the numbers and stress we went through before we figured out why for some reason our rends just weren’t killing when they should was way too high. If a champion like Yasuo or Lux had similar issues, I feel as though the player base for those champions wouldn’t have to do all of their own research to try to prove to Riot that something was wrong, it would just be looked into.
She has had a bug for years where if she is hit with any hard crowd control, her next auto attack just disappears. She has a bug where if you auto something at the right time as it’s dying, you stand still and cant auto anything until you manually move her.
The only skin she has that plays the audio for her rend animation consistently, every time, is Blood Moon. Every other skin or her base skin drops the audio.
Her Q, Pierce, is intended to pull all spears to the next target, but this is only the case with the first subsequent target. Anything after the first target they transfer to is only given the one spear. We believe Riot intentionally left this issue in the game, which is fine, but it should probably be reworded in her kit description. The number of people who come into the Kalista mains discord and ask about a specific bug is sad, and it’s even more sad when we have to tell them it’s been in the game for years. They say they’re going to put in a ticket or a bug report, and the members collectively chuckle because this has never done anything in the past, so why bother.
Her W, Sentinel, oftentimes doesn’t go where it’s sent. There are MANY other bugs that she still has that have been ignored as well, or somewhat fixed by proxy, such as a bug with Phantom Dancer before the item rework and after.
We try to document all of the bugs we find, but it’s hard when her passive feels like its coded like spaghetti.
Back to the core dilemma with the skin.
Within the above article, Riot explained how they consider the sale rate vs. the play rate vs. popularity of a champion, among other things, to determine how worth it is for them to consider a champion for a new skin. They specifically talk about the success of Dunkmaster Ivern, and how they wonder if maybe the players were so “starved for content,” that they were willing to buy whatever it was Riot had to offer them. I feel as though this is a very similar situation to what Kalista mains went through with Marauder Kalista. So many of the Kalista players I know, while not all of them, are so unhappy with this skin. It felt like low effort, filler content that was used to say “haha, you guys got a skin, now we don’t have to give you guys anything for the next 1000 days,” or whatever timeframe it is that Riot is trying to ensure champions are getting skins within. But does Riot know that? I know many Kalista players who didn’t buy the skin, myself included, just to prove a point, that Riot didn’t deserve the money for this incredibly lackluster skin, but at what point does Riot just assume that people don’t care enough to buy Kalista skins when in reality, we care so much that we won’t just buy underwhelming content and settle, because we want better for our champion?
I suppose I’m ultimately just wondering how much Riot listens to feedback from other communities. What about the unpopular champs who have seemingly been ignored? Has anyone else bought a skin they hate just so Riot might listen? Did it feel impactful? Do they even know how much many of us despise this skin and how we’ve been treated for disliking it? Should we just buy the skin so Riot sees profit and considers another skin, or will they assume that we liked the skin at that point and see no need to make a better one for a while? It’s coming up on a year since this skin came out, and I still don’t know what I can do to have any impact on seeing well for my champion. I watch them release four Zyra skins over the course of a year, or five Yasuo skins over the course of two, and it just feels so disrespectful. Trust me, I genuinely understand that Kalista is not a popular champion. I realize that they will make very little money off of us as a whole, but couldn’t they, after 4, or 6 depending on what you consider appropriate, years do better? I feel as though so many of us would legitimately be fine with getting one really solid skin and not seeing another one for years rather than just being dumped low effort content every once in a shorter while just because they want to stay true to their word, that they are making content for everyone.
I dunno, it all just hurts as a Kalista main and I’m tired.
TLDR; Will buying Marauder Kalista, or not, impact Riots decision making when deciding to give her content later, or is the Kalista mains community too small that it doesn’t even matter?
- None Found
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