Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Champion Concept: Katsumi

Concept Lore
Ionia suffered greatly during the Noxian invasion. After Ionia wrought back their lands and became part of the League -- an order was made in secret. It was clear that the path of balance would not defend them from such a hostile invasion, and the League can only settle so many matters. The secret order began taking youths and training them to be weapons -- assassins of the greatest skill. Among these assassins, Katsumi stood out as simply the best. Her prowess with sword technique was matched only by her incredible speed. After years of harsh training, Katsumi was given an enchanted katana and sent to the League to test her ability to battle, and execute, legends.

Concept Game-Play
Each ability is like Riven's Q (it can hit 3 times. You hit Q/W/E/R three times. They move her forward slightly). Her ultimate is an ability (you level it up like Udyr's Phoenix Stance). Each ability is a "Sword Stance". They are all linked with cooldowns. A combo = 3 abilities. (QWE, QRR, QEE, etc etc). When 3 abilities are used, all abilities go on cooldown for a time. Combining 2 or more of the same ability creates a new effect. Mixed combos (like QWR, QWE, ERW) do nothing but their original effects. (see more about her concept game-play on page.64)

The reason I made Katsumi to play this way, is because I've read a lot of posts asking for the Invoker. I never played any DOTAs, but from what I understand is that the Invoker is a high skillcap mage with a lot of different ability outcomes. This was my answer to that need. The great thing about this version though, is that the character is simple to use (you can just QQQ if you want), but if you can really make use of her combos in the right situations, she becomes very rewarding. It's not overly complex when you understand that there are only 8 effects outside of what the abilities originally do, and 4 of the effects share abilities from the other 4. So QQ inflicts grievous wound. But so does QQQ. QQQ just adds AoE damage ontop. She was made to fit a play-style that rewarded aggressive attacks, but punished ill-timing. She rewards players who take the time to master her combos, as she herself had to master the sword. Her skills are also FAST. She's a blur. QQQ -- or whatever combo you want, is almost as fast as you can hit the keys. I really pushed a concept kit this time around because I wanted people to think that this was a character they could rush in with, and combo in the blink of an eye, and be rewarded for combo'ing correctly given the situation. The "quick combo slash" comes from Samurai battle tropes. One movement, 3 slashes, 1/2 a second -- that's the mentality of Katsumi.

Art Direction
As for her art style, I wanted to giver her a "traveled" look. She's a wandering assassin. The original concept (adding to the idea of stances in her kit) originally had clues to those stances, like a turtle shell shoulder pad, or a foxtail belt. But I thought that way made her too "Female Udyr" so I went a little more rogue in her design, to show that she's bursty, but frail. And the hood is orange because I never see orange hoods, and red was waaaaay too cliche. Other colors also put forth other archetypes. Black was too dominant and cliche again, purple and blue came off too royal, yellow was out of place, and green read as ranger. Katsumi also was made to fill the role of "bad ass chick with a katana". Hopefully she's far enough removed art-wise to be a newer take on that trope. I also wanted to push her away from stealthy -- which I think is something that has a negative cliche attached to it. So instead, she's more like Twilight Sazuka from Outlaw Star, if you've ever seen that Anime. Basically, she's an obvious assassin with enough skill to not have to be stealthy.