Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Champion Concept: Waitomo

Concept Lore
Waitomo is an ancient being lost to myth -- a creature of lore known for it's rarity and viciousness. Akin to the cave newts of the Kumungu Jungle, Waitomo lived in the darkness -- isolated from the world. Using his luminous tails, Waitomo would lure in prey that had gotten lost within his tunnels. Thinking the light was they way out, Waitomo's prey would stumble right into his grasp. But something above his tunnels and caverns changed -- and the air and earth became saturated with an energy Waitomo knew nothing of. Until he stood upright and openly looked upon day's light -- and he simply understood. No longer bound by the darkness,Waitomo ventured forth with sentience and hunger.

Concept Game-Play
I thought of Waitomo as a stealthy and quick jungler with intense health regeneration. He's a creature of magic now, and I thought that the regenerative capabilities of him would be on a whole new level that not even the league has seen before, something the enemy would keep saying "why won't this thing just die?!". Like the newts he's based on, I thought that he would also be fast -- skittering around the battlefield to catch prey with his luminous tails. The difference between Waitomo and Mundo would be more along the lines of less damage, and a more mobile and utility kit -- with taunts or grabs via the tails and of course bursts of brief stealth. You can think of him as a combination of Mundo, Kha'Zix, and Twitch.

Art Direction
I wanted more creatures for the league -- and it's rare in any fantasy based universe that I see a creature based on luminous cave creatures. So taking cave newts as a base, I worked Waitomo up from there. Creatures like Waitomo scare me a bit -- they put me at an unease. This is something that sees you in the dark, when you can't see anything. Waitomo is something that can skitter around in your peripheral vision and make you jump. And I realized that Waitomo is actually Gollum. They're not the same character, but they share the same roots in concept. So naturally I added the Ring of Power as an homage to the similarities -- otherwise, Waitomo is straight creature. He has a large skull and mouth for catching prey, three tails (two vestigial and one articulated) that can extend and retract, and he is luminous. I picture him as something that runs on all fours -- but he's shown upright in the art to get a better look at him. He has two color variations posted -- his default, and how he would look in typical Gollum/Mountain Troll fashion.