It looks like the leak we reported today was indeed real ^_~
Looks like our cover’s been blown…
Yep, this is new Karma. Yep, this is a big change. We believe Karma needed a reimagining, and we are going to talk to you about why we feel that’s the case. But before we dig into it, there’s something you should probably know first – anyone who owns Karma before her relaunch will get this Traditional Karma skin for free:
This is important, because we know there are lots of fans (heh) of Karma’s existing look, and we don’t want to take that for granted.
We actually have been working on a dev diary that talks about our thought process behind Karma’s relaunch, but since the cat’s out of the bag…we’ll share the story and art sections of the dev diary right here, right now. We’ll release the full dev diary, including details on her new kit, when she’s ready for PBE (which is pretty soon). Without further ado, here’s her new splash:
Grumpy Monkey will talk a little about her new visual design, and then Runaan will give you some insight into Karma’s reimagined backstory.
Why did you change Karma’s look and costume?
Karma’s original look had a few shortcomings that we’d like to address for her relaunch. For starters, her aesthetic was hard to read and didn’t really convey much about her character. Her fans, dress and posture didn’t reflect her playstyle or storyline. There was a lot we could change about Karma to bring a more cohesive vision to the character.
First, we made sure that Karma’s new look showed off her status as a paragon of Ionia while appearing unique on the battlefield. Her floating fans weren’t cutting it as magical conduits, so we replaced them with a powerful manifestation of her Ionian will. Now, Karma carries the draconic symbol of Ionia with her at all times. We also decked her out in Ionian garb to emphasize her allegiance. We also crafted a new set of animations that emphasized her status as a champion of Ionia rather than a matronly diplomat.
This new approach to Karma transforms her into a badass conduit of inner strength that brings Ionia’s strength to every battlefield.
Karma Relaunch: Creative Design
In the past, we’ve created engaging characters that epitomize the ideals of their homeland. Garen as the Might of Demacia or Darius as the Hand of Noxus are good examples. With Karma, we wanted to capture Ionia, a place of wisdom and great spiritual power.
We also wanted to hold onto much of Karma's characterization. She's a strong leader and a mystic who stands apart from other champions.
What were we looking to improve with Karma?
The connection between Karma’s motif and playstyle was never as clear as it could have been. She didn’t have a distinct theme that tied everything together and brought out the badass spiritual leader she is in her lore.
Ionia is a land that has suffered greatly. The ongoing struggle has taken its toll on Karma's calm, composed demeanor. We wanted to evolve Karma's personality to suit her place in a nation filled with internal strife and awakened ferocity.
What have we done to address these issues?
Karma can now manifest her inner spirit and willpower as powerful magical energy. With her inner flame she can inspire and protect her allies, damage foes and manipulate the spiritual bonds between those around her. We’ve also taken her Ionian ties a step further: her magic springs from the crest of twin dragons in her mantle, literally and figuratively transforming her into a symbol of her homeland.
The changes we’ve made have given new life to Karma’s title, “The Enlightened One.” In the past, her title conveyed her serenity and calm. Now, it represents the enlightened path she’s found for Ionia: a new path, merging the spiritual traditions of Ionia with the nation’s newfound strength.
Finally, we've given Karma new VO that conveys her internal struggle and intensity. Karma’s attempting to unite a wounded and divided nation, which is no easy task! We want you to believe she’s got the inner strength—and inner flame—that it takes to persevere.
Karma’s now the powerful Ionian leader she was always meant to be. Through her determination and indomitable spirit, she's set to rebuild Ionia and inspire her people to greatness.