A New Champion Approaches… Hilde, the Kinslayer

First Concept Art, click to expand

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Lore

As one looks upon the vast glimmering skyline of Demacia, it is difficult to imagine that all this glory once did not exist. Valoran did not always have the watchful eye of Demacia to care for it’s people. Aeons ago, the land of Valoran was uncivilized and wild. Clans would kill each other over petty squabbles, fighting over tiny portions of land and the honour of their families. In these times of chaos, Valoran needed a visionary to unite the clans. After years of torment, Jarvan Lightshield the First rose to prominence.

Jarvan I, the first king of Demacia, was charismatic and driven. He appealed to his citizens’ desire for justice and a harmonious society. There were many who enjoyed the status quo, ruthless clans which enjoyed the violence and power allowed to them by the lawless lands of Valoran. Jarvan promised peace and civility, but he was not naive. Demacia could not be founded on weak words and promises, it needed power to show its detractors that it was capable of fierce vengeance. In order to defeat the ruthless, Jarvan needed to fight fire with fire.

The most ruthless clan was led by a ferocious warrior named Grimr. His clan was renowned for their unparalleled combat skills and fearlessness. Jarvan gathered all the gold and treasures he could muster, and offered Grimr a deal. Grimr and his clan were to become Jarvan’s right hand. They would destroy anyone who opposed his way. In return, his clan would be granted countless riches and command over the armies of Jarvan’s future city. Grimr was hesitant, he deliberated slaying this pompous weakling right then and there, but he had seen visions of a great power emerging in the east. He was a barbarian, but he knew that his clan could not survive the wrath of the enemy depicted in his dreams. He agreed to Jarvan’s proposal.

For countless years, Grimr and his son, and his son’s son, were the loyal but hidden weapon of Jarvan Lightshield’s burgeoning civilization. Jarvan’s people were oblivious to the violent actions the great king was ordering on their behalf. Grimr’s family were kinslayers, slaughtering any houses that stood against the Lightshield clan. Eventually, when looking over the glorious city of Demacia, the atrocities would be forgiven. Sten Grimsson, son of Grimr, took over the operation when his father passed. His son, Harald Stensson followed. Throughout the ages, the Grimr clan acquired endless treasures, mighty artefacts from all across Valoran. However, as Demacia grew there was less need for their barbaric actions. When Grimr II Haraldsson was left as the head of their house, the current king; Jarvan III, had no need for him.

As the great city of Demacia rose up around him, Grimr II (named after his great ancestor) was little more than a nobleman. He sat on his balcony, reminiscing about the stories his father used to tell him. He would drink wine all day and grow increasingly tired of his insignificant life. The night before his daughter was born, he had a vision. Grimr’s clan would be needed, once again. The battlefield was calling to him, he could feel it in his blood. But Grimr II was a warrior no longer.

When the League was formed, Grimr knew at once what the knock on his door was about. It was an emissary of Jarvan III. Jarvan requested that Grimr’s house take up arms for Demacia once more. Grimr knew what this meant. His daughter, Hilde, was almost coming of age. For many years he had told her tales of his forefathers, warriors who wielded his family’s powerful artefacts on the battlefield. Hilde’s eyes would glow whenever he mentioned the mighty Fyrone Temblor, an axe capable of causing the earth to shake. She would feel safe in times of crisis when the Aegis of Kaladoun was protecting her ancestors in the bloody theatre of war. Glorious excitement would fill her heart whenever Grimr mentioned the cursed blades from Icathia, capable of draining the strength out of Demacia’s enemies.

She had heard the legends, now she would train to become a legend herself. The League was calling, it was time for Hilde to regain her family’s honour and become the right hand of Jarvan Lightshield once more.

“I thought I could leave behind our houses’ sordid relationship, Grimr, but Demacia needs your talents once again.”

– Jarvan III

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Abilities:

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Icathian Blades: Upon unsheathing this weapon, Hilde phases to the target location, increasing the attack damage and ability power of nearby allies. Passively grants lifesteal and can be cast again to deal damage to all enemy units a cone in front of her.

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Icathian Blades/Cursed Power

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Fyrone Temblor: Upon unsheathing this weapon, Hilde causes the ground to tremor, stunning surrounding enemies in 2 short bursts. Passively grants a stackable armor and magic resistance debuff on attack. Can be cast again to deal massive true damage to a single target, with bonus damage based on the difference between Hilde’s resistances and her targets’.

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Fyrone Temblor/Mountain Divide

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Aegis of Kaladoun: Upon unsheathing this weapon, Hilde forges a shield that protects all nearby allies. Passively grants a stackable armor and magic resistance buff when hit by enemy attacks. Can be cast again to protect an ally from damage, splitting all damage taken by Hilde’s target by up to 50%.

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Aegis of Kaladoun/Keeper's Will

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Onslaught (Ultimate): After a short delay, Hilde charges to the target area, causing an effect based on her currently equipped weapon. Icathian Blades steals resistances in the area of effect. Fyrone Temblor modifies movement speed in the area of effect. Aegis of Kaladoun knocks back the nearest enemy champion. While charging, Hilde is immune to crowd control and reflects all damage back at her enemies.

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Girdle of Magnetism (Passive): Every 5 seconds, Hilde taunts nearby enemy champions for 1 second.

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Confused?

  • Hilde’s 3 skills (Icathian Blades, Fyrone Temblor and Aegis of Kaladoun) are stances, like Udyr’s.
  • When she switches into a stance, it has an activation effect.
  • When she is in the stance, she has a persistent effect.
  • When she is currently in a stance, the skill icon changes (Like when Lee Sin uses his abilities). Being in Icathian Blades stance allows the use of Cursed Power, Fyrone Temblor allows Mountain Divide and Aegis of Kaladoun allows Keeper’s Will. Therefore she can only have 1 targetable cast ability at a time.
  • Hilde’s ultimate is an initiation dash that culminates in a spell cast once she reaches her destination. The effect of the spell depends on her current stance. This is the Onslaught effect in the skill descriptions.

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Timeline

This has been every post I’ve written regarding Hilde. If you want to know how it came from mind to matter, read this wall of massive walls of text!

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  1. LoL Tank Design – Problem Statement
  2. The Female Tank Pt.I – Real life female tanks
  3. The Female Tank Pt.II – Mythological female badasses and an honourable mention
  4. LoL Tank – Aesthetic checklist and skill concept
  5. LoL Tank Update – Draft concept art
  6. LoL Tank – Aesthetic preview
  7. LoL Tank – A rose by any other name…
  8. LoL Tank – Hilde might have a problem…
  9. Balancing Hilde – Power Resource
  10. Balancing Hilde – Cooldowns and Effect Durations
  11. Balancing Hilde – Castable Cooldowns and UI
  12. Balancing Hilde – Damage and Effects Pt.I
  13. Balancing  Hilde – Damage and Effects Pt.II
  14. Balancing Hilde – Finishing touches on her skills…
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Final Thoughts

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OK, this is it!

I started this project on the 28th January (!!!!!) with a tank problem statement. Since then I’ve looked for inspiration in both film, history and mythology, broken out my pen and paper, spent way too long colouring it in on Fireworks (Photoshop is not my friend) and worked on a huge number of skills (more than any other champion currently in game).

Overall, I think Hilde has turned out a little more complicated than I’d have first thought, but I really do think she’d be a joy to play with. Since I’ve worked on my champion, Lee Sin was released (another champion with dual skills) and I think he will be a lot more complicated to play than Hilde. Lee Sin has to aim a lot more, Hilde rarely aims anything! She’s like Udyr in this respect. If I was to describe Hilde’s gameplay, it would be like Udyr 2.0 mixed with Shen (in that she can dash, taunt and shield allies).

My goals were to create a fun, and challenging, female tank champion. Although it’s impossible to say without actually playing an implemented version, I think it’s been successful! But maybe I’m totally wrong, so I will have to submit this to the League of Legends forums and see what people think. LoL has a much less developed champion/hero suggestion community than DotA, so I am curious to see how it will be received.

Things I haven’t done yet? Well I haven’t really thought about item builds. To be honest, most tanks in LoL use the same builds anyway. I said tank items were a bit boring and I still agree, but that’s an item design issue rather than a champion design one. Hilde is hopefully a testament to that, since she’ll be fun because of her skills and not her item build. I also need to develop the art further. This is a strange subject because I’m not a great artist. The concept has come across well enough, I think, but I will never be able to draw something akin to the art currently done by Riot. Riot have some amazing artists and whatever I do won’t be able to do them justice. I should really add some detail to her girdle and add some rune designs and warpaint to her robe and skin. I might still do this.

Here is the post on the official forum. Comment there or here if you like! For anyone who has been following Hilde’s progress, I hope it’s all been worth the wait!

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Sam

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