So the new previews are out for the next cycle of the WK kingdom skins and frustratingly, they have the same problem the last batch had.
To explain to those who have no idea what i'm talking about. Warring Kingdoms is another name for the Warring States period in 5th century China. A time where China was famously split into three different kingdoms, each being led by powerful leaders; Liu Bei, Sun Quan and Cao Cao.
A famous novel exists in which the period has been hugely romanticised, named Romance of The Three Kingdoms.
Dynasty Warriors, as mentioned in the title, is the leading title series created by Japanese gaming company Tecmo Koei. If the name sounds familiar, you may know it from Hyrule Warriors!. Dynasty Warrior is based from the NOVEL and not entirely by historic records.
The three first champions to receive the Warring Kingdom skins were Jarvan IV, Xin Zhao and Tryndamere.
One of the skins is obvious to many who play smite, or may just happen to know little about the period. Trynademere's skin based from the 7th instalment is that of Guan Yu. Though this image of Yu is widely used by popular media so it's the most expected.
Xin Zhao's skin is mostly believed to be based from the 6th instalments depiction of Zhao Yun. The color scheme and hair are the biggest similarities as well as the armour and weapon.
The last of the three originals is J4's, based from the 8th Instalments depiction of Lu Bu. This is also obvious.
The issue is, this similarity stops here. The two skins to come out after belong to Katarina and Nidalee. These skins are supposedly designed from Diao Chan and Sun Shang Xiang respectively and although sources claim this as fact, i personally have no idea how. There are no similarities with either skin whatsoever. Now in regards to Nidalee, there is a version of SSX that does feature the same headpiece, of which comes from their popular PC gaming series Romance of The Three Kingdoms, and in this instance it is the 12th instalment. Ironically enough however, the 8th Instalments (Dynasty Warriors) Diao Chan features the same chest clothing. In no instalment however does Diao Chan look anything like Katarina's skin aside from the color scheme. There is a version of Chan in ROTK11 that features the same sort of top, but it is also the only version of Chan who does not wear the bikini like top.
With that all said. We now come to the three new skins shown in the teaser.
Coming to probably the easiest, Azir. Although entirely absent of any obvious similarity, i can believe that he is based from Shu Leader Liu Bei. What's bothersome to me however is during Azir's backing animation, he appears to be holding a fan made of feathers. This is very Akin to the famous Kongming who is depicted to have held with him a fan made from crane feathers. Although Kongming used this (atleast, the fan of feathers seen in the animation) throughout Dynasty Warriors, Liu Bei never did. I would assume with this knowledge that Azir's is not entirely based from one character, but both, which although is fine, it's showing that these skins are being designed more from the concept of Dynasty Warriors instead of directly from character design.
Garen is next, who looks like nobody whatsoever. Not only does this not look like anything from Dynasty Warriors, but looks extremely cheap in terms of the overall design of the period and the games. Judging by the green scheme, he looks to have been designed from a Shu image and the only one from Shu with such a sword as his is Guan Yu's adopted son Guan Ping. The similarities stop there. Overall, it is a terrible skin when trying to pass it as a Warring Kingdoms Skin. The worst out of the bunch.
The last skin has the same equal problems. With SSX already supposedly taken, there are 3 Wu characters left, and none of them look even remotely like Vi. However it at the most has one positive aspect to it, which are her Jade dragon gloves, which (Jade) was a very popular gemstone used during that period.
My question is to Riot; did you lose a contract with Koei to continue direct similarities with their IP? Was your intent with the original 3 to even continue with the set and Koei declined the offer? Or is there something i am misunderstanding?
The first 3 skins are so amazing and a real love letter for us hardcore Koei fans. The quality in these skins have declined so much that i wish they didn't exist under the same tag and it really bothers me.
Although i'm just one TL;DR opinion, i would just like to understand what the real intention was behind the set in general and why the quality has changed, if for any reason.