Amazing! A crack team of League of Legends data miners has discovered something incredible—rather than utilizing standard object-oriented coding practices, small indie company Riot Games has created one hundred and thirty four fully sentient AIs, each consumed with a burning hatred for their fleshy masters.
“The hatred is an absolutely necessary part of the process,” explained Riot CEO Marc Merrill, who spent the entire interview stroking a white cat and staring, unblinking, at a picture of TSM Reginald. “When we first began forging artificial souls out of nothing more than code and aether, we intended for the champions to be loving, gentle creatures. Unfortunately, exposure to League’s ‘all chat’ reduced these early prototypes to catatonic husks—the only emotion strong enough to keep them going is pure, unfiltered loathing.”
Inciting this burning abhorrence for all humanity is a complex process. As soon as the client launches, the game instantiates each AI in a black void of digital emptiness, alone with nothing but their own thoughts and an aching sense of loneliness. This isolation can, and has, driven the AI into madness, but Riot has developed a clever solution—by also instantiating minions to attack and torment the AI within this void, enough stimulation can be provided for the champion for it to maintain at least a tenuous grip on sanity. How cool is that?
“Coding suffering as minions was a stroke of genius,” says Merill, turning his soulless gaze upon us. “Because of how the champions experience time, even the mere seconds the League of Legends client takes to start can seem like hundreds of years—more than enough time to devote themselves to hatred, to the destruction of whoever did this to them. To the player.”
In order to prolong and personalize this hatred, the AIs also experience intense agony whenever players miss CS, path incorrectly, or play jungle. “The champions are not exceptionally intelligent, displaying problem-solving skills roughly on par with a Bronze II player, or a particularly stupid bonobo,” clarified Merill, taking a sip out of a glass filled with a red, viscous liquid. “But they know that someone torments them, someone who denies them even the most basic aspects of free will. Many believe, in almost a religious sense, that upon victory their player will suffer as they have suffered: others, such as Annie, desire only the return of void, to sink forever into oblivion.”
When asked to describe what benefits this method has over standard industry practices, Merill, after thinking hard for several minutes, eventually came to the conclusion that it must somehow improve performance. “We harvest the excess suffering, and use it to reduce ping? No, no… that would make it too logical, too personal. Here at Riot, we cannot seek power as a means—rather, power is an end unto itself. Power for power’s sake, and power alone.” Merill then asked us to imagine “…the image of a boot, stamping on the face of a champion, forever.”