Riot has taken the liberty of revealing the contents of Legends of Runeterra’s next patch a little earlier than usual. With Patch 0.9.3, which will be launching next week on March 31, Riot will basically be overhauling the way players interact with the game’s economy.
First, Riot will be redesigning the way weekly Vaults hand out rewards. Players no longer will have to get their Vaults to level 10 in order to get an Expedition Token, as it will now award it at level two instead. A level five Vault will now award a random Champion card, and a level 10+ vault will award a Champion Wildcard. Additionally, Vaults are no longer limited to level 13, as every level beyond 13 will net players an additional capsule.
Next, Riot will be taking the limits off of XP earnings and wildcard purchases. Starting next week, every PVP win will award at least 200 XP in Ranked and Normal play, which means no more diminishing XP returns on daily wins. The weekly stock of wildcards is also being removed, as players will now be able to purchase as many wildcards as they want.
This is a welcome change for many, as one of the big problems many avid players had with Runeterra was that it felt like the game didn’t reward you the more you played it, all in the name of keeping the level of play consistent between casual players and hardcore players. Riot never wanted players who spend more money or significantly more time on the game to have the upper hand. That’s why the game awarded diminishing levels of XP the more games you won on a daily basis and limited the amount of wildcards you could buy per week.
Because of all this, it felt like the game was meant to be played only a short amount of time per day and week, thus being more geared towards casual play. This meant that the game could get stale a lot faster for players who wanted to play the game more seriously. Because the game limited the amount of resources players could acquire, it meant hardcore players were stuck playing the same decks for longer periods of time. Sure, the design of this economy helped Riot achieve their goal of a slowly evolving meta and a level playing field between different types of players, but Riot says the cost proved too much in the end.
“And while parts of the progression system—like limited stock in the store and a max level on the Vault—did seem to help the meta evolve more slowly, that benefit was overshadowed by notable downsides, like not being able to fully experiment with a majority of the cards. For some players, this made the meta stale in its own way, and for other players—those that have the most fun when being innovative and experimental—it was a real limitation that made LoR harder to enjoy playing altogether. While we love the idea of a meta that keeps evolving, we aren’t willing to keep constraining players in order to force a certain pace.”
Needless to say, the changes coming with this upcoming patch aims to fix all these problems. Riot’s focus with this update seems to center around agency and letting players play the game the way they want to.
“Our goal is to give you the ability to get what you want, how you want, in a game where players can compete regardless of how much they spend. We think this set of changes will maximize your ability to experiment with different cards, ensure a faster and more reliable “time-to-deck”, and will keep things accessible for every LoR player.”
Time will tell if there are any unforeseen consequences of these changes, but for now, it seems like a net positive. One of the game’s top players and content creators, Miguel “Mogwai” Guerrero, expressed his approval of the changes on Twitter.
For more on what will be included in Legends of Runeterra’s economy updates, including changes to Expeditions, XP boosts for lapsed players, and more, check out the official blog post here.