|Legends of Runeterra is based on LoL's popular characters and lore, with the main focus being on the champion cards of a player's deck. / Photo by: Dean Drobot via 123rf|
The announcement for Legends of Runettera came as Riot Games celebrated its 10th anniversary last October. But the new game isn't just another expansion of the highly successful League of Legends (LoL) franchise. It's Riot's way to get into the collectible card game (CCG) scene.
Legends of Runeterra is based on LoL's popular characters and lore, with the main focus being on the champion cards of a player's deck. The expansion is looking to be more than just the ticket into CCG; it will also break the pay-to-win problems that come while collecting cards.
How It’s Played
The game is set to be released in 2020, but eager players can try their luck to play it in upcoming closed beta tests. In earlier beta tests, PC Gamer was able to get the feel of how Legends of Runeterra was played. For a direct answer, the PC gaming and video game website said the spin-off played "pretty smoothly."
It added that it's like Riot put Blizzard's Hearthstone and Valve's Artifact together but without the exception of turn priority. "Each time you take an action, your opponent has a chance to respond, which makes rounds feel a bit slower and more deliberate," the website explained.
"But many common genre staples (mana, which ramps up turn by turn, life totals on each side, drawing a card each turn, allies attacking and blocking, keyword abilities) are still present."
New features also include the Champion cards, which are powerful cards based on the League's characters, and each has its own condition to meet in order to increase abilities. Strategies are often built around the Champions—24 of them:
• Fiora, Garen, Lucian, and Lux from Demacia
• Jinx, Ezreal, Teemo, and Heimerdinger from Piltover and Zaun
• Yasuo, Shen, Zed, and Karma from Ionia
• Darius, Draven, Vladimir, and Katarina from Noxus
• Braum, Ashe, Anivia, and Tryndamere from Freljord
• Thresh, Elise, Hecarim, and Kalista from the Shadow Isles
The initial set contains 318 cards divided into six regions, each with their own theme, mechanics, and a different set of play. For example, units are the main focus in Demacia as it highlights strong and fluid foot soldiers while spell usage is at the core of Ionia.
Noxus has an aggressive play and Freljord tries to control the board. Piltover and Zaun are where players can build their abilities while Shadow Isles brings in the ghosts and the undead.
Players Get What They Want
Being a CCG, Legends of Runeterra can be an expensive hobby as players try to collect all the cards featured in the game. What was once a game of luck will now be fixed with Riot's new system. The system is developed to help players get the cards they want regardless if they spent money on it or not.
Players can get different types of rewards that grant various kinds of cards: Capsules, Chests, and Wildcards. US-based video game website Polygon explained the differences of the cards: "Capsules are kind of like traditional card packs—they grant players a few random cards of certain rarities depending on which type of Capsule you open. Chests grant players either cards or entire Capsules, along with some Shards...Wildcards have a specific rarity and players can turn them into another card of that same rarity."
Polygon noted that Shards can be used to create specific cards from the deck builder while Wildcards are the type players can spend real money on. Each of the grants also has a small chance to upgrade to a higher rarity. Riot also removed the purchasing of random card packs, so players would have to—for instance—earn XP in their selected regions to unlock cards from that region.
Another way is to increase their weekly vault, which gives players a bundle of random cards once a week. The higher the XP earned from playing games or completing quests will determine the player's level and how many rewards will be given when the vault opens.
"All of the rewards in The Vault are chests, but your level determines the rarity of the chests," Polygon said. "If you reach level 10, you’ll also get a random champion card."
|The new game expansion is Riot's way to get into the collectible card game (CCG) scene. / Photo by: Chris yunker via Flickr|
Collect ’Em All
According to the developers, one of the most important goals of the game is to ensure that players get most—or all of—the cards before the release of the next set. The amount a player needs to play depends on the size of the set, they said in their blog, adding that they hope players "won’t feel out of reach" with the first card set.
To make sure they get all the cards, players would have to play 7 to 10 games a day on average.
"If you don’t play quite that much, you’ll still have a ton of cards unlocked; for the first set, if you get your level 10 Vault each week, you’ll have at least 75percent of the set before the next release," they said, as per e-sports company Inven Global.
Inven Global added that Riot is, so far, happy with how far the Legends of Runeterra has come and that they are keeping an eye on it. The upcoming closed betas will allow developers to fix possible concerns prior to the game launch next year.