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Practice Tool Stays Solo

Why is Practice Tool single-player only? How should you handle a troll? And how does time work in Runeterra?

By Riot Nakyle, Red Trinity01 & L4T3NCY

Welcome to Ask Riot! Have a question?

Let’s talk trolls, Practice Tool, and Runeterra’s passing of time.

What do I do if I get teamed up with trolls or feeders?

tl;dr: Stay focused, work with your team, mute the troll, report them after.

Getting into a game with a purposefully unhelpful player is super frustrating (we absolutely own that our current systems aren’t flawless, and we’re working on ways to minimize this kind of scenario). But even then, you’re still on a team with (hopefully) three other people who are playing to win. Let’s dive into some ways you can do that with a troll on your team.

Communicate

Communication can be a really effective way to pull your team together and see if it’s possible to play around the uncooperative team member. A 4v5 game is annoying, but still winnable. Keeping a cool head and working with your teammates can help you rally to a surprise victory.

It’s also worth making an effort to communicate with the troll, at least at first. Are they trying to win, just in an unusual way? That’s different from intentionally feeding or deliberately sabotaging a game; if you can find some middle ground you’ll be a lot closer to a win.

Mute them

If the troll is distracting and unhelpful, but your team wants to win, mute the player and/or their pings to keep your focus on the game.

Report the player at the end of game

Flag this player for feeding/trolling so we can try and limit their impact on other games.

Surrender

Unfortunately, some games are unwinnable. If you think this is the case and your team agrees, surrender as soon as you can. Getting out of a bad game quickly can minimize that game’s impact on your mood, and on your next game.

Queue dodge

Dodging is an option, but it does carry consequences. It’s definitely not an ideal solution, and if you dodge because you’re in champ select with a troll and get penalized, it feels really bad (something we know is a problem and have eyes on). If it looks like the game is going to be impossible to win because of a troll player, dodging is a last-ditch way to protect yourself.

Unhelpful players are a reality of the game and it definitely takes added effort to focus on victory when they’re on your team. It’s a problem we spend a lot of time and energy trying to solve, but in the absence of a perfect solution (no more trolls ever!!), keep your head up and play to win.

If you have specific scenarios you’re curious about, drop them in the comments.

Riot Nakyle
Player Behavior Comms, Metagame Systems

Does Runeterra have a calendar? How do people track time?

We are doing a wide range of creative world-building behind the scenes at the moment, bringing you a much deeper, complex, and rich setting in Runeterra, and this absolutely includes the calendar and how time is measured by those who live in our world.

Developing a concept of time and the tools a culture uses to measure it is a unique challenge. Make something like a calendar system too different and complex, it becomes an abstraction that can distract people from a story.

It is natural for the audience to want to translate from the fictional time to an approximation of our real-world time, so that we get a stronger sense of place (is it cold and wintery or is it high summer?). If the effort to perform that mental calculation is too significant or convoluted, we break the narrative flow of a story. Make it too similar and you risk looking like you’re taking a shortcut and missing the opportunity to do something cool and interesting with your world.

As is often the case, the best answers are often found in placing yourself in the world and seeing it from the point of view of the people in it. Time is important for different reasons; if you are a seafaring culture, the rhythm of the sea is the driving force in your measurement of time. Your calendar would be focused on tides, storm seasons, trade winds, and the position of the moon. Alternatively, if your culture is highly spiritual and focused on deity worship, your calendar may be structured around strict observance of key celestial events, alignments of the sun, or periods of fasting or important festivals.

The exciting part of exploring and creating these for the world of Runeterra is the diversity of cultures we have and how focused they are on fundamentally different values. Of course, the likelihood is there will be one dominant calendar used on a broadly global scale (we are having interesting debates over which culture that would come from!), but this would be supplemented by the local culture’s system as well. I look forward to the worldbuilding group being able to share more insight into this area in the future via Universe.

Red Trinity01
Product Lead, Story Strategy & Development

Why is Practice Tool limited to one player?

With Practice Tool, we wanted to focus on giving the best value to the widest group of players possible. Last hitting, combo mechanics, jungling, etc. are beneficial for all players from Bronze to Challenger, especially if you just want to quickly test something out on a champ.

Expanding beyond this functionality into a full scrimming tool, or a multiplayer sandbox, or a ‘custom game maker’ are each a significantly larger undertaking than the original Practice Tool, and at the moment there are just higher priorities and bigger opportunities for us to focus on — especially since Practice Tool in it’s current ‘training gym’ form still serves most of the needs for ‘shooting hoops’ in League.

For the short-term, Practice Tool isn’t perfect as it stands right now (far from it). We want to update it with some quality-of-life tweaks and will of course continue to support any new large gameplay systems (like jungle plants) that get added. Some things currently on our radar (not a guarantee but we’re looking at them) include some more target dummy controls for tankiness or movement, being able to add more enemy AI bots, global range for item shopping and fixing stacking items to work with the Cooldown refresh.

L4T3NCY
Lead Designer, Rotating Game Modes

Thanks for reading this week’s Ask Riot. Have a question?

Head over to Ask Riot and sign into your League account. Check out the Pro Tips, then ask away.

We promise to read every question, but we can’t guarantee they’ll all get answers. Some questions may already be answered elsewhere, and some won’t be right for Ask Riot. This isn’t the best place to announce new features, for example, and we might skip conversations on issues we’ve talked about in depth before (though we can clarify individual points).

We are listening, though, so keep asking. We’ll make sure your questions are heard by the Rioters working on the stuff you’re curious about.

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