Ask a question about League or Riot, and we’ll try to answer it. Answers go live every other Thursday at 1:30 pm (PT)
This week, we’re talking about Prestige skins, missions, and ARAM.
What is the process for choosing which champions will get a prestige skin? Why would you give champions one when they already have legendary skins?
I’m glad you asked! Once we decide on some of the upcoming skin thematics, we select several that match up with the timing for events or Prestige Point skin releases. By the time we start deciding which champion to make a Prestige skin for, the champs within that thematic have usually been determined for a while.
When we are selecting a champion for a Prestige skin, we consider a number of factors…
- Is there a Prestige skin that’d work well for one of the champions in the thematic? Arclight Brand for example, is a skin that would be hard to execute on because of the overlap in colors and materials.
- How popular is the champion, and when was the last time they got a skin? So far we have released Prestige skins mostly for champions with higher playrates, but we are experimenting with lower ones in the future to see how much players like them.
- Have they received a Prestige skin before? Ideally we don’t double up, but there might be exceptions if we don’t find a better fit and the skinline is part of an event that calls for one.
When it comes to the overlap with Legendaries, we try to stay away from doubling up when possible (at least in the same year), but it’s not a huge factor, as they serve different purposes. Legendaries are about creating a unique skin for a champion unlike anything in their catalog that is either an augmentation of who they are or a complete re-imagination of the character within a skin thematic fantasy. Prestige skins are about taking an existing skin and adding rarity and desirability through more expensive-looking (and often sparkly!) materials in the model and VFX as well as the ways you can get the skin.
As far as ever creating a Legendary Prestige skin, that’s not something we are currently planning to do.
I’d also like to call out that we are still experimenting around with a few different selection methods and executions and will update players as our approach evolves. With only just over a dozen of them out in the world, it’s still a new product for us, and we learn more about it with each release.
In case you missed it, check out this post for a list of champions getting Prestige skins in the first half of 2020.
In TFT, why is there such a huge jump from milestone #10 (8500 points) to #11 (20,000 points)? It feels like such an impossible task to get there that i don’t even want to bother trying. Similarly, why are there only 6 missions (2 of which are just “play the game”) every two weeks?
Many of you have different amounts of time to play TFT and complete missions. We really don’t want anyone who plays TFT on a regular basis to feel left out because they can’t play multiple hours a day, or because they missed some missions one week. This is why we set the target for milestone 10 at 8500 XP—hitting that amount is challenging and requires active play, but not a huge grind.
We also know some of you are extremely engaged and play a ton of TFT, and we didn’t want you to get halfway into the season and have nothing left to work for. So we added milestone 11 as a “bonus” mission for highly invested players to progress towards. We had thought of it as a challenge, a huge jump in XP that would require dedicated work throughout the season but would be something to work towards even if you were progressing really quickly. From the reactions and responses we’ve seen, I’d say this hasn’t really gone as planned. I regret that so many people reach milestone 10, look to the next reward and are disheartened. Some rewards should be difficult to earn, but reaching a new milestone also shouldn’t be a disheartening moment. In response to this, we reduced the XP required for milestone 11 from 20,000 to 16,000.
As for the number of missions we have in TFT, we usually run six missions a week. Over the holidays we imagined you would be more busy than normal, so we ran slightly less missions and made them worth more XP each to compensate. In general, we try to run a number of missions that sets a good balance between structured and unstructured play. It wouldn’t be super fun if all of your TFT games you were being pushed to do one strategy in order to get mission XP.
About the Season 2020 missions, one says “Let’s play ranked for 3 games”… Why can’t you have an option to play like 7 of any other game. I myself am 49 years old and I just don’t like how they troll you on ranked. I’m here to have fun not worry about every move I make, hence why I play aram exclusively. thank you!
At the highest level, our missions fall into two buckets: 1) Give players additional rewards for playing, and 2) Serve as “calls to action” to motivate players to do or try things that they may not do or try otherwise.
Examples of mission type #1 are things like earn gold, take structures, and get takedowns—actions that happen naturally through playing and aren’t gameplay warping or distracting. These are usually live during events so that playing is even more rewarding.
Examples of call-to-action missions include things like “watch some esports matches,” and in this case, “go play ranked.” Our hope with this mission is that it motivates some players to try ranked who may not have otherwise. We set the number of games needed pretty low so that if players who try ranked aren’t loving it, they don’t feel like they have to keep playing. We also aim to set the rewards for call-to-action missions “low” enough, so it doesn’t feel too bad or frustrating if you flat-out don’t want to do them. For example, the “esports watch missions” often just give some Blue Essence, as does the “play ranked” mission.
In short… our hope with a mission like “play three ranked games” is that we can give you a nice reward if you decide to give ranked (or something else) a try, without setting the reward so high that you feel like you have to play.
Do you plan on doing more work on ARAM this year?
We currently work on ARAM in two ways. First, we take the pulse of ARAM’s balance and game health every 2–3 patches and make small adjustments as necessary. For the most part, these adjustments will be tweaks to champions’ damage-taken and damage-dealt, but we may sometimes make minor adjustments to items, runes, or other parts of the game.
Second, we periodically make more impactful and experimental changes to ARAM shake things up as part of a major event. Most of these changes will only last the length of that event, but we’ll also try to include a few things that could become the new normal for ARAM. For example, AoE health packs, poke damage reduction, and the reroll bench all made their first appearances during a big event, and they improved the ARAM experience enough to stick around forever.
We expect to do an event like this roughly once a year (although this doesn’t guarantee an event like this every year). Right now, we are currently exploring some directions for 2020. The exact timing will depend on a lot of things, like the types of changes planned and which other game modes we’re working on. For more details on what an ARAM event might look like, check out some of the previous /dev articles, including where we announced the last ARAM event and talked about what we learned. And if there’s something you’d like to see, please let us know!
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