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)
Many of the questions we receive in Ask Riot have been answered previously, but without an easy way to browse questions/answers it’s not always easy to tell. We plan to solve that in two ways: First, we’re launching an Ask Riot question archive (nothin fancy, just this filter for Nexus), which goes live…now. We’ll also add an actual search functionality sometime in the next couple of weeks, which should make it easier to figure out if the thing you’re curious about has been covered before.
This week, we’re resurfacing answers to some of the most popular questions we continue to receive, touching on item sets, a League movie, and more. Worth noting: There’s no harm in re-asking an answered question if you think the answer needs an update!
When is the item set creator tool coming to the new client?
Early in the client alpha we announced that we weren’t planning to rebuild the legacy client’s item set creator tool (although the updated client still supports custom item sets). Players passionately asked us to reconsider, so we did. We now intend to rebuild the item set creator tool, but haven’t yet started development work on it, so it could take quite some time even after we replace the legacy client. It’s back on our to-do list, but replacing the legacy client still comes first.
Why are refunds capped at three per account? Would you ever raise the limit?
League of Legends content is intended to be permanent. However we want players to feel good about the content they purchase, so we developed the refund feature to give every player a solution for those rare situations where they purchase content and quickly regret it, and are sure that they will never want to use that content in the future. Many players have never used their refunds, while others have used one, two, or three of them over time.
We established a limit of three refunds and still believe that is the right number (this gives players leeway to refund purchases but also protects the overall system from abuse). We’ve explored granting more refunds at times, but discovered that the majority of players would prefer free content instead, so each year we have steadily increased the amount of content players receive just for playing the game. Refunds and free content both come at considerable cost to Riot, so we have to carefully focus on which to prioritize to deliver value to players and protect our ability to operate as a business.
That said, while we have no current plans to issue more refund tokens in 2017, it is something we will continue to explore in the future as more players hit the three refund cap.
What exactly do I have to do to win key fragments? I haven’t received one in weeks.
When we originally sat down to build Hextech we played with a few loot systems in other games to get an idea of what was out there. We noticed a pattern of hard monetization gates — in a lot of cases, the game would give you a chest, but ultimately you had to pay to open it. As a player this felt pretty crappy, so early on we knew we wanted players to be able to earn Hextech content without having to pay.
On the flipside, giving away millions of skins each month can quickly limit our ability to keep investing in better servers, balancing the game, and developing other features that help the game for all players (regardless of spend). From that we came to key fragments as a way to balance giving out free content at a pace that made sense for all players and felt rewarding whether they played a little, or a lot.
Now that the system has been in players’ hands for the better part of a year, one issue we’ve seen is that no matter how many fragments and chests players get, they say “I’m not getting enough.” Some of that can probably be solved with a clearer feedback system, but some of it might be unavoidable. Who doesn’t want more free stuff?
The basic rules for key fragment drops are:
- Key frags are only dropped from wins.
- Key fragment drop rates work off of a per player cyclical reset timer, similar to chests. Higher drop rates are slightly front-loaded and gradually slow based on the total number of key fragments you’ve received in a cycle until the reset.
- It’s possible to earn 4 keys (12 fragments) in a 4 week period. This matches the number of chests players can get.
- There is a bad-luck protection rule that puts a maximum number of wins between key frag drops.
- Players get a small drop chance bonus if they were in a premade.
While this ruleset is functional, there is definitely room for improvement. We are looking at some possibilities for where we can take this system next, but aren’t ready to share all the details yet.
As always we appreciate all the feedback you’ve given around this and hope you’ve all gotten a ton of great loot over the last year.
Will “My Shop” ever return?
Yes! “My Shop” wasn’t available during this year’s Lunar Revel because the updated client doesn’t currently support it, but we plan to make it available on the new client in the near future. Right now, we’re focusing on client stability and performance, particularly on low-spec machines. Once we feel like the updated client is running smoothly, we’ll continue to focus on adding additional features like “My Shop.”
If you value competitive team play so much, why are you against voice chat? It would really make games more coordinated.
In the past, our stance on voice comms emphasized the increased potential for negative behavior. We’ve since reconsidered our philosophy around voice chat and while there are some challenges we want to overcome (keeping it an opt-in experience, for example), we want to do it.
We believe League as a team sport should reward coordination, and that voice chat is a valuable tool for getting teams (and strangers) aligned. We’ll probably begin deeper investigations once the League Client update is in a stable release so we don’t have to build the feature twice, but hopefully this is a clear update on our philosophy and where we stand. We’ll also give you further updates when the time comes.
Will you ever make a League of Legends movie? Or maybe long cinematic episodes?
We dream of films set in League’s universe and seeing our favorite champions come to life in movie theaters, but the track record on video game movies is a humbling lesson. For the most part, they aren’t great. And while the geek in us would love to rush into moviemaking, it’s definitely not something we should rush into.
That’s not to say that we aren’t exploring. Cinematic storytelling just requires different muscles than storytelling for games, so we’re working on building those muscles and learning as we go. We have a ton of talented folks actively experimenting with different storytelling formats, and it’s definitely a hope that someday we’ll see the fruits of that experimentation on the big screen (or the small screen, or wherever it makes the most sense). We’re also looking at ways to better share all of the stories we’ve already told and will continue to tell, like with the newly-launched Universe.
What’s most important to us is that any extension of League into other mediums feels authentic to the source and respectful of the passion we all share for the game and its universe. It’s a big challenge, but we think we can get there if we invest the time in learning how to do it right.
Where do you believe Riot Games and League of Legends will be in 10-15 years?
When Ryze and I founded Riot and started creating League of Legends 10 years ago, we never could’ve imagined where League and Riot would be today. Every day we’re blown away by the community’s deep commitment to the game and to each other. As Rioters, we have had an unrelenting focus on supporting and improving League of Legends, and while this commitment has on occasion led to some criticism about Riot only having one game, we think it’s been incredibly important to build a foundation that will enable Riot to create great games and experiences long into the future.
Answering this question with specificity is a tricky for a couple reasons: First, we’re always exploring numerous game ideas that we think players would love to experience 5+ years down the road, but we’re not ready to talk about any of these projects just yet. Secondly, and more importantly, we chart our course as a company a little differently from others. We aren’t driven by external “business goals” such as “ship x games in 5 years” or “go hit X in revenue by 2020.” Instead, we’re guided by a relentless pursuit of creating meaningful experiences that will resonate with serious gamers and that we think players want to see.
Ideas are the easy part—everyone has great game ideas that would likely be fun if they could become a reality—the really hard part is actually building an incredible product and executing on the idea sufficiently to ensure the experience actually matches the potential that the initial idea promised. League MMO where?! League movie, where?! Those ideas are beautiful when they are in all of our heads, but realizing the full potential of ideas like those is what is really difficult to do.
So what does that mean for the future of League and for Riot? We do know a few things for certain. We’ll continue to evolve League of Legends as a holistic experience—we’ll keep improving the competitive side of the game while continuing to enrich the universe around the game. We’ll continue to evolve and improve the League Esports ecosystem to try to ensure League remains a global sport that lasts for generations. Beyond League, we aspire to deliver a handful of other games that we hope players love. Just like with League of Legends, we’re less concerned about mass market appeal and are more interested in deeply serving the audience the game is trying to delight.
As a company we’re dedicated to constantly raising the bar on the games, content, and service that we deliver, so as we learn and grow, we aspire to continue to improve across every dimension. While we work towards Riot’s future, one thing that will never change is who these experiences are made for: passionate gamers who make games in general a meaningful part of their lives. The passion and love within the League community is the reason League and Riot exist today, so we hope to live up to everyone’s expectations in the future as we bring new experiences to bear.
As a gamer and a Rioter I’m hopeful and excited to see how players and games in general continue to impact the world. There is going to be a lot of exciting change happening within gaming over the next couple decades, and we hope to find new ways to delight and connect with gamers all over the world as gaming continues to play a bigger and bigger role on the world stage.
We’ll do our best 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.