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As you might’ve seen in this Riot Pls video, we’re working on some big upgrades for leveling and rewards in League. Specifically, we’re removing the level 30 cap and merging IP with blue essence, among a bunch of other changes and improvements. You should probably watch Riot Pls before reading further!
This devblog is for those of you who wanna learn more about why we’re making these changes now. We’ll also give details on a handful of smaller changes we’re making to support the new systems. Let’s jump in.
HERE’S THE BIG PICTURE:
Sometime last year, we started to look into big, long-lasting problems players have with some of the oldest and most fundamental systems in League—specifically IP, rewards, and leveling. A few things quickly became clear:
- Spending IP on runes doesn’t feel good and comes at the expense of unlocking champs
- Grinding to unlock champions takes too long, especially for newer players
- Lots of players have huge IP balances with nothing to spend it on
- The leveling system hasn’t aged well and offers nothing to longtime players
So let’s talk about what we’re doing to solve these issues.
When preseason hits, we’re making runes free and giving you rewards based on how much you invested in the system. For the details on those rewards, definitely watch that Riot Pls video.
We’re also introducing uncapped leveling. Remember the level 30 cap? It’s gone, and it’s being replaced with a revamped rewards system that levels up with you. Instead of getting IP after every game, you’ll receive an unlocked chest—called a capsule—every time you level up. These capsules contain champ shards and blue essence, and if you hit special milestone levels, you’ll earn special rewards like gemstones or hella rare emotes.
Finally, we’re going to merge IP with blue essence. You’ll be able to spend the new currency (still just called “blue essence” or “BE”) on all the things you could previously buy with IP or blue essence. Everything in the store cost the same as before—for example, it’ll be 6300 BE for a newer champ like Kayn.
“SO WHY GIVE REWARDS FOR LEVELING,” YOU ASK?
There’s a few reasons we’re nixing the level cap and tying rewards to the leveling system:
First, we want to give players something to work toward beyond just champions. If reaching high levels earns you something cool like a unique emote, you’re more likely to feel recognized for your time investment.
We also want to focus the rewards experience around content drops that feel far more substantial and cool when you earn them. With champ shards specifically, you’ll get to experience that lucky feeling of getting the shard for exactly the champion you were saving up for anyway, and the shard will give you a 20% discount. And—since you can disenchant champ shards into BE and then use that to buy whatever you want—you’ll still have freedom to spend however you want.
Additionally, the new system will let us tailor rewards to different types of players. For instance, we’ve repeatedly heard that newer players just need more help unlocking champs. So, if you’re a noob, we can very specifically tune the capsules at the earliest levels to give you lots more champs that’ll serve as stronger “starter” characters. Similarly, if you’re a higher level player we can customize rewards to give you exclusive show-offy stuff.
“BUT WHY MERGE IP WITH BLUE ESSENCE?”
By combining IP and blue essence into one currency, we’re connecting a bunch of disparate systems (leveling, rewards, and loot) together. Before, if you got a shard for a champ you didn’t want and disenchanted it, there wasn’t much you could do with your blue essence. Now, though, you can just take it to the store and get whatever champ you want. Merging IP with BE directly connects the store with the loot system in a way that gives you more choice about how to use your rewards.
“ARE THERE ANY OTHER CRAZY CHANGES YOU’RE MAKING DURING PRESEASON?”
Uh, yeah, a few. Mostly we’ve gotta make changes to loot so it feels great to interact with and is balanced properly with the new leveling system.
Since you’ll be getting so many more shards thanks to the new leveling system (and with other recent changes to honor and events), we’ll tune down the relative value of the essence you get from disenchanting shards of all types—champ shards, skin shards, and ward skin shards.
In the current system, for example, disenchanting a champ shard will get you about a third of the BE you need to buy a champ at that shard’s tier; In the new system it’ll get you 20% of the way there. Also, with so many more champ shards in the system, we need to remove the ability to reroll them into permanent champs—but we’ll occasionally sell mystery champions for blue essence. For these reasons, you should go ahead and reroll or disenchant any shards you don’t want to upgrade before preseason hits so you can get the most essence possible out of them. We’ll add reminders to the client as preseason approaches so y’all don’t forget.
To offset the disenchant rate changes, we’re going to change the way loot chests work so you’ll have a chance to get two drops in each chest. Get ready for chests inside of your chests. We’ll also add “bad luck protection,” so you won’t ever go on long streaks without getting a skin shard or a gemstone from chests.
CHAMPION EARN RATE BALANCING
We should stress that the vast majority of you will earn the champs you want about as quickly as you did in the old IP-based system—and it’ll be faster in some cases. That’s because of the sheer number of shards you’ll be getting from leveling, honor, and the mastery system. Of course, it’ll also be faster generally since you’ll no longer have to spend on runes.
The only folks who’ll feel like they’re earning currency a little more slowly in the new system are higher level folks who play many games each day. That’s largely because we’re going to turn the “first win of the day” into a more substantial daily mission. It’ll give you way more XP than before, and subsequent games will kick out a little bit less.
Regardless, those of you who play a lot will still earn more BE than anyone else, and we want to make sure that you always have something good to spend it on. So at the beginning of this preseason, just when we’ve done the IP-to-BE merge and you’ve got tons of spending power, we’ll introduce our special, limited-time blue essence store. You’ll be able to spend your extra BE on things like chromas, ward skins, and even a rare skin. Generally speaking, cosmetic content like this will almost always be available only for RP (or as lucky loot drops), because that’s how we reinvest in the game. However, we’ll occasionally bring back sales like this for folks who level up fast and find themselves with too much BE on their hands.
A FEW FINAL THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Since the store is keeping the price ranges from the old IP-based system (6300 BE for a champ like Xayah), we need to “scale up” the amount of blue essence you get when disenchanting shards. Right now you only get a couple hundred BE when disenchanting most champ shards, but that number will be much higher after we merge BE with IP. It’ll feel like you’re getting loads more out of shards, but it’s really just balancing to help BE maintain its spending power.
So, what about the blue essence currently in your inventory? When preseason hits, we’ll scale it up proportionally (multiplying it by about 6.5 times) when calculating your new BE account balance. So if you already have 975 BE in loot, we’ll convert it into 6300 BE when preseason hits.
One final note: Since IP is becoming blue essence—which is now tied to leveling—we’re going to stop selling IP boosts starting now. If you already have active IP boosts, they’ll just turn into XP boosts when preseason hits. XP boosts will also be repriced to cost what IP boosts do today (since that’s now how you’ll get rewards faster).
Thanks for reading! We can’t wait for everyone to get their hands on all this stuff during preseason. Please leave us any feedback you have in the comments below and we’ll jump in to chat.