On Wednesday morning, Riot Games released the first-ever set of patch notes (9.14) for Teamfight Tactics (TFT), their wildly popular auto-chess title.
In it were numerous tweaks that will hopefully provide an improved playing experience to those who have fallen in love with the game itself or are looking to try it out for the first time.
The development team's statement regarding the patch reads as follows:
"From now on, you can expect TFT patch notes almost every week. For those accustomed to League of Legends' schedule, note that TFT will be patching in a weekly cadence, split between the regularly scheduled League of Legends patch with larger changes and a B-side one on the second week of that patch limited to balance changes and emergent bugfixes. The format of the patch notes will be a little different in light of the weekly cadence.
This first official patch week we have a whole host of changes. First, Twisted Fate is warping in to the Convergence for all your piracy and spell-slinging needs. Then, if you're the competitive type, get ready to start climbing because the ranked Beta Season is coming and as they say, "RNG is a ladder." Finally, a minion or monster will now drop gold in the event that you do not get any items from a PvE round.
We made a boatload of balance changes and bugfixes, and amidst the chaos a few themes should emerge. Many tier 3 champions felt underpowered and not worth picking up given their price, so we're buffing a number of them to make them worth considering even at a single star. Conversely, many tier 4 champions have been nerfed as they were proving to be powerhouses sometimes even without the need for synergies or additional stars."
As for the full patch notes, they can be found here.
For those of you who do not have the time to scroll through all of the text to find what you may be looking for, a brief TL;DR is below.
Buffs and nerfs galore
Riot Games' development team wasted no time working to balance TFT as much as they could in time for this patch to go live. Champions, Traits, Items nothing was able to escape being tweaked in one way or another.
The largest takeaways from the numerical adjustments made are that Riot's approach to balancing the champion pool wasn't to nerf strong champions and call it a day. But fundamentally buff underperforming champions/combinations, knockdown oppressive ones a few pegs and reevaluate how strong four-cost units were.
Brand, Cho'gath, Draven, and Gnar all received moderate nerfs as their power levels in relation to the rest of the pool was a bit too strong.
Time will tell as to whether those units are still in the game's top-tier in terms of their power level but the balance team is keeping their eyes on them.
For the first time since Teamfight Tactics went live, a new champion was added to the game, Twisted Fate. Twisted Fate has a two-cost associated with him and can help improve the early-game synergy of both of his archetypes, Pirate and Sorcerer. His ability "Pick A Card" is unique in that, depending on which of the three cards is selected at random, he can deal splash damage, stun an opponent or restore mana to himself and nearby allies.
9.14 patch introduced not only fresh ways to play but an entirely new game variant as well, Ranked mode. Previously, players were forced to play against one another for the fun of it. But now players can toggle between Casual and Ranked depending on the type of experience they are looking to have during their play session.
According to the development team in their Ranked blog post, TFT's competitive experience will operate similarly to LoL's.
"Ranked TFT will look very similar to Ranked on Summoner’s Rift. You’ll still have the same tiers and divisions, and at the end of every game you’ll gain or lose LP based on how well you did. We want your rank in TFT to feel as satisfying as your rank on Summoner’s Rift, even if details like how much LP you earn might be a bit different. Being Diamond in TFT should be similar to being Diamond in LoL, and only the best players should be able to reach Challenger."
When a user first logs on and tries to play Ranked, they will see they have to play five placement games first to determine which league they will fall into when the dust settles.
As TFT looks to stay on top of the auto-chess mountain, if patch 9.14 is any indication of what's the come, players should take comfort in knowing that Riot Games wants this title to succeed as much as the community.
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.