In less than 24 hours, the gates to Legends of Runeterra will be opened again. For a couple of days, Riot's collectible card game is playable to anyone who pre-registered and was lucky enough to be chosen to test the tools out. Today Riot pushed the patch to the client, and it was quite a big patch. Aside from the draft mode, which was previewed yesterday, more than forty cards received a balance change.
One of the most significant changes is the overhaul Lux received. The Demacian spellslinger costs more, has different attack/health values and her effect is different. The Final Spark she creates has changed too: instead of costing 6 mana and dealing 6 damage while being a fast spell, it now is a slow spell that costs 0 mana and deals 4 damage.
The developers note: "Lux is an iconic character who was falling short of our champion bar in a few ways: tough to build around, didn't have a great deck to call home, and her dream--blasting your hapless foes with multiple Final Sparks--was too difficult to realize (a real shame given the visual payoff). Now, Lux drops later in the game with more defensive stats, but is much less clunky to level up and threatens to take over the game once she does."
Another champion targeted is Shen, albeit with a slight nerf instead of a rework like Lux had.
The developer note reads: "Shen decks are often overloaded with tools to keep him and his followers alive, but he had so much health that it was tough to take him out even when opponents get past the wall of tricks. We want opposing players to have a more realistic shot at taking Shen down once they manage to land a blow."
The design philosophy
For the full list of all changed cards, head over to the blog post. Forty cards being changed is of course quite a lot, but the Legends of Runeterra designers highlight that this shouldn't be expected to be the standard going forward: "We want LoR to always feel fresh and think card updates are a key way to achieve that. We're intentionally trying a LOT of things before launch so we can find a sweet spot for the amount of change that happens at once. Ideally, these updates are exciting, but not overwhelming, and lead to the feeling that there's always a new deck to discover, but not an entirely different game to learn."
They also outline a summary of what their design philosophy roughly is, per type of card:
- Every champion should have a deck where they're the best fit.
- Non-champion cards should have at least one deck where they're a good option.
- Regions should have at least one competitively viable deck.
- The meta should support the widest possible array of competitively viable decks.
When the game goes live, the blog reads, talks about card balance (whether they're actual changes, cards they're keeping an eye on or changes they're actively not making) will be published around once a month.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.