Runes, Contextual Decisions, and Data Intelligence

Hello Everyone! Runes Reforged will be on live in a handful of days! We wanted to do one last communication piece for you all about how Runes Reforged has changed pregame decision making, and how you can expect to change up your runes before a game of League of Legends. Quick run down of how Runes Reforged changes pregame power and decision making: * There are fewer runes in the new system, but their power is concentrated far more than we saw in previous Runes or Masteries. * Runes are now free, and can now be changed in champ select * Players that reactively select certain runes stand to gain substantial power over generic, less optimized builds This last point is one that we haven’t talked about directly too much, though it’s a core element of the design. In order to ensure that most champions get to make decisions in most of their games, we’ve spread the types of decision between options that focus on your own champion and options that care about your allies and opponents. Let’s go through some examples: Resolve features one slot that asks what defenses you need in the early game, or gives you the greedy option to beef up later, at the cost of nothing in the laning phase. This decision very directly asks who is your lane opponent, and how much of a threat they bring to you. Gathering Storm offer’s a similar question. Few runes offer as much power in the late game, but it offers much less if your game ends at twenty or twenty-five minutes. You might chose this on a Veigar or Karthus to live the late game dream, but you might also pick this in a lane where you don’t think early aggression will be fruitful. A few reactions can be very particular. Perfect Timing is a great example of this. Against a Zed or Kayn, or other champions with highly telegraphed damage, this rune can safe your life, and put you up in the race to get a vital legendary item. However, in case where you don’t need the stasis, you have a filled inventory slot and full slot’s worth of opportunity cost. As an aside, we know this sort of decision making takes time. We’ve added time in champion select and will be watching the various queues to make sure each mode has enough time to avoid feeling rushed, especially for the later picks. With runes having a lot more situational power, it’s likely that guides and experts will need to adapt to a world where pregame choices don’t have simple “right” answers. We still expect that players will get a lot of benefit from using guides as a starting point, but more than ever, reactive decision making will be very powerful. This means that guides might have to give extra context on some suggestions, accept a level of inaccurate recommendations, or show a wider array of possibilities. We’ve worked with a number of the guide sites to give them info right away when the system launches, and give them a heads up about the more contextual nature of the system. Finally, I wanted to reiterate one last time that this really is just the beginning for us. We’ve done our best to get the system balanced for launch, but a change this big is going to have some bug, and some power imbalances that we just couldn’t find or fix fast enough for release. We also ran out of time for some features we’re really excited about, like how we show runes in end of game, or providing a really high polish option for runes selection out of champion select. We’re also aware that some particular champions have fewer options in the new system. Some champions will never have a multitude of options, but we do want champions to have at least a single Keystone and path that feel suited to their needs. Lastly, we’ve also only got the first attempts in for feedback stats for runes. You’ll be able to see these in your match history, and eventually we’ll get these in end of game. If there are stats you’d find valuable to understand the performance of a particular rune choice, we’re invested in build the tools for players to understand their choices and evolve their approach to the game. Thanks everyone! See you on the rift!
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