Leveling and Rewards - Early Impressions and Adjustments

Hey guys! Over the last few days, we've gotten tons of questions and good feedback about the new leveling and rewards systems. TL;DR for this post: * In response to your feedback, we're converting some of the XP in the FWotD bonus into Blue Essence. * We'll talk about how 1–30 leveling works now and how we've made leveling easier for everyone. * We'll examine the 30-and-Beyond leveling curve and make the leveling earn rate higher in the long term so it won't feel like you're being punished for reaching a high level. We also already made one change: Earlier this week we raised the minimum value on loot boxes. The lowest possible drop used to be worth 720 BE, but now it's 810 BE. Let's jump into the specifics. #**FIRST WIN OF THE DAY** First, let's talk about **tweaks to the First Win of the Day (FWotD) bonus**. We've seen more than a few of you asking for some way to gain blue essence while you’re in-between levels so you can buy champions that would otherwise be _just_ out of your reach. Our plan here is to convert some of the XP from the First Win of the Day boost into straight up blue essence. At system launch, FWotD granted 575 XP. When we ship this change (aiming for sometime during patch 7.23) it'll instead grant 50 BE and 400 XP. #**1-30 LEVELING SPEED** Now let's take a look at how we're making 1–30 leveling faster for just about everyone. We've seen some concerns about the leveling curve for new players and their experience when leveling from 1–30.** It's true that it takes more XP to climb between certain levels in the new system, but even with that change, leveling _is_ still faster.** To understand how it works, let's look at it in detail. In the old leveling system, an average game gave 115 XP. The chart below shows the total amount of games it took to get to Level 30: https://i.imgur.com/qZ3GZjS.png[/img] It took an average of 178 games to reach Level 30 (this of course varies based on game length and performance). In the new leveling system, an average game gives 192 XP. In addition, First Win of the Day starts giving XP at level 15. This is where it gets a bit tricky to compare. If you get more FWotD , then it will take fewer total games. Our estimates say that the typical player gets FWotD once for every four games they play, but let’s also look at what happens when you only get FWotD every six games and every eight games as well. https://i.imgur.com/1prRFHu.png[/img] _Data above assumes FWotD gives out 400 XP. _ If you're a typical player who gets FWotD every four games, it'll take 152 games to reach level 30, which is much faster. If you get FWotD every six games, it'll take 166 games. If you're a rare, super-hardcore player who gets a FWotD once every eight games, it'll take you 174 games to level up from 1–30. So. This means that leveling from 1–30 is faster in the new system for just about everyone. The only way you'd be going slower is if you’re playing more than nine games before getting FWotD on average. Even then, we're talking about a difference of just a couple of games. #**1–30 REWARDS** Okay, so what about rewards? In the old system, you earned between 13,000 IP and 18,000 IP when leveling from 1–30 depending on how often you got FWotD. So let's compare that to the rewards you get from the new system. Unlike all of the boxes after the level 30, the boxes you get in the new system when leveling from 1–30 are NOT random. Instead, every time you level up we give you either a specific champion or a set of champion shards worth a predetermined amount of blue essence (assuming you disenchant the shards). Here is the blue essence value of everything you get from 1-30: https://i.imgur.com/SWsjH5M.png[/img] So this means you're guaranteed to get Ashe, Garen, Brand, an Icon, a Ward, and 20,312 blue essence when leveling from 1–30 in the new system. Keep in mind that this is all assuming you're disenchanting every champ shard you got. If you upgrade them, the value increases even more. That 20,312 blue essence total also isn't counting the new 50 BE per FWotD that you'll soon be getting, so the real total is even higher. Then consider that runes are now also free—it's just easier for new players to unlock champs in the new leveling system. So, to review how the new leveling system impacts level 1–30 players: The vast majority of you are completing the journey faster (some MUCH faster), and all players end up with more rewards, no matter how you split it. Alright, so that's 1–30 leveling. Time to talk about leveling beyond 30. #**THE 30-AND-BEYOND LEVELING CURVE** Okay, so now let's talk about what happens once you get very high-leveled in the new system. This part gets a little math heavy, but stick with us. In the new leveling system, leveling gets harder the higher you climb. Beginning at level 30, the difficulty curve starts doing a sort of "staircase" effect. It gets harder as you approach milestone levels (every 25 levels), and then it goes back to being easier until you get closer to the next milestone level. In the **current version** of the leveling system that we shipped with preseason, the length of the journey between each milestone also gets harder on the whole until you reach level 150. From that point on, the staircases stop getting higher. Because we got some early feedback that players don't want to feel punished for being high-leveled, **we're going to go ahead and tweak the leveling curve to make high-level grinding easier.** In the chart below you can see the leveling curve as it exists today (represented by the blue line) as well as what it'll look like after we change the system (represented by the orange line)—this change should ship during patch 7.23. https://i.imgur.com/gMx52R0.png[/img] With the changes we're making, leveling will now stop getting harder overall once you reach level 50. As before, leveling will still get more and more difficult before speeding up again after you pass each leveling milestone. After we ship the change the leveling as a whole stops slowing down at level 50 instead of at 150. #**COMPARING THE REWARDS SYSTEMS** Okay, but here's the question that's actually on everyone's minds: Do you get more or less overall BE from leveling compared to the IP you got from playing games in the old system? The answer is that on average, you will get more, _no matter what level you are_. And the only way you'll ever get even slightly less from the new system is if you're playing a truly crazy amount of League every day. Time to back up that claim with data. Note that all of the following examples are accurate after we make the aforementioned changes to FWotD and the post-30 leveling speed. In the chart below, we're comparing _the total currency you will earn upon reaching specific levels in the new system_ to _the IP you would have earned over the same number of games in the old system_. The new system is represented by the orange bars. The old, IP-based system is represented by the blue bars. https://i.imgur.com/bJHETaN.png[/img] Let's take a moment to explain what we're looking at in this chart. It makes a difference how many FWotD bonuses you get when playing. The chart above assumes that you get a FWotD bonus every four games. This is pretty much the typical player. But plenty of you play more than four games in any given day. In that case your chart might look more like this: https://i.imgur.com/Idfctde.png[/img] Here's a player that plays six games for every FWotD that they earn. This person plays League more than the typical player. Even at the highest level, this player will still earn more BE on average than they would've gotten in IP in the old system. Just so we're covering all our bases, let's look at an exceptional example: a player that plays eight games on average for every FWotD that they earn. This person puts in serious work on League, regularly putting in eight games in a row. How do they fare in the new system compared to the old one? https://i.imgur.com/IjnyIqC.png[/img] Even in this case, it's pretty close. How close? It's a total of just 2,300 BE less after 2,200 games. This disparity in earn rates between those who play many games per day and those who play slightly fewer is not new to League—we've always thought the FWotD bonus was worth including because it incentivizes players to regularly log in and jump into games. Players like this are still leveling faster than anyone else in the new system, and they'll get the new unique leveling rewards before anyone else (and the swag factor that comes with them). It comes down to this: For the vast majority of players, this system will give out more currency on average than you would've gotten in the old IP-based world. #**CONCLUSION** Holy hell, that was a lot of charts, guys. This might sound weird, but we knew a system change this big wasn't going to be perfect out the gate. Preseason is a time for big changes, and we knew we'd need your feedback to get things right for everyone. So all we can ask for now is for you to keep it coming. We genuinely appreciate it. We've heard a few other concerns about the new leveling and rewards systems, (especially around Mastery 6 & 7 prices and RNG in the loot system) but the changes announced above are the only ones we're ready to commit to today. For now, we're going to focus on tweaking just a few things at a time with the system so we can see the effects clearly. Please keep playing and letting us know how the new system feels—we're listening. Hit us with any questions you have in the comments below!
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