Hey folks, Mort here to talk about an exciting change coming to Teamfight Tactics. The item system is a key part of the game that creates a ton of cool decision points and exciting moments. But we’ve also heard your feedback that how we distribute items over the course of the game is not as good as it could be. In past communications we’ve been clear we’re not going to just give everyone the same amount of items as that leads to a flat and repetitive experience where you know exactly what to expect every game. We want there to be multiple paths to victory in TFT and one of the ways we want to do that is by keeping the item system variable. However, we’ve taken a look at how we can make improvements and have some exciting stuff coming to PBE.
**What is changing?**
First off, you'll notice that instead of just one type of box, there are now Common, Uncommon, and Shiny Rare boxes that can drop, each with their own distinct loot tables. Now when you get a higher quality box, you can get excited about what’s inside, and have a bit more expectations about what outcomes are possible.
Additionally, there are new drop possibilities. Items and gold can still drop just like before, but we’ve also added Champions and "Neeko's Help" (name pending). Champions that drop from the boxes will be added directly to your bench. (Note: If your bench is full, the units are just directly converted to gold instead. No tricky business with the bench and board!) We’re hoping that getting champs will pull you into unique build paths. And if not, you can simply sell them. Lastly, a new consumable item “Neeko’s Help” can also drop. This item allows you to make a 1* copy of any unit which then consumes the item. This should make your dreams of getting that 3* champion just a little easier.
Now I already know what you’re thinking. “This sounds like a bunch of RNG!” Well it is and it isn’t. Behind the scenes we’ve done a LOT to control how we distribute the boxes, as well as what’s inside the boxes. Our goal is that games have a lot of variation, but that they also have some degree of fairness to them. So the amount of boxes are much more controlled across the entire game. The difference between the best and worst cases is now much more narrow than before.
For example, on live after first three PVE rounds you can get 9 gold & 0 items, 3 gold & 1 item, all the way up to 6 items. It’s a pretty wide spread. In the new system, after the first three PVE rounds every player is guaranteed at least 2 Uncommon boxes, then 1-3 additional boxes. In addition, the total number of boxes and items across the entire game is much more controlled. If you start off slow, there are more boxes and items coming. We also prevent the most extreme and wacky cases (no gold boxes before stage 2-6, no more than 3 gold boxes per person max, etc). There are a ton of tuning levers and controls in here to try to keep things fair and competitive, while also being varied and exciting. This also makes it easier for us in the future to make adjustments if our first values aren’t correct.
**Why is it changing?**
Again, we think variety is important to the long term health of the game. One of the things that keeps Teamfight Tactics replayable is that every game is different and you experience new and exciting combinations. That being said, we need to achieve that goal in a way that feels fair and fun for everyone. We’re hoping this is a big step in that direction. With even more possible combinations, the variety should increase. But this way it’s more fair across the length of the game. No more 1 item 3 gold into 5 gold starts while your opponent has 6 items.
Now you may get 2 items, a Kennen, and a Neeko to start, while your opponent gets 3 items and 2 gold. There are lots of unique possibilities and you can use them to your advantage to succeed. An early 2 star Kennen could for sure outperform 1 more item. The possibilities and paths to victory should be numerous now. We think that’s better for the game, and frankly more fun!
This is also why we’re talking about it now. If you have a PBE account give it a try, then let us know what you think (I know it’s tempting to assume without trying it). If we're wrong, and it feels worse, then we won’t ship it. We’re committed to making TFT as fun and high quality as possible, and we think this does it, but we’re not too proud to admit if we’re wrong.
**When do we expect the changes to go through?**
If all goes well, and the change is feeling good, we’re hoping to ship it as part of our very large 9.18 patch. It will go out with the new item component, as well as some changes to the XP curve to make up for the slightly inflated rewards. This will be our biggest patch of the set, and should really shake things up for the better.
Again, looking forward to all your feedback, and I hope you keep enjoying TFT as much as I enjoy working on it.