Last year a free to play game was released for the PC that not only took gamers by surprise but also sucked them into a new world of real-time strategy and online fun, League of Legends.
Riot Games didn’t announce a new title this year, what they did announce however was Season One; a launch date will be announced in the next few weeks. What the start of Season One means is new features including Ranked Games, Ladders, and Draft Mode as well as some much improved visual style for the PvP.net interface.
Ranked Mode will give players a chance to truly prove who is the best summoner in the League of Legends world as they battle it out in 3 vs. 3 premade, 5 vs. 5 premade and 5 vs. 5 solo in which all of your wins and losses will affect your standing in another added feature called Ladders. To keep beginners from getting destroyed too early though Ranked Games will only be available for players above level 20, which is a great way to make sure that the player has a good feel for the game before they step into the ranked matches.
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With Ladders players will now get the opportunity to see just who really is the best player in the game as their Elo ratings will now be displayed publicly for those that choose to participate in Ranked Mode, for those that remain in normal matches their rating will continue to stay hidden and their rank not shown. The ranking will constantly be changing as players battle it out and increase their scores or lose their scores. For many gamers who play League of Legends constantly it will be interesting to see how they place, and I’m sure there will plenty of upset people who believe they should be ranked higher. The score will not be retroactive and the two scores, ranked and casual, will be separate. The scores will be displayed as points, from 1200 and up, currently even some of the Riot Games staff are only at 2000 while others are closer to 2600, and will fluctuate after every battle.
Draft Mode will change things up for matches as teams can now see the champions that their enemies choose, instead of the original blind pick, and will now be able to ban two champions for each team, giving the opportunity to level the playing field and possibly taking out some of the overpowered characters for the week. Each week though the ten new free to play champions will not be able to be banned, allowing players to still have a variety in picking their champions.
The draft will have a 1:2:2:2:2:1 format for 5v5 brackets and 1:2:2:1 for the 3v3 matches after the team who receives the second ban chooses one champion. The plan is to have draft mode initially for Ranked Mode and practice games and leaving the blind pick for casual games. Another change will also be that in Ranked Mode champion selections will be exclusive, meaning that once a team chooses a champion the opposing team cannot use them. It is Riot Games’ hope that this new feature will add a whole new element of strategy to the game and encourage players to experiment will all of the different types of champions and learn to use them all instead of just focusing on a single one.
Also during sign up new players will also be able to choose their level of experience with titles like League of Legends giving them a slight bump in their Elo ranking so beginners to games will be able to start at a fair setting while those with a little more experience will get a slight level of difficulty.
At the end of Season One there are plans to hold a tournament where the top teams will battle it out to determine the winner of for that season.
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In comparing the previous user interface with the new one which will be added during Season One it was clear that the new one will offer so much more compared to its predecessor as players will now be able to see the updates and news from the menu instead of having to go to the community page, making it much more streamlined.
When players see the new interface they will also get a slight glimpse of what is to come in the future, as Clans, Teams, and Achievements will be grayed out as they are part of some of the future changes Riot Games is working on.
As I sat with Riot Games and also next to a fan and player it was clear all of these changes would truly be something the fans would be looking forward to as the young man sitting next to me lit up with excitement and could not believe what he was seeing, Riot Games listened to their players and is giving them exactly what they want, which is always great to see from a game company. One thing that was clear was that Riot truly does care about their players and they have a true passion for their game.
I actually never really had experience playing League of Legends but after meeting with them and seeing how great they were and how much fun the game looked as soon as I got home I downloaded it and am now beginning to get hooked. So thanks again guys for making a really fun game and keep doing what you’re doing.
For more info: Visit the League of Legends Official Site.