Hello everyone, Yangzera here to talk about today’s Developer Snapshot released by Riot. This is a pretty important topic to discuss as the future of our beloved game is on the line so I’ll try my best to do it justice and bring up my unbiased – and maybe unhinged – opinions on the matter. I highly suggest you go watch the entire video and think for yourself for a moment
before reading the rest of the article because I really think this debate should come from one’s own viewpoints and needs about the game. As always, I’ll be free to discuss the matter in the Mastering Runeterra discord.
If You Didn’t Watch, Here’s the Recap!
More Interaction from the Developers
Dave starts the video talking about how the team has been much more communicative on social media and trying to interact with the community. He also confirms we will continue having that or even more in the future, which in my opinion is a great thing.
Learning From Player Feedback
He goes on by saying that upon listening closely to community feedback, the “all focus on PvP” and “all focus on PvE” approach wasn’t the best, and the community would much rather find a healthy place in the middle of both, so there will be content coming in to both sides of the fence.
Community Focused Competitive
With the success and positive response of the new competitive structure and path to Worlds, riot will try to partner up even more with community events going forward. Also on the competitive side, the community’s call for more responsive live balance has been heard and the current cadence will be maintained – with hopefully more willingness to hotfix balance outliers!
Dave finally officially talked about the game’s recent lack of resources to work with compared to when it was originally launched but also talks about how the devs will focus first on delivering a good game for us players to enjoy no matter what.
Boards, Guardians and Voiceovers
Davetron addresses the difficulty of producing lots of low RoI cosmetics in boards and guardians, announcing that the team will focus more on Voiceover quality and design to help build the universe more, enriching the League of Legends IP. He also announces that we will have a legacy store with cosmetics from previous event passes coming back for those who weren’t there at the time to be able to get a hold of them.
This is talked more about in the Reddit AMA and Dave makes a great write-up on why that feature is simply out of reach for now. Personally I’d rather have read this the moment they closed cross-shard play so I wouldn’t complain as much about it.
Riot’s hosting an AMA on Reddit! Check it out and maybe they’ll answer your question.
My Personal Takes on Each Topic
I think that interacting with developers on social media is great and having their input and thoughts on changes and state of the game or upcoming features is a blessing not many gaming communities have. Devs really aren’t required to interact this much with their community so we really should take this opportunity with both hands and try to deliver the best feedback we can. I’m excited to know that we’ll get more of that and I can’t express this enough that we should be mindful of how we deliver our feedback to the devs. Remember that they’re still human beings and should be treated with as much respect as we want them to treat us. It’s ok to be harsh and criticism should go where it is due, but going as far as offending someone over a video game is not ok.
Learning From Player Feedback
There are many players who are PvE exclusive players and you can see them in Youtube comments or Instagram replies, sometimes even on Twitter where the vast majority of competitive players hang out. We know for a fact that the PvE community is much bigger and much more silent, so catering to them is also important to keep the player numbers as high as possible. Casual player engagement is extremely important for the game and I’d say it’s much more important to focus on than competitive player engagement. Competitive players will be at least somewhat engaged regardless of the situation, but having the casual masses interact with streams, tournaments and other communities is pivotal to the game’s life span.
Community Focused Competitive
This is honestly a long time coming and I’m glad riot’s finally in touch with the competitive community. We’ve shown that we can run things extremely smoothly and the biggest proof of this are the Aegis team seasons and the Mastering Runeterra opens, community-run events that run virtually perfectly and I’m glad Riot’s willing to give us the tools we need to do our thing. As long as we get enough help with advertisement and a few QoL features like Runeterra Open spectator accounts or even access to a tournament realm for possible community cross-shard events I think the competitive side of LoR has a great future going for itself.
It’s not difficult to notice that LoR has been getting the short end of the stick in regards to resource allocation at Riot but it’s humbling to see it being admitted by our Executive Producer. Sure it does leave a bitter taste in my mouth to finally have confirmation, but it honestly gives me much more faith in our dev team to know that they do whatever they can with whatever they have and we’re still delivered a great product with the right focus: gameplay first.
I think I’m just a layman in these corporate things but I’ll never understand why we have a budgeting issue when LoR clearly has potential to make tons of money off of fan service skins. Again, this is coming from an outsider’s perspective but I really don’t understand why we don’t have one or two new skins for super popular champions in the store every other week. As long as they’re cosmetic-only purchases and don’t offer any in-game advantage, please Riot, just take our money and use it to help build other features like replays or a proper in-client profile page with match history, stats and whatnot.
Dave sheds a lot of light into the topic on the Reddit AMA but I’d like to use this space to give an idea. Cross-shard play really is a grassroots tournament targeted thing, and we don’t actually need it outside of those.
My idea would be to have a separate, smaller shard with resettable accounts that verified and trusted grassroots tournament organizers could hand to those participating in their events. Of course, those accounts would only work while the event is happening and they’d have their passwords reset once the event is finished and the shard would be closed in between events so there wouldn’t be a high cost to maintain the server.
Of course this is only an idea, but it would be great if grassroots tournaments could function without the need of cross shard smurfing – it would only enrich the community and propel the game’s competitive scene even further.
Those were my thoughts on our Mid-Year dev snapshot! I’d love to discuss these topics with the community on both Twitter or Discord and I’m open to talk about it anytime! Those are important discussions to the future of the game and I’d love to hear your thoughts on them. As always thank you so much if you’ve made it this far into the article and I’ll see you all very, very soon.