Quick LoL Thoughts: April 24

Clash so far, Improving Event Rewards, TFT and the Galaxies system.

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Hi folks,

Usual Disclaimers

These posts will often contain talk about future work we're doing, or planning to do, that isn't yet guaranteed to ship. The nature of the work could change or, depending on what we discover, projects mentioned may get delayed or even stopped. If you'd like to see a Tweet whenever a new one of these posts goes up:

Clash so far

Now that Clash has been out for a little bit we wanted to share a few details on how it’s going and what’s up next:

  • The most recent run of Clash hit record participation numbers in most regions. Overall participation was up 30% on previous bests, with some regions up as much as 90%.
  • We’re continuing to work on bug fixes and quality of life changes for Clash. Recent notables include a fix for a bug where a few players couldn’t swap champions in champ select (thanks to everyone who submitted details, they were really helpful) and added details about Clash rewards you’ve earned in the Clash tab.
  • One of our next focuses is on smurfing. We’ve already adopted the policy that an account identified as smurfing will have its rewards stripped and then be blocked from future Clash participation. That’s not enough by itself though so we’re looking into other approaches as well. Nothing specific to share yet, wanted to share that it’s being looked at though given it’s been a key point of feedback received on Clash so far though.
  • Since the launch of Clash we’ve also seen the number of premade 5s in Flex queue increase substantially, up to double where it was previously in some regions before Clash launched. We believe that reflects teams using Flex to practice before Clash tournaments. To help Flex be more useful again we’re going to be removing the tier limits for who you can queue with in flex to make it easier to get a team together (Clash doesn’t have those same restrictions either). To avoid abuse cases we’ll then skew a team’s MMR significantly towards the MMR of its highest MMR player so that adding low MMR players can’t be used to gain an advantage.

Improving Event Rewards

I also wanted to touch on our event rewards systems, with some context on how they’ve changed over time and then a bit on what we’re thinking for the future.

First off, looking at pass grind. The graph below shows the average number of games of SR per day during an event that were required to get that event’s prestige skin and how it’s changed over time. It covers the events from Battle Academia last year to our projections for the next event after Galaxies. Galaxies has separate columns for pre and post token buffs. Around Worlds last year, we realized the event pass/prestige skin system was much grind heavier than it should have been. We’ve been reducing that over time as a result, both by making rewards in general more available and by shifting rewards towards missions, rather than sheer number of games played.

With Mecha Kingdoms especially we felt we’d gone a bit too far in reducing commitment needed, both from the perspective of how exclusive prestige skins should be and also just from a revenue perspective. Event pass and related sales help fund things like game modes, ability to give away content in free missions/loot, etc. With Galaxies we pulled back as a result, though then realized we’d put too much grind back in. As a result we pivoted partway through Galaxies, putting more tokens into missions to reduce grind.

We’ll be adding more tokens again to weekly win missions for the next upcoming event as well, as per the May 2020 column in the graph, getting to similar levels as Worlds/Night and Dawn last year.


For anyone who wants to dig into the details more, here’s all the relevant data in table form. Some things to note here:

  • Back when we used win of the day missions instead of weekly missions the average player with an event pass only got 18 wins of the day on average. Almost every pass buyer gets all the weekly missions now however and that’s been factored into the relevant column here.
  • Worlds 2019 is an outlier, since it was a much longer pass than average but also included two available prestige skins. The games to hit 2000 tokens value is for games needed to acquire one of those skins as a result.

Pass duration in days

Mission TokensTokens from Pass BundleAverage tokens earned from wins of the day/weekly winsAverage tokens per SR gameAverage SR games per day to hit 2000 tokens
Battle Academia3130020032494.22
Worlds 20195440020054791.76
Night & Dawn3230020094091.94
Mecha Kingdoms34300200100091.63
Galaxies (at launch)323002008007.52.92
Galaxies (post fix)32300200940
Next not yet announced event3230020010007.52.08

Looking to the future we think our event rewards, both free and premium, can be further improved. We’re working on moving to a track based system, like the one TFT and a lot of other games use, which should make it a lot easier to understand what rewards are available, how you’re progressing, what impact missions will have, which rewards you can get for free etc. We do want to ensure a higher degree of player choice remains as well though, in terms of what specific rewards you can get, which we think is a good aspect of the current system.

In terms of timing that work isn’t far enough along yet to talk about exact dates. We’re aiming for sometime this year though certainly.

TFT and the Galaxies system

Finally on the TFT side of things wanted to touch on the Galaxies mechanic that was added in 10.7. Our goal for it was that it should result in games where what was optimal was clearly different than normal, creating different decisions and therefore comps/experiences. Overall we think it’s doing a great job of that so far, giving a lot of game to game variety. It’s still a work in progress though certainly and we’ll be adding further galaxies over time, removing or reworking those that aren’t as enjoyable (or influence game outcome too much), tuning the frequency of how often galaxies show up etc.

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