Challenges are coming for an extended stay on PBE before going live in early 2022!
We've talked about the Challenges system a few times over the past couple of months, and it's about to hit PBE! Challenges are designed to provide meaningful progression to all League players—so not just Ranked ravagers, but ARAM aficionados, Clash contenders, and cosmetic collectors too.
Challenges are a little different than the one-and-done achievement systems you might be used to. You can level up individual challenges from Iron all the way to Master. And if that’s not enough, once you’ve hit Master, many challenges also have their own Grandmaster and Challenger tiers. And just like in Ranked, only a certain number of players per region can be in these tiers at any given time. If you’ve ever wanted to be known as the person with the most pentakills on the server this is your chance.
We’ll be launching with over 300 challenges, so they'll be taking an extended stay on PBE to test everything out before going live in early 2022. Because Challenges has a lot going on, some features will hit PBE later than others, but we're sharing a full runthrough today so you know what to expect over the next few months.
Challenges have their own tab within your profile. You'll also be able to look up other players to check out their Challenges progress, too.
The big crystal on the left tracks your overall progression through the system. Every challenge you rank up increases your overall score, and over time, your crystal evolves from—you guessed it—Iron to Challenger.
The five bars beneath your crystal represent the five* categories of challenges. Categories are a middle ground between your overall progress and individual challenges, letting you track your growth along particular aspects of the game. And (surprise!) they rank up as well.
There's a search bar in the Challenges tab that'll let you find any challenge by its name or the criteria it tracks. You can also filter challenges within each category by group (ex. ARAM within Imagination), most recently ranked up, or current tier.
Front and center to every challenge is its Token, a unique icon that represents that challenge, as well as its current rank. Below the Token is the challenge's name ("Gets The Wurm"), and below that is its criteria (Take Barons before 21 minutes).
The upper left-hand corner shows you how many points a challenge is contributing toward your overall Challenges score. The upper right-hand corner shows you which modes a challenge can be earned in.
Finally, the bottom of the card shows the next major reward you'll receive for leveling the challenge up to a given tier. In this example, you'll earn the title “Early Bird” once you hit Gold. Oh yeah, did we mention there are titles?
Okay, let's talk about titles, Tokens, and all the places where Challenges shows up outside of your profile. For starters, we've updated lobbies to make space for everything Challenges provides.
Your Summoner Icon is still the centerpiece of your identity, but ranked armor has been visually reforged into Ranked Crests. You can still swap between your Ranked and Prestige (level) borders, and you'll finally be able to freely choose between any of the Prestige borders you’ve previously earned, not just the most current. We’ve also added the Challenge Crystal right below your Summoner Icon. Hovering over a player's Summoner Icon will display a tooltip showing current and past rank, Summoner Icon info, and detailed Challenges information including their rank for each of the five categories.
Summoner names are still in the same spot, but they have a new friend right underneath them: Titles.
Titles ("Dragonmaster") are earned by leveling certain challenges to specific tiers, and you can freely choose between any title you've unlocked.
Beneath titles are the Challenge Tokens, which you also saw earlier in the Challenges tab. You can equip up to three to show off. Wherever a Token appears, you'll be able to hover over it to see its associated challenge and Tier.
One notable omission from the new banners is the border trim indicating past rank. We're working on something tentatively named Banner Accents that’ll come out after the initial Challenges launch, which will include past rank. In the meantime, past rank info shows up when you hover over players' Summoner Icons.
Last up, we moved Position Select down next to Find Match to free up space. The Suggested/Invited menu is also collapsed by default, but expands back out when you click on it.
All these new identity options demanded an improved customization experience. The Identity menu is found in the same places as before, but supports Icons, Borders, Titles, Challenge Tokens, and any other content types we’re able to create in the future. The left side now previews what your banner looks like as you switch things up. No need to hit save—each change updates in realtime, with an undo button to walk back changes you're not feeling (yes, you can make a bunch of changes and then undo all of them).
Special callout for the Icon selector: It uses the same tech as the Collections tab so you can finally access rarities, tooltips, filters, and search while selecting an icon.
The loading screen has also gotten a facelift! The Ranked Crest redesign from lobbies has carried over, and player cards also have a more contemporary look and feel. There's also a functional change: Player cards now have three sides. (Don't ask about the physics. They're Hextech.)
We also added a Quick Switcher™ that cycles all ten players' cards to the same tab to cut down on clicks.
End of Game has also gotten a pretty hefty overhaul. We’ve split it into two screens: One for your personal progression and one for the game’s scoreboard.
The Progression Page still displays all the things you’re used to: Ranked progress, Champion Mastery, and Summoner Level on the left; Honor received in the lower right. The big change is the progression carousel, which shows you the challenges and Eternals you leveled up, brought close to leveling up, or had a standout performance on.
The scoreboard has a new look and feel but remains very similar to the one you see today. We couldn’t resist making a few changes though:
As mentioned, you can hover over Challenge Tokens wherever they appear. Once you've ranked a challenge up to Master or above, hovering over it will also display a leaderboard showing you where you stack up against the rest of your server.
When you hover over another player's Token (or the Challenge Card in their profile), you'll also see how your progress stacks up against theirs, including their server rank if they're on that challenge's leaderboard.
Challenges will be on PBE for a few months to ensure all the nuts and bolts work properly. Ranked Crests and celebrations, as well as the foundations of the new pre-game lobby will go live in 12.1 to accompany the start of the ranked season, but the complete launch will come a few months afterward.
In the first few weeks of PBE, we'll mainly be focused on identifying any core bugs and Challenge functionality issues. As we move closer to launch, we'll also be on the lookout for feature polish feedback and enhancements that we missed in our first few iterations. If you've got thoughts, please share 'em on social media! We're looking forward to getting Challenges into your hands next year.