Ask Riot: Star Shards and Choncc

It’s all about TFT today, including the most difficult champs to bring to Fates and some fun stats.

DevAuthorsRiot Green Teej, Shynkro, Riot Benobo, Riot FireNRain
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Welcome to Ask Riot!

Today it’s all about TFT: Star Shards, stats, champions, and Choncc.

Why did it take so long to get Star Shards for Little Legends?

We’re constantly listening to player feedback and prioritizing what we want to bring to the table. When Little Legends were first released with TFT, we learned that you wanted more agency in buying both the species and variant of your Little Legend. That got us to the Little Legends Rotating Store. After learning that we still needed to do more to meet your expectations, we came up with “Little Legends Upgrade Token” (which eventually became Star Shards).

Now the question was, when could we start on it?

While we were brewing the idea of Star Shards, the team was shipping TFT Mobile (including the Tutorial and Store), the Galaxies set, the Galaxies mid-set update… not to mention a new galaxy each patch! Around June this year, we were finally able to kick off the project.

How many ways can players get Star Shards? What will it look and sound like? How do we make it work with RP? These are just some of the many questions that our teams had to answer, and with those results transform it into a working feature.

One of the goals for developing the Star Shards system was that it was independent, a new currency on its own, and not limited by the existing ones on League. This allows us to be more flexible, and we’ve also added automation on the way. We worked closely with our PIE (aka Skins and Events Team) Merchant Guild and Content Access Hub team to make sure the pieces came together smoothly.

We did multiple demos and playtests to collect feedback and also ensure that things were running as intended. For example, we needed to make sure that the Star Shard system was hooked up properly to players’ inventories and that spending the currency properly upgraded your Little Legend.

All of this took three months to develop, test, and ship.

The team is still continuing to polish Star Shards (alongside the game!). We have a lot to do and we need talented people to do it, so If you are interested in joining our team to make the game even more awesome, check out Riot Careers.

Riot FireNRain, TFT Producer

What were the most popular Traits in Galaxies? Champions? Items?

Did someone ask for data? Here are a few fun stats...

Before the mid-set update, the most popular individual traits were 2-Chrono and Mercenary. After Mercenary’s timely demise, 2-Chrono and 2-Vanguard became the most popular individual traits. If you want even more fun data, the most popular 6-piece trait was 6-Blademaster throughout Galaxies. The most winning (and potentially overrated) individual trait was 9-Dark Star before the mid-set update and 9-Star Guardian after.

Let’s break it down even more. Don’t keep scrolling, you asked for data, you’re getting data.

The most popular champions by gold cost in the first half of Galaxies were:

  • 1 gold: Malphite (the rock solid choice)
  • 2 gold: Blitzcrank with Shen at a close second (grabgrabgrabgrabgrab)
  • 3 gold: Ashe followed by Vi and Ezreal in 2nd and 3rd (but Kassadin was the most likely to get you LP)
  • 4 gold: Wukong (Kayle was a close 2nd and more likely to get you LP)
  • 5 gold: Miss Fortune (There’s no competition for second. It wasn’t even close.)

And after the mid-set update they were:

  • 1 gold: Jarvan IV (hail to the king)
  • 2 gold: Rakan (he must be lonely without Xayah)
  • 3 gold: Ashe (Jayce was more popular for early game, but fell off later)
  • 4 gold: Wukong (but Jhin was more likely to get you some LP… insert low effort number 4 joke here)
  • 5 gold: Gangplank and Thresh (The dynamic duo... or something. I dunno.)

Did you think I was done? Lol nice try.

The most popular items across the whole set were Infinity Edge and Guardian Angel. Guinsoo’s Rageblade was 3rd in the first half when Kayle was a dominant presence, but was overtaken by Seraph’s Embrace after the mid-set update.

The most popular items weren’t the most likely to get you some LP though. If you wanted those fat LP gainz you needed (depending on the patch): Red Buff, Morellonomicon, Ionic Spark, and Statikk Shiv (as well as Demolitionist’s Charge, Battlecast Armor, and of course, Force of Nature if you could find the Spatulas for them).

Ok, you can keep scrolling now.

Riot Benobo, Insights Analyst

Who was the most tricky champion to transfer from Summoner's Rift into the TFT World of Fates?

One of the trickier champions for us to port over from Summoner’s Rift to TFT: Fates was Azir. He posed a series of design and technical problems:

Designing Shurima’s Walls

It was difficult for us to settle on a spell for him that would sell his SR fantasy but not contribute too much visual noise to late-game combat. Since we already used spawning soldiers as a 3-cost spell in Rise of the Elements, we knew we had to go bigger and better for him as a 5-cost, and there was no spell more iconic to him than his Shuriman soldier wall.

One of the initial iterations of the spell had the wall knockback all enemies it passed through, then remain there as impassable terrain while his Emperor soldiers positioned themselves behind the wall to hit the enemies trying to pass through. Although we liked the anti-assassin properties of this iteration, it made a lot of late-game combats hard to follow—he was shuffling the enemy team, his team (who was chasing the knockbacked enemies), and his soldiers. We eventually moved to a version where his wall would only push back enemies near him and his soldiers wouldn’t move with it, significantly reducing the number of units that were displaced every time he casted.

Making Guards for the Emperor

His Emperor trait required us to change some of our core systems to accommodate the soldier properties. Much like Bard Meeps in Galaxies, we needed to add functionality to our drag-and-drop system to let players place Sand Guards only on the board. Additionally, we had to ensure the Sand Guards leveled up with Azir, didn’t contribute to the unit count, and didn’t show up in damage recap charts.

Additionally, because when Azir dies his soldiers die too, clone army Azirs needed the ability to find their respective ghost soldiers to tell them when to die. This meant we couldn’t just do a surface level copy of Azir and his soldiers to make the clones—we had to give them something more. So we gave clone units information about the original unit they were copied off of, and then recreated the connection that the original Azir has to his soldiers with clone Azir and the clone soldiers.

Honorable Mentions

Aphelios: Spawning turrets such that they don’t interfere with unit pathing is always hard; we also had to do work to make sure that they inherited Aphelios’ item and trait buffs.

Sett: Has a ton of movement logic to make sure that him and the units around him move and path appropriately for The Boss trait and his suplex.

Lee Sin: We had to give units the ability to move outside the bounding box of islands so he could kick them off.

(If he didn’t make an appearance as an Epic encounter in Galaxies, Kayn would probably also be on this list due to his different forms.)

Shynkro, TFT Technical Designer

Who is your favorite Little Legend and why is it Choncc?

Riot Green Teej: A Choncc got that something that I need.

Riot FireNRain: I like my Sugarcone Furyhorn and Original Fuwa. Sorry ʕ´•ᴥ•`ʔ

Riot Benobo: Boom boom clap boom boom clap boom clap boom boom boom boom clap

Shynkro: Boom boom clap boom boom clap boom clap boom boom boom boom clap

Choncc (and Furyhorn) Fan Club AKA the TFT Team

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