In an effort to make League of Legends more accessible for beginners, Riot Games recently announced that they are starting to look into completely revamping the runes and masteries system for LoL. Possibly the biggest announcement made during the “Runes Reforged” update was the company’s plans to make runes completely free, allowing players to try out new builds on the fly. Given how much time it takes to collect the necessary amount of runes for a proper rune page, I believe that this change will be critical in getting new players acclimated to the game.
I have been playing League of Legends since Season 3, and since my friends introduced me to the MOBA, I have always been baffled by the runes system. This isn’t to say that using the runes themselves confused me. Rather, I always found that buying and filling out rune pages proved to be a huge barrier to entry for new players. Not only that, but they seemed to have little to no actual impact on the game itself.
The changes that runes pages provided to champions were solely statistical, and they lacked a sense of general impact. Luckily, Riot seems committed to addressing both of these issues to completely revamp how players interact with the game.
Beginner-friendliness is a concern that most MOBAs tend to have because of their sheer complexity. The dynamics between characters, items, and lane compositions ensure that any given MOBA will take countless hours to master. While there is also a countless number of online teaching tools designed to introduce newcomers to the genre, there are intrinsic aspects of League of Legends’ design that make the game unavoidably difficult.
For the longest time, the collection of runes proved to be one of those boundaries. Runes could only be purchased with in-game currency, yet provided an unbelievable advantage if you had the correct ones. Not only that, but roles like jungling made a proper runepage an absolute necessity to clear camps effectively. With Riot’s new approach to runes, creating a proper rune page will be a meaningful decision that all players have equal opportunity to participate in.
The update also mentions potential compensation for people that have invested a lot of IP into runes and rune pages already. I am curious to see how this compensation is delivered, considering that the amount players spend on runes varies so greatly from person to person. As it stands now, however, the “Runes Reforged” update looks like it will be an unbelievable benefit to newcomers and veteran League of Legends players alike.
For more information on other League of Legends preseason changes, be sure to read the entire “Runes Reforged” update here.