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Riot Games’ new League of Legends game mode, Teamfight Tactics, introduced Little Legends as the latest creatures to step onto the Rift. These adorable characters have squishable cheeks and delightful animations that make the bad times go away. There’s just one thing wrong—their cuteness comes at a price.
Little Legends are the controllable characters in Teamfight Tactics. The main purpose of the creatures is for players to be able to walk out of their spawn point and choose a champion during draft phases. Otherwise, they’re used to run around the map and relentlessly taunt the enemy player.
There are seven distinct Little Legends available on the PBE—if we count the River Spirit, which is given to players for free—and each Little Legend has six variants, which function like the chroma skins found in League of Legends. Additionally, every variant is able to be upgraded twice through a star ranking system. The upgrades change the appearance of or “evolve” the Little Legends into cooler versions of a specific variant. Upgrades occur when another variant of the same type is collected. Players are also able to choose which upgrade they want to use in game.
If you have a three-star Pengu Featherknight, for example, you can choose between using the one and two-star versions as well. Considering each Little Legend can be upgraded twice, the number of total variants one creature can have ends up rising from six to 18.
The issue of price comes up when looking at how the Little Legends are obtained. To get more Little Legends, players must purchase “eggs.” There are two types of eggs. One gives a specific Little Legend variant, along with an icon for said variant. These eggs are priced at 750 RP, which equals about $5. The others are labeled as “series” eggs. Each series egg contains a chance to obtain one of three Little Legends and one of their six variants. These are sold at 490 RP, or a little less than $5, with two bundled versions available for 4,900 RP.
This means if a player wants a specific variant, they’ll have to spam eggs until it appears. And if a player wanted the two-star upgraded version, they will have to continue spamming eggs until they get the same exact variant again and once more to obtain a three-star variant. One positive point about purchasing eggs is that if a variant reaches three-stars, it will no longer appear in future eggs.
While 490 RP isn’t much for one egg, a player could end up spending over 26,000 RP grinding to upgrade a Little Legends variant to three star. This is the point where the Little Legends feel more exploitative rather than a cute addition to the game. It also doesn’t help that there isn’t a variant-specific egg for each of the 36 base variants.
Instead of making it possible for players to buy an individual variant or a bundle that guarantees specific variants, the developers decided it’s better to randomize almost the entirety of collecting Little Legends.
This isn’t the first time Riot has made questionable choices regarding in-game cosmetics, either. The company recently came under fire with the release of Prestige Aatrox, which was estimated to cost around $100 due to players having to earn Prestige Points through the purchase of multiple Masterworks Chests.
We understand that skins are a huge part of Riot’s revenue and the Little Legends were added as a fun feature to enhance gameplay. But at what point does it become less about player experience and more about making money for the sake of making money?