The countdown to the preseason began this week as the full Preseason Update made its way onto the PBE for testing, including the absolutely massive Runes Reforged.
This means we are mere weeks away from the largest change in League of Legends history, one that will require players of all experience levels to relearn one of the most significant parts of the game. Runes Reforged will completely replace both the current runes and masteries with one singular rune system.
It promises to make every rune decision impactful and meaningful, something neither current runes nor masteries accomplish. So far, it certainly seems to be on the right track, but we’re still quite a ways away from seeing the project finalized. Since it’s the largest set of changes in the game’s long history, there will likely be several weeks of tweaks, additions, and removals as the playerbase figures out all the kinks of the new system.
The new runes interface on the PBE is more sleek and modern than the current one, but it’s also considerably complicated, especially when compared to the old systems. That’s not a bad thing, per se, but it’s a lot to take in. For the most part, the new runes are exciting and much more fun, but the learning curve will undoubtedly be a big one.
There are several rune slots to fill with runes from several different types and paths, and it will likely take some time for players to learn and remember which combinations of specific runes and rune paths work best on each of League’s 140 champions. It may take even longer to understand the countless ways that opponents can use these combinations in order to get a grip on playing the game itself, as it will play like a totally new game.
So far, there are five rune paths—Precision, Domination, Sorcery, Inspiration, and Resolve. Each path has at least 12 new runes, each with dramatically varying benefits and effects.
Though Runes Reforged is on the PBE right now, it’s unlikely it will be out very soon. Due to its size and impact, the new rune system and the rest of the Preseason Update will probably arrive some time within the next month or two, straying from the usual two week PBE cycle window.