It’s been said by Alex Ich in a twitlonger post and this weekend is the perfect demonstration of what people are capable of doing just to be able to purchase champions/runes to remain relevant.
As much as riot is attempting to diversify the possible champion picks, there will always be stronger/better champions to pick in every meta than others. For the longest time, Mordekaiser was completely irrelevant. The recent changes make it an interesting plan to take Mordekaiser in bottom lane, but does everybody own him? Maybe not, but purchasing him, with standard IP gains, it could take about just shy of 30 games (not including First Win Of the Day bonus nor IP boosts)… and he has half the cost of some of the most meta champions. Similarly with URGOT during the spring. He was irrelevant for several months, eventually coming back into our day to day games as this anti-carry champion that could out duel many of the champions that were considered meta… If people spent their money on him to try to combat most other players in the mid/ad carry role, well now their money is gone and in their hands they have a champion who doesn’t scale particularly well in damage and has a very wonky laning phase.
It is true that a lot of the cheaper champions are underrated and perfectly viable to play in today’s metagame, but as stated, they may be entirely outclassed by a newer champion with different playstyles.
Buying a single rune page costs 6300 ip… that’s about 50 games in total which is an eternity to go through if you don’t have as much free time to sit and play games all day. If riot has spent this year telling us they’re concerned with “grinding” becoming an expectation, why am I expected to grind that ludicrous amount of games just to be able to have a separate run page option in case I had to play a role in which I don’t have the first 2 rune pages tailored to? You can’t sit here and really tell me that the initial 2 pages are enough considering how diverse the champions in this league are. If I’m playing ranked, and have 2 rune pages made for an AP caster and an AD carry, what happens when I have to fill for a tank role in the top? I’m basically forced to play with a sub optimal set up because I can’t change an entire rune page during champion select. If here you suggest that runes are not that big of a deal and how they can’t dictate a lane/skirmish, then why do we even have those to begin with?
My point is simple, double IP weekends are great, fantastic addition and something players like me would enjoy seeing… but the trade-off of getting a huge injection of ip for basically 7 minutes of my time almost feels like it over weighs the possible fun I may/may not be having in a fully fledged game with/against the people in the same game as myself. This should NEVER be a concept. If your desire is set in stone, to appease as many of the casual every day players as possible, something must be done with the IP prices. There are far too many champions and far too many required runes for casual players to remain relevant as champions get changed.
I know it just sounds like ranting, but I do feel like we could collectively come up with decent solutions to this problem. For example, for beginners have a preset 10 champions given to them for free. Or at least all the 450 champions. This allows people to have something to start with especially early on where IP grinding feels like it takes forever.
For more veteran players who are still farming ip, accumulate first win of the day bonus up to a cap. Say I had to take a month off and wouldn’t be able to play at all, I could come back after the week to 4 first week of the day bonuses to make up for a lot of time that I could not earn IP. It would have to be a stack gained after several days of inactivity. Once I consume all the stacks, the timer resets.
Dropping price of tier 3 runes OR offering tier 1/2 runes for free entirely. While this sounds a bit silly since tier 3 runes are considered by many the only worth while runes, I feel like giving the lowest tier runes for free will at least give people enough of an edge to where it doesn’t feel like the necessity to grind is overwhelming. The early impact of flat runes (or late impact of scaling runes) is too good to ignore. Runes are an essential part of the game, allowing you to diversify your champion to play in the way YOU want to play. Also the addition of tier 1/2 runes could help lower tier players experiment rune set ups in game, allowing them to buy exactly what they’ll need from tier 3 runes. (This may be stretching it, but I have seen people experiment with lower tier runes and transition to buying the exact runes they needed later on)
Keeping the Party IP bonus active at all times. By playing with the numbers you can find the correct mesh of amount of ip gained per party player joining. Whenever party ip has been enabled, several chat rooms have been created for players finding other players to take advantage of the situation. More often than not if these players mesh well, they’ll play often together!
Conclusion: It’s possible to find solutions, I really think it is. I love league of legends, but I hate seeing people not enjoying the game because they have to go through so many games just because they want to purchase a specific champion that would be a perfect fit for their playstyle. While the double IP weekend is a start, there still has a lot to be done with both champion prices and IP gains from the game modes.