Teamfight Tactics developers address Spectate mode and item system

Fans got the lowdown straight from the dev team.

Image via Riot Games

Riot Games’ hit autobattler Teamfight Tactics is on its second season with a new cast of champions, items, and classes hitting the Convergence. And today, fans had the chance to get the inside scoop from the development team.

TFT developers hosted a one-hour AMA on Reddit today, giving fans the opportunity to ask their most burning questions. The Rioters discussed a multitude of topics, including the fate of the fan-requested Spectate mode and how future items will be incorporated into the autobattler.

Image via Riot Games

TFT senior game designer James “Statikk” Bach addressed the future of Spectate mode⁠—and it looks bleak.

“We definitely want this too,” Bach said. “But it turns out it’s a very challenging technical problem so we’ll have to see what the possibilities are in the future in this space. Don’t expect it any time soon sadly.”

Spectate mode would allow players to cheer their friends on from the sidelines or roast their poor decision making. It’s already a feature in Riot’s MOBA, League of Legends. Despite fans begging and cajoling for Spectate mode, it seems “technical” issues have made it difficult to implement. Although the developers haven’t ruled it out, it likely won’t hit the live servers for a while.

Another senior game designer for Riot’s autobattler, Jordan “Wrekz” Anton, touched on how the item system would be handled moving forward.

“In terms of how the item system works now we’d make changes by removing/adding or reworking rather than purely adding,” Wrekz said. “Since as you noted we don’t want to make an enormous number of recipes.”

The addition of Sparring Gloves at the end of TFT’s Set One created over 10 new items, with individual recipes for each one. This affected the item pool and shifted the meta several times since Iceborn Gauntlet had to be nerfed (and still does). And the introduction of Giant Slayer made ranged carries, like Jinx and Ashe, abandon other options for the overpowered new addition.

TFT developers are looking to avoid that sort of balancing issue in Set Two. It seems that items will be removed to make way for new ones or reworked to create a different effect completely. Rise of the Elements already boasts over 40 items, half of which are considered far more optimal than the rest.

Rise of the Elements hit live servers on Nov. 5 and fans can expect a return of Ranked mode within the next couple of weeks.