League Of Legends Dev Reveals A Hearthstone-Style Game With No "Over-The-Top Randomness"

Legends of Runeterra is available to try today (for some).

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Riot Games, the developer of one of the world's most popular games in League of Legends, has announced its next game. "Legends of Runeterra" is a free-to-play strategy card game that takes place in the League of Legends universe. It's aiming to launch in 2020 for PC and m

Just like Blizzard's popular CCG Hearthstone features characters from its source material (Warcraft), Legends of Runeterra (LoR) will include League of Legends characters in its card decks. Each has "their own style and strategic advantage," Riot said.

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"LoR's gameplay is built around dynamic, alternating combat that demands players use their skill, creativity, and cleverness to succeed," Riot said.

Players can spend real money to acquire cards in LoR or they can grind to acquire them through gameplay. "Shards" are earned through gameplay while "Coins" can be purchased with real money at any time.

To unlock new cards and content in LoR, players can complete quests to earn experience that in turn unlocks new cards. The game has numerous different "regions," and players can determine which region to pursue, and each has different cards to unlock.

Each week, LoR will add new chests to unlock from what's called the Vault. "The Vault levels up as you play and upgrades the chests inside, which increases the number of cards you get from each. Individually, both the cards and chests have a chance to upgrade into something even better, and at level 10 and above, you're guaranteed a champion," Riot said.

LoR also features cards called "wildcards." These are rare cards that can be turned into any card you want. A "limited" number of these wildcards will be available in the store each week.

"We know that sometimes you just want a guaranteed way to get specific cards. So instead of waiting for the right drop, you can unlock cards for your collection using the Shards you’ve earned or the wildcards you’ve acquired through play or purchase," Riot said.

"In Legends of Runeterra, you will never pay for randomized packs, and you have a bunch of different ways to get the cards you actually want and build multiple decks for both casual duels and the competitive meta," the company added.

Riot could seemingly make more money by offering wildcards for purchase all the time. However, the company said it is limiting their ability to "ensure you always have something you're looking forward to unlocking, and that you're constantly discovering new cards and strategies."

Riot added: "Slowing down how quickly the entire set of cards can be unlocked is one method for helping us accomplish that goal. There's a lot more to it than that, so expect to see an article soon that dives deep into how card acquisition will work in LoR."

"We're all huge card game fans on the LoR team, so we know the issues with the genre: things like excessive cost, over-the-top randomness, and seeing the same decks over and over," executive producer Jeff Jew said in a statement. "We've spent a lot of time thinking about what we'd do differently, and now we have a chance to shake up the genre by keeping what's great, improving what's not, and adding some new twists of our own."

"We've been hard at work making the best card game we can imagine--one that we hope players everywhere will love," he added. "We're pretty excited to show players what we've got so far, and we can’t wait to hear what they think!"

Riot is promising to update LoR frequently with new content and gameplay balance changes.

Pre-registration for LoR is available right now. Everyone who pre-registers will get a chance to play the game ahead of its official release, while they'll also get the "Poro pet chroma" at release.

Riot is letting people play LoR immediately, as those who pre-register can play a "preview patch" now through October 21. A second preview patch will be available in November.

Riot, which is owned by Chinese internet company Tencent, has been in the headlines over the past year regarding gender discrimination claims against the studio. California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing is currently investigating the company.

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