League of Legends players have been losing their minds a little this week. A handful found a way to access an unreleased game mode with just a small injection of code into the game client, and a portion of the MOBA’s population have since been fielding teams composed entirely of a single champion - five Shens, or Blitzcracks, or Heimerdingers, where previously the game only allowed one.
Now recovered from their initial bewilderment, Riot have revealed that what players have uncovered is an in-development duplicate champion mode named One For All.
Riot technical game designer Richard ‘Brackhar’ Hough told fans on the official LoL forums that response to the new mode had been “pretty awesome”, and spoke a bit about its conception.
For the past few months, a team at Riot have been tasked with building original, experimental game modes - One For All is the first fruits of their efforts. Like Left 4 Dead’s mutations, these modes are intended to be “short-lived”, released and cycled regularly.
“Cycling new modes will let us work with you guys to create new experiences that would have been difficult to do as permanent game features, and it gives us free reign to go mildly crazy,” Hough explained. “Also, cycling new modes in and out will allow us to keep these things fresh and focused from a gameplay perspective.”
One For All will launch this cycle, but beyond that Riot are hoping to build a “very open development process”, in which player feedback will inform which modes should be pursued and which others shelved.
“We're extremely excited to work with you guys over the coming months, and I can't wait to see what fun, unique experiences we'll be able to create together,” said Hough.
One For All is still incomplete and suffers from a number of serious bugs that might bring about game client and server crashes - so much so that earlier in the week Riot “strongly” advised against playing it, quoting the rules in their Terms of Service.
They’ve since taken a softer approach, however. While the workaround that currently allows access to the mode via custom games will be fixed later this week, Hough encouraged players to offer feedback, and to “let me know who the OP champions are, so my team can finally win some of our internal playtests”.
“Contrary to earlier implications, no one has been banned for playing this game mode nor will anyone be banned for playing during the remainder of the time it is accessible,” he said. “In the meantime, have fun! Try out Fiddlesticks if you haven't: five Fiddles is one of the scariest things I think I've ever seen. It's just... birds all day.”
One For All will makes its official entrance before 2014, replete with a “bunch” of new features - namely matchmaking. What do you lot make of it, and of Riot’s plans for future mode-fiddling?
Thanks, Reign of Gaming.