Riot are testing a new tutorial mode for League of Legends: “We think we can do a better job”

Intro Bots might looks like this - or they might look like any other League of Legends champion. Cunning like that.

League of Legends is one of the 100 best free PC games – but that hardly matters to the significant minority who don’t have the time or crampons to climb its steep learning curve. Riot Games say a “non-trivial” proportion of new players actually lose the game’s de facto tutorial mode, Battle Training.

“We’ve observed some of those same players go on to become Gold-tier ranked players,” say the developers. “So this isn’t a problem with the players – it’s a problem with how we teach them.”

Hence, Intro Bots – a brand new tutorial mode designed to scale to your level of MOBA experience.

Intro Bots is a new co-op vs AI tier about to be introduced to the PBE, and to the live game soon afterwards. It’s designed to be a more “guided and forgiving setting” in which to feel out LoL’s basic systems.

“We think we can do a much better job of exposing the intricacies that make up a game of League of Legends and letting new players more smoothly build up proficiency,”wrote the dev team.

The existing Battle Training mode is guilty of ensuring LoL isn’t fun for new players, say Riot – it repeatedly takes control away from them, blasts them with pop-ups, and then gives them a hard enough time to put them off ever tackling real, living opponents.

Intro Bots’ solution is to take away some of LoL’s inherent challenge, so that new players can focus on the basics. Riot have ripped out trinkets and support items, because beginners needn’t concern themselves vision and map control. They’ve tuned down damage and bot reaction times, to allow players more time to react to new situations, and reduced death timers to encourage newcomers to make mistakes. Even last hitting has been stripped out of this barebones mode.

“Trying to teach a brand new player all the skills of a level 30 Summoner risks overload and neglects foundational learnings,” explained the developers. “So in this mode we’re focusing on the basics while we explore alternatives venues for teaching the advanced stuff.”

A ‘personal quests’ feature provides new players with a steady stream of low-level goals, rather than overarching victory conditions. They’re contextually triggered based on player actions – which means those with a basic understanding of how MOBAs work won’t be bombarded with irrelevant information.

Most importantly, Intro Bots repeats its lessons many times over. Because that’s how learning works.

Here are the best League of Legends champions for beginners. Have any of you lot been burned in the lanes before?