Earlier this week, League of Legends entered its preseason, a period during which competitive play takes a back seat as several major changes are introduced to the game. Two of those changes were the removal of the game’s level cap, and a tweak to its in-game currency. Under the old system, players would receive Influence Points, or IP, at the end of every game, which they could use to buy new champions and runes.
Check out our list of the best League of Legends champions for beginners.
IP has been replaced with Blue Essence, which, with the removal of the level cap, players receive every time they level up. But some players aren’t happy with the changes, as it seems as though the new system offers fewer rewards than its predecessor.
Over on Reddit, a player going by BlueAdmir, has broken down the numbers of the new and old systems. “Under the old system,” BludeAdmir writes, “a 50% win rate on Summoner's Rift game modes meant about 83.5 IP a game”. This meant” it used to take 76 games to earn enough to buy a enough for a 6300 IP champion. With the new rewards,the amount you earn each game adjusts to your level. “In other words, at [around] level 175, it will take 103 summoner's rift games to have enough Blue Essence to buy a [full-price] champion. After level 150, it’ll should take players 103 games on average to earn enough essence to buy those new champions.
In theory, that means earning those full price champions will take you around 35% longer at the highest levels than it would have done under the old system. But in reality, there are far too many unknowns to consider to definitively say that players are worse off under the new system.
However, BlueAdmir leaves out a number of factors from their working. Currently, there are 32 full price champions available in the in-client store. Every time a new one is released, the oldest full price champion is bumped down to a lower price bracket, so there should never be more than 32 of these 6300 BE champions at any one time. Levelling up to level 175 would give you enough Blue Essence to buy 23 of them, but Riot also gave lots of players up to 19,000 Blue Essence for having previously bought items with their IP, which means you could buy three of those full price champions for ‘free’.
You can also now buy a random “mystery champion” for the ‘average’ amount of 3950 Blue Essence. If, like me, you’ve been playing for a while but don’t own all of the champions, it’s pretty likely that that average is skewed significantly in your favour. I own nearly every champion in the bottom three price brackets, so the average cost of all the champions available for me to buy normally is significantly higher than 3950 - for me, that figure is just under 5,100 blue essence.
It’s easy to look at the raw data that Riot have published over the past few weeks and conclude that the new system offers fewer rewards. But in reality, for the vast majority of players, it’s incredibly difficult to calculate the exact impact the change will have - people own different numbers of champions of different costs, and figuring out exactly where they sit on the scale will also depend on factors like win-rate, and, to be quite honest, blind luck. If there’s a complaint to be made about the new system, it’s that it promotes a level of randomisation that some players might find frustrating, but in reality, it’ll be much the same as before, with a handful of extra rewards scattered in for good measure.