We spoke to Riot Games founders Marc Merrill and Brandon Beck recently about everything League of Legends, from what Riot will do next to the problems they’ve had with solo queue and disappointing players. What they told us was that League remains the company’s primary focus because, in part, there were “obvious features” the community “rightfully teases” them about not yet having. These include the long-wished-for sandbox mode, replays and a new client.
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“From our perspective there’s a lot left to do,” says Beck. “There are lot of ideas that we’ve had as a team and opportunities that we wanted to pursue for the game that we haven’t been able to get to. There are a lot of obvious features that we don’t have that the community rightfully teases us about.”
Merrill runs through a few – “Replays, sandbox, a new client. There’s a variety of features and desires that the community has been shouting for.”
Of these, all three are in various stages of development and urgency. The new client has been in a publically available testing phase for some time, with new elements added to it with each PBE cycle. The loot system was recently added in patch 6.19. However, it’s a slow process, and while the client is pretty it won’t be seen as a massive change by players. However, it is the first thing Riot are doing, likely so they can build on top of it.
Sandbox mode has been a bit of a back and forth with the community. Initially Riot were reluctant to provide it, as they never wanted doing something other than playing League of Legends to be the way forward. Since then, it seems like they’ve changed their minds.
On the replays front, it’s pretty incredible the game doesn’t have them given its centrality to eSports. There are custom tools that will emulate the effect, and with the proliferation of streaming and easy recording technology it’s less necessary than it used to be, but still incredible that a game got to the top of eSports without a feature we’ve had since 1998. It likely requires a significant engine upgrade.
For more on what Riot are working on, and the future of the company and the game in general, have a look at our full interview: the future of LoL.