League of Legends is becoming a card game in the form of Legends of Runeterra, a free-to-play spin-off similar to Hearthstone that was announced for League’s tenth anniversary. Given the kind of competitive play that’s sprung up around Hearthstone, and League’s already firm standing in esports, Runeterra seems a shoe-in for similar. Riot is keen to get started, but might hold off for longer than expected due to how the game’s economy will work.
Speaking to us about Riot’s roll-out strategy, gameplay initiative lead Blake Midstokke said that the worry is making sure all players have had the chance to build up their collections. “We’re open to feedback,” he explains. “We may end up delaying the competitive seasons until players have had time to collect all the cards they want.”
In Legends of Runeterra, card packs are earned entirely through gameplay, with no loot box-equivalent available for purchase. Rarer cards will be accessible through a limited amount of weekly tokens that can be bought for real money. In other words, you can’t just spend a load of dosh in the first few weeks to get every card available. You’ll have to keep playing week-to-week if you want to get everything, and even then, it might take a while.
The good thing is, your library of cards will carry-over from each season, so once you have a wild card, you have it. There’s no intention to introduce any kind of card set rotation until everyone’s had a chance to start playing, either. “We don’t want to introduce a rotation until all the regions have been released at least,” Midstokke said.
Legends of Runeterra is expected to enter open beta in early 2020.