League of Legends Wild Rift Changes That Need to Happen


by in League of Legends | Apr, 11th 2020

Riot and Tencent are going all-out with Wild Rift and it’s easy to understand why. Their upcoming mobile release has the potential to be a game-changer, so let’s focus on a couple of League of Legends Wild Rift changes they have to make (when compared to the full-fledged game) to stand a better chance of finding success.

The notion of playing League of Legends on the go was always endlessly alluring. Unfortunately, it remained a dream out of reach for many years until technology caught up. Nowadays, however, our mobile phones can easily handle multi-layered, complex video games that have a ton of visual fidelity. We’re not talking about side scrollers here either, but rather comprehensive and beautiful titles that are head and shoulders above anything you could have ever played on a portable console.

Call of Duty Mobile, Fortnite, PUBG, Diablo Immortal, and many more serve as perfect examples of just how far technology has come. It also became obvious that game developers have only just scratched the surface of what’s possible. Mobile gaming is bound to explode even further over the years as top-tier hardware becomes more and more accessible.

You no longer need a beastly device to play the latest and greatest titles, which means that a future in which almost anyone can play mobile League of Legends is within spitting distance. This, in part, is why Riot and Tencent have a huge chance to deliver a product that’ll blow our minds and become a spectacular financial success.

League of Legends is the most popular video game and esport in the world. Even those who never played the game certainly heard of it, which makes it a worldwide phenomenon. Wild Rift will, therefore, already have a bafflingly large playerbase upon release. Millions upon millions of players will download it without hesitation, and the fact that it truly is a faithful adaptation is why the majority will keep it installed on their devices (and remain frequent players).

So, let’s go over a couple of important League of Legends Wild Rift changes Riot and Tencent need to make to ensure the game is as alluring and engaging as possible!

A More Casual Experience

On first thought, we all want League of Legends in our pockets. That’s the dream, right? In actuality, however, that’s not such a great idea. Having League, with all of its many layers and nuances on such a small device is a surefire catastrophe.

It’s simply too complex with all of its champions, items, builds, options, niche strategies, and so on. The average phone these days has a screen that’s about 5.5” inches big. When you place your left thumb on the virtual analog stick and your right thumb on the ability icons, there’s not much screen left.

This means Riot and Tencent have to pick and choose what they want to bring over from the full-fledged game. We already know that Wild Rift will ship with about a third of the full champion roster which is a step in the right direction. The same should go for items as well, as new players can easily get overwhelmed.

In short, Wild Rift needs to be a more miniaturized version of League of Legends. This might sound like an obvious thing, but many fans are expecting to have a 1:1 copy and are, therefore, bound to be disappointed at least to a certain extent.

Those who have already played Arena of Valor (and similar mobile MOBAs) will feel right at home once Wild Rift is released. In many ways, Tencent’s upcoming release won’t differ much when compared to many of its predecessors. That’s both a good and a slightly bad thing. It’s good because there are many positive aspects of mobile MOBAs which is why they became so successful in the first place. On the other hand, they all have the same problems that are inherent to the genre and mobile gaming in general.

Still, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

The Feeling of It All

Capturing the essence of a MOBA is of the utmost importance. This might seem like a no-brainer, but many have tried and many failed. It might sound like an easy thing to pull off, but it’s an incredibly complex challenge, that’s for sure. Still, it’s not an impossible task, as evidenced by games like Arena of Valor, Heroes Evolved, Mobile Legends, Vain Glory, and the like.

The reason why other mobile MOBAs found so much success isn’t because they’re insanely good games or because they offer spectacular replay value. Instead, it’s because of the feeling you get when you’re playing. A standard game lasts for fifteen or so minutes and while that isn’t all that long, you feel like you’re doing a ton of work — you’re tapping the screen like a maniac, you’re moving the map with your fingers, you’re swiping, zooming, scrolling, and so on. There’s no “dead air” as you’re always doing something and when those fifteen minutes go by you’re kind of caught by surprise.

“Already?”

That’s the same thing Tencent wants players to feel in Wild Rift, and fortunately they’re following the same Arena of Valor formula. If they create small, League-specific changes and keep the core DNA of the genre, they’ll surely have a winner on their hands.

As Much Complexity As Possible…

Mobile MOBAs sometimes feel far too simplistic, especially if you’ve been playing the genre for years on PC. Sure, there are heroes, items, builds, lanes and the like, but it all feels somewhat inconsequential — there’s little nuance to the whole thing. Certain titles have fog of war and warding, for example, but most of them don’t. It’s like they took all the main aspects of a MOBA and dumbed it down. Heck, that feels like an understatement.

Most games are blowouts and it feels like the majority of players aren’t even keeping track of what’s going on the map. That, in a way, is somewhat understandable seeing how you’re all looking at a very small screen, but the point still stands. If you remove vision, fog of war, speed things up, and make builds and itemization an afterthought, then the whole thing cannot function like a MOBA, but rather like a pale imitation.

This is where Wild Rift changes need to happen. Players want as much complexity as possible — they want nuance. If Wild Rift ends up being a reskin for Arena of Valor, then it’s not going to realize its full inherent potential. Players want League of Legends in their pockets, and that kind of wish brings with it a fair bit of complexity, for better and worse.

Riot and Tencent already have vast experience with Arena of Valor, so they’re certainly aware of the many challenges that come with a mobile MOBA. Because of this, they need to cater to the hardcore audience more than the casual player.

… Without Compromising Gameplay

Wild Rift shouldn’t be too complex. To make things just as fun and layered, Riot and Tencent need to bring over most of the things that make League of Legends so great, but tweak the less “visible” areas that end up having the biggest impact.

This means minion waves, their strength and spawn rate, the strength of turrets and inhibitors, jungle camps and the entire jungle role, and so on. These gameplay elements are crucial and heavily affect how fast the average game unravels. Wild Rift simply has to be layered and somewhat complicated and balancing its micro-meta will require an entirely different mindset and approach. In other words, the game needs to feel complex but also be much quicker by design.

No one really wants to play a game of League on their phones for 50 minutes, but we all want the feeling we get when we’re in a competitive, even clash. So Wild Rift needs to, at once, provide both a breadth of options but also — through intelligent game design and balancing — make things feel much faster.

It’s a tall order, but if there was ever a developer that stood a chance of pulling it off, it has to be the Riot and Tencent combination.

Many Wild Rift changes need to happen for the game to reach its full potential. Fortunately, we can view Arena of Valor as an insanely successful experiment from which Riot can draw inspiration from. They can improve on the things AoV does well, but also fix many of its inherent flaws. One thing is for certain: if they do things right they could potentially have one of the biggest mobile games in history.

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