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Riot Games says it will make League of Legends runes free by the end of 2017

Runes will be free in League of Legends by the end of the year, Riot Games says.
Runes will be free in League of Legends by the end of the year, Riot Games says.

Riot Games announced via YouTube video Tuesday it will rework runes and masteries as well as the Honor System in League of Legends.

The changes are aimed toward the later part of the year, and some other smaller updates are in the works that might hit earlier than that. The first major expected change is for the runes and masteries system, dubbed “Runes Reforged,” and scheduled for a November release. Riot’s lead producer, NEW001, announced the new runes will be combined with masteries, creating a singular pathway of changing gameplay before the game starts. The new “keystone” runes are set to have major game-changing effects, with three major examples featuring in the video as well.

The new runes will also be free to all users, which is a large change from the status quo. Fans have criticized Riot for years saying runes were too costly an investment but too important to skip out entirely, and Riot seems to address the issue by making runes free. According to the video, users who have invested heavily in runes can look forward to rewards, though the details were not clear about that.

Another major change is how the “Honor System” is worked to give more tangible rewards to the users who get recognized for their in-game contributions. Now honoring a teammate will have its own screen after the game is over, and the video explains some categories of honor such as “Stayed Cool,” “Great Shotcalling,” and “GG <3.”

Those players who are honored three times or more will be recognized in the post-game lobby, as well as having honor levels apparent on the profiles of each player. Higher honor levels are expected to receive benefits, such as key fragments — which forge into keys that can open loot boxes that contain random in-game content — and “exclusive content.” These changes are expected to hit globally on Patch 7.13.

Other small updates such as optimizing the client is also still underway, and the video briefly touched voice chat, which will be further discussed within Riot before implementation — if it will be implemented at all.

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