Skip to main content

Legends of Runeterra to challenge Hearthstone by removing random booster packs

Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, is entering the collectible card game space with Legends of Runeterra, which uses characters and lore from the massively popular MOBA.

Legends of Runeterra shares certain similarities with titles such as Blizzard’s Hearthstone and Valve’s Artifact, in that players use mana each turn to summon allies and cast spells. The available mana per turn is limited, but it increases over time. In Riot Games’ CCG, the goal is to reduce the opponents’ 20 health points to zero.

The biggest difference in the gameplay of Legends of Runeterra is that in each round, players take on the role of either attacker or defender. Each time a player makes an action, the other player is given a chance to respond. In comparison, Hearthstone players are mostly unopposed in whatever they do during their turn, barring the few Secrets that are available for certain classes.

Meanwhile, in combat, attackers choose the allies to send into battle, and defenders chooses the allies to meet each enemy. The outcome of each fight is determined by the bevy of keywords in the game, as well as the abilities that each card carries.

There are many other deep mechanics to the title’s gameplay, including spells with different speeds and Champion cards that are based on League of Legends characters. However, in an interview with Eurogamer, former Magic the Gathering professional player and currently the balancing lead on Legends of Runeterra, Steve Rubin, revealed the mechanic that will make the game stand out the most against Hearthstone and Artifact.

“I think the biggest thing is definitely accessibility,” Rubin said, as Legends of Runeterra eliminates the random booster packs that primarily function as loot boxes in the CCG genre. Instead, the game will feature an Evolve system that gives players a definite set of cards based on how much they play over a week.

Rubin said that Riot Games tried to eliminate booster packs entirely, but testers kept looking to open them, even if they are in digital form. This created the Evolve system, which will allow players to open booster packs but without having to pay for randomness.

Legends of Runeterra, set to launch next year after a series of private betas, is part of Riot Games’ announcements for its 10th anniversary, which also included first-person shooter Project A and League of Legends: Wild Rift, which will bring the MOBA to mobile and consoles.

Aaron Mamiit
Aaron received a NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros. for Christmas when he was 4 years old, and he has been fascinated with…
Get an exclusive new look at Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story
Key art for Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story.

From the moment Riot Forge’s Rowan Parker finished playing Tequila Works’ RiME, he knew he had to make a game with the studio.

“I played RiME and was like, ‘Oh my god, this game is incredible. I wonder if they would want to work with us?” Parker told Digital Trends during a recent interview over video chat. “Tequila Works is really good at telling these tight, human stories that bring you up close to all of the emotion. Working with them to tell stories with our characters is kind of a dream situation.”

Read more
Riot Forge explains why Bandle Tale is a perfect fit for its developer
Key art for Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story.

During the September 14 Nintendo Direct, publisher Riot Forge popped up with not one, but two announcements. Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story got a November 1 release date, while a brand new game starring Runeterra’s adorable Yordles, titled Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story, was announced. Ahead of these reveals, Digital Trends spoke to Rowan Parker, Riot Forge’s creative director, and learned more about the newly announced game.

Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story | Official Announcement Trailer

Read more
Watch a full match of League of Legends fighting game Project L
League of Legends fighting game Project L match intro featuring Ekko and Ahri.

Project L, Riot Games' upcoming free-to-play League of Legends fighting game, features a "duo play" system that lets two players be on the same team during a 2v2 tag-team match.

Project L: Introducing Duo Play - /dev diary

Read more