League of Legends Season Four To Tweak League System

By Graham Smith on November 7th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

Tom Cruise.

I once played a game that’s very similar to League of Legends for seven hours, and that makes me Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s resident lane-pushing expert. So when news comes along that changes are coming to that game’s League system, which is presumably very important because it’s in the name, then it only makes sense that I be the one to tell you about it.


In a Reddit post, Riot Games’ Socrates explains that they’re going to be tweaking the game’s LP and league ranking system next week, after the end of season three.

First, players who win matches should receive LP in greater amounts. LP stands for League Points, and is the method by which League of Legends players advance through the game’s different competitive tiers. The new system should provide more positive feedback to players who are doing well.

The tiers themselves are also changing, as you’ll now be able to be demoted downwards if you consistently lose matches. Socrates explains in the post: “When we investigated player performance over the season we found that a small but not insubstantial group of players would reach division V of a tier and then consistently become more toxic and start to lose more frequently. Though tier immunity was originally intended to combat ladder anxiety we feel that complete immunity creates poor incentives and leads to abuse of the system.”

Even if you don’t play League of Legends, the way Riot approach the game and their community is interesting. In a talk at this year’s GDC, Riot’s Lead Designer of Social Systems Jeffrey Lin spoke at length about the methods they use to curb bad behaviour among the game’s players. The idea of “toxicity” came up a lot: that players who lost their temper and screamed at other players weren’t regular trolls, but a normal player having a bad day, and that they would often trigger other regular players to have their own bad day.

Their experiments with shaping that behaviour includes using Priming, in which player performance can be shaped by showing them specific messages or colours beforehand. For example, seeing the colour red can impair your performance in a test you sit right afterwards. This is a real thing. So it’s interesting any time Riot talk about a game change they’re making not in terms of “gameplay balance”, or the more standard language of patches, but in terms of pressure, anxiety, toxicity and other elements of player psychology.

League of Legends is of course the videogame sequel to the Tom Cruise film Legend, and is about a ragtag team of mercenaries taking on Tim Curry’s dad, an enormous tree, in order to win the Diretide.

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26 Comments »

  1. airmikee99 says:

    I understand the hatred of Tom Cruise, but disparaging Legend? I just pretend he wasn’t in it.

  2. int says:

    That video made me vomit blood.

    • BooleanBob says:

      An example of when priming goes bad, I guess.

    • SillyWizard says:

      I would love to be in the recording studio while a series of young men grunt into a micropho…

      …okay that’s coming across differently than I’d intended it.

  3. Hodge says:

    I saw that header image then mis-read the title post as “League of Legends Season Four To Twerk League System”.

    • RedViv says:

      At least you’re not putting that word into a headline about Malala Yousafzai, so there’s that.

    • SillyWizard says:

      Me too! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

      I’m just gonna leave this here…(extremely NSFW! NSFH, for that matter….)

  4. dE says:

    This looked curiously like an episode of the Avatar Anime Series. Especially the new one. The style of the animations – the dancing character movements, the sounds, everything. Am I being weird (yes I am, I know) or did they hire the animators of Legend of Korra? (if it’s written somewhere, I missed it).

  5. Mr Chug says:

    There’s a great fight going on in the LoL subreddit over whether the League system is better than the previous (now hidden) Elo/MMR system, with arguments ranging from ‘Pros X, Y and Z said they’d rather have Elo so it must be the best ‘ to a full breakdown of the arguments with heaps of statistical analysis.

    These changes look pretty positive; the previous system could lead to the two systems having a fallout wherein your MMR could be judged to be too low for promotion but you were winning enough to hit that point, leading to frustratingly artificial progress restriction while grinding until the hidden system was happy.

  6. cyrenic says:

    Overall, these League changes are fairly minor and are just a normal iteration that will hopefully relieve some of the problems the League system has.

    The “Season 4″ changes to the Support and Jungle roles will be a much bigger deal for players in general.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      What changes are they making? Do supports finally get to play the game and actually get gold to buy items and have fun?

      • Xocrates says:

        That’s the idea.

        It essentially comes in the form of new types of gold generating items and a complete revamp of the warding system, I believe.

        • DatonKallandor says:

          Oh boy gold generating items. The ones they had to remove before because it turns out everyone is going to buy them not just the people they want to buy them?

  7. almostDead says:

    I am only here checking for the ‘why no DotA coverage’, comments. The justification knots for there to be any are some of the finest on the site at the moment.

    None so far… pants.

    • Tau Psi says:

      Because there is nothing to report on.

      ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ GIVE DIRETIDE

      (Some part of the community is somewhat “irritated” by Valve not communicating enough)

      • I Got Pineapples says:

        My favourite part of that was the decision to harass Volvo over it. To the point where we should harass Volvo over everything Valve does.

        • shaydeeadi says:

          My favorite part was that Volvo actually got on board with the whole thing and engaged with lots of the (admittedly moronic) posters, their PR/Community guy/girl needs a raise for sure.

      • almostDead says:

        6.79 Is a big deal no?

        • Tau Psi says:

          Not for people not familiar with Dota, and players/viewers don’t need an article on RPS with the author stating several times that latter people are horrible people because they haven’t actually played the game.

      • shaydeeadi says:

        I think it’s a bummer that Valve added Halloween events to their other 2 major games but left Dota 2 completely out of it. They did Diretide last year, with the official page for the event calling it annual. It’s a bit odd that they failed to provide an event (or any meaningful patches) for their biggest by a country mile game.

        I was looking forward to Diretide since my friends that have abandoned the game for Eve Online would of come back to have some fun on a mode that is a bit more casual and silly, since full on Dota can be a bit frustrating and drawn out (yet they play Eve…..) and Diretide was quick bursts of fighting madness. Even if they changed the mode it would of been a nice little change, you could argue that it hasn’t damaged the game since nobody has really stopped playing numbers wise but it’s bizarre that it was overlooked with no announcement, not even an announcement that there will not be an announcement.

        But anyway, it’s nice to see that LoL is making some interesting changes to the game. I would assume that the issue they had with players become more aggressive as they proceeded to lose more in a tier is because they were taking a knock mentally from struggling, sometimes in Dota it feels like if I play a few good games in a row the matchmaking will create unwinnable games for you. I doubt this is the case though, I think somehow the developers of these games need to find some way to incorporate a ‘playstyle’ metric to peoples rankings. Sometimes you will get dropped in with people where your approach to the game and theirs just doesn’t gel in the slightest, leading to pretty miserable games where absolutely nothing goes right, resulting in 30+ minutes of being bored and annoyed. Yet sometimes you get a group where purely on pinging the map, you get beautiful teamfights and everyone mucking in for ganks and pushes with no voice or text chat. It’s a funny old game.

  8. SillyWizard says:

    I once played a game that’s very similar to League of Legends for seven hours, and that makes me Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s resident lane-pushing expert.

    Eff I love this site.

    • Damien Stark says:

      Whoa there bub, I thought that title was clearly held by Cara?

  9. airmikee99 says:

    Video game patch notes are news on a video game blog, absolutely. Did you think this was CNN or something?

  10. shaydeeadi says:

    Significant changes to a massively popular game could be considered something to report on, I guess.

  11. Khory says:

    I don’t think these changes will solve much of anything. I could see if this issue was just in ranked play, but unranked matches are a cesspool as well. it’s difficult to practice a champion or play for fun because the hatred and abusive behavior takes place there as well.

    I believe the mindset and culture of the LOL community has evolved to a point where many players find that type of behavior acceptable and any inhibition they may have had about acting like that is no longer present. It’s a sad state to be in and I’m not sure what Riot can do. What I do know is that it makes the game less enjoyable.