The Legends of Runeterra Competitive subreddit, /r/LoRCompetitive, hosted an end-of-year "2020 Wrapped" roundtable discussion that included one very special guest: Legends of Runeterra's Live Design Lead, Steve "RubinZoo" Rubin. Most of the discussion was around the recent seasonal tournaments and some of the design philosophies behind LoR's balancing, but Steve did allude to how the holidays are delaying balance changes and ask for some player patience.
"When is the next balance patch coming? A lot of people expected 1.16 to be a balance patch [hoped for some Go Hard nerfs], but there was nothing."
This is definitely an interesting time for us, and I’ll say that this next balance patch is going to probably be a bit off our normal cadence because of how the holidays are working out. We definitely want to get in those balance changes as we see fit, but we also need to adhere to our release schedule. As much as I’d love to throw in a bunch of changes, nobody's working right now. This is actually my first day off for Winter Break like all of Riot.
The next patch unfortunately is probably not going to be until early February. We have a patch lined up for January, but it is a situation where a lot of those changes have already gone in. We are looking to hopefully have some player patience with us getting this next patch out, though we have a long time to work on it and make sure that it really resonates with the players.
We already knew that under normal circumstances, the lead time for balance changes is 3-4 weeks total; however, this is the first news we've heard about how the seasonal holidays might affect this schedule. We also know that most of that time is spent testing the changes, but a significant amount is spent distributing the changes through the necessary channels to have it ready for simultaneous deployment on all platforms (e.g., iTunes and Google Play store). Within the game client, we can also see from the Labs' splash screen that all 3 won't expire until Tuesday, January 12th, which usually heralds the next patch. If that's the balance patch that Steve Rubin alluded to, that could mean we won't be seeing any changes to any of the new Cosmic Creation cards until 4 weeks later -- February 9th.
Of course, as awful as 6 more weeks of a The Grand Plaza meta sounds, it's important to remember what is disrupting the patch schedule -- our Riot devs enjoying a much-deserved holiday respite.
You can watch the full video of /r/LoRCompetitive's roundtable discussion below.
How do you feel about this potential delay in balance changes? Let us know below!