Legends of Runeterra - Riot Games' Hearthstone

Yep, if anyone has Expedition tokens, use them now, as that patch will arrive in early May if not sooner. Start an Expedition, then immediately retire to claim your reward. You’ll get a free pack of cards each time you do this. Well worth it. With my 20-odd tokens, I scored a few champion cards and a lot of rare and epic cards too.

The only thing I play in this is Path of Champions as well.
Just last week I thought to myself “I would actually pay for a properly done version” (no lootboxes/cardpacks, single buy expansion deal) and wondered what they have planned for the mode.

I watched their roadmap video and apparently Path of Champions makes up over half of the total players/playtime for the game now.
After the complete rework and re-release of the mode in November last year that success made them decide to rework and expand it again. Releasing sometime this month is the next version, with more options, more strategy and more decisions (also completely reworking the progression, setting everything to zero again).

Kind of odd that the janky Slay the Spire inspired mode overtook the base Hearthstone competitor so easily. Not using some fundamental “features” of the base game and genre like card packs, card collection and pvp focus might have helped make the good groundwork like card design, turn mechanics and art design shine more.

Yeah, I’m really jonesing for that PoC update! The rumor is the end of this month, around the 25th or 26th.

Path of Champions 2.0 dropped today. It’s the revamped PvE mode for Legends of Runeterra. So far I’m loving it. If you haven’t tried this game yet, now is a great time to try it.,

POC 2.0 has a new progression system with three different fields in which to advance – champion level (which unlocks champ-specific stuff), champion stars (which grant new champion skills and buffs and unlock access to adventures), and Legend level, which gives you mode-wide bonuses, like more starting health or revives and other stuff we used to earn with “reputation”.

Because I’d beaten Victor three times in 1.0, I got several unlocks: Annie, Yasuo, Illaio, and Jinx. By playing Annie and Jinx, I got to Legend level 5 and finished enough quests to unlock Lux, as well. Annie is fun to play. Looking forward to more tomorrow.

Played a bit in the new Path of Champions with Jinx, and man, they really pumped up the power level. The first story quest was always easy, of course, but the next couple of bosses used to be a bit of a challenge. Now they just give Jinx a power that does direct nexus damage every time you discard or play (!) any card, and she just stomps everything. Eventually there will be a challenge again, but sheesh, the early sections are just nothing now.

Yes, I haven’t had much trouble with the 1-star adventures. I suppose they’re like a tutorial for new players.

But in my first 1.5-star adventure, I lost with a level 6, 1-star champ at the final boss. It was a close, fun fight. And one of the interim bosses was a close call, too. A singificant ramp-up in difficulty.

son, daughter, offspring, spawn ;)

Well, I got Jinx through the two 1.5 star adventures and it’s still a pretty ridiculous steamroll. Did lose once to Karma, but that fight is completely unwinnable if the AI gets a good draw. Second time, Jinx stomped her.

Then I was surprised to see the path is blocked to further adventures until you go back and use a different champion to do the 1.5 star adventures again. It’s not a bad thing, gives you a reason to swap around and try some other champions. And I’ve got three others unlocked already from the drops with Jinx.

Which led me to start up with Illaoi and her tentacle spawn. Interesting mechanic, you can make some pretty badass tentacle monsters. Not nearly as powerful as that direct damage that Jinx gets, but that’s probably good. Look forward to figuring out the best ways to keep Nagakabouros happy.

Illaoi is a hoot! She can get very large very fast. The tentacle mechanic is cool, and I love her level-up animation. I’ve enjoyed every fight with her.

Annie is interesting too. Don’t love her level-up animation, but her teddy bear is fun.

I’ve been playing those two, Yasuo and a little Jinx. I’ve unlocked a couple others too. I’m looking forward to more champions becoming available.

I’m always pretty amazed how well they take the theme and feel of a champ from lol and translate that to card mechanics. Illaoi is one of the neatest examples of this for me. Bard is pretty well done as well as Kennen though. I played all three in league so noticed those. I do find Annie’s disintegrate a bit awkward though.

I enjoyed PoC 2.0 despite it having some big design issues. Most of the drawbacks are clearly related to their attempts to monetize the mode, but there were some weird decisions to remove content as well. Like previous, better mini stories with included voice overs for instance.

In a cruel twist they just tweeted that they reassigned the PoC team to other projects and will focus on PvP for the game. After months of saying how more people played PoC than all PvP modes combined and laying out plans for future support for the second notable rework of the mode that certainly is somewhat surprising.

Wow, what a disastrous turn of events. I’m loving POC 2.0. But now they’re saying they’ll move resources away from it — and away from LoR. As you say, they may be finding it unprofitable. I’d gladly pay something to unlock another dozen heroes, say.

I started playing LoR about three weeks ago, and all my time’s in The Path of Champions. I have liked the combination of MtG card play with StS adventure structure and growth. There’s really something to this mix. I’m sad they’re stepping away from it. I have no interest in the PvP side, so no reason to offer them any money. But, like StS, I’d gladly pay a flat amount for this part of the game.

1.0 was feeling stale, after working half a dozen champions through it. 2.0 has more total adventures, it looks like. So far that’s kept it fresh. The updated rewards for leveling a champion make a run much less swingy. I also like the updated item and relic sets, and that champions unlock through PoC play, not needing to accumulate cards in the real game sense. I roll my eyes at five progression paths, but whatever.

Some choices I don’t spend much time thinking about. So, when I picked up a Sejuani support champion while playing Jinx, I didn’t anticipate how potent they are together. Very. The answer is very potent. Highly recommended to take that combo for a spin.

I haven’t played a champion or made a run where building for late game is the right choice. Too many nodes need a fast response to a full board from the enemy, such that early- and mid-game strength always feels like the right, and maybe only, option. Have you had any decks where you plan on getting 10 mana in 90% of the games?

I agree, 2.0 is a big improvement. And now that I’ve re-read the Riot announcement—not to mention the long threads on it in Reddit—I’m feeling more hopeful that we will see more development of PoC. Maybe eventually as a stand-alone game for sale.

In 1.0,I did used to build for one 10-mana fight: Karma. In 2.0, not so much.

I’ve actually had more trouble with jinx than you guys, even though I’ve got her at 2 stars! She’s lost twice on a 2-star adventure for me. Thanks for the tip on pairing her.

On the other hand, Lilaoi and Annie and Yasuo have been money for me. And I just completed the first run for Lux; great stuff. All so fun. I’m amazed how many creative champ mechanics there are. I so hope we’ll eventually get to play them all in POC. I think the champ system is more interesting than hearthstone;s heroes.

The rumor I’ve heard is that somebody higher up at Riot started asking why they’re making a PvE roguelike mode in an otherwise PvP game that will be almost impossible to monetize when they could be making a separate roguelike game that will be trivial to monetize in whatever way they think makes the most cash.

I’m less hopeful.
Redditors speculate a lot about that “they got moved to redo PoC as a separate game” but this might very well just be wishful thinking. Riot has a bunch of games in production already.

Another aspect, which I mentioned before in this thread I think, is that being part of Legends of Runeterra was a huge advantage. Having direct access to the well designed turn based combat, all the cards, all the mechanic and interaction design work and all the art is a gigantic boon. The focus was able to be put on mechanics, mechanics, mechanics, and some flavour on top. A standalone game will undoubtedly have lots of baggage and drag from other additions even -IF- they manage to create anew a mechanical base that is half as expansive and well designed as the Runeterra card battler.

When I hear standalone game I think of the Riot Forge game Ruined King, and that’s not a big plus. Decently well rated and liked but it’s just chock full of timewasters (such much time wasting) and asinine distractions on top of a mediocre battling system.

It just hit me why building for early game feels so dominant. The items are a fixed amount of power. Adding an item to cheap card gives a much bigger relative boost to than to an expensive card. Now I wish they would tier the items. A basic scheme would give more expensive cards better odds of rarer items. A six-cost with double my stats or a three-cost with +2/+0. That gets more interesting to choose between.

There’s also enough card draw, most of the time, that I don’t leave mana on the table. That also pushes me to pick cheap and dense cards. If a run lacks card draw or creation, then highly-aggressive cheap cards throw everything down early and run out of steam. So many items give more–draw, invoke, manifest, summon creature of cost–along with a few common nexus powers.

I agree with all the stuff you said, and I’d also add that low cost cards are key because the AI gets such a quick start once you’re past the starter and 1-star adventures. If you’re not playing something good on turn 1 or 2 because your good cards cost too much, you’ll lose a bunch of Nexus health (assuming you win at all). Then you’ll get run over in later fights because you don’t have the starting Nexus health to survive until you can play your big cards. Occasionally you can get lucky with a deck that has a bunch of lifegain, but that’s been the exception in my experience.

Agreed, some of those matches have explosive starts for the AI. Legends of Runeterra, at least in its The Path of Champion decks I’ve seen so far, is missing any with a focus on bounce, counterspell, defender, or board wipe (like I remember from slow MtG decks). There doesn’t seem to be an available option to delay past the ramped-up AI starts.

After completing the 2.5 star Zed adventure, I started up the 3.5 star Galio one. This was with a 3-star level 11 Yasuo. Immediately, I picked a champion upgrade to strike the strongest enemy when summoned, and regretted every fight afterwards. Yasuo always was looking to be summoned too late to survive.

I took Yasuo on a different adventure for some XP, then returned. At level 13 and without a very poor upgrade choice, Yasuo cruised to the end. He was bodying folks, including everything that gave me trouble the first time. However, at the end I was crushed. Galio’s strengths offset Yasuo’s incredibly well for him. I had thought Viego was the tough fight, and maybe by other champions’ play styles it is. Stunning the strongest enemy didn’t help against Galio’s 0-attack large-health followers that bludgeon purely with their bodies.

A while later, I got curious and brought in Jinx. She was level 20, because I wanted someone who played fast to finish one of the quests to reach level 20. Those seven additional levels bring a lot of nice benefits on their own, but it was still wild how much easier she was. In part because she had all the luck. The starting power was “have an extra mana gem, you beautiful person”. Her support champion was a Swain that got further great upgrades. Taking any damage felt like an affront and maybe I had misplayed. Galio put up a fight, meaning it took seven rounds if I recall.

Yeah, that’s what they mean when they rate a champion “easy”.

I don’t know I can ever play the PvP game. What is the actual balance without upgraded cards and extra powers? I expect Michael Bay productions from round one at this point.