Riot Games recently shared a detailed account of the new Runes Reforged system including what’s working, what’s not, and what they plan to change in the future.
The new runes actually aren’t so new at this point though, but that means that both Riot and League players have had time to put together their opinions on the revamped runes. With the first week of professional games having already taken place, the games allowed these opinions to be cemented even further as everyone watched to see what the pros think are the best options and how they use them.
In the middle of all those player concerns and pro choices regarding the runes, League’s senior designer Riot Fearless detailed everything that Riot hopes to achieve or maintain with Runes Reforged in the future.
Beginning with the positives, Riot Fearless first talked about the successes of the runes by explaining what Riot feels is working well so far. While there are certainly some standout runes that are popular along with the champions that can utilize them well, Fearless said that one rune path in particular received quite a bit of attention.
“Notably, we saw a lot of attachment to a number of runes in the Inspiration tree, which as a style we knew had weirder, more unique offerings. Kleptomancy has been a clear player favorite, but Unsealed Spellbook as well as some minor runes—like Future’s Market and Biscuit Delivery—have also had exciting use cases in both standard play and All-Stars.”
The learning curve associated with the runes expectedly took players some time to get used to, but everyone’s now starting to get an understanding of the best runes to take and how to use them in-game while continuing to offer helpful feedback.
But if there are successes to boast for the runes, there also must be some areas that could use improvement. One of these areas is the stat bonuses that players get from taking certain rune paths, particularly when it comes to gaining attack speed on fighter champions that don’t benefit from it quite as much.
Another area that perhaps needs more attention is the Resolve path. Contrasting with the popularity of the Inspiration path, the Resolve rune path stands out as one that doesn’t always feel great to bring to a game compared to other choices that seem more interactive or impactful.
“We’re also seeing some issues with Resolve in general. We’ve aware that it doesn’t feel great for squishy characters to splash into the Resolve tree, even when they’re worried about their lane. We want Resolve to be a place for any champion to grab a little extra defense when they need it, and the Conditioning slot is probably the first place we’ll make improvements. We’re looking into big and small changes to improve this slot, but no timeline yet on when we’ll ship those changes.”
Part of these potential changes is likely the new Keystone Rune that’s being tested internally and should give fighters a better option when it comes to their pre-game loadout.
Even though the runes aren’t quite as new anymore, they still have a long way to go with this being the new system that League is sticking with. Like champion and item balance changes, these runes will continue to be tweaked as they have in recent patches to adjust what needs help and what’s showing itself as entirely too strong. Two runes in particular that are already on Riot’s radar for changes are Unsealed Spellbook and Minion Dematerializer, two runes that come from the Inspiration path as well.
“On the gameplay side, we will be actively adding, tweaking, and rebuilding runes in the months and years ahead. Along with some of the targets mentioned above, we’re also looking to improve runes that just aren’t delivering on fun. Unsealed Spellbook and Minion Dematerializer are both in states where we don’t like their impact when they are effective, and we want to find versions of these runes that are more enjoyable and healthy for the game.”
As far as the rune pages themselves go, some improvements to that system are also being planned. Being able to build the pages in champ select is already a huge boon for those who want to adapt on the fly, but other features are also being considered.
“Finally, we have a lot of usability and experience improvements for building and managing pages. We’re working on drag and drop for the runes inventory, mass deletion for those extra pages we’ve all built, and even a fancy high-res mode with some extra polish for players who want luxurious visual feedback while they build their pages.”
Outside of Riot Games’ perspective on the Runes Reforged system, players themselves have also voiced different opinions on the rune choices and the system overall. Some of these points echo Riot’s views, specifically when looking at the Resolve tree. In the post itself where Riot Fearless discussed Riot’s views, numerous commenters asked about the new Keystone Rune that’s being created for bruisers and fighters alike and when it’ll be available.
Going back to the Inspiration path, another rune that may be posing an issue is the Perfect Timing rune. You’ll have to forgo Biscuit Delivery if you choose this rune from the Inspiration path, but you’ll get a free Stopwatch item to allow you to become invulnerable for a one-time escape. With the Stopwatch item building into both Zhonya’s Hourglass and Guardian Angel, there’s a whole roster of champions who can benefit from taking it to save themselves. We’ve already seen the pros opt for this rune often over other choices, and if that trend continues, it may be a candidate for future changes alongside Unsealed Spellbook and Minion Dematerializer.
The system is still young though, so expect to see more unusual strategies crop up as runes become popular and receive changes in the future.