The time has come (November 7th, to be exact). Worlds is over, SKT T1’s empire has fallen, Faker is now a mere mortal, and the preseason patch is upon us. For those of you who do not follow League closely (which I will be assuming is most of you), Preseason is when the big changes drop. Resources and the economy undergo seismic shift. Jungling is redesigned (again). Entire new objectives are dropped into the game. But this year is different. This year, they have eliminated one of the largest currency sinks in the game, and along with it one of the most annoying obstacles new players must face before they “get good”.
Runes are dead. Long live Runes.
TL;DR: For the past 7 years, give or take, there were two bits of character customization tied heavily to player progression: Masteries, which were basically like Vanilla WoW talents (30 points to toss into marginal upgrades with maybe 2 or 3 big alterations you were aiming for), and Runes, marginal stat upgrade tokens you slotted into a 33-slot “Page” for what ended up being a near-mandatory bump to your early game stats which were invaluable at level 1, but practically pointless at 15 minutes.
The problems being A) Mastery Points were tied to account progression, meaning your first month or two was a slow grind just to reach parity with “real” players and B) Runes (and Rune Pages) were bought with the same free currency that was used to buy new characters. Once again, grinding.
But now, with the end of season 7 and the sweeping changes for Preseason 8, Riot is simplifying these two separate systems into one short, discrete talent tree reminiscent of later versions of WoW. Pick a primary focus (One Major Rune, three Lesser runes), a secondary (synergy bonus and two more Lesser runes), and you’re done. No planning your next 3 days of earnings around getting just the right amount of scaling magic resist tokens or HP quints. Everything about it is open from the second you start. No grind, no microtransactions, no calculators and spreadsheets for the “perfect” early game. All characters are even getting starting attribute tweaks to get rid of any weaknesses caused by ripping these extra stats out, so you will not even notice their absence. If you want to try it out, there’s even a builder tool in the article linked earlier.
What I’m trying to say is, there has never been a better time to get started.
Now I am by no means an expert myself, but I figured a recruitment drive was in order to see if any other Waypointers are interested. Clubs are simple enough to set up in-game if enough people come onboard, but for the time being organization efforts are best left here and in the Discord.
So… who’s with me?