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Riot Games has announced that the League of Legends in-game store is being cleaned up. This news came via a post titled “Item Shop Cleanup” shared to the Developer Corner section of the Riot Games forums. Mark “Scruffy” Yetter, the lead gameplay designer for League of Legends, wrote about some of the updates his team is working on.
Just made a post about some item shop cleanup and future item work:https://t.co/cud1EIJoVO
TLDR – We want to git rid of or rework "dead" items to make room for cooler additions in the future.
— Mark Yetter (@MarkYetter) April 5, 2019
Scruffy mentioned that one of the main problems keeping the team from creating new items is the crowded shop. With such a large selection, beginners and those trying out new champions have a hard time finding their items quickly. There are also many items that just don’t see much usage at all. Scruffy went on to class some of these problem items in various categories. He also went on to discuss several new items the team is looking to add to the game.
The first category includes items described as too overpowered. Players who have access to such items will usually demonstrate a much more solo-like behavior. This gear allows people to continue playing without having to interact with their team. Adding onto this, overpowered items make it hard to counter many champions.
The second category mentioned includes items that are too similar to one another. This results in players choosing the stronger item, rather than go for an item’s other effects. Instead of having many items that are similar to each other, Scruffy introduces the proposition of differentiating the items or combining them.
Very low usage rates
The third category mentioned includes items that have a very low usage rate. Whether it is a result of nerfs, or because they’re simply not suitable for most play styles, several items aren’t used much. Since so many items have similar alternatives, players often abandon the weaker versions.
One such item is the Ohmwrecker. In reply to a post, Scruffy described it as an item that has “nearly 0 users currently.”
New items coming
Scruffy also mentioned that his team wants to add better options for certain play styles or niches. One item he proposed was a “tower pushing” item that wouldn’t carry the same problems as Banner of Command or Zz’Rot Portal.
Currently, there is often one champion build that is completely better than the other. The changes that Scruffy hopes to achieve with this update would be several build paths with their own unique benefits. With this change, the shop should become easier to navigate and different items should become more useful.
We don’t yet know which specific items are in line for removal. Stay tuned for all further updates.
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Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.