Riot Games announced yesterday its implementation of sweeping pricing changes for League of Legends champions, with the overall effect intended to reduce costs on older champions and equalize the ratio between cash-bought Riot Points (RP) and Influence Points (IP) earned per match.
The seven oldest champions costing 6300 RP (Ezreal, Vladimir, Renekton, Nocturne, Lee Sin, Brand, and Vayne) had their prices reduced to 4800 IP/880 RP. New champions will run 7800 IP/975 RP in the first week of their release before dropping to 6300 IP/975 RP.
As a way to give players "more time to accumulate IP between champion releases" and Riot more time to develop and polish new champions, the release rate for new champions in 2013 will slow to around 14-17 for the year, or one every 3-4 weeks. Riot's previous release schedule typically rolled out two new champs per month, so this change isn't much of a significant difference.
Lastly, Riot detailed a slightly confusing automatic price drop for old champions whenever a new champion arrives. "The oldest 6300 IP/975 RP champion will be reduced to 4800 IP/880 RP whenever a new champion is released," according to Riot. With every third new champion release, an older champion costing 4800 IP or lower bumps down to the next lowest pricing tier in a chart Riot supplied, seen below:
|450 IP||260 RP|
|1350 IP||585 RP|
|3150 IP||790 RP|
|4800 IP||880 RP|
|6300 IP||975 RP|
|7800 IP (first week)||975 RP|
As someone out of touch with the intricacies of the MOBA genre, I consider these changes a positive step up in drawing new players into the sometimes complicated-looking world of jungling, lanes, last-hits, and other phrases that sound like secret club passwords. It's also worth noting that rival MOBA Heroes of Newerth's champion stable went entirely free earlier this year.