LoL Dev Update Discusses Season 14, Vanguard & more

LoL Victorious Tryndamere splash art.
Credit: Riot Games

LoL Victorious Tryndamere splash art.
Credit: Riot Games

The LoL dev team offered their insights on Season 14 in a recent Dev Update video. Executive Producer Jeremy "Riot Brightmoon" Lee, Game Director Pu "Riot Pupulasers" Liu, and Lead Gameplay Designer Matthew "Riot Phroxzon" Leung-Harrison discussed their thoughts on the season so far and gave players a sneak peek into what’s to come.

From removing Mythic Items to being able to ride Shelley into battle, Season 14 saw a whirlwind of adjustments in terrain, map objectives, and item overhauls. At the same time, Riot revamped several major systems within the game, including the introduction of a three-split ranked structure to speed up the ranked climb. It’s undeniable that Season 14 has been a breath of fresh air for LoL, injecting a renewed sense of excitement into the game!

LoL devs reflect on Season 14

In late 2023, Riot Games decided to remove Preseason altogether. This decision stemmed from two key factors: one, the novelty of changes fading by the time the new season arrived, and two, aligning player excitement for new mechanics with the start of their ranked journey.

LoL Season 14 key art.
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Credit: Riot Games

Overall, the League team is pleased with the removal of the Preseason and the shift of gameplay changes to the beginning of the season, as well as the current state of the game.

However, they acknowledge that while many changes were well-received, some inadvertently paved the way for unhealthy meta-defining strategies. For instance, certain item changes resulted in burst damage becoming insanely powerful. The team has taken steps to address this imbalance and aims to scale damage back down to its levels following the Durability Update.

Addressing LP gains and smurfing in ranked

Last season, roughly half of Emerald players and 85% of Master+ players experienced extended periods of negative LP gains. This issue has been rectified, and LP gains/losses should feel more consistent this season!

Additionally, bug fixes have been implemented to address legitimate new players placing in Gold or Plat ranks. The dev team continues to refine their ability to distinguish between smurfs (experienced players in low-skill lobbies) and genuine new players.

More on Vanguard

League's version of the anti-cheat system, Vanguard, will be customised to specifically target in-game cheaters, scripters, and bots. The system will be rolled out initially in a single region for close monitoring before wider implementation.

A screenshot of Riot Vanguard at work in League of Legends.
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Credit: Riot Games

Riot Vanguard is an existing anti-cheat software used in Valorant. It aims to ensure competitive integrity by employing various measures to detect and prevent cheating. It's composed of two parts: a client that runs while you're playing a Riot game, and a kernel-mode driver that runs at the deepest level of your system.

It has been confirmed that players will be required to install Vanguard to play League of Legends.

Other exciting updates

League of Legends is finally introducing new introductory, beginner, and intermediate bots! More details about these bots are available on the official dev blog.

LoL Crystalis Indomitus Kha'Zix splash art.
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Credit: Riot Games

Yuumi and Leona are scheduled to receive Prestige skins in July. Additionally, a brand-new Mythic theme, "Crystalis Indomitus", will launch in March. Kha'Zix, Xerath, and Nautilus will be the first champions to receive these skins, with Kha'Zix taking the lead! Lastly, the team hinted at "cheesy surprises" arriving in April.

That was everything discussed in the recent LoL "Dev Update" video! Interested in learning more about LoL? We've got you covered. Check out all the champion and item changes planned for the upcoming LoL Patch 14.5.

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