LoL Fans Wary of “Unbalanced” Prismatic Items in the New Arena

A screenshot of the new Arena from the LoL "Enter the Unknown | MSI 2024 Event Trailer"
Credit: Riot Games

A screenshot of the new Arena from the LoL "Enter the Unknown | MSI 2024 Event Trailer"
Credit: Riot Games

In a bid to diversify build paths, LoL Season 14's update removed the controversial Mythic Items. However, players are worried that the return of the Arena game mode with Prismatic Items might signal a return to old build path limitations, benefitting only specific champions.

A fan favorite from the Summer 2023 Soul Fighter event, Arena makes its much-anticipated return with a twist! Patch 14.9 ups the ante with an eight-team format (2v2v2v2v2v2v2v2) alongside a new item class: Prismatics. These Prismatic Items promise to completely alter how Arena plays.

LoL players wary of Prismatic Items stifling Arena's fun

LoL players are approaching the return of the Arena game mode with a mix of excitement and apprehension. The Mythic Item system, which many felt killed build diversity and favored specific champions, was removed from Summoner's Rift in Season 14.

An image of the new Arena Prismatic items taken from the "Arena Round Three" dev update.
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Credit: Riot Games
Arena set to receive a new item tier called "Prismatics"

Arena's third iteration introduces Prismatic Items, a new tier of build-defining items designed to “allow you to achieve build fantasies that you normally wouldn’t be able to.”

Reddit users expressed their concerns about these items limiting champion viability. One player posted, “While balance might be off on the PBE, naturally some champions can really make use of the passives and some can not. Won't this lead to the same outcomes as Mythic Items on summoners rift? Players need to choose Champions that synergise the best with at least one Prismatic Item for optimal play.”

With a relatively small pool of Prismatic items (estimated at 20-30), players fear a drop in champion viability at higher levels, leading to repetitive builds and team comps, issues that plagued earlier Arena runs.

LoL dev update "Arena Round Three" key art.
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Credit: Riot Games

However, Lead Gameplay Designer Matt “Phroxzon” Leung-Harrison soon addressed these concerns. He emphasizes that Prismatic items are offered randomly, hindering the possibility of overly dominant "copy-paste" builds.

“The intention is you don't have full control over your prismatic items. If you rolled a good one then you're probably more likely to have a good average placement." Phroxzon continues, "If you didn't, it doesn't mean you're doomed, a strong player will still be able to have high average placements even through suboptimal item offerings.”

Others argue that Arena is a casual mode where experimentation and wacky champion combos are part of the fun, and the presence of "suboptimal choices" shouldn't detract from the experience.

LoL Arena 2024 release date

The new Arena is set to be released alongside Patch 14.9, expected to hit live servers on May 1, 2024. Addressing concerns about repetitive gameplay, and ensuring every Arena match feels fresh and exciting, LoL devs are hoping to make Arena a permanent game mode.

For a more detailed look at all the upcoming changes, check out our "LoL Arena Changes 2024 Explained" article here.

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