TFT: The offshoot of LoL was on the brink of ruin in 2020 – Here’s how it was saved and so it goes in 2022
Teamfight Tactics, an auto battler for League of Legends, was released in June 2019. Despite initial great enthusiasm, the game experiences a strong low in 2020 and there were doubts as to whether further development was worthwhile. The developers revealed to MeinMMO editor Alexander Leitsch how they got out of this low and how things will continue this year.
What is the history of TFT?
- At the beginning of 2019, there was a little hype about the Auto Battler genre. The reason for this was a mod for DOTA 2 called “Auto Chess”. It quickly found popularity among streamers and fans of DOTA.
- In the course of 2019, a number of new auto battlers were created, including Dota Underlords as an official game from Valve and Teamfight Tactics from Riot Games.
- Especially in the first few weeks, more than 350,000 viewers watched Twitch (via Sullygnome). Many LoL streamers tried it and were won over by the concept.
- In 2020, however, interest fell sharply, which was also due to the second set on the subject of elementals. This did not go down well with the players for a variety of reasons. On Twitch, the game broke the 100,000 concurrent viewers mark just three times throughout the year, and that was only for big announcements.
- Geoffrey Virtue, TFT Executive Producer, told us how threatening the situation at TFT was. However, everything looks rosy for the future.
“By the end of the second set everything was about to collapse”
What did Virtue say about the development? At an event, Riot Games presented us with the upcoming 7th set of TFT. In this context, Geoffrey Virtue also revealed how difficult it was for the LoL offshoot:
By the end of the second set, Rise of the Elements, everything was about to collapse. Things weren’t looking good for us. Had our third set – Galaxys – not been a success, TFT might not have been the good experience it is today.
Virtue also said that there have always been setbacks in LoL, for example with the Twisted Treelines or Dominion cards. TFT also initially seemed like such a setback, where the players could not be committed in the long term.
But the game has now taken a turn. According to Virtue, this was mainly thanks to the help of the community. They gave important feedback and thus helped the developers. At the same time, mine at Riot Games gave in and improved communication around the game:
You can see our adjustments set by set, mid-set by mid-set, and even patch by patch. And you can see it directly in our communication as well, through blog posts like /Devs, where we put a microscope on our bugs.
Better accessibility and the guides, which the developers now share on the official site, are also said to have played an important role.
Overall, players are said to have played over 1.5 billion hours of TFT since release. The competitive scene should also continue to grow. The long-requested spectator mode, which was already an issue at the time of release, is still not in the game.
New Set 7 is in the starting blocks – brings huge dragons, but also old mechanics
What does the future of TFT look like? Significantly better. At the beginning of the year, lead designer Stephen “Mortdog” Mortimer spoke about the future and promised “content for decades”.
However, we were only presented with the upcoming Set 7 – Dragonlands – which brings some interesting innovations.
What’s in Set 7? As usual, the new set shakes up the champions in particular. The highlight are the new dragon champions:
- These cost twice as much gold (8 gold in the epic version and 10 gold in the legendary version) and are particularly strong.
- Dragons count three times for each one specific attribute.
- However, you can only use one dragon effectively because they take up two champion slots and have a property that makes them weaker when there are multiple on the field.
- The dragons are: Daeja, Idas, Shi Oh Yu, and Sy’fen (Epic), and Aurelion Sol, Ao Shin, and Shyvana (Legendary).
There will also be some other new champion attributes, including Shapeshifter, Astral, Tempest, Ragewing, Jade, Bard or Guild. So much of the old set will not be preserved.
You can find all champions and attributes in our cheat sheet: Cheat Sheet for Set 7 “Dragonlands” and all new champions.
What will happen to the Hextech Augments? A special feature of the currently running Set 6 are the augments. You are offered three of these three times in the course of a game and they set the direction in which your own team is developing.
There are augments that strengthen an attribute or count as an additional unit of an attribute. Bonuses for melee fighters, magicians or complete items are also possible.
The augments are retained in Dragonlands, with adjustments:
- They now appear in Rounds 2-1, 3-2, and 4-2
- There will be new augments and old ones will be removed
- You will be able to reroll the augments once per match if you don’t like the three on offer
A new augment allows you to have more than one dragon on the field. This is considered particularly strong.
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What else does the set bring? Another big change affects enemy NPC creatures in the lategame. These will soon no longer drop emblems with attributes that you don’t even use. There will also be the Treasure Dragon, where you get 5 rewards at once in the endgame, including items, item components and gold.
In addition, there should be slight adjustments to the items, including renaming Neeko’s help, because Neeko himself becomes a playable character. This is to avoid confusion.
As with every new set, there is also a new Battle Pass and some new little legends.
Dragons become important but not overpowering
Are dragons mandatory in the new set? With the new set there is a big focus on dragons. Mortdog confirms that the dragons are really strong and useful for almost every team. But it should also be possible to win a match without a dragon.
Appropriately, there should even be an attribute that is specifically strong against dragons. This is to prevent the dragons in the set from being overpowered.
Shyvana easily carries me to victory
What do you think of Dragonlands? Does the new set appeal to you? And what do you think about TFT and the development of the game in general? Feel free to write it in the comments.