The New Mastery System in League of Legends Is A Fail?

May 15, 2024

Riot Games recently released an update to the mastery system in League of Legends, along with a post outlining their design philosophy and goals. One of the guiding principles they emphasized was that "Mastery reflects real accomplishment, not just grind." However, upon closer examination, the new system seems to contradict this principle, potentially undermining the value and meaning of mastery in the game.

The Previous Mastery System:

In the old mastery system, players needed to achieve S-grade performances to rank up their champion mastery after reaching a certain point. This ensured that progression was tied to demonstrating a high level of skill and proficiency with a champion, rather than simply playing a large number of games.

The New Mastery System:

The updated mastery system introduces a new requirement for ranking up: marks of mastery. To obtain these marks, players need to achieve a certain number of lower grades and a higher grade. In the first milestone, a B- grade is sufficient to earn a mark, while in the second milestone, an A- grade is required.

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Contradicting the Design Goals:

The new system appears to prioritize grind over accomplishment. Players can now level up their champion mastery by consistently achieving B- and A- grades, without ever needing to attain an S-grade performance. Since the milestone track resets each split, it is possible for a player to reach mastery level 20 on a champion without ever achieving a game higher than B-, simply by earning the first mark from the milestone track every split. This directly contradicts Riot's stated goal of mastery reflecting real accomplishment rather than grind.

Community Feedback and Concerns:

Many players have expressed their dissatisfaction with the new mastery system, arguing that it devalues the meaning of mastery. Some have pointed out that earning a B- grade, which can be achieved even with a poor performance (e.g., going 0-5 in a game), should not be rewarded with a mastery token. The general consensus among critics is that the bar for earning marks of mastery should be set much higher, with S- being the minimum requirement.

To sum it up:

While the new mastery system in League of Legends introduces some welcome changes and bonus rewards, the requirements for earning marks of mastery appear to be at odds with Riot's stated design goals. By allowing players to progress their mastery through consistently mediocre performances, the system risks undermining the sense of accomplishment and prestige associated with high mastery levels. To align the system with its intended purpose, Riot may need to reconsider the grade thresholds required for earning marks of mastery, ensuring that progression remains tied to demonstrating exceptional skill and proficiency with a champion.

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