Red Post Collection: Champion Mastery Q&A

Posted on at 4:52 AM by Moobeat
The team behind the recently announced Champion Mastery feature convened on the boards yesterday evening to host a Q&A on the upcoming feature!
Continue reading for more information!

Here's Riot Mirross with an introduction to the Champion Mastery Q&A:
"Hey folks, 
We are excited to launch Champion Mastery to PBE!
I am here with the team to answer any questions that you have and listen to your feedback."

As usual, I've organized the Q&A's responses based on similar categories:


As for which modes players will be able to earn Champion Mastery in, Riot Mixtli commented:
"Team Builder and Normals right now with ARAM being a consideration along with other game modes."
He also noted:
"Team Builder will be covered for Champion Mastery. Co-Op vs AI, Aram and Dominion are still to be determined."

When asked what sort of champions - favorites, unpopular champions, etc - they expect players to level, Riot Mirross noted:
"I think that people will level up their favorite champs, and some will then want to seek out new favorites to level up. That's a pretty typical pattern already. 
Just to clarify - there are levels that you progress through (initially 1-5), and the grades (D-S) are per-game feedback."

When asked if other players can see your particular champion mastery levels, Riot Mixtli noted:
"Players will be able to view your Profile Landing page which will host your top three Champions and their Mastery as well as eight other champions you are working towards. Loading Screen Emblem and in Game Emote will only show if Level 4 or 5. In game emote is up to your discretion to show or not."
He continued:
"For now you will be able to visit their profile page and see their top 3 Champions as well ones they are working towards. Opening up the Champions Page of friends and other summoners is something we are still considering."
He also noted you can sort your champion page by mastery levels.

As for the differences with leveling in this system vs progressing in ranked, Mirross explained:
" These are different systems for sure. We're looking for this to be something that's cool and lets you show the champions you love playing, while not having the pressure that comes with the evaluation of ranked games. You can pick a goal and focus on that, or you can just do your thing, and your champ pool will level up anyway."

When asked how long this feature has been in development for, Riot Mixtli noted:
"It was a balancing act for sure and will be something we will continue to monitor as the feature rolls out. The feature has been something we have considered for quite a while and developed over the past year to the level you see now."

When asked about the unannounced tiers found in the PBE files, Riot Geo noted:
"Hey Dimesio! Yes, we are planning on releasing more tiers in the future! Soon™"
Check out our PBE coverage for a better look at the "purple" and "teal" tier assets.


Socrates also elaborated on grades, clarifying how they play into the system:
"Each game, based on how well you performed you will earn a grade. These grades don't persist - it basically tells you how good you did in a game. 
So imagine you play a game and you pull a Bjergson crushing the enemy team and performing in the highest x% of players in your region. You would earn an S+ for that game. 
That S+ would translate into some point score that when added to your teams performance and a few other factors determines the total points for the game. Those points go towards your level, which unlocks the rewards."

When asked if statistics like warding or cs can be "abused" to get a better grade, Riot Mirross commented:
"We're using a mix of core game metrics, and we're then mapping you to other players in that champ / position combination. Depending on your percentile compared to others in those metrics you get a grade. We feel pretty good that you can't abuse the metrics we've using but it's definitely something we'll keep an eye on."
Mirross continued:
"The main thing here is that your grades are comparing you to other people playing the same champion in that position. 
So when you play Vel'koz support, you're being graded against other Vel'koz supports. Likewise bruisers. So the grades should make sense for the way you're choosing to play."
Mirross continued:
"We're grading you against all other players in that champion and position combo. We're not looking at your MMR. Grades are absolute. 
We didn't think we'd be able to do this at first - we assumed (like you) that top tier players would only get the highest grades, but in our testing that hasn't shown to be the case. Bronze players having amazing games can still get the top grades, it's just less common."

As for if you will continue to get a grade on your game even after you've maxed your champion mastery, Riot Geo noted:
"Yes! You will always see the grade when you play on a champion mastery enabled game mode (normal SR), even when you are maxed."

As for the highest grade you could achieve, Riot Mirross noted:
"S rank (S+) is the highest grade."
When asked for explicit details on what factors into each grade, Socarates replied:
"Secret sauce. :) 
You are correct that if not set up correctly the danger is player's could attempt to game the system. This is part of why we won't reveal exactly what metrics we evaluate."


As for the amount of games it should take to reach level 5 mastery, Riot Mixtli commented:
"Its going to average 15 to 30 games to make Level 5 Champion Mastery. "

Riot Mirross continued:
"One thing to note here is that we're looking at 15-30 games for level 5, but we'll be unlocking additional levels later. 
That said, it's fair to say that we want people to be leveling up a pool of champions, not going super-deep on a single champ."

Socrates also added:
"It depends on how well you perform. If you are performing really well on a champion you will unlock the rewards quickly. If not it will take longer."

As for if the system will be retroactive and count games already played prior to it's release, Riot Mixtli noted:
"Previous games will not applied to Champion Mastery. It will be a fresh start from launch of the feature."
He reiterated this later in the Q&A, saying:
"Fresh start since performance is a basis for leveling them up."

When asked if major reworks or anything like that will cause a particular champion's mastery level to be reset, Mixtli noted:
"No. Champion Mastery will not reset."

As for if you can level up champions that you do not own but are available on the free champion rotation, Socrates commented:
"You can level free to play champions up to level 4, after that they will stop accruing points until they are unlocked."

No Decay in Champion Mastery

When asked if there will be any sort of demotions or decay with the new system, Socrates noted:
"No decay is planned currently."
Mixtli reiterated:
"you cannot lose a level of Champion Mastery after it is earned."
 Socrates continued,
"Ranked is the only system that gives players explicit feedback that they are improving atm (and sometimes not improving). In reality, every game you play you are typically improving to some degree. We want this system to fill that gap with a combination of the grading system and progression system. The grading system is percentile driven - so earning a high score means you performed in the top x% of players on that champ in that position. The grade governs the point gains. Ultimately we want a feedback loop that feels meaningful and if we don't feel like we've achieved that we will reevaluate."
As for what the point of the system is afer achieving rank 5 if there is no decay, Socrates replied:
"This is a good point. We know some players just want to go hard and be measured in a hyper competitive environment. This system won't preclude us from doing some kind of champion specific leaderboards in the future. That said, this system is intentionally more accessible than ranked. 
When we ran pro players through the grading system, none of them were able to consistently earn S+ grades each game. Getting the point where you can consistently earn high grades would be worth bragging about."
He continued:
So at the current design, if someone played 1000 games with one single champion, exaggerating of course, he would receive the emotes regardless of how he performed?
That's accurate. If you had 2 players one of which face rolled 1000 games and one of whom played 1000 games at a pro level, the pro level player would have a significantly higher overall point score than the other player (since points continue to accrue after max level) but both would be max level and have the emotes. 
The other thing to keep in mind is that you get a performance score each game. Getting to the point where you can consistently earn an S grade requires a very high level of play."


As for what rewards will be available, Riot Mixtli reiterated what was listed in the earlier announcement:
"Levels 4 and 5 will offer: 
Loading Screen Badge
In Game Emote
Announcement Banner"
He also noted there will be in-client celebration animations for reaching the level 5 tier:
"Level 5 celebration at end of game will be similar to reaching ranked tiers."

When asked what the difference is between the tier 4 and tier 5 rewards, Riot Geo explained:
"So! The main difference right now is in the banners, emblems, and emotes you get for reaching that tier. All your friends and teammates will see the shiny, glorious red badge instead of the underling "brown/tan" badge. We do plan on adding more rewards other than just cosmetics in the near future."

Riot Geo also commented on where the loading screen badge will show up:
"Hey! I'm the visual designer on this feature. The way champion mastery shows up on the loading screen is actually a badge/flag that shows up over the top left of your ranked border. We've also moved honor to the center of the top bar to make way for this. So... if you play ranked, have an honor badge, and are playing a champion with mastery level 4 or higher, you will look super epic!"

When asked about the in-game cosmetic emotes, Riot Socrates clarified:
"It's an emote, so you can choose to play if you want to but will never appear by default.
Loading screen borders do automatically appear but only if you are tier 4 or above."
Riot Mixtli added:
"Ctrl+6 shows the emote when you reach Level 4 or Level 5 on the champion you are playing. The emote is not custom per champion and the champions do not have a custom animation to go with it. Currently the emote is only visible to your teammates but we are considering opening it up to enemies."

RiotZALE also noted that your team can see your loading screen and in-game emote:
"Currently your whole team can see your loading screen banner and your in-game emote. 
The in-game emote default hotkey is ctrl+6"
As for if the enemy team will be able to see the fancy mastery emotes, Riot Letumiles noted:
"Right now it's team-only, but we are certainly considering a change to that. :-)"

When asked if the loading screen badges show in any queue or just SR, Riot Mirross noted:
"Yup, it shows in all game modes."
RiotZALE reiterated:
"Your banner & emote show in all queues."

When asked if there will be a way to hide the tier 4/5 loading screen banners, Riot Mirross commented:
"We're not planning to do that but we can't think about it if folks think it's necessary. I don't think people are going to make that assumption here. Ranked is where you go for pure measurement of skill. Champ Mastery is about putting the time and effort into leveling up a champion. 
People will recognize that you're not a noob with that champion, you know what you're doing, you've put in effort to really understand that champ."

Future Reward Ideas

When asked about what other sort of future rewards they may have in mind, Riot Mixtli commented:
"We are gathering all the ideas from players and internally to consider."

When asked about having unique champion summoner icons as a reward, a few of the reds chimed in:

Riot Mixtli noted:
"Something we will consider but right now it is not planned" 
Riot Letumiles noted:
"Hi Just Mid! We have seen many awesome suggestions from the community, and nothing is off the table. We still have a big to do on reward decisions. :-)"
Riot Geo noted:
"Hey! Definitely a cool idea, will take this into serious consideration for the future! Thanks!"

As for if there will be rewards for leveling your total mastery level (the sum of all your individual champion's mastery), Riot Mirross commented:
"We have the Mastery Level which is a total number for your mastery progress. We're looking at ways to make that more visible to other players in future. We don't have concrete plans on rewards but we definitely want people to feel value from mastering a wide champion pool."

When asked about special champion skins tied to mastery, Riot Mixtli noted:
"I doubt we would do special skins for every champion due to a variety of reasons including scope alone. We are gathering feedback from players about potential future rewards and will consider them."

In response to the suggestion of ward skins as a potential reward, Riot Mixtli commented:
"Something we will consider."

As for something special for the top % performers on a specific champion similar to challenger in ranked, Riot Mixtli replied:
"Definitely something to consider post launch. Thanks for the idea. :)"

As for custom voiceover lines for highest level of mastery emote, Mixtli noted:
"Interesting concept. Custom voice emotes at highest level. Will add this for consideration."

Be sure to check out the Champion Mastery Announcement and our PBE coverage for more info!

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