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After a long silence all through the winter holidays, Riot Games returned Sunday with updates about Legends of Runeterra, their upcoming digital card game. Design director Andrew Yip and executive producer Jeff Jew spoke in a video about the upcoming beta release and what lies beyond for the game.

When does Legends of Runeterra open beta start?

The Legends of Runeterra open beta begins January 24. According to Yip and Jew, Riot’s initial plan was to do another closed beta test and slowly roll out features, but public pressure and interest swayed their minds.

Starting Jan. 24, all who want to play Runeterra will be able to do so. Not only does this speed up the interest build-up towards the game, it will eliminate the points, content-lacking Twitch streams of “Hang out with me and hope that a beta key drops”, which were especially popular during the November beta phase.

How ranked play works in Legends of Runeterra?

Ranked play will be available with the open beta and it will work similar to League of Legends. You will climb ranks and divisions, aiming to reach the highest tier: master.

Unlike LoL, though, Runeterra will be more forgiving and players will hold their highest rank once they achieve it. According to devs, this is done so that deck innovation is encouraged and so that players do not feel obliged to stick to the few top meta decks if they want to climb.

Ranked played will be divided into seasons, with balance changes between them.

How much pay to win is Legends of Runeterra?

This was already visible from the first two betas, but Runeterra is especially generous with how it gives out cards. There are no cards packs like in Hearthstone or MTG: Arena (or most other card games), and you unlock cards by buying individual singles through the so called “wild cards” — cards of certain rarity that can be converted to any other card of that same rarity. So, if you want to play the powerful Anivia control, you don’t have to open pack after pack to get all the right tools.

Apart from that, customization options will also be purchasable directly, and not unlocked through packs. This will include various guardians (little companions that sit by your deck, which can very from a Poro to a mechanical T-Rex), to various game boards.

How will expansions work in Legends of Runeterra?

As they’ve said before, Riot are looking to add more regions to the game, which would make Runeterra one of the few card games to expand its color/faction system. Currently, there are six regions, but more will come with future expansions, which will introduce new champions and, of course, new sets of cards.

For 2020, the plan is to release several of those expansions.

Will there be a reset of cards you unlock in Legends of Runeterra beta?

No. Once the open beta begins January 24, you will get to keep every card you earn going into the full game.

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