Progression in Legends of Runeterra isn’t the same as in other collectible card games. Sure, you’ll play games, acquire cards — through gameplay and purchases — and build a bigger and better deck, but Riot Games is doing something different from virtually every other card game out there, digital or physical.

Riot is seeking to strike a balance between “total access,” where everyone would get all the cards in a new set immediately — which, while initially fun, would quickly lead to a stale meta — and the drip-feed method that most games employ, of only giving you access to a few cards at a time through randomized purchases. Yesterday’s dev diary dives deep into LoR’s progression, which is based around a single guiding principle:

“how to create a constant, meaningful sense of progression and foster greater periods of experimentation and discovery.”

LoR will have four ways for players to obtain cards: daily quests, a weekly vault that gives you cards based on how well you played that week, region rewards that are based on a player-selected region of Runeterra, and wildcards, which let you choose exactly which cards you get. The key thing to notice is that only the last option, wildcards, can be purchased with real money (in addition to in-game currency), meaning that you’ll never pay cash for randomized cards.

With the game still in early access, there’s still a lot more Riot hopes to achieve, such as additional region rewards and an “‘endless’ reward system for playing as much as you want.” The devs admit that they “don’t know that it’s going to work,” but they’ll keep listening to players and doing what they can to make it satisfying.

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

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