Riot Games’ next expansion for Legends of Runeterra, Empires of the Ascended, is right around the corner, going live on March 3. It will add 110 new cards to the mix, and is based out of the desert region of Shurima.

Riot outlined its new progression system for the expansion, Champion Mastery, in a blog post earlier this week. It’s just what it sounds like — a champion-specific progression system that rewards you for your playing skill with a particular champion.

The levels in the new system range from one to five, with the first being relatively easy to obtain (“It won’t take long,” according to the blog post) but you’ll need “true dedication to your favorite(s)” to top out. You’ll gain MP for a win, tie, or for leveling up your champion, in vs. Player, vs. AI, vs. Friend, or Expedition matches.

Each level you gain will grant you a “[progressively elaborate] Mastery Crest” that displays on your versus screen, when inspecting a deck, or when expanding your champion for viewing. If I’m being honest, I’d like to see a little bit more, maybe akin to Hearthstone’s golden hero portraits, or some other kind of specially animated or shiny pictures.

In other LoR news, Riot received some flak this week for its portrayal of the champion Taliyah, who’s arriving in the expansion. Her portrayal in Runeterra appeared a little too white for someone with a desert/”Arabic” background. Citing feedback from fans, Riot acknowledged the issue on Twitter and vowed to make changes to the character’s image and voice actress, though those changes wouldn’t be implemented at the time of the expansion’s launch.

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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