Riot defends change in League of Legends PBE IP/RP and pricing
Riot Games has responded to public outcry regarding the recent changes to League of Legends Public Beta Environment (PBE), defending its decision to remove the weekly RP/IP stipend.
As a quick reminder, tester accounts are now credited with a one-time deposit of 40,000 RP and 100,000 IP on their first login after account creation. Testers will no longer receive weekly stipends; instead, new content will be available on the PBE for 1IP. Skin RP costs will be set to their intended live prices "so testers know which tier skins fall into and what new features they can expect."
While there are a few other changes, this seemed to be the most controversial among testers. So Riot Games has decided to respond.
"The weekly stipend was conceived as a way to allow testers to continue to access new content as it was released - keep in mind this was back when our content cadence was much faster," the developer explained. "The stipend was never intended to be a salary or form of payment. It was chosen so we could avoid confusing players over setting PBE prices at different levels than live. Given the increase in communication by the ecommerce team over the past year+, this is less of a concern today."
Riot insists this change isn't because they want testers to spend real money on RP. "As always, RP purchases remain disabled on the PBE," the company said.
So why not just unlock all of the content for testers?
"Just as most players don't play every single champion (or skin) on live, we don't expect that PBE testers are going to play every single champion (or skin) on the PBE. The new Champion starter bundle and initial 40,000 RP/100,000 IP is enough to establish a content base on top of new content to be tested, which will be available for 1 IP.
"The PBE isn't meant to be a trophy case where testers have every skin. "Previewing" content is a side effect of the testing process but has unfortunately become the main appeal of the PBE for some testers," Riot revealed. If older content, like the legacy Snowdown skins, are tested, their price will be temporarily dropped.
"We want to keep the PBE as similar as possible to our live environments for accurate testing purposes - every change we have to suppress from live with each patch is another opportunity for a bug to slip through the cracks," Riot responded to questions of why they don't just create a redesigned PBE economy. "So not only would we need to justify the development resources to create these tools (versus something that can be used by all players), we would also need to justify creating stability risks by making the PBE even more different from live than it already is."
"We know that for longterm testers this is a tough pill to swallow, but one of the stickiest PBE perception problems has been the notion that the PBE is the place to go if you want free stuff. This leads to a lot of other problems such as increased tendency to dodge, AFK, or refuse to communicate. Hopefully over time the reasons behind these changes become a bit clearer," the developer concluded.
For you PBE players out there, how do you feel about the changes made?