During the VS. mission event, everything looked very promising. Completing missions would drop shards that could be traded in for a chance at some extra loot boxes and even some of the rare gemstone skins. How exciting was this? Jumping into a match with missions to complete and awards that you wanted. But with the newest Omega Squad missions, as well as the missions offered up when you buy Kayn, we are one for three on interesting rewards. These last two have been bad.
Let me be clear here, the idea of missions in a game like League is great. Heroes of the Storm has been doing it for years and it is always excellent motivation to keep playing. Missions are new to League, and so there should probably be some bumps along the road.
While weird choices and bad mission design is expected, that doesn’t really cover the major issues with the current missions system. For one, availability is certainly not great. The mission design is surprisingly fun and, for the most part, interesting. It is unfortunate then that we only get missions when we have big skin releases or a champion pushed out.
That all pales in comparison to the real issue here: summoner icons are not fun rewards. It is kind of remarkable to me that for this Omega Squad quest event has you complete five, long missions and all you get is a dang icon with Teemo’s creepy bane mask on it. Completing the Kayn missions also just gives you icons for either Darkin or Shadow.
Getting these two after the VS. event feels like ... calling into a radio station one week to get concert tickets and the next to get a “I went to __________ and all I got was this stupid t-shirt” t-shirt. Maybe that is harsh, but is anyone actually stoked to get this icon? If you are, that is awesome, I am happy for you, but to me and many others it feels like a massive downgrade.
What seems odd right now is that we have an easy solution regarding Hextech crafting. Why not offer boxes or keys? Why not an item that allows you to choose? I have a surplus of boxes and am severely lacking in keys. Others are the opposite. This seems like a great way to make Hextech crafting more interesting and consistent. Engaging with it maybe once or twice a week, even playing a dozen or more games, seems like too little.
I understand that Riot wants to use Honor as the only way to get keys, but it seems like more could be better in this scenario. As we get more and more gemstone skins, what with the addition of the new Hecarim skin, the prospect of ever getting one seems fairly low. The idea of getting multiple is laughable. They are so difficult to get in fact that why wouldn’t I just hold my gemstones until there is a skin that I really, really want from there.
The Hextech crafting system was a half-baked way to add some small, interesting rewards to daily League play. In some ways, it totally works. In others, it needs so much more. There is such an excellent opportunity for synergy between missions, Hextech crafting and Honor. If these systems would just talk to each other, we could all have more loot for being nice and completing missions.
Rewards from missions should never replace people buying actual skins or champions, that is not sustainable. However, rewarding the player base that commits hours and hours to your game every week is certainly not the worst decision that Riot could make.