Riot will be lowering item drop variance to decrease perceived unfairness in TFT patch 14.3.
Teamfight Tactics (TFT) is currently in the Remix Rumble patch (Set 10). Remix Rumble introduced a new set of champions, portals, augments, and traits. The continuous evolution of TFT, on the one hand, has attracted a very loyal player base but also increased its complexity on the other.
Complexity is not a bad thing by any means, especially considering TFT, an auto-battler game. The role of luck has to be there to increase the variety in gameplay. When added to players’ freedom to approach in multiple ways to tackle the variety, it makes for a very compelling and fun experience.
However, the sources of complexity in TFT are multifaceted. Portals, Augments, Traits, Orb drops, mystery box, etc. The receivables from those sources vary from player to player. Each source has multiple elements in them, that exponentially increase the possibilities of game-to-game variations.
Too much convolution can hamper the game experience. It can make the game unlearnable for the majority of the population, aside from the very dedicated ones. That’s why Riot is adjusting a particular source of complexity, that is item drop variance.
In this article, I will talk about Riot’s plan to achieve that and what’s coming in the future patches.
Making TFT More Fair by Decreasing Variance: Starting with Item Drops
So Riot has big plans to decrease the overall system variance in TFT. This is mainly to address the aforementioned perceived unfairness. One example Riot Mortdog has given to elucidate the unfairness is the following example:
Suppose, you are in a TFT match. After a few matches, you find yourself with more gold from drops, and another player gets more item components with a little less gold. It would seem the experience is statistically balanced. But those who have deep knowledge know that item components have higher value when it comes to winning a round. And winning can eventually give you more gold generation anyway to compensate for the initial lack of it.
Riot wants to overhaul the entire system to dial down the variance from all the sources. But patch 14.4 is very important as the Remix Rumble Championship will be there. So a system overhaul doesn’t seem feasible, not to mention the time constraint. That’s why the big overhaul, with a lot of surprises, is shifted to patch 14.5. Riot will let us know more about it in detail later.
But the game, in its current stage, bears the burden of over-variance. As a short-term band-aid fix, Riot has planned to attack the item drop variance. Currently, the variance is at 2, meaning that the difference in item components between the players can be up to 2.
This variance will be reduced to 0, in the upcoming patch 14.3.
What’s important to note is that it is a temporary solution. It can make the game a bit bland since a lot of the gameplay variety used to be generated from how players strategized to mitigate the effect of item variance. With that being leveled, there will be less experimentation in champion purchases and XP investing decisions.
But the Gold Orb drop will still exist to create dilemmas for the players.
TFT Patch 14.3 Release Date
Riot will release patch 14.3 of Teamfight Tactics on Wednesday, February 7, 2024.