In 2019, Riot Games hinted at plans for their MMORPG along with other games. Some of which have already been released, but what do we know about this massive project?
Lost Ark has taken over the internet in recent times. Before that, players flocked to World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV for a true MMORPG experience. Around two years ago, Riot celebrated their 10-year anniversary and during their celebration, they made some pretty bold announcements.
Riot would be releasing a first-person shooter — VALORANT, a card game — Legends of Runeterra and a mobile version of League of Legends — Wild Rift. But that’s not all, many more projects were announced like a League of Legends fighting game and it was also hinted that the developer was working on a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) set in the world of Runeterra — currently called Project F. In 2020 this was finally confirmed by Riot, and so we've decided to scrounge up everything we know about the upcoming game.
What Is The Expected Release Date For The LoL MMO?
For now, Riot Games has not revealed an exact release date for the upcoming League of Legends MMO, but it will likely be released mid-2024 or even later. From all game types, an MMO is the most ambitious and the most difficult to pull off well.
Riot is recruiting and hiring multiple people for various jobs on the MMO, but a project of this scale will take time to perfect, especially with fans having such high expectation from all the lore we’ve been getting fed throughout the last few years.
Is the Riot MMORPG Cancelled?
In a recent tweet from Greg Street, VP & EP of the Upcoming MMO Title, he stated that "there is no guarantee that the game will ship". This has fans worried about the release of the MMORPG set in Runeterra.
There is no guarantee this game will ship. We are optimistic, but you just never know until it does. However assuming it does, this will be the fourth major franchise I have worked on (AoE, WoW, LoL), and likely the last. And I am very okay with that. It will be a good final act.— Greg Street (@Ghostcrawler) April 8, 2022
Though, other developers working on the project are hopefully that this project will come into fruition. MMOs are the riskiest games to make since they take a long time to make as well as high levels of maintenance once they ship. That's why even the developers are tentative about revealing too much information.
So, is the MMORPG cancelled? No, no it is not, but it is still in early development, which means it can still falter. We do think that Riot has a handle on things though and if we go by other long-term projects – like Arcane – then we know even with bumps in the road, it will become a reality.
Street also said in follow-up tweets that his initial tweet was taken out of context and that development for the MMORPG was "going great". So guys, you really don't need to worry about the MMO.
What Will The MMO Gameplay Be Like?
Since we have only seen a small teaser during the Riot MMO announcement back in 2019. In the small clip, we got to see Blitzcrank fighting against some sort of minion. That’s about all the actual gameplay we got to see, but thanks to the extensive lore League of Legends has, we can already envision some gameplay elements.
What Races Will Exist In The Riot MMO?
Runeterra is a vast world with extremely different characters, champions and races. None of the races we will name have been confirmed to be in the upcoming Riot Games MMO, but we do believe these could be playable in the game once it is released.
Humans will be the primary race, but there will likely be sub-categories depending on which area of Runeterra a human is from. This could make humans from different regions look and act different in the MMO.
What Will The League of Legends MMO Map Look Like?
This is one of the few things we can pretty much confirm already. The map of the MMORPG is most likely going to be the same map as that of Runeterra which we already know. The world of Runeterra is huge, with two big continents and various island states surrounding them.
These are the thirteen named regions of Runeterra:
- Bandle City
- Shadow Isles
- The Freljord
- The Void
Whether the Void is going to be a playable area could be debatable. This could be a dungeon area in which players have to go to farm resources.
What could be likely though, is that we will get the same eight regions as in the Riot Games card game Legends of Runeterra. If Riot chooses to go with the LoR regions, then we might not get a separate Void region, but will encounter the Void throughout the journey of the MMORPG.
With the release of Nilah, as well as the League of Legends novel 'Ruination' we also found out about an eastern continent with countries like Camavore and Kathkan. These could also be regions added into the game at a later date.
What Classes Will Be Available in Project F?
Classes are an important aspect of any MMORPG, so deciding which class your character has is going to be key. If you prefer a magic user, a tank or an assassin, MMOs have something for everyone and the Riot Games MMO probably won’t be any different.
Thankfully, League of Legends already has quite the inventory of classes and subclasses, so the MMORPG team will just have to copy those over into their own game for players to select from. We do think, there will be six main classes, with most having two sub-classes to pick from.
If you’ve played League of Legends, then you’ll have some idea as to which champion belongs into which category, so you can already imagine what you’ll want your MMO character to play like, right?
Will The LoL MMORPG Be Free To Play?
Thus far, all of Riot Games’ titles have been free to play. Therefore, we will bet some money on it that this MMORPG will also be free to play with in-game purchases. Since this is dubbed the League of Legends MMO, many of the features from LoL should also be applied to the MMO.
Maintenance of a game of this size will be difficult and costly, but it will likely be a free game, like every other Riot Games title so far, but none of this is confirmed yet. Lost Ark is also a free to play MMO, but with in-game purchases for skins and other cosmetics, we can expect a similar model to be implemented in this MMO.
Will The Riot MMORPG Be Canon?
In a recent tweet, Greg Street, who is the head of the MMO project at Riot Games, stated that the MMO will be canon when asked about it on Twitter.
Think about it this way. If we’re successful and have millions of players playing hundreds of hours with just as much time discussing story and characters with their friends and online, it will become the focus of the lore. MMOs have a way of doing that.
This means that the narrative team will have to closely work together with the MMO team to create a believable world for the MMORPG as well as believable stories that fit into Runeterra and the world of League of Legends. Will we also encounter known champions in the game then? Ezreal is definitely going to be popping up, right?
MMO healing is a topic on which I have a lot of thoughts and at least some experience. It's hard. If too much is on the healer, they get blamed and their life is stressful. If there isn't enough, then the healer gets bored. And there is always the solo question.— Greg Street (@Ghostcrawler) July 2, 2021
What Will The MMO End-Game Look Like?
If you managed to play through the game and level your character up to max, then there will, of course, be the dreaded end game. Lead Producer, Greg Street, has already stated that there will be dungeons and raids.
Anyone that knows me from my World of Warcraft dev days would know that I love dungeons and raids as a player
So, if you’re worried about the endgame, know that Riot is working on making the dungeons and raids exciting for you to enjoy! It is one of the most important parts of a game, and Riot wants to deliver!
Who Is Working On The Riot Games MMO?
As already mentioned, Greg Street is the lead on the MMO. Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz, the lead quest designer of The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 has also signed onto the project, which can only mean that there will be some pretty cool quests in the game.
For anyone who has complained about champion balance throughout the years, Mark Yetter, former Lead Gameplay Designer of League of Legends also joined the MMO team as Game Director in 2021.
You can also work on the project. Riot has multiple jobs and is always hiring for the MMO, so make sure to check their website if you’re qualified for any of the job and if you’re interested.
Is the Riot Games MMORPG Crowdsourced?
In a few recent tweets, Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street asked fans about some features they would not want to see included in the upcoming MMORPG. Fans quickly told the developer ideas from other games that they would not want to see.
In a second tweet later, Ghostcrawler explained that the MMO is not Crowdsourced, but the team is curious about what game features they might have to further explain to sell to fans. Therefore, they're looking for community feedback while developing the game. So, is the game crowdsourced? No, not at all, but ideas from the fans are taken into account while making the MMO.
Hopefully we find out more about this exciting project Riot Games is working on and that we get to experience the world of Runeterra in the next few years. We have the lore, we have the base for it all, now it just has to come together in this big massively multiplayer online role-playing game.