Chatting storylines, Shadow items, and Labs with the developers of Teamfight Tactics: Reckoning
We spoke with a couple of the developers behind the auto battler about the latest major expansion, Reckoning.
Teamfight Tactics has recently welcomed its latest set expansion, Reckoning, a set that brought not only more of the new cards and Champions we've come to expect and love, but also a variety of new features that redefines what we should look to see in TFT expansions in the future. With a new thematic storyline, unique Shadow items that add another level of strategy, and even an entirely new game mode accessible to fans, Hyper Roll, we recently spoke with a couple of the developers behind the title to get an insight into what makes Reckoning a truly exciting update.
Gamereactor: Reckoning is a pretty big set coming to Teamfight Tactics, and was regarded as the "most dramatic set yet" at the reveal earlier this year. But, broadly speaking, how will The Black Mist's entrance into TFT bring about some pretty crazy changes?
TJ Bourus, Teamfight Tactics product lead: "While previous sets dove deep into their themes largely by drawing from League's [League of Legends] skin universes, Reckoning is the first set to actually have a story built into its thematic design. While I can't say much more about it now, players will see this story play out over the course of the set."
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Gamereactor: How do you expect the Shadow Items to shake up the meta?
Ananda Gupta, senior game design manager and the Hyper Roll lead designer: "We think Shadow Items are going to add another level of decision-making and agency for players. They have interesting tradeoffs and players are going to find ways to really take advantage of the unique benefits they provide."
Gamereactor: What kind of new Champions can we expect to see coming when the set launches later this month?
Ananda: "Viego and Ryze are making their first appearances in TFT with this set - along with Heimerdinger, Gragas, Kled, Rell, and Trundle. But in addition to new champions, every set brings old champions back in new ways. This is the fifth we've seen Yasuo in a set but he has a new ability and traits."
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Gamereactor: Some of the Champions are receiving new traits and classes, many of which will be three-trait champions. How will this encourage different tactical approaches, particularly in the late game, and what will some of these new classes bring to the table?
Ananda: "We've designed Reckoning to bring players more different champion combos and power moves than ever before. The Shadow Items will unlock new ways for each champion to excel, while the increase in three-trait champions will allow some really offbeat ways to surprise your opponents."
Gamereactor: One of the most interesting parts of Reckoning is the multi-format story led by Pengu and featuring the new Little Legends. What sort of hijinks can we expect this to include and will we start seeing these sorts of expanded storylines in future sets?
TJ: "Well, you'll have to just stay-tuned for the rest of the Reckoning story. But it's safe to say that if players appreciate these deeper storylines we will see them come back in future sets."
Gamereactor: The Labs are a pretty exciting new way to play TFT. Hyper Roll is available now, but what sorts of other experimental modes do you have planned, and will this feature impact how you balance and update TFT in the future?
Ananda: "We have lots of ideas for new Labs! We're always looking for ways to bring the TFT experience to new audiences. Hyper Roll focuses on game length and team-building, with less emphasis on managing your gold. But every Lab will take into account what we learn from the ones that came before, because players will always ultimately determine what we do. We will still balance and update the standard TFT experience the same way we always have; Labs will not change or diminish those efforts."
Gamereactor: With Hyper Roll having its own competitive ladder, will there be unique rewards that encourage players to climb it?
Ananda: "Yes! Although standard TFT will remain the premier competitive experience with the most prestigious rewards and competitive tournaments, Hyper Roll players who finish at Blue Tier or higher will get rewards unique to Hyper Roll."
Gamereactor: Is there any intention to expand Labs further in the future, perhaps by giving players the opportunity to create their own experimental modes?
Ananda: "It's incredibly gratifying to think that players enjoy our champions, universe, and gameplay so much as to want to use them to create their own experiences. The future of Labs definitely depends on players - if it turns out that players want a huge variety of Teamfight Tactics experiences, anything's possible!"
Thanks for talking with us TJ and Ananda. Teamfight Tactics fifth set, Reckoning is available right now, featuring the new Labs mode, Shadow items and the first-of-its-kind thematic storyline. You can check out the cinematic trailer for the launch of the expansion below, and you can play the game today on PC and mobile devices.