Hey Riot, before I even start, I'd like to say that the Free Champion Week concept is a great idea, part of the ingenuity that makes Riot and LoL in general great. But there are some issues with it.
I'd also like to state here that we are not asking for all free champions- we understand Riot needs their revenue to keep this great F2P game running. All we are asking for is a change to the free week. THAT IS ALL.
I've been playing this game for a really long time now- since before season 1 even started. Back then, there were only 40 champions, and with the 10 free champs a week concept, everyone was able to be played eventually, and since there was no 'meta', you could just pick up anyone, and play.
That worked back then, but it doesn't now.
We now have over 100 champions with the release of Zyra. That's a lot. This means that some champions are not going to be free frequently. I mean, think for a moment. When was the last time Akali or Karma was free (EDIT- AKALI FREE WHOOOO)? That also means that if you have champions that don't fit well into the metagame (like Fizz, or Leblanc), that severely limits limits the 'good' champions we can play, and that can be selected in an actual game. Also, you have to balance in the fact that you want new players to have access to easier champs to allow for a flatter learning curve. That's a lot of conditions to meet for the free champ week.
Therefore, the current issue isn't going to work. We have 100 champions- even if there were a different 10 champs every week, it would still take over 10 weeks (because I'm assuming Riot will release more champs). That's not even including the other requirements- either Yi or Ashe, or someone else like that has to be free constantly to allow the new players to build up basic skills, so they aren't trying to land an Anivia stun in their first game. Toss in the metagame requirements, and current system simply falls flat.
The 10 champ per week thing worked really well when we only had 40 champions, but now that we have 100, it just doesn't seem practical anymore due to the goals that it's trying to fulfill. There are simply too many goals, and the space in the free week isn't enough to fulfill all of them.
There is an easy solution however.
Make more champions free each week.
It would allow for more space so more champions could be free, allowing more people to play more individual champions faster, which is an important goal for free champ week. It also allows for room for more champions allowed for in the metagame, simultaneously allowing more fun games trying out new champions, yet more serious games with champions generally accepted to be 'strong'.
Also, there is another solution.
Make all the 450 ip champions free to play from the beginning for everyone, and don't put them in the free champion rotation anymore.
This will allow the new players easier champions to start out with, so you don't have to have Yi/Ashe in every free champion week rotation taking up dead space, so other champions might be rotated in. This also allows for basic roles for every person, so Riot doesn't have to worry about putting in supports/tanks/bruisers every time- because if worst comes to worst, the people can just fall back to those 450ip champs, while still allowing more space in the free week for people to try more people.
-EDIT- This part is for you, Hippalus:
-NOTE- This could actually make Riot more money.
Think of Free Champions as free samples that you get from your local grocery store. Some people try them because they're free, and then like them, so then they buy them. Champions can follow the same philosophy- it's what got me to buy Anivia, and through that, a skin. It's just like increasing the amount of free samples to give out, except that you don't even have to pay for the cost of the samples.
Not to mention that these changes will foster goodwill with players, and happier players are more likely to be paying players.
Here is the thread where Riot states their goals for free champ week:
-EDIT- And a chart showing the Free weeks: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AofrmJkywDXMdGFiR1NjeEl0c0NDME5TcW9oSnNpN mc#gid=0 (Updated Free Week # 33). Special thanks to TomajRT btw for making this chart.
And also, MistrissHel's champion rotation statistics thread contains some surprising information regarding the amount of times champions are free. It's here: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=1865087
Note that there are many "easy" champs (Caitlyn, Ashe, Yi, MF etc.) That appear multiple times. I mean jeez, Ashe: 10 times. Annie: 9 times. Caitlyn: 9 times. Graves: 10 times. Cho'Gath: 10 times. MF: freaking 11 times. And keep in mind this chart has only been recording since Season two.
Meanwhile, there have been many champs glossed over. Orianna- only one appearance. Karma: only one appearance. Rumble: only one appearance (and that was this week too). Akali: no appearances at all -EDIT- this has changed since the time this thread has been created. The list of "unpopular" champions continues- Lee Sin, Lux, Shaco, Udyr: there are just too many people who are almost never free.
There seems to be an issue with playing certain champions- in the entirety of Season 2, there have been too many that have almost never been free. This needs to be changed. And these solutions will help change it.
Reasoning to the poll options.
-note- you can pick multiple options to allow for what you think is an acceptable solution- there may be more than one that you think could work.
Keep it at 10: pretty self-explanitory. The Free Champions week is fine the way it is already, nothing needs to be changed.
Raise the number of free champions to 15/20/20+: The thing you have to keep in mind, however, is that Riot makes a significant amount of money from people buying Champions. I mean, more free champions are always nice, but Riot needs money too, both because they're funding this great F2P game, and they are a company that makes money. There needs to be a balance between the amount of money they're making, and the champions that are free- it's great if 40 champions are free- until Riot goes belly-up and has to shut down LoL. Just to make sure people don't mindlessly vote for 20+. I personally believe that 15 or 20 is the best option, but if even after people read this, and think about it seriously, and they think there needs to be more than 20 champs free per week, they should be able to say it.
-EDIT- As pointed out by ROOTDerp, we don't nessecarily need to raise it to 15 champions per week. Even a minute change like 12 champions a week would help begin to alleviate the problems- with maybe two slots added for the sole purpose of showcasing Champions that haven't been in the rotation for over 2 months.
Make all 450s free: There are currently 3 goals for Free Champ week. One of them is to allow for new players to play the game with easier champions, so they could learn the game easier, before moving on to more complicated champions. The 450s are generally acknowledged to be easier than average, plus they have a general spread of decent champions that are different positions (Ashe for Ranged DPS, Soraka for support, etc). They are also very cheap, meaning that Riot has one less condition to fulfill, while still keeping most of their revenue. This might fix many of the issues we currently have with Free Champ week, as well as stop the ragers when people go "Ashe/Yi free again? Trollololol."
Please note that this option would include Riot removing all the 450s from the free champ week possibilities, so Free Champ week could focus more on the more individual, harder, more unique champions, while still allowing newer players more consistancy in champs to start out with, and keeping Riot's money.
If you have a possible solution that isn't included on this poll, then please post it, along with a good explanation. If I believe it's a good idea, I will edit this post to include it.
Some good quotes:
Yeah, this sounds logical. As a new player, if the free week doesn't have the champs you want to play it can be a bit boring and unfun. Increasing the number of champs available will help alot since it would more likely include the champs you want to play, thus making the process of grinding ip/xp much more rewarding.
Also, anyone who is serious about the game will want to try out every champ at least once. When that time comes, it can be extremely difficult if a champ is not in rotation due to the small pool. We're then left with only two options: a) buy the champ with ip or b) buy the champ with rp
For most players spending ip on a champ just to be able to try them is way too much effort esp. with the current rune and champion prices. We'd much rather spend it on the champs we actually want to play or runes instead.
I'm personally an advocate for the hybrid 450 option(actually proposed it to him ). At this point we've breached 100 champions. We can only have 10% of the roster for free down from the original 25%. Along with that we have seen a steady increase in the champion ip price over time(so we're more reliant on free weeks). This...isn't such a good combo.
The current free system also puts in alot of repeats so it's much more common to see champions like ashe and yi free then someone like corki or fiora. Certain champions are almost free every other week(ashe and yi). So what better way to free up current slots and get some player goodwill then riot granting us the 450 ip champions for free?
However, this is not enough. It will free up only a small part of the free week roster and it won't fix how long it will still take to get to all champions(ten weeks before repeats). So I'd either recommend adding two more champions to the rotation or five more. The reason I"m going with the relatively small number is so that we could "reserve" a few slotts for more challenging champions or champions who have been locked out of the schedule for longer amounts of time.
Lastly riot, yes I'm adressing you guys directly, you still owe us for the 2 million likes on facebook. Why not kill two birds with one stone and give us a nice kickback for being loyal fans?
Any change will always be accompanied by some amount of QQ, but if Riot ever raises prices there will be a ragestorm. Not worth it.
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of giving the 450s out for free.
-Unless I miscounted somewhere, total IP cost of 4050. Less than 1 champ inthe top 2 price tiers. Not giving away a whole lot really.
-Lowest loss of potential sales. Because they're so cheap, I can't imagine people spend RP on these often. For the same reason, I'd bet they are the most commonly owned already, so smaller potential market anyway.
-New players get 9 relatively easy to understand champions to try out every champ type.
-Those same newbies can more easily stick with 1 champion while they get a grasp of basic mechanics and strategy, rather than learning new champs on top of that.
-With every player having those champs as a base, Riot can not only open up spots on free week, but also loosen up the rules for difficulty spreads. More variety.
-Possible loss of sales for higher tier champs with now 19 champions available right off the bat (the 450s+ free week). I'd expect that to be minimal. You don't just want 'a mage,' you want that Xerath, or Ahri, or whatever your preference is.
-Foster goodwill with everyone that isn't the type to cry "I already have all these! Free Naut plox!"
I'm just not seeing a strong downside to this. I might be missing something important, or grossly underestimating the financial impact something like this would have.
And some good statistics and player experience to sum it up:
I don't really spend money on League, instead I just sit on my IP until I pass about 10k and then buy a champ and maybe some runes. But I have not been able to do that lately, as I have no idea what champion to buy.
Now, if I had been using RP, the situation would not have changed. I would just be sitting on the RP instead, wondering what to buy. The free weeks are filled with common champions that everyone at lvl 30 has, and only a few of the more obscure ones filter through. When one of them finally comes into the rotation, I try them out. If they are fun to play, and I am actually decent with them, I will buy them.
But when it takes forever to get any of these into the rotation, it takes ages to test any of them out. And I am not going to buy a champion that I don't know about unless they are extremely appealing and fit my playstyle (Nautilus, for example).
TL;DR and conclusion: It takes too long for champions that people don't own to get into the free rotation. People who don't just burn RP/IP will wait until they get to test the champion before buying it. We are also tired of getting the same few champions over and over and over.
Extra Notes: If free weeks have 10 of the 100 champions, it takes a minimum of 10 weeks to rotate ALL the champions. In that time, 5 new champions will have been released. And to rotate those in would require another week. However, due to Riot's requirements for champion rotations, it would probably take twice as long to actually rotate every champion. Which of course throws 10 new champions into the mix. Personally, I just want the free week to include made 15% of the champions at all times. Out of the old 40, 10 was 25%. Out of the current 100, it is 10%. 15% seems like a decent compromise.
This would mean 15 champs now, and another added approximately every 7 champions. At the current rate that is about 14 weeks between each addition, or 3.5 months. I suggest stopping at 20 per week. That would happen in about 1 year 4 months. No idea what Riot's plans are like for that length of time.
Q: why can't we vote on individual champions?
A: Firstly, when things are based on "Each account gets something", keep in mind how easy it is to smurf in League. People could easily create smurfs to vote or to "pick" champs to try. There is a reason why Election Fraud is a crime, you know.
Q: But what about you don't own being free?
A: Again, smurfing. Just make more smurfs until you can try the person you want to.
Q: Will there be refunds if the 450 option happens?
A: I don't really know.
If Riot keeps records of whether you bought something with RP or IP, then have hope. But if Riot doesn't, be prepared to see GD flooded with "ZOMG BOUGHT 450s WITH RP, RIOT WON'T REFUND, SCUMBAG RIOT", despite the fact that the vast majority actually didn't but are looking for free RP.
However, contacting Support still might get you something.
In other words- don't count on it.
Q: L0L STFU N00B stop asking for everything to be free.
A: um... well the only thing we're asking for here is a change to the free week. the 450s free is only one of the solutions. And honestly, for me, I own almost every 450. All I want is for the 450s to stop going on the free week.
TL;DR the Free Champion Week system should have more champions per week, or all the 450ip champs should be free and removed automatically from the rotation.
Please to everyone who is reading this, read all the options and their explanations, do the poll, and bump and thumbs this up in hopes that a Red will eventually read and approve this. And if you're in contact with a Red in any way, please point them to this in hopes that a change might come just a little bit faster.
And Riot, if you're there reading this, all I ask is for a quick sentence on what's going to happen. Assuming the poll is generally representative of the LoL population, the vast majority of people (around three quarters) are asking for some kind of change. It would be great if you could respond to that sentiment somehow.
Thank you for your time,
-EDIT- 100 upvotes, thx guys =)
-EDIT- 10 hour difference, over twice the votes (from 1800 to 3600). I guess a reddit link kinda does that.
-EDIT- 500 upvotes you guys rock!
-Ċlso, changed things that were old information (champ statistics, mostly) to be more up-to-date.
-EDIT- added an FAQ.
-EDIT- on the second page of most posts in GD, still no red. Cmon Riot D=
-EDIT- now on the first page of most posts in GD ever.
-EDIT- 1000 upvotes and 400 pages thanks guys =)
-EDIT- well we've come a long way in 5 months. I'd like to support GD for receiving this so well, and some of the more dedicated bumpers, especially Tomaj, SillySweet, Sundavagarm, Alsowikk, and so many others. This wouldn't be possible without you guys.
I never thought I'd say this, but-
-EDIT#3- needs more red bait!
Pendragon: I know someone banned without reason... not really
RicklessAbandon: Have a prime copy of Alice in Wonderland!
Phreak: I think Trinity would work on Vayne and Riven, because they use their abilities so much, it could allow them to do TONS OF DAMAGE!
Phreak alt. I think Zyra would be played best as a jungler.
Morello: I believe Irelia's minion farming abilities with her ultimate and her q are still a little bit too powerful. Maybe nerf Irelia a bit?
Morello alt.: so, Irelia is kind of outclassed by Jax in almost every way. you should buff Irelia?
Ironstylus: I actually was toying with the idea of a female tank. Then Leona came along XD- Also, Parrots are awesomesauce. Because they are. And if you enact this, then Leona will be free more. You know you want that =P
Zileas: ARMORED BEARS MOAR MOAR MOAR (plus if this goes into action, there will be more free weeks with armored bears in them, leading to awesomer free weeks. Cause they're awesome. Right?
Iorek Byrins- *Ahem* Volibear: ^=see that=^
Nyandalee: Nidalee is so powerful in ARAM/B don't you think? Me like >-)
Runaan: I have no Lux/Ezreal artwork =( But I've got plenty of Lux/Riven artwork, want that?
Saiyaka: Here, have this-
She gives armor to all friends.
All A-D's are sad
Moneypenny (or is it Hippalus now?): Hello? All you need is 4 simple steps.
1) Read thread, specifically the sample analogy.
2) Enact said changes.
Xypherous: Stealth rework.
Nikasau: Take this token of my undying lo- ah **** where'd it go?
Kitae: Kat's lore. change it back >_> Same goes for you Raven.
Illusia, just take a look at the pictures. I do believe there'll be one you'll like (COOKIES!) =P
FeralPony, Jozrael, and other red bronies, do that too =).