The Riot MMORPG is one of the most anticipated projects in the League of Legends universe. Unfortunately, we can only estimate a release date currently, but one thing is for sure and that is that we'll be able to create our own characters, embark on quests and encounter iconic champions. Let's go over the potential classes, map and gameplay of the upcoming game.
It's been quite a while now since Riot announced that they're working on a League of Legends MMORPG set in Runeterra. Unfortunately, there have not been many official announcements regarding the project, but from League of Legends lore, as well as other games like Legends of Runeterra, we can already guess what could come our way in the Riot MMORPG.
It's important to note that an MMORPG takes a lot of time to make and is the most ambitious game type out there. So, will Riot be able to complete this insane feat? Here's everything you can expect from the game.
Riot MMORPG: Release Date Estimation
For now, Riot Games has not revealed an exact release date for its upcoming League of Legends MMO. 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.
To give you an idea of how long an MMORPG needs to be developed: World of Warcraft , the by far biggest MMORPG out there, was officially announced in 2001, but Blizzard still needed three more years to finally release the game in late 2004, and still a lot of in-game content was missing. Taking all the massive improvements into account that WoW has seen over almost 20 years, Riot will have a lot of work to do, not only satisfy League fans, but also to be able to permanently compete with Blizzard's #1 MMORPG out there. There have been enough other games that tried it – and failed.
We're pretty sure that Riot will take even more time for its MMO development than Blizzard did with Vanilla WoW. Looking at all the information we got until now, we'd expect the release date of the Riot MMORPG to take place in late 2025 or mid 2026.
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Riot MMORPG: Gameplay Expectations
Riot has been keeping pretty quiet about the gameplay of the upcoming MMO, but we do think that it will play like any other MMO, with different classes, creatures and regions playing a key part in the upcoming game.
Potential Playable Races
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.
These seem like the most likely candidates, but there will likely be many more species that will be playable. We could play things like Ascended, Celesitals or maybe even Spectre's, but that is just speculation for now since Riot has not revealed anything concrete yet.
A League of Legends Inspired Runeterra Map
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, which we'll probably see in the LoL MMORPG as well:
- 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. In World of Warcraft, many known zones from Warcraft 3 we're playable right away from the start, with some missing ones becoming available with later patches either as quest zones or as a dungeon or raid. Riot will probably follow a similar path.
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 and added in as an expansion.
Potential Classes In The Riot MMORPG
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?
Still, all these thoughts about races and classes inside the Riot MMO are unconfirmed as of now. LoL content creator Necrit had the chance to interview some of the MMO's lead developers in July 2023, and they have remained pretty vague about how the system of races and classes will look like inside the MMO.
Will The LoL MMORPG Be Free To Play?
Thus far, all of Riot Games’ main 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.
The other option would obviously a paid subscription model like World of Warcraft has it since the very beginning. Right now, a monthly WoW subscription costs you between 13 and 15 Dollars a month – this could be too much for League players that are used to free to play models ever since.
Will The Riot MMORPG Be Canon?
Greg Street, former 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.
Recently, Riot also revealed their plans of creating a unified Runeterran lore across all of their titles – excluding VALORANT – so it would make sense for them to make the MMO also canon.
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
Riot MMORPG End-Game To Feature Dungeons And Raids
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. Former 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 was 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.
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.