Hello. My name is Yannick, and I have a problem. It's called spending money in League of Legends.
It started out innocently enough a few weeks back. I wanted to purchase Shyvana, a tanky fighter I'd grown accustomed to using when she was on League's free champion rotation the week prior.
Unlocking her as a champion I could use whenever I wanted to would either cost me a few hundred Riot Points (RP), or several thousand Influence Points (IP). You amass IP at a relatively rapid rate just by playing League of Legends, whereas RP only comes in exchange for real-world money. Problem was, I'd just spent a few hundred IP to acquire another champion, Teemo. I didn't know much about Teemo yet, but he was too cute not to buy. Can you blame me?
Actually, a Teemo that cute would've run me extra, since the panda suit makes it a special skin—something that's only available to purchase at a premium with RP. I had to settle for this Teemo if I didn't want to get my wallet out:
After I got Teemo and promptly realized I'd just screwed myself out of a Shyvana purpose, I went over to Riot's in-game League of Legends store. Specifically, I went to the "purchase RP" menu. I saw that unlocking Shyvana would only cost me five bucks.
Five bucks? I remember thinking. That's not so bad. Plus, people keep telling me I should mostly spend IP anyways. This'll just be a one time thing.
It was not a one time thing. Once I saw how easy it suddenly was to check the "own Shyvana" box off my monstrously large list of things to still do in League of Legends, I wanted more. And what's $50 in the grand scheme of things? I still wouldn't be spending as much as a full retail release for the PS4 or Xbox One today. Suckers.
I held out until the middle of March before I dipped into my wallet again. March 12th, to be exact. What pushed me over the edge, you ask? Well, I'd just been playing a lot of games as Urgot, and found myself feeling attached to the oft-maligned champion. And once again, I hadn't saved up my IP like I should've.
Well... I thought to myself. Starting a sentence in your own head off with, "Well..." is never a good sign, I've learned.
Well...if I'm already going to spend money, why don't I just get the biggest bargain—you know, like buying in bulk?
That's how this happened.
A week later, and I find myself on Sunday night once again itching to play as someone who just went off the free rotation.
Ok...another hundred has got to get me everything...right?
I don't bother trying to do the math.
Several minutes of frantic clicking later, and I still don't own everything in League of Legends. Hell, I'm not even close.
Now here we are, just a few weeks later and 250 more dollars down the virtual drain. Bear in mind that I've also a) received 10,000 additional Riot Points from League of Legends developer and publisher Riot Games and b) played roughly 100 games (102 to be exact) since January, accruing plenty of IP and unlocking champs with that currency along the way.
What do I have to show for all this time and money invested into League of Legends so far—ownership-wise, at least? Here's what I've got.
Here is what I've managed to acquire with $255 converted into Riot Points, plus everything else I just mentioned:
- Dr. Mundo
- Jarvan IV
- Lee Sin
- Master Yi
- Miss Fortune
- Twisted Fate
- DJ Sona
- Dino Gnar
Let's summarize quickly. For $255 plus a lot of extra stuff, I got 84 in-game champions and two special skins.
- Xin Zhao
Plus numerous additional special skins. And that's not even considering stuff like Runes.
There are a few things that are worth noting here. First and foremost, I haven't been playing or spending money in League of Legends in what I'd consider the "recommended" way. Most experienced League players I've heard from have told me that it's common practice to unlock champions (i.e., pretty much all of them) over time by playing and amassing IP. You then save real-money spending for special skins—the really good stuff that you don't necessarily need but still really want after you've fallen in love with a particular character. Secondly, I still haven't played with an overwhelming majority of the champions I do currently own. The main reason I purchased so many up-front is because I want to have the option to play with as many different League characters as possible at any given moment.
I also can't help but consider the fact that Dota 2 makes every single one of its champions free at the outset. Can't help but consider because people now seem to love reminding me about that.