Today, we're sharing specific plans for how and when we'll replace the legacy client for everyone. We'll also look back at how the beta has been going and how player feedback is affecting what we'll do AFTER replacing the client.
Since open beta launched we've focused on performance and stability while rebuilding legacy client features like spectator mode, rotating game mode queues, and custom game bots. We've also pushed out quality-of-life changes and new features for the client update: a separate news tab, better rune pages, pop-out chat windows, and the ability to hide all your mobile friends in a folder on the friends list—you can even change in-game settings without going into game. Oh, and both Replays and Practice Tool are now live exclusively on the updated client.
Each of these changes has brought us closer to our ultimate goal of fully replacing the legacy client—once that happens, we can start putting serious resources toward great new features for the updated client.
Regardless of how far we've come since open beta, we want to be very cautious as we complete the move to the updated client. While we’re confident the client update is ready for prime time, we want to make absolutely sure everything's working as intended before moving players off the legacy client for good. So, instead of just switching everyone over all at once, we're going to spread the update process across four phases, each of them a patch or two apart. It will likely be a couple patches before we begin.
Phase 1 - A small group of randomly-selected players from Oceania, Russia, and the two Latin America servers will be automatically upgraded to the updated client, although they'll have the ability to launch the legacy client from the login screen.
Phase 2 - Assuming Phase 1 goes well, all players in Oceania, Russia, and Latin America will be automatically upgraded to the updated client, without access to legacy client. Some players in China and Garena regions will also get the update.
Phase 3 - Everyone else (all players, all regions) will be automatically upgraded to the updated client, and the legacy client will be officially retired. This will happen automatically when players launch League without requiring the download of additional files (beyond that of the regular patch for that week). HOWEVER we will temporarily keep the legacy client files on your computer in case of an emergency. Beginning with this patch, we'll replace the legacy client with the updated client on all publicly-hosted game download pages.
Phase 4 - We'll automatically remove legacy client files from your machine to free up space.
This gradual rollout will give us time to monitor player feedback and make adjustments in response. We'll alter these plans or delay the rollout if we find that more significant changes are necessary.
Even after we replace the legacy client, we'll keep making the client better. The features below will take time to make, but we're committing now to deliver them after we finish replacing the legacy client.
BUY SKINS IN CHAMP SELECT in all queues.
UPDATED CHAT MODULE that lets you start new conversations with friends while in champ select.
EVEN MORE IMPROVED LOW-SPEC MODE which (if you didn't already know) speeds the client up by disabling costly animations and prevents the client from running in the background while you're in game. We've been pretty clear from the beginning that any machine that could run the legacy client should be able to run the updated one, and we intend to achieve that with both additional performance tweaks that affect all players and buffs specifically for Low-Spec Mode users.
ITEM SET CREATOR TOOL will return. Early in the client alpha we announced that we weren't planning to rebuild the legacy client's item set creator tool (although the updated client still supports custom item sets). Players passionately asked us to reconsider, so we did. We now intend to rebuild the item set creator tool, but haven't yet started development work on it, so it could take quite some time even after we replace the legacy client. But it is finally back on our to-do list. Of course, replacing the legacy client still comes first.
Looking even further ahead, we're interested in tackling more player-requested client features—especially things like a separate tab in the collection for owned skins and a more customisable profile page. We want to do these, but (you guessed it!) we can't start work on them until we replace the legacy client.
As always, keep an eye on the patch notes for the latest changes and improvements. We'll release another of these beta update posts just before the legacy client replacement process begins.
Hit us up in the comments if you've got any questions!