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The Future Pricing Scheme

Just to clarify beforehand, this is about both skins and champions, and what Riot is planning for them.

They announced that they plan to have regular price drops for older champions, timed with the release of newer ones. This in itself is fine and makes perfect sense. However, their announced schedule just seems weird.

First, they'll take down a 6300 IP champion to 4800 with every new champion release. This isn't a bad idea, but it keeps the number of 6300 IP champions completely static, if you disregard the release-week price of 7800.

With that, their drop schedule is a bit too predictable. The original announcement said they would choose champions to drop based on age and ease of play. They announced that with Lissandra Lissandra's release, Skarner Skarner would drop to 4800; with the next champion after Lissandra, Talon Talon would drop; and with the next one after that, Riven Riven would drop. The only issue with that is that Skarner is currently the oldest 6300, Talon was released immediately after Skarner, and Riven was released immediately after Talon. This leads me to disregard the "ease of play" clause and say it's based entirely on age, at which point the line following Riven becomes Xerath Xerath, Graves Graves, Shyvana Shyvana, and then Fizz, Volibear, Ahri...

Further proof of this is available in their recent history; with Thresh Thresh's release, Yorick Yorick was lowered to 4800; for Quinn Quinn, it was Leona Leona; and for Zac Zac, it was Wukong Wukong. The order of release, without skipping anyone: Yorick, Leona, Wukong, Skarner. Every 6300 IP price drop since December has been in exact order of release, and has had nothing to do with purported ease of play.

I predict, therefore, that Ziggs Ziggs will be the last 6300 to have a price drop in 2013.

The other part of their strategy is that, with every third champion released, they would take one older champion at any price and drop them down one tier. This isn't unreasonable, but it's extremely slow if you think about it. For Lissandra, the announcement was that Warwick Warwick would now cost 450. Three champions later (along with Xerath's drop to 4800, if my prediction holds), someone else comes down one tier. This gives them a lot of options, but really not enough time for it to have any significant impact.

Let's take Brand Brand as an example. He is currently priced at 4800, and he has been there since late December. There are seventeen 4800 IP champions older than he is. If they stick with their rate of one drop every three champions, if they only do it to 4800 IP champions, and if they base it only on age, it would take 54 new champions for Brand's time to come. They're not going to only drop those at 4800, since the first one announced was Warwick, currently at 1350 (and before that, with Thresh's release, it was Udyr Udyr, from 3150). So if you factor in all of the 3150 IP and 1350 IP champions as well, I predict it will be three years before Brand gets another price cut.

Moving on, Riot also announced a massive overhaul to skin prices. I don't have much of anything to say here, other than that I agree entirely with this strategy. 975 RP has been an awkward number, since it covered wild variances in quality and new work, and the introduction of new price tiers makes things a lot simpler and cheaper. My only qualm is that I'm now tempted to refund one or two of my skins just to buy them back at their new lower prices.

Also, Veigar Veigar needs a new awesome skin.

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