Riot Mortdog responds to complaints over TFT Set 7 balance: “You can’t please everyone”

TFT Set 7.5 DaejaRiot Games

In response to a recent Reddit post criticizing TFT’s balance system, Mortdog explained that the game hadn’t yet struck “the perfect balance” between optimising for hardcore and casual players.

Since its release, Teamfight Tactics has attracted a wide range of players, from the hardcore ranked climbers to the more casual audience. This universal appeal is part of what makes TFT such a difficult game to balance — something which lead game developer Steven ‘Mortdog’ Mortimer recently addressed in response to a post on the Competitive TFT subreddit by Reddit user u/idontlikeredditbutok, criticizing the state of the most recent update to the game, Set 7.5.

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Mortdog has often been praised by the community for his consistent communication with the player base — updating players on the processes behind decisions made with Twitter threads and posts to the TFT subreddit.

The original post broke down the idea of compositional variance, which is essentially the ability to slot other units into a team composition and still have that composition be functional. The poster highlighted that their key issue with the current set was how little variance there appeared to be in the popular compositions.

The post went on to explain that the wider issue with balance in recent TFT sets is that compositions “got old” much faster than they did in earlier sets, and that the game had become inherently less fun to play.

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Mortdog’s response

Mortdog was quick to respond to the original post. In his reply, he outlined some of the balance difficulties that had led to the original poster’s frustrations. Namely, that the complaints around TFT’s balance tend to be skewed towards the experience of high-elo players, and that these players tend to forget that a high percentage of the player base only plays for fun.

While higher-elo players tend to prefer champions who can slot into multiple compositions, and run compositions with a wide range of traits, lower-elo players prefer to index hard into single traits. This leads to what Mortdog describes as a “fundamental contradiction” in balancing TFT.

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“In cases where vertical traits are not powerful, large portions of our player base feel their expectations are betrayed and may stop playing the game,” Mortdog explained, addressing the original poster’s complaints about the lack of flexibility around substituting traits in compositions.

He went on to add that TFT’s balance is not “solved” in any way, and that there is significant difficulty in balancing a game whose player base approach play in such fundamentally different ways. He explained that no set has managed to quite hit the “perfect balance of key verticals” that the developers have been looking for.

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