TFT Patch 14.5 preview: New Loot Distribution System changes explained

Teamfight Tactics: Galaxies key art. Image courtesy Riot Games.
Teamfight Tactics: Galaxies key art. Image courtesy Riot Games. /

While Riot believes that this is currently the most balanced Teamfight Tactics has ever been before, they are still looking for ways to improve the game moving forward. With the curtain closing on Remix Rumble next month and the most recent patch 14.4 being the one played on during the TFT Championship next month (March 1-3), there are still a few more patches scheduled to be released before Set 11 arrives.

Patch 14.5 will arrive just a few days after the World Championship and will completely overhaul the loot distribution system. TFT Gameplay Director Stephen 'Mortdog' Mortimer took to social media this week to share the new loot distribution system. Here's a quick rundown of what to expect.

Why is Riot changing the loot distribution system in TFT?

Over the years, Riot has sought to improve player agency in Teamfight Tactics, but there's still a level of randomness that impacts how a match unfolds. And it's up to the player to react and adapt to these various situations.

One of the main areas of variance in TFT is the loot system. Loot orbs — which have been in the game back since Set 1 — offer players various forms of loot, from gold to items. And it was up to players to use their skill to manage these differing resources each game, Mortimer explains in his post.

But over time, players have sort of figured out the loot meta. They've discovered that early gold is much more powerful than early items. They know that certain loot is more valuable than others, and they know how to play to these advantages.

While subtle differences in loot may not seem like a huge deal in lower ranks, Mortimer acknowledged that at the highest level even the slightest difference "can be a deciding factor." So they are changing the loot system in TFT.

TFT Patch 14.5 Preview: What's changing with loot distribution?

Randomness will always exist in Teamfight Tactics to a certain degree. It helps keeps each game feeling fresh and different. The goal with these changes is to maintain the loot variance while keeping it fair for everybody.

To do so, one of the first major changes being made is that at every PvE stage, all players will get the same quality and quantity of orbs.

So if you get a gold orb and two blue orbs, everyone in the lobby will get a gold orb and two blue orbs.

Variant drops on each round are returning, and you never know what you will get each round. Riot admits that there still needs to be some game to game variance to prevent TFT from becoming too predictable and stale.

Some games, you'll get a gold opener. But in that situation, everyone in the lobby will get a gold opener.

But not every game will be this gold opener. For games where you get items or champions, everyone will get items or champions. However the variance still exists in that the champions and items received won't be the same for everyone. You'll still need to react and adapt to the things you are given.

Riot is introducing a new Prismatic Orb, which will include high roll drops, including the Masterwork Upgrade (turns an item into a radiant item). Riot recognized that a Tome and 10g from a gold orb are of equal value, so they've rebalanced every orb "to be more fair, and based on when they appear." So a Gold Orb on Stage 2 will be different than what's in a Gold Orb on Stage 4.

TFT Patch 14.5 Orb Loot Tables

Here is the new drop tables for orbs currently being test with the new system in patch 14.5 on PBE.

The new loot distribution system will go live with TFT's Patch 14.5 on March 6th. Assuming this new system is effective, we can expect it to be the one moving forward into Set 11.