Over the past few weeks we've made several changes to the PBE-only systems that manage tester accounts. We're working on updating the PBE FAQ to reflect these and other changes, but for now, here's a brief summary:
* Tester accounts will be leveled up to 30 every night _around_ midnight PST (3 AM EST, 8 AM GMT, 9 AM CET)
* Tester accounts are credited with 40k RP and 100k IP **once** on their first login after account creation.
* These numbers won't update until testers either relog or initiate a purchase in the store.
* Testers will no longer receive weekly stipends. **INSTEAD:**
* New content will generally be available on the PBE for 1 IP. In addition to the 1 IP availability, skin RP costs will be set to their intended live prices so testers know which tier new skins fall into and what new features they can expect.
* Two PBE-only starter kits have been added to the store:
* **Champions** contains the majority of our champions so testers have a solid roster to queue with
* **Runes** contains nine copies of the most common runes in use on live. Due to technical limitations we aren't able to automatically unlock all runes through a single bundle.
* **DO NOT BUY THE RUNES BUNDLE MORE THAN ONCE**
Wanted to give you guys some more information about why we made these changes. In sections:
>**On removing the RP/IP stipend**
* The weekly stipend was conceived as a way to allow testers to continue to access **new** content as it was released - keep in mind this was back when our content cadence was much faster.
* The stipend was never intended to be a salary or form of payment. It was chosen so we could avoid confusing players over setting PBE prices at different levels than live. Given the increase in communication by the ecommerce team over the past year+, this is less of a concern today.
* This **isn't** because we want you to spend real money on RP instead - as always, RP purchases remain disabled on the PBE.
>**Why we don't unlock all content for testers**
* Just as most players don't play every single champion (or skin) on live, we don't expect that PBE testers are going to play every single champion (or skin) on the PBE. The new Champion starter bundle and initial 40,000 RP/100,000 IP is enough to establish a content base **on top of** new content to be tested, which will be available for 1 IP.
* The PBE isn't meant to be a trophy case where testers have every skin. "Previewing" content is a **side effect** of the testing process but has unfortunately become the main appeal of the PBE for some testers.
* Skins are fundamentally different than champions since they can't be earned through IP, nor can they be temporarily accessed through the weekly Free to Play rotation. This is why we’re alright with offering a champion starter bundle but not an all-the-skins bundle.
* If we determine that we need to go back and test old content (the legacy Snowdown skins, for example) we'll temporarily drop their price as well.
* From a technical end, Runes are freaking weird. They don't play well with bundle tech, hence the multiple-purchase problem, and we aren't able to auto-add runes to accounts in the same way that we can auto-level new testers to 30.
>**Why we don’t create a redesigned PBE economy**
* We want to keep the PBE as similar as possible to our live environments for accurate testing purposes - every change we have to suppress from live with each patch is another opportunity for a bug to slip through the cracks.
* So not only would we need to justify the development resources to create these tools (versus something that can be used by all players), we would **also** need to justify creating stability risks by making the PBE even more different from live than it already is.
We know that for longterm testers this is a tough pill to swallow, but one of the stickiest PBE perception problems has been the notion that the PBE is the place to go if you want free stuff. This leads to a lot of other problems such as increased tendency to dodge, AFK, or refuse to communicate. Hopefully over time the reasons behind these changes become a bit clearer.
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We'll let you know if these systems change again in the future. Thanks guys,