It’s been three months since Teamfight Tactics “Gizmos and Gadgets” shook up the TFT formula with new champions, traits, and ever-changing Hextech Augments. Those updates spiced up the auto-chess scene delivering brand new metas (and more flexible playstyles). Though it also brought about an air of uncertainty regarding said Augments.
In Set 6.0 there are times when you’re offered random Augments that don’t help your board while your opponent may receive a game-winning bonus. That randomness keeps things exciting, for the most part, but when you get a flop selection of Augments in the early rounds, the match can also feel completely unwinnable.
Recently I had a chance to check out a TFT preview event and find out what changes the development team is implementing, as well as what direction they want to push the overall game. After a short presentation — and a few hours of hands-on, in-game time followed by the team answering some of my questions directly — I’m beyond excited for the TFT’s Mid-Set 6.5 Neon Nights launch.
For Set 6.5, the devs are doubling down on the Augment system once again: cutting uneventful ones to make room for 80+ bizarre alterations. Some highlights include “Jeweled Lotus,” which gives all your units a built-in Jeweled Gauntlet; “Future Sight,” which tells you who you’re fighting next; and “The Golden Egg,” which gives you a mysterious egg that hatches after five turns. When I asked TFT Lead Designer Stephen ‘Mortdog’ Mortimer about these additions, he said “We want to give players more options and make it easy to commit to them early. We want to make it so players don’t think ‘It’s doomed, it’s an eighth’ ever again.”
In addition to their design philosophy, the developers discussed a lot about Set 6.5’s previous iterations, and what the future holds for TFT. Two of the major pulls for this set are Silco (whom you might know from Arcane, the League of Legends animated series on Netflix) joining the mix as the first non-League of Legends unit, and the simultaneous launch of Renata Glasc, a shimmer-based new unit and upcoming League champion.
“Silco represents a bridge into other possibilities and collaborations,” says Mortimer. “A lot of people ask me if a Valorant agent will be next, and I’m open to that. We’ll see.”
Technical Designer Lynda Tang added that the team introduced League of Legends champions Zeri and Renata Glasc to TFT because they want to work closer with the League developers and have newer character launches roll out in TFT instantly. That, or just shortly after launch to make the two games feel more cohesive.
When I asked the developers if they were making TFT Mid-Set 6.5 more accessible to new players, I was hit with a pointed “no.”
“We’re focusing on returning, consistent players with this new set,” says Mortimer. “Mid-Set doesn’t usually bring in new players, so we want to make sure the people who are playing are having fun. Our push for new players will be at the start of Set 7”
Mortimer really wanted Rammus as a unit in this set, but Technical Designer Lynda Tang explained that they couldn’t add him because he’s currently too similar to the taunting Innovator minion.
“We always knew we wanted to continue Vi and Jinx’s Arcane storyline within TFT’s mechanics,” says Tang. “The timeskip breaks them up and now that’s reflected in the game.”
Tang is referring to the removal of Vi and Jinx’s shared Sister trait, which is now the Rival trait. You were previously encouraged to play both units on the same board to get bonus effects, empowering the two. Now, with Rival’s individual bonuses, you can only realistically play either Jinx or Vi on an optimal board.
The devs also removed Guardian Angel because of interactions with units like Yone and Urgot. They explained that they floated around 30 different options before settling on Edge of Night as a stealth-focused substitute.
There are a lot of new, shiny cosmetics coming to TFT in 6.5, but it feels a bit odd due to unaddressed concerns. Many folks online have commented negatively on TFT’s pricing, specifically having arenas locked in high-priced bundles, and the predatory gacha elements for certain Little Legends. When asked about this, Producer Christine Lai said that TFT is their first time attempting digital monetization in this space, and that they are “listening and learning” to player’s criticism about pricing.
TFT Mid-Set 6.5 is launching soon, so continue on for a guide on everything else you need to know about this new era of Teamfight Tactics.
When does TFT Set 6.5 release?
TFT Gizmos and Gadgets Mid-Set update “Neon Nights” will arrive on the Public Beta Environment (PBE) on Feb. 1, 2022. The development team says that changes on the test server will be constant, so don’t get too comfortable with any busted compositions. After a couple weeks of balancing, Neon Nights will hit the live servers on Feb. 16, 2022 with patch 12.4.
Who are Set 6.5’s New Little Legends?
Producer Christine Lai revealed the overgrown Battlepass River Sprite, Hextech Lightcharger, Hextech Qiqi, Socialite Nixie, Pulsefire Fenroar T-2, and PROJECT Abyssia T-2. PROJECT Abyssia T-2 is a new mythic Little Legend that reps the edgy tech right out of League of Legends’ PROJECT skin line. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any fresh Dango representation.
What are Set 6.5’s New Arenas?
They showed off two new arenas: a lush, oozing jungle called the “Toxitorium Arena” and a high production, esports-style stage called the “Hextech Battle Arena.” Hextech Battle Arena looks notably cleaner than previous arenas, and also features a sci-fi sportscaster with 97+ unique lines that activate depending on what choices you make.
What Traits are in TFT Set 6.5?
The current traits in Neon Nights are Hextech, Chemtech, Clockwork, Enforcer, Mutant, Striker, Mercenary, Debonair, Socialite, Syndicate, Scrap, Yordle, Rival, Glutton, Arcanist, Assassin, Bruiser, Bodyguard, Colossus, Challenger, Enchanter, Innovator, Scholar, Sniper, Twinshot, Transformer, and Mastermind.
The development team removed the Imperial and Academy traits, although some of their units are still out there with different traits (E.g., Leona is now Debonair and Bodyguard). Also the Sister trait has turned into Rival.
What new Champions are in TFT Set 6.5?
Arcane’s Silco has joined the party, and he’s brought some evil drugs with him. This five-cost unit is a Scholar and Mastermind. The new Mastermind trait grants two allies in front of him 40 percent of their maximum Mana at the start of each round. He works deviously well through buffing his teammates with unstable potions that give bonus health, attack speed, and immunity to crowd control before sending them to their graves.
I was cautiously curious when Silco was announced to be in TFT, but I’m all for it after seeing how his incredibly twisted ability dances with risk and reward.
We also got a sneak peek at Renata Glasc — the new champion who uses chemtech perfumes to intoxicate her enemies. This four-cost character is Chemtech and Scholar, and poisons foes with a damaging scent that stacks toxic damage and stunts attack speed.
The other new champions in set 6.5 are Ahri, Alistair, Ashe, Brand, Corki, Gnar, Irelia, Jarvan IV, Lucian, Morgana, Nocturne, Sejuani, Senna, Sivir, Syndra, Tryndamere, and Zeri.