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The cost to purchase ranges from 450 IP for 'Heroic' champions to 6300 IP. It doesn't seem to be related to their power as many of the cheaper ones are also considered strong contenders, e.g. Ashe and Annie are 450 IP.

Is there a particular pattern to how much each champion costs (year of introduction, importance to main storyline, rarity ...)?

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What storyline? –  Sadly Not Jul 25 '12 at 0:37
    
@SadlyNot: The Demacia-Noxus conflict followed by Ionia invasion, with skirmishes vs Freyjard and occasional random meddling with the Void - well, that's what I understood to be most of the heroes' origin stories >_> –  Alok Jul 25 '12 at 1:01

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

When League of Legends was released the champions who were considered to be the easiest to play had also the lowest IP price tag.

The reason behind this was/is to gradually get newer players to get more comfortable playing the game. For example, Ashe (450 IP) being quite easy to get the grasp on and Anivia (6300 IP) where more significant experience on the game is "required".

However as Riot progressed to release new heroes, they tend to be more expensive.

As of now, every new hero is priced at 6300 IP

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So is it always based on how long ago they were introduced, or is that just a general guideline with lots of caveats? –  Alok Jul 23 '12 at 6:56
    
First 40-60 champs = The "easier" they are the less they are priced. Last 40 champs = Usually 6300 IP (With rare exception of few 3150 IP) –  Accuface Jul 23 '12 at 7:09
    
@Accuface If I remember correctly there also were some 4800 IP champions. –  Lerkes Jul 23 '12 at 7:38
    
Yes, you are correct. –  Accuface Jul 23 '12 at 13:23

The cost is just a definition of Riot. But generally older champs are/get cheaper than newer ones. New champions are 6300 IP as far as I seen.

My interpretation is that there are some cheap(er) champions so that newer players can quickly buy a new champion so they get something new to play with. And the more expensive champions are somewhat a "longtime goal". So the pricing is as is so players stay interested in the game.

The cost has 0 relation to the strength of a hero. Nearly every champion is on the same level, balance wise. Its just the skill-set/usability of a champion that get somewhat defined in strength; this can be seen in tier lists for competitive play. (But generally every champion is viable, period)

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Yes, I didn't think it was related to their strength but thanks for confirming it. –  Alok Jul 23 '12 at 6:56
    
@alok no problem. It could have something to do with the "quality" of the champion though. The devs of Riot get more experience on what they are doing, so the champions get better (more fun?). –  Lerkes Jul 23 '12 at 7:04

Although it's mostly true that newer champions are a lot more expensive, and many easy champions are cheap, there are exceptions.

Take Twisted Fate for your consideration. According to the game, he's one of the most difficult champions to play but goes for 1350 IP.

Even though there are some guidelines to what the price goes for, it's still like any store out there. They set the prices to what them seems fit:

  • People want to try new heroes, therefore they go for 6300 IP
  • Some champions might not sell much at all, therefore they might get reduced in price
  • Some champions need to be cheap for players to start owning and mastering champions
  • Lot of other aspects goes in as well. They don't sell new heroes for 100 000 IP for the same reason a grocery doesn't sell milk for 1 000 $

Basicly it's a bit like asking "Why is that product cheaper than that product?"

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+1 for pointing out that not all the 'cheaper' ones are low difficulty. Also - products can differ in price due to features, brand image etc.; sometimes it helps to know the reason why. –  Alok Jul 24 '12 at 17:08
    
lol @ taking the champ difficulty slider seriously –  Christopher Berman Jul 24 '12 at 21:37
    
@ChristopherBerman To be fair, Twisted Fate was one of the harder ones to play until they recently bug-fixed him. His Pick A Card was extremely tough to land against the right target without a lot of mouse and keyboard work, and using his ult well requires a fair bit of game knowledge. The sliders aren't total garbo. –  Sadly Not Jul 25 '12 at 0:36
    
The difficulty sliders have long been a source of humor. –  Christopher Berman Jul 25 '12 at 5:23
    
Regardless of the difficulty sliders being correct or not, it's rather safe to asume that Riot themselves base their decision on these. High difficulty or not, Riot themselves sell a champion they find hard to play for a cheap price. –  Robin Castlin Jul 25 '12 at 6:48

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