League of Legends developer Riot Games has shared its progress with the Client Cleanup Campaign, and the team is already facing setbacks.
Back in March, Riot launched the Client Cleanup Campaign, a six-month plan to fix the notoriously problematic League of Legends client. The plan is divided into two steps. The first step involves reducing the bootstrap time, or time that it takes for the client to launch. Step two is to reduce the reaction time in the champion selection screen.
To achieve these two goals, Riot must reduce the number of plugins and ember apps in the code. Plugins are used to break down the client’s functionality into useful pieces. Ember apps drive the user interface.
Riot tackled step one and found some unexpected challenges in doing so.
Affinity is a tool integrated into the client that picks the plugins that must load before the client’s launch process is complete. Affinity broke down at some point in 2018, so the client is now using every plugin available, which is negatively affecting the bootstrap time. The solution is to replace Affinity in its entirety, and according to developers at Riot, this might take some time.
Despite the Affinity issue, Riot is on the right path and has already made significant improvements to the client’s code. So far, Riot has successfully reduced the number of plugins and ember apps in the code. In the process, Riot discovered several new bugs that affect the client.
Another challenge that Riot is facing right now has to do with the sudden influx of new players. More players are showing up in the game every day. Riot is considering changing the server’s infrastructure to improve the overall experience given this significant influx of players.
Once Riot gets good enough results from its process, the developer will start working on step two while also fixing any bug it might find along the way.
Two months into the Client Cleanup Campaign, the results are promising even as progress has been slow. Still, it’s far too soon to consider the campaign as a success. Right now, the game’s servers are at a very volatile point, especially European servers which players complain are consistently shutting down for no good reason.