There are a lot of hidden passives in the Hextech Loot system that haven’t quite been explained by Riot Games. Luckily, Esports Express has compiled most of them into an easy-to-read article.
Chests are bought using RP, or are earned by anyone on a premade team earning a S-, S, or S+ rank. However, chests can only be earned through the latter method four times a month, and each champion can only yield one chest per season. Keys drop from winning any matchmade game, or can be bought using RP. Opening Chests requires Keys. Chests drop Shards, Rare Gems, Summoner Icons, or Essence. Each Rare Gem can be converted into both a Chest and a Key. Essence may also be dropped from Chests on its own, but there will never be ONLY Essence dropped from a Chest.
The majority of Chest drops will be Shards, which, like Essence, fall in one of three categories: champion, cosmetic, or ward. Dropped Shards can be exchanged to rent the content that the Shard represents, or disenchanted for Essence, yielding an amount roughly one-third of the full RP price of the Shard’s represented item. Exchanging or disenchanting Shards destroy it. Essence can be collected and used, like a currency. Chests containing Summoner Icons also provide Cosmetic Essence. Essence can be used to unlock items, and the Essence price for an item is roughly 300 RP less than the full RP price for an item. Shards can be upgraded using Essence, and upgraded Shards can also be permanently exchanged for the loot that the Shard represents. Three unupgraded Shards of the same category can be combined into a random permanent Shard. Permanent Shards can be disenchanted for RP, equivalent to half the full RP price of the represented content. Shards are tradable, through a system of gifting similar to skins and champions.
Shards are split into five levels of rarity: basic, rare, masterpiece, exotic, and ascended. The levels of rarity correspond with the value of the loot received, and when Shards from different levels of loot are combined, the produced Shard has the lowest rarity of the group. Essence, meanwhile, have no such rarity. For 125 RP, you can send your friends any amount of Essences and Shards, and gain bonus Essences for your friends by the volume of the Essences you give them. When the item on a permanent shard is discounted in the Riot Store, an Essence rebate is granted. Unupgraded shards are lost after getting a score of D or worse in a ranked game. However, unupgraded shards can be stored in a “bank” for an Essence fee equal to one-fourth the value of the shard if the shard were to be upgraded. Essences can randomly appear as objectives on-map during certain matchmade games — with good vision and map awareness, you can collect these items when you least expect it!
Attack speed and cooldown reduction above their respective caps will be converted into Essence points. Additionally, every third shard collected gives a flat percent increase of 10% stored Essence. Players can also use their Honor to come up with “Buddy Systems”, a program that finds lonely league friends who need a “helping hand”, and matches them with high-honor players to increase the amount of duo queues in the system. If this system is successful, Riot plans to implement a system to help under-passived champions, continuing the spirit of charity by having a “Passive Break” when you gain an A+ or S rank on champions such as Gnar, Illaoi, or Jhin. Ranking up “Passive Breaks” gives you “Mechanic Shards,”which can be put into a Passive Combiner to “spice up” boring gameplay patterns on champions like Morgana or Annie. One new system is the “Season Snapshot”, which creates “Memories” in the player’s brain, allowing them to recall at will the good times they had playing with friends!
ARTICLE IV: Each Essence recognizes that an armed attack in the Summoner’s Rift on either of the Red or Blue teams would be dangerous to its own Shards and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common dangers in accordance with its constitutional processes. Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall be immediately reported to Riot Lyte. Such measures shall be terminated when Lyte has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.
ARTICLE V: for the purpose of ARTICLE IV: an armed attack on either of the Essences is deemed to include an armed attack on the metropolitan territory of either of the Shards, or on the island territories under its jurisdiction in the Howling Abyss or on its armed champions, public vessels or aircraft in the Twisted Treeline.