As recently outlined, we’re going to be taking the opportunity to roll out some gameplay changes during the Preseason that we think will make League of Legends even better. Overall, we’re really satisfied with the diversity of champions that are viable at all levels of competition, and the variety of winning strategies that are out there. But we think there are ways we can still improve game pacing, champion diversity within roles, and customization options. The Preseason gives us an opportunity to look at some of the underlying systems that define the game, and make improvements there.
Items: One of the biggest places we feel we can add some interesting strategic decisions to is the item system. Many of you have told us that you’d like to see more build variety, and more interesting gameplay on items. We couldn’t agree more!
You’ll see some rebalancing of the existing items, but there’s also a slew of brand new items to spark your imagination and reward your ingenuity.
Xypherous will be giving some juicy, juicy details on this, but here are a few things to expect:
- Underserved classes (AD Casters, for example) will get more items targeted specifically at their role
- Most of your old favorites will be sticking around – we want more options, but we don’t want the item shop to be totally alien
- A few items that have been challenging to elegantly balance are being removed in favor of the new options
- We’re taking a look at overall gold and stat balancing
- Many old items have received new upgrade paths or additional upgrade paths
- Supports are getting some items to help ease the ward burden in longer games
This is the biggest change and, frankly, it’s pretty damn exciting. We’re really interested to see what people discover, and we’re confident this will help add some diversity and interesting choice to how you’ll be building your champions in the future.
Much like we did at the start of Season 2, we’ll be featuring jungle mechanics changes for this preseason as well.
We liked a lot of the flow and feel improvements to the jungle (opened up non-safe junglers, more ganks, etc.), but there’re some things we can still improve. We had two major goals here: to add to the number of viable junglers, and to change the gank flow to ensure that the jungler isn’t the only role that defines the flow of the game during the laning phase.
Statikk will be revealing more complete details on the changes, but we believe this will have some positive effects on the metagame and improve champion viability, even in lane. We’ve even included new jungle-specific items (now there’s more than just Madred’s!)
Another big opportunity is masteries. While we want to add variety to your mastery choices, there are also few specific areas we want to improve:
- Going deep in the Utility Tree is currently underwhelming
- Early flat Magic Resistance and Armor prevent people from being killed even if they get really outplayed in lane
- There aren’t enough “cool” masteries
To this effect, FeralPony’s been busy taking a jackhammer to our masteries to fix these problems – all the while looking for opportunities to add more interesting things to mastery builds. He’ll be on hand later in the week to talk about the changes in-depth, and to dig into a few specific examples.
Last, and definitely not least, we’re taking a look at our summoner spells. A couple sneak peeks:
- We’ve raised the cooldowns of popular summoner spells (Flash, Ignite, etc.) in lieu of nerfing their power
- We’ve added a certain shielding spell from Proving Grounds, and made it so Heal is actually a support skill
- We’re generally buffing some of the weaker skills up!
It’s our hope that these changes will give you more options for customizing your spells to suit your own playstyle or the needs in a given matchup while keeping the cool gameplay of the existing favorites. While I’d love to take credit for actually buffing stuff, good guy Roku is heading this up, so I’ll save the grand reveal for him.
This is an initiative we believe will add even more strategic diversity to League of Legends, and introduce new gameplay to master.
Let’s be clear: this will be an iterative process. We know that your games are going to play out differently than you’re used to and we’ll be watching like a hawk for any issues that we need to patch. If there’s something that’s really breaking your game experience, we won’t be afraid to hotfix things under extreme circumstances. Be sure to keep your feedback coming throughout the preseason, and look for more specifics on upcoming changes from Xypherous, Statikk, FeralPony, and Roku in the next few days!
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