[ Updated ] An Introduction to our vision changes in preseason

Posted on at 10:28 AM by Moobeat
Update 2: Added several more posts to the bottom of this post!

Xypherous has posted up an overview of the upcoming preseason changes to the vision system! These changes include changes to ward functionality, each player having their own personal ward limit, and a new trinket system which are new items that allow players to either place a ward for free, detect existing wards, or scan a distant point.
Continue reading to see exactly what's up with the upcoming changes!

Here's Xypherous's intial overview of the upcoming vision changes:

"Hey all,

Xypherous here with a rundown on our approach to vision in preseason. I've got a lot to cover, so I'm going to get right into it!

In terms of our overarching goal: we want to add more gameplay with vision and how vision control works for everyone in this new season. We think the best way to do that is by diversifying responsibility. Looking at Season 3, standard competitive support play involved buying minimal items in order to spend the majority of a player's income on wards and vision control. More gold = more wards. If a team's support was unable to fulfill that role, or fell behind their opponent, the entire team suffered.

With a new season comes a new approach to vision: vision will be a team focus rather than an individual one. Here we're introducing a number of changes to wards and the vision system that give all members of a team the responsibility and opportunity to participate:
  • Ward functionality has been changed. Vision wards (pink wards) are no longer invisible. This makes their placement and protection more strategic in game
  • Each player has a personal ward limit. If you place more wards on the map than allowed by this limit, your older wards will be removed (like the current Sightstone mechanics)
  • All players gain trinkets. These are new items that do one of three things on an appropriate cooldown: place a ward for free, detect existing wards, or scan a distant point
Let's get down to some specifics:

Ward Functionality Changes

  • Sight Wards (green wards) have been tentatively renamed to 'Stealth Wards'
  • Vision Wards (pink wards) are now permanent unless destroyed, visible to the enemy team and have 5 hit points
  • Vision Wards now cost less gold
In the current live environment, pink wards are clearly better than green wards in every respect other than cost. This frequently leads to games in which the only end-game approach to warding was spamming as many Vision Wards as a player could afford - in turn forcing opponents to pick up pink wards to counter enemy pinks. What should be an interesting strategic decision became a flat arms race.

With the new setup, the choices become more nuanced: Vision Wards still detect and reveal enemy wards, but, because they're always visible, must now be actively defended. Vision Wards will no longer both deny and grant vision unless your team has control of that area.

Player Ward Limits

  • Each player can now only place up to three Stealth Wards on the map. Placing extra Stealth Wards removes the oldest Stealth Ward. This includes wards from sources such as Sightstone, Wriggle's Lantern and trinkets
  • Each players can now only place one Vision Ward on the map at a time

We've decided to introduce ward limits as a way to cap the maximum amount of individual team member can contribute to the overall vision game. We're going to watch this one closely as limiting the number of wards per player can have dramatic consequences on overall map vision, especially during the end-game. Three and one felt like the right numbers, but we're open to feedback.


Trinkets are a completely new item type coming for Season 4. Here's how they work:
  • A new Trinket Slot has been added to your inventory
  • The Trinket Slot can only hold trinkets
  • Trinkets are free and can be swapped out at the shop at any time
  • Trinkets upgrade at Level 9, gaining either increased power or a lower cooldown

Trinkets are free and have their own dedicated slot, so all team members can contribute to vision control without sacrificing other areas of development.

The Three Trinkets
Sweeper: Reveals and disables nearby invisible units (including Wards) for a short time
  • The Sweeper Trinket is useful for denying enemy vision by revealing their nearby wards
Totem: Places a Stealth Ward that lasts for 1 or 2 minutes depending on level
  • The Totem Trinket acts like the current Wriggle's Lantern active. Stealth Wards grant full vision of a location for a brief time
Lens: Reveals a nearby area of the map for a brief time
  • The Lens Trinket operates like a mini Clairvoyance, revealing areas in the fog of war so teams can scout brush and other areas of the map from a position of relative safety

We'd like to give players more unique options for interacting with vision. Each trinket replicates one of the essential basic vision mechanics and has an appropriate cooldown. We expect that teams will want a mix of vision options available to them in order to counter their opponents' potential vision choices.

We're excited about the trinket system because it allows us to introduce a new way for everyone to participate in the vision game in ways that still offer specialization and customization. We're launching with a set of three trinkets because we wanted the simplest and clearest system possible, but we're open to expanding the system beyond the original three if it seems worthwhile.


The short rundown is that one of our main goals for this season is to make vision both more dynamic and less taxing on single players. Our hope is that these options make participating in the vision system more strategically varied for entire teams.

We'll also be posting this on reddit where we may pass through to clarify some questions. At the start of next week we'll be doing a global recap to follow up with the most up-to-date information from questions around the world!


Note: I'll be adding additional discussion and red posts on these to THIS post. Keep an eye out!

Update: Here's a fresh batch of red posts and answers from the reddit thread!


When asked what exactly the Sweeper trinket will reveal, Socratocracy replied:
"The Sweeper trinket will only detect/disable invisible traps and wards, not champions.

We wouldn't inflict that kind of punishment onto our Akali and Shaco players "
Xelnath also noted:
"Sweeper doesn't reveal stealthed champions - only objects. We may allow for a cash upgrade to gain that ability, but it would be on a longish cooldown."

As for which roles will take which trinkets, Xelnath commented:
"We've actually found picking the lense or scanner is the most powerful thing a support can do early game - grants a ton of bush control and face-check safety. Since warding is the default behaviour tho - this is probably a good thing."

When asked how the three trinkets create counter play between themselves, Xelnath noted:
"Totem places a ward that is revealed and disabled by Sweeper. Sweeper's effect cannot prevent a Lens reveal. Totems are better for persistent and combat vision than Lens."

When asked how we'll be able to use the trinkets in game, Xelnath replied:
"It is currently bound to "T" and "~", not sure which is best."

When asked if Trinkets are permanent, he replied:
"Yes, permanent, cooldown limited items. "


When asked how many wards can be purchased total ( not placed ), Xelnath replied:
"We're working on this. Right now you can have 5 wards or a sightstone.

If a ward gets killed, you can place a new one. Trinket wards are cooldown controlled."

When asked what will be done about people who simply " do not ward", he replied:
"Giving people the option, then educating them in how to use it are separate problems - but I've found people *will* use things once they consistently have them. 
Will keep an eye on this. "

As for access to early wards for everyone and how that might limit jungler effectiveness, Xelnath commented:
"We were concerned about this too - then in testing found it was a actually a cool team-coordination to figure out who was warding where to block or reduce the impact of the invade. 
However, in testing it reduced the surprise, but not the power of invading. E.g. Blitzcrank + steal blue is still super strong. "


When asked if Oracle's Elixir will remain in the game, Xelnath replied:
"We are still considering what we will do with oracles. It might be too strong in the new iteration. "

As for the summoner spell CV, Xelnath noted that it's not yet going away even though one of the new trinkets is very similar.
"Yes, it operates like CV. No, CV is not gone. It's much shorter duration and range than CV though, so we're letting CV hang around a bit longer."

When asked how these new vision changes improves supports current early game builds, he noted:
"This is a great topic that I happen to be working on, but not ready to talk about yet."

As for how all these changes will effect Evelynn, Xelnath commented:
"We are worried about Evelynn's power skyrocketting too and we're investigating some ways of handling it."

As for how the Sweeper trinket could potentially "bone" Shaco, Meddler commented:
"The Sweeper Trinket reveal is centered on the user, with a small radius at level one. If you know where the Jack in the Boxes are placed you might be able to reveal and kill them before the trigger, would be easy to get too close and trigger the boxes though. On top of that you're also giving up your Trinket cooldown for a while, so it's not a play without any cost even if you're successful."

Update 2: They have updated one of the original posts with a small FAQ! Some of the information above is repeated.
"(EDIT) Answers to Frequently Asked Questions 
1. I am concerned with Sweeping Lens revealing stealthed champions like Akali, what will you do about this? 
The lens trinket does not currently detect invisible champions, only invisible wards and devices. 
What it will reveal: Teemo mushshrooms, Jack in the Boxes
What it will not reveal / disable: Akali, Visible traps like Caitlyn Traps 

2. Will you be able to swap trinkets? 
Currently, the plan is to allow you to swap trinkets but swapping or selling a trinket will place your trinket slot on a significant cooldown like two or three minutes. 
This is a correction from the earlier statement that you will not be able to swap trinkets 

3. What is the purpose of Oracle's in this new system? 
Tentatively, we are testing an iteration of the game where Oracle Elixir does not exist - but there will be an upgrade to the lens relic that grants you true sight for a short duration. 
This is tentative and still in testing so we'll be polishing this detail as we go. 

4. If you give people a free ward, they still won't ward - What will we do about this? 
This is more of a new player experience / explaining mechanics concern. I agree that we'll probably have to rethink about our game introduction plans. 

5. What will this do about early invasion plans? 
Based on pro player feedback, we think that an initial cooldown on trinkets would probably be required if we want to preserve the level 1 fights in their entirety. 

6. Ward Limits - Why are supports being punished for being proficient at warding? 
We've deemed that the meta strategy of forcing a single player to take full responsibility for vision is not worth the cost to the game anymore. 
We understand that this has deleterious effects on the full lights vision play - but the cost to the game of further supporting this style is harmful to the power level and design of support players and team coordination overall - thus we've decided to bite the bullet on this one. 
6a. How does Sightstone operate in conjunction with ward limits? 
Wards placed by Sightstone currently counts toward your ward cap. 
There's some scattered player / professional feedback in interest in being able to expand or extend your ward limit but for the clarity of the initial system - it'll probably be something we examine if it's a possibility in the future rather than looking at it currently. 
7. Clairvoyance on an item seems incredibly overpowered - what is to prevent people from continuously scrying from base? 

A clarification to the post - the Scrying Orb does not have global range and is somewhat range limited until late game."

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