Here's Morello with the goods:
Over this week and next week, we'll be kicking off a series of posts that discuss some of our high-level philosophies when it comes to preseason and this upcoming season. You should be able to find our discussions going forward on both the forums and on reddit, but here's a basic overview of some of the changes we'll be making.
With the season coming to an end, we've been hard at work figuring out what's next for League of Legends. With preseason the closest thing to a lull between competitive seasons, it's the perfect time to make big changes to balance and core gameplay mechanics. The Live Design team has been listening closely to player feedback throughout this year as we take a look at some of our underlying game systems. Ultimately for this new season, we're on a quest to refine League of Legends while also creating a deeper, clearer and more satisfying player experience.
So, what's happening?First, let me share this year's preseason goals:
- Introduce more gameplay and strategy when it comes to map vision and wards.
- Ensure all roles and positions can experience power-growth and progression in ways that promote skill
- Improve game pacing and reduce team snowballing
What are you changing?The team will be sharing details on a lot of the specific adjustments to each system, but allow me to give a preview of what to expect:
- Xypherous and Xelnath (Wizardlock, Right Hand of the 7th Order of Obsidian Blackfire Ebonstone Dark Witchlords) will be coming by to talk about wards, vision and the new Trinket system. Fundamentally we want to shift vision from being less of a raw gold race to more of a strategic part of the game with deeper opportunities for gameplay. We're going to be doing a lot of work here, including a new item slot for specialized vision items, per-player ward limits, and more ward options.
- A new jungle is inbound – including new items for carry-style junglers, better rewards/gold flow, and a new fourth monster camp that will provide new clear routes and strategies while opening up the jungle role to more champions. Solcrushed will give you the skinny here.
- Support gold is going to be heavily adjusted to put more money in the pockets of duo-lane supports; we'll also be introducing new items (and refining old ones) to put that gold to good use. Along with this, we're making changes to help core support champions scale their utility instead of their damage to reinforce their unique identity. To discuss this change we've collected all 13 demonstones to summon Xelnath, who will likely destroy us all.
- Game flow and mathematical system changes will reduce team snowballing. Changes to tower and first blood rewards, assist streaks, dragon rewards, a revised brush layout and experience changes will all create an experience that constantly rewards good play. Our rabid equine FeralPony will be around to discuss these changes.
- Finally, ricklessabandon and FeralPony will be joining forces to talk about out-of-game strategy, with a specific focus on Runes and Masteries. Masteries will be revamped along with our seasonal update and, while we won't be doing a significant Mastery rebalance (except when targeting specific roles), we'll be aiming to offer more opportunities for diversity. For Runes, our core focus will be on creating more dynamic and balanced Rune options while smoothing out the overall experience of customizing your strategies outside of the game.
More strategic options!
Anyway, we'll be taking a couple months here to make rapid iterations to our new systems while fine-tuning these updates, so expect this to be a test of your evolutionary league skills. Balance will typically be a bit chaotic in the short-term but, with extensive changes like these, it's important that we get the right levers in place to get to a balanced state in the mid-to-long term.
In the coming days, we'll be following up with a series of posts on our upcoming system changes, so you can expect Xypherous and Xelnath to kick things off with vision changes. You'll also be able to join us on reddit for deeper discussions (no hard specifics!) as we reveal each feature. See you then!"