It’s difficult to get a handle on all the changes Riot are making to League of Legends ahead of the new season. We know they’re focussing on the support role, jungling, and refining the flow of Summoner’s Rift but frankly we need a little help understanding the full effects of those tweaks and balances.
Luckily Riot’s on the case, they’ve released a preseason rundown video to explain the broad strokes of what they’re doing.
Riot are wanting to spread the responsibility for warding away from supports. they’re letting all players use free to pickup items called trinkets that provide vision but also have special abilities. It should encourage all players to jump into the vision game and work as a team to reveal the map.
Currently, supports tend to forego buying late game items because they aren’t really in the business of racking up kills. Instead they buy a load of wards and drop them all over the map to give their allies a good overview of the land. Putting limits on the number of wards a player can have placed at one time limits that strategy and forces supports to be more picky about where they place their items.
A change that will make supports particularly desirable are items which provide a gold buff. It means they can keep pace with the rest of their team and remain useful in the team kills in the late game.
Riot’s changes for junglers include adding a new camp to be farmed on each side of the map and new items that are particularly useful for both farmers and gankers. Camps will now also scale with the average level of champions in the game, increasing gold and XP drop for junglers.
Changes to game flow include reducing visual clutter on the map and adjusting the reward for destroying towers.
The biggest change, perhaps, is that the dragons will now scale with the match’s progress, increasing their reward and keeping them a relevant target long into the late game.
This is only an overview of the changes. When Riot publish a changelog for the new season we’ll be sure to let you know.