A recent post on the NA forums by Lead Designer for League of Legends Mark “RiotScruffy” Yetter gives an insight in Riot Games’ plans for the remainder of the season and the following pre-season, and to the lessons the developer has learned from what has transpired so far this year.
The immediate focus would be on issues Riot wants to address in the following patches. The first issue that RiotScruffy addressed was that the developers see the damage and burst as too high relative to the defense, especially in the early game. Interaction between different systemic sources, like the stacking of rune and item bursts, was specifically called out as something that can be overwhelming and leave too little chance for the defender to respond. In addition, Riot intends to address what he saw as “Marksmen feel-bad” moments, especially for crit-based marksmen who were hit a bit too hard from the itemization changes. Some of these issues have already been addressed in the 8.15 patch, but the idea is to shift the curve of such champions to make them more relevant early on without completely eclipsing everyone in the late-game.
The developers are eyeing the pre-season for any significant changes, but RiotScruffy warned that they are not changing the jungle and do not want to do a lot of fundamental shifts after the already changes from the last few months which were pretty serious. However, there are several goals that Riot wants to pursue with gameplay and mechanical changes:
- Make comebacks more achievable and still satisfying — snowballing has almost always been a factor in League of Legends, but a situation where a team gets a meaningful lead in the first 10 minutes now leads to a guaranteed win much too often. While early game successes should be rewarding, RiotScruffy explained, the team behind should be able to mount a comeback.
- Decided games should end sooner — on the other hand, a team that has done all it needs to and has no realistic chance of losing, should not have to wait ten minutes to end a game. Once the decisive advantage is there, the team should be able to act quickly and not waste their – and their opponents’ – time.
- Have a longer and more fulfilling laning phase – this is the phase where players go through a 1v1 or a 2v2 and get to show off their skill (or relative lack thereof) against a single opponent, and it’s a core element of the game. The goal is to stabilize it as a standard time period in the way the game plays out and after its completion, players should expect to have one completed item and a definite role and contributions in the mid-game.
- Distance rune paths from stat bonuses — this has been a big part of the rune system due to rune styles now coming with their own stat bonuses, but according to RiotScruffy, this ends up preventing more choices than it enables. Instead, players will receive a direct choice of what stats they want.
Finally, after evaluating the feedback provided in the last few months, Riot acknowledge that there are two facts they need to keep in mind. First, a meta that requires constantly learning and re-learning everything makes the game less fun, and that changes should be properly paced so people can have a “healthy period of a stable meta” in order to learn naturally and enjoy themselves. Second, Riot should not — intentionally or not — invalidate a style of playing many players have come to enjoy and expect. A situation where the traditional AD carries don’t have a guaranteed role and an entire class of champions is left as sub-optimal in its own designated position is best to be avoided.
The short-term changes should roll out in the next few patches and define the Worlds meta, so hopefully it works out as Riot had planned. The pre-season will most likely start in November, shortly after Worlds, so there isn’t that much more time. Good luck and remember – Quinn is win.