Your Daily McMaster: league of changes

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If you’re like me then you spend a large portion of your day reading articles, watching replays and keeping up with all the minutia surrounding League of Legends. Odds are, however, that you are not like me at all and don’t read and re-read the latest posts on Surrender at 20 or frantically refresh the League of Legends Reddit for any new activity or Riot developer posts. No, you probably have a life. I don’t, so here’s a recap of what you missed while you were out living and stuff.

After the jump, welcome to the jungle

Riot divides the game year up into seasons with pre-seasons marking a time for change and adjustment to the overall game. We’ve just finished Season 3 and the preseason is hitting this week. With that, Riot has made the most significant changes to the game so far. Because I love, I want to share these changes with you.

The Jungle

One of the biggest changes we’ll be seeing in the upcoming season and preseason are meant to address the power level of the jungler. It’s much easier for a jungle character to fall behind after a few wonky ganks or if their team has been hitting the jungle hard for extra farm. The new approach will make multiple changes to the system in order to make more classes viable in the jungle. The jungle monsters will scale with level, giving more gold and experience as the game wears on. There will also be another camp with a large wight added to the west, if you’re on the blue side, of the blue buff. (East for those on the purple side) This new camp is to address a couple of issues, but one of the main reasons being to provide another camp near the top lane to match the bottom lane. Overall gold flow should also change for the jungle player as the system gets tweaked and jungle items get re-designed.

Support

For the most part, the support role in League of Legends is all about building up your carry so that they can, er, carry your team to victory. It can be a very rewarding role but one that lacks a certain amount of excitement. Currently, as a support, your job is to buy and place wards, protect the carry and to funnel as much gold as you can into their pockets. With that said, in the current League, that means the support makes very little gold and is mostly reduced to being a ward bot. Now, several support items are being reworked as well as the overall number of wards you can have up at one time. With the new items, the support player will get extra gold for attacks and kills as well as getting a bit extra from and for the carry. This should allow for support players to get actual items other than just a bunch of wards. With these changes, support could have an individual impact on the late game if played correctly. Also a few of the characters are being updated with much greater scaling for their items and abilities.

Vision

Wards are getting a huge overhaul. Due to the extreme “arms race” nature of warding, the support does little more than wander through the map killing enemy wards and placing friendly wards. Up to this point, warding has been a support game. Sure, sometimes other roles will ward here and there, but for the most part it’s usually the guy playing the bottom lane. So, with the new season, there will be quite a bit of re-design going on with wards. Sight wards, or green wards, will function the same with the exception of each player being limited to three on the field at one time. Any wards placed beyond the third will replace the oldest ward on the map. The vision wards, or pink wards, will no longer be invisible. Once placed, the pink ward is permanent until destroyed and will have five health instead of three. Then there’s the trinkets.

Each character will get an extra inventory slot for the new, free items. The trinket they call Lens acts like the summoner spell Clairvoyance, allowing you to see an area in the distance for a short time. Totem places a ward, much like the current Wriggle’s Lantern item. Finally, Sweeper will allow you to see invisible nearby items for a short time.

Featured Gameplay Modes

Riot recently announced the addition of new game modes. At first glance, the plural may seem strange, but the idea is akin to something Left 4 Dead fans may recognize in what Valve did with mutations. With the new featured modes, the designers will be able to implement different ideas for a limited time based on new gameplay concepts. So, you get to play game mode X for two weeks and then game mode Y comes out, replacing X. The first mode will be called “One For All” and will let each team choose one champion that all five players will play against another team that chose their own champion.

General

And, of course, there’s a ton of little stuff that doesn’t really have a category. Let’s take a quick look at each of these items:

The dragon will now give more gold as the game goes on.

The Baron buff is being changed to give greater base destroying power than team fight power.

Players who get the final hit on a turret get more gold but their team gets less overall.

When one inhibitor is down, only the minions in that lane get stronger. Before, when an inhibitor went down, all creep became stronger.

Assist streaks will award gold for players who might not get the kill but assisted with the fight.

The minions and jungle will spawn a bit quicker, starting at one minute for the creep.

A lot of the brush is being changed to give better vision. The top brush is being separated into three from two different bushes. Several bits of brush in the jungle have been reduced in size for vision.

Well, that’s quite a bit of information! The changes are live on the League of Legends test realm and should be going live on the regular servers this week. For a fancy video of the upcoming changes, check out this page on the League of Legends site. Either way it goes, this should be a pretty interesting season in the League.

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