Hi everyone. With the servers going down tonight to officially bring in the League of Legends Season 4 preseason, I wanted to post this amazing summary of all the big preseason changes that my good friend Shierra and I put together.
Make sure you give Shierra at least 80% of the credit, he did the heavy writing, but I did supply some brain power. Hope this helps everyone get started come tomorrow. You will also be able to find this article and other amazing articles Shierra and I have done at eSports Nation. Enjoy!
With Season 3 officially closed and the rewards handed out, Riot is gearing up for a new preseason. Just like last year, they are introducing a huge number of changes to the game. Everything from new jungle camps and dragon experience changes to new items for junglers and supports.
First off, Riot has gone out and completely changed the way summoners will have vision on the map. There are three major changes coming that affect the vision system. Vision wards (pinks) are now no longer invisible. This is to promote protection of these wards and to make using them more strategic. Vision wards are now permanent until destroyed by the opposing team and have five hit-points each. The cost of pinks is also going to go down, and champions are only allowed to place one vision ward on the map at any given time.
Sight wards are also getting a change. Now tentatively being known as “stealth wards”, players will also have a limit on how many they can place on the map at a time. Like with the old Sight Stone, summoners will only be allowed to place three sight wards on the map at a time. If you place a fourth sight ward the earliest ward you placed will disappear. Items that give a built in ward. such as Wriggles Lantern and Sight Stones, also count towards your limit of three sight wards at a time.
Riot has also added completely new items called Trinkets. Trinkets are vision oriented items, and Riot has added an inventory slot that can only be taken up by Trinkets. They are also free and can be swapped out at the shop at any time. They can also be upgraded at level nine to either gain more power or lower a cooldown of a Trinket ability.
There are three Trinkets currently being implemented. The Sweeper, the Totem and the Lens Trinkets. Sweeper Trinkets reveal and disable certain nearby invisible objects such as wards and invisible traps, but not invisible champions, for a short time. The Totem Trinket places a free stealth ward that lasts 1 or 2 minutes depending on the level of the Trinket, acting much like a Wriggles Lantern. The Lens Trinket reveals a nearby area of the map for a brief time, acting like the clairvoyance summoner spell. Trinkets are cool down controlled and do not count against your ward count.
Riot is doing a huge overhaul of the Jungle. Season 3 primarily consisted of junglers starting off strong but having to fall to more of a support role as games progressed to the late game. Riot wants to change this so that junglers aren’t completely reliant on a number of successful ganks and having to leech experience from lanes to carry games.
Some of the changes that they have in store start with a new jungle camp. The new camp will be placed near blue buff and the wolf camp. This is to add balance to each side of the jungle to give more experience and flow to jungle paths.
Jungle monsters are now also going to scale with champion levels. Each time a camp spawns, the level of the camp will be adjusted to the average level of champions in the game. Bonus experience will also be given to champions who are a lower level than the camp. The idea of this is to make farming a jungle more of a viable playstyle and to give players who might be a little behind a chance to equalize levels and get back into the game.
There are also going to be more gold flow options for junglers. Now there isnt a lot of information about this, but Riot has stated that they are toying with some ideas of adding extra gold rewards to specific jungler items and to have the gold reward increase as the level of the jungle camps increase as well.
Riot is planning on making some big changes to supports and are planning on giving them much more versatility in game. Instead of having the AD carry obtain most of the gold income and rewards, Riot is planning on changing this to give the supports more of a chance to grow, have item flexibility and an opportunity to have a full build by end game.
To achieve this, Riot is going to increase the amount of gold income for non last hitting summoners, introduce bonus experience in the lane for players who fall significantly behind their teammates and have the ward caps and vision changes so that less gold is required as an investment for vision. There will also be new income opportunities in the form of new masteries that grant bonus gold to shared lane players, improvements to gold generating items that reward effective support play and an increase in assist rewards for summoners who get significantly more assists than kills.
Some of the new items that are being experimented with to add more gold to a player’s pocket are the Ancient Coin, which grants gold every 10 seconds and when a nearby ally kills a minion. The Relic Shield executes minions below 200 HP and grants gold to both the item owner and the nearest ally when the item holder executes a minion. The ally will also be granted a small gold bonus on top of this and can make it happen twice every minute. Finally, there is the Spellthief’s Edge, making it so that your spells and basic attacks against enemy champions grant you gold. It will not affect the same target more than once every 10 seconds and last hitting an enemy minion disables this effect for 10 seconds.
The “game flow” refers to how the core game functions and plays independently of specific roles, champions, items, etc. Basically, it’s everything that happens that is not directly controlled or changed by players in game.
To start, dragon will become an increasingly growing factor. What this means is that the experience and gold reward from slaying Dragon will grow as the game progresses and it will no longer have a fixed number all game. This changes the dynamic of the mid to late game, as dragon will become more valuable as the game goes on.
Riot has also added an increase in experience given when teams that are behind in the game kill the dragon. This makes it more valuable for teams to slay the dragon if they are struggling to get back in the game. It also gives the team that is ahead more incentive to secure dragon and protect it to help keep their lead.
The rewards for destroying a turret are changing as well. Instead of a fixed global gold reward for all champions, the gold amounts will be changing depending on who helped in the destruction of the turret. The gold amount rewarded for champions not near the turret when it was taken down will also go down, but if you’re directly responsible for the turret being destroyed your champion will receive more gold than before.
The way destroying inhibitors affects the course of the game will also be changing. Instead of having all lanes strengthened from a single downed inhibitor, only the lane of the destroyed inhibitor will be strengthened. The way game currently works is if an inhibitor goes down, that lane will spawn super minions, but the other lanes with have the base minions become stronger as well. With this change, the lane with the inhibitor destroyed will push harder than before, but the other lanes will remain unchanged.
The bounty system will be getting a change in the way it is set up. Riot will be adding “assist streaks”, where champions that have far more assists than kills will receive additional gold for additional assists. There is also talk about changing how death streaks will be reset, and how the bounty rewards work differing from the early to mid/late game.
Lastly, there are going to be changes to the brush on the map. The C and L shaped brushes will be getting trimmed up so that players can have visuals of the whole brush with just one ward. In the jungle this means that sight lines will be more accessible for ward vision and anyone wanting to travel through the jungle.
There will be a dial back on some brush Riot feels creates odd fighting situations. Some team fights were made completely one sided by a single ward being placed in a brush by a team, and that one ward turns out to be completely devastating for the opposite team. In these specific areas, the brush will be trimmed back to still allow for sight lines to be blocked and to be tactical for melee champions, but will no longer deny vision to entire areas when unwarded.
It looks like Riot has definitely made some major changes to the game, which guarantees the way that the game plays will change significantly. With all the changes coming this preseason, one thing is certain. The gameplay will definitely be more exciting and it will be interesting to see how many of these changes will make it to the regular season. Only time will tell.