Hey everyone, it’s been a few weeks since I gave a rundown on our plans for the rest of this year and preseason. I wanted to come back with an update and sneak peek a bunch of the ideas we’re testing right now. We’re aiming this preseason to improve the quality of time spent of LoL games and keep you fighting for a win instead of stuck in a lost game. Our four main goals are listed below with their corresponding changes.
#Laning Phase is improved and slightly longer
Some early concepts (above) Sion bashing an outer turret prototype (below)
* Outer turrets now start the game with a barricade that adds 5 small health bars on top of the turret’s main health. Each piece of the barricade can be destroyed and rewards the local players some gold. Roughly around the 10 minute mark, these barricades go away, removing both the extra defense and the opportunity for the gold rewards.
* This is giving us a more protected and slightly longer laning phase, but still rewards those early push or strong lanes types with the opportunity to destroy a lot of barricade segments and reap the gold rewards. On top of that, we’re finding that there are a lot of interesting new small moments of back and forth under the tower trying to destroy as many barricade pieces as you can.
* Additionally we’re exploring some slight damage increases on turrets in the early game so that tower dives aren't more powerful. We still like them to be present, but there are cases right now where it seems like the attacker isn’t taking enough risk.
#Comebacks are more achievable and satisfying
* It’s worth noting that the lane phase changes mentioned above are actually doing some good work for us here. Fewer early first tower takes are preventing cases where a big gank leads into big gold leads and the winning lane starts roaming the map and crushing lanes that were otherwise going even.
* Another significant change that we’re currently testing is allowing bounties to scale off of more than just kills. Bounties have been a good tool for us because killing a powerful enemy is both skillful and leads to actively fighting for a comeback rather than passively farming. Especially in higher level play, a lot of the game’s snowball is coming from non kill places, so we think it’s an improvement to the system to integrate all of the gold sources. We’re doing this carefully so that we don’t end up punishing players for farming, which you should still do.
* Overall we want bounties to increase slightly so may lower kill bounties to compensate for the new system.
* We’re also testing some reductions in global tower gold, as it’s one of our most powerful snowball sources currently and it deemphasizes the individual differences between players on the team.
#Decided games resolve faster
* Melee and cannon minion health scales up much higher in the mid and late game. These changes allow games to end more naturally and we’ve been seeing fewer games where a team has clearly lost but it drags on for too long because waveclear is stalling out every wave or the ahead team has to wait for Baron to respawn.
#Rune paths no longer dictate stat bonuses
* We’re testing new independent stat choices on every rune page. Still working out the details between 2 or 3 choices, but tests on both have been very promising.
* The stat choices are categorized into offensive and defensive stats. Both systems incentivize or require some mixing of offense and defense. We think this does good things for the game in rounding out player offense and defense while also leaving room for some pretty sharp builds for players that want to invest in one or the other.
* The current stats options we’re testing:
* Offensive - Attack Damage, Ability Power, Attack Speed, Cooldown Reduction
* Defensive - Armor, Magic Resist, Scaling Health, Health Regen
* We’re moving the minion spawn and monster spawn times about 30-40 seconds earlier. We want to leave room for invades and other interesting early strategies, but in 95% of games players end up waiting around for 30s. In our efforts to make LoL the best game it can be for the vast majority of you, we think streamlining this phase lets you get to the fun quicker.
* Long term (probably not this preseason) we’re aiming to get text chat built in to the loading screen! This could turn dead time on the loading screen into fun banter and team strategizing.
We’re exposing these features because they’re not completely locked down so we have time to listen and react to your feedback. Also, if you feel like there’s something that we're not doing that you think would be a big improvement to the game, we’d love to hear it. We’re also bringing in a bunch of players (and pros) to test this stuff early and gather their feedback.