Hey everyone, we have some broader item work we’re hoping to do later this year and I wanted to share our goals and philosophy for these changes before you start seeing potential updates on the PBE.
**What are we planning to do?**
One of the main problems that keeps us from exploring exciting and meaningful new items is that the shop is overcrowded. This can make it hard to quickly find the item you're looking for and makes the store overwhelming to both new players and players trying champs or roles that use items they aren't yet familiar with. We want to remove "dead" items from the shop to clean up unnecessary clutter, make the shop faster to navigate and easier to understand, and make room for new additions.
**What items should we remove?**
Unhealthy items, meaning items that:
* Massively reduce or remove counterplay against a champion
* Incentivize not interacting with the enemy team
* Give access to an effect (usually reactive or defensive) that we don’t actually want all champions to have access to
Items too similar to another item:
* This leads to always picking whichever one is stronger rather than making decisions around the items' unique properties. Either we find better ways to differentiate them or we can just combine these items and retain both user bases
Very low usage rate items:
* This can sometimes be because we nerfed an unhealthy item. Removing the item would be better at this point since it's too weak to be a good item, but we aren't going to buff it since it causes gameplay issues when strong.
* It can also be because a too-similar alternative is currently better so everyone's using that alternative instead
* Some item niches aren't really something that any champion would want
Items reducing or not adding impactful decisions to the system:
* Overly similar versions of Zeal items or tank items with near identical stats have had this problem in the past
* Overpowered or "always good" items can squash a lot of other choices in the system - core items like IE can be great for power fantasy but if we have too many of these there is no room to make choices
* This can also be true of overly similar component items, like if we had a 500g health item that was used sometimes instead of Ruby Crystal; we’re not really gaining any new decision space
**What kind of items are we looking to add?**
Once we free up space, we want to deliver better versions of certain niches that we haven't been able to fill in the past. As an example, we'd like to make a healthy "tower pushing" focused item that doesn't have the problems of Banner of Command or Zz'Rot Portal.
We also want to add more viable and differentiated choices to build paths that lack diversity. Lethality items are a space that currently lack enough choices for AD assassin players to have meaningful build differences game to game.
**When and how are doing this?**
We don’t want to just rip out items and tell you "hey, we promise this will be better soon." So our approach is to combo future item removals with item reworks or new items that often replace them in spirit and overall make for a more deep and satisfying item system in League of Legends.