**Upcoming Bounty Changes**
Hey everyone, Jatt here. There are some changes to bounties coming to patch 9.6. We’ve noticed some confusion around the bounty system, and we think we can better explain our philosophy and what is actually going on. So, I wanted to start this post with my best effort to explain the system as it currently exists, then I’ll get into what we’re changing, and also why the system exists.
**Bounty Rules (Preseason-Now)**
Since preseason, four factors have contributed to bounties:
- Base kill gold
This is usually 300g but decreases as the target racks up death sprees
- Kill streak gold
150g at 2 kills, 300g at 3, every kill after that adds +100g (kill streaks are worth roughly 100g per kill overall)
- CS gold (we want large gold advantages from farming to add to your bounty)
This one is detail heavy, but the intention is that you will get a bounty if you have SUBSTANTIALLY more farm gold than the enemy team's average since your last death.
Enemy team average is determined by summing the opponent team monster+minion gold since your last death and dividing by 4 (for the 4 gold streams of top/mid/bot/jungle).
There’s a threshold of a +100g advantage before CS bounties start tracking (starts at 50g), and then every additional +150g above the enemy average adds 50g to bounties.
- Global bounty reduction (for teams that are losing)
This is a big source of confusion since it’s never been explained clearly. If your TEAM is behind, your kill streak and CS streak bounties are lower. The further behind your TEAM is, the more your bounty decreases.
This is a lever that helps allow for comebacks, and makes the cases of “I was just CSing to try and get back in the game” or “I’m 5-0 but the rest of my team is feeding” less punishing. Here’s the formula:
Beginning at a 3% TEAM gold deficit, bounties are reduced to 80% of their normal values. This scales linearly down to 60% value at an 8% gold deficit, then scales linearly down to a minimum of 20% value at a 24% gold deficit.
Now, let’s see what’s changing in patch 9.6:
**Updated Bounty Rules (9.6+)**
CS bounties will be roughly 25% smaller and account for support item gold.
- NERFED :: CS bounties reduced by approximately 25% (50 Bounty per 150g >>> 50 Bounty per 200g)
- NEW :: CS bounties decrease when you lose your advantage
- NEW :: Support item gold contributes to bounties
- TEAM AVERAGE :: Now account for the addition of support item gold and divide CS gold by 4.3 rather than 4. (This and the above line won't have a significant impact on bounty values, but make the system a little more accurate.)
Big CS bounties are most often seen in pro, because pro players naturally put more resources into the ADC. Because of this, ADC minion/monster gold advantage over the enemy team is usually large enough to create a bounty. To put some numbers to it, in patch 9.4, an ADC needed to be 2200 gold ABOVE THE ENEMY AVERAGE in Minion and Monster gold to gain a +700 CS bounty (would display as Bounty + Kill value, usually 1000g). With the patch 9.6 changes, the ADC will need to be 2900 gold ABOVE THE ENEMY AVERAGE to gain a +700 CS bounty.
Bounty scoreboard visualization
- BASE VALUE :: Scoreboards and chat no longer include the 300 base kill gold
- FIRST BLOOD :: First blood gold is no longer added to bounty numbers if it hasn't occurred yet
On patch 9.6 the scoreboard display for bounties will only be bounty gold, not base kill gold + bounty gold. We think that putting +450g on the scoreboard was actually a mistake, as many players think that death is worth 300 kill gold + another 450g. In reality, it’s just 300 kill gold +150g, and it's debatable whether or not that +150g should even be played around. (For instance, a minion wave at 25 minutes is worth 195 gold.) We think showing +150g more accurately presents that decision.
It's also worth noting that First Blood gold was being added, meaning that the first 150g bounty would show up visually as 550g! This is a huge psychological difference. Now it just states 150g.
**Why CS bounties exist**
I want to talk a little bit at the end here about why CS bounties are valuable for the game.
CS has historically been the BEST way to gain an advantage in League since farming let you build gold leads without triggering anti-snowball mechanics. As a result higher-tier players tend to get more gold through CS and less from taking risks, since going for kills not only carries a high risk of failure, but success adds to your kill bounty.
But bounties are meant to be a reward for killing powerful or valuable members of the enemy team, not necessarily members with lots of kills. In pro for instance, teams funnel tons of CS into their carries. We think it’s GOOD that the bounty system is more accurately assessing their power.
As for snowball, some is good. When you do well, you should be rewarded IF you can use that lead to carry. Mess up or get outplayed, opponents should get to mitigate some (but not all) of that snowball because they also deserve to be rewarded for doing well (aka anti-snowball).
We know from iterations of League that had fewer anti-snowball mechanics, what it looks like when games snowball out of control—the winner of the first teamfight just wins the game.
With the preseason additions of turret plating and stronger first drakes, we knew the ability for a team to snowball was increasing so we wanted to strengthen the ability for a team to come back from behind too. Adding CS bounties helped counter that higher amount of snowball in the game and has struck a closer balance between kills and farming since both forms of advantage add to your bounty now. That said, they've been aggressively tuned and we absolutely agree there have been cases that felt “off”. 9.6's changes to tuning and in-game representation should help them feel more healthy.
Anyways, hope this clears up some bounty stuff and why we think CS bounties are good for the game.
Let us know what you think in the comments!