Thought I’d drop in some context on where I’m at with the AP items project - See post #1 here: https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/developer-corner/tqLzRtbG-ap-itemisation-context
Goal: Give mana users more contextual choices on their first item.
Secondary: Small improvements to the item system generally.
Out of the options we are considering, it boils down to discussing two main strategies that seem more promising.
**Strategy One**: A “reductionist” approach that makes mana purchases on mages not mandatory to function (eg. Morellos has no mana, Ludens and Nashors Tooth become more viable first options -> with tweaks to other systems/champs).
- We already have some examples of this: Ahri, Annie, Azir, Brand, Diana, Ekko, Fizz, LB, Liss, Velkoz, etc. and they manage to have pretty decent item diversity without breaking the game.
- Making mana items not mandatory however, is a fundamental departure from how League has operated since its inception and has many implications.
- A few of the things to think about with this approach: Defensive item strength (Banshee/ROA/Zhonyas prevalence), how transformational can first items be in terms of pattern (eg. Righteous Glory when strong), mana functioning as a failsafe against one shot burst combos, is this the best state of the game, how long will it take to validate, etc.
**Strategy Two**: Retaining mana as a required early purchase and create contextual choices for this purchase (involves figuring out what these statlines and uniques look like).
- Considerations in this space can be tough, because Morellonomicon gives mages a lot of the stats they could want and so the result of making the slot more contextual can make the purchase feel bad (just give me my old item back) or result in power creep. We subsequently have to be quite careful here and really make sure we’re making improvements.
- As you may have seen on the Zoe stream, one version of this is investigating Lost Chapter alternatives (some with CDR, some without).
- CDR is pretty hard to compete with generally speaking and this power probably needs to index heavily into burst, utility or teamfight power while remaining relatively generically usable.
Separate from this larger project, also looking into some smaller scope improvements:
- Looking at ways to improve the Void/Deathcap multiplier split choice. (This could be as simple as buffing Deathcap).
- Small scope improvements in post first item choices (dealing with shielding/healing, flat magic pen – eg. Liandries/Sorc Shoes, etc.).
- Making Mejais a more reasonable option to opt into rather than just a smurf stomping option (making a fully stacked dark seal more reasonable to upgrade).
We're still discussing these options, so let us know if you have suggestions/concerns.