Hello! I’m Lowbo, a systems designer on the Game Systems team, and I’m here to talk to you about changes to Sightstone and the core support items!
The requirement to buy Sightstone has long existed as a tax on the support position, and while vision is an important element of the game, the way it delivers this has been a drain on satisfaction for a long time. We’d like to lift the obligation while still empowering Supports to be heavy participants in the vision game.
**Quick explanation of change**
* Sightstone and all of its upgrades will be removed from the store.
* Support items will gain Sightstone’s active as their quest reward.
* Support Tier 3 items now build out of Tier 2 and a Ruby Crystal, and give you the same stats as their respective line’s “Eye of the ____” upgraded Sightstone on live.
* For more context, read below. I’ll go through the goals and reasons behind these changes, and then give the complete changelist.
* NOTE: Current names and icons for Tier 3 are temporary. We’ll have new names and icons for all three lines for Tier 2 after quest completion, and Tier 3 both pre and post quest completion.
**Goals of Change**
* The main drive behind these changes is that we want supports to be more free to pursue their own build paths. Without a mandatory 800 gold purchase in the early game, Supports will be able to make more choices and have more agency over how their power is expressed. We will try to keep Sightstone timings and general support economy to be close to their live values.
* One thing we’ve learned from Ardent Censer over the summer is that Support players greatly appreciated the ability to rush impactful items - they were able to feel like a bigger participant in the game. We’ve also learned that the game still functions well without a Sightstone rush - in other words, the game doesn’t break down from a lack of early vision.
* We would still like Sightstone times to be a reflection of the support player’s skill, so we are putting it on the quest reward rather than just giving it out at a specific game time. We found that for most players, the existing quest rewards were very low satisfaction relative to their power level. We hope that gaining this active is a much more noticeable and satisfying reward.
* Unfortunately, having an active as the quest reward requires us to remove the active branches of the item chains - Frost Queen’s Claim, Face of the Mountain, and Talisman of Ascension. Some of the actives provided important options, and so we’ll be looking at ways to bring Frost Queen’s Claim and Talisman of Ascension back in modified forms. Face of the Mountain’s active will likely not return in the immediate future.
**More Detailed Changelist:**
* Sightstone and Ruby Sightstone have been removed from the store.
* The quest reward from all three gold income item lines is changed to grant Sightstone’s active.
* You will still be required to upgrade to Tier 2 to finish your quest.
* Quest reward thresholds are reduced to 500 gold.
* Your Tier 3 item will build out of your Tier 2 item and a Ruby Crystal, and will give you the same stats as an upgraded Sightstone on live. There is no longer a branching path to Tier 3 - the active variants of the items have been removed.
Upon quest completion, your Tier 2 item will have a maximum of 3 wards between trips to the store. Upgrading to Tier 3 will give you a maximum of 4 wards stored.
**Timing and Future Work**
* We expect these changes will go out in 8.2, but they might be delayed a patch or two if we hit bugs or snags with implementation.
* We’re still going to be ironing out some details - whether you have to return to the store to stock up on your first ward charges, around what time do we want the rewards to activate, whether this makes Spellthief’s line too risky (as you can get locked out of income generation if laning phase ends early), things like that. We will also be closely monitoring poaching by other laners and junglers.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be around to answer questions.