Preseason thoughts so far:

**So it's preseason, everyone's favorite time of the year aside from the mid-season patch.** As per any preseason, it's easy to get lost in the vitriolic state of change, especially when they've been becoming larger in scale and impact, though honestly I'd dare say this season's preseason takes the cake for any sort of large-scale changes. Mind you this is a perspective. It's way too late for me to be putting in the energy to research all of this, but I wanted to offer what I've been observing over the course of this preseason. ---- **Jungle** * XP Changes make the early game pretty unforgiving if you fall behind. ~ No catch-up XP means no chance to get back into the game if you're getting absolutely slammed in your jungle. I've been noticing a rise of aggressive counter-junglers as a result of this. I do feel like players should get rewarded for successfully counter-jungling the enemy jungle, but this seems like the wrong way of doing it. * Dragons. OH DRAGONS. RNG has taken root in another element of gameplay now - pacing and map dynamics. Some champions get pretty hard-hit by specific dragons, or benefit disproportionately from some. But the unfortunate part about it is - there's no consistency. Each game is different with the soul that works its way around the map. Oh and don't forget *elder*. No words needed on that one, the execute can make or break a game for either side. It offers a unique comeback tool, but I feel like with the overwhelming strength of the Dragon's Soul, it's just far more unlikely that it'll have much of an impact. * Herald: Honestly I like this change. Even if it's not bringing people top to get it, the fact that it's weaker but has multiple spawn-opportunities sets up staggering timers for teams to pick and prioritize specific objectives, and set up rotations from one epic monster to another in a clean sweep. * Baron: We have yet to see what Riot has in mind for this legendary objective. They've stated they wanted to buff it to compensate for the time-changes, but **how** is the question? --- **Bottom Lane** * Support items: With the loss of the coin line, and trade-offs for income being made for raw stats, it feels pretty hard to be able to create much opportunity as a support to provide multiple utilities to a team. Actives and key support passives cost a lot of money, and it poses the balance issues as follows: * **Lower the cost of these items at a cost to their stats:** this makes the items more unappealing to carry-lanes or utility-bots in top/jungle, but offers supports strength in items. * **Reevaluate the gold income of supports and adjust the items:** This solution allows for supports to remain relevant. It seems kind of extreme for an item to mitigate an expense of upgrading the item, just to have those savings dumped into a raw stat for damage in it. When does a support {{champion:111}} {{champion:44}} {{champion:412}} {{champion:89}} etc ever care about getting AD/AP from an item? It feels so strange and backwards for a change to put the value of the item into the stats rather than an active or a unique passive that allows it to be stronger than sightstone with AD/AP that actually prevents you from farming into the late game. * **Create value for the support role that isn't abused by other lanes or "supports" tenfold:** With the rise in popularity of different, non-traditional bottom lane pairings, traditional support-class champions deserve more to this if the gold is going to stagnate for them after an item income of 1k gold. There's some solutions to be had here, but they're far from low-hanging fruit. * **Bring back sight-stone and open up the opportunity for unique actives on these items:** Sightstone was nice. Having vision is VERY nice. And this season makes it much harder and riskier to establish vision alone. Having more eyes on the map is nice, winning or losing, and this could justify the loss of the warding passive if the items saw a valuable active being added to their design. Sure, more champs would have vision. But if a player takes sightstone, it makes it easy to abuse them for the lack of defensive stats rather than HP. * The Alcove: I've been playing with this some in terms of vision. Doesn't feel like much yet, but definitely isn't insignificant. * Priority increase: Since Dragons are significantly more important now, bottom lane pressure is immense. I'll be adding more later perhaps, but these feel like some of the more impacted positions as a result of these changes. Just some thoughts. What does everyone else think? Curious to see what people are thinking about these changes so far.
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