A Love Letter To Wards

{{item:2057}} I love Wards, I love Vision, I love the Gameplay it supports AND I understand Riots reasons for removing most of them.{{item:3340}} This is to discuss and point out both sides of the story Riots and ours in regards to wards. **Lets talk sight stone** {{item:2056}} (imagine that was blue or red) Riot has said that they would like to decrease decision fatigue players experience especially when there is an option that is strictly better. As this applies to sight stone, in almost every single pro-game of league in every region sight stone was bought. This implies that not buying a sight stone is such a high cost that the decision isn't the players to make, yet the player still has to make the decision to buy it or not. The main advantage that period had was when to buy the item prioritizing early damage or early vision control. Riot has removed the decision of whether or not to buy vision. Now the matter of a players choice is whether to try to roam to help other lanes with ganks or to stay in lane and try to get your wards faster. The cost benefit of these decisions is you might get your mid ahead, they end laning stage early and roam around the map. (which adds vision for your team) If the gank doesn't go well you have traded off guaranteed vision from the quest early for a chance to get vision possibly earlier. Riot also said that one of the reasons of the decision for wards to be connected to support items while removing the non-ward variant was to increase supports item diversity. Over several years this has both succeeded and failed depending on which factors you look at. If we once again look at pro-games from the time period years ago, season 5 is the example I will give, almost every game {{item:3105}} (Aegis of the legion) was bought by the support player. So in their 6 item slots, 1 gold income, 2 boots, 3 sight stone, 4 aegis of legion, 2 slots for choices. (not given in order items were bought, also the sight stone item could condense with gold income item for less slots but that was a decision) Now supports have more open slots to work with, 1 gold/wards, 2 boots, 4 slots for choices. As a whole supports still are not allowed to choose every item, a fail for their reason, but supports do get a lot more diversity, a success for their reason. (not going to get into boots on item diversity that is a different topic for another day) Being able to buy vision was an important part of the game, it said as a player/team 'I think information is more important than stats'. As we have seen time and time again over the years that information IS more important than stats in most cases. When you can work as a team communication, is information, when we buy wards, is information, when we ping, that's information. Information is powerful. One time or another we have all been stomped by a team of players that had better communication with one another. Before league added voice chat using another program to communicate with your team was a strict advantage outside the control of the game. One of the problems with the ability to buy wards is until you learn that lesson of how powerful communication and information is, as a player you will be outclassed by those until you prioritized information where appropriate. On the note of information and smart decisions, lets talk about the current state of vision in lanes in regards to junglers. When you do not have vision and do not have your jungler on the same side of the map you are suppose to play 'smart' play passive and respect that the other jungler may be near. This leads to less kills, safe play, and 'boring' play, which according to riot they are trying to get rid of playing too safe. Having more vision as a whole means you can be more risky when you have it. With the most recent changes to towers and the bounty system they are trying to balance this safe, smart playstyle by enticing you to take more risks while ahead or behind. If you are behind you get more gold if that risky play pays off. While ahead you get more gold if you try to be risky and push your advantage on them and their tower, that has a limited time offer. **Lets talk purchasable wards** {{item:2056}} (yeah this looks right) When wards were purchasable by anyone then teams that were ahead had complete control over the map both in stats and in information. The behind team had to decide on purchasing stats to fight the other team, or wards to know whether it was a good fight or not. Though I really enjoyed being able to purchase information as the mid, top, or jungler to both help me not die and my team mates not die. If we talk about purchasable wards we also need to talk about gold funneling {{item:2319}}. Buying wards and placing them in another persons lane was basically the same thing as sending them that gold, though already spent. Where the advantages to this gold passing shined was when a lane was behind. As mid or jungle you could walk up to top and place some wards if he was behind, same goes for any other lane. If you were ahead you could help ensure the safety of someone who wasn't doing as well. This was a great feeling of comradery and improved that persons experience of that match. The downsides of this gold passing were equally as game changing though. If a lane was ahead and other players bought wards for them, all counter play was lost in that lane as the opponent. Can't bring someone else to gank he will see it and leave, can't kill them since they are spending all of their gold on stats, and if you want any chance of facing them you need to buy stats making you more susceptible to ganks. This was not the dark ages though (get it, cause we are talking about wards {{sticker:slayer-jinx-wink}} ) because wards had to be bought they had an effect of balancing out minor leads or deficits. If you were slightly behind maybe you bought slightly less wards and made up the difference in combat effective stats making you still play well. If you were slightly ahead maybe you bought wards securing safety for the current time but those wards will die and the game is even again. The wards also took slots for items so when you hit max build your team would have less vision. More dangerous to fight, but easier to avoid. There were trade off for every part. The real problems came when one team one so far ahead or behind the opponents. The other option was a sight stone which would be more gold efficient over the course of the game, but had an upfront cost and also permanently took an item slot not allowing for as many component buys. **Wards for everyone else** (not supports) I want the other lanes to be able to interact with vision of the map. Not having ways to sustainably buy wards (purchase wards, or sight stone, or trackers knife) means that vision is cooldown based. The only way to get around this cooldown is the vision plants, also on a cooldown. The majority of guaranteed vision is from one role artificially inflating the importance if that player does well or not. I also don't like forcing the support into that being their role of providing vision. They don't get a choice in the matter, its attached to their gold. Another part of wards being mostly locked to support, the top side of the map is considerably darker just because of the supports most common place is the opposite side. The map is not designed around this bias. **TL;DR** Many of the mechanics and decisions that were present with buying wards and sight stones are still there in regards to top tier play, though they have a different face. I do want more vision and wards in game. I want players to be able to invest in vision in more meaningful ways than a control ward {{item:2055}}.
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