I would like to discuss 3 key points I perceive to be problematic with the new system with regards to early game resistances.
**1. Main beneficiaries are Tanks / Juggernauts.**
While other classes / roles can and will use the defensive options it is safe to say - based on current rune usage - that the main users of armor / mr runes will be those who already go for defensive options with the current rune system.
The problem here is that when they introduced Runes Reforged in preseason 8 (patch 7.22) they already adjusted the base stats of all champions in game. Tanks got up to 20 armor which was not even possible with the old Quint system (3x4.5 armor if they took all Armor Quints).
Here you can check the adjustment (scroll all the way down):
Tanks / Juggernauts do not need any more early game resistances. Tanks have a solid, even strong laning phase while they get shredded to pieces later in the game. This is bad for both tanks and for those who lane against them. Interaction in lane is minimal, most bruisers rush Tiamat irrespective of whether it fits into their build or not. The Tank can play safe so bruisers just push the lane and roam. Already Juggernauts and Tanks are pushing out true damage hypercarries according to win rates. At the same time some Tanks / Juggernauts are so tanky early game that they can be played mid lane because they shrug off ranged poke as well. This problem will be made worse if Tanks / Juggernauts will walk to lane with +10 armor or +12 MR.
Main point is that defensive shards benefit mostly two classes that do not need additional armor / magic resist **EARLY** game. We need strong tanks in the game to control teamfights and soak up damage in the front line. Currently we have tanks that are toxic in lane but useless later in teamfights.
**2. Shard system ignores champion balance / design considerations**
League champions are designed and balanced around not just lane mechanics but around scaling and power spikes as well.
Assassins in particular are designed to gain an early lead, snowball mid game and fall off late game. Obviously we are not talking about just Assassins, a lot of ADCs are similarly designed (Jhin / Lucian / Miss Fortune etc.) Having the ability to walk to lane with half a Null Magic Mantle or 2/3ds of a Cloth Armor will impact negatively champions who rely on early game aggression.
The other side of the coin is equally concerning: some champions were **designed to be weak early game.** Scaling champions like Ryze / Cassio / Vayne / Twitch etc. have a weak early game. It is challenging to get through laning phase but the reward is a strong late-game. This is a trade-off which is not taken into consideration in the new system.
Putting this much flat resistance into the game early completely ignores these design considerations and will only serve to further imbalances the game.
**3. Laning Experience**
From the previous point it follows that this system is a nerf to early game champions and a buff to those who are good late game and just wish to survive. It promotes a play style that is very passive and very focused on avoiding aggression in lane. This goes against everything Meddler said about laning:
> Laning in general:
A period of small scale PVP, where it’s your skill against one or two opponents most of the time. Tests different skills from team fighting in particular.
Should last for a fair duration and success during lane should set you up with a meaningful advantage post laning phase. If you win hard enough, and translate that lead into a wider advantage for your team, that could be very influential in deciding the game outcome.
Your choice of champ relative to your opponents should matter, but shouldn’t decide the lane (strength in counter-picking, but not hard counters).
Success should come from both how you play the lane (farming, zoning, trading etc) and how you contribute strategically during the laning period (roaming, TPing, objectives etc).
Lanes should have frequent interaction between champions, not just passive farming.
See here: https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/developer-corner/7VOAaqsF-quick-gameplay-thoughts-january-24
I completely agree with Meddler, unfortunately this is not the case at least for Top Lane anymore. Top is notorious for being the most uninteractive boring lane, I fear that the new system will hurt other lanes as well.
The initial problem was that we had too much damage in the game, I think we are heading for the other extreme right now. There was base stat adjustment in patch 7.22. The damage problem was addressed not by changing items but by gutting Domination Tree while buffing tanks (again, not an ideal solution). On top of patch 7.22 stats, the Resolve Tree offers the Conditioning rune, and now they are buffing Doran's Shield for even more sustain. All this combined will result in a dull laning experience and less focus on trading.
Instead of pumping more flat resistances early game into Leauge why not try a scaling approach? Instead of + 10 armor or + 12 MR flat early why not have the option to have scaling resistances, like having 3 - 15 armor and 4- 18 MR?
This would ensure that Tanks SCALE to late game. They would have a better late game while having an opening early game (just like in every season before season 8). At the same time it would allow early game champions to be aggressive and fall off later while ensuring that late game champions have a well defined weakness during early laning phase.
Lastly, the scaling armor and MR stats would make squishy targets able to survive burst and this would dampen the effects of "too much damage" in the game.
Thank you for reading. What are your thoughts?