Hi, my name’s Evan, I’m a three season Master’s player on the North American server who enjoys discussing game design as well as analytical writing I try to keep these brief but also provide enough explanation so that the idea can be presented to those of all skill rather than just those who are already acquainted with concepts or problems I will address.
Today’s Topic: **Passive Gold Generation **
a quick note before I start on this post, I want to define/clarify the relationship between gold and stats, as point 3 is based on this relation: Gold _is_ stats, as everything that you purchase other than wards is a champion stat. the terms are almost interchangeable. Higher gold means you buy more items means you have more stats.
**Problem statements: **
1. High passive gold generation makes earned gold leads comparatively less relevant. (%difference between 1200g and 1500g is less than the %difference of 1800g and 2100g. (22.2% and 15.4% respectively)
2. Small to moderate CS leads do not feel at all impactful until they hit 50+. Playing a better lane phase than your opponent and leading them by 30~ cs feels as if it is completely inconsequential, similarly as a jungler, farm leads feel of little importance.
3. Runes Reforged has significantly increased the gold value of inbuilt champion stats, rendering accrued gold leads less valuable. A reduction in passive gold generation would put more relative value into kills and CS advantages.
4. Very fed players can be hitting full builds at as early as around 30~ minutes (depending on the cost of their itemization). As their lead becomes more and more standardized as they are not able to spend additional income earned by good play. (This is a much less relevant issue than the previous 3, but i feel is still worth mentioning.)
If you get a kill and therefore 300 gold, this 300 gold means less as a percentage of total income when income is higher. This reduction to the relative value of kills renders superior play less influential to the game’s outcome, as your opponent is of a higher base efficacy regardless of how far behind they are put. The baseline efficacy of champions I feel is now too high. With damage runes providing so much value that you always have potential to be useful, even when you play lane very poorly, it very often feels like your play to put a player behind was a wasted effort and being the better player was inconsequential.
On the other hand, feeling like you have no money, ever, and one play cost you the next 20 minutes, is an absolutely miserable feeling, and having league be “winner take all” off of one or two plays while offering no comeback potential would not increase enjoyment of the game for anyone. Back in the day (season 5 I believe?) I very much agree with the need to increase passive gold gen, comebacks were scarce, items were expensive, and “win lane win game” because one player stomped lane was far too prevalent. However, I believe that this preseason offers an excellent time for this because of other comeback mechanics already introduced to the game. The new shut down bounty system is a good way to incentivize players not to totally abandon someone who lost lane, while providing a considerable bounty that can put that player back in the game. Additionally, over the past year or two, the price of the big-ticket items is down, with a 400 gold in the case of IE, and 200 gold down for Rabadons.
1. A higher emphasis on CS advantages, and the ability for general skill expression to be more effectively rewarded.
2. More of an emphasis on playing around item spikes, as they will come less frequently, resulting in more defined windows of power that you must push your advantage.
3. Roaming will incur more risk if they are unsuccessful, possibly resulting in an increased value of individual laning and a higher emphasis on the 1v1.
**Possible unintended consequences and solutions to them**:
1. Champions that get less income will see a relative drop in power. This will mostly impact supports, (which arguably need a power down anyway, but we can save that for another post :P) and has the potential make more of an impact in competitive play where resources are allotted specifically, usually leaving the jungler low on income as well. If supports see too much of a decrease in power, the solution could be as simple as adding X additional gold generation to their item quest, be it GP10 or through each item’s respective income mechanic.
2. Camping lanes becomes too strong. This one is another big possibility, where going after one player over and over becomes too effective a strategy, and that should really try to be avoided. Getting camped relentlessly is a very frustrating experience that ruins games for those on the receiving end. There’s a long list of ways to combat this all with upsides and downsides, but I think with the length of this post already I’ll address that another time, if it even turns out to be a problem at all.
3. Early game and snowballing champions become too powerful: Higher %difference when it comes to advantages means those who thrive on an advantage (Hello Talon) will see their leads grow too effectively. This can be addressed on a case by case basis, be it in champion nerfs or early item spikes like serrated dirk (Hello again, Talon) being reduced in power. There are other possible changes in the vein of increasing minion value in both exp and gold so that those who roam to spread their advantage pay a higher opportunity cost, a reduction in map mobility for certain lanes or champions, and other such changes, but I’ll save those ideas for another time as this post is already quite long. They also might not even be necessary.
**Conclusion and Summary**
High passive gold generation renders better play less valuable. With the introduction of higher baseline efficacy, new comeback mechanics, and the recent general agreement of the community and developers to see more weight on the play of an individual rather than on team play, I believe this presents a perfect time to decrease passive gold generation.
As i always say on all my posts (if i remember) there's almost always something i forgot to include or just didn't consider while writing these out, or something that doesn't come to mind until later. If there's somewhere that you think needs more explanation, or something you think I've forgotten, please bring it up!