League of Legends is making some radical changes across the board between the Seasons. What's been commonly known as the "Preseason 3 Overhaul" makes dramatic changes to the League's item, jungle and mastery systems in order to increase variety in gameplay. Players who have tried League of Legends with the changes have both positive and negative views, but now we'll see the true affects of the patch as the preseason 3 changes have gone live.
Perhaps most significant is that Riot understands the new patch will create a tumultuous and unstable meta for a while, so they're working with the community as much as possible to make the preseason 3 transition smooth. A new web page for the patch is online with details on all of the changes, and there are several forum threads with Riot designers to answer questions and field feedback. Join the discussion and have fun in the new season.
The major changes surrounding the preseason 3 overhaul are focused in three areas, so here's a quick introduction to each and what players can expect going into Season 3:
- Items: Several new items have been added to the League of Legends shop, many old items have been altered significantly, and plenty have been outright removed. The goal of these changes is to increase the variety of builds for every major team role, but without necessarily affecting the relative strength of players as of Season 2. A majority of changes were, if anything, meant to increase the power of all players. Simply put, there's a lot of new, exciting unique abilities and nuance to a lot of items. Dedicated League fans will want to do their research and know what each item is capable of.
- Jungle: The jungle changes for Season 3 can be separated into the three major phases of a game, early, mid and late game. Currently in early game, junglers are essentially forced to gank in order to reap equal benefits to laners -- the jungle simply doesn't sustain as well. Preseason 3 changes will allow players to pace laners by just farming jungle, and making ganking a bit more riskier of a strategy. Due to more stable rewards, mid game junglers will be able to itemize more efficiently, leading into a late game where junglers should be able to contribute in unique ways.
- Masteries: Similar to both the item and jungle changes, alterations to each mastery tree are meant to increase a players options. New mastery abilities designed to support AP auto attackers, carries building critical hit percentage, tower tankers, and my personal favorite -- gold for harassing support roles, should add subtle nuance to gameplay. Masteries were never meant to be so strong as to dramatically alter gameplay, but simply to accent each person's playstyle. The new mastery trees should do that better than ever.
One more time, I implore you to check out all of the preseason 3 changes yourself, as they are wide-ranging and will have a dramatic affect on the game. it's all live and in the game right now, too. This ain't your grandpa's League of Legends, anymore.
New champion Nami, and the regular balance changes that come bi-weekly, should be released later this week.