In League of Legends the focus may be on battling both enemy players and AI controlled creep at the same time, but there's also a hugely significant meta-game going on as well. It's known as the vision war and for the most part the wars have been led by each team's support-role player. With Season 4, however, Riot's changing the meta. In an effort to spread the vision burden across the whole team and increase Support presence overall Riot's reworking wards entirely, for better or worse.
Today, Systems Designer Xypherous published a lengthy post detailing each of the planned changes Riot will tentatively be making to League of Legends warding system. That's not all though, as they'll also be adding an all new Trinket system, which together with the warding overhaul should push League's meta, from casual play to professional level, off the roof of a skyscraper.
Let's get down to the details! If you'd like to read Xypherous' very well written explanation and justification for each change, make sure to check out his forum post over on the League of Legends forums. Over here, we'll just list the bullet points of what's being reworked and then go into a bit of analysis. The changes break down into three distinct areas:
Ward Functionality Changes
- Vision Wards (pink) are now permanent unless destroyed, but in turn are now visible with five hit points.
- Vision Wards now cost less gold.
- Sight Wards (green) have been tentatively renamed Stealth Wards.
Player Ward Limits
- Each player may now only place up to three Stealth Wards (green) on the map. Each further Stealth Ward placement will remove the oldest previously placed ward. This includes wards placed via items such as Sightstone, Wriggle's Lantern and through trinkets.
- Each player may now only place a single Vision Ward (pink) on the map. Each further Vision Ward placed will remove the previously placed ward.
- An additional Trinket Slot has been added to each player's inventory which can only hold trinkets.
- Trinkets are free and can be swapped at the shop at any time during a game.
- Trinkets upgrade at Level 9, gaining either increased power or a lower cooldown
- The three currently planned trinkets include the Sweeper, Totem and Lens
- Sweeper: Reveals and disables nearby invisible units (including Wards) for a short time
- Totem: Places a Stealth Ward that lasts for 1 or 2 minutes depending on level
- Lens: Reveals a nearby area of the map for a brief time
As always, these notes are all tentative plans and may or may not reach League of Legends in their current shape or form.
Honestly, I'm rather perplexed by many of these changes. When I initially heard that Riot would be revamping the vision system, I figured they'd be working towards decreasing overall map vision, but instead it seems like these new changes will only increase vision. The results of which most certainly will result in less ganks, less risky play, and the continued inability for losing teams to mount a comeback.
Trinkets are an interesting idea. Casual players can use Trinkets to acclimate themselves to the vision meta and potentially learn its significance in becoming a better player and teammate, but it's also just as likely that players will use Trinkets as a crutch, removing any feeling of responsibility towards helping with map vision. Not to mention that the extra slot is just one more button for new players to struggle with.
What's best about the changes? Why, they have the opportunity to increase variety in gameplay. Will players make the most of these new opportunities? Will risk ultimately prove worth the reward or will these changes introduce stagnation? I'm excited to find out. League of Legends' Season 4 pre-season may be a different game entirely, and we have yet to hear about the jungle changes!