3 Way Too Early Season 4 LoL Comments
Posted: Nov 21 2013
For all of you fabulous LoLers (And I pity those of you who don't play) I want to take some time to look somewhat positively into the upcoming changes for Season 4 in League of Legends. Riot quite clearly wants to change the philosophy behind roles and mechanics in the meta game which always means big changes. Luckily this is Riot and not Sony or Blizzard, so even with big changes the things you love don't instantly become unrecognizably bad or drool-inducingly overpowered.
Of course it's still early, so I don't want to fall into the trap of overreacting. And thus I'm only going to talk about philsophical changes that will most likely stick in some fashion. And since in any massively online game, change brings about a giant QQ storm of overly dramatic people declaring things like "This is the worst day of my life" or "The developers are the stupidest people in the entire world," I've decided to keep it positive. This is just like, my opinion, man.
Stealth is back. Stealth is back! STEALTH IS BACK!!
I always play rogue, sneaky-assassin type characters in any game when they're available. Maybe that reflects something about my personality, maybe I'm a coward, maybe I'm just a dickhead, but I don't really care. It's FUN. So Riot has basically nerfed all stealth detection without really doing anything about stealth itself. Oracle's is gone, meaning you're going to have to settle for a less than exciting trinket in the Sweeping Lens.
So now champions like Shaco, Eve, Teemo, Twitch are fun again. Actually I hate Teemo and anyone that plays him, so I take that one back. Vayne's Ult is also significantly better now, and I suppose Rengar's too even though you could get jumped from about the same range as your ward anyways. I was mostly excited about Shaco getting some love, although Sweeping Lens really screws over his hard CC, but given the cooldown it's still a nice bonus. More Stealth! Sure it's annoying to play against but these champions exist for a reason, so you might as well make them work like they're supposed to.
Supports overpowered or underpowered? Who knows, but they're FUN again
People have been going bananas over the support changes the past couple of days. One hour all supports are useless, the next all supports are brokenly good. Again, it's early and things will change, but the essence of the changes is that supports not buying any items in the current meta game is...kind of stupid. Playing support is easily the least common role because it's just not as fun in S3. You basically don't have enough gold to actually build worthwhile AP. Riot has announced in Season 4 that supports will actually be getting more gold, allowing them to actually purchase items when they're not KS'ing and last hitting your fucking minions.
As someone who's recently been forced into playing support recently, I can't stress how much from a design perspective I love this change. It's just not as engaging for me to ignore building good items when I could play any other role and noticeably feel my champion getting stronger. People have been complaining that AP mages will dominate the support role since they offer similar utility with massive damage (due to the gold increase), but I'm sure this will be leveled out by the time the season starts at least to the point where you're not hurting your team by playing a classic support role.
Pooraka (Now possibly named Soraka again in S4) at high levels is already pretty nasty with her ability to kite virtually everyone. Leona is super strong, Sona isn't noticeably much different, and I haven't really got to try anyone else. So rather than freak out about Riot changing the way we use/view supports, enjoy the fact that this change makes champions progress the way they were intended.
Junglingly mind numbing
Jungle creeps now scale with average player level. This means that they get beefier the more we level and offer more gold. This is another good change since even 8 minutes into a game the jungle creeps become basically a joke and you end up roaming most of your time. The possible downside to this is spending a lot of time just farming jungle creeps doesn't actually sound like that much fun. I'd much rather farm creeps when there's at least some competition involved in the process.
On the flip side, the longer stays in your own jungle, coupled with the nerfs to map vision overall make ganking a pretty cerebral process now. I suppose you could argue that ganks already require pretty good setup against good players, but I'm not really sure how true that is. Setting up a gank in S4 will be much more a counter play between the two teams between warding/ward killing and waiting for that perfect time. At face value this seems like a decrease in fun. However, having to work for and execute great ganks will be much more rewarding as a player, and i think overall up the fun factor.
So those are the three things that most affected me about the upcoming changes. In case you hadn't noticed, the majority of my concern is centered about having fun while playing. I think overall the changes to the meta are going to encourage a more involved, pensive, and entertaining experience. Things are going to get nerfed or buffed accordingly, but as far as the direction Riot has chosen, I'll have to say I'm on board. Except for making Teemo viable. Seriously, fuck Teemo. Look at this thing: