League Of Legends Preseason Changes, Are They Good Or Bad?
League Of Legends Season 4 is looking to be a big one for the popular MOBA. As Riot Games looks to make some pretty huge changes to its game, it’s up to preseason gamers to iron out all the issues.
As is often the case, however, not everyone is happy with some of the changes that happened in the preseason patch (3.14) last week, but – frankly – those players are whiny.
From our own hands-on it’s clear that Riot Games has made a lot of progress in smoothing the team game. Rather than focusing on particular roles, the preseason changes improve things as a whole for the game.
Here’s our take on League Of Legends preseason Season 4 changes so far:
League Of Legends: Season 4, Free Wards & Jungling
Perhaps one of the key changes for League Of Legends Season 4 is that of vision. No longer is it the job of just the support role to fill up on wards and help the team see the enemies’ movements.
This is thanks to Trinkets, a new free-to-purchase item in a new slot (hotkey 4) that can give vision on a particular part of a map, place a free ward after a cooldown or unveil wards so you can destroy them.
It sounds like there’s some depth to it, but already it seems the obvious choice is the warding trinket. Hardly anyone opts for the brief vision – just like hardly anyone opts for Clairvoyance – while the Sweeping Trinket, which can destroy wards, is only selected by junglers.
It makes sense, of course, since junglers will be roaming far more often than their allies, and the rest really only need to opt for the ability to place wards.
Fine. Okay. Good. The problem is now most seem to think that’s a get out clause; they have their ward, they’re contributing – yet when it comes outside of the laning phase it seems everyone forgets the Trinkets exist.
Additionally these wards are now dubbed Stealth Wards, provide the same effect as before but are invisible to enemy players. Vision Wards now have extra health, unveil stealthed Champions but can be seen by everyone – and therefore destroyed.
Junglers need to think carefully now then. It’s almost certain there’s a ward or two highlighting your path, so ganking is considerably tougher.
Mid-lane might need to purchase an extra ward to cover both sides of the river, but for the most part you should presume that as you make your gank you will be spotted.
It means stealth Champions like Evelynn have a bit more of an advantage. Vision Wards will need to be purchased separately to counteract them – and even those can be destroyed with ease – so there’s few ways of preventing a gank from a stealthed Champ.
League Of Legends junglers have often been designed to enable ganks and the numbers advantage it gives when helping one of the three lanes.
Now that’s not quite as viable.
League Of Legends Preseason Jungle
So the solution is to farm a little more. Simple, thanks to the additional jungle camp, surely?
Wraith is a tough enemy and encountering jungle in the new League Of Legends Season 4 preseason patch is a little confusing at first.
There are far more options open to you and while you’ll often start the same way your route after that could change dramatically, especially if you’re not able to gank quite as consistently anymore.
Of course the argument is that players should have been warding in Season 3, so really little has changed – but now jungle feeding is far more preferable.
It gives a jungler a quicker route to gold and level, meaning more often you’ll find junglers remaining unseen for a large portion of their early game. Whether this is a good thing, or not, will depend on how heavily your team composition relies on ganks.
The new Wraith camp can pack a punch, however, so care needs to be used when taking it on. In fact, the scaling jungle can actually backfire against a jungle with low sustain.
If your team levels up faster than you – a possibility, even with the extra jungle camp – then the difficulty of the monsters increases, making it tougher for your jungler to deal with the different camps.
The added benefit is increased gold and experience should you be lower than the jungle camps, meaning your jungle can stay in the fight whether they gank or farm.
It’s a more flexible system, for sure, yet while stealth Champions are currently favoured with the current setup, that could well be fixed before Season 4 actually kicks off proper.
Whether the jungler’s role has changed permanently or not we won’t yet know, but it’ll be interesting to see how Riot approaches these changes.
League Of Legends Season 4 Supports
Gold is the important factor with these preseason changes, and chances are you’ll find yourself with pockets full of cash in these new changes.
Part of this is thanks to not having to buy a ward quite as often – though the odd extra wouldn’t be so bad for your team – but the real benefit to this is for the support role.
Without having to rely on ward purchases, supports are free to earn their cash a little more – thanks to a number of changes.
Primary among these is a bunch of new items that can assist in gaining gold, whether that’s passively leeching gold based on your ADC’s creep score or earning your own by executing minions.
Some of these are a little overpowered and Riot is still figured things out, but the effect is immediately.
Couple that with the fact that supports now mostly build AP rather than support items – thanks to the way their abilities scale – and you’ve got much more benefit to the way gold is earned and spent effectively in a match.
And then there are masteries, which include new changes to help boost gold income.
League Of Legends Season 4 New Masteries
This has been a surprisingly controversial change for League Of Legends.
The biggest change to masteries is the removal of summoner spell boosts, and in this regard Riot Games should be praised.
But some people just don’t like change, it seems. Though we haven’t had a large amount of time fiddling with the new masteries, there does seem to be a little more flexibility.
You’re still focusing on offense, defense or utility – depending on your role – and that will likely mean spending 21 points in one tree, 9 in another and zero in the other.
However, it seems there is a little more freedom to spread the love a little more.
Say you’re focusing on the offense tree – let’s face it, most builds do – then you may want to skip a point or two on the main tree in favour of another section.
Sure you’d miss the extra 3% damage of Havoc – the final unlock of the Offense tree – but you could, feasibly, gain 3% in lifesteal and spellvamp in its place. Some builds could really benefit from that.
Additional criticism is how AP and AD masteries are being blended, such as the lifesteal/spellvamp combo, or Offense’s armour/magic penetration combo.
This seems like a smart move. It makes it the obvious choice regardless of champion, but it does give a bit for flexibility with the other masteries available.
Time will tell whether these new masteries will prove as adaptable as it initially seems. We hope so.