Riot Games hopes to put to rest some of the ongoing discussion about the frustrating aspects of the game—as well as its future plans—after the 2023 League of Legends season, which has been an interesting ride for both veterans and those exploring Summoner’s Rift for the first time.
Riot Phroxzon, the game designer for the Summoner’s Rift team for League, acknowledged that he and the team are not totally content with the state of champion durability or the viability of a few key game positions in a new developer blog today. Phroxzon highlighted that while these are the sections of the game that will be fixed in the upcoming months, there aren’t any actual fixes for these problems in a game that is updated every two weeks.
In the near future, Riot will focus on balancing changes to LoL’s durability and lane states:
“Since League gets constantly updated, nothing is ever truly permanent,” Phroxzon said. “In addition to the main focus of balancing the game, we also need to take champion fantasy into consideration in LoL’s durability.”
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The developer team attributes a significant portion of the recent midseason item modifications as the reason why champions appear to be dealing and receiving more damage than before. Durability has been a big source of discontent among League fans since the installation of the infamous “durability patch” last year.
The team has recently been attempting to “restore [durability] over time” with tweaks like those made to champions who formerly enjoyed Immortal Shieldbow as their Mythic item. The current focus of the team is to target the durability of champions with naturally weaker defenses over the course of the upcoming patches, specifically in terms of non-damage attributes.
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The health of specific roles in the game, particularly top and ADC, is another area Phroxzon views as needing ongoing improvement. Even the slightest modifications to a top laner’s stats or abilities can render them utterly unviable, despite the fact that their effect has increased over the past several patches due to balancing adjustments. In the near future, the dev team hopes to reduce the disadvantage top laners experience merely for seeking to support other lanes on the map, letting them shed the “top lane island” label that has stayed with the position for the previous several months.
The junglers’ continued dominance over games has greatly eclipsed the bot lane as a whole, despite the fact that they are powerful tools for winning matches. Although Phroxzon and the team are prepared to once more scale back ADC power in order to stop it from being such a crucial component of snowballing early leads, he noted that a huge aspect of this that the team is considering is how this would affect the role’s playability, leaving the team at a fork in the road in terms of figuring out the best way to navigate this issue without creating unfavorable meta.
“We don’t want to [lower the power level of bot lane] at the expense of players’ satisfaction of the role,” Phroxzon said, highlighting the carry fantasies most ADC players have. “Having said that, a lot of bot lane is outplaying gnats, which we know is not how bot laners want their agency expressed.”
How modifying one will affect another is ultimately the most important factor affecting role balance, and this is something that is still a constant struggle in a game that is updated frequently. Though they are unsure of how this will affect not only those roles but also others, Phroxzon suggested that he and the team would focus on this issue by first examining how specific roles perform in higher Elos—particularly in their snowball potential.
On August 30, LoL’s durability in Patch 13.17 is scheduled for release, and it will make an effort to fix some of the problems mentioned in this developer update. But until the end of the year and beyond, players can anticipate an ebb and flow of balance tweaks aimed at particular aspects of the game.
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