*NOTE: These posts have been updated to reflect our current preseason changes for patch 3.14*
Xypherous here with a rundown on our approach to vision in preseason:
In terms of our overarching goal: we want to add more gameplay with vision and how vision control works for everyone in this new season. We think the best way to do that is by diversifying responsibility. Looking at Season 3, standard competitive support play involved buying minimal items in order to spend the majority of a player's income on wards and vision control. More gold = more wards. If a team's support was unable to fulfill that role, or fell behind their opponent, the entire team suffered.
With a new season comes a new approach to vision: vision will be a team focus rather than an individual one. Here we're introducing a number of changes to wards and the vision system that give all members of a team the responsibility and opportunity to participate:
- Ward functionality has been changed. Vision wards (pink wards) are no longer invisible. This makes their placement and protection more strategic in game
- Each player has a personal ward limit. If you place more wards on the map than allowed by this limit, your older wards will be removed (like the current Sightstone mechanics)
- All players gain trinkets. These are new items that do one of three things on an appropriate cooldown: place a ward for free, detect existing wards, or scan a distant point
Let's get down to some specifics:
Ward Functionality Changes
- Sight Wards (green wards) have been tentatively renamed to 'Stealth Wards'
- Vision Wards (pink wards) are now permanent unless destroyed, visible to the enemy team and have 5 hit points
- Vision Wards now cost less gold
In the current live environment, pink wards are clearly better than green wards in every respect other than cost. This frequently leads to games in which the only end-game approach to warding was spamming as many Vision Wards as a player could afford - in turn forcing opponents to pick up pink wards to counter enemy pinks. What should be an interesting strategic decision became a flat arms race.
With the new setup, the choices become more nuanced: Vision Wards still detect and reveal enemy wards, but, because they're always visible, must now be actively defended. Vision Wards will no longer both deny and grant vision unless your team has control of that area.
Player Ward Limits
- Each player can now only place up to three Stealth Wards on the map. Placing extra Stealth Wards removes the oldest Stealth Ward. This includes wards from sources such as Sightstone, Wriggle's Lantern and trinkets
- Each players can now only place one Vision Ward on the map at a time
We've decided to introduce ward limits as a way to cap the maximum amount of individual team member can contribute to the overall vision game. We're going to watch this one closely as limiting the number of wards per player can have dramatic consequences on overall map vision, especially during the end-game. Three and one felt like the right numbers, but we're open to feedback.
Trinkets are a completely new item type in the upcoming season. Here's how they work:
- A new Trinket Slot has been added to your inventory
- The Trinket Slot can only hold trinkets and you can only have one trinket at any time
- Trinkets are free and can be swapped out at the shop at any time
- Trinkets upgrade at Level 9, gaining either increased power or a lower cooldown
Trinkets are free and have their own dedicated slot, so all team members can contribute to vision control without sacrificing other areas of development.
The Three Trinkets
Sweeper: Reveals and disables nearby invisible units (wards and invisible traps, not champions) for a short time. Currently, this does not reveal invisible champions
- The Sweeper Trinket is useful for denying enemy vision by revealing their nearby wards
Totem: Places a Stealth Ward that lasts for 1 or 2 minutes depending on level
- The Totem Trinket acts like the current Wriggle's Lantern active. Stealth Wards grant full vision of a location for a brief time
Lens: Reveals a nearby area of the map for a brief time
- The Lens Trinket operates like a mini Clairvoyance, revealing areas in the fog of war so teams can scout brush and other areas of the map from a position of relative safety
We'd like to give players more unique options for interacting with vision. Each trinket replicates one of the essential basic vision mechanics and has an appropriate cooldown. We expect that teams will want a mix of vision options available to them in order to counter their opponents' potential vision choices.
We're excited about the trinket system because it allows us to introduce a new way for everyone to participate in the vision game in ways that still offer specialization and customization. We're launching with a set of three trinkets because we wanted the simplest and clearest system possible, but we're open to expanding the system beyond the original three if it seems worthwhile.
The short rundown is that one of our main goals for this season is to make vision both more dynamic and less taxing on single players. Our hope is that these options make participating in the vision system more strategically varied for entire teams.
We'll also be posting this on reddit where we may pass through to clarify some questions. At the start of next week we'll be doing a global recap to follow up with the most up-to-date information from questions around the world!