Dominion is just a touch too fast. Not in the "omg SR is better more skill" way. Just a hair.
Right now, Dominion feels very twitchy and way too reactive to actively think about a strategy. As it stands, you have a base strategy before the game begins and the rest is all on the fly thinking. That's fine; however, I think if the gold rate was slowed down just a little bit then that would allow summoner's to actively strategize *while* working on the fly.
The leveling and overall game speed I feel is perfect, just the speed in which items can be bought is a bit too fast. It leads to way too much reaction to item builds on the enemy team and it kind of snowballs from there.
Maybe slow down the passive gold speed by about a quarter. Or alternatively, lower the gold reward for capping points and leave the passive rate as is.
Very well done. The Capture and Hold gameplay style has been tried in several games, but Riot pulled this off with style. The cap rate for towers feels like it has the perfect speed and distance between points that it becomes difficult for a team to snowball to the enemy choke and keep them there. I had seen that happen in almost every version of C&H games I've played and was worried that this would be a problem in League. But it's not, and Riot knocked it out of the park with this.
I see a much bigger emphasis on de-stealth on the new items, which I find to be a good thing. Other than that, I'm a bit on the fence. Most of the new items look to be re-hashes or amalgamations of older items. From what I saw, the bonus to cap rate was available on only 1 item, that was a bit disappointing.
Also, the majority of the new items appear to be oriented towards anticarry/attack speed/ad champs. I didn't see alot of reasons while playing AP champs to choose some of the newer items over old ones. (Aside from the de-stealth one but that's situational)
Gameplay and Role Balance
Aside from the twitchy factor I mentioned earlier, the gameplay is very well refined. It's a bit early to decide on balancing and champs being OP in this mode, and honestly, I don't think it will be much of an issue. I saw a lot of champs shine in different areas. The only disadvantage I saw was for AP based champs, but that was more of an item thing, I think, as mentioned previously.
Until AP items get some of the amazing bonuses that the AD items have (Like Entropy having a true damage active ability lolwut?) I think dominion will be heavily dominated by A.speed/AD champs.
Support champs have a hard wall to climb to be viable. Namely, the healing debuff. This aspect just kills most support classes from the get go. I saw a few Sona's and other healer roles while playing and the majority of them were having a very tough time being a strong player for the team. Again, I think this may be an item thing combined with the healing debuff. However, some support champs (shielders like Karma) can be very beneficial.
Tanks are amazing in Dominion. I love how tanking roles have a much more viable role in this than the wait around and farm until we team fight that we experience in SR. Tanks can be a deciding factor on whether or not you cap that point, and I really enjoy seeing that aspect.
This is probably my favorite aspect of Dominion. KDR elitism has always been a itch under my skin in LoL. The ability to see my own worth as a *contributing* member of my team is amazing. I've always been a supporter of killing towers, pushing, and effective jungle control is what wins games in SR, and to see this ideology transferred so effectively into Dominion just turns me on in every way.
Dominion is a LOT of fun. It's a very well though out map and is very close to being perfect.
With just a bit more polish in AP based items, slowing down the gold rate by about 15% to 20%, and making healing more effective, I think this map will be just about perfect.
But then again, this is all just my opinion.
Comments are welcome.
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