Riot will attempt to decrease laneswapping with patch 6.15


Laneswapping can be awfully boring, and Riot is hoping to put an end to it in patch 6.15

At the beginning of last month, Riot let us in on what was to come in the upcoming patches.

Things have gone smoothly up to this point of patch 6.14, and now it’s time for them to put their attention on professional play as the next handful of patches will be made with a lot of World’s consideration.

Yesterday on the League of Legends boards, Scarizard (Live Balance Designer) announced the first area Riot will address in regards to the professional scene: laneswapping. “Laneswapping, while difficult to do successfully, is starting to feel pretty formulaic with few strategic tradeoffs. As it’s become more prevalent and teams do it more efficiently, it’s led to passive turret trading and less direct early conflict. When laneswapping becomes a default opener, it creates a non-interactive early game with,” explained the Rioter.

He isn’t wrong. One of the biggest complaints many fans have about the pro game right now is laneswapping. It’s always been in the game, but it’s become so ordinary and mundane that it can really kill the first 20 minutes of a game.

Riot won’t ever take laneswapping completely away, but they are hoping to make some changes that will make it a more difficult decision to make.

The changes

There is now “Turret First Blood” gold which gives +275 local and 25 global. Turret AI has also been updated so that it is better at defending allied champions.

The temporary damage reduction buff on turrets — Fortification — is being changed in multiple ways. First, the duration of the buff will be lowered from seven minutes to five minutes, however, the damage reduction has been increased from 35 percent to 50 percent. The buff has been removed from the bot lane turrets for now, but Riot is trying to figure out another way to go about it. Lastly, outer turret health has been increased from 3,300 to 3,500.

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The last change is that cannon minions will spawn differently. Both teams will get one cannon minion per wave, but it will rotate lanes. Bot lane will get a cannon minion at wave three, mid at wave four, top at wave five and then the cycle will repeat. After 20 minutes, mid will have a cannon minion in wave 40 while bot and top get one in wave 41 before repeating. After 35 minutes, all lanes will have cannon minions in each wave.

The minion change doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but the other changes seem like a pretty good idea.

Teams won’t be able to simply default laneswap like they do now because it would result in one team taking down the bottom tower much faster, and that team would come out with a large gold advantage from it.

Some people were questioning how this would translate to low elo dynamic queue, and Meddler (Lead Gameplay Designer) answered with, “We think tower first blood especially’s a good addition. It means that a turning early success in lane into an early tower’s more rewarding. The enemy laner will still often take your tower moderately soon after, instead of that equalizing things though there’s still some persistent reward for that initial success. It also adds an extra dimension to the risk/reward trade off – how much more are you willing to risk to get a tower down ASAP? What if the enemy jungler’s missing? What if their top lane’s about to race you for first tower kill?”

At the end of the day, these changes simply won’t mean much to people not playing at the highest level. So if you’re in Silver, don’t try to find a way to complain about all of this.

The biggest question mark from all of this, however, is why Riot would do something this big right before playoffs started. They really dropped the ball with the Juggernaut update before World’s last year, but this is also a very poor decision.

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Meddler tried to make it seem acceptable by saying, ” Our conclusion was that two and half months till Worlds was sufficient time for Worlds itself, particularly given the enormous number of games that will be played in August especially on 6.15. This timing does however give teams pretty limited time to adapt before Playoffs, which is a significant downside. We felt it was really important that Playoffs/Qualifiers and Worlds all had a very similar set of conditions though, so needed to make these changes now if we wanted to do them before the pre-season. Doing so post 6.15 results in the sort of frustrations we saw from the Juggernaut changes last year (significant impact, but almost no competitive play on them seen pre Worlds). We concluded we did need to make these adjustments given how non interactive the early game often becomes in top tier play, completely agree there’s a significant cost to doing so at this time though. Ideally we’d have made these changes a patch or two back once the dust had settled on mid-season.”

Yeah, this probably won’t go over too smoothly across the professional scene.

Everyone knows the Spring Split is nearly meaningless compared to the Summer Split, so why doesn’t Riot do big updates like this during that time? It makes no sense for them to do this two years in a row.

Regardless, if this can at least cut down on the amount of laneswaps we see, this will go down as a solid change.

Laneswapping is totally fine, but it’s a completely different story whenever it becomes what you must do at the start of every game.

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