Ahh, the new year change over. A time for game companies to look back on what worked and didn't last year and set the tone for things to come this year.
Riot Games is doing just that in League of Legends with their annual Dev Chat video summing up some of the team's focus points for the new year/season, and the competitive "State of the Game" address.
As preseason kicks off, Riot is taking a close look at a lot of things but, as the video below discusses, tank mythics, Top Lane players, and Jungle players can really expect to see some shifts soon.
"Champion Agency," an internal measure of a champ's ability to impact a match, broadly speaking, is a whole different thing when it comes to champion evaluation. Sure you have other stats like pick and win rates, but a champ can be picked often but have less "agency" when it comes to match impact.
The team has noticed this is especially true for top lane players who have a harder time getting kills and contributing in dragon kills. The objective changes and teleport changes have a lot to do with this decline. Riot hopes to balance top lane out a bit more, catering to both the "1v1" playstyle and the top laners that want to impact the map as a whole.
Jungle is certainly going to be a big focus this year with jungle players becoming almost a scarcity. While the team didn't detail specific changes yet, they do recognize that this is a huge focus point and we expect substantive changes this year to encourage jungle players to hop back into the role or new jungle players to give the role a go.
Tank mythics are also spoken to with a slightly reworked selection system making things a little more dynamic, but you'll want to check out the video for the full discussion on that topic.
Games like League of Legends fit into that fun category of "perpetual balance changes" simply based on the design of the game itself. The team talks directly about how the Champion Framework (the system that is used to generally keep champs in check), has served the team well, but sometimes a specific champion may show as being "balanced" numerically in the roster, but they sit at the strong side or the weak side of the "balanced" meter, never really falling too far in one direction and thus requiring mass changes.
Riot is specifically making it more of a focus in 2023 to watch these champs and not let them sit too long at the high or low end of being "balanced." If they follow up on this focus, expect some smaller champ changes throughout the year to continue the push for champs to all fall in the same closer range... but this isn't JUST about numbers.
It's all well and good for a champ to be "numerically" balanced as the team puts it, but if the champion isn't fun to play or doesn't fulfill its designed gameplay fantasy, you can expect tweaks there, too.
Don't miss the "State of the Game" address video below, too, as the new season kicks off.
As the new season fires up, we wish you luck on your ladder climb!
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About the Author
Mike “Magicman” Byrne has been a part of the MMOBomb family for years and serves as the site’s current Editor-in-Chief. His love for MMOs and gaming in general has led him to covering games for numerous websites including Gamebreaker TV and XIV Nation where he proudly displays his fanboy flag for FFXIV:ARR.
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