Ever since the late, great Warcraft III brought us the beast that is DotA, online gaming has adapted a brand new genre – the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena). League of Legends is the finest example of this class of game. In League or Legends (or LoL, as it’s often abbreviated), players must strategize from their Nexus to their oppositions’, fighting minions, destroying turrets and inhibitors, and facing other players in intense PvP along the way.
LoL has done a great service to the world of online gaming by being a gold-standard example of how an online game can be completely free, yet incredibly sustainable (like when I play Shen in the top lane). In the next patch, several improvements are made to the game. Let’s look over them.
Update To Summoner’s Rift
What you’re looking at above is a zoomed-out view of something we’ve all run through so often – Summoner’s Rift. Many LoL addicts would probably not argue that Summoner’s Rift needs a facelift. It looks nice and I’m used to it. While the next patch won’t completely change the appearance and shape of Summoner’s Rift, pretty much every aspect of the map will be touched up just a bit.
The main goal that Riot has pinpointed here is the desire to improve frustrates. I personally don’t have worry about my framerate on the highest settings (as I have one beast of a PC), but a lot of players are being forced to use lower display preferences. If you’re not a visual person and prefer optimal performance, the new Summoner’s Rift could show as much as double your old framerate.
On medium-level settings, you should see a vast improvement as well. It’s great that Riot has addressed this issue, because I’ve been on a computer that gets a low FPS on LoL, and it’s a very hopeless feeling. Playing with 25 FPS is a drag.
Other than strict visual differences, the shop will now be right beside the summoner’s platform. It’ll be complemented with new animations for the shopkeeper. I’m not sure if that’s strictly visual or or if the shop function, as a hotkey, has been completely removed. We’ll see (or you could let us all know in the comments, as I’ve not found that information anywhere).
Not only is the map getting improved, but the UI should be seeing improvements as well. The main goal here is, again, a better FPS for players.
The new HUD will offer a few new icons, text that is easier to read, and you’ll finally be able to see your minion kills without peeking at the scoreboard. They’ll be displayed at the top right of your screen, near your kills, deaths, and assists.
A New Ashe
Isn’t it about time? Ashe is one of the oldest champions in the game, and she desperately needs a makeover.
In the new patch, Ashe will see visual improvements to the champion model itself, animations, particles, splash art, and voiceover.
This is a big change, especially for those of you who frequently play champions with a health/shield buff.
In this new patch, an icon will be displayed above your champion when a turret has you targeted. You’ll also hear a sound.
Queue & Draft Changes
In ranked solo/duo queue, say goodbye to the free-to-play champion rotation. You’ll only be able to summon champions that you’ve purchased from the shop. At ranked level though, you should probably have most champions that you intend to play.
Riot describes this change as motivated because they want a more competitive atmosphere in ranked games. Players have apparently “tested out” champions in ranked games during the free rotations. It makes a lot of sense that this will help Riot sustain the free-to-play game model, so I can see this change working progressively both ways.
As for normal draft games, there will now be a 20% chance for every player to be the captain of their team, regardless if some players on the team are pre-made or not.
New Item: Athene’s Unholy Grail
Chalice of Harmony has been getting pushed to the side by far too many players, so Riot has decided to add a new item for champions that desperately require mana regeneration. Chalice of Harmony builds into Athene’s Unholy Grail, so this is a huge endgame item that we’ll inevitably be seeing a lot it.
Let me know what you think about Riot’s changes to League of Legends in the comments, and check out the full patch notes! If there’s one thing I love to chat about, it’s gaming.