Support Item Changes - Midseason 2017

Hey, Guys! Limely and Riot Colin here to talk about the recent changes we’ve made to the Support starting items: adding Quests and Rewards, and reworking the Ancient Coin line. ****TL;DR**** - We want the Support player’s laning actions to be more interactive, meaningful, and drive towards a feeling of progressing through the game without simply piling on more gold, as it’s very easy to do more harm than good that way. There is still a lot more to do for Supports to catch them up to the other positions; adding quests and their rewards is just one of several steps towards improving the Support experience. ****Problem Statement / Solution Space**** Supports tend to lack meaningful points of comparison - they can’t compare scores like CS, and let’s be honest - “Wards Placed” is not necessarily indicative of good vision play. :P It’s even harder to compare performance when a subset of Support champions are played with an item that allows them to opt out of interacting with the lane if they so choose. To combat this we have added milestone quests to the starting gold items to allow the player to measure their success during the laning phase, with an impactful reward on hitting a goal - if you can get your reward before your opponent, how will you use that advantage? We’ve also made changes to the Ancient Coin passive in order to enable meaningful quest progression and encourage lane interaction. Our goal here is to add a pattern that allows opportunities for a higher payout, at a higher risk. ****Quest Details**** Once you have earned a certain amount of gold with your choice of starting item, the item’s quest is replaced with a unique passive. * Ancient Coin line: Gain an elixir that instantly grants a skill point when consumed. Takedowns on enemy champions spawn gold and mana coins. * You still have a max of 18 skill points per game - you’ll finish leveling your abilities at level 17 * If your inventory is full, the elixir is automatically consumed (and you can choose a skill) * Relic Shield line: Gain a shield that regenerates out of combat. Executing minions accelerates the regeneration. * Spellthief’s Edge line: Tribute procs grant a short burst of movement speed. ****Ancient Coin Line Rework**** The old Ancient Coin passive created very stagnant gameplay, and limited our ability to tune its primary users as well as the player’s ability to excel in lane. Whether you were losing or winning lane, there was very little to no impact on your gold income. Here’s how we’re changing that: * When minions die near the player (but not due to the player), they sometimes drop a gold or mana coin for the player to pick up * Not Yet Implemented for PBE: Cannon minions always drop coins for a little more reliability * Mana coins restore % missing mana with a flat floor of mana restored * Ancient Coin items now have base ambient gold in line with the other two starting items There are still some clarity issues around having two Coin players in the game, as well as balance on the risk vs. reward of grabbing those coins, so we would love your feedback to help us fine tune the experience. ****Anti-Poaching**** We understand that giving the Support starting items special power upon quest completion has the risk of making them more appealing to non-support players. We want to avoid poaching on these items - we want the rewards to be impactful, but if it becomes ideal to buy an item whose mini-game you don’t actually plan on actively participating in just to get the reward late game at minimal investment, it cheapens the experience for those who are opting into the gameplay. To limit the item to those who are interested in investing in the item for the item’s sake, the quest cannot be completed unless you have at least the second tier of the item (Nomad’s Medallion, Targon’s Brace, or Frostfang). Additionally, we changed the timing of spending charges on the Spellthief’s Edge line: * The cooldown on spending charges after a minion kill has been decreased from 12 seconds to 8 seconds, but this is now per minion kill. This means if you are Sona and your Q accidentally takes a minion you are punished less, but if you clear a whole wave, don’t expect to be using any of your charges any time soon. :P * Frost Queen’s Claim and Eye of the Watcher are unchanged as the restriction is lifted. * There is now a delay after a Tribute charge is spent before the same spell can spend another. This means that abilities such as Morgana’s W and Miss Fortune’s E don’t 100% guarantee three stacks of damage/gold if your opponent moves out of the spell area. We know there are still a lot of improvements we could make to the Support position to make it more compelling and balanced with the other positions. There are some pain points that haven’t been addressed with these changes, but we plan to continue working on ways to give Supports more control over their own destinies. :3 Please let us know what you think! We’ll be around to answer questions for a bit. Supporting Supports, Limely & Riot Colin ( {{champion:111}} & {{champion:48}} )
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