Apart from the DH changes (especially the removal of the soul pick-up minigame), I'm really liking the direction for S9. Turret plating sounds like a great concept. The bounty system direction make sense to me too. It's also great that we'll see everything on the scoreboard.
However, I think Riot should provide way more details for how everything works. We need to at least have the potential to completely understand every facet of the game's rules. No one wants a black box approach to gaming. That makes a game feel not only inaccessible but obfuscated even from fans. Just like for regular games like tennis, football, chess etc., we should have all the information available to us.
This is my concern with the new bounty system. It feels as though the bounties being on the scoreboard isn't just a matter of convenience. It's a necessity because of how involved the new system is and that's a bit of a problem if the full math of how every detail works isn't presented. We're asked to depend on a magic black box to tell us these values. It's not transparent and easy to grasp.
This change in particular seems a bit unintuitive and artificial (giving losing teams an unearned way back in):
> Bounty payouts for killing members of the losing team are reduced, down to a minimum of 20% normal values if the losing team is massively behind
In some games, it may not even be clear who is losing or winning and so this discrepancy is even harder to decipher. You may have equal kills but perhaps slightly higher CS overall or maybe more turret plating gold claimed. It isn't always super intuitive and neither are the details for how this is calculated. It seems like more magic when I want clarity. If we're going to have this, maybe list overall team gold on the scoreboard too or a bounty multiplier.
In any case, while I appreciate the goal, scaling bounties based off which team is ahead as a whole seems unintuitive and even a bit unfair. Imagine if they did this in sports. Federer won the first two sets and so for the 3rd and final set, each of his points are only half value. Do we really want unequal rules to make it harder for the better players to claim victory?
There absolutely need to be comeback mechanics but this feels odd. You get one set of rules when ahead and another when behind. I'm not aware of any sport like this. In a way, it punishes excellence just for the sake of it and not because of the behind team doing anything clever (although ahead teams also have seemingly invisible and possibly unearned snowball advantages). I guess the logic can be that a behind team has less gold to offer when looted but that would make much more sense if there was actually a transfer of gold from a kill in LoL.
Stream of consciousness/rambling/misc:
Sports offer an incomplete analogy since in many cases, prior performance doesn't directly impact the next point. In tennis, it doesn't matter what you did on previous points. The next one is its own game and you could theoretically win a match starting from any score. For team oriented games though, there tend to be accumulated advantages akin to League's system but with more resets occurring in the span of the game (sort of like mini-games). For example, you'll have all kinds of positional advantages in soccer but eventually there is a reset. League has no reset button (maybe this changes with turret plating?) except the next game and there's nothing necessarily wrong with that. It makes each action feel more meaningful. In that aspect, it's more comparable to chess or RTS games than to traditional sports.
Thus, while it feels unnatural, inconsistent and overcomplicated, I understand where these exceptions are coming from. It's easier to kill enemies when ahead and with better items so maybe the ahead team shouldn't get equal rewards after a point. That one carry on the enemy team would truly have almost no chance if he dies once and on top of everything also gives away a huge bounty. Then again, the ahead team didn't get there by a dice roll. They played better or at the very least drafted better/snowballed hard. Perhaps it's a good change but it isn't elegant.
However this ends up working, at the very least, the math should be available somewhere official. A devoted fan shouldn't feel like parts of the game's logic are unavailable for examination. On an emotional level, hidden parts make one feel like merely a guest passing through rather than someone cozy at home. In other words, there's less attachment. Even if almost no one would look at the complicated math or various other things, it would be comforting to know it's out there.
On the topic of the scoreboard, KDA is overly emphasized and misleading (player and team gold would be more useful and it's nice to see the bounty system evolve beyond raw KDA). A Singed can go 0 8 and be tremendously useful as a split pusher despite being berated by his team for "feeding." This is even stranger when you consider how many people totally ignore that 4 of those "deaths" were tactical executes. I am still baffled as to why executes which grant no gold are filed in the same category as deaths from champions. If the goal of recording deaths is to define a generally negative contribution to the game state, they shouldn't be lumped together. I hope this can be fixed for S9. I see no reason for it besides tradition.