League of Legends Designer Discusses Game Pacing During Preseason

League of Legends Jinx Vi
(Photo: Riot Games)

League of Legends’ lead gameplay designer recently shared some insights into how game pacing is looking in the preseason period.

How quickly or slowly the games progressed was one of the areas that Riot Games said they’d be examining in the preseason in an attempt to find an appropriate gameplay pace, a stat that’s affected by quite a few different factors. Starting with the recent turret changes where the structures became sturdier, it appears that those changes in particular have had little effect on the length of games, according to Riot Meddler, but that might mean more changes are in order.

“The changes in 7.23 (more tower health, more minion damage to towers, minions faster after 20 minutes) had almost no effect on average game length or on time of first tower fall (now about 6s later than 7.22). Our primary goal with those changes was to support split pushing a bit more, especially for champs with lower personal damage to towers, without making towers fall faster overall. We're not seeing towers go down faster post 7.23 which is good, we're also not seeing much affect on split pushers so far however, suggesting we've potentially been too subtle in our approach with that set of changes.”

As far as damage dealt in games goes, the numbers are up, something that might’ve been attributed to the new runes. However, it appears that the higher damage actually has something to do with support champions and the items they build.

“Our initial assumption was that that would be coming from the Runes system, looking into it further it looks like one of the biggest contributors is the shift of a lot of supports to the Frost Queen's line from more defensive items, with associated shift in support champs picked to those who deal more damage anyway (and therefore like the FQ line being strong). That combination means both more damage dealers on a team and less champs peel/preventing damage, particularly during laning phase in bot lane, but also to some degree in later team fights.”

The bot lane also appears to be taking the first turret more often than before, but the tendency for bot lane to take the turrets first more often in high MMR games – 55-58 percent as opposed to 44-47 percent in low MMR – might be problematic.

Meddler closed by adding that more changes might be in order soon, though it’ll depend on how the gameplay speed looks following the recent patch and the mid-December mini patch.