ARAM has been around for years and stands apart from the traditional Summoner’s Rift game mode, the former being a mode where players fight on a one-lane map with randomly chosen champions. Despite the mode playing out quite differently from Summoner’s Rift, it’s only received a limited number of champion changes restricted solely to that game mode. That’s changing in early 2019 though as Riot Games announced that it would be making ARAM-exclusive champion changes soon.
The announcement came in a response to a post on Reddit about similar game mode changes being made in Nexus Blitz. Riot Games’ new experimental game mode has gotten several updates with balance changes only found in that mode, and one highly-upvoted post said the fact that Riot Games changed champions for Nexus Blitz but not for ARAM was “a slap in the face to all ARAM players.” Addressing that complaint in a comment, senior designer Riot Mortdog responded to give insight into Riot Games’ ARAM plans. The Rioter said Nexus Blitz allowed for changes to be made to specific champions without changing how they feel, and since the method worked well in Nexus Blitz, the same strategy will be applied to ARAM.
“The good news is, we think that has went quite well in Nexus Blitz, so in the first half of 2019, we are going to be making champion balance changes to ARAM for the first time,” Riot Mortdog said. “We agree that some of the outliers need to be addressed to make sure ARAM can continue to be as fun as possible!”
For visibility here too, regarding ARAM balancing://t.co/p835XNv7tf— Riot Mort (@Mortdog) December 14, 2018
Echoing the comments in a post on the League of Legends boards, design director Riot Meddler said Riot would take a similar approach to ARAM as it did with Nexus Blitz to make sure champions don’t feel too different compared to other game modes.
“We'll likely do a balance pass on ARAM sometime in the first half of 2019, assuming things with the Nexus Blitz balance pass continue to go well,” Riot Meddler said. “Plan would be a similar approach of harder to feel things (e.g. some base stats) so that champs don't feel like they play differently but are brought down in power a bit. No specific details available yet though, that work hasn't started.”
ARAM has had limited champion-specific changes in the past such as the amount of stacks Nasus gains from farming his “Q,” but no large-scale changes have been made.