League of Legends Is Nerfing the Stopwatch Rune, Likely Removing Tracker's Knife
Changes geared towards competitive League of Legends matches are being either implemented or [...]
Changes geared towards competitive League of Legends matches are being either implemented or considered in Patch 8.4 that include nerfing the Stopwatch rune, removing Tracker's Knife from the game, and other changes.
While normal matches have remained full of kills and "bloodiness," according to Riot Meddler, pro games haven't seen the same experience. Instead, many of these top-tier matches have slowed down due to safety nets like a surplus of vision and runes like Stopwatch.
"Pro by contrast has trended (some exceptions) towards pretty slow, safe games, with teams either having difficulty closing out or being hesitant about taking the risks needed to do so," Riot Meddler said. "Having some pro games like that's fine of course, when it's common though would argue it's a much less enjoyable experience as a spectator."
In order to counteract some of that slowness, Meddler outlined a couple of changes that are being considered that would significantly impact professional play.
Saying that every champion from tanks to mages to ADCs would soon be taking advantage of the invulnerability that was previously exclusive to Zhonya's Hourglass would've been laughable a few months ago, but in today's League of Stopwatches, that's exactly what's happening.
The Stopwatch meta has been met with frustration from players due to the abrupt end that it puts to flashy plays and all-ins, a frustration compounded by the fact that if everyone else is taking it, it almost puts you at a disadvantage not to use it as well.
But those players who despise the rune should be happy to hear that the time it becomes available is likely being delayed, a change that's been requested more than once as a possible solution to the rune. Riot Meddler commented that the activation time would likely be pushed back to 8 minutes as opposed to 6 minutes, a delay that would let champs make the most of their level six powerspikes.
"That gives a window where champs generally have their ults but Stopwatches haven't come online yet. We think Stopwatch is likely getting blame for slow play in a lot of cases where there are other issues as well or instead. It's certainly contributing though still, even with recent changes, and it's the sort of effect that should be much less common to avoid warping games too much."prevnext
Tracker's Knife May Be Removed
Another potential change that'll be coming in 8.4 is one that's been previewed briefly before, the removal of Tracker's Knife.
While the pro meta might shift towards different jungle items depending on which junglers are most dominant, it inevitably moves back towards the Tracker's Knife as a go-to option that provides quite a bit of vision. Instead of nerfing or adjusting the item, Riot Games is considering simply straight-up removing it.
"Likely removing Tracker's Knife from the jungle items," Riot Meddler added as a potential Patch 8.4 change. "It's become increasingly dominant as a jungle choice in pro play specifically, with the extra vision making jungler position especially more predictable."
This idea comes following the preview of a new item called Pathfinder's Knife, one that grants replenishable Control Wards as well as the Chilling Smite effect. Pathfinder's Knife appeared briefly on the PBE before being removed, so it's unclear at the moment if this is the exact direction the jungle items are headed.prevnext
Baron and Elder Dragon Buffs
Expanding on the buffs that were previewed recently that would drastically increase the effects of the Elder Dragon and Baron buff, Riot Meddler provided further explanation on the changes that are being tested.
"Increasing the power of Epic monster buffs so that you really want to contest them if possible," Riot Meddler said. "Baron buff at present only scales in power from 20-27 minutes, we'll be changing it to scale all the way up to around 50 minutes, making it much more meaningful later game. Also doing a few other tweaks to it at the same time (making Baron empowered cannon minions more meaningful damage wise, shifting to a more appropriate AD/AP ratio rather than favoring AD etc)."
The Rioter added that the Elder Dragon wouldn't be changing on the first spawn but said that subsequent Elder Dragon takedowns would yield stronger buffs that compound with each slain Elder.prevnext
One change that wasn't slated for Patch 8.4 but was rather previewed for a future update was adjustments made to Teleport, a Summoner Spell that's nearly a staple for the top lane.
While pro players have found ways around the necessity of the spell by taking something like Ignite along with Unsealed Spellbook to later switch back to Teleport, a tactic that's trickled down to normal play as well, Teleport still has a huge impact on all levels of play. Sometime after 8.4, Riot hopes to look at the "chilling effect" that Teleport has in games.
"Looking at TP, and chilling effect it has on the game in many cases, both in pro and regular play. Things like how it makes it harder to fight and meaningfully win in top lane, increases risk of aggressive play in bot (don't so you don't get TP flanked), leads to periods of 'wait until TP is up before trying anything late game etc."
Everything is subject to change at this point, but look for any potential changes on the PBE before they go live for everyone else.prev