Why you should be hyped for Season 3
With the constant delays in the end of Season 2, Morello and Xypherous have been teasing us with many of the upcoming changes in League for Season 3. As we anticipate the end of the season, I've created today a list of the major changes we should be looking forward to and the implications to the state of the game when they occur.
1. Damage/penetration formulas and items are being reworked.
Riot hasn't released most of the information related to the penetration rework, but we have learned two important pieces of information in the past few days. Firstly, penetration will be calculated with percentage penetration followed by flat reduction in the new season instead of the current formula, where flat penetration is calculated before percentage. This will mean that flat penetration will be much more effective in the mid to end game; right now, flat penetration is only truly effective in the early game.
Using an example target with 125 armor, 25 armor penetration, and 40% armor penetration, next season's formula will reduce your opponent's effective armor from 60 to 50. More information on penetration will come soon as Riot releases their full changes to penetration -- they are planning to look at every source of penetration damage, and we can't accurately give you new math on the changes until those come out.
Riot's second major change to penetration in addition to the formula rework is that they are planning to give us much stronger mid-late item trees for AD casters. Take the new iteration of The Black Cleaver (45 AD, 10% CDR, 10 ArPen, physical damage reduces Armor by 5% for 6 seconds up to 5 stacks): we now have penetration items that will become viable in late game. The current problem with many AD casters is that they see a drop-off in damage after they buy their Brutalizer and Last Whisper: new items will allow them to stay relevant past the 20 minute mark.
What does this imply? Expect an uptick in assassins if the new items allow better late-game scaling. With the new late-game options in items, as well as better penetration scaling (via damage formula), we should see an increase in AD caster (especially AD assassins) play in champions such as Pantheon and Talon.
2. Build pathing is being reworked for champion specialization
As seen in the recent itemization previews, we should expect many new and reworked items to allow more specialized build pathing. For example, the aforementioned The Black Cleaver will now upgrade from Brutalizer and Force of Nature is having its stat components moved to different items and then removed from the game completely. If Morello is to be believed, we will now buy items to complement specific champions instead of buying a combination of item that maximizes statistical item efficiency.
Personally, the new items are what I'm looking forward to the most since I don't truly think we will be able to use "inefficient" builds to maximize damage. New item releases mean a bunch of new mathcrafting from Reign of Gaming as we will hopefully be seeing a plethora of item builds for all classes, rather than the stale itemization we have right now (rush IE/PD or Rabadon's Deathcap). If the new items do live up to their hype, we should see a whole new level of depth added to League that will appeal to the game's hardcore fans. Expect some annoying FotM builds until the general playerbase adjusts the new item playstyles.
3. The jungle rework
In the coming months, we'll be seeing a "new" jungle that will have an increased clear difficulty similar to the Season 1 jungle. It'll be a lot harder to successfully play "troll" junglers, but it'll also make sure that champions that are intended for the jungle will be able to compete with their lane counterparts throughout the game. Although we haven't seen any major details about the jungle rework released yet, the jungle should reinvent the early game for many champions. It is possible that with a more difficult jungle, we should see some common picks pushed out of viability, with other niche champions coming into the new metagame. We saw this in the previous jungle rework, which pushed Warwick from the "golden standard" of jungling into Tier 2 but other previously weak champions into the forefront. Given the amount of complaining that players did during the first jungle rework, we should see a lot of happy (lane) campers soon.
4. Another mastery rework
In the last few weeks, Morello and Xypherous have become masters of leaking details about the upcoming changes without actually telling us anything, but we can be sure of a few things. Just like last season, we'll be seeing a complete rework in the mastery trees for increased versatility. Two of the changes that have been recently highlighted are (1) removal of bonus armor/mr in the first tier of the defensive tree, and (2) a stronger utility tree.
What will this mean? If you're winning a lane in the early game, it should be easier to get kills without the +6 armor/MR in addition to the changes in how penetration is calculated. If you're against 'dat noob' in lane, it should theoretically be easier to outplay your opponent and get a kill. At the same time, this means that if you are losing a lane and are sitting under a tower, it might be harder to stay alive if you are losing heavily in trades or if the enemy jungler decides to dive you.
Final Thoughts on Season 3
The previous changes in the game should all come together to create an exciting new League of Legends metagame. Changes in the jungle, masteries, and penetration should increase early-game aggression and the reintroduction of assassins and AD casters into the metagame. This will mean a more exciting laning phase with more trades instead of afk-farming for the first 15 or 20 minutes of every single game, as well a change in the top-lane meta to become more tanky-dps oriented. At the same time, the jungle is being retooled for an entirely new early-game dynamic. I anticipate that the game will become much faster paced (think Korean meta here) and it may become more difficult to stall out until the late game.
Our staff is looking forward to the upcoming changes in Season 3. In addition to dealing with all of changes in the game, we'll have many more fresh blogs, rants, and numero crunches coming at you from all posters. Are you excited for the changes in Season 3? Comment with your thoughts below!
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