Riot just announced itemization changes in Season 3 on the official forums
Im Xypherous, a Technical Designer here at Riot Games. Ive been working a bit on the goals for itemization changes as we head into the preseason, focusing mostly on specialization, player self-expression, and adding new gameplay patterns in the game. We wanted to fix a lot of the existing problems that players have with items and try to add more depth in terms of itemization. Let me go over the major goals we have for the preseason item changes:
Clean up / Reworks
We have some items that need a lot of love and some items that simply dont have a place in the current framework in the game. We either made these items relevant for a specific purpose or removed them if they were too problematic to balance. Some super-niche or narrow-scope items have been remade to work on a greater variety of champions.
There arent enough items to allow each champion to really feel like they have their own unique build. We also want to add more items that allow you to specialize for the particular game that youre in. Were adding items to give players in each role alternate primary builds that fill out their teams better. If your carry needs to do more AoE damage, he has an option for that. If your primary AP caster needs additional CC capabilities, theres an option for that, too.
We want players to have a degree of specialization in terms of playstyle, and to buy items that complement that playstyle rather than simply giving them the highest raw stats.
Gold and Statistics Pass
Weve done a complete gold and statistics pass on the entire item shop. Many statistics have been reevaluated to better reflect how much gold they are worth at a particular stage of the game. Premiums have been adjusted across many items to reflect how difficult they are to build or how niche they are, rather than their raw statistical strength. Items that grant early Resistances / Attack Damage / Attack Speed have all been reevaluated in terms of strength.
Breadth and Depth
One of the most important things we tried to accomplish during the preseason was to ensure that your mid game items didnt pigeonhole you into certain choices later in the game. Weve also endeavored to give mid-tier items more late game options so that you dont run into dead-ends as the game progresses. If you build Wardens Mail in the mid game, you shouldnt feel compelled to buy Randuins Omen every game. We wanted to make sure that at each stage of item progression gave you upgrade choices later on.
We know that some of your favorite items might be affected by the coming update. Ill be discussing many specific examples in depth leading up to the patch. If youd like more information on a specific change, reply to the thread and Ill answer your question if I can.