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An Introduction to Our Vision Changes in Preseason

Reminder: Check out last night's collection of preseason changes

An Introduction to Our Vision Changes in Preseason

Originally Posted by Riot (View RedTracker Source)

Hey all,

Xypherous here with a rundown on our approach to vision in preseason. I've got a lot to cover, so I'm going to get right into it!

In terms of our overarching goal: we want to add more gameplay with vision and how vision control works for everyone in this new season. We think the best way to do that is by diversifying responsibility. Looking at Season 3, standard competitive support play involved buying minimal items in order to spend the majority of a player's income on wards and vision control. More gold = more wards. If a team's support was unable to fulfill that role, or fell behind their opponent, the entire team suffered.

With a new season comes a new approach to vision: vision will be a team focus rather than an individual one. Here we're introducing a number of changes to wards and the vision system that give all members of a team the responsibility and opportunity to participate:

  • Ward functionality has been changed. Vision wards (pink wards) are no longer invisible. This makes their placement and protection more strategic in game
  • Each player has a personal ward limit. If you place more wards on the map than allowed by this limit, your older wards will be removed (like the current Sightstone mechanics)
  • All players gain trinkets. These are new items that do one of three things on an appropriate cooldown: place a ward for free, detect existing wards, or scan a distant point

Let's get down to some specifics:

Ward Functionality Changes

  • Sight Wards (green wards) have been tentatively renamed to 'Stealth Wards'
  • Vision Wards (pink wards) are now permanent unless destroyed, visible to the enemy team and have 5 hit points
  • Vision Wards now cost less gold

In the current live environment, pink wards are clearly better than green wards in every respect other than cost. This frequently leads to games in which the only end-game approach to warding was spamming as many Vision Wards as a player could afford - in turn forcing opponents to pick up pink wards to counter enemy pinks. What should be an interesting strategic decision became a flat arms race.

With the new setup, the choices become more nuanced: Vision Wards still detect and reveal enemy wards, but, because they're always visible, must now be actively defended. Vision Wards will no longer both deny and grant vision unless your team has control of that area.

Player Ward Limits

  • Each player can now only place up to three Stealth Wards on the map. Placing extra Stealth Wards removes the oldest Stealth Ward. This includes wards from sources such as Sightstone, Wriggle's Lantern and trinkets
  • Each players can now only place one Vision Ward on the map at a time

We've decided to introduce ward limits as a way to cap the maximum amount of individual team member can contribute to the overall vision game. We're going to watch this one closely as limiting the number of wards per player can have dramatic consequences on overall map vision, especially during the end-game. Three and one felt like the right numbers, but we're open to feedback.


Trinkets are a completely new item type coming for Season 4. Here's how they work:

  • A new Trinket Slot has been added to your inventory
  • The Trinket Slot can only hold trinkets
  • Trinkets are free and can be swapped out at the shop at any time
  • Trinkets upgrade at Level 10, gaining either increased power or a lower cooldown

Trinkets are free and have their own dedicated slot, so all team members can contribute to vision control without sacrificing other areas of development.

The Three Trinkets

Sweeper: Reveals and disables nearby invisible units (including Wards) for a short time

  • The Sweeper Trinket is useful for denying enemy vision by revealing their nearby wards

Totem: Places a Stealth Ward that lasts for 1 or 2 minutes depending on level

  • The Totem Trinket acts like the current Wriggle's Lantern active. Stealth Wards grant full vision of a location for a brief time

Lens: Reveals a nearby area of the map for a brief time

  • The Lens Trinket operates like a mini Clairvoyance, revealing areas in the fog of war so teams can scout brush and other areas of the map from a position of relative safety

We'd like to give players more unique options for interacting with vision. Each trinket replicates one of the essential basic vision mechanics and has an appropriate cooldown. We expect that teams will want a mix of vision options available to them in order to counter their opponents' potential vision choices.

We're excited about the trinket system because it allows us to introduce a new way for everyone to participate in the vision game in ways that still offer specialization and customization. We're launching with a set of three trinkets because we wanted the simplest and clearest system possible, but we're open to expanding the system beyond the original three if it seems worthwhile.


The short rundown is that one of our main goals for this season is to make vision both more dynamic and less taxing on single players. Our hope is that these options make participating in the vision system more strategically varied for entire teams.

We'll also be posting this on reddit where we may pass through to clarify some questions. At the start of next week we'll be doing a global recap to follow up with the most up-to-date information from questions around the world!


Xypherous is pretty busy continuing to polish this system, so I'll be keeping an eye on this thread and discussing where possible.

Let's get this started!

Also, feel free to participate with us over on reddit:
Those changes are hella risky
Life without risk just ain't worth livin'.



  • #108 BossPikachu

    I'm still VERY pessimistic to the changes.. I main support, and I used to flood the map with wards for my ignorant teammates, and I know that not many other players care about warding. I don't know anything about platinum or higher, but in the range of Silver II - Gold I, it was basically always on me. I would go base often, buy some parts of any item I was hoping to finish, and bring approximately 3 pink wards or 2 pink wards and 2 green, or five green and an Oracles. Though, in season 4, if I can't place any more wards than my Sightstone can hold, this basically means, you shouldn't purchase any wards.. at all. Except for the one pink you can place at the time. This basically means, that as a support your role will change a lot, and you will need to have even more faith in your teammates. I really can't play without vision, and I would feel bad every time an ally gets caught in a place he shouldn't be, because there is no vision. It really sounds like that botlanes with an ADC/marksman and a second AP-carry or even assassin will emerge. Really strange things are about to happen.

  • #105 aTomic

    Increased gold and decreased ward burden is probably going to be a strike against "traditional" supports, whose utility is great but whose scaling is awful - champions like Janna who can do everything they need to on a Sightstone and maybe a Philo Stone. 

  • #106 Dj0z

    You probably never looked at the ratio on her shield?

  • #101 Isfirrius

    Oh my God. OMG. They've hit the exactly right numbers! :D (Hoping that the new Vision Wards costs about 65 gold and you never allow the ward limits to be raised by any means)

    R.I.P. Oracles. Now that you're and adult let me hang out with you, Clairvoyance. And with Vision Wards cheaper than Stealth Wards we can put them in bushes to see Evelynn before she enters it, and spam it whenever she kills it (but I'm really afraid of Akali pubstomping now :S ). With 5 cheap permanent Vision Wards in the entire team and 5 HP on every one she must have to decide to de-ward and run the risk of getting 3-man ganked or pass straight up to them. If she decides to de-ward to Vision Wards in the way I believe that this is sufficient time for a try to intercept her; something that can happen too if she insists just one at regular intervals.

    This is applicable to all junglers and you as a jungler can now inflict an additional gold burden on the paranoiac fellas XD . Anyway, "suprise" is just one element of ganking, although I feel the lack of a feature for junglers to decide if they want to boost their "surprise" element (of course picking a stealth jungler is a "decision", but it's one that I can't feel much value in it and it will not dispel my desire for "how can I make my Sejuani's ganks more surprising without wasting my gap-closer to jump over a wall?"). Maybe the "Oracle's Upgrade" should be in the Sweeper Trinket and not in the Lens Trinket (remembering just Hextech Sweeper and The Lightbringer passives, but with a minor radius), and maybe it'll better for the trinkets upgrades 'unlock' in the store at Champion Level X and be buy-able as Viktor upgrades. If the upgraded Lens active can be similar to the Hextech/Lightbringer active revealing stealthed champions on a Clairvoyance cooldown I wonder how upgrade the Totem (the ward trinket) will take. Maybe it begins with a 1 min duration and can be improved to a 2 min duration? Have you thought about a 4rth trinket similar to Totem putting a Vision Ward with 1 HP and its upgrade raise her HP to 4 or 5? Have you thought about Trinkets consuming, say, 15 gold on use? MAN, TRINKETS ARE AS COOL AS POROS! XDDD

    I predict that the standard would be 3 for the team's tribrush side of the map and 2 for the other, jungle and mid needing to communicate about it. For the trinkets I guess Totem on top laners for security, Sweeper for junglers to opening paths, Lens for snipping Marksmen as Ezreal/Ashe/Jinx/Caitlyn and Totem for those who want to just put something and focus in farm, and Sweeper for supports for the ongoings of the vision war.

    Thank you, Riot. Make in Season 5 the Summoner's Rift horizontal as TT and Dominion and you shall deliver all that we ever dreamed about \o/

  • #96 B3hr7

    Yes....I'm loving these changes alot. Or now, when people yell at me for not warding enough, I can point out my 3 stealth wards I've placed so far and ask my team, "where are your wards?"

  • #103 Satsuto


    That's going to be such a relief for low elo support... 

  • #104 SteppenKat

    The main problem is that now you can't fix vision problems for your team, so carrying with support without trying to become a pseudocarry will be a lot harder.

  • #93 KingOfThe23Stars

    No Trollers Who Can Set Words With Wards While Sitting Afk In Base

  • #91 KingOfThe23Stars

    100% Happiness!! Thx Riot! Every Supp Will Love You! (Like I Do)

  • #82 MachineGunBatman

    I like this change. Now get rid of 0 CS roles and I'm totally happy.

  • #88 Gameguy301
    season 5 changes double the number of jungle camps, 3 solo lanes, double jungle.
    Last edited by Gameguy301: 10/24/2013 10:28:22 PM
  • #89 Dj0z

    Why the fk not actually?

  • #90 Gameguy301
    double jungle ganks OP
  • #98 RoakOriginal

    or switching SR for magma chamber! O_o

  • #81 Vuldin

    ward limit? O_O

  • #97 B3hr7

    Quote from Vuldin »

    ward limit? O_O

    AKA your lazy and greedy teammates have to ward now. Gonna be good for the game overall.

  • #80 Shroomster

    So I guess we can finally stop the "ONLY 3 WARDS ON MAP, SUPPORT SUX, 9 X REPORT PLZ" in all chat in S4?

  • #92 KingOfThe23Stars

    YES! XD

  • #78 Gameguy301
    Earlier I mentioned a ward limit and free wards a system I called ward welfare and well there it is...different from how I imagined but the basic elements are in place. Giving everyone wards incentivized even the bronze V to ward to some extent, and placing an upper limit lowers the income burden on supports and limits the vision dominance in professional play.
  • #75 CptCoxwag

    The solution to too much vision? MOAR VISION.

    Honestly an absolutely terrible design decision that only serves to cater to imbeciles without basic map awareness or critical thinking on where the enemy may be hiding. Now you can simply ward to reveal every ambush, gank, and incoming threat so that nothing can go wrong when your team all rallies up for a lategame teamfight.

    At least punish the opponent financially for each ward placed from the trinket. Safety should come at a price, you know risk vs rewards and all that shit.

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