As the Summer Split roars on, the next patch to the biggest MOBA in the world, League of Legends, almost seems trivial in comparison to the last couple that focused in on pro-play specifically. This patch sees a lot of trimming and preening to established systems, as well as a big rebalance of ARAM, and the introduction of /REMAKE. Nothing that drastically affects anyone over the Challenger level, but all good and necessary changes on a small scale. Let's take a look.
1. Re-balanced ARAM
Some of the silliest complaints you'll find in forums and on social media regarding League of Legends are the ones concerning the balance of ARAM, aka All Random, All Mid. A mode based around spontaneity, there's really only so much Riot COULD do when it comes to trying to make the playing field even for all champions. They've actively chosen to do very little since the game mode's residency started, mostly because the imbalance is almost part of the gag. With no side lanes or jungles to hide in/gank from, and no objective creatures to gain gap-closing buffs from, some characters will just be comically better than others.
The crazy team compositions that can be created by rolling the dice can be overwhelmingly lopsided at times, but again, that's the price paid for admission. There is something to be said about the inherit inability for some champions to adapt under these circumstances. Melee-centric juggernauts, who are slow but do sustained damage and peel well, don't thrive in ARAM environments because being focused is a forgone conclusion. Very few champs can even actively contribute at all under these conditions, let alone be consistently effective. Supports who are usually gold deprived find themselves in an awkward position in ARAM, too. If you can't last hit and kill in droves, you are left on the low side of the gold deficit and will never be able to scale into the champion who can protect squishes or disable enemies before you get assassinated.
Attempts to nudge the mode towards "balance" comes in multiple forms. Certain champs have had their abilities and features tweaked specifically on the Howling Abyss map. Bard's chimes spawn faster now, since the accelerated gold/experience gain still left out a significant part of his scaling process. Thresh's souls are twice as valuable now, and Nasus gets double the stacks when killing with his Siphoning Strike. All Summoner's Spells cooldowns are drastically shorter, and a Homeguard-like speed boost has been added to the beginning of the game, all for the sake of increasing the pace. There are several more changes - to gold income, to health packs, etc. - and you should definitely give it a read through in Riot's post if ARAM has been in your sights at all. Maybe this will make ARAM a more complete experience in the devs' eyes?
Dig, if you will, this picture:
You've selected your roles, you jump into queue, find a match, ban, pick, and load into the Rift only for one of your players to immediately disconnect. You're down one man immediately, and you can tell by the enemy team composition that it's going to be a looooong 20 minutes. This isn't fun. If that team is gonna stomp you out and make you forfeit at 20, you at least want the satisfaction of knowing that it wasn't because you were one man down.
Previously, there was nothing to be done about this. With the the coming of 6.12, the answer is now /REMAKE. If a 5v4 situation has arisen within the first three minutes, you can leave the game and return to queue with no penalty. It will be like the game never happened for everyone except the person flagged as AFK or d/c'd, who will get a loss and fed to Leaver Buster (anti-cheating software). It's a beautiful thing, but it has its limitations.
Games after three minutes are considered "games of record" - so if problems don't present themselves until after the first wave, then it'll be what it'll be. The offending player will have to have been AFK or d/c'd for at least 90 seconds, or half of the three minute window. The short team can only initiate /REMAKE when prompted by the game. If a First Blood kill is made before the three minute mark, that prompt won't happen, and the game is considered legal. If killed after the vote is initiated, the kill won't count. At Diamond V and up, the whole premade team of the d/c'd player will take a loss.
4 v 5's don't happen all that often, but when they do, you now have an option.
3. ADCarry On
The Marksman position has suffered a nearly unstoppable slide into staleness since the big patch last season that revitalized it. Most of this has come from the incremental nerfs to the key players of the position overtime based on their time in lane. As they become more tame in their role, they've become an afterthought in mid to late game, where they don't spike as hard as they used to. It's a difficult world balancing carries because they're an item nerf away from being wildly irrelevant.
In an attempt to stave this slide, Riot has upped the damage on mainstay items for the class. Infinity Edge and Essence Reaver both go up 5 AD, in hopes that the B.F. Sword based options in your standard Marksman builds represent in power the investment they require in gold. The Last Whipser based options, Lord Dominik's Regards and Mortal Reminder, have their damage upped by 10 in hopes that their defense bypassing abilities become a more viable option against sustain items who tend to get chosen simply because the damage output sacrificed seemed too high.
There are many changes still yet to be made if Marksmen want to truly thrive again, but this is a start.
If you want to know more about the changes patch 6.12 brings, including nerfs to Fizz and the tweaks to Masteries, visit the Patch Notes blog post on Riots website. Be sure to check out the Leaguepedia as well, for all of your up to date Pro-League info.
Jarrett shares his love of video games and geek culture through feature articles on Gamepedia. He prides himself on his deep attraction to Japanese beat-em ups and his god-like Bushido Blade talents.