Riot outlines plans for preseason—no more stats on runes, longer laning phase, and easier comebacks

For once, it doesn't look like Riot has any plans to gut the jungle this time.

Image via Riot Games

This year has felt like one obnoxiously long League of Legends preseason, thanks to one excessive change after another, but, believe it or not, it’s time again for Riot to start prepping for 2019.

That’s right, it’s almost time for the Season Nine preseason, and today, Riot highlighted what it wants to accomplish this time around. Unfortunately, this announcement was made in the form of a forum post rather than a YouTube video starting with, “Hey everyone, Joe here,” but it’ll do.

Without spilling the beans on what exactly will be happening, the post did outline what Riot aims to accomplish, and honestly, it all sounds pretty good. Here are all of the points, ranked in order of importance.

1) Comebacks are more achievable

Most players can agree that although the game has changed from week-to-week more than it has during any other season so far, one thing has remained the same all year—comebacks are really, really hard. If your team drops three kills within the first 10 minutes of the game, it’s going to be a very difficult game to overcome, and odds are, you won’t.

Snowballing is out-of-control, and early game victories give advantages that are just way too impactful and advantageous, particularly the First Blood on towers. Riot wants to smooth that out, so games are less feast-or-famine.

2) Stat bonuses removed from rune paths

The most recent flavor-of-the-month complaint from League players is that the game had too much damage in it. As odd as that sounds, it’s at least partially true, even if it’s not as much of a black-and-white game ruiner as Reddit would have you believe. Riot is going to be removing bonus stats given by rune paths in an attempt to correct that issue.

The developer also hopes this will open up more rune builds, so the meta isn’t decided by just a couple of dominant playstyles or builds. So far, we don’t know if Riot plans to add bonus stats somewhere else in compensation, or if they’re just going away altogether.

3) Laning phase is longer

In the very snowball-oriented meta of this year, laning phase has been whittled down to an all-time low. When you can burst down the first tower or catch your lane opponent with a cheesy level two gank, the game quickly devolves into a race to see how fast you can force them out of lane by going mid or roaming with your jungler. Riot wants to put more emphasis on the one-on-one or two-on-two fighting, so it will attempt to lengthen laning phase to the point where you can safely get one full item in most games before leaving.

4) Decided games end faster

If this sounds super contradictory to the goal Riot already outlined of wanting games to be more “comebackable,” that’s because it is. Riot stated in the post that there are too many games where one team gets really ahead yet struggles to close out the game.

If you’re the team trying to come back and win, you probably want the enemy team to struggle to close out the game, so going in the opposite direction only sounds like it’ll hurt things more. Riot didn’t share many details on this one, aside from this line: “We’re looking into changes that help super snowballed teams close out the game.” Apart from being vague, that really just sounds terrifying.

The preseason usually kicks off right around the end of Worlds in November, which means we’re getting pretty close already. In past seasons, Riot has given many more details on pre-season plans before this point of the year, so we’re hoping that the company will share more details soon. Until then, though, just ban Zoe and you’ll be fine.