League of Legends players are one update away from the biggest patch of the year: 12.10’s Durability Update.
As the word durability implies, you can expect champions across the board to be tougher and survive longer in team fights. On the opposite end of the stick, overall damage will also be reduced.
Since champions are getting beefier, Riot Games will simultaneously adjust systems on Summoner’s Rift by increasing damage dealt by Baron and turrets, for example, and nerfing shields and sustain (again).
In the game developers recent Quick Gameplay Thoughts blog, they explain their reasoning behind this major decision and what players can expect when the patch goes live.
What Riot Games aims to achieve in the patch 12.10 Durability Update
All champions in League of Legends deal increasing amounts of damage as the game goes on because items increase their stats, scaling with abilities.
Even though they’ve been largely absent in the pro meta for the longest time, assassins (and certain mages) that one-shot squishy opponents are the go-to class in solo queue. They take advantage of chaos, and carry the game by nuking as many enemies as they can with burst rotations.
Riot Games identified this as a persistent problem, for there’s no counterplay. The moment the enemy assassin gets two kills in mid, the support and AD carry at bot lane–who hasn’t done anything but farm in the first 10 minutes of the game–die instantly from a roam.
The developer claims that lower survivability “creates abrupt and confusing team fights and skirmishes when champions die so quickly”, and therefore doesn’t live up to “Legends” in League of Legends.
Hence, they are making these changes to create scenarios that lead to meaningful 5v5 team fighting on the Rift.
How Riot plans to improve the quality of team fights in the patch 12.10 Durability Update
The game developers still want to see skirmishes throughout the game, albeit toned down. They still want to keep the classes of burst champions and reward them–but only if they land every single skill on an opponent.
In the early game, burst champions should not be able to 100 to zero squishy champions if they do not land their full kit. Similarly, if they do snowball and get reasonably far ahead, they will be able to from mid to late game.
To increase durability, all champions will have their base health, health per level, armor per level, and magic resist per level increased in the next patch.
Stats targeted in Patch 12.10 Durability Update
- Base Health
- Health per Level
- Armor per Level
- Magic Resist per Level
What patch 12.10’s Durability Update means for League of Legends players
Riot Games gave a brief rundown of what to expect once patch 12.10 goes live.
- Players will feel that their champions are dealing and taking less damage
- Burst champions must commit more resources or be further ahead to get quick kills
- Bigger windows of opportunity for counterplay
- Skirmishes and team fights will last longer
Points one, three, and four are reminiscent of the way Dota 2 is designed as a MOBA, where team fights last longer than any other title in the same genre.
Of course, there is no buyback in League of Legends, and mages and supports still scale, so while its nowhere near where Dota 2 is today, it is a step in that direction.
Having more opportunities for counterplay is always healthy, but longer skirmishes and team fights also makes League of Legends harder for the average player.
While Riot did not want players to feel confused by what killed them, this same group of players will need to pay extra attention to ability usage and cooldown timers, as there will now be more than one iteration of skill rotations in any given fight.
The role of the AD carry, who relies on auto attacks and builds items like Blade of the Ruined King that does percent health damage and Last Whisper that penetrates armor, also becomes much more important, especially in the late game.
Riot Games promised to monitor these changes closely once they go live in patch 12.10. “We don’t want to move to a meta where tanks become unkillable, burst champions are rendered obsolete, or where pro play becomes a snoozefest,” the game developers wrote.
But as the saying goes, you can’t have the cake and eat it: balancing a game that is appealing to the average Gold ranked player and pro play is near impossible, and eventually, something’s got to give.
Read the full Quick Gameplay Thoughts dev diary here.