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Friday, November 4, 2011

Inside Design: Summoner Spells and Season Two!

Going into Season Two, we’d like to open up the playing field for a greater variety of summoner spell choices. With this objective in mind, we’re going to retouch the existing summoner spells to shake up the classic compositions, and to help them better support the strategy of a given team composition.
Here are a few changes that you can expect to see coming up in Season Two.
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger!
Most of the classic summoner spells that you’re used to seeing will still be there for you to use heading into Season Two. Many of them will be getting retuned, however, to better suit the more aggressive gameplay that we want to promote in the new competitive season.
Most notably, Flash and Clairvoyance – largely considered the two most powerful summoner spells – will each be coming down a notch going into Season Two. Flash will now have both reduced range and an increased cooldown to make summoners feel less obligated to select it. Clairvoyance will also be receiving an increased cooldown and reduced duration to make it require more tactical use and be less punishing to junglers.
Heal and Cleanse, on the other hand, will each be receiving buffs to make them more attractive selections. Heal will now scale much more strongly into late game, while Cleanse will now remove summoner spell effects such as Ignite and Exhaust.
Out with the Old!
In addition to these changes, there were a couple of older summoner spells that didn’t really fit into how the game has developed since release. We opted to remove these less utilized summoner spells and replace them with some new options. In particular, we’ll be bidding farewell to both the Fortify spell and the Rally spell.
Rally suffers from a few unique disadvantages that are not symptomatic of the other summoner spells. Not only is it a stationary effect in a game that favors high-mobility play, but it can be quickly focus-fired and destroyed by an enemy team with good combat awareness. As a result, the Rally spell has seen little usage, and won’t be making a comeback in Season Two.
As for Fortify, one of the goals of our design changes going into the new competitive season is to continue to encourage aggressive, exciting gameplay. Having a summoner spell that promotes stagnant play by completely shutting down pushes, while also being unpopular, doesn’t mesh with our Season Two goals. We’ll be replacing this relic with a spell we think has a stronger place in the game.
And in with the New!
To fill the void left by the removal of these two spells, we’ll be supplementing the remaining complement of summoner spells with some new choices. This includes the return of the Promote summoner spell and the introduction of the new “Surge” (name not yet final) spell.
“Surge” is a brand new summoner spell that will imbue your champion with a powerful aura, boosting the combat effectiveness of both you and your allies. This new spell will fill the same niche that Rally was intended to occupy without suffering from all the adverse caveats that come with being linked to a stationary object.
Additionally, rather than promote stagnant gameplay through the Fortify spell, we’ve retooled the Promote spell for use on Summoner’s Rift. Like its Dominion equivalent this spell will provide a single minion with a significant buff to its Range, Health, Armor, and Magic Resistance stats. Unlike the incarnation of Promote that was present in the League of Legends Beta, however, this new spell can only be cast on a cannon minion, preventing a group of players from spamming it to aggressively push a single lane.
Spell it out for me!
Ultimately, these new summoner spells will help encourage more aggressive and exciting gameplay in the new season. Additionally, the spells will help to promote more varied team strategies in order to open up the playing field for unexpected new styles of play. We hope that these changes will make for a generation of new and interesting gameplay as we head into Season Tw

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