I'm sure I've talked about this before, but I've played league since 2011, at the start of season two.
When I first started playing, Volibear was the newest champion. There was still a Wriggle's lantern. There were still hearts of gold and philosopher's stones. I've been around for quite some time.
So I've seen some of the most monumental changes that League has experienced. The introduction of the honor system, the way ranked stats were changed. The huge visual update of the Rift. The Yorick rework (lolololol jk).
Hell, I was a Kassadin main well before Xpeke pulled off that backdoor.
Riot has put up all of their planned changes into a pop-up site here where you can find all of the things that are changing, or being planned to change.
Here, though, I want to talk about what I'm personally most excited about with the forthcoming changes in the preseason/next season.
SO MUCH THIS.
We've been playing on the same buggy client since the game started way back when. Back then, the client was designed to support something like 60k people. Now there are millions of players all over the world, and that client's framework just doesn't hold up quite the way it should.
Riot says they're abandoning the old Adobe Air-based client we've all been using, and they say they are "building the updated client from the ground up" and using "HTML/JS/CSS for the UI, C++ for the core functionality."
They are also aiming to streamline the interface and design of the whole client, leading to a more consistent visual theme across all different sections of the client. (Not like the patchwork stuff we have now)
:D :D :D :D
I really don't know how to best describe this, so I'll just quote Riot here.
Each player chooses two positions (or fill!) before queueing up to find a team. A new feature, “pick intent”, helps everyone understand the champ you want to play and the contribution you want to make to your team's comp. With the draft underway, a new ban phase distributes one ban each to the players who receive the last three picks, while the top two have a shot at securing priority champs for the team.
The way they describe it makes it feel like the teambuilder style of matchmaking, though across the board. Honestly I dig that. I like the fact that Riot is stepping in to stop people from insta-locking jungle when GOD DAMN IT I CALLED JUNGLE FIRST SERIOUSLY, REPORTING.
I think there will be a lot of kinks to work out on a player level before this transition comes smoothly but I have enough faith in the players that it will get done.
This is another one that is a little hard to explain, so I'll just put it in the simplest terms I can from reading the notes from Riot.
They are trying to make it so that you can work your way to earning things like skins and champions without paying money.
They talk about Mastery Chests and Keys. Effectively, after wins, you can (randomly?) collect Keys or Key Fragments (which can be made into Keys) which are then used to unlock Mastery Chests, which you earn based off of your personal letter-mark score at the end of a match.
Inside the chests can be things like Champions, or Skins, or rental periods for either. This is Riot really recognizing the value in supporting their players. Not everyone can or wants to drop real-life money on the game, and by having it possible for players to earn these rewards by playing the game, they show that they care about their fans.
All of these changes are coming down the pipeline in one way or another, though it is early yet to say anything definitive about them. Just know that Riot seems to be stepping up its game for 2016.