Patch 6.13 will be of interest to League of Legends [official site] players who feel support characters don't get the recognition they deserve. I feel like I might be the target audience for this patch as I have, in all seriousness, sat in the pub and explained in tedious detail to my companions how ACTUALLY I THINK YOU'LL FIND the focus on killstreaks and so on in MOBAS creates a reward loop that moves people away from the support role and into... Hey! Come back!
According to Riot:
"For the most part, supports aren’t really that weak. The issue is their influence can be hard to appreciate compared to more obvious things like kill streaks. In a certain light, however, perception is reality: when players believe they’re weak, they’re more reluctant to make risky - but impactful! - plays. With that in mind, our goal this patch is to sharpen support gameplay satisfaction, making success a bit easier to observe. Better rewards for doing support things and a healthy assortment of quality-of-life improvements should make supports feel better about their place in the world."
So it's sort of more of a psychological patch, aiming more to buff the experience and pleasure rather than soup up underpowered characters? Oh, and teleporting is getting a nerf.
Let's have a look.
Okay, so the things that stand out to me on a first read in order of appearance in the patch notes:
The Kench has been sort of unbenched but is now less hench to prevent him from becoming an ubermensch. His passive got rejigged and his ultimate ability, Abyssal Voyage - the one where he can relocate with an ally to a target location - now takes less time to channel and has had its range extended.
Gnar had had a bit of tweaking and rescaling to try to gently reintroduce him as a viable top-laner, while Irelia's ultimate has had a significant cooldown increase to stop her being such an "oh, for the love of... I thought you only just bloody used those blades" experience to play against. Swain is also in the latter boat with some changes to his ult, Ravenous Flock.
Some slight armor changes to Kindred and the removal of Wolf's heal on the W ability with an eye to them not being unkillable jungle douches.
Vladimir is getting some of his midseason changes revoked or at least reduced to non-obscene levels so you can't just become a monster through buying health items.
There are also some changes to how pathing works when it comes to dynamic terrain which is Riot extending a system they put in place to deal with newcomer Taliyah's wall-creation ultimate to other heroes and their terrain-altering abilities.
Speaking of Taliyah, she's had her worked ground duration reduced in Howling Abyss which is the single-lane map used for ARAM matches. As someone who plays a lot of ARAM and who got really fed up with how long worked ground hung about, leaving you able to inflict less and less damage I am pleased about this.
There are also item changes including some to Ruby Sightstone to tempt purchasers but also to the way wards work. The idea with the latter is to make placing and clearing wards feel less like a sacrifice of other resources or stats. What that means in-game is that attaching them when you're clearing enemy vision won't interrupt your out-of-combat bonuses, so one of the potential penalties of dealing with vision is removed. They also grant experience when you clear them and "For every 150 seconds that a ward is alive, it becomes visually swaggier for the team that placed it".
What else? Some changes to the way catch-up experience bonuses work so it seems more consistent and scales continuously rather than only taking into account whole level difference. Passive post-death experience gains for about ten seconds from nearby champion kills (this is to help out with initiators gradually becoming underlevelled but I'm wondering if it might also mitigate the effects of poor decision making/feeding - I guess we'll find out).
Early champ kills are going to be less rewarding in terms of experience and OH! Ohhhhh. It'll take longer to channel your teleport and the effect will always be visible if you have vision within 500 units of the target location. Basically the point here is that the teleport will be clearly telegraphed and take longer giving enemies more time to react. It's to help make teleport plays less of a sure thing.
You guys, I have been reading these patch notes forever so I'm going to try and hurry things along...
Ranked play is being tweaked so high level players can play with friends who are a bit further below them than previously. Three divisions of separation rather than two.
RANKED 5V5 IS COMING BACK. It'll only be during particular time windows to try to avoid low population and high queue times. Scarcity creating demand, that sort of thing.
Full notes are here in case you want to delve into the minutiae or explain exactly why this hurts your heart as a Swain player.