A couple of months back, Riot Games accepted the fact that the support role in League of Legends is in dire need of attention. In comparison to other roles, very few Summoners opt to enter queues with the intention of taking hold of the support mantle.
This has brought two major concerns for League of Legends in the past year. Firstly, matchmaking can take longer to complete as it searches from a shallow pool of supporting players. Secondly, the drafting phase can be hectic as everyone tries to force others to switch roles with them.
At the time, lead champion designer Riot Meddler revealed that various measures are being considered to make the support role more attractive for players. Shortly after, 10 popular support champions were made free for the entire month.
Talking about the State of the Game this week, he confirmed that the move resulted in an increased interest in playing support. However, the interest vanished as soon as the champions were taken away from the free rotation. This confirms that lack of access to support champions is not a significant factor in the equation. Rather, it’s the role itself and the lack of appeal tied with it.
As such, there are three major changes that Riot Games will be introducing this year to League of Legends. The developer believes that these changes will work wonders in making the support role more attractive to the community. In turn, more players will ultimately begin picking up the role.
- We’ll be adjusting how XP is earned, with one goal being preventing champions who are doing useful things (warding, roaming, objectives help, etc.) from falling so far behind the average level in the game.
- Next, we’re focusing on fixing some small, irritating situations that affect support play regularly (e.g. not getting full gold for wards killed that you reveal unless you get the final hit).
- Long-term, we’ll most likely be looking at support recognition/ceremony and income next.
“We’d like to make support appealing to more players to give people a more enjoyable experience, reduce autofill, and reduce queue times,” he explained. “At the same time, we don’t want to compromise what makes it an attractive position to existing support players.”
No time frame was mentioned as to when we can expect the changes to arrive in League of Legends. They will, though, ship out within this year. The support changes are part of the studio’s development road-map of 2017.