League of Legends was launched in October 2009. In the years that passed since its release date, the wildly popular MOBA has undergone many changes great and small. Characters and modes were added, gameplay and progression mechanics were adjusted, and the visual variety of the game was increased. Most of those changes were delivered through regular updates. 2022 started with the latest such update: patch 12.1, released on January 5. In addition to inaugurating a new competitive season, it introduced a wide range of tweaks and additions. Read this article to find out more about it.
The latest competitive season technically commenced two days after the arrival of the patch. However, it may be a considered a part of this update, being featured in the official patch notes. The beginning of the season was accompanied by a so-called “soft reset”. All players on the competitive leaderboard were shifted five tiers down the ladder, challenging them to prove their skill and climb back up. This was also the beginning of the season’s first split out of three. Depending on points earned during this split, participants may be able to lay claim to a variety of unique Vex-related cosmetics and an Eternals Capsule.
There have also been adjustments to the rules for ranked progression at the highest tiers. Specifically, inactivity-induced tier decay in the three highest tiers has been significantly reduced. A day without playing any LoL games now only costs 75 League Points. Two weeks worth of days can be banked by playing matches, delaying the onset of decay. Also, it is no longer possible for players at those tiers to sink below Diamond II due to decay. Developers Riot Games hope that this will raise the quality of matchmaking for users at that level of skill.
The patch also included a range of balance changes to items, spells, and champions:
- Immortal Shieldbow and Bloodward have been nerfed, suffering reduced damage and Lifeline damage absorption;
- Wit’s End’s crafting path has been changed to make it take slightly longer, in addition to a magic resistance decrease;
- The melee cooldown for the Ever Rising Moon effect on Eclipse has been raised;
- Force of Nature was buffed, with stacks lasting longer and greater magical damage reduction;
- Teleport has been reworked. For the first 14 minutes of a match, it only lets heroes teleport to allied towers. Afterwards it can target minions and wards as well. The cooldown is now fixed across all levels;
- More Scryer’s Blooms have been added to the Jungle, making it easier for teams that find themselves at a disadvantage to strike back from there;
- Diana’s AP and monster damage ratios have been increased to make her more competitive in different roles;
- Gangplank’s Parrrley attack has been buffed, lowering its cooldown and cost;
- Rek’Sai’s Furious Bite attack now does more damage from the start, but considerably less at the end. The cooldown on Tunnel has been raised;
- Sona has received a slight nerf affecting armor scaling and also a higher cooldown on Song of Celerity due to her overperformance in high-level play.
There have also been a few bugfixes. By themselves, most of those changes may not seem that major, with the exception of Teleport. Nerfing it is significant both because it makes other Summoner Spell picks more appealing and due to its direct effects. Combined with other changes, it should result in longer, more dynamic games. Previously, it was a concern that victory was often decided in a frenetic early game. With limitations placed on one of the main mobility options and other tweaks introduced, a larger variety of strategies will be feasible. Shieldbow nerfs also serve this purpose by making the endgame more competitive (and encouraging item variety).
The appearance side of the game received multiple developments as well:
- Ranked Crests - animated cards with special borders denoting the player’s rank - have taken the place of Ranked Armors. Loading screen borders have been updated to match them;
- Rek’Sai and Gnar received Elderwood skins with multiple recolor options;
- The Firelight Ekko skin, a reference to the Arcane spin-off TV series, was meant to be included in the patch but has been delayed;
- The splash art for the Goth Annie skin has been reworked;
- Multiple Summoner icons themed after upcoming events and splits have been added to the LoL shop, along with a rich variety of emotes.
A bigger shake-up is in store for the MOBA. According to the developers, the next patch should add another hero and rework several existing ones in a more ambitious way. There will also be many more cosmetics added. All in all, this looks to be an exciting year for LoL fans. However, jumping into the new season may be easier said than done for a lot of people. Whether you require coaching or assistance with the placement matches, CakeBoost’s League of Legends boosting services can help. Reach out now to get this game year off to a good start!