League of Legends: The Future of Stealth
By Jason Harper (Hhean), OnRPG DotA Reporter
There’s fresh news on what we’re going to be seeing from the upcoming Stealth reworks Riot has in the works for League of Legends. While the details are subject to change, the current mechanics being used in internal testing should feel familiar to anyone who’s played some Metal Gear Solid in their time. The key idea is that every champion, when dealing with long duration stealth characters like Evelynn and Twitch, can see and target anyone using that form of stealth once they get within a certain range (Around 30% of the total distance of a champion’s visibility). However, Evelynn and Twitch can be permanently in stealth from the moment they put one point in their stealth granting ability. Visible only to the stealth player, there will be a notification above the head of enemy champions, indicating that they can’t see you (Green), that they can see you (Red), and an indicator to show when you are on the verge of being detected (Yellow, though I wish it was a sound file that said “What was that noise?”). If they attack without being spotted, they will be unable to hide for two seconds, regardless of distance, before they automatically stealth again.
This change won’t apply to short duration stealth, like those used by Akali and Vayne, or stealth with limited movement, like Teemo’s passive or wards. Those mechanics are in line to be renamed, most likely to “invisibility”.
Riot is currently looking into how this change will affect Oracle’s Elixer, and the practice of ward sweeping (Where your tank or support buys an oracle potion for the express purpose of wiping enemy wards from the map). Testing relating to oracles, and especially how it interacts with wards, is currently one of the major factors holding back the stealth rework from release, in addition to general reworks to the two champions.
These reworks are going to be made to compensate the nerf they are receiving to scouting ability and general uninhibited face rolling of overextended unsuspecting foes. Eve is planned to receive a range boost to her Hate Spikes, turning them more into a mid-range harass to improve her laning presence. Her stealth may receive an active in the form of a very short range (250 units, about the range of Trundle’s bite) dash onto her old stun (yup her slow is being turned back into the tried and true stun it once was). Twitch is likely to receive an active on his stealth that grants him an attack speed bonus, with his ultimate getting a complete overhaul.
The main objective for these changes is to make stealth less of a binary “You are a god against those without Oracle Elixer, and useless against those who have it” to a more level playing field that allows for play and counter-play tactics. These changes will mean that a stealth user has the ability to go anywhere they please across the map at any time, given they won’t be revealed by minion waves or wards, making them exceptional roamers. It also will mean they will be able to counter junglers very well, due to the already limited vision in the jungle caused by the tight bends and large amounts of brush.
Their scouting ability and team fight presence is going to be diminished though. No more Evelynns sitting in the middle of enemy teams to give not only accurate, up to date information on their movements, but also a free double stun at any moment. They will still be able to shadow a team from a distance though, keeping just out of range of vision using the yellow indicator.
Their players are going to have to think hard during laning – Abusing fog of war, walls, brush and other aspects that will allow for their stealth not to break as they close ground. This will then lead to some interesting counter play, where champions in a lane could opt to be a spotter, always juking around walls and other map elements to try and get that crucial vision in order to confirm if a stealth character is roaming or not.
I doubt these changes will affect high level play much, since none of this really looks to be much of a counter to the current double AP metagame. It certainly looks like it is going to make these characters less frustrating to deal with though, both when playing with or against them. It should make mid level play a fair bit more interesting, given it allows for getting around wards while still punishing the looser play in that skill region. This will likely act as a nerf to stealth characters in low level play, since new players don’t really buy wards anyway, but will now be able to see the stealth characters coming when they inevitably overextend. Overall, I’m rather hopeful with this direction taken for stealth, and think it, on paper at least, sounds a good deal more interesting than the current implementation. Hopefully it opens up the way for new stealth champions in the future who can utilize these changes to change the current metagame up a bit.