Author: MMOsite Writer Alexander Hinkley
Summoner's Rift is the default map for League of Legends and is generally considered to take the most skill because it is used for all pro level tournaments. Although it can be really fun, games on Summoner's Rift are very slow and can get to be tedious after playing for awhile. Here are four ways the map could be improved to make it more dynamic from game to game and more realistic overall.
1) Add purchasable minion and turret upgrades
League of Legends was originally based on the Warcraft III map mod Defense of the Ancients. In DOTA, teams could spend money to upgrade their minions (called creeps). Riot should add this mechanic back into League of Legends to make it feel like you are actually fighting for a cause rather than just as a five-man wrecking crew. Minions can technically be upgraded in League of Legends already by destroying a lane's inhibitor but that isn't really the same thing.
Prior to destroying an inhibitor, lane minions are nothing more than fodder to be fed off of for gold. That's why it's called "farming." They are pretty much just lambs being led to slaughter. It would be cool if you could upgrade your minions so it actually felt like you were fighting alongside them. If you were able to upgrade the minions, pushing lanes with just a bunch of minions would be a more viable strategy and Promote would actually be a valuable summoner spell instead of something nobody ever uses.
Minion upgrades could work one of two ways. A minion could be upgraded to an entirely bigger and better unit altogether or the unit could remain the same and it would be done by specifically increasing attack or defense by a certain number such as how unit upgrades are done in StarCraft.
Turrets could be upgraded with some cool stuff as well. Things like increased damage, increased fire rate, longer range, and regenerating health would make it so turrets played a more important role in the game than just being a free 150 gold for each opponent when it falls. Undefended turrets need not be sitting ducks.
Being able to upgrade your minions and turrets would also add another dimension of teamwork to the game. Rather than spending gold on items for yourself, you would have to decide if you wanted to invest it toward team-based upgrades for the greater good. Such upgrades should be costly, of course, so that they are really something you need to consider in a cost-benefit analysis rather than just buy every single game.
2) Scale minion gold based on how much damage you dealt
While on the subject of minions, Riot should really try to deter "last hitting." It's just an unrealistic mechanic if you think about it. You're on the front lines of a battlefield, walking around in circles as your allies are fighting for their lives. Only when an enemy minion is mortally wounded do you ever bother to finally attack and take them out. That sounds as ridiculous as Seifer Almasy demanding you save the killing blow for him in Final Fantasy VIII so he can get the most exp from each battle during that brief stint he is in your party. It's being selfish and not something a real soldier, or a team player, would do.
To fix this, Riot could scale the amount of gold you get per minion kill based on how much damage you dealt to that minion before it died. This would encourage players to want to do lots of damage to them. Rather than walking around in circles, you would be constantly attacking and using abilities just as normal. This is how battles should be. This would also make farming a lot more skill based because you would still need to actually kill the minion to get the gold. So not only would you have to get the last hit in on them, but you'd also need to do more damage overall to them to reap the full benefit. Killing stronger minions should also give more gold. Did you know that killing Super Minions currently gives less gold than killing most normal ones? That doesn't make much sense considering they are many times stronger.
3) Make bushes rustle when someone walks through them
One of the biggest problems with Summoner's Rift, in my opinion, is that the map is too focused on ambushes. The first 20 minutes of the game is all about last hitting minions, ambushing your opponents, and trying not to get ambushed by your enemies. As you can imagine, this leads to a lot of people hiding in bushes and waiting for an unsuspecting opponent to wander into their trap. You can try to prevent this by constantly warding bushes but it will get to be pretty costly after awhile and then at some point the game becomes more about who is the better warder than who is the better player.
To fix this, Riot could make it so the bushes rustle whenever somebody walks through them. Then an astute and skilled player would be able to detect such movement out of the corner of his or her eye and realize a gank might be incoming. This would also make the game more realistic as well. Do you honestly think someone as huge as Gragas could walk through some tall weeds without them swaying and making all sorts of noise? Map interactivity is something that League of Legends always lacked when compared to Dota 2 for example, so a feature like this would be awesome.
4) Allow players who have a teammate leave the game to give up without penalty
One thing all League of Legends players hate is when a teammate leaves or disconnects. This can be especially frustrating when you were actually winning the game and then things turn on a dime because someone left. It would be nice if you were allowed to forfeit the game without actually incurring a loss when this happened.
There is obvious potential for such a system to be abused (for example having a friend leave so only one of you gets a loss) but there really wouldn't be much harm in implementing such a system in unranked, normal matchmade games would there? It's not like someone's record in unranked games actually matters to anybody but them personally so there is no downside to this. Or how about letting teammates vote to have the afker's champion be controlled by a high level A.I.?