With the big changes to bounties, turret plating, and Dark Harvest, I feel like the ward changes have flown under the radar. The trinket wards last much shorter as the game goes on, and have had a very noticeable impact on late game vision.
According to the patch notes:
Right now, the vision game overwhelmingly favors the team that's ahead. They have the most freedom to place wards and the most gold to put into vision denial via Control Wards. While helping ahead teams close games out is one of our preseason goals, vision does so in an incredibly slow, safe manner that reduces action. With a ton of other preseason changes designed to help decided games end faster, we're pulling back on how high the winning team's vision advantage can climb.
It seems this assumption was based solely on pro play, as most solo q games don't have teams coordinated enough to systematically use vision supremacy to turn a large lead into a free Baron. Though pro play has not resumed yet, I also think that these changes will be incorrect, and will instead cause the mid-game to extend. Teams will be less likely to risk baron, and lead to a non-interactive game where the losing team tries to stall to late game, and the winning team will either look for picks or turns on Baron, rather than risking an actual take. They are nerfing wards instead of realizing what the real problem is, the fact that Baron is the only win condition mid-to-late game, and that teams will focus on that objective to the exclusion of all else as long as that fact remains. If they don't want teams with huge leads to do nothing but control vision waiting for a Baron spawn, they need to A) nerf Baron so that it is no longer auto win once you get it, and B) offer alternative means to close out games with a lead.
The reason I made this post though wasn't about how the vision changes affect pro games, but how it effects solo q. I've had games recently where I was wondering why the hell my team wasn't warding late game, only to check and see that their trinkets were on cooldown and they were in fact warding, they either just expired or got cleared so fast that it didn't matter. Riot's assertion that vision overwhelmingly favors the winning team is absurd, vision doesn't always help you win games, but they sure as hell help you not lose them. Riot has consistently nerfed vision while vision denial has either largely stayed the same or been buffed, with things like Duskblade, early Oracle's, and Control Wards. Playing on a dark map from behind is miserable, and I guarantee you if you don't get picked off, one of your teammates will and you'll probably lose the game.
I disagree with Riot gutting early vision, but I at least understand why. Nerfing late game vision to hurt winning teams is an absolute joke though, because it completely ignores the problem that is largely centered around Baron, not wards. Hopefully Riot realizes this and does something about it, but I feel that the ward changes and their impact have largely gone unrecognized.
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