Laning phase length has always been something Riot has tried to keep a close eye on. Between laning phase being too short and leaving players feeling like they had no chance to play their champion solo and laning phase being too long and completely deciding the game, it’s a delicate balance to get right. In a recent post detailing some of the new changes Riot is thinking of making ahead of season 9, the lead gameplay designer Mark “Scruffy” Yetter gave us a brief preview of Riot’s latest potential fix for the laning phase problem.
The solution that Riot is looking at right now involves giving turrets a sort of barrier in the first 10 minutes of the game in hopes of making turrets live longer. Unlike previous times that Riot has done this, the goal here isn’t to make the turret invincible, just a little harder to kill. But there’s a catch. For each of the five barriers on a turret that are destroyed, a bit of local gold is granted, making it worthwhile to push towers, even if you can’t destroy it.
Also on the list of meaningful changes to turrets is a planned increase to their damage in the preseason. According to Riot, this is in an attempt to make turret dives far more risky, while still letting them be worthwhile as an option for particularly aggressive playstyles.
This solution is still very early development, so it’s unlikely that it remains the same all the way until its release during the preseason. But for now, this gives us a good idea of what laning in season 9 might look like.