If you’ve seen the latest patch preview or been to the forums lately, you’ve no doubt heard about the upcoming changes to mana regeneration and the mana runes. It’s a controversial subject, and it looks like the drama finally prompted Zileas to step into the forums to try to clear things up.
His post is fairly long, so I’ll leave you to read it at your leisure. As far as mana regen is concerned, the basic issue development is trying to address is the disparity between level 1 and level 30 players. Riot wants the two to be closer, not further apart, which at first seemed kinda weird to me. Why have the leveling system if it won’t make a difference? Isn’t the whole point of tier 1, 2, and 3 runes so that you can see some sort of progression as you level up and (hopefully) improve?
It is, which is probably why they’re only nerfing mana regen runes. Zileas says they feel necessary on some characters, and I totally agree. The whole point of a mana system is to limit your ability to deal burst damage, not necessarily to limit your spellcasting over time. For that reason, I think this is an okay thing. It’s pretty easy to burn through a mana bar right now without any kind of regen runes. The change will shift some of the regen from runes to base character stats, meaning runes will still be good, but every character should be better. That’s not a bad thing.
The other change is to the Doran’s items, which gets a little more complicated. Riot has said in the past that the laning phase is too passive. To address that, this patch will increase the cost of Doran’s items so it’s no longer possible to buy Doran’s and a potion at level 1. Health quints are also getting a nerf. The hope is for a more active lane phase because of less regeneration. I’m not sure that’s actually how it will play out.
For one, players are passive now because jungling makes it very risky to be in lane with less than 50 percent health. With jungling remaining prominent, it seems unlikely that a shift like this will do much to create a more active lane phase. Also, a nerf to regeneration could be an inadvertent buff to strong harass. Think about laning against Caitlyn when you can’t buy some early HP with a potion. There’s a difference between making things active and crippling melee lanes. This is one of those wide-reaching changes, the effects of which we probably won’t totally understand for a couple weeks.