I was skeptical of 3.9’s map adjustments right away, but I decided to give them some time to see how they play. I’m not impressed.
SEMC has been taking the careful approach to fixing the Rise, slowly moving gold, timers, and power levels around the lane and jungle to combat the duo rotations and lack of a dedicated jungler. For a time it seemed like this would work. With 3.9 taking this approach to it’s most extreme conclusion, we have to accept that no matter how quickly waves spawn, or how much health you give jungle monsters, you are still going to have a utility jungler who rotates around bot lane. The only way this approach will work is if you gut ambient gold in lane and jungle to the extant that captains will be starved.
With that in mind, this is my solution:
Part 1: Map Changes
Revert Minion tankyness to what it was in 3.8. The increase in 3.9 make early laning frustrating, and only serves to try and keep laners in lane (which my changes will address separately)
Reduce duration of early game turret barrier to 3:00.
Remove ambient gold and experience.
Reduce jungle monster health slightly. All jungle monsters take 33% reduced damage from heroes.
Increase xp earned from jungle monsters slightly, greatly reduce gold earned (probably by a factor of 15% or so)
Part 2: Contracts
Contracts build into nothing, and can be picked up at the start of the game, making them the perfect tool to impact the early laning phase, and define hero roles without forcing heroes into tier 3 items that would limit build paths. For example t3 jungler items.
Captain contracts: ironguard, dragonsblood, and protector
Increase the gold cost of captain contracts to 600.
All captain contracts have the unique passive “Wealth Distribution” which reads: Permanently gain a portion of the gold and experience equal to 70% (15% for jungle monsters) of nearby allied heroes upon killing a jungle monster or lane minion, even after this item is sold.
Jungler contracts cost 300 gold.
All jungler contracts have the unique passive “Monster Hunster” which reads: You deal full damage to jungle monsters. note: this is in referance to the 33% damage reduction of jungler monsters, which heroes with monster hunter ignore
Active: Deal damage equal to 10% (2% for mythic creatures) of target’s max HP, to target jungle monster or mythic creature. If this kills it’s target, deal 130 crystal damage to nearby enemies. 5s cooldown, has 2 charges, 30 second charge time.
note: great for contesting enemy jungle camps
Passive: 5 seconds after you kill a jungle monster, a sprout will appear for 3 seconds on that location. Heroes walking over the sprout consume it gaining 10 gold and 3 xp.
note: slows your rotations but increases gold/xp output, great for passive farming
Passive: Each time you kill a jungle monster gain 1 stack. Max of 6 stacks.
Active: Consume all stacks, gain increased movement speed for 3 seconds. Your next basic attack during this time will deal 15/stack additional weapon damage and slows it’s target by 2%/stack for 1.5 seconds. You must have at least one stack to activate. 15s cooldown.
note: perfect for ganking in between jungle clears
I know what you are thinking. Everyone can just buy contracts and play just like they do now, but these changes put a huge tax on anyone wishing to do so. A bot lane duo would require the jungler to put his entire first but into a captain contract, and the bot laner to buy a jungler contract for the clear speed. That’s 900 gold and
a significantly weaker early game, not to mention worse returns on the jungle gold, and less XP for the jungler. The point is these changes put pressure on players to properly fill their roles, a mid laner would have to spend far more time taking nearby jungle, and unless someone else on the team bought a captain contract none of that gold would be shared with key players. Right now the optimal strategy is always going to be 1-2-2 in some form. rotating as a two duos maximizes ambient gold to an extreme, I think a change similar to what I’m suggesting needs to be done, or nothing will ever really change.