The durability update was one of the biggest changes to hit the Rift in recent history. Now that the changes have had some time to settle, let's take a look at how they've impacted the game and what future changes are to come.
Longer Team Fights
One of the biggest consequences of the durability update is how much longer team fights are; champions are surviving for much longer, and aren't getting blown up by one or two abilities. In order to win a team fight, you need to play well throughout the fight and not just snowball from an early outplay.
As you're now able to get through multiple rotations of your abilities during a team fight, this increases the potential for skill expression and the chance to make some incredible plays. Enchanters have greatly benefitted from this, as they are now able to survive for long enough to get off their abilities and start ramping up their shields/heals.
Slower Early Games
With champions taking less damage from trades, it's become more difficult to secure kills in the early game. Towers now deal a lot more damage in the early game too, making it more difficult to pull off dives. Generally, this has reduced the amount of kills in the early game and made them a little slower.
This change is most noticable in pro play where the stakes are much higher, as teams are more reluctant to tower dive and make fewer mistakes in lane. There are fewer kills during the laning phase and the first kill usually happens around the Drake or Rift Herald.
More noteworthy changes are coming to League next patch to address some of the problems introduced with the durability changes. Primarily, Riot are encouraging more fights in the early game with two key changes:
- Nerfs to early healing items and runes, such as Biscuits, Health Pots, Bone Plating and Second Wind
- Buffs to Rift Herald and Drakes
With less healing early on in the game, there will be more opportunities to secure kills in the early game across multiple roles. Moonstone Renewer and some specific enchanters (such as Yuumi and Seraphine) will also be nerfed to further reduce the amount of healing in game.
The changes to early game objectives are huge. The buffs provided by a drake have been increased, while all drakes are now easier to kill as they have less health and deal less damage. Rift Herald will grant local gold, and the second summoned Herald will have 75% more health.
Both of these objectives will now be much more valulable, which should encourage more fights around these objectives in the early game. With the second summoned Rift Herald having so much more health, it should be able to destroy multiple towers more often.