Riot Games has previewed changes coming to the League of Legends 2021 preseason early. They have announced the items system will receive a major overhaul in the next season.
Every game with a long history needs change. Mechanics becoming out of date, systems becoming overly complicated and power creep are all issues long running games have to deal with. Instead of adding a flashy new gameplay mechanic, Riot Games will "invest in League’s future by building up and refining one of League's foundational gameplay systems."
League of Legends Preseason 2021 Previewed: Major Rework for Items Announced
League of Legends passed its 10 year anniversary last October, and over that decade Riot Games have added a veritable universe of content. Adding new things to the system over such a long time is sure to lead to overcomplexity, something Riot Games is striving to fix in the coming Preseason.
None are more complicated in League of Legends than items. The game has one of the most needlessly complex item and shop systems of its kind. In an article detailing the coming changes, Lead Gameplay Designer Mark "Scruffy" Yetter listed the aspects of the item system as it stands.
"It’s worth saying that there are a lot of satisfying, well-designed items in the current system and that most of the item system's fundamentals are solid. Keeping the best parts of the system is one of our central philosophies; we only want to improve or replace the areas that aren't fulfilling their potential. In terms of change, we’re estimating something like 34% retained, 33% improved, and 33% new," Scruffy says.
Scruffy says that some parts of the item system has parts that are not up to standard, noting that item system as a whole is unintuitive to use. They will be keeping the parts that work, but will be improving and reworking the parts that don't.