A new year is upon us, and nothing really signals a fresh start like a reset of the calendar. Fortunately, Riot has a few new mechanics for us to pick up to keep things moving in the right direction. According to an official post from Riot, this season primarily focuses on two main high-level goals: improving and building upon existing game systems and rewarding progression in a more meaningful way.
With the new pre-season comes a new system in place made for teams falling behind to catch up and even out the playing field. This pre-season introduces Objective Bounties in an attempt to balance out the game flow in a more meaningful way. So, with the goals in mind, will they achieve what they set out to do? And what do they have in store for us this season?
What are Objective Bounties?
We’ve all been there before. Between missing junglers, awful mismatches, and failing lanes, a lot can go wrong in the first few moments of a match. More often than not, these early moments determine how the flow of the match is going to go into the late game. One of the more interesting mechanics introduced here is the Objective Bounties system. The Objective Bounties system, in a nutshell, gives teams far behind a chance to catch up by introducing objectives they can complete for some much-needed gold.
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How do They Work?
A lot of the major objectives already implemented in the game are the targets of these objective bounties. These include Baron, turrets, Elder Dragon, and a few other objectives. The mechanics of how it actually works are rather simple. An objective gets marked on the map, and after a certain period of time, the “losing” team has a chance to take the objective and bag themselves a hefty sum of gold.
Unlike normal bounties, however, objective bounties are split between team members across the map. This should spark some life and hope into some already irate teammates who want to surrender as quickly as they can. In theory, this should minimize those hopeless, desolate matches and improve the overall game experience for the community.
The Objective Bounties have a 15 second window where both teams see the target objective. This gives the team falling behind a chance to coordinate with their allies in order to take down said objective. To be fair, this 15 second window also allows the leading team to rally their allies in order to defend key objectives and take a stance in advantageous positions.
Similarly, the Objective Bounties also have a 15 second “fade time” when falling off. However, these 15 precious seconds can be extended by the losing team. They simply have to remain active in combat while contesting the active Objective Bounty. This prevents defending teams from simply cheesing it by blocking paths or other similar tactics.
Riot pulled out all the stops and curated this system to help those who had a weak start, but not totally change the tide of the game for the winning team.
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Factors Involved in Objective Bounties
Throughout the game, a couple of factors are monitored that determine when an Objective Bounty is triggered. The likelihood of it occurring is based on four major components, namely: gold lead, experience lead, turret lead, and dragon lead. How far behind a team is in terms of these four can increase the chances of occurrence up to as much as 60 percent.
Taking Objective Bounties grants the team a specific amount of base gold depending on which one they take. The amount in descending order is as follows:
- Baron or Elder Dragon – takedowns grant the team 500 gold split among members
- Dragons or Rift Herald – takedowns also grant 500 gold split among members
- Base Turrets or Inner Turrets – takedowns grant 400 gold split among members
- Outer Turret – takedowns grant the team 250 gold split among members
As mentioned before, these Objective Bounties are basically just bounties with added benefits. Securing them is good enough on its own, but this just further sweetens the deal.
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To summarize, Objective Bounties are nice little presents for teams falling behind that give them a chance to at the very least put up a fight and hopefully turn the tables on the winning team, all without being too overpowered to dissuade winning teams from putting in the effort early on in the game. That wraps up the mechanics for Objective Bounties. Among the new things the pre-season introduced, this is certainly one of the most game-changing.
Will this system turn a bleak situation into an assured comeback? Probably not, but if anything, it’s a great morale booster that prevents bleak pubstomps from becoming too one-sided. Sometimes a fighting chance is all you need for a turnaround. After all, a one-sided match isn’t fun for anyone, regardless of which side you are on.