League of Legends has had issues with its bounty systems being abused recently, so Riot Games explained its reasoning behind adding comeback mechanics in LoL.
Developer Riot Phroxzon took to Riot’s regular Quick Gameplay Thoughts series to explain why bounties exist and why Riot Games added them. Riot’s ideal use of comeback mechanics in LoL encourages smart play and rewards conscious play.
Why are there comeback mechanics in LoL?
Riot’s approach to the implementation and addition of comeback mechanics is condensed down into three crucial aspects. First, bounties offer a clear but risky path back to victory for losing teams. Individual bounties force players to target the most dangerous members of the enemy team, while objective bounties offer the risk of the winning team fighting you at the site of the objective. However, pushing the game too far in favor of either comeback mechanics or snowballing means games are either too punishing or too volatile, leaving Riot with a careful balance to manage.
Secondly, comeback mechanics allow winning teams to be stronger than they would be without them. With a counteracting force in play, winning teams be made stronger when they have a lead. As a part of this, the ideal bounty system encourages winning teams to be intelligent about how they use their leads. Play too risky, and that lead can be thrown away.
Knowing you could give up hundreds of extra gold means winning teams are hopefully less likely to push deep into enemy territory without vision or support. This can prevent unnecessary defeats while also encouraging the losing team to focus their efforts on map objectives or the enemy champions that matter the most.
Riot also acknowledged that the current system isn’t perfect and that certain edge cases make answers on comeback mechanic implementation difficult. The bounty system was most recently changed to account for supports taking Smite and abandoning the top lane, and future changes seem inevitable.
Riot doesn’t say anything about its next steps for bounties in League of Legends, but it’s clear that the developer is keeping an eye on comeback mechanics throughout LoL.