I will now try to expose what I consider to be problematic with the current system of dragons and barons:
1) Dragons spawn randomly. There can be no strategy like “we draft this comp to rush ocean drakes” or “we go rush infernals” etc. because it is just random and may favor one composition or the other.
2) Dragon buffs are not balanced. From bronze 5 to LCS, you will see teams rush any infernal drake possible, or ignoring the ocean one etc.
3) Steals happen too frequently, changing the entire flow of the game. Even in pro play, you ll’see lulu stealing baron with Q, or karma with Mantra+Q etc. A random damaging spell changes every game, methodical as it may have been.
Then again, even if teams are careful, nothing stops the unstoppable HECARIM R + SMITE! or Lee or Malphite etc. from stealing that Drake/Baron…
So, what do I suggest? I will try hitting all these birds with one stone:
1)Dragons must initially be at a “default” (= no element) mode. Inside the pit, there must be 5 circles, each one corresponding to one element. Teams must step upon a circle, to choose and give this dragon the corresponding element. Once the element is given, this dragon shall reset to default, after 30 seconds of not being hit. A default dragon shall be invulnerable.
2) After being lowered to 67% Health, dragon will be coloured (red/blue), depending on which team dealt the most damage up until that point. This will also apply on Barons. From that point onwards, it will be this very team that claims the dragon/baron, meaning that drake/baron can’t be stolen by the other team.
3) When Dragon/Baron hits 33% Health, it shall go enraged, gaining massively increased Armor/Magic Resist, Health Regeneration and Attack Speed. This will make up for the risk of stealing being removed. Now, the team contesting shall make clearer calls, like trying to just slay the team that started the objective, instead of trying to steal, while the starting team will be legitly bleeding by the point the enemies arrive.
4) The 5 Elemental Drakes shall spawn only once each. Only after all 5 Elements are claimed by either team, shall the Elder Dragon Spawn. Their buffs should be as following:
-Infernal Drake: +5/10/15% AP and AD, changing at levels 1/11/16.
-Mountain Drake: 10/15/20% bonus damage to epic monsters and turrets, changing at levels 1/11/16.
-Cloud Drake: 20/35/50 Movement Speed out of combat, changing at levels 1/11/16.
-Ocean Drake: Restores 5/7.5/10% of missing health and mana every 5 seconds, changing at levels 1/11/16.
-Thunder Drake: You gain stacks for each time you get hit by a minion, monster or enemy champion (1 for minions, 5 by monsters/ champions). At 100, stacks, next time you take damage by an enemy champion, return 100/150/200 magic damage to all enemies around you, changing at levels 1/11/16.
-Elder Dragon: Amplifies all buffs gained by elemental drakes by 50%. Basic attacks burn the target for (45 x Dragons slain) (as it already was).
5) I would also suggesting adding a pre-herald objective into the game, I mean a monster that would spawn at 2:30 in Rift Herald’s stead and de-spawn at 10:00. This could be named like “Rift Wyrm” and give 150 Gold to each member of the team that slays it, which is the same bonus that the old Dragon granted. This would provide some more strategic diversity along early objectives and some more room for early decision-making.
Thanks for your patience. I think spawning times, strength or anything else shouldn’t really change. The objectives’ system is good as it is otherwise, so have a nice day!