Hello people from Riot and other readers,
A while back I first started wondering about whether or not there could be a possibility of resolving tons of excess gold in the lategame due to item slots being full. Despite the fact that the Elixirs contribute to some gold spending beyond the 6 item restriction, it usually still leaves up quite some gold that remains unspent.
And whilst I think adding additional item slots would be bad on several levels (not just the fact that it would become harder in the lategame to equal item builds since the leading team would remain a power lead for so much longer), adding a new feature to gain desireable stats in a different way wouldn't seem all that bad.
After a while, my main idea was: Can't we just create some sort of exchange rate between gold and a certain stat, like Health or Mana? In my mind, this doesn't seem all that bad: You're still able to grow stronger beyond the 6 item slot limit, but it escalates a lot slower, since you'd mostly be buying 1, maybe 2 kind of buffs (say, Attack Damage and Health on a fighter) which, at the exchange rate, would provide much less raw stats than a completed item would.
However, I did see some concerns, as all stats would have a different exchange rate, making some purchases more desireable, even if they are less optimal for the champion simply because the exchange rate is better, and the champion can still somehow make use of it. A second concern was that Health would be the cheapest stat to acquire, and since more health is generally speaking always good, an unhealthy health-dominant lategame state could occur in which AD Carries and Mages have 3-4k HP because the exchange rate is so low, whilst HP is always good to have more of. Lastly, there is the question regarding how important such a feature would be. After all, average game times have dropped over the last couple of months, meaning that a lot fewer games hit a lategame point in which several, if not all champions are full build with a couple of thousands of gold to spare. If only, say, 19% of all games were to hit that lategame, is a feature like that really useful? (Do note that the feature should only be enabled after having 5 completed items + boots, or 6 without boots if desired, since being able to buy raw stats early to mid would probably be outrageous).
Well, now that I have shared my insights on this topic, I'm going to ask you to return the favour. Has this been considered already? If so, for what reasons was it called off? Could something similar actually make its way to League in the future? I'm curios to find out a specialist's thoughts on this topic, in the hope that he/she can provide me with enough information to see things clearly, and to be able to determine why it would or wouldn't work.
Have a nice day and I hope I may hear from you shortly.