I can't be the only one who's noticed this, although others may not have articulated it as such. Riot has been adding more and more mini-objectives to the game, as well as champion abilities that play with objectives in unique ways.

The first real instance of this was AzirSquare Azir's Shurima's Legacy Shurima's Legacy, as far as I'm aware. He got to play with towers by making his own! A fascinating ability that was soon followed by others. BardSquare Bard has his Traveler's Call Chimes to collect, SkarnerSquare Skarner was given his Crystal Spires Crystal Spires that he must capture, defend, and play around, and now KindredSquare Kindred has her Mark of the Kindred Mark of the Kindred, turning what was simply a natural part of the game (moving around the map and ganking and getting kills and contesting the jungle buffs) into an objective in its own right. Perhaps the biggest (some would say ridiculous) change has been MordekaiserSquare Mordekaiser's Children of the Grave Children of the Grave capturing the DragonSquare Dragon as his personal pet.

We've also recently had the Black Market Brawlers which, I'm guessing, was more than a limited time game mode, and more than a 'secret' beta test for new items. People seem to gloss over the fact that this is the first time Riot has really played with the minion scheme in League's history. Perhaps soon we'll see a 'minion-mancer' whose gameplay revolves around manipulating the minions spawned from the base? Such a champion would have definite periods of power and windows of vulnerability, and would certainly be a challenge to design and play.

But what does this mean for League? Well, I for one would like to see more of this kind of objective manipulation, but Riot is limited by the constraints of their game and their imagination. There are, after all, only so many objectives presently available to work with. I also think we should expect even stranger, more varied 'creature' types (something Riot has been improving on as of late), since they're the most likely to have such mechanics fit nicely with their kit and thematics. Such champions gives them leeway where a regular ol' human might stifle an otherwise brilliant concept.

Most importantly, though, I think the influx of objective manipulation signals a change in Riot's values. They're no longer just designing abilities that deal damage, CC, or buff/debuff the other players, but are beginning to play with fundamental elements of the game - elements that, up until recently, players had very limited interaction with. We're beginning to see the emergence of more and more subtle utility and team / goal oriented skills. I, for one, look forward to seeing just how far they can push it and hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Some food for thought.