This is part of my quest to promote the vision game as an element worth exploring mechanically. I would love to see Riot embrace sight, stealth, detection, and denial, and hope to get the LoL community to realize how much fun this could be.
The vision game in League right now isn't the most exciting - it works, but it could be so much more. Being able to carry more wards, or have more wards out at any given time won't make League more fun though. It could, IMO, be made much more exciting if the wards our opponents use were actually fallible. I've stated before there there is very-little-to-no counterplay inherent to wards. There just isn't. Why? Ask Riot. Alternatively, read Willbachbakal's Another Look At Vision.
There is effectively one type of ward, and that is the: 'circle AoE of vision' with the ward at the center of that AoE. Nothing is wrong with this in and of itself, but when you consider the sheer number of cool and unique abilities champions have, and active item effects in the game, it's odd to see wards not following the same trends. It'd be the equivilent of every spell being a targeted point-and-click. Yeah, it might work, but things like skillshots and telegraphing and animation delays add so much excitement to the game.
To quote gypsylord, "I think missing is important." I agree. Missing is important. And it should apply to wards. Having wards that offer the possibility of safety but are not guaranteed to catch the enemy (because he or she can play around them) is necessary to make the vision game all it could be. Fun.
I think stealth (not the invisibility mechanic, but the mindset of watching, waiting, hiding, stalking, etc) and the playstyle of giving the enemy as little info on your movements as possible, is part of what makes this game so exciting. If Riot where to emphasize the vision game, they would be doing something every MOBA to date has neglected to do.
These are intended to replace / override the games current wards (for example, the Beholder is the new (hopefully improved) Vision Ward and the Beacon is the go-to for standard sight (similar to the old green Sight Wards), but it is much more vulnerable now). I also (thanks to suggestions from friends) think these wards should have a limit: I think one out at any given time is sufficient. I'm also tempted to havelet you pick from any of these to use in conjunction with it (you could 'switch out' which ward you had SS 'charged' with from the Shop menu.) With this new system of wards, SS would have a unique passive that read: "Your maximum ward limit is increased by 2."
The SnitchStats: Invisible. 1 HP. Costs 75. Lasts 180 seconds. 1000 Range.
Special: Does not grant any vision. Instead, it emits a visible / audible ping whenever an enemy champion enters its range. Enemy champions near the Snitch can hear it when it pings. There is a short cooldown on this ping effect.
The ObserverStats: Invisible. 3 HP. Costs 75. Lasts 180 seconds. Infinite Range.
Special: Grants sight in a thin (width approx. 100 units?) straight beam - from ahead and behind - that continues indefinitely, only being blocked by units, terrain, brush, structures, etc. It can be seen at very close range (approx. 125 units).
The BeaconStats: Visible. 5 HP. Costs 75. Lasts 180 seconds. 1000 Range.
Special: Can only be placed on terrain. Grants a AoE of sight around it, ignoring the terrain it's on (i.e. it can see over terrain). Can only be attacked by champions with ranged basic attacks (i.e. 400 unit range or greater).
The SentryStats: Visible. Infinite HP. Costs 75. Lasts 180 seconds. 1000 Range.
Special: Grants true sight in a visible 60 degree cone, that rotates around it. It completes one rotation every few seconds. If it catches an enemy in its sight, its gaze will follow them until they leave its range. Three attacks will temporarily disable the Sentry.
The BeholderStats: Visible. 7 HP. Costs 75. Lasts indefinitely. 1000 Range.
Special: Grants true sight in a moderate AoE around it. Additionally, the Beholder will periodically 'sleep' for a short while (30s), during which time it grants no vision. While sleeping, enemy champions that enter within it's range will awaken it after 2.5 seconds.
Trinkets, Traps, & Tools
These are minor vision granting items that occupy the trinket slot (key no. 4). The intention is that they supplement / compliment your choice of ward, and give you a 'regular use' form of vision. They are still free to purchase, and only have cooldowns and charges associated with them. Note that these items don't place ward-like constructs but play with vision in other ways. I also wanted the five trinkets (and their colors) to correspond with the new wards in ways that make sense. I tried anyways. ;I
Special: Grants vision in a small AoE (approx. 500 units) in a massive range (3000 units) for 5 seconds. 60 Second CD. Gains 1 charge every 45 seconds, max 5 charges.
Special: Conjures a ??? that seeks out the nearest ward or trap, revealing, attacking and destroying it if able. This spirit exists for a total of X seconds, and will continue seeking out wards as long as it is able. It will reveal enemy champions very close to it, but it does not stop for them. 90 Second CD.
Special: For a short while (X seconds) expands your champion's sight range in a 150 degree cone in front of them. This enhanced sight can see into brush for the effect's duration. 60 Second CD.
Special: Summons a drone that escorts you for the next 10 seconds. The drone warns against unseen enemies (including stealth, fog and brush) as well as revealing wards and invisible traps within 600 units. 90 Second CD.
Special: Conjures a small invisible AoE of darkness at the target area. If a ward is placed within X units of the trap or the trap is placed on a ward, the trap activates, negating the ward's special and rendering that ward useless for it's lifespan. 90 second CD.
These are just a few ideas of playing with sight. I think even more powerful / cool abilities should be reserved for champions, and that even with all these variations on sight abilities, there is still plenty of room for exploration and variation where champions are concerned.
Also, color coding all of these is necessary in order to 1) communicate function and flavor (this is prob strongest with the Red and Pink wards / trinkets), and 2) make these wards compliant with ward skins.
Maybe one day a Rioter will come along and see this and say, "Y'know, I wonder why we don't play with wards and stealth and sight in such a way." And slowly ideas like these will worm its way into Riot's heart. <3