Being able to join a friend that is spectating their OWN friend's game would be kinda nice. Just a thought. I'm sure this thread will be great once people really get into it.
I wanted to add a little tidbit with the Directed Camera. It actually seems decent, although I have yet to use it first hand, but right away in the spotlight, I noticed, the camera lacks tracking with maybe a couple abilities (such as Master Yi's Alpha Strike). It just looked a little off, but I'm sure it's not that bad. I suppose it is hard to predetermine the camera to locate the new location of the champ, but MAYBE there is a way to tweak it. I just imagine other spells looking a little off (Flashes, blinks, etc.). But who knows!
EDIT: I feel like moving this thread to In-Game HUD just killed it
EDIT EDIT: Glad you made this thread "sticky" for GD. It's alive!!!
So I have watched 3 games so far with spectator. For the most part, you guys succeeded and the mode is near perfect (then again, it's been like what, a year or more, since you've announced it?). Regardless, the functions available are awesome, especially for new players. Older veteran players also get some insight into even higher ELO brackets.
The Directed Camera is actually pretty nice. It seems to kinda just jump to whoever has the lowest health though, which takes away from the "Directed Camera will jump to the action on the map!" aspect that you guys say it has. However, I'm sure updates will only make it better, so now harm there. Besides, the Timeshift feature is utterly amazing, so it helps A TON for spectating. Hell, just rewinding to see what spell a certain champ takes at level 4 is helpful.
You guys mentioned that implementing spectator chat was in your heads, but you couldn't find a nice way to do it. For example, you mentioned that you tried tabs within the chat window to show game chat and a separate tab for spectator chat. After playing around with the mode, I don't even see GAME CHAT, although I could just need to enable it and not be paying attention enough. Regardless, spectator chat is going to be a main feature for an incoming update and you guys already know that. So I say at least test out the Tab chat idea in PBE or something.
Heck, couldn't you even add the normal chat feature in the main menu screen and put in as a transparent UI at the bottom of the screen? Or ever the bottom left/right of the screen? So basically, you will have the "Friends List", "Chat Tabs", and "Group Chat Tabs" at the bottom of the screen, with the same features as people are used to at the main menu screen. Maybe even make it like a pop up menu (ala Mac OSX dock). Who knows, just giving feedback. With this idea, you could even invite YOUR friends to join you in spectating.
Minor Bug (?):
Directed Camera is nice (heck you can eat AND watch action!), but it seems that if you choose to lock on to a champ, and then click ANY feature (such as checking how much gold the champs have in the Tab menu), then the Directed Camera resets. It isn't that big of a deal, but a minor annoyance. Or perhaps it's intended and the Directed Camera just turns back on after a couple minutes.
Anyways, I would have to say that Spectator Mode is as big of a release (if not bigger) than Dominion and will segway greatly into the much anticipated replays.
TL; DR: Spectator Mode is a great tool to help new players to the game and even veteran players can take away some things. Updates in the future will only build on this mode. 9/10