We’ve made some jungle changes in the coming patch, aimed mostly at easing the early game pressure on the lanes and opening up the roster of viable junglers. I’m Statikk, and I was the primary designer on the preseason jungle changes. Here’s an in-depth look at how we plan on accomplishing these goals.
Reducing early game pressure
Season Two opened up more opportunities for junglers to create early game action through ganking lanes. Although this had an overall positive effect on the game, the current rate and effectiveness of early jungle ganking (particularly through brush camping) applies an overwhelming amount of pressure to the lanes. This significantly reduces the number of champions that can lane effectively by requiring them to either be able to farm from a very safe distance or have a reliable means of quick escape.
To alleviate some of this early pressure, we want to make early ganking from the jungle a more difficult, conscious choice that will require constant monitoring of the risks involved. To accomplish this, we are increasing the damage dealt by jungle monsters. This means that junglers who gank early will likely be at lower health and not equipped with Boots of Speed unless they’re specialized or have made tradeoffs to acquire quick gold.
To combat this spike in jungle difficulty, we’re introducing several jungle-specific items to the game. For example, Hunter’s Machete is a great starting item which can be purchased at the beginning of the game to help you efficiently clear jungle. It also eventually upgrades into multiple build paths that include several of your favorite mid game jungle items such as Madred’s Razor and Wriggle’s Lantern.
Increasing Jungle diversity
In Season Two, strong junglers were typically characterized by high area-of-effect damage, utility skills, and early ganking presence. During the preseason, we want to increase the diversity of viable junglers by ensuring that champions with other strengths can also shine.
Firstly, we are going to reduce the emphasis on area-of-effect damage dealers by re-balancing more of the health and damage into the large monster in each of the camps. This allows single-target damage dealers such as Gangplank to have more competitive clear times.
Next, we’re also going to significantly increase the rewards (gold and XP) and scaling difficulty (health and damage that the monsters gain over time) of the jungle as a game progresses. This way junglers who shift their focus toward farming the jungle efficiently can acquire gold and experience faster. This opens up the jungle to many of the more damage-focused and gold-reliant champions like Master Yi who need to scale into the later parts of the game.
Lastly, as we mentioned earlier, we’re going to increase the damage dealt by monsters in the jungle. This should allow high-sustain junglers such as Warwick or Fiddlesticks to break back into rotation by giving them an edge over the competition.
The new items will also be a factor here by opening up build paths for champions who previously had poor jungle itemization such as mages and attack damage casters.
Quality of Life and Meta Adjustments
We are also making many other smaller adjustments to the jungle, including:
Jungle monsters now attack the nearest target rather than attempting to chase their original attacker to make their behavior more consistent
Wraith camp gold rewards have been reduced and golem and wolf camp gold rewards have been increased to better match their respective difficulty and convenience
The wraiths have reduced attack range and the large wraith has been repositioned within the camp to force mid laners to commit more when farming them for extra gold
The golem camps monsters have increased movement speed to make them less vulnerable to kiting, especially early on by the blue side bottom lane
Overall, we hope these preseason changes will make the jungle a place where more varied champions, roles, and playstyles are viable. We don’t intend to remove any of the junglers that are currently viable – only add to the lineup.
As usual, we’re open to making changes as things develop, and we want to hear your feedback on both new junglers and your standbys as you experiment. Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment once you’ve hit the Fields of Justice!