We've got some big things coming for the jungle this preseason. The overarching philosophy for our jungle update is to create more options and possibilities for junglers of all kinds. This moves us closer to the larger goal of ensuring that all roles and positions within League of Legends can feel strong throughout and make a big impact on the endgame. Let's take a look at some of the changes:
The Season 3 jungle
- Junglers are very strong early, but many are pushed into more of a supporting role by mid-game
- Junglers frequently run out of camps to farm due to laning teammates 'poaching' jungle monsters
- Junglers who can gank early are favored over any other type of jungler
- Junglers who fall behind early have a very difficult time getting back into the game
Why do these things happen?
- Jungle monsters don't scale well
Jungle monsters grant more experience and gold (relative to minions) early in the game but don't scale as well as minions. Therefore, 'carry' junglers can't carry by farming the jungle - they must take lane farm or have multiple successful ganks if they want to achieve the same amount of gold and experience as laners.
- The tradeoff between ganking and farming is not optimal
Farming the jungle does not provide enough reward compared to the potential pay-off of early ganks. Additionally, it's easier for some champions to keep the jungle cleared while maintaining gank pressure.
- It is better to concentrate gold onto a Marksman or Mage
In the Season 3 meta, gold was nearly always more efficient on a Marksman or Mage, regardless of position. This leads to rampant poaching of the jungle and junglers often find themselves at a clear gold disadvantage as compared to Marksmen or Mages.
Our new season jungling goals:
- Flexibility in the jungle
We really want more playstyles to be viable in the jungle. Junglers will have more flexibility in choosing jungle routes, and the optimal jungle route will vary more depending on your champion.
- More resources
Junglers who are more farm-centric will be able to obtain gold and experience similar to that found in solo lanes, offsetting the map pressure and lane support they give up by farming. "Farming Carry" and "Ganking Support" will both be viable play styles, with each bringing its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
- More comeback mechanisms in the jungle
While counterjungling will remain a viable strategy, the jungler who is behind will now have more ways to get back into the game.
(Some) Preseason jungling changes:
Here are some of the changes we are planning.
- We'll be adding an extra camp near blue buff and the wolf camp.
By adding another camp, players can add some diversity to jungle routes and farm more resources. The extra camp creates further tradeoffs between ganking and farming the jungle because it'll now be more challenging to keep the jungle clear. Besides that, the camp adds one more lever for us to balance area-of-effect vs. single target junglers.
The additional camp also equalizes the number of camps on the north and south side of the map, bringing the blue and purple sides of the map a little more into balance.
- Jungle monsters will scale with champion levels
Monsters will now have a 'level' that'll be determined each time they spawn. This level will scale according to the average level of champions in the game. Bonus experience will be doled out if jungle monsters are a higher level than the champion killing them.
By introducing dynamic scaling and varying rewards on monster kills we're aiming to encourage jungle farming as a viable playstyle. The varying rewards will act as a comeback mechanic and an incentive for allies to leave monsters to players who are a bit behind in the game. With the extra camp, poaching becomes less detrimental to junglers and remains a feasible way for laners to claw back an advantage in their matchup.
- More gold flow options for junglers
No specifics today, but we're looking to pour a little more gold into junglers' pockets. We're exploring the idea of tying additional gold income to things like jungler-specific items instead of Smite. This idea and having more reliably scaling monsters should increase gold flow for junglers.
Again, these are a few of the changes we've got planned for the jungle. We're looking forward to seeing how everyone adapts and even more excited to see how the jungler position evolves in the new season!
We'll also be posting this on reddit where we may pass through to clarify some questions. Later this week we'll be doing a global recap to follow up with the most up-to-date information from questions around the world!