Riot is right in the middle of preparing big mid-season changes for League of Legends in Patches 8.10 and 8.11, including dramatic changes to jungling, the marksman role, and bounties. Yesterday, the company responded to widespread criticism surrounding its plans for the jungle.
Riot provided more context, explanation, and (more importantly) a little compromise for its jungle changes. In the forum post, Riot game designer Sotere talks through the goals behind each change and how the design team will be dialing back a little bit from their original goals.
There are two goals that Riot will not be backing down from, however, according to the post. Firstly, the design team believes the pressure put on lanes from junglers is far too extreme, and too often than not, a winning lane is determinant or dependent on the jungler.
Riot wants to reduce that pressure, especially early on, through camp experience changes and more. The goal is to retain the fact that junglers can primarily affect the sway of the game through aggressive ganks, while moving back how early the ganks begin and also increasing the toll the jungler pays per gank.
The second goal Riot wants to hold firmly onto is opening up jungling to more champions that were previously restricted just because of mana issues. This one’s a little more self-explanatory, but it was also never that big of an issue with the community.
The solution to that problem seems to simply be a change to the jungle item Runic Echoes. More specifically, Riot plans to add a chunk of mana to the ability, while tweaking the mana return on triggering the item’s passive.
Most of the community’s dissatisfaction, including CLG head coach Tony “Zikz” Gray’s tweet from last week, was directed at planned changes for Rift Scuttler variance. Variance, or randomness, in League is always a hot topic, because no matter how skillful a player is, they can’t control the more random elements of the game.
Riot wanted to switch the Scuttler’s appearance to be totally random, appearing on either side of the map to make jungler pathing and tracking a little less predictable. This, of course, gives whichever jungler on the same side of the map as the Scuttler a distinct advantage in gold, vision, and even health regeneration.
As a compromise, Riot will be making two changes to its plans. Firstly, Scuttlers will spawn on both sides of the map for the very first spawn, since gold, vision, and brief health regeneration matter more early in the game. After that, they’ll begin spawning randomly.
In addition to that, experience and gold given by the Scuttler will now be lower at the start of the game and will scale up to level nine. This means that when they do begin random spawns, they will give less of an advantage to the jungler that just so happens to be on the same side.
On top of the context and compromise provided by Sotere in the forum post, a new plan for reducing camp respawn timers is also tentatively being tested, but it is far from being a definite goal just yet.
These changes are all slated for Patch 8.10, which should be about two weeks away.