The jungle saw the biggest shift in the League of Legends preseason this time around, and now Riot Games has gone into detail about the role.
On Nov. 7, League game designer Ezra “Phlox” Lynn shed some light on the jungle changes in a State of the Jungle dev blog. He explained three main aspects of the role, including counter-jungling, optimizations, and pathing. He also hinted at what’s next for the jungle in the coming months.
When it comes to counter-jungling, Phlox admitted it’s a pivotal part of the jungle role, and it’s been a hot topic ever since the preseason changes were first revealed. The devs are trying to prevent early invades because it’s a “miserable experience” to be on the receiving end. Intentionally, the devs want to make counter-jungling less regular, and more high-risk, high-reward. If executed properly, players will get significantly ahead due to the Smite changes, but with the other camp and pathing changes, counter-jungling is just not as easy to execute as it once was.
Since preseason launched with Patch 12.22 on Nov. 16, Smite is now enhanced by the number of camps you clear instead of how often you use it. As a result, to be effective in counter-jungling, players need to take down a few of the enemy’s camps to come out ahead.
Another change that Phlox explained was optimization. Riot toyed around with the leash ranges and camp clear speed so single-target and AoE junglers could be on even ground.
In the preseason, the devs also modified some camps like Krugs and Gromp, due to the fact that the first one was almost always skipped in pathing, while the second was pivotal thanks to the heal it provided. Scuttlecrab’s spawn timer was also changed. The devs explained that they wanted to create more pathing options for both faster and slower clearers with these updates, diversifying the possible options.
All in all, the jungle saw many updates with the preseason update. Riot admits that it’s never easy to ship so many with a single patch. The devs are now monitoring the game and collecting data to potentially release hotfixes to keep everything in working order.