Riot to make League’s jungle more accessible with easier clears, Smite changes, and reduced snowballing

The changes aren't finalized yet.

Image via Riot Games

Strap yourself in, junglers. More positional changes are on the horizon.

League of Legends gameplay design director Mark “Scruffy” Yetter discussed tentative jungle changes in today’s dev blog, citing the long-term goal of increasing the position’s accessibility in lower ranks. Riot may still make adjustments to these balance changes while soliciting player feedback.

“At a high level we want these changes to be helpful and satisfying for Jungle players across all levels of play but we’re not aiming for a significant power increase or decrease for the position,” according to Scruffy. “We’re giving and taking away power in equal measure while shifting mechanics so that the jungle is a bit more welcoming to newcomers.”

The devs plan on making jungle clears more forgiving by reducing monsters’ base and scaling attack damage, increasing gold from non-buff camps by five percent, and increasing the camp respawn timer by 15 seconds. And a warning particle will appear to show a monster’s leash range when within 200 range of causing the leash to break. This should slow down the pace of farming and ganking so failed ganks or invades aren’t as jarring.

Image via Riot Games

To further widen the viable jungle pool, Riot also wants to limit the amount of crowd control and AoE clearing a champ needs to be successful at the position. So Smite will break Scuttle Crab’s shield and its max health healing will increase from 10 to 15 percent. Omnivamp on jungle items will decrease from 10 to eight percent to make up for that change. Riot already made several popular champs viable at the position in Patch 11.8, like Darius, Diana, and Zed.

So high-ranked players don’t run away with these changes, Riot is making some adjustments to reduce snowballing. Comeback XP will be reintroduced, allowing large monsters to grant 50 XP for every level that you’re below the average past the first one. This means if the average level is seven, you won’t get comeback XP unless you’re level five or below.

Jungle has always been a contentious role that Riot has struggled to balance. With it being a more complex position that asks players to farm, gank, secure objectives, and gather vision, it often pushes away low-ranked players. Experienced junglers are able to have incredible game influence, however, making even miniscule changes to the role very impactful.

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