League of Legends is making some big changes to the jungle role in 2023 with the intention of making it more accessible to newcomers.
In a blog post published on Friday, developer Riot assures that it's taking great care not to "dumb down" the jungle position and simply wants it to be "complex in the right places."
"Jungle is a powerful role, but also the punching bag of the team," Riot says. "We’re supposed to gank every lane, control all the macro, perfectly farm our camps, and set up vision ALL at once. It’s a lot. And that’s awesome—that’s why we main this role—but it’s way too much to jump into without a pool noodle."
One of the key ways Riot plans on lowering the barrier to entry for would-be junglers is to better demonstrate for them how the role is played, which sounds like a new tutorial is incoming. Furthermore, Riot teases rather vaguely that jungling mechanics will be adjusted to be "less punishing and more intuitive."
Riot also says it's considering adjustments to the rules around camps resetting as well as leash range. "When you’re newer to the role and accidentally lose camp patience it feels like you’re getting slapped in the face," Riot says. "Even for experienced players the rules are finicky and sometimes your champion feels useless because they can’t abuse these rules as well as other champs."
Future updates will also address jungle clear optimization with the intent of making more champions viable junglers. Riot acknowledges that certain champions have better clear rates because they're more easily able to "abuse" certain rules, and it sounds like that'll be a big focus of this comprehensive jungle rework.
"Right now in League, it’s not realistic to expect a ton of different characters to be viable at the highest levels of play because a lot of them simply can’t optimize their clears enough to stand up with the rest. Will Rammus ever be powerful in high skill brackets with a clear as slow and as fragile as his is right now?"
There will also be additional tools for junglers to more proactively communicate with their teams. Since jungling is the role most focused on macro strategy, Riot wants to give junglers the ability to get their teams on board with their strategies. That'll include more tools to get teammates to help out with objectives, communicate their ganks to their laners, and more.
Finally, pets. That's right, pets are coming to League of Legends to make junglers' lives a little easier. It isn't clear exactly what form pets will take as Riot is still iterating on the design, but they'll help you with little tasks like clearing or taking down epic monsters. You'll also be able to gradually raise your pet to the point where it'll "empower" you, which is an effect that'll be shrouded in secrecy while Riot nails down how strong the empowerment should be relative to your base kit, runes, items, and whatnot.
Here are some early and very much not final designs for the pets:
Again, some of this is definitive and some of it Riot is still working out how to implement, but either way, you can expect a bunch of changes to the jungling role starting with the 2023 preseason update.
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