Howling Abyss ( New ARAM Map + Match Making Queue ) now on PBE!

Posted on at 6:54 PM by Moobeat
THE NEWS JUST KEEPS ON COMING! Not only have we had more info on the Karma rework, Zac, and a new teaser ( which ties into this ) , but now we have details on a BRAND FREAKING NEW ARAM MAP and the announcement of an ARAM match making queue!
Continue reading for Bracknar's full announcement on the updated ARAM map, Howling Abyss.

"Hey Gang,

It’s been a while since I first talked to you guys about making ARAM an official gameplay mode, and today I’ve got something awesome to share with you. For the past few months I’ve been working with an exceptional team of artists to create a space that’s an appropriate setting for both the epic battles that occur in ARAM and within the world of Runeterra at large. As a result, we’ve completely reworked the Proving Grounds and, in effect, created something entirely new.

Now, instead of fighting on a random bridge over a black void, you’ll be fighting on the Howling Abyss, an ancient landmark in Freljord where the Iceborn finally overthrew their oppressors and sent them tumbling into the chasm below. As you might have guessed from these mysterious journals, there’s more (a lot more!) our story team would love to tell you Freljord – but for now, you’ll have to wait.

Anyway, work is still ongoing on the map, and it’s yet a few patches away from release but we just wanted to invite you guys in a bit earlier than normal to get your thoughts as we begin to polish it up. The environment team will be actively reading the forum and looking for your feedback, so please let us know what you think!

Additionally I wanted to let you guys know that we are actively working on an official matchmaking queue for ARAM and plan to launch it with the map when it’s ready. The queue isn’t currently enabled on PBE as there’s still a good bit of tech work that needs to be resolved to handle the number of players on the environment, but we’re fully committed to giving you guys the best experience that we can. So with that, check out the map and explore what we’ve created; who knows, maybe you’ll even find some surprises!"

Brackhar also answered several questions

When asked if summoners will be able to use free to play champions in the new ARAM queue, he responded
"Own + free to play."
He also shared that draft mode will still be available in custom games, saying
"It'll be available as a custom game for any pick mode, but for now the queue will be random only."
Furthermore, he mentioned that champion select will also be blind random
"The current plan is to make it blind random so you won't see your opponents.'

Kilmourz also chimed in, noting that there will be new sounds and music!
"Yes there is new music and ambient sounds."

Regarding the fate of the Proving Grounds map, he says:
"The old Murder Bridge collapsed into the abyss from so many epic battles.... never to be seen again."
He also commented on the state of the current tutorial map, saying:
"Yes the tutorial will be updated and played on this map."

As far as the size of this new map, Kilzmourz says:
"We kept the lane width and length the exact same as ARAM\Proving Grounds but we did remove the step down stairs that lead to mid lane making the base to mid lane flat. The placement of the Nexus\Inhib\health packs and turrets is also the same as ARAM."

Furthermore, here are several Howling Abyss work in progress and concept arts shared by Rioters on the forums.

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