[Updated] An introduction to jungle this preseason

Posted on at 10:40 AM by Moobeat
Update: added a ton of additional discussion to the bottom of the post!

Solcrushed has posted up an overview on the upcoming preseason changes to the jungle - including a new camp, monster's scaling with champion levels, and new gold flow options for junglers!
Continue reading for more info

Here's Solcrushed with the goods ( forum link / reddit link ):

"We’ve got some big things coming for the jungle this preseason. The overarching philosophy for our jungle update is to create more options and possibilities for junglers of all kinds. This moves us closer to the larger goal of ensuring that all roles and positions within League of Legends can feel strong throughout and make a big impact on the endgame. Let’s take a look at some of the changes:

The Season 3 jungle

  • Junglers are very strong early, but many are pushed into more of a supporting role by mid-game
  • Junglers frequently run out of camps to farm due to laning teammates ‘poaching’ jungle monsters
  • Junglers who can gank early are favored over any other type of jungler
  • Junglers who fall behind early have a very difficult time getting back into the game

Why do these things happen?

• Jungle monsters don’t scale well
Jungle monsters grant more experience and gold (relative to minions) early in the game but don’t scale as well as minions. Therefore, ‘carry’ junglers can’t carry by farming the jungle – they must take lane farm or have multiple successful ganks if they want to achieve the same amount of gold and experience as laners.

• The tradeoff between ganking and farming is not optimal
Farming the jungle does not provide enough reward compared to the potential pay-off of early ganks. Additionally, it’s easier for some champions to keep the jungle cleared while maintaining gank pressure.

• It is better to concentrate gold onto a Marksman or Mage
In the Season 3 meta, gold was nearly always more efficient on a Marksman or Mage, regardless of position. This leads to rampant poaching of the jungle and junglers often find themselves at a clear gold disadvantage as compared to Marksmen or Mages.

Our new season jungling goals:

• Flexibility in the jungle
We really want more playstyles to be viable in the jungle. Junglers will have more flexibility in choosing jungle routes, and the optimal jungle route will vary more depending on your champion.

• More resources
Junglers who are more farm-centric will be able to obtain gold and experience similar to that found in solo lanes, offsetting the map pressure and lane support they give up by farming. “Farming Carry” and “Ganking Support” will both be viable play styles, with each bringing its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

• More comeback mechanisms in the jungle
While counterjungling will remain a viable strategy, the jungler who is behind will now have more ways to get back into the game.

(Some) Preseason jungling changes:

Here are some of the changes we are planning.

• We’ll be adding an extra camp near blue buff and the wolf camp.
By adding another camp, players can add some diversity to jungle routes and farm more resources. The extra camp creates further tradeoffs between ganking and farming the jungle because it’ll now be more challenging to keep the jungle clear. Besides that, the camp adds one more lever for us to balance area-of-effect vs. single target junglers.

The additional camp also equalizes the number of camps on the north and south side of the map, bringing the blue and purple sides of the map a little more into balance.

• Jungle monsters will scale with champion levels
Monsters will now have a ‘level’ that’ll be determined each time they spawn. This level will scale according to the average level of champions in the game. Bonus experience will be doled out if jungle monsters are a higher level than the champion killing them.

By introducing dynamic scaling and varying rewards on monster kills we’re aiming to encourage jungle farming as a viable playstyle. The varying rewards will act as a comeback mechanic and an incentive for allies to leave monsters to players who are a bit behind in the game. With the extra camp, poaching becomes less detrimental to junglers and remains a feasible way for laners to claw back an advantage in their matchup.

• More gold flow options for junglers
No specifics today, but we’re looking to pour a little more gold into junglers’ pockets. We’re exploring the idea of tying additional gold income to things like jungler-specific items instead of Smite. This idea and having more reliably scaling monsters should increase gold flow for junglers.

Again, these are a few of the changes we’ve got planned for the jungle. We’re looking forward to seeing how everyone adapts and even more excited to see how the jungler position evolves in the new season!"

As usual, I'll be adding more information here as it becomes available!


When asked if Smite was getting any changes, he noted:
" Smite has half cooldown and deals less damage early"

Monster Scaling

To clarify, he commented:
"This only works like that when they are massively behind. The bonuses scale with how much behind you are"

He also noted that monsters will no longer scale over time:
"We are doing away with the time scaling, monsters will only scale with level now."

He continued, saying:
"The level scaling will take into account AVERAGE level of champions in the game, so people who are lower level gain more from killing monsters in the jungle compared to higher level"
As for how this scaling will play into ganking early vs just farming, Solcrushed commented:
"1) If you get an efficient gank, you will still have an edge as should be. (It is a risky move) 
 2) If you waste time ganking, the enemy jungler will be ahead as he has more resources to farm and monsters only adjust their level when they spawn"

He continued to comment on the new scaling, noting the scaling is non-linear
"The level scaling for monsters in non-linear, early levels will not change their strength that much"
He reiterated:
"The exp rewards will scale down as you get closer to the monster's level. So while the enemy jungler will catch up quickly to 6 or so his catch up speed will be reduced dramatically as he draws closer"

He continued:
"Characters who are behind in level to monsters gain more rewards from killing the monster. Jungle monster scaling is also set up so that the first few levels do not grant much stat increases. 
There is a very big gap between 'first advantage wins the game' and 'early advantages don't matter'. Our game even with these changes are very far away from the latter."

New Camp

What is it?
"For now it is a big bad red Wraith. Hopefully we will be able to make it awesome later on"
He continued:
"The new camp is a single monster who hits really hard.
Since we now have camps that consist of 1, 2, 3, 4 monsters it is easier for us to adjust the balance between single target and AOE since you now have enough camps to choose your route, opposed to before where we had to adjust the entire jungle since skipping a camp was much less viable"

New Items

What are they?
"An introduction to jungle items without going into specifics 
Wriggle's Lantern
Now the item for farming junglers, grants very bad combat stats but gives a very big increase in gold from jungle monsters 
Spirit of the Ancient Golem
Now intended for support junglers who will move with the team more than farm the jungle. Allows you to 'bank' the gold bonus for a little bit of time which you can cash in by killing jungle monsters. 
Spirit of the Elder Lizard
More focused toward early-mid teamfights and objective control, will grant gold on champions deaths and Dragon/baron 
Spirit of the Spectral Wraith
Now intended to help mage junglers who are hurt by not having blue buff and needing to spend too much resources to clear jungle mid-late game. Will give Health and Mana back equal to a % of spell damage you deal to monsters. (Vlad and co. will still have their selfish spellvamp item - it just won't be Spirit Wraith)"

General  / Other

When asked "how will this change [insert jungler here]?", he replied:
"We will need to balance junglers again once the changes have shaken out."

When asked about tank junglers, he noted:
"We will need to make sure they do not fall behind too easily. If it becomes a problem we can make them jungle better mid-late game or introduce an item for those characters."

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