Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The New Jungle - League of Legends patch 11/29

Riot Games updated League of Legends today with controversial changes to the "jungle".  For the uninformed, the jungle in LoL is a series of neutral monsters that players can kill to gain experience, gold, and buffs during a match.  It is an optional path, but in competitive play there is almost always guaranteed to be a "jungler" on the team clearing the jungle.

Some really good information has been coming out now that the patch is a few hours old.  First up is a numbers post on Reddit covering the new respawn times and camp values based on time of clearing during the match.  They are not set in stone yet, so check back for updates (the Reddit LoL community is great for fast digestion of patch changes FYI).

Prior to this patch, jungling required choosing one of the few jungling champions and a specific set of masteries, runes, and summoner spells.  In this patch the jungle was made "easier" in the aspect that the monsters are now a bit easier to kill and are less likely to be able to kill the player.  However, killing brain dead monsters wasn't exactly a challenge to begin with so saying it got easier is more in regards to the fact that far more champions with more diverse builds can now jungle successfully (instead of just as a joke).

Maokai has been a recent jungle star even prior to the patch due to some play by some top LoL players, so he is a good champ to show off some footage of the new jungle.  If you are not a hardcore LoL player, you may not notice any difference in this footage from the old jungler.  However, the differences are there as Maokai comes away with a very fast and efficient jungle run before emerging with level 4 after clearing the camps.

The new jungle is just the tip of the iceberg for this patch. Many other balance changes came down the pipeline aimed at making the early part of classic LoL games more aggressive in nature which should speed up games and make it a better spectator sport.

Personally I have been playing a lot of Dominion (a different game mode without a jungle). Dominion has faster games and focuses more on champion vs champion combat on a capture the point map. I like the faster game times and the more aggressive play. If this patch cuts down the average game length and increases the action in classic LoL, then I will probably return for some normal solo queue action.

Anyone else have thoughts on the new jungle? On the patch? Share in the comments.

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