Jungle Timers and their Controversy

Riot has announced that they plan on adding jungle timers into the game which will keep track of the respawn times of the buff monsters, dragon and the baron. Almost there were members of the community raging and making threads on Reddit and on and the League forums expressing their outrage over Riot's decision. There seems to be very little middle ground where some members of the playerbase expressing pure hatred for the change while others welcome it. As expected, both sides have certain good arguments on their sides although the camp expressing hatred has more silly ones. I personally do not see them as a big deal and welcome the change into the game.

For starters, the change will not affect competitive play and will likely not affect top level play either as most of the players, even non-junglers, took timers already. This just removes the burden of bookkeeping from these players. In the lower division games it will make an impact but for the better. I will explain this in a bit but first I have to expressed that I firmly believe that taking jungle timers is not an example of being skilled. There is no real skill involved in knowing timers and jotting them down. The only thing that taking timers shows is that you are considerate for others and/or not lazy. Taking timers is absolutely pointless if you do not bother to utilize the knowledge of said timers. This brings up the next point of this argument in favor of the jungle timers.

What good is knowing when the dragon spawns if your team does not gather to contest it? What good is knowing the enemy blue buff if you did not prepare to steal it or even utilize the time the enemy jungler would be doing one of their buffs to go do something else? Having timers is pointless if you or your team does not actually put them to good use. Even if you give players automatic jungle timers it may not change the fact that some players may not even bother to assist you. Taking down jungle timers is not skill but utilizing the knowledge you gained by doing so is. Just because a player is given the timers automatically now does not mean the player will actually know what to do. However, at least they will now have the timers and have no excuse for not knowing. The "strong" and "skilled" players will still have an advantage over the players who did not take the timers. As my friend Foxdrop said, if the only thing standing between you and a player you consider inferior is jungle timers, you got a whole load of other problems.

Having the timers will, at least in my opinion, help players become stronger. This community baffles me sometimes when they promote videos, people, articles, and anything that can "help" a player improve yet condemn things that want to subconsciously improve players. This change will definitely help lazier and weaker players but will not do the actual work for them. It will keep the timers for them but will not tell them how to approach an invasion, a gank, a dragon, a baron or anything. The players will either already know what to do so it will be no change for them and the less experienced players will hopefully start learning by coming face to face with failure and laziness.

There would be no excuse for simply not knowing the timers. The only way to gain the timers for a buff or objective a team lost is to have had sight of them die. You may have lost dragon but if you had it warded you will still get the timer, unless they kill the ward of course. Your team cannot excuse itself for failing to group up for dragon, for failing to defend you when you are doing a major buff and you had been invaded throughout the game, or for not keeping the baron area ready for any fights that could occur. If players are exposed to this and they begin to see the importance of taking action then they will slowly start adapting their play. Once they adapt their play and reap positive effects of doing so either because they secure more objectives and buffs or perhaps win more then they will learn why doing these things is seen as such a good idea. I am aware I am repeating myself but it is important that readers understand this. Truly lazy and bad players will not take advantage of these timers while more observing players will.

Some people cried that this is making the game too easy and that it is only a matter of time before Riot adds things like enemy summoner spell timers and ultimate timers or some last hit indicator of some kind. The major difference at play here is that jungle timers are always static. A camp or objective will always spawn at a set amount of time. Enemy abilities have runes, masteries and items that can alter their cooldowns by even milliseconds and their opponent could have no way of immediately guessing the exact cooldown aside from when a player has 0% or 40%. The jungle timers never change so it is not like one is exerting a lot of effort to simply add a number to the time that they died.

I can understand why some people would be upset about the timers although I still believe they are exaggerating too much in their anger. In every instance of Riot adding more clarity to the game there has been a group of people, sometimes small and sometimes large, who cried about the changes. When smart pings were added some players though that would make the game too easy. When aggro indicators for towers and minions were added some players were upset. When a tower aggro sound was added there was yet another group who were pissed at that. Some players hated the idea of smart cast saying it would be too easy to cast combos now and some players hated the idea of new missile displays which would make skill shots too easy. There were even camps of people who cried about Riot adding clarity to champion abilities such as range indicators or buffs/debuffs becoming more noticeable. Yes they technically made the game easier but the changes did not exactly detract from the game. If some of these changes improve the playerbase then the entire game was improved as a result as a higher quality of game could now be expected. At worst, if the jungle changes do result in terrible things for the game, which I doubt it will, then Riot could simply remove them and things will go back to how they used to be. If the jungle timers work out then it will only result in the same way all these other "easy mode" changes did.

I agree that the jungle timers will remove this advantage from some junglers but the advantage has nothing to do with the timer itself but the action taken with knowing said timer. If by "dumbing down" the game Riot can help the playerbase improve then so be it. If you play in a division where taking jungle timers is so common both team always have them, then why does it even matter that timers are given automatically to you and your opponent? If you always keep timers yet you are constantly facing opponents who do not and in fact you are lower division than some of them, do simply knowing jungle timers make a massive difference? Once again if you play in a division where timers are so common, why do you care that a division much lower than you that normally does not take timers has automatic timers? If suddenly some of these players who never took timers become much better because they start adapting their play, were they really bad players?

I simply do not understand how low division players act as if taking jungle timers is something that makes or breaks a player or why players who normally play with timers against other players that take timers care so much that other divisions will be getting them automatically. I am leaning towards all this outrage simply being a knee-jerk reaction towards it and the less insightful of the community being the loudest. If the changes work then they will be kept and they will be removed if they do not. We pretty much have nothing to lose for experimenting with them. As of now, it is just the same loud group that comes out anytime Riot wants to make a change to the game.

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  • #46 Noknam

    It's funny how most of the people who think they're good for "keeping track of timers" are probably just pressing 1 button to let the third-party software start a timer and give a voice warning.

    Setting up your third-party software =/= skill.

  • #45 pafinn

    "If you beating an opponent in game relies in jungle timers, then you have bigger problems."

    You could say this about almost any aspect of the game as an excuse to remove some challenging feature. It makes a difference, it DOES take skill to make sure to write down timers AND keep track of them while doing everything else you do. League is won by accumulating lots and lots of little advantages.

    You need to have played the game for a long time to be comfortable enough to do it and it's definitely something that separates player skill levels.  

    Last edited by pafinn: 6/26/2014 3:48:43 PM
  • #43 Emaciated

    Stone_wall, you're the fucking man

  • #42 Are_you

    One of the best and most positive articles I read on RoG so far.

  • #40 ksharrison

    I agree with your comment that "if you beating an opponent in game relies in jungle timers, then you have bigger problems." 

    LoL has so many depths of gameplay that no one has mastered.  Riot is just shifting the skill emphasis those components and removing distractions from gameplay that they don't want.

    If you focused solely on absolutely raising the skill cap, then Riot might as well list all item costs as fractions of 1000, and let the player do the math in their head to figure out what they can and can't afford.  That also raises the skill cap, but it's not the kind of skill that is relevant to core gameplay.  Timers fall into a similar boat and won't be missed.

    Last edited by ksharrison: 6/26/2014 3:37:44 AM
  • #39 MrPinguinoEUW

    Just a stupid thing: i'm not that comfortable with typing during the game, i prefer to ping and avoid to type too much (also because english is not my main language, and i prefer to focus on playing instead of focusing on translations XD). So, if i can look at the timers without writing them, i think it could really help me on focusing more on the game ^_^

  • #36 cottonycloud

    Actually even in low diamond 1 people don't track timers and take advantage of them properly often. I believe most people go by gut feeling besides dragon and baron. I'm not sure whether how it counts if the objective was taken in fog of war (does it begin counting down from when you see it?) but there actually still is a need to time the objective approximately.

    I didn't like it being in a third-party thing, but if Riot implements it, I don't mind at all.

  • #31 Arcane_Azmadi

    The whiners who cry every time Riot do something to make the game better are the same kind of snobby elitist pains-in-the-ass who say Dota 2 is better than LoL because it's much harder to play and therefore LoL is a "no-skill easymode noob game". What a load of crap. Skill is how well you can master the mechanics of a game to play to the maximum ability, not how well you can compensate for game's failings and imbalances. You want to be so "hardcore", why don't you sod off to Dota 2 where skills use half your mana at level 1, heroes take time to do something as simple as turn around and they still cling to mechanics that Riot (correctly) identified as toxic and removed YEARS ago (like long duration stealth).

  • #27 jeboteled

    this jungle timers are really stupid and I dont agree with them... Im platinum 2 jungle main and like 95% of the the time, enemy junglers  dont time dragons/barons/buffs and I do, so most of the time me and my team get all dragons/barons just because we have timer and they dont and thats how you win games by taking objectives....

  • #28 Caedite_eos

    Maybe someday you will learn to understand...

    Last edited by Caedite_eos: 6/25/2014 8:09:00 PM
  • #29 Twist

    I think it's more likely what Stonewall said though, tbh.  If you're a Plat2 Jungle, your enemies are likely ~Plat2.  That means they probably ARE timing objectives, how would you know they aren't?  It's more likely imo, that they're timing them and failing to do anything with that information.  In that case, the timers aren't going to change much, I wouldn't think.

    Last edited by Twist: 6/25/2014 8:15:38 PM
  • #38 Nevran

    If I am not mistaken, the timer work like that:

    If you saw a buff dying, you will get the timer.
    If you saw that the buff isn't here but did'nt see it die, you won't have the timer.

  • #26 DoctorTuesday

    I completely agree with you Stonewall, and I will spend a few lines of this message pointlessly emphasizing that because what I am about to say may make me seem like I am trying to argue with you.

    While remembering to type out the timers didn't make you a better player or make you any more skillful, it was nice knowing that something I did gave me an edge over other players. Sure, it lacked any meaningful skill and didn't really deserve to help me, but nonetheless, it contributed to my success and it's a little scary to see things I do correctly made part of the game. TLDR; These are great changes for the game, but I worry personally that maybe the only reason I got higher ranked was because of stupid things like this xD

  • #35 NGAF

    I know the feeling.

    I play mostly support, and I used to place a ton of wards to gain lane control and vision around the entire bottom of the map. I was at 1100 ELO in season 2, nobody else would do that at my level of play. Of course I didn't have items, other than boots and aegis, locket or shurelya, but I was still more useful than the Deathcap-only support Nidalee/Lux on the other team.

    Then, Sightstone was introduced to the game. I was in the low silvers at the beginning of season 3. I started to buy a ton of pink wards to hunt wards down. Then, the pink ward became visible and limited to 1 per player.

    Since vision (or lack of) was no longer the deciding factor in my games, I did what every support main should do and I learned to play supports with kill potential.

  • #44 Apollinarius

    Heh, I just took my favorite support champions and took them top lane. I liked support for the support element, not for the kill element. But with tons of gold, it's nice being that toplane Janna or Lulu who has 500AP and -really- supports hard.

    Knowing the jungle timers isn't what will make a difference, and it wasn't what made a difference. Reminding your team that a dragon is coming up in 20 seconds so that your jungler doesn't wander for a gank toplane or so that someone drops lots of wards in the river, that is what leads teams to victory. Also, being able to convince your team to act on buffs and contest them. If junglers assume that having an enemy buff timer will mean that their whole team will help them invade, they'll learn a harsh lesson. A lot of what you know how to do well will still be applicable. All the important stuff will still count for a lot. The only thing that won't is the fact that you were able to take the 3 seconds to type four numbers and a couple of letters in team chat.

  • #25 EatSleepConquer

    As long as they keep the thing with the vision, i am totally okay with that, but i guess Riot is smart enough to see how retarded it would be if you get the timer for something you dont see going down

  • #20 Zeromat

    It seems like riot is trying to baby sit people now. Personally I don't care what riot does not until they fix the balance among the champions at least.

  • #17 Winterclaw42

    People without map awareness probably won't have timer awareness either. 

    IMO the timer thing isn't a big issue and is just a minor QoL so someone doesn't have to do bookkeeping.

  • #12 A1rheart

    Honestly people aren't butthurt about timers they just hate having them visible on the ui. If they announced timers in a new menu you pressed by pressing J this backlash would be extremely less vocal. I support timers and will love not having to scroll through hundreds of X says X is Missing ping notifications to dig up my respawn time.

  • #13 Puppiikicker

    Timers are only visible when you open the scoreboard, so they're not in the way.

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