Statikk Discusses Preseason Jungle Changes



  • We’ve made some jungle changes in the coming patch, aimed mostly at easing the early game pressure on the lanes and opening up the roster of viable junglers. I’m Statikk, and I was the primary designer on the preseason jungle changes. Here’s an in-depth look at how we plan on accomplishing these goals.

    Reducing early game pressure

    Season Two opened up more opportunities for junglers to create early game action through ganking lanes. Although this had an overall positive effect on the game, the current rate and effectiveness of early jungle ganking (particularly through brush camping) applies an overwhelming amount of pressure to the lanes. This significantly reduces the number of champions that can lane effectively by requiring them to either be able to farm from a very safe distance or have a reliable means of quick escape.

    To alleviate some of this early pressure, we want to make early ganking from the jungle a more difficult, conscious choice that will require constant monitoring of the risks involved. To accomplish this, we are increasing the damage dealt by jungle monsters. This means that junglers who gank early will likely be at lower health and not equipped with Boots of Speed unless they’re specialized or have made tradeoffs in other areas.

    To combat this spike in jungle difficulty, we’re introducing several jungle-specific items to the game. For example, Hunter’s Machete is a great starting item which can be purchased at the beginning of the game to help you efficiently clear jungle. It also eventually upgrades into multiple build paths that include several of your favorite mid game jungle items such as Madred’s Razor and Wriggle’s Lantern.

    Increasing Jungle diversity

    In Season Two, strong junglers were typically characterized by high area-of-effect damage, utility skills, and early ganking presence. During the preseason, we want to increase the diversity of viable junglers by ensuring that champions with other strengths can also shine.

    Firstly, we are going to reduce the emphasis on area-of-effect damage dealers by re-balancing more of the health and damage into the large monster in each of the camps. This allows single-target damage dealers such as Gangplank to have more competitive clear times.

    Next, we’re also going to significantly increase the rewards (gold and XP) and scaling difficulty (health and damage that the monsters gain over time) of the jungle as a game progresses. This way junglers who shift their focus toward farming the jungle efficiently can acquire gold and experience faster. This opens up the jungle to many of the more damage-focused and gold-reliant champions like Master Yi who need to scale into the later parts of the game.

    Lastly, as we mentioned earlier, we’re going to increase the damage dealt by monsters in the jungle. This should allow high-sustain junglers such as Warwick or Fiddlesticks to break back into rotation by giving them an edge over the competition.

    The new items will also be a factor here by opening up build paths for champions who previously had poor jungle itemization such as mages and attack damage casters.

    Quality of Life and Meta Adjustments

    We are also making many other smaller adjustments to the jungle, including:

    • Jungle monsters now attack the nearest target rather than attempting to chase their original attacker to make their behavior more consistent
    • Wraith camp gold rewards have been reduced and golem and wolf camp gold rewards have been increased to better match their respective difficulty and convenience
    • The wraiths have reduced attack range and the large wraith has been repositioned within the camp to force mid laners to commit more when farming them for extra gold
    • The golem camps monsters have increased movement speed to make them less vulnerable to kiting, especially early on by the blue side bottom lane

    Overall, we hope these preseason changes will make the jungle a place where more varied champions, roles, and playstyles are viable. We don’t intend to remove any of the junglers that are currently viable – only add to the lineup.

    As usual, we’re open to making changes as things develop, and we want to hear your feedback on both new junglers and your standbys as you experiment. Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment once you’ve hit the Fields of Justice!
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    Originally Posted by SkilledSpellz View Post
    No leashing then? :s
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    No the leashing that currently happens on Live will no longer exist, but we've found that teammates still stick around as long as they can to apply as much damage as possible before leaving for their lanes -- still helps the jungler out a ton.
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    Originally Posted by AA247 View Post
    Will nautus be any good? If the monstetrs break his shield. He has a hard time jungle
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    Definitely keeping my eye on several cases like Nautilus. Because his utility and ganks are top of the line, his clears should certainly still be somewhat painful compared to junglers who don't bring those strengths.

    We'll be taking a look at junglers across the board and making champion specific changes where necessary. Slightly buffing up the early game of tank junglers such as Rammus and Nautilus (who were in some ways overnerfed due to the current jungle meta) is certainly not out of the question.
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    Originally Posted by Pøtatoes View Post
    Something tells me "Diana" will be screwed by those changes. Items wont match her playstyle and camps will be stronger :S
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    Diana actually performs very well in the new jungle. She has access to very high sustained damage and she benefits heavily from the increased gold flow since she scales well with items.
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    Originally Posted by Zerglinator View Post
    So question. Sejuani: Deader than she is now? Or better than she is now?
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    Sejuani's an interesting case because like many of the tank junglers her early clear is very painful. At the same time, she scales surprisingly well with items and so she's proven to be powerful if she can navigate through her early game troubles. Will make tweaks where they are needed.
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    Originally Posted by I Found Baron View Post
    • Jungle monsters now attack the nearest target rather than attempting to chase their original attacker to make their behavior more consistent
    • Wraith camp gold rewards have been reduced and golem and wolf camp gold rewards have been increased to better match their respective difficulty and convenience
    • The wraiths have reduced attack range and the large wraith has been repositioned within the camp to force mid laners to commit more when farming them for extra gold
    • The golem camps monsters have increased movement speed to make them less vulnerable to kiting, especially early on by the blue side bottom lane
    Whats the problem with Blue side getting golems before they go to lane? Yes they hit level 2 earlier but it isnt earth shattering. As well as the mid lane wraiths stealing yes u dont have to really walk into the jungle and can hit the big wraith with your range. Also kiting the jungle golems was the main thing in bot lane golem taking but there are some junglers that truely do need a "had leash," and it hurts them more.
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    They can still choose to do the golems before lane, it will just be now more difficult and thus be a larger consideration in terms of how much damage they are willing to take to incur this advantage.
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    Originally Posted by Smitedyou View Post
    Increased damage and reduced effectiveness of AoE for jungle?

    RIP Jungle Karthus.
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    You'd be surprised because Karthus does an insanely high amount of single target damage once he isolates the big monster (after the small ones die to the AoE).

    He also benefits heavily from the addition of a few new jungle items that are aimed towards AP.
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    Originally Posted by RavenOfHearts View Post
    Does this include Dragon? That would be a huge (and welcome) change.
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    Yes this does affect Dragon. We had to also slightly reduce his Attack Range in tandem so that he would be able to more easily pulled out of his den by the team engaging him. Not sure of the full repercussions yet but I guess we'll find out. =)
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    Originally Posted by Madcracka View Post
    How will the AoE changes effect Maokai? considering all his abilities are AoE, (aside from W) will he clear times diminish greatly? hes easily my fav. as far as jungle...so...?

    Thanks for this thread btw awesome info love it.
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    I've found Maokai to still be a strong choice, mainly because his Q provides him with a significant amount of sustained damage that not many people realize.

    Let's be clear, it's not like AoE is now useless. It still allows him to effortlessly wipe out the small minions while focusing his efforts on the big one (something single target champions cannot do).

    Out of all the jungler tanks, I still feel he is near the top and probably doesn't need any tweaks to stay competitive.
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    Originally Posted by FruitNinjazz View Post
    Jungle Malz is now viable.
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    It's interesting since Malzahar's void pets now do tank for him.

    When we first initially implemented the new leashing changes, champions with pets that could tank for them like Malzahar and Shaco would literally clear the entire jungle without taking a scratch. Since then, we've had to make jungle monsters deal some amount of bonus damage to pets and we're still trying to fine tune the number to make sure having pet tanks is an advantage but doesn't necessarily mean jungle invincibility.