Thursday, December 1, 2011

Riot's New Jungle, Part 1: The Patch

Riot’s New Jungle, Part 1:  the Patch
As many of you know, Riot recently changed the jungle.  While many are throwing their outrage around saying this isn’t fair (I was one of them), these changes are for the better.  Not all change is an improvement, but Riot did a great job on this one.  There are more tweaks to be had and negatives to the change, but there is a lot of ground to cover.  This post will be on just the Riot patch notes and their significance.

            Jungle Adjustments
-          Small camps now respawn faster, but have reduced rewards

This drops the spawn time from 1:40 to 1:00.  This is lightning fast compared to before, and makes it such that a jungler can continuously farm until they choose not to.  This will also help lanes level and farm faster and harder.

-          Small camps now have a healing sigil

This will help sustain any junglers looking to be in the jungle for an extended amount of time.  This doesn’t heal for that much, but it does help clear the camps easier.  It also gives something to counter jungle and I think will make certain champions viable in the jungle.

-          Neutral monsters now have their health, damage, experience reward and gold reward increased with game length

This is awesome.  It gives junglers a reason to stick in the jungle as well as counter jungle at the later levels because the rewards are much better.  An extra 20-30 gold per camp per few minutes is really helpful in coming back from a gank instead of encouraging pure farm.

-          Neutral monster experience range reduced to 400 from 800 the killer will always receive experience

This is a relatively minor change that will help the solo queue out most.  The experience range now on hard leashes pushes the limit and I have had more than my fair share of my teammates not leaving fast enough.  The end stipulation makes it so that a caster on the other side of the trees still gets experience, despite being out of the radius.

-          Ancient Golem and Lizard Elder camp experience increased slightly and gold reduced slightly

This will slightly impact the jungler.  It’s there to give a faster level up because the other camps don’t give as much experience.  The decrease in gold is likely a shot at the scaling feature they added, but I will not complain about getting more experience when I give blue to my mid.

-          Crest of the Ancient Golem now grants 25 flat MP5, but 1% regen from 1.5%  and now effects energy as well

This change to blue is well needed.  The 0.5% reduction of mana is nearly negligible on most, with possible exceptions being Ryze and Tear of the Goddess builders.  The change to help energy will make Shen easier to jungle with and makes someone such as Rumble viable as well.  The increases regenerations on top of cooldown for energy characters is a welcome change.  Blue buff will now also help someone such as Kennen in the mid lane, whereas it only helped increase cooldowns before.  Blue buff is just as strong as ever.

-          Blessing of the Lizard Elder melee slow % reduced to 8/16/24% from 10/20/30%

This one is a small hit to jungle ganks, but should make it a bit less free win on a red gank.  I have had times I swear the enemy stopped moving entirely with Skarner slow and red buff being applied.  A 2/4/6% difference is going to be felt in rare situations and if you’re hurting for movespeed, run the quints.  While this lowers the viability of some champions slightly (Shyvanna and Master Yi come to mind), it is not a significant impact on most. It still gives those with CC a secured kill and potentially offers one to those without.

-          Dragon and Baron immune to armor and magic resist-shredding effects

This helps prevent those early dragons and barons done without teamwork, those darn uncoordinated teams!  This is a response to the jungle being a bit easier and will make Dragon and Baron more of a team objective, but only slightly more so.  This will really just force the team to coordinate more than “Hey, the Teemo with Malady and Karthus solo’d Baron” and will somewhat prevent Fiddle’s solo’ing capabilities.

-          Monsters will heal 5% immediately when retreating, but are easier to re-aggro.

This is going to help prevent “double leashing” from blue buff, where it runs all the way back to spawn and heals itself up while you bash on it.  Believe me when I say it’s frustrating and sometimes game ruining, so I am glad this is fixed.
All in all, the jungle changes are much more reasonable than I had imagined.  I feared for my life and drank up a storm when I heard the ideas, but Riot handled it in a reasonable, balanced way.  I have a feeling that experience and gold will need to be tweaked because I do feel slightly weaker in the jungle than I did before.  Look for part 2 of this article: the Good, the Bad and the Interesting.


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