There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and League of Legends jungle reworks. In a since-pulled post, developer Riot Games has laid out its intentions for how the jungle is going to operate in Season 2023, and it looks like the studio is going to be making some huge tweaks to the role. Oh, and we’re getting pets.
In its latest Riot Pls post, Riot acknowledges the high barrier to entry, and expresses its desire to lessen it by “easing players in, showing them how to play the role, and adjusting mechanics so they’re less punishing and more intuitive.”
The developer stresses that it will not “dumb down” the role, but make it easier to jump into. Some of the ways it is exploring this is through “jungle pathing aids” for the first clear, “adjusting the way camps leash, including their ranges and reset rules”, and jungle clear optimisations that should make it so that the most-viable junglers aren’t only the ones with rapid clears – especially at the top end of the LoL ranks and in pro-play.
Of course, once players do emerge from the jungle, they need to be able to communicate their intentions – be it to gank, or ask for help clearing an objective – to their team. Riot says that it is looking at ways to give junglers more tools to get their ideas across.
The final change – and this is where our new, fluffy, and fearsome companions come in – is to items. The studio says that the current jungle items are “functional, but they aren’t exciting”, and wishes to add a dash of spice into the mix to help amp up the jungle fantasy.
Similarly to the ghost wolf that accompanied Sated Devourer back in the day, junglers will get their own pet – the final design of which has yet to be confirmed – that they will slowly feed (presumably through clearing camps) “until they’ve grown up enough to be able to empower you.”
As with the pet’s design, Riot has yet to lock in what this empowerment will do. We do at least have a description of how its hilariously-janky earliest iteration operated:
“Our earliest prototype was a jungle wolf that followed you around and whenever you killed a camp, Ahri’s foxfire missiles shot into the wolf’s mouth. At a certain point the wolf got really, really small (unlike our love of it) and attached to your head. Then a recolored version of (soon-to-be-outdated) Udyr’s Tiger Form glowed on you while Aatrox’s ult activation sound effect played repeatedly (and globally oops).”
Needless to say, we’re excited to see how the League of Legends Season 2023 jungle changes materialise.