When news of the new Living Jungle came out, LoL players cried and whined about it so much, you would think that Riot Games is their new stepfather or something. We looked at the changes, we tried it out ourselves. Frankly, we can’t see what the fuss is all about. Let’s go through the whole thing point by point.
First, the Jungle now has three different plants, which do different things depending on the type. Those are Blast Cone, Scryer’s Bloom, and Honeyfruit. To affect them, you have to hit them with an auto attack. They are inactive after spawning and take a minute to become usable. Blast Cones knock away anyone nearby when they are destroyed and can be targeted. You can use them to get away, get closer to an opponent, or simply to get around the Jungle faster. Scryer’s Bloom are also targeted. When you destroy them while targeting a certain direction, they will keep going in that direction, revealing units and WARDS. Honeyfruit, when killed, drops five fruits, which slow you for 35% and heal for 3.5% of your max health or 8 (+6 per level) flat health, whichever is higher. Now, what’s so game changing about this? Nothing. Plants occasionally spawn in the Jungle, they do stuff when you kill them. It’s not game changing. In the least, they only provide some interaction in the Jungle. What’s the problem?
Second change to everything to do with the Jungle, is the removal of Smite bonuses. Instead, Smiting any monster will now only heal you for 100 + 10% of your max health. Smite Ammo will start charging at 1:40 and you will gain a charge every 90 seconds. We don’t really know how we feel about this. With the removal of chicken Smite bonus, Sweeper and Control Wards are even more important for Vision Control. Also, with the Krug and Gromp Smite bonuses removed, Hunter’s Machete had to be buffed to compensate, increasing its on-hit damage to 25 and lifesteal to 10%.
Next up, Jungle camp respawn time and scaling were adjusted. Jungling should be about balancing farm clearing against the risk of ganking. Unfortunately, according to Riot, the situation reached a point, where fast clearing Junglers were able to clear their Jungle and get off a gank, while opponents who took longer to clear their own were still busy, so, in order to gank, they had to leave the Jungle monsters alive, falling behind. Another problem was that fast clearers got XP faster, eventually fighting weaker monsters for their own level, getting ahead even more. To try and fight this, Riot increase small camp respawn timer to 150 seconds, while also putting monster levels into four brackets, dependent on the average character level in game. The brackets are Levels 1-3, Levels 4-6, Levels 7-9, and Levels 10+.
Riot Games also updated the Jungle camps. Bot Blue and Red won’t have small monsters anymore and be a little harder to kill to compensate. Also, blue will take more magic damage, while red will be hurt more by physical attacks. Chickens, or Raptors, will have two more small mobs added. The Crimson Raptor will have it’s health cut roughly by half, while also dealing around 66% less damage, while Raptors will be harder to kill. Krugs will now be the camp you kill when you have some spare time and want a big reward. It will now have one Ancient Krug and a small one. When you kill the Ancient Krug, it will spawn two more small ones with 60% less health. When you kill those, they will spawn two mini Krugs with 88% less health. Krugs will spawn 15 seconds after the other camps. Gromp will now spawn 15 seconds after the other camps, just like Krugs. It will have less attack damage, yet his attack speed is much higher, yet it decreases the longer the fight goes on.
The Rift Herald is a great buff to snowball a lane, yet it’s also dangerous to take. To fix that, Riot pushed its spawn time to 10 minutes, while also nerfing its attack damage to 85. Finally, Elder Dragon. It’s a great buff to have, however, it’s also very hard to kill the more Elemental Dragons you have. As a result, a situation developed, where teams had to choose between trying to take Elder even if it meant enemies responding by killing Baron Nashor. When Aspect of the Dragon lasted shorter than the Baron, it was a hard choice to make. Now, Elder Dragon will no longer deal more damage and take less based on how many elemental drakes your team has secured, while its buff will also last 150 seconds instead of 120. Hopefully, this will make it more attractive to take Elder.
To sum up, is the new Jungle different? Yes. Is it worse? We don’t think so. Most criticism levied against it comes from people who just don’t like change, even if they would be completely fine with it once they get used to it, as they inevitably will, making it a non-factor. Just as always, once players get used to the changes, they can barely remember how it used to be, telling everyone how crazy it used to be. In fact… I used to run around with Boots of Mobility, Ruby Sighstone, several Vision Wards and an inventory full of Sight Wards as Thresh, routinely warding up the whole Jungle of the enemy team. Those were the times… No they weren’t, it was HORRIBLE!