The jungle has historically been one of the hot spots in League of Legends. The position plays a fundamental role in the development of the games, something that has caused constant changes over the years. For the 2023 preseason, Riot Games has introduced the novelty of pets to achieve greater cleaning speed. The decision has had both praise and criticism, this last point especially in the players of high rating. For this reason, the developer wanted to explain the objectives of the changes.
Riot Phlox has spoken in a post about three fundamental aspects in the jungle: the counterjunglingcleaning optimization and pathings. In the first aspect, Riot Games wanted to make invasions mean greater risk for players in exchange for greater reward. “To prevent you from getting invaded early on, we’ve made it take longer for you to clear the enemy jungle during that phase of the game,” Phox said.
To make invasions more rewarding, Riot Games has explained that getting them correctly should snowball more. Specifically between both junglers, accentuating the difference in level and gold between the two players. In other words, it’s all caused by the invaded jungler’s Smite evolving, which would grow much faster than the opponent’s. Anyway, Phlox has stated that the new difficulty in making this decision is mainly to avoid making junglers overly reliant on the level of their mid.
This same initial difficulty in clearing camps leads directly to optimizing clears. Riot Games has classified managing the balance between novice and more experienced players as “complicated”.. Phlox has defended optimization as one of the main points in learning in the jungle, but without allowing abuse like clearing two camps at once. “We want it to be taken out of champ select and only affect you in-game, so we want to give AoE junglers the same opportunity as single target junglers,” stated the rioter.
Finally, the changes to the routes experienced in the preseason are due to an attempt to balance between krugs and Gromp. Riot Games has claimed that it was unfair to junglers to end their pathing in the krugs because of how far apart they were. On the other hand, with the Gromp, the opposite was true: players constantly sought him out for the life he regenerated. Thus, Riot wanted the healing to depend on pets and not on camps. However, as Phlox has pointed out, the entire preseason is subject to more changes: “Jungling stamina and its influence on lanes is an incredibly sensitive system, so we may have fallen short, but we continue to looking for ways to improve it in the future.”