LoL’s next gameplay update adds a bit of horticulture to the jungle

League of Legend's Ivern

Apparently standing around in the bits between the lanes on Summoner’s Rift punching creeps that barely fight back doesn’t pose much of a challenge so Riot’s sprucing things up in the jungle.

I wonder what the best LoL players in the world think about this.

In the gameplay portion of their pre-season update discussions, Riot’s Mattias “Gustaf” Lehman announced the jungle in League of Legends will now contain plants.

Ah! I hear your “well duh” coming this very second, so allow me to elaborate: these arespecialplants that will spawn with ‘some degree of variance’ and provide junglers with impactful decisions outside of when to use their Smite on a camp. Such as providing a convenient escape from a chasing Graves.

The camps themselves will also get a tweak by adding some more ‘variance’ to the way they spawn. This likely refers to the order in which they are located, as Lehman wants to avoid players going straight through the jungle without having to think too much.

“We want to introduce more variance between the camps, so players can have stronger preferences about which camps to prioritize, rather than merely clearing whatever is nearby and available,” he said. “When it came down to it, that degree of variance was incompatible with our Smite rewards, which often established clear “best” and “worst” camps.”

It’s a bit worrying if you replace the word ‘variance’ in all of this with ‘randomness’ as the jungle as it stands at the moment is a fairly logical space that players enjoy knowing exactly where to go and when to be good at killing the things. But Riot say they want to move away from a ‘solving’ process to more of an ‘intent-driven’ area.

Other changes to accompany the plants and the random camps are item rejigs to address ‘protective itemisation’, which is where support players pick up obviously safe aura items because the total stats they give the team basically make them mandatory.

Riot’s hoping to replace these with a set of new protective items that have more active choices to help out specific allies during battles, instead of just acting as a walking ‘we win’ purchase.

Also, once again, the Masteries system will be getting its due diligence as the previously updated systems had a few holes the team is hoping to plug.

“However, there were also a few outliers we felt like we could take a crack at making more satisfying to use, as well as more specific in who wanted to take them,” Lehman said. “Overall, we want players to have masteries that make them feel “that’s what I want”, not “I guess this is optimal”.”

All these changes will arrive in the next pre-season patch, after Worlds concludes the current 2016 season later this month.