Recognising the simplicity in the role of junglers and the low payoff their work recieves, Riot are looking at a way of keeping them useful long into the endgame of League of Legends. Upping mob difficulty and gold drops as well as new support items are just some of the changes being considered for the new season.
All the hard work on collating the Riot forum posts was done by [email protected] and if you want the full account of their words to go check it out. I'll only be posting the cut down highlights.
Assistant game designer Stattik weighed in on the ongoing discussion about jungler effectiveness saying:
"We've actually been working on changes for the jungle in anticipation for Season 3 and though I can't really give all the details here because we are still iterating, I'd like to give you guys some insights into what's going on.
There are a multitude of issues we're tackling and they are very much intertwined. The current dominant jungle strategy (GP10 Support / Tanks) is fairly stagnant and the overall current jungle playstyle in many cases severely limits potential strategy and choices in other lanes/roles as well.
One large problem is that efficient farming of the jungle has very little pay off compared to constantly applying lane pressure by camping / ganking. Overall junglers severely lack in gold unless they successfully gank and snowball the game from the get-go and/or opt for a GP10 strategy.
The approach we're currently taking is to significantly increase the rewards of jungle camps over time (junglers already have a huge impact on the early game). To go along with this though, we are buffing jungle camps back up to actually be more threatening while simultaneously offering new / improved item paths that allow players to specialize in the jungle. Overall we want junglers to be rewarded for building combat stats rather than always being forced to build gold generation items."
In another post he talked about the problems that Season 2's changes had brought:
"The nerfing of the jungle camps' damage really left no room for "safe" junglers such as Warwick since sustain was no longer a thing. Everyone can just clear with Boots + Health Pots and apply pressure to lanes.
When we do these changes for Season 3, there may be some junglers who are simply too strong in too many categories and we'll have to address that in the context of the new jungle. Overall though, we're looking to make sure there's a reason to bring X jungler over Y jungler depending on the situation."
So, Riot are developing the system first and then we'll be tweaking the jungler characters as a result.
There's currently no release date on Season 3.