Junglers have been the punching bag of the League balance team for quite some time, but they should be getting some love in future patches, with Riot confirming they want to make the role more “appealing” in Season 10.
Every preseason, the League jungle usually gets a major revamp. Season 10 was no different, with the removal of catch-up experience making junglers’ lives a bit more difficult, as well as the addition of the ever-changing Elemental Rift.
Jungle’s constant state of flux makes it the hardest role in the game to learn, but Riot is looking at changing that over the next few patches in Season 10.
Speaking to concerned players on the forums, lead gameplay designer Mark ‘Scruffy’ Yetter said Riot have reworked jungle constantly in an attempt to get more players in the role.
“We were really struck by a problem in the jungle role that we’d never been able to fix,” Scruffy explained.
“Throughout League’s entire history, low elo players have preferred the jungle position least of all five positions, regardless of whether jungle is strong or weak relative to the other four positions.”
“One of the core reasons jungle is disfavored at low elo is that it’s very different than the rest of the game and the learning curve is pretty unforgiving.”
However, Riot are looking to up the role’s playrate in a new way — move more champions into the jungle to entice non-junglers to try the role out, and give jungle mains more options.
“In 10.4, we’re going to try adding a handful of champions that we (and you) love into the jungle pool. We’d be doing very focused changes that buff these champions’ jungle clears but leave their lanes unchanged.”
The champions on Riot’s hit-list for Patch 10.4 are Garen, Talon, Diana, Zed, and Darius. Diana once upon a time dominated the jungle back, while the other champions have barely seen the light of day in the role.
They’ve also previewed some of the changes on the PBE, namely for Garen. The Demacian juggernaut, more commonly seen in the top lane, currently has buffs to his Q, Decisive Strike, and W, Courage, on the test server to help him with his clear.
The changes are a start to Riot’s quest to make jungle a more enjoyable role once and for all. While the band-aid solution going out in Patch 10.4 is just “short term work” at making the role more appealing, “a variety of changes” are on the way.
Scruffy didn’t open up on the specifics of those other changes, which may include reworks and more XP buffs, though they should be coming during Season 10.
Patch 10.4 is expected to ship on February 19.