Riot introduced a brand-new jungle mechanic during the League of Legends 2023 preseason and now junglers have little companions when they go from gank to gank. The LoL dev team explains their thought process behind these new creatures.
In the 2023 preseason Riot introduced fans to a whole new in-game mechanic – the jungle companion. This new feature has been around for about two months now and with Riot trying to be more open about their in-game decisions, they've revealed what their thought behind the jungle companions were.
Lead Game Designer, Riot Phroxzon, detailed where the idea of the jungle pets came from and how Riot thinks they will improve the jungle role as a whole.
LoL New Jungle Companions Make Entry to Role Easier
One of the key reasons for the introduction of the jungle companion was to make Jungle, as a role in the game, more accessible to new players and introduce the role to more people who want to give it a try. This was done by making the jungle pets more intuitive, adding that there is a lot less text new players have to sift through, in comparison to previous jungle items.
Gonna start x-posting responses from reddit. Re: why we made jungle pets.— Matt Leung-Harrison (@RiotPhroxzon) January 15, 2023
In Preseason, we set out to make jungle more accessible to newer players (and existing). Newer junglers playing the game don't understand any of the wall of text mechanics on the previous jungle item
Not only is there less text, but jungle companions give players a visual metaphor of what is actually happening throughout the game. Leung-Harrison described it as an "understandable metaphor for why the unlocks happen when they do (evolution), catchup mechanics (pet is starving) rather than some arbitrary rules. For newer players, this is far easier to understand."
Not only did the jungle pets seem to make the jungle role easier to understand, but it has also boosted the position's win rate with nine champions having win rates over 53% according to OP.GG.
The changes were meant to improve the jungle role and make it more popular, something it seems to have done. According to League of Graphs, it's become one of the most popular roles to start off the 2023 season. Of course, things like the jungle camp suggestions on the mini map have also helped boost the role, making it easier for players to understand where to go when.
Fans Asking For More Improvements to Make Jungle Easier
It isn't just the colors of the jungle pets and their overall aesthetic that have made jungling easier. As mentioned, other in-game quality of life changes have also added to the role becoming more popular.
Some players think that Riot could do more though to improve the game and that is by updating their tutorial at the start. By giving players a better overview in the tutorial regarding the roles and champions available, players can already understand the jungle role a little better.
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