As some of you may have heard, League of Legends is coming out with a new map for next year.
The new map will be replacing Summoner’s Rift. It’s more of a visual update with additional changes to the Jungle that Riot makes every year.
First things first though! I’ve played the map and it is in fact quite pretty even on lower graphics settings.
One of the goals of the new map is to visually differentiate every zone of the map. The two bases should FEEL different.
Blue base uses a lot of straight right angles while red base uses a lot of curves. The blue minions wield hammers while the red minions wield axes.
The jungle quadrants are also differentiated. The whole upper left side now looks corrupted due to the Baron’s vile influence on the terrain. The left blue side is rocky and barren. The top red side is dry and desolate. The right blue side is ancient and mysterious. The bottom red side is lush and green.
At least in theory. My experience was that the top and bottom sides felt noticeably different than each other and different from the blue sides. Unfortunately, the two blue sides did not feel different from each other.
The jungle minions have been changed as well. The four basic old camps consisted of Wraiths, Wolves, Golems, and the Wight. Now those are Birds, Wolves, Golems, and a Big Frog. Riot gave them some madeup names that I probably won’t ever use.
The buffs have also changed. The Blue Golem is now called the Sentinel and the Red Lizard is called the Brambleback. The Sentinel is almost the exact same as the old Blue Golem. His little lizard buddies have been replaced by smaller rock buddies though.
The Brambleback looks quite different. It’s more like an animated thorn bush than a Lizard Shaman. Its little buddies have been similarly changes to little thorn bushes.
Another change was to the walls. Riot made it so the width of a wall is roughly matched by its apparent height to give you a clue on whether you can jump the wall with an ability or Flash. If its too high, you can’t! Pretty simple addition for clarity’s sake. Riot loves clarity.
Those are all cosmetic changes. Maybe they changed the buffs that Nunu gets from minions as well, but I don’t know yet. The true gameplay changes come at Baron and Dragon.
They both fight a lot differently. If you played Ascension then you already got a glimpse of where Riot hopes to take boss fights. The Ascendant Xerath had attacks with zones you could dodge out of with good reflexes. The same is true for Dragon and Baron.
Plus, both have a knockback now which will make it harder to sneak these objectives over the wall. They’ll knock you into the river at some point and the opposing sides wards will see you there if they weren’t granting vision of the pit.
Overall, the map was a great visual upgrade with very few gameplay changes. There are more gameplay changes coming, but right now those are restricted to the PBE. We’ll have to wait and see on those! Or you can check out videos on Youtube like I have.
I’m excited for the new map and I hope you are too!