Now that the competitive season of 2022 is over, Riot Games has introduced many changes to League of Legends. These big changes are known as the pre-season changes and are essentially a sneak peek into what season 13 in 2023 will look and play like. However, with about a month left in the pre-season, there is still room for changes based on player feedback and other factors.
Jumping right into these changes, let’s go over the in-game changes. By far, the biggest in-game changes were focused on the jungle role. The essential summoner spell for junglers, Smite, has been updated. Running Smite, players have the ability to purchase 1 of 3 pets at the beginning of the game. These pets will help junglers take their jungle camps and upgrade at certain thresholds. With each upgrade, the pet helps the jungle do even more dmg to their camps as well as upgrades their Smite up to 1200 damage to jungle monsters and 120 damage to players.
The pets that can be bought at the beginning of the game are green, red, and blue. Green gives the jungler health back as they clear camps, red deals extra burn damage, and blue gives movement speed after taking camps or going into bushes. The consensus with these pets is that they make the jungle role much easier than ever before.
This new ease can also be seen on the mini-map for jungle players as the game now recommends what camps you should be clearing next and makes counter-jungling (taking enemy camps) harder to do because enemy players deal 20% less damage to allied-side camps. For example, if the jungle from the red-side of the map tries to take a camp on the blue-side of the map, they deal 20% less damage to it.
The final changes to the jungle are the updated kiting and reset bars on the camps. This basically means players can no longer take two camps at the same time. And lastly, the Chemtank drake is back after being gone for nearly a year and has changed. Taking the Chemtank drake now gives tenacity and health/mana back on kills and if the Chemtank soul spawns (spawns as the 3rd drake of the game), it upgrades all of the plants on the map to be better, i.e. Scryers Blooms, Honey Fruit and Blast Plants become upgrade/better.
Top/Mid lanes also got a small but powerful change. They now earn about 2% more experience per minion, meaning they will be leveling faster and be more powerful sooner in the game. Bot/Support was basically not touched at all this pre-season.
Moving on to changes outside of the jungle role, several items have been added/updated; the most changes went to tank items. Tanks now have 4 other mythics to choose from as well as an updated Frostfire Gauntlet mythic and Sunfire Cape legendary item. Other notable changes to items are Ravenous Hydra now has a stacking passive, Rod of Ages is back after a few years as a mythic item for mages, and the art for several items like Blade of the Ruined King were changed.
There are also several changes to in-game communications. Some words are now blacklisted in the in-game chat, so if a player decides to type one of these words, they are automatic prohibited from typing in in-game chat for the rest of the game. In-game pinging has been updated too. The old pings are still there, but there are also a variety of new ones including telling your teammates to go all in or bait the enemy. Pinging neutral objectives like Baron or Drakes brings up a team vote so that teams can better decide if they want to take or give over that objective. Overall, this should reduce toxicity and increase useful communication in-game.
A final change to drafting that is tentative and highly controversial is draft anonymity for teammates. This would essentially make is so players do not know the usernames of the other players on their team until the game actually starts. Basically not allowing players to look up their team to see how they have been playing recently. By most players, this is seen as a pretty useless change and could affect the quality of their games. Riot’s goal with this is to reduce draft dodging and pre-game toxicity.
Breaking down what most of these changes mean for the game, League of Legends is now a new player-friendly game but has taken away a decent amount of skill expression from the jungle role. All-in-all, the jury is still out on whether these changes are good or bad for the game competitively and casually. That being said, first impressions are pointing toward the changes being really good for new players but slightly negative for players who have been playing for at least a couple years or more. If you want to see Riot’s full breakdown of the changes, click here.