Riot looking to reduce jungle snowballing and change Smite

By Christian Vejvad

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Apr 30, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

More changes to the jungle will be coming to League of Legends soon, this time to reduce snowballing and make changes to Smite. 

This was presented in the most recent Gameplay Thoughts, gameplay design director Mark “Scuffy” Yetter guides players through the upcoming jungle changes. The goal is to increase jungle accessibility, mainly for lower ranks. The changes will include a damage change to smite, reduced snowball possibility in the role, and changes to jungle camps stats. 

For a long time, the jungle has been a very impactful role in the game and allowed good players to snowball leads out of control. This really became an issue after Riot removed comeback XP. The short respawn times of camps have also enabled junglers with high clear speeds and killed the ganking meta. Both of these things will be addressed in the upcoming changes, but won’t necessarily force a complete shift in the meta. 

Riot to reintroduce comeback XP for the jungle

What might be the most significant change to the jungle is the reintroduction of comeback XP. Riot recently removed this mechanic, but will now be bringing it back to make the role less snowball dependent. 

“We think reducing [snowballing] will make the position easier to break into and more enjoyable long term,” Scuffy said. 

More specifically, comeback XP will be reintroduced and be granted junglers that are one level behind the average of the game minus one. This means that in a game where the average level is seven, players will get comeback XP at level five and below.

Jungle changes to Smite and jungle camp stats

Besides the reintroduction of comeback XP, Riot will be making changes to Smite and create “more forgiving jungle clears” by reducing up jungle monster’s base attack damage and increasing camp respawn times. Furthermore, Riot will increase jungle gold from all non-buff camps by five percent. 

For Smite, the summoner spell will see quite a big change. As of right now, the damage on the spell scales with levels. With the new changes, Smite will have flat damage of 500 to monsters and 1000 flat damage after completing the Smite quest. Once again, this will reduce the snowballing in the role and have both junglers at the same level when it comes to smiting big objectives. Smite will also get changes to its healing and break the Scuttle Crab’s shield before applying damage. 

All jungle changes are expected to hit the Public Beta Environment (PBE) soon for players to test them. It’s likely that Riot will make further adjustments based on community feedback. 

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