Wanted to give an update for some changes coming to PBE in the 7.22 cycle that will probably sneak under the radar. We’ve heard players’ laments about catch-up experience and taken them to heart. We don’t like the overall potency of catch-up mechanics available. Players that establish early game leads should not feel cheated out of their advantage by mostly invisible systems that are difficult to intuit. At the same time, these mechanics serve the important role of making it so games don’t seem over at the outset, and often drive a lot of action. With that said, in most even-ish games, we expect our changes to have minimal actual and perceived impact.
Not going to get too technical or specific about the changes, but wanted to touch on some highlights that indicate our direction:
**Catch-up experience is only granted on Large or Epic Monsters**. The amount per large monster kill is up, but the overall generated catch-up experience is going to be down substantially. Equally as important, there’s a clear path for an opponent to keep their enemy down further: don’t give them access to large monsters.
**Wolf camp at level 1 will grant a full level**. This was a casualty of there being too much experience in the jungle at the start of S2017. We’re hoping some routes are opened up as wolves are more relevant and razorbeaks are less so (catch-up experience changes make mini-razorbeaks no longer the only optimal XP path).
**Rolling back the bonus teamwork catch-up experience we introduced in 7.4**. In 7.4 we introduced some measures so that players that were substantially lower level than their team would get a boost in experience. Upon reflection, this acted more as a snowball mechanic than it served its original intent to provide a safety net for experience starved roles.
http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/6.24.1/img/item/3252.png **Poacher’s Dirk buffs**. The Poacher’s Dirk no longer has a cooldown between enemy camps stolen, allowing for quicker stacking. For most of League’s history, counter-jungling’s main purpose has been to set the enemy jungler way behind. This is one exploration into a world where counter-jungling gets the successful jungler ahead in a meaningful way.
**Jungle camps are all worth the same creep score**. One consistent issue in judging the impact of a jungler v. jungler match-up is that creep score can mean vastly different things. This is especially true if one champion specializes in single target camps while the other is an AoE monster. Now each camp in its entirety will grant 4 creep score, which generally matches the camps’ value and should provide for easier comparison of a jungler to their direct opponent.
With these set of changes (and a large number of supporting ones), players should feel like their leads gained are more meaningful. Particularly junglers should be able to flex their advantages into feeling they have a larger impact on winning the game. In addition to being more impactful, it should be understandable how and why a lead exists and less of a mystery when an opponent overcomes their early disadvantage to draw even. We’ll be watching closely over the next couple of patches and ensure a variety of roles still feel like they can contribute from the jungle, and that the jungler is engaging frequently with enemy champions.