Plants are not doing well in the League of Legends jungle

Season 7 wallpaper courtesy of Riot Games
Season 7 wallpaper courtesy of Riot Games /

After being released to the Public Beta Environment, jungle plants continue to cause controversy.

So, jungle plants. Have you tried them on the PBE? They’re a bit… unpredictable, and that’s causing a lot of grief. It doesn’t seem like they’re that big of a deal in the early-game, but it is another thing to manage and remember, even if it’s just to deny them from the enemy so as to make the jungle more consistent.

The community has been skeptical of plants since their reveal. And now that players have had a chance to play with them, their reaction hasn’t been good.

Riot responded today in-depth on their thoughts to changes to plants

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A couple days ago, Andrei “Meddler” van Roon posted an in-depth reply on this thread on the Riot boards. Riot is implementing a lot of changes in the lead up to Season 7, and they seem intent on getting this one right.

The first thing that Meddler mentioned is that players still need more time with these plants. He’s right in pointing out that the Reddit post is “pretty light on discussion from in-game experience.”

Meddler also mentioned that the plants remain “a work in progress” and that they will be releasing changes to the PBE soon.

Controlled randomness

Riot has clearly embraced the RNG that is present in the game. From crit chance to the type of Drake that spawns, RNG has been built into the very fabric of League.

There are some competitive games that limit randomness. The original eSport, Starcraft Brood War, had very little randomness. Sure, player builds would vary in a series and over time, but the mechanics of the game were largely consistent.

On the other hand, traditional sports embrace RNG. Sometimes, the way a ball bounces can define an entire season. Riot clearly want their game to fall into this category:

"We don’t think randomness is automatically a bad thing in a competitive setting though. We see it as more a tool that, if used in the right way, can create good tests of skill and emergent play or, if used badly, can nullify skill and create a ‘that was bullshit’ feeling."

Meddler’s examples of controlled (good) randomness include drake spawns and scuttle location. Things he’d like to see gone are crit runes that give a very low crit percentage but can really swing a trade. This type of randomness is very hard to plan for and plan consistently.

A few tweaks

Meddler acknowledged that the new plants need to be tweaked to fall into the controlled category. For example, they’re planning on limiting blast cone spawn locations as well as limiting the number of cones available.

They’re also increasing charge teams to 60 seconds from 30 so players can have more advance warning. Still, for an invading jungler or support, it’s unclear how that information is going to be relevant.

Finally, they’re making plants more rare overall. This will definitely ease junglers’ mental burden of keeping track of the plants, but combined with the increased charge times, might actually complicate the map more.

Next: Ivern makes his way into the free champion rotation

Other concerns

Meddler admitted that a few things are still up in the air. For example, ranged junglers have an advantage versus melee. They also need to study further how the randomness impacts the game:

"We want randomness to create a range of situations where player decisions and execution can then decide the outcome. If randomness is instead deciding situations however we’ll then want to add additional telegraphing, both to spawn times and locations until players are able to recall possible plant locations and play around the possibility of them being up in an informed manner."

What have your experiences with jungle plants been like? What changes would you like to see Riot implement?

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