Those of you who frequently play against bots and in the Team Builder game mode in League of Legends will be in for a pleasant surprise when you hit that launcher. Recent patches to the game have been larger than usual while Riot pushes out pieces of their complete map overhaul bit by bit. As of the night of November 12th, the new Summoner’s Rift is live on the North American servers!
With Season 4 coming to an official end and rewards being pushed out just earlier this week, the League of Legends community is overwhelmed with hype for what looks to be the largest visual change in the history of the game. Here are some of the most significant changes being rolled out to the map.
Up in the Air
The first, and most obvious, thing to notice is the complete atmospheric change being brought to the map.
In the old Summoner’s Rift, there was a feeling of being boxed in with your surroundings. The map appeared to be in a dark and gloomy forest, and the environment around you was enclosed by this grassy, mossy design.
The new Summoner’s Rift is floating above the environment behind and around it, and it really stands out and looks beautiful with, what they’re calling, a hand-crafted art style. Players who play one of the side lanes, either top of bottom, will immediately notice the difference when they step into lane to meet the minions. Behind the brush areas of both sides lanes is the open air of the world beneath you.
Complete Visual Clarity
This is probably the most significant of the changes to Summoner’s Rift. Riot has made a dedicated effort to ensuring that players can see and understand what is going in the game around them without any blurred lines or confusion.
Order of clarity should allow players to first notice their UI, followed by champion abilities and spells, then champions, minions, and monsters, and finally the environment around you. A change like this should really improve the quality of gameplay, as it should be easier for players to see and understand everything happening around them in the order that they’d need to.
Quadrants of the map are now visually different to signify where you’re at when playing on either team. Red side’s buff area no longer looks identical to blue side’s. The western part of the map now features terrain that is broken and destroyed, where Baron Nashor exists, and the eastern part of the map is more grassy and clean. Even without a minimap, players should now be able to understand exactly where they are at only a glance.
Each base now follows its own specific theme, completely setting the two teams apart by more than just color. The red base is represented by an owl and structures are more curved. The blue base is represented by a stag and follows a more squared design. The minions for each team also follow these themes respectively, with red minions wielding axes and blue minions wielding hammers.
A Revamped Jungle
League of Legends is known for pushing out some of their most significant gameplay changes to the jungle. In this visual update, the creatures of the jungle undergo a complete makeover.
Ordered as shown in the video above:
- Dragon now has an extended spawn animation when it appears on the map.
- The Ancient Golem is now called the Blue Sentinel.
- The Elder Lizard is now called the Red Brambleback.
- The Wraiths are now the Razorbeaks.
- The Wolves are now the Murk Wolves.
- The Wight is now the Gromp.
- The Golems are now the Krugs.
- Baron Nashor now has an extended spawn animation when it appears on the map.
The new spawn animations interact with the environment and feel much more natural (as opposed to how they used to simply appear out of thin air). The rework of the camps adds a lot of more creative flair to the jungle. There are no longer flavorless golems just standing around. They’re now creatures that look and feel unique to Summoner’s Rift.
While this is currently being considered an open beta test during the preseason for League of Legends’ fifth year of ranked play, the visual changes are a lot to take in. However, actual gameplay changes, such as the addition of the new Scuttle Crab jungle camp, have not hit Summoner’s Rift yet.
Winning a game on the new map in the next several weeks, for each side of the map (red and blue), will unlock a limited icon for you to use. Collect both to commemorate your part in one of the game’s biggest moments!
What do you think of the new look and feel of Summoner’s Rift? Let me know in the comments below.