For League of Legends players, Summoner's Rift is the place. It's where all the big things happen, the court, the rink, the parking lot where the cool patrol cop looks the other way because she was just like you once, when times were easier. Riot's announcement that it's overhauling the level, then, is like the NFL saying it's decided to change up the American football field. And yes, I'm still American. Sorry. The changes to Summoner's Rift are entirely visual, but they're also rather sweeping. Video and details in the downthereplace.
The main goal of this overhaul is to lend added clarity to the map. Important things pop more, key locations, objects, and creeps have better visual identities. Riot explained:
"What clarity translates to is the updated map doing a better job of drawing eyes to the most important information of the moment. When fights break out, the environment should be the background, allowing particle effects and champions to pop off the screen and feed players the crucial data they need to make the right play."
"Beyond this, Summoner’s Rift should help players and spectators stay oriented. The western half of the map looks damaged by the emergence of Baron Nashor, while the eastern half feels ancient and overgrown. This, alongside each quadrant’s respective buff, gives every jungle section thoughtfully placed landmarks and subtle color cues. Speaking of the jungle, a cadre of new monsters made Summoner’s Rift home, sporting designs that more accurately reflect their respective gameplay characteristics. For example, the Krugs’ (double golem replacements) rocky exteriors look like the damage soaking mini-tanks they are - and they appear weaker than the hulking Blue Sentinel."
So it's all about creating an environment that makes more immediate sense. However, for players who spent countless hours learning how to split-second react to the version that didn't make as much sense, I imagine there'll be an adjustment phase. Visual cues are sometimes weird to react to, especially when you're already keeping track of so many other factors. It'll be interesting to see how players adapt to these changes.
The new Summoner's Rift is currently being tested on LoL's PBE server, but it has no firm release date. LoL players, like what you see?