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The Freljord Patch is here! Welcome the League’s newest – Lissandra! This update also includes Trundle and Sejuani’s reworks, Ice Drake Shyvana and Runeguard Volibear, new lore, numerous balance changes and QoL improvements as well as ARAM’s official matchmaking system! Riot have also announced a special Freljord skin sale and the next free champion rotation! In this article you’ll also see Riot’s new Behavior Alert system!

 

I’ve organized the patch notes into categories, for an easier time reading:

 
New Champion and Champion Reworks (Lissandra, Trundle, Sejuani)
Balance Changes
Quality of Life & Bug Fixes
Items
ARAM Matchmaking
Behavior Alert
Champion/Skin Sale & Rotation
 


 

New Champion and Champion Reworks

 

 

Lissandra, the Ice Witch

 

Lissandra_OriginalSkin

 

Iceborn (Passive)

PassiveEvery 18 seconds Lissandra’s next ability costs no mana. Iceborn’s cooldown is reduced by 1 second whenever Lissandra impairs an enemy’s movement with an ability (does not apply to movement-impairing effects from items).

 

 

Ice Shard (Q)

Range: 725 || Cooldown: 6 / 5.5 / 5 / 4.5 / 4 || Cost: 85 mana

QThrows a spear of ice that travels in a line and shatters when it hits an enemy, dealing  75 / 110 / 145 / 180 / 215 (+ 65% AP) magic damage and slowing its Movement Speed by 16% / 19% / 22% / 25% / 28% for 1.5 seconds. Shards then pass through the target, dealing the same damage to other enemies hit (but not slowing them).



Ring of Frost (W)

Cooldown: 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 || Cost: 70 mana

WFreezes an area around Lissandra, dealing  70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+ 60% AP) magic damage to nearby enemies and rooting them for 1.1/ 1.2 / 1.3 / 1.4 / 1.5 secs.

 

 

 

Glacial Path (E)

Range: 1050 || Cooldown: 24 / 21 / 18 / 15 / 12 || Cost: 80 / 85 / 90 / 95 / 100 mana

ECasts a claw of ice that moves forward in a line, dealing 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+ 60% AP) magic damage to all enemies hit. Reactivating this ability transports Lissandra to the claw’s current location.

 

 

Frozen Tomb (R) 

Cooldown: 130 / 105 / 80 || Cost: 100 mana

ROn enemy: Freezes target champion solid, stunning it for 1.5 seconds.

On self: Lissandra encases herself in dark ice for 1.5 seconds, becoming untargetable and invulnerable but unable to take any actions.

Dark ice then emanates from Lissandra’s target dealing 150 / 300 / 450 (+ 70% AP) magic damage to enemies. The ice lasts for 3 seconds and slows enemy Movement Speed by 20%.

 

 

Here is my preview of Lissandra, including her story and my personal opinion on her:

Lissandra First Impressions

If you’d like to check out her skin, you can do so here:

Bloodstone Lissandra

 

 

Sejuani, the Winter’s Wrath

 

sejuani decoration

 

 

Frost Armor (Passive)

Frost_ArmorDamaging enemies with an ability or basic attack now grants 10/15/20/25 Armor and reduces movement-slowing effects on Sejuani by 10/15/20/25%  for 2 seconds. If she already has Frost Armor,  damaging an enemy increases its duration by 2 seconds.

 

 

Arctic Assault (Q)

Range: 700 || Cooldown: 15/14/13/12/11 || Cost: 80/85/90/95/100 mana

Arctic_Assault_newCharges forward, knocking enemies into the air and dealing damage equal to 40/80/120/160/200 ( +.4 AP ) plus 4/5/6/7/8% of target’s Maximum health. The charge stops after knocking an enemy champion into the air.

 

 

Flail of the Northern Winds (W)

Range: 350 || Cooldown: 10 || Cost: 40 mana

Flail_of_the_Northern_WindsSejuani’s next basic attack deals 40/60/80/100/120 ( +.3 AP ) bonus magic damage to the target and enemies near it. She then swings her flail, dealing 80/120/160/200/240 ( +16% bonus HP) (+.6 AP ) magic damage to nearby enemies over 4 seconds.

 

 

Permafrost (E)

Range: 1000 || Cooldown: 11 || Cost: 55 mana

Permafrost_newPassive: Abilities and basic attacks apply Frost to enemies for 4 seconds.

Active: All nearby enemies with Frost take  60 / 110 / 160 / 210 / 260 (+ .5 AP) magic damage and are slowed by 50/55/60/65/70% for 2/2.3/2.5/2.8/3.

 

 

Glacial Prison (R)

Range: 1150 || Cooldown: 130 / 115 / 100 || Cost: 100 mana

Glacial_Prison_newThrows a frost-forged bola in a line. If the bola hits an enemy champion, it shatters, stunning the target and nearby enemies for 1.5/1.8/2 seconds. If the bola reaches its maximum range it shatters and slows enemies by 90% for 1 second instead.

All enemies in the shatter area take 150 / 250 / 350(+ .8 AP) magic damage.

 

 

You can check out Sejuani’s new visuals here:

Reworked Sejuani preview

 

 

 Trundle, the Troll King

 

trundle decoration

 

 

King’s Tribute (Passive)

King's_TributeWhenever an enemy unit near Trundle dies, he heals for 2/3/4/5/6% of their maximum Health.

 

 

 

Chomp (Q)

Cooldown: 4 seconds || Cost: 30 mana

ChompTrundle’s next attack lunges at his opponent, dealing 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 (+ 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120% AD) physical damage. This attack increases Trundle’s attack damage by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 for 8 seconds, with his opponent losing half of this amount for the same duration.

 

 

Frozen Domain (W)

Cooldown: 15 || Cost: 60 mana

Frozen_DomainTrundle coats target location with ice for 8 seconds, gaining 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% Movement Speed, 20 / 35 / 50 / 65 / 80% Attack Speed and gains 8/11/14/17/20% increased healing and regeneration from all sources.

 

 

Pillar of Ice (E)

Range: 1000 || Cooldown: 23 / 20 / 17 / 14 / 11 || Cost: 60 mana

Pillar_of_IceTrundle creates an icy beacon at target location for 6 seconds, becoming impassable terrain and slowing all nearby enemy units by 25/30/35/40/45%.

 

 


Subjugate (R)

Range: 700 || Cooldown: 80 / 70 / 60 || Cost: 75 mana

SubjugateTrundle immediately drains an enemy champion of 10/11/12% (+ 1% per 100 AP) of its maximum health and 40% of its Armor and Magic Resist, then drains it again for the total of these amounts over the next 5 seconds. Lost resistances slowly return over 5 seconds after the drain effect ends.

Trundle gains these stats for himself while the target is being drained and slowly loses them after the drain ends.

 

You can check out Trundle’s new visuals here:

Trundle rework preview

 

 

Balance Changes

 

 

KarmaSquare

    Karma

 

Inner_FlameInner Flame ( Q )

  • Damage increased from 60/110/160/210/260 to 80/125/170/215/260

 

Focused_ResolveFocused Resolve ( W )

  • Cooldown lowered from 16/15.5/15/14.5/14 to 16/15/14/13/12

 

InspireInspire ( E )

  • Cooldown lowered from 12 seconds to 10 seconds at all ranks
  • Movement speed boost increased from 20/30/40/50/60 to 40/45/50/55/60

 

Mantra

Mantra ( R )

  • Cooldown lowered from 45 seconds to 45/42/39/36 seconds

 

With our previous patch changes, we increased Karma’s overall usability and Mantra generation. These changes are more focused on smoothing out Karma’s early game presence by giving a damage increase to Inner Flame’s lower levels and buffing Inspire to make it far more effective at level one.

Additionally, by lowering the cooldowns of three of Karma’s abilities – including her Mantra – Karma will synergize better with Gathering Fire, allowing her to scale into late game.

 

 

LuluSquare (1)

       Lulu

 

  • Mana per level increased to 55 from 50

Glitterlance

Glitterlance (Q)

  • Mana cost increased to 60/65/70/75/80 from 40/50/60/70/80

 

 

MalzaharSquare
  Malzahar

 

Call_of_the_Void

Call of the Void (Q)

  • Mana cost reduced to 80/85/90/95/100 from 80/90/100/110/120

 

Null_ZoneNull Zone (W)

  • Mana cost reduced to 90/95/100/105/110 from 90/100/110/120/130

 

 

QuinnSquare (1)

     Quinn

 

Heightened_SensesHeightened Senses ( W )

  • Now also grants a 20/30/40/50/60% Movement Speed increase when attacking a vulnerable target as Quinn and 40/50/60/70/80% as Valor.

 

Vault

Vault ( E )

  • Now also interrupts the target briefly upon impact

 

Tag_Team

Tag Team ( R )

  • Bonus Movement Speed when activated increased from 80% to 80/90/100% when out of combat and 20/30/40% in combat from 20% at all ranks.

 

We wanted to highlight Quinn’s great strengths as an unconventional AD carry with high cross-map mobility. As such, Quinn can now use Tag Team more reliably in and out of fights, and the additional movement speed on Heightened Senses should allow her to remain more elusive in skirmishes.

For the other two changes, we gave Blinding Assault an ability power ratio so that players can gain some additional power when building items like Trinity Force or when receiving the Baron Nashor buff. For Vault, we added a mini stun on Quinn’s target as she dashes toward them, making it more reliable as an escape.

 

 

NasusSquare

      Nasus

 

WitherWither (W)

  • Attack speed slow amount has been halved

 

With a 95% movement speed and attack speed reduction at max levels, Wither was completely shutting down champions reliant on auto-attacks with no opportunity for counterplay. By reducing the attack speed slow, Nasus is still effective at suppressing champions, but his victims will now have the option to turn and fight.

 

 

ThreshSquare

     Thresh

 

DeathSentenceDeath Sentence ( Q )

  • No longer has a passive magic damage on-hit
  • Damage increased to 80/120/160/200/240 from 80/110/140/170/200

 

Flay

Flay ( E )

  • Now has the passive from Death Sentence (Q)
  • Damage reduced to 65/95/125/155/185 from 65/105/145/185/225
  • Fixed a bug that caused the passive’s damage to be consumed when attacking wards
  • Fixed a bug where Flay sometimes dealt more damage than intended

 

Death Sentence and its passive were providing too many benefits at early levels with their high poke, burst damage, and lowered cooldowns. By moving the passive damage bonus from Death Sentence to Flay, Thresh players will now need to think strategically about how they level their skills.

 

 

UdyrSquare

      Udyr

 

Tiger_StanceTiger Stance (Q)

  • Active damage changed to physical instead of magic
  • Active damage changed to 30/80/130/180/230 (+1.2/1.3/1.4/1.5/1.6 attack damage) from 30/80/130/180/230 (+1.5 total attack damage)
  • Active attack speed increased to 30/40/50/60/70% from 15/20/25/30/35%
  • No longer grants attack speed as a persistent effect
    • New persistent effect: Basic attacks deal 15% of his total attack damage as bonus physical damage.

 

Bear_StanceBear Stance (E)

  • Udyr now only dashes when stunning champions

 

With these changes, we wanted to accomplish a few separate things. First, we wanted to tone down Udyr’s overpowering early game Tiger Stance damage, but we also wanted to let him scale better into late game. These changes were implemented by scaling the attack damage ratios on Tiger Stance’s active damage.

Second, by changing the active damage of Tiger Stance from magical to physical, it should be more intuitive to itemize against Udyr. Additionally, it will also be easier for Udyr to itemize properly, as he will gain further benefits from attack damage focused items like Black Cleaver or Last Whisper.

 

 

ZedSquare

       Zed

 

Living_Shadow

Living Shadow ( W )

  • Cooldown reduced from 22/20.5/19/17.5/16 to 18/17/16/15/14 seconds

 

Shadow_Slash

Shadow Slash ( E )

  • Hitting enemy minions and monsters no longer reduces Living Shadow’s cooldown
  • Hitting enemy champions now reduces Living Shadow’s cooldown by 2 seconds, up from 1 second

 

Previously, Zed could safely farm large minion waves with Shadow Slash by consistently resetting the cooldown of Living Shadow. These changes were intended to promote aggressive play with Zed while also creating a window for players to engage on him in lane.

 

 

 Quality of Life & Bug Fixes

 

 

BrandSquare

     Brand

 

PyroclasmPyroclasm (R)

  • Now properly bounces to other targets after hitting an enemy affected by Blaze

 

 

CorkiSquare

      Corki

 

Missile_BarrageMissile Barrage (R)

  • Fixed a bug where using Missile Barrage restarted the cooldown for gaining another missile

 

 

DrMundoSquare

  Dr. Mundo

 

Infected_CleaverInfected Cleaver (Q)

  • Can be cast at any health value, but will not reduce health below 1

MasochismMasochism (E)

  • Can be cast at any health value, but will not reduce health below 1

 


DravenSquare

     Draven

Spinning_Axe

        Spinning Axe (Q)

    • Reverted a recent change affecting how Draven was led by Spinning Axe, restoring prior functionality
    •  Axe drop location will no longer be placed on the far side of impassable terrain from Draven

In Patch 3.5, we changed Draven’s Spinning Axe to lead Draven more accurately when he was benefitting from movement speed increases. Unfortunately, these changes were very disruptive for dedicated Draven players and didn’t offer enough potential for skilled players to showcase their skill through covering long distances between throwing and catching. We decided to revert the change.

 

 

EzrealSquare

      Ezreal

 

Pulsefire Ezreal (Skin)

  • Fixed a bug where Pulsefire Ezreal would occasionally not see gold popups for some of his last hits on targets in plain view
  • Fixed a bug where Pulsefire Ezreal would play his death animation a second time if Trueshot Barrage was leveled up while dead

 

 

FiddlesticksSquare
Fiddlesticks

 

DrainDrain Life (W) 

  • Fixed a bug where Fiddlesticks would not immediately attack his target after successfully channeling Drain Life

 

 

NunuSquare

      Nunu

 

ConsumeConsume (Q)

  • No longer expends Visionary if the target dies before Consume resolves

 

 

OlafSquare

       Olaf

 

Reckless_SwingReckless Swing (E)

  • Can be cast at any health value, but will not reduce health below 1

 

 

RumbleSquare

     Rumble

 

FlamespitterFlamespitter (Q)

  • No longer prevents Rumble from automatically acquiring basic attack targets

 

 

ShenSquare

       Shen

 

Ki_StrikeKi Strike (Passive)

  • Fixed a bug that caused Ki Strike to be consumed when attacking wards

 

 

SivirSquare

       Sivir

 

Fleet_of_FootFleet of Foot (Passive)

  • Now also grants its effect when Boomerang Blade and Ricochet hit enemy champions

 

 

VayneSquare

      Vayne

 

CondemnCondemn (E)

  • Range now accurately matches her attack range

 

 

ViSquare

          Vi

 

Vault_BreakerVault Breaker (Q)

  • Fixed a bug that caused Vault Breaker to become uncastable after activation

 

Excessive_ForceExcessive Force (E)

  • Can no longer be cast while charging Vault Breaker

 

 

ZacSquare

        Zac

 

  • Increased transparency when in brush

 

 

Items

 

 

Elixir_of_Fortitude_itemElixir of Fortitude

  • Cost increased to 350 gold from 250

 

Elixir of Fortitude is meant to be an “all-in” burst of power for players looking to take control of a situation. With its low cost, however, players were simply defaulting to it as a general starting item with no significant repercussion. Increasing the gold cost of Elixir of Fortitude aligns it better with the risky strategy it was intended for.

 

Health_PotionHealth Potion

  • Limited to 5 Health Potions at a time

 

Alongside our Elixir of Fortitude change, we wanted to tackle ultra-high sustain starts where players were beginning the game with as many health potions as possible in order to safely sustain in lane for long periods of time. However, these high sustain starts also destroy any incentive players have to interact. Manaless champions in particular benefitted from these starts, resulting in some mana-based opponents being unable to burn through the high levels of sustained HP. We will monitor starting item builds and champions that relied heavily on high potion starts, but wanted to focus on addressing passive high-sustain builds first.

 

Mana_Potion_itemMana Potion

  • Limited to 5 Mana Potions at a time

 

Ionian_Boots_of_Lucidity_itemIonian Boots of Lucidity

  • Upgrade cost reduced to 650 gold from 700 (total cost is now 1000 from 1050)

 

Tiamat_itemTiamat

  • Combine cost reduced to 265 from 665 (total cost is now 1900 from 2300)
  • Attack damage reduced to 40 from 50

 

Ravenous_HydraRavenous Hydra

  • Combine cost increased to 600 from 200 (total cost unchanged)

 

Boots_of_SpeedBoots

  • Limited to 1 Boots item at a time

 

 

Game Interface

 

Smart Ping

  • Updated the ping icons to better match other game visuals

Item shop

  • Can now be resized by dragging from the bottom right-hand corner
  • Default size now determined by screen resolution

 

 

Leagues

 

  • Fixed an issue where the end of game screen would incorrectly show “League info processing” instead of updating immediately
  • Champion headers designed for each specific league have been added to the Leagues tab in player profiles
  • LP ‘clamping’ has been smoothed.  Players will experience more predictable LP gains and losses as they approach 100 LP
  • Dodging a match in a promotional series now counts as 1 loss.  This will still end your series if you were one loss away from losing it

 

 

General

 

  • Baron Nashor/Dragon
    • Now immune to effects that would reduce their damage
  • Baron Nashor, Dragon, and Vilemaw kill messages are now bolded in chat
  • Twisted Treeline altar capture messages are now bolded in chat
  • Items with charges now display the charge counter in the inventory rather than displaying as a buff
  • Players will no longer see reconnect messages from the enemy team
  • Trundle has replaced Master Yi in the basic tutorial
  • Spell shields now only block one spell even if multiple spells hit the target in rapid succession
  • Blind Random has been added as a pick type in custom games.  This mode works the same as All Random, but the enemy team’s champions will not be displayed in champion select
  • Players with video cards that use software vertex shaders (primarily integrated cards like those in laptops) should see a 10-40% FPS performance improvement across all maps

 

 

ARAM Matchmaking

 

howling abyss decoration

 

The Howling Abyss has replaced The Proving Grounds in custom games and the basic tutorial. With this change comes a separate matchmaking system for the ARAM Mode!

 

A 5v5 All-Random queue has been enabled for matches played on the Howling Abyss:

  • Restricted to players of level 5 or above
  • Players may reroll for a different champion in Champion Select for 200 reroll points
    • All players have been credited with 200 reroll points
    • Additional reroll points are gained by completing matchmade Howling Abyss games
    • Reroll point gains increase based on the number of champions the player owns
    • Reroll point count can be checked in the player profile.

 

You can check out my preview of the Howling Abyss here.

With the new ARAM map comes another great addition specifically for this mode, Rerolling. Technical engineer Brackhar has all the details:

 

What is Champion Reroll?

 

ChovatarRiotlink Button Brackhar: While the random element is a really fun part of the Howling Abyss, we know there are times you really don’t want to play a particular champion. For this reason we’ve added a reroll feature to ARAM matchmaking. Each game you play on the Howling Abyss will earn you points toward a reroll. When you’re really not pleased with the particular hand you’re dealt in the game lobby, you can spend your points to receive a different random character.

 

 

Behavior Alerts – an early warning

 

alert

 

Ever wondered if you’d crossed the line after a game? League of Legends’ newest social system warns players when they are reported and for what reason. Perfect time to start improving on your attitude in-game before it’s too late!

 

SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: In a future patch, we’ll be releasing a feature called Behavioral Alerts. This system will detect spikes of negative behavior (i.e if a player is having a particularly bad day or week) and fire an in-game client warning to the player; we hope that these alerts will give players appropriate feedback about their behaviors before they travel too far down the negative path. We believe that these warnings will prevent a significant number of people from ever being punished by player behavior systems; more importantly, we believe that these warnings will make a difference in the large number of Neutral and Positive players that have rare bad days of toxicity, but previously never got feedback to nudge them back towards the positive.

In the past few months, a few key insights have shifted our approach to tackling player behavior in online communities. For example, we can use Honor, Reports and other behavioral metrics at our disposal to classify the types of players in League of Legends into four groups: Positive, Neutral, Bad, Toxic. It turns out that only 1% of the active playerbase is considered toxic—these are the players who are abusive to other players in a large number of their games.

The data suggests that over 92% of players are Neutral or Positive.

At this point, many players are thinking,

“Lyte, you’re a crazy scientist. If more than 92% of players are Neutral or Positive, why do a high number of my games seem toxic?”

What we’re learning in the data is that context inside and outside a game can twist behaviors-it can even create toxic behaviors in good people. A player might have a bad day at work and get yelled at by their boss, then go home to play some League of Legends. At this point, the player already has high frustration levels or has a low tolerance for mistakes, and might end up raging at his teammates for several games; this pattern of behavior can create ripples in the community, and cause other players to have a bad day-this behavioral effect is like a toxin that can percolate and spread across hundreds and thousands of games. Given 10 players in a game, and the randomness that comes from every player having a unique circumstance, tolerance level and context, it’s now easy to see why a high number of games seem toxic-in each game, 1-2 players might be having bad days in real life, or in-game. So when a Neutral or Positive player starts down that negative path, how do we stem it?

Research suggests that having strong feedback loops can have a dramatic positive effect on behavior; in this case, the ability to quickly and effectively deliver feedback to players as soon as they exhibit behaviors that are out of line with the vast majority of players in League of Legends could be enough to get these players back on track. An example of feedback loops in action were Reform Cards, which provided more feedback to players about why they were being punished by the Tribunal—this feedback improved average reform rates by 7.8%.

Like many other player behavior features such as the Tribunal and Honor Initiative, Behavioral Alerts will take into account every player’s behavioral reputation in the system; for example, there is a lot of math behind the system to avoid firing alerts for false reports. In addition, there are numerous mechanisms in place to completely ignore reports from toxic players or those who abuse the report function to ensure that players will never receive any alerts from these reports. We’re looking forward to feedback from players and hope that these alerts will have a significant impact on player behavior in League of Legends.

This feature is currently live on the PBE. Translations are still being worked on for about half of the languages, and will be added in the future before the feature goes live.

 

How many warning messages does a player receive?

 

SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: There isn’t a fixed number; it varies from person to person depending on the severity of the behaviors, and how frequently they get them.

 

 

 

Do these warnings replace the Tribunal?

 

SantaRiotlink Button LyteThese alerts are in-game, and do not replace Tribunal warnings. They also do not reset Honor.

 

 

 

 

New champion sale – from April 30th to May 3rd

 

Sale 30th April

For the next three days, you can pick up the following champions and skins at half price:

 

Champions:

  • Fizz
  • Karma
  • Malphite

Skins:

  • Dynasty Ahri
  • French Maid Nidalee
  • Jack of Hearts Twisted Fate

 

 

 20% off on Freljord’s champions and New Rotation!

 

 

20% off sale

 To celebrate the Freljord update, all frost champions and their skins are now available at a discount!

 

Champions:

 

  • Anivia - 632 RP
  • Ashe - 208 RP
  • Gragas - 632 RP
  • Janna - 468 RP
  • Nunu - 208 RP
  • Olaf - 632 RP
  • Tryndamere - 468 RP
  • Udyr - 468 RP
  • Quinn and Valor - 780 RP
  • Volibear - 780 RP

 

Ironically, these same champions are currently free to play.

 

Demolisher Nunu /780 RP/

 

demolisher nunu

 

Freljord Ashe /416 RP/

 

freljord ashe

 

Frost Queen Janna /780 RP/

 

frost janna

 

Glacial Olaf /416 RP/

 

glacial olaf

 

Gragas, Esq. /780 RP/

 

esq gragas

 

King Tryndamere /416 RP/

 

king tryndamere

 

Primal Udyr /780 RP/

 

primal udyr

 

Phoenix Quinn /780 RP/

 

phoenix quinn

 

Northern Storm Volibear /600 RP/

 

northern storm voli

 

 

 What do you think of the Freljord update? Share below!

 

HowlingAbyss banner

 

More goodies await in the latest PBE Update! Riot have done a full virtual overhaul of the much beloved “Proving Grounds” ARAM map. The Howling Abyss caters specifically to fans of this custom mode and rivals even the remade Twisted Treeline in terms of environment.

 

Map Eagle View:

 

HowlingAbyss Eagle View

 

Bases:

 

Both bases have unique artistic themes in terms of lighting and item merchants.

 

base 1

 

base 2

 

Vendors

 

The merchants of the Howling Abyss are more than prepared for winter’s chill.

 

vendor

 

vendor 2

 

Gameplay:

 

The Howling Abyss is a marvel to look at. The background has received a lot of attention with buildings fading into the winter night as far as the view permits. There’s a feeling of dread as you pass the bridge above the enormous mountain gorge. The dark setting and wind effects in particular are stellar and the music is greatly immersive. It’s almost a shame that you can’t stay AFK and just admire this wondrous ice-land.

 

map 1

 

map 2

 

map 4

 

Howling Abyss winds

 

map 7

 

The little details:

 

Towers on the Howling Abyss don’t just fall. No, they slowly crumble bit by bit as their health goes down. It’s a neat touch that fits right at home here; without doubt my favourite feature of the new map.

 

tower damage final

 

tower damage 3

 

Look! An Arctic bunny!

 

bunny

 

When you first advance towards the enemy base, part of the bridge next to the opposing tower collapses and falls in the abyss. Spells A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

 

damage first hit

 

When towers fall, the chains on the massive pillars next to them break and release the whole construction. Consider stopping for a few minutes to admire the scenery.

 tower collaps

 

The Howling Abyss is available on the PBE for testing now!