Most League of Legends players' first reaction to the Summoner's Rift rework is, "Darn, that sure is pretty." And it is! A spectacular display of Riot's talents, entirely focused on design princliples rather than the sales mind-set that drives much of their skin and champions design these days (maps can't have boob windows). Yet there are some particulars regarding that map's design that Riot thinks some players would be interested in, but would miss without some voice over. Ta-da! Here's a Summoner's Rift visual update preview video.
In the video Riot's voice-over gal talks about the priorities of the map, including clarity between ability the user interface, ability animations, champions and NPCs, and then the map itself. Clarity is Riot's core goal for the map redesign, so even though its priority is to blend into, well, the background, there are many important features meant to enhance that experience without being distracting. That includes seperating the different quadrants of the map into their own styles to help players recognize their location, as well as redesigning jungle camps to better convey their attributes. It's all very smart and very straight forward, while also being very damn pretty.
As an avid League player, though I'm on a bit of a break at the moment, I can't even begin to explain how sorely needed the visual update is for Summoner's Rift. As mentioned in the video, much of the terrain in the map is not actually representative of the borders and distances created as part of the map's design. This means that the only way to acclimate oneself to the map's eccentricities is pure muscle memory -- one death at a time. The new map both smoothes out the edges and conveys these edges in a much clearer way. Bless Riot's heart.
The sad revelation of the video is the closing words that there are still "several months of development" left on the Summoner's Rift rework. It's not surprising in the least, considering it would be highly unlikely for Riot to release the new map prior to the League of Legends World Championships. That's just Riot not wanting to shake up the meta prior to a big eSports event. Respect for that. Still, the map just looks so good right now, and could make the game so much more enjoyable. The sooner, the better.
Expect more information on the League of Legends Summoner's Rift rework in the months ahead, or for League players with PBE access they can try it out now.