The ARAM (All Random, All Mid) game mode is getting some upgrades in League of Legends, and Riot has unveiled a new map as well as info on an actual queue system for the immensely popular game mode, and it hit PBE servers over the weekend.
The Howling Abyss will be the new location of battles in the ARAM mode, replacing the Proving Grounds map which consisted of a random bridge over a black chasm. The new League of Legends ARAM map is an ancient landmark in Freljord where the Iceborn finally overthrew their oppressors and sent them tumbling into the chasm below. The new map features new custom artwork and lots more detail than the old Proving Grounds map. The length and width of the new map remain the same as the old one, but the developers did remove the steps coming out of each sides base, leaving everything completely flat.
There is also an official matchmaking queue for the new Howling Abyss ARAM map under development. The matchmaking system isn’t quite ready for League of Legends PBE testing just yet, but it’s good to know that it is on the way.
With an official queue system you should actually be able to play an ARAM game where everyone actually has a randomly selected champion instead of having players join and leave custom game ARAMs until they get a champion they like. An official matchmaking queue should come with a queue dodge penalty timer, meaning if players leave the queue because they don’t like their champion, they’ll have to wait a bit before joining another game.
The current plan is for the new Howling Abyss ARAM map matchmaking queue champion select screen to be blind random, meaning you won’t be able to see what champions your opponents have until the loading screen. The champions that will be selected from will be all the champions you own, plus that week’s free-to-play champs. New ambient sounds and music have been added for the new map, and the League of Legends tutorial map will be updated from the Proving Grounds map to the new Howling Abyss map.
As for the old Proving Grounds bridge, Rioter Kilmourz says it is gone for good.
The old Murder Bridge collapsed into the abyss from so many epic battles…. never to be seen again. -Kilmourz
Several Rioters went on to post other images of the new Howling Abyss ARAM map, including some concept art from the development of the new map which you can check out below.