@Morello: Keep That Nerf Bat Swinging, The Support Players Haven't All Quit Yet

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Evelynn Butt

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Senior Member

07-03-2012

oh look, another support thread where they try to martyr themselves


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Bastilico

Senior Member

07-03-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pterodactyl Man View Post
oh look, another support thread where they try to martyr themselves
They're just going to keep nerfing us until we have some sort of twisted Stockholm syndrome.


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ZephyrDrake

Senior Member

07-03-2012

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Originally Posted by TheStrelok View Post



I have to disagree with you here. Sona is a great support. She isn't a CC machine, but she is one hell of a harass machine. Max Q and use that with Power Chord instead of being a heal and ult bot and report back. If you still think she's bad, you are doing it wrong.
Sona is the first support i played and the one i enjoy playing the most, i always Max Q first and her damage is fine for about the duration of the laning phase then it falls of flat right after that, with the only thing bringing in after that being her ult. Her heal is pathetically low (both base AND ratio) her E is worthless until you have it around ranks 4~5 and like i said her Q starts falling off after the laning phase you can't even control who you're healing/attacking with your skills, you want to heal X dude? oh sorry Y dude is hurt more so i'll heal him instead and i don't even care if that dude is running away while the one you wanted to heal is actually fighting.

You can harass with her yes, but all you need is have an enemy that's not retarded to pretty much destroy any kind of offensive you might want to pull, cuz you know... SHE IS SQUISHY AS HELL! all you need is an enemy that won't sit there trying to farm 24/7 and actually harass back and there's is little you can do to stop them, the most you can do is deal as much damage as possible and hope that's enough to keep them at bay (which in most cases its not)


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ninomir

Senior Member

07-03-2012

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Originally Posted by Morello View Post
I also don't think equating number of nerfs to anything is a meaningful analysis - if you nerf something 100 times and it's top tier, it's still strong. If you buff something 100 times and it's never picked, then it's still weak - Soraka and Janna have remained powerful options for traditional support players for years, and I have little doubt that this set of changes will dent that much.
With Soraka I'll agree.
But Janna?
Janna wasn't that picked untill just recently where pros started picking her up competitively. Kiev I think. After that Janna has seen nothing but nerfs.


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Morello

Lead Designer

07-03-2012
4 of 20 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkTheNikasaur View Post
Why is it that you only take the "we are nerfing it until it stops being viable" stance with support champions?
We really need a dev blog up where I can have this sort of information readily available for people!

This is specific to Soraka - Janna is a different issue of raw power. Let's look closely at Soraka and what the problem is: mechanics that heal aren't problematic, dedicated healers are. "What, why?" Glad you asked!

In order to be satisfying and impactful, characters whose job it is to heal need to be able to "erase damage" effectively with healing at a decent clip. If they can't, they feel useless most of the time while they wait for long cooldowns or do other offensive actions (which is counter to why you'd make a dedicated healer in the first place!). If DPS outclips the healing in the usual situations, they also end up feeling ineffective and weak, meaning that the healing-per-second also needs to be powerful. Finally, you're not getting the natural satisfaction of things like CC or kills, so it has to be provided in watching health bars rise and saving friends.

OK, sure, so what's the problem with that?

The problem with that is the type of gameplay that surrounds it for not only the opponents, but for allies and even the healer. By removing a big consequence for actions (damage and attrition-over-time), you remove one of the primary axis for overcoming opponents in any non-burst scenario - especially with the combat pacing in lane or when posturing for objectives like Baron or Dragon. This creates a situation where it's not useful for characters to engage in harass, poke or other non-lethal actions since it will basically be a waste of time, energy and resources. Additionally, since a healer can't provide much else to secure a kill (other than +time), the friendly is also at a disadvantage for trying to secure kills or create windows of opportunities to capitalize on.

The natural counter to sustain is burst. While that does make it counterable, I'll point to Guild Wars 1, WoW PvP, TF2 or other games that feature significant dedicated healers into how that ends up changing the game into something much more single-dimensional from a strategy and options standpoint. I'll also point directly to how bottom lane plays out whenever Soraka's a top 3 pick (hint: extremely passively and even more farm-heavy, sans ganks).

So, even if I can accept that, does that mean there's no character who should heal an ally?

No - the key is here in pacing. I think the really good versions of this are the Heal Summoner spell and Wish. These skills have very long cooldowns and huge effects, but their healing-per-second is really poor. This means they're used for heroic saves, clever baits, and can turn the tide of a battle, while still having a good range of counters and a significant opportunity cost. The worst heal I could design would be a 1 second cooldown heal that did a hot for 1 second - it only sustains and can never be used in an active or dire situation effectively.

Another option that I like is hybridization. Nidalee is my favorite example here, because even if her heals isn't the best-feeling skill in the world, it's still useful, and she can derive satisfaction through poke, zone control or kills as well, lessening the burden her heal needs to carry from a fun and power perspective. Nidalee is a shape-changer with a heal, as opposed to someone who just heals.

Again, this may not make people who like the red-bars-go-up style feel much better, (and as a lot of us play MMOs or other games with these characters, there's an attachment to feeling helpful there, for sure) but I think it's important to make sure you guys at least understand our position and reasoning, even if you don't agree.


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Morello

Lead Designer

07-03-2012
5 of 20 Riot Posts

Additionally, this only applies to games where a single person can play a healer - games like Warcraft 3 or Starcraft don't have this problem because using Medics/Priests doesn't have to make the little guy feel powerful and good, they just need the right balanced, mathematical effect.


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guptee

Senior Member

07-03-2012

while you are here morello, please talk about the state of GP


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Corngina

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Senior Member

07-03-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
I've made a big post on Soraka (I'll try to find it later, but it's a bit buried currently), and while getting nerfed does feel bad, she's still amazingly good at all levels of play. I'd also offer that Janna is a more traditional support and, despite nerfs, ranks high in top picks as well. Despite a lot of nerfs, it turns out restoring HP and mana is pretty strong :P

Soraka being a primary support pick is problematic when she provides nothing but sustain. I know there's a good chunk of support players who literally want to heal people as their job, but as Soraka does it now, I don't think it's worth it unless she's a comparable pick (at best) to aggressive and zoning supports, or counters other picks effectively/is part of a more specialized teamcomp.

This is not a popular direction with anyone who enjoys this playstyle, and my stance on this has been pretty clear on the subject, but I think we've always been conservative here (if we wanted to just remove her, there's easy ways to do that!) in trying to strike some sort of balance between letting people have this option and keeping bottom lane interesting.

I also don't think equating number of nerfs to anything is a meaningful analysis - if you nerf something 100 times and it's top tier, it's still strong. If you buff something 100 times and it's never picked, then it's still weak - Soraka and Janna have remained powerful options for traditional support players for years, and I have little doubt that this set of changes will dent that much.
So you nerf champions simply because they are popular? Do you see the cycle youre endlessly caught up in here? Sona was a top support, so you nerfed her into the ground. People who like her (for example, me), dont play her now because she is pretty terrible now. So i turn to champs like janna. I dont play janna because she is mathmatically superior, i play her because sona is simply unplayable. Try making multiple champions playable, rather than cyclically making 1-3 viable at a time. Now you nerf janna into the ground, and give sona a buff. Instead of nerfing popular champions, try making less-popular champions less terrible? Try taking a look at zilean for once. He hasnt been touched in ages. And for the love of god, roll out the new Karma, already. I cant wait to play her for 2 weeks after her remake before she is subsequently nerfed into the ground, again.


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Albireo

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Senior Member

07-03-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello
if you nerf something 100 times and it's top tier, it's still strong.
Is like everybody already said, there are not more options, and really it's not fair that a champion like for example, the new champ Jayce have more utility than a support, when he is allowed to farm, to get kills, to really don't worry too much about warding, to build big items, and deal damage along with all his utility

I know pros can and will be living wards just for the sake of his Kog to become the ultimate Ad carry, because they get paid to. but normal people just want fun supports than can be useful, can at some extend change the game with their offensive ability, and fun to play.

I know the game is balanced around toruneys, but even they need a larger pool of supports, they don't need more options for top lane, they already have a lot of good picks.


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Phyrexia

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07-03-2012

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Originally Posted by aahdin View Post
I think the point is that there are 6 or so champs that completely outclass every other potential support... which is the problem here.

Maybe if they keep nerfing them we can see more than 6 supports in competitive play,
Every other "potential support"? Really? So we have to nerf the current support champions into the ground to make every other champion viable as a support? That's ludicrous. I don't want to see the small group of pure support champions nerfed just because people want to play cassiopea/veiger/etc support.

Especially because we would never see the reverse. They pimped Soraka out to be this completely viable battlemage if you wanted to play her as a damage dealer. And what ended up happening to that? They certainly didn't nerf every other AP carry so she could be stronger. Instead they just strip away at her infuse and starcall. The nerfs to starcall are especially aggravating because they constantly tore chunks out of her supporting capabilities and gave minor buffs to starcall in return. Then they come back and say we're not allowed to use starcall as an offensive tool either.