Syndra Quality of Life/Useability changes

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Xenotime Gaze

Senior Member

10-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meddler View Post
There are two different approaches to combo champs I feel. The first is to reward the player substantially for executing on a combo and therefore penalize play that fails to do so. Cassiopeia's a good examples of this type with Twin Fang's interaction with poisoned targets. The other approach is to give a champion a number of tools that can be combo'd, but sometimes work better when seperated. Lulu's a good example of this I feel - sometimes you'll want to combo both E and ult on an ally, other times you'll split them, sometimes you'll want to use E on an enemy to set up a near guaranteed Glitter Lance hit, other times you're better off keeping Pix near and shooting like a normal skillshot.

Both approaches have their strengths and I'm very glad we've got both in the game, Syndra tends more towards the second category however, with situations where it's optimal to combo and where it's not. Force of Will for example is sometimes best used to extend a Dark Sphere's life, at other times though you'll want to use it to stop a minion being killed by your own minions if you can't kill it in time, to throw a minion because you want to save your Q cooldown to combo with E but do want to slow a target immediately etc. E you will want to combo with a sphere more often obviously, given the incentive the stun provides, depending on your sphere placement and Q cooldown though sometimes the immediate knockback by itself as a counter to a dash/blink or as an instant interupt is the better play.

We certainly could rework Syndra so that if you're not executing a particular combo right you're not playing optimally. Forcing that sort of combo on all characters however is something I believe can really restrict gameplay - a combo champ need not mean 'Do it this way or fail', there's plenty of space in 'Do in this way and sometimes it will be advantageous'. Fundamentally I disagree that requiring the player to execute a specific combo necessarily adds depth - it's just another tool and one that has the potential to really inhibit depth, while adding the opportunity/requirement for additional mechanical mastery, if handled poorly.
Meddler, I hope you're still here for this. While i think your response is appropriate, i think that the main point that he's getting at is that a champion with high mana costs on her skills like Syndra (Anivia and Orianna fall into this category as well) seems like the sort of champion who should be further rewarded for combining her spells together. Anivia's Q-Q-E combo costs a decent amount of mana at early levels especially, but can be incredibly rewarding both in cc and in damage. Orianna's Q-W-E-AAs can also take aways a chunk of mana, but given that all her abilities and her AAs deal a significant amount of damage, the reward is definitely apparent. Syndra, however, gains no benefit from throwing an orb with W, even though the ability to move enemy minions, neutral creeps and certain enemy minions is powerful in and of itself utility wise, not even counting the ability to refresh your orbs. Syndra gains no benefit outside of a stun for landing an orb on an opponent, a combo that requires either a great deal of risk (landing Q on the opponent then getting closer to push it into them) or the loss of a significant amount of her damage (placing a Q in front of her). In addition, the use of E itself will always have a reward, because outside of its use offensively, it is primarily a defensive ability, therefore making its use in an offensive manner a high risk with little reward damage wise.

While i really, REALLY enjoy her playstyle, I think these are the main reasons that people find her unrewarding. Her playstyle is very telegraphed, her power takes time to build up for her ultimate, but, unlike similar champions, she doesnt feel like she's rewarded for landing a good combo on opponents damage wise.

For clarity, I'll refer once again to Anivia and Orianna to express why they still feel more rewarding even outside of combos.

Anivia -
Q - Average damage, slow, stun (Good utility even without combining)
Q+E - High damage, same utility as Q

Ult - Constant slow, constant damage (Good utility and damage)
Ult + E - Good utility, STRONG damage

Downside? - E without Q or R is an average/below average nuke.

Orianna
Q - Average/Below average damage, Zoning, Vision
Q + W - High damage, Zoning, Vision, Slow
E - Shield, defenses, below average damage
E + W - Shield, defenses, High damage to nearby enemies, Movement speed boost, Slow.
R - Average damage, Pull, Minor stun
R + W - Very High damage, Pull, Minor stun, Slow.
W - Speed boost, Slow

Downside? W requires E or Q to deal damage to the enemy.

Syndra -
Q - Slightly above average damage, (minor?) Zoning
W - Above average damage, slow, extra effect based on minions.
E - Below average damage, Knockback
R - High damage dependent partially on Q
Q+W - No change in function, extended Q life.
Q+E - Knockback, Long range AoE Stun
Q+Ult - More damage.
Ult + E - Potential Teamwide AoE stun

Basically Syndra's abilities each have a use in and of themselves like other utility mages, but little reward to the damage she deals by stringing her high mana cost abilities together. This is why she doesnt feel satisfying.

Edit: Lulu I dont think works as an example in this instance because she is a combo support, a champion brought primarily for their utility. All her abilities are there for utility as opposed to damage. Combining her abilities allow for a different way of using said abilities.
Lulu's E into R is a quick combo for maximum protection. Lulu's E into Q onto an enemy nigh guarantees the slow from glitter-lance and the attacks from pix. If Lulu were a combo mage, however, she would have to be rewarded for performing such a combo, such as, say more damage from E if they are slowed by glitter-lance, increased passive damage for attacking when the opponent is slowed, etc. What has been consistent in my experience, having played multiple utility mages and combo mages, is that utility mages work because of the fact that their abilities have a higher mana cost to deal equal amounts of damage due to the fact that they need to combine two spells on average to achieve high amounts of damage combined with cc. In other words, they need to combine two spells, in general, to get a high damage + cc combo. Syndra's kit does not perform this. She has little damage bonus for performing a difficult combo with her abilities, which are all still inherently useful.


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Neo Cyrus

Senior Member

10-18-2012

Am I the only one who feels like the range on the E is a joke? To fully combo Syndra, the squishy mage, has to be right in the middle of a fight. As if it's not easy enough picking out an APC with characters like Rengar which leap from outside the map. I would bet if it was literally 3 times that range to start no one would be complaining that it's too much. At least consider increasing its range as it levels!

Even with these upcoming improvements her combo is still incredibly slow and unrealistic in a match that has evenly skilled players. Every match I've ever played against one it was effortless to interrupt her combo. Every. Single. Time.

Why do I bother say anything, maybe because this one bothers me a lot to see a new character this far into LoL's life being completely broken... one which was was meant as an APC to make matters worse.

The entire character needs to be remade, it's broken to the point of near uselessness. Day after day the recorded statistics show that. Smoothing out a broken character won't fix it. How many months of consistent 20-30% win rates on Syndra in both ranked and unranked will it take before something is done about it?


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Circe10

Senior Member

10-18-2012

Hello Meddler,

I've played quite a lot of Syndra and found the most unique thing about her to be that you have to play her more like a game of chess, placing balls down, grabbing a minion preemptively, and setting yourself up for a kill, but aside from placing balls on the other side of a wall, grabbing one, then flashing over the wall for a w and a surprise ultimate, it's not that rewarding. I would like to see more reward for having more balls in play.

Obviously it has a big impact on your ultimate, but playing against a good player, if they see you maintaining 3 balls in lane, they are going to know to stay out of range of your ulti. And trying to maintain 3 balls for a chance to go in for an ulti you run out of mana really quickly.

So what I would propose is a passive buff to her Q that grants either a flat mana cost reduction on her Q for each ball in play or a flat mp5 boost for each ball in play. Much like the way Casseopeia benefits from keeping up the stacks on her passive to reduce the mana cost of her abilities, if Syndra had a mana cost reduction on her Q (not her other spells) for each orb in play, or an mp5 buff for each orb, it would be good reason to keep those balls in play and give you the mana to keep them there. Thoughts?


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Ira et Tolio

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Senior Member

10-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meddler View Post
You'll need to catch someone from Live or possibly Morello on that one. I know there's desire to do some work on him at some point but from memory a couple of other champ reworks are higher priority.
So since a couple means two....Karma->Heimer->Trundle? That better be the order cuz those 3 need it. (Well trundle less than the other 2, but he could use some changes or QoL stuff)


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XNinjaFuHiya

Senior Member

10-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meddler View Post
You'll need to catch someone from Live or possibly Morello on that one. I know there's desire to do some work on him at some point but from memory a couple of other champ reworks are higher priority.
Thanks for replying! Any chance you can ask Morello to talk to the community about Trundle? Despite what Morello believes, him being grotesque has nothing to do with him being underplayed. If he would just sit down and create a forum post :/


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Crevox

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Senior Member

10-18-2012

Meddler,

Syndra's force of will bug that I posted below is still in effect on the PBE. It's extremely easy to reproduce, I tried and it happened first try.

Can you please fix this before release? I play Syndra a lot, and this is a critical issue that has caused me many missed hits or even kills.

http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=2571815

As for feedback to the changes...

Not much can really be said; I believe it's a step in right direction to making Syndra less frustrating to play as for players not used to her mechanics, and also helps to resolve some situations related to button press timing (like throw being unusable because you're still "picking up the orb") or other frustrating moments with her ultimate, etc.

For someone like me, I honestly don't realize much of a change besides the fact that I can attack an enemy champion with an orb (grab -> throw) quicker due to being able to just hold my mouse over them and hit W twice (smart cast). I don't have to spend the time moving my mouse to grab an orb, then back to them... a short speed increase, useful. Besides that, I had to actually come to the post and reread in order to realize the changes; in an actual match I might have noticed the increased timing and such, but at first glance I didn't (which is fine). I don't think she needs any actual "buffs" honestly... she's quite a strong champion as is and handles many situations quite well! If there were buffs, I think they would be minor or helpful to fix any remaining "issues" she has (like maybe a small mana boost or something, not that I have an issue with it). QoL changes were definitely the way to go.

I only have a few remaining complaints. One is the bug at the top of the post. There are also some issues with her ultimate. Certain champion interactions (like vladimir's pool, fizz's jump) completely counter the ability. I can understand if this is intended design, as other projectile ultimates or even abilities are dodged in the same way, but Syndra's is quite long... and gives the opponent the ability to avoid the ultimate at any point during its execution (which is a much larger time frame). I'm not asking for a change, just expressing my negative feeling on it; if that's how it is, so be it, I must be a better player to ensure I don't waste my ultimate in those situations.

In addition, the Justicar skin's orbs are somewhat hard to see; an issue mentioned by fellow players as well. If those are the finalized particle effects (I understand it's a much bigger task to get the art team to modify those) then so be it, but it's just a minor annoyance for Syndra players using the skin (me). I guess I could consider it helpful because enemies have a hard time seeing it too? Still seems like a design issue that just shouldn't exist. Her passive is also kind of forgettable... it's "useful", but you really don't notice it, aim to use it, or anything. It's not "bad", but it's kind of weird to have a champion with a passive that you don't feel much satisfaction out of. A player that doesn't know Syndra well could go many matches playing her without reading the passive and never even realize that it was doing anything.

Thanks for following up on Syndra!


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Crevox

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Senior Member

10-19-2012

Just giving this a small bump... I really don't want that bug in live.


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Stexe

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Adjudicator

10-19-2012

I think one of the core issues behind Syndra is the lack of synergy between her skills. Yes, you don't need synergy to be effective, but when a kit has interesting interactions between skills you feel bad when you don't utilize them to their fullest potential.

The problem I'm seeing with her is that there is little incentive to use Scatter the Weak with Dark Sphere; unless you manage to hit an enemy with Dark Sphere and then use Scatter the Weak on the Dark Sphere as they run away. If you want to throw a Dark Sphere in front of you and then Scatter the Weak to knock it into an enemy you're forgoing the damage on Dark Sphere's land (it is nearly impossible to both hit an enemy with Dark Sphere so that you can then push the Dark Sphere with Scatter the Weak onto the same target).

I'd like the ability to combo her skills while still doing damage or something to the enemy. What if Force of Will's throw did damage to (or slowed) all targets that the held thing passed through? Then you could Dark Sphere on the enemy, Force of Will the Dark Sphere and throw it in front of yourself (damaging the enemy as the Sphere was thrown through them), and then use Scatter the Weak to knock the Dark Sphere into the enemy.

Another problem Syndra has is that her ultimate is geared to do massive damage to a single target, but requires a huge set up of Dark Spheres to be effective. In a team fight you want to either nuke a target down before they can use their skills, or do AoE damage so that the enemy is significantly weakened when the fight begins. Syndra's Unleashed Power does neither of these things -- she has to set up Dark Spheres in a team fight to be able to burst down a single target that has most likely already used all their skills or done all their damage. The solution to this in my eyes is fairly complex -- but a good step in the right direction might be to make all thrown Dark Spheres do damage to enemies they pass through. This could be used to do massive AoE damage if the enemy team is clustered and let's her set up -- as opposed to what she does now which is basically kill an already weak target because it took her so long to set up.

If you look at all successful casters they do 1 or 2 things with their ultimate: AoE or single target damage at the start of the fight.

AoE: Anivia, Annie, Cassiopeia, Evelynn, Fiddlesticks, Fizz, Karthus, Lux, Morgana, Orianna, Rumble, Swain, Viktor, Vladimir, Xerath, Ziggs, Zyra

Single: Cho'Gath, Diana, Malzahar, Mordekaiser, Veigar

Either Or: Ahri, Brand, LeBlanc, Kennen

Utility: Heimerdinger, Kassadin, Twisted Fate

Now looking at the list you'll see that every single target caster is generally about using their ultimate at the start of a fight. Malzahar might be an exception because you'd want a Voidling and a Null Zone, but you can a Voidling set up LONG before the battle and Null Zone is an instant cast. Cho'Gath might be an exception too because killing with his nuke gives him a Feast stack -- but that is fairly minor and most pro Cho'Gath users will ult to burst a single target down quickly. Diana might take some set up with requiring a Q to hit in order to double ult, but again that's a single skill cast and not 3 to 4 like Syndra requires.

Syndra is the weird exception to everything else. She requires a large amount of set up that she can't maintain from a previous battle and she does no AoE with her ultimate. While it might be cool to be unique, it just doesn't work when compared to the other options available.


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War Rager

Senior Member

10-19-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by indioBR View Post
Syndra is not as rewarding as she should be. usually if u q>e to stun you are missing the Q dmg.

the big flaw is, after syndra used her ultimate, there is like 7 balls over the battle field...and what can u do? E? that is it? a lot of balls around and they wont explode or do nothing cool?
^ This here. I Feel like after the ball lands it should maybe pulse small damage (but something you know? something to hurt minions) Exploding maybe is a bit much cuz we'll still able to throw the ball. soo I think the pulsing would be better. But I do feel it needs to have some other small ( i mean like smaller or same as graves Smoke Screen dmg.)

Edit: That was insightful Stexe. A Good Read. I agree with just about everything.


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Meddler

Lead Champion Designer

10-19-2012
22 of 23 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crevox View Post
Meddler,

Syndra's force of will bug that I posted below is still in effect on the PBE. It's extremely easy to reproduce, I tried and it happened first try.

Can you please fix this before release? I play Syndra a lot, and this is a critical issue that has caused me many missed hits or even kills.

http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=2571815

As for feedback to the changes...

Not much can really be said; I believe it's a step in right direction to making Syndra less frustrating to play as for players not used to her mechanics, and also helps to resolve some situations related to button press timing (like throw being unusable because you're still "picking up the orb") or other frustrating moments with her ultimate, etc.

For someone like me, I honestly don't realize much of a change besides the fact that I can attack an enemy champion with an orb (grab -> throw) quicker due to being able to just hold my mouse over them and hit W twice (smart cast). I don't have to spend the time moving my mouse to grab an orb, then back to them... a short speed increase, useful. Besides that, I had to actually come to the post and reread in order to realize the changes; in an actual match I might have noticed the increased timing and such, but at first glance I didn't (which is fine). I don't think she needs any actual "buffs" honestly... she's quite a strong champion as is and handles many situations quite well! If there were buffs, I think they would be minor or helpful to fix any remaining "issues" she has (like maybe a small mana boost or something, not that I have an issue with it). QoL changes were definitely the way to go.

I only have a few remaining complaints. One is the bug at the top of the post. There are also some issues with her ultimate. Certain champion interactions (like vladimir's pool, fizz's jump) completely counter the ability. I can understand if this is intended design, as other projectile ultimates or even abilities are dodged in the same way, but Syndra's is quite long... and gives the opponent the ability to avoid the ultimate at any point during its execution (which is a much larger time frame). I'm not asking for a change, just expressing my negative feeling on it; if that's how it is, so be it, I must be a better player to ensure I don't waste my ultimate in those situations.

In addition, the Justicar skin's orbs are somewhat hard to see; an issue mentioned by fellow players as well. If those are the finalized particle effects (I understand it's a much bigger task to get the art team to modify those) then so be it, but it's just a minor annoyance for Syndra players using the skin (me). I guess I could consider it helpful because enemies have a hard time seeing it too? Still seems like a design issue that just shouldn't exist. Her passive is also kind of forgettable... it's "useful", but you really don't notice it, aim to use it, or anything. It's not "bad", but it's kind of weird to have a champion with a passive that you don't feel much satisfaction out of. A player that doesn't know Syndra well could go many matches playing her without reading the passive and never even realize that it was doing anything.

Thanks for following up on Syndra!
The ultimate being vulnerable to untargetability effects is deliberate and is partly offset by its strength against spellshields (or will be once the fix for that comes out in the next patch).

I'll talk to the art team about the particles on the Justicar skin, not sure what the short term feasibility of changes there are myself.

Regarding that bug thanks for the video, a demonstration there was actually extremely useful. It looks like what's happening is that when the throw location is partially obscured by impassable terrain (in this case the remains of a tower) the throw falls dramatically short, in the same way Trist's Rocket Jump would. I've got some improvements that will help out with that in the PBE QoL changes, now that that's identified though I'll give things another sweep and see if there's any further improvements possible.