@Morello, another thread about supports

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Morello

Lead Designer

10-22-2012
3 of 10 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by KudoKou View Post
Hi Morello. Since you're in this thread, could you explain why you don't think supports are experiencing reverse power creep? Last time this came up, you said that the game is actually experiencing power creep since you add power into the game all the time, but I think you dodged the question. Yes, the game as a whole may very well be experiencing positive power creep, but I think the support champions are going in the opposite direction as the rest of the champion pool. This is leading DIRECTLY to the adoption of more nonstandard supports such as Blitz and Nunu (yes, they were nonstandard twelve months ago), as well as Zyra, Fiddles, etc. These nonstandard supports are staying constant in power while the core supports are getting weaker, making the alternatives relatively better support choices.

Now I think this is actually a good thing in that it indirectly widens the support champion pool, BUT, at the same time, you're making support players weaker and making them have a smaller impact on the game's outcome (which is the biggest perceived problem with the support role).

Long story short, I actually like the way you're making more supports viable, but I think you also need to look into a way of somehow increasing the impact of the role and the satisfaction derived from it. This does NOT need to come in the form of buffs to support champions. I think it would actually be better accomplished with masteries, runes, and items aimed at supports. That way it wouldn't push fringe supports out of viability (since they would benefit just as much as the mainstays), but it would make the support role more impactful and fun.

What do you think, Morello?
They definitely are - but I think a lot of that is because of how strong they started at. It's interesting because this is actually a common game design pattern; let me explain what I mean here.

Support is typically a bit more of a niche (not super niche, but definitely not as popular as things that do DPS), they're a space that typically has a hard time to be made initially "satisfying" - that feeling that your actions have a real and impactful result at a glance. This is due to the unique design challenges on support - deferred effects, lack of "scoring kills," more nuanced resource-management focus, and so on.

Morello, you don't think supports are fun or satisfying?! I hate you. No, I'm saying that satisfaction is a thing that you try to make in game design, and has a lot of factors that go into it. To give an example, Ashe Arrow is probably one of the most satisfying spells in the game, not from a "what I find fun" but the design elements that make it satisfying. The mechanics, tension between shot fired and shot landed, the uncertainty, the sound, particle and impact of the hit - all these things make the skill satisfying objectively.

Now, compare this to something like a skill that grants AR/MR. That skill could be really strong, but it's unlikely to be satisfying because it lacks the levers to make it "feel good." We try to avoid these types of effects and only include them if they're needed for the character to be good.

Extrapolating this into supports, their design is fundamentally more difficult to make satisfying. Since the power is more nuanced, most playtests will get you a lot of feedback about the spell "feeling bad," and the natural answer to a skill without many levers is to simply make it strong until you notice it. The more deferred the effect, the more you need to pump power in to make something feel good. This is not only true in League, but many games, especially where supports are primary (WoW healers, TF2 medic) contributors.

So when we initially launched League, we had a lot of this - tons of power pumped into support characters because they felt poor without it (I would say Janna was an exception - she was just OP!). As a result, we had to rip a lot of this back down to make it right for the game, but that feels bad as it creates a pattern of nerfs (Vlad and Irelia players feel similarly marginalized even though both characters are good after repeated nerfs). Most supports are less powerful, but more relevant because their value goes up as player skill does. Kind of like the opposite of how assassins do better at lower elos.

So, have supports deflated in power? Yes. Has the game better understood how powerful supports are and how integral they are to a successful team? Absolutely.


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Postal Miku

Senior Member

10-22-2012

Hey Morello, what about the flipside of this?
Supports who can play AD and AP (im going to call out on Sona here because...yah know...it's Sona)

Do you actually have plans of buffing her and other supports ability to play AP mid and AD, with every nerf support Sona gets, her other roles become much weaker for it (like this HP nerf), there are a ton of ways to buff Sonas AP and AD role without even giving any power to her support role
Like Ratio increase, Passive getting a AP/AD Ratio, her attack speed per level being increased

I really hope you consider them, because both roles have been left to die and both were incredibly fun


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Solaris17

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10-22-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcus2658 View Post

(I cry when I ADC and my support picks Sona when the enemy laners are a Sivir and Alistar and their jungler is a Maokai or Amumu or Rengar or anyone else who likes to teabag bot lane all day). Her main CC is on her ult, while the others have it on moderate cooldown skills. Her notable buffs are all toggled off and on - and though you may not always notice, likely at inopportune times - while others' are either always on or more controllably and reliably on when they're most needed.
I agree I play sona against these people when not in draft. Its usually fine. (I use a cait sona hybrid rune page) but when im with randoms and I do normal I get scared ****less of MF Cait and sivir. AP casters dont really bother me but maybe its my build but those AD ranges are a nightmare. Thats when I hate supporting AD carries (randoms). Since I play cait i know that by instinct AD carries try to skirt around each other. When im out of position i immedietly go run behind someone. unfortunetely when being sona this person isnt you. the carry runs behind and all of a sudden DAT range and DAT AD I cant blame them id do the same but damn those carries scare me they hurt me and stuff.


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Zerglinator

Senior Member

10-22-2012

So...do you think Wickwar would feel good as a support?


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Koechophe

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Senior Member

10-22-2012

Hey morello, if you're still around, could we talk about ap ezreal a bit? Are there any plans to buff him after these nerfs? I've NEVER seen someone say he's op, and he keeps getting nerfed right along with AD ezreal. Now that the W doesn't debuff, could we see some early game damage added back on? AP ezreal has a terrible early game as it is.

Sorry for all the questions. I find ap ezreal to be very fun, and am frustrated that it's going to be nerfed with no sort of buff to the ap side.


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Morello

Lead Designer

10-22-2012
4 of 10 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hostile Miku View Post
Hey Morello, what about the flipside of this?
Supports who can play AD and AP (im going to call out on Sona here because...yah know...it's Sona)

Do you actually have plans of buffing her and other supports ability to play AP mid and AD, with every nerf support Sona gets, her other roles become much weaker for it (like this HP nerf), there are a ton of ways to buff Sonas AP and AD role without even giving any power to her support role
Like Ratio increase, Passive getting a AP/AD Ratio, her attack speed per level being increased

I really hope you consider them, because both roles have been left to die and both were incredibly fun
I think it depends. The problem with supports or tanks being damage-y is that if they're stock full of non-scaling utility, and then you let them scale with damage, it can cause problems. If Janna is good with zero damage, how crazy is she with 1.0 AP ratios?

I want to do a bit more to support off-builds, but that doesn't mean "make them viable." Very few champions have the right skillset to be healthy and have multiple viable roles (looking at you, Nidalee), but this has limits, and making every item path viable on every character is way off. AD Sona is not much different than AD LeBlanc - play it if you want, but it's not likely you're gonna go take 1st in OGN with it. :P


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Postal Miku

Senior Member

10-22-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
I think it depends. The problem with supports or tanks being damage-y is that if they're stock full of non-scaling utility, and then you let them scale with damage, it can cause problems. If Janna is good with zero damage, how crazy is she with 1.0 AP ratios?

I want to do a bit more to support off-builds, but that doesn't mean "make them viable." Very few champions have the right skillset to be healthy and have multiple viable roles (looking at you, Nidalee), but this has limits, and making every item path viable on every character is way off. AD Sona is not much different than AD LeBlanc - play it if you want, but it's not likely you're gonna go take 1st in OGN with it. :P
Problem is in the past, her AD role has been much more viable then currently right now
I want that back
As for AP Sona, you realise she has a 17.5 AP total, what is terribad

As i said, buffing a tiny bit of power into her other roles but make it so they don't effect her support power, AD and (a long time ago) AP Sona was somewhat viable, but now she is completely unviable in both roles, i would like for them to give her a little power in her different and fun playstyles what give people a new take on playing Sona


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Talesdro

Senior Member

10-22-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hostile Miku View Post
Problem is in the past, her AD role has been much more viable then currently right now
I want that back
As for AP Sona, you realise she has a 17.5 AP total, what is terribad

Wait..are you saying Sona is bad ?


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Morello

Lead Designer

10-22-2012
5 of 10 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hostile Miku View Post
Problem is in the past, her AD role has been much more viable then currently right now
I want that back
As for AP Sona, you realise she has a 17.5 AP total, what is terribad
AD Sona was never actually viable, though there was a point when people were worse at the game. :P

I'd like to make support scale on non-damage (ie secondary effects) if possible. Then they could build selfish items and be better at their job.


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Templar2k7

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Senior Member

10-22-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
I think it depends. The problem with supports or tanks being damage-y is that if they're stock full of non-scaling utility, and then you let them scale with damage, it can cause problems. If Janna is good with zero damage, how crazy is she with 1.0 AP ratios?

I want to do a bit more to support off-builds, but that doesn't mean "make them viable." Very few champions have the right skillset to be healthy and have multiple viable roles (looking at you, Nidalee), but this has limits, and making every item path viable on every character is way off. AD Sona is not much different than AD LeBlanc - play it if you want, but it's not likely you're gonna go take 1st in OGN with it. :P
So your saying you'd rather have characters pigeon holed into a single role rather then having variety in the game?