So, about that Karma leak...

First Riot Post
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SoresuMakashi

Senior Member

03-15-2013

Time for some analysis from a Karma diehard. (not the type of "diehard" that apparently will be getting Traditional Karma because I read a "free skin!" annoucement and bought her yesterday")

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarizard View Post
Old Karma had issues. What were they?

Karma’s kit was in a weird place, but her ultimate was especially problematic. Her base abilities didn’t feel impactful and only felt effective when supercharged by Mantra. On top of that, when Karma had two charges of Mantra, we had to make both of them weaker to compensate for players double casting empowered spells.
Fair enough, it was an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarizard View Post
The changes we made to Karma’s kit focused on making each decision fun and meaningful while giving her abilities the focus they needed to perform her intended role. We kept the “empowering”-type gameplay of Mantra, but instead of waiting around for it to recharge, Karma’s basic attacks and abilities now lower Mantra’s cooldown. This rewards aggressive play so you can “buyback” her ultimate. Also, we gave Mantra a single charge to pump extra power into each cast. We also made sure Mantra empowers Karma’s abilities in drastically different ways, leading to more impactful decision-making and a better feeling of accomplishment when you pull off the right move at the right time.
The Mantra "buyback" is an interesting idea, although I think it's already been done multiple times in LoL and isn't particularly thematically appropriate for Karma, and certainly not as thematically appropriate as her old passive.

I understand why you made Mantra one charge from a balance perspective, but I still disagree with the idea that the old Mantra wasn't fulfilling. The constant decisionmaking behind her old ultimate was great from a enjoyment perspective, it's just that the feeling of accomplishment derived not from making a single good choice, but a series of calculated and dynamic moves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarizard View Post
Why was she hard to place in team comps?

Karma had the offensive tools to support her team in small skirmishes but not the powerful defensive abilities she needed to protect a team. Also, her all-purpose abilities are so broad they never felt like the right choice in any situation. All in all, Karma lacked direction.
I thought she was meant to be an all-rounded champion, decent at both offense and defense but not a master of either. I strongly disagree that her abilties "never felt like the right choice". In a balanced teamfight, all of her basic abilties can come into use, while Mantra could turn her kit into a triple offense or triple defense kit in other circumstances (chasing and retreating). While she might seem to lack direction when compared to other champions, when you consider her by herself and from an internal perspective, there's no reason why her balanced gameplay is a bad thing, and you realise that it has its own appeal (just of a different sort).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarizard View Post
Why isn’t Karma fun?

The effectiveness of Karma’s abilities relied too heavily on your teammates knowing all their nuances. No matter how hard you were carrying with Karma, your teammates had to be just as good with her for you to be super effective. When an ally’s confused about whether or not he should run from or pass through your Spirit Bond, we probably made a mistake.
True, most people didn't know how to work with Karma, and that was crucial to her success. However, I don't think that this was a problem with her kit at all. If she had been a top competitive pick, everyone would have known what exactly what her tether did. Therefore, I see this issue as a balance thing rather than a fundamental flaw.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarizard View Post
What did we like about Karma?

Despite all the Mantra hate we’ve got going on, we actually think the concept is pretty kickass. It’s unique and character-defining to old Karma, and augmenting her abilities with an immense surge of Ionian will is visually and thematically fun. We also liked how Karma could turn the tables on her opponents with abilities that provided defensive bonuses and had hidden offensive power. Finally, Spirit Bond’s “clothesline” gameplay is really cool, but it’d work better on a tank champion that has an easier time jumping into the fray.
Accurate description. But although tether might indeed have worked better on a tank, that doesn't mean that it should be. Abilties should be judged by their ability to create interesting gameplay, not by how suited they are. I mean, Bullet Time would work best on an AP (it locks up MF from autoattacking), Hallucinate on an ADC (!!!), etc. etc. etc. but that doesn't mean that that should be used as an argument against MF or Shaco's kit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarizard View Post
Karma’s new role

Originally envisioned as a support, Karma’s fringe successes actually came from players using her in the top or mid lanes as an AP burst mage with support abilities, much like Zilean or Morgana. We like this direction and want to encourage you to boost both her offensive and support abilities by building AP. We also want to make sure she can hold her own as a solo or with a lane partner.

Finally, we’ve updated her skills so allies are reliant on Karma, but Karma’s not reliant on them. She’s got enough power at her fingertips to feel strong as a mage or as a support without teammates having to work in perfect concert for you to be effective.
Sounds good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarizard View Post
So without further ado… here’s Karma’s new kit:


[aws3]news/March_2013/03_15_2013_Karma_Relaunch/Karma_Passive.jpg[/aws3]

Passive: Gathering Fire – Hitting enemy champions with Karma’s spells and basic attacks lower Mantra’s cooldown.


[aws3]news/March_2013/03_15_2013_Karma_Relaunch/Karma_R.jpg[/aws3]

R: Mantra – Empowers Karma’s abilities, adding an extra effect to the next ability cast.


[aws3]news/March_2013/03_15_2013_Karma_Relaunch/Karma_Q.jpg[/aws3][aws3]news/March_2013/03_15_2013_Karma_Relaunch/Karma_Q_Empowered.jpg[/aws3]

Q: Inner Flame – Skillshot that deals magic damage and slows enemies in an area.
  • Empowered by Mantra: Soulflare – Increases damage and leaves behind a zone that slows and, after a brief delay, explodes for AoE damage.


[aws3]news/March_2013/03_15_2013_Karma_Relaunch/Karma_W.jpg[/aws3][aws3]news/March_2013/03_15_2013_Karma_Relaunch/Karma_W_Empowered.jpg[/aws3]

W: Focused Resolve – Enemy-targeted tether that deals damage over time. If the tether is unbroken after a short duration, the tethered target is rooted in place.
  • Empowered by Mantra: Renewal – Deals bonus damage and heals Karma for the duration of the tether.


[aws3]news/March_2013/03_15_2013_Karma_Relaunch/Karma_E.jpg[/aws3][aws3]news/March_2013/03_15_2013_Karma_Relaunch/Karma_E_Empowered.jpg[/aws3]

E: Inspire – Shields an ally and grants them a short speed boost.
  • Empowered by Mantra: Defiance – Enemies near the shielded ally are damaged while nearby allies are shielded and granted a short speed boost.
I'm yet to see the numbers or the kit working in-game, so I won't be judging based on balance. Frankly, there are others more qualified than I am for that job. Overall, I hold a little instinctive hostility towards the new kit, but I think that might just be because it's so different from what I know and love. Objectively, the new kit is different but still interesting, although I can't make a judgement on whether it's an improvement until I try her out in-game. But I MUST mention one thing: her passive. I don't understand... in what way is this thematically more appropriate than her old passive? Bonus AP the lower health you were screamed the concept of willpower and hope. Not to mention that in a kit with a slow, a % missing health heal, and a shield, it made for clutchest possible gameplay (best baits NA!). This new passive is an example of an existing mechanic that seems to have little link to her themes. While reduced cooldown on hit is a valid and cool mechanic, as other champions have shown, I feel that it just doesn't fit into her themes anywhere near as well as her old passive did. What this does to her feel as a whole is move her away from the well-loved, "living on the edge" gameplay that required consistently good decisionmaking throughout a fight, and normalize her towards the standard AP paradigm: achieveing bursts of power, whether by trying to make those bursts as strong as possible (Lux), or by trying to get them as often as possible (New Karma). I think this ultimately sums up most of my criticisms of the new Karma, in fact. She's been "brought in line" with standard AP champions, instead of being allowed to keep and fulfil the niche that she used to occupy.

As a final note, is there any chance we'll get to see what Guinsoo's version looked like? Just idle curiosity.

Edit: Elaborating my thoughts on the new passive beyond just thematics, I'd argue that it takes more interesting decision-making to use the old passive well. The new passive doesn't really affect her gameplay patterns that much. Even if she didn't have the passive, she'd aim to hit as many people with her spells as possible anyway. The auto-attacks do add a new dimension, but AA passives on APCs are hardly innovative. However, with Karma's old passive, she might to try keep herself on low health through the fight, or hold a spell until she's on the verge of death for maximum effect. To take an analogy that I'm definitely not biased about, good Olafs will balance the danger of being on low health against the increased attack speed from his passive when they are jungling in the same way that Karma might try to keep her health low in a teamfight (a risk vs reward mechanic). Is Olaf's passive an example of bad gameplay? Is it not an example of an impactful gameplay decision that separates decent players from good ones?


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FatalArchon

Member

03-15-2013

Do you think she will be out on live by Easter? that would be grand for spring break


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MCSama

Junior Member

03-15-2013

Bought Karma for the free skin and interesting gameplay. Fell in love with her. Absolutely love the changes. The heal thing is somewhat of a shame, but why does she really need it? Her shield/nuke was already better. As far as supports are concerned, not many of them actually have a heal. Big deal. As far as mid, don't die. Not like many mid champs actually have a heal.

A company is giving you a game to play for free. You don't even have to pay for the champs. All things considered, you can go from lvl 1 to Super Mega Ultra Chicken Ranked without ever giving them a dime.

All you haters, get over yourselves. Play the game. Enjoy the game. Appreciate the freedom.


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exe3

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Senior Member

03-15-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Homocastle View Post
120 seconds? No. I highly doubt this. Were does it say the cd
Actual numbers haven't been given but in another thread it was stated it has a normal ult cooldown which would mean 100+ seconds. Frankly if it was a low cooldown like currently they wouldn't have need for the new passive so I would say it's safe to say it has a high duration cooldown.


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Silver Grimalkin

Senior Member

03-15-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoresuMakashi View Post
I'm yet to see this stuff in-game, so I won't be judging too harshly. But I MUST mention one thing: her passive. I don't understand... in what way is this thematically more appropriate than her old passive. Bonus AP the lower health you were screamed the concept of willpower and hope. This new passive is an example of an existing mechanic that seems to have little link to her themes. It lacks creativity and forethought IMO.
This is quite curious, as i think the passive still fits if you read into the actions a bit?

I'm thinking of it like this; as karma continues to fight on against champions she brings the hope that if the team can rally and stick it out just a bit longer, karma can deliver in the form of her ult, which has received a massive boost in team-fighting power, and turn the tide with a monumental spell. It seems to inspire the idea of the people rallying with karma when she chooses to stand her ground and fight, and knowing when to relent when she falls back. She is a pillar, a leader, she brings hope through her will to fight on while at the same time knowing what is best for her people and will withdraw when it suits them.


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Edvard Rubeartis

Member

03-15-2013

FURY AND MORE FURY. I didn't have a single problem with the old karma, except that the tether claimed to deal damage to enemies, but never did. And screw over the aoe skillshot heal! That was like the only thing I used BECAUSE it could keep adcs alive in a teamfight, and had the benefit of dealing damage when properly aimed. THAT is unique to Karma (old Karma).

I appreciate the visual upgrade. It was needed for a long time. But she only had a few bugs that needed fixing, not a complete overhaul and reworking.

I respectfully disagree that this reworking was necessary. Experienced players never had any problem playing with her or working with her. THAT made her unique and consequently only experienced players played her (and won).

And to the point of her being able to solo or duo in a lane and hold her own. This game is about TEAMWORK. Karma was about TEAMWORK. What your doing is reducing from the teamwork aspect that we all play with game for (at least, all of us that want to win).

Pls Riot, reconsider.


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Gwelu

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Senior Member

03-15-2013

Gonna miss that AP she gained from her passive while being low on health...


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Timeless Yyr

Senior Member

03-15-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by exe3 View Post
By wasting a shield or mantra, it's now a secondary effect tied to a different skill.
You have to wait 120 (or whatever) second to do so. And it'll still be at least 60 seconds with the new passive.
No comment.
Still a normal ult cooldown and you can't store two of them.
Except with Xin the skills were moved elsewhere on his kit, not fundamentally changed as what has happened with Karma.

I get what you're trying to say and usually i'd agree in some form but your arguments are flawed because while she may still have speed ups or slows they're just simply not performed in the same manner as before which fundamentally changes their playstyle.
Let's agree to disagree then. Counter-counter every point seems a bit pointless before we actually know the numbers.
Maybe the right word I should have used is "game flow", not "gameplay". Her "flow" seems very similar to the old Karma, with the aoe damaging skill (Q), the shield explosion (ER) and the link.
Also, NO WAY she has a 120 seconds ultimate, and you can insult me if it turns out I'm wrong: by a design standpoint, her ultimate should be like 60-65 seconds max. We have to factor that's she's build to scale very good with CD reduction AND she has the new passive to reduce mantra cooldown even more, so it can't be too short but it can't be too long either cause it must be useful in the early game.


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dirtysanchez1

Senior Member

03-15-2013

Can you please rework her passive? To quote myself from Reddit:

Quote:
Why give her a passive that affects one ability? The passive should be moved to her ultimate and she should be given a real passive. She can no longer heal the carry, so why not every nth attack her next ability heals allies in an AoE around the zone of impact? Or give her the ability power passive back, even. It feels like she has three skills now and no passive which is going to make her very boring to play.

Hell, they wanted to make her kit more related to her lore, right? Karma is about integrity, reform, resolve ... say, for every nearby ally in combat, or if an ally nearby is in combat in case it's overpowered in team fights, Karma gains bonus AP/MS in effort to help her allies? This gives you a reason to support rather than mid but doesn't take her power away from her other roles. A passive like that feels useful, not like a lazy filler.
It feels so lazy. Where did the uniqueness of passives go? Are they all reduced to "do x when autoattacking n times"?

Honestly, a kit rework is always something to look forward to, but why is a single ability cooldown passive not on the ability itself? Taric has a passive to decrease his Q cooldown but that's on the Q itself, not a totally separate passive. Ryze's passive to reduce cooldowns affects all of his abilities. Graves' E's cooldown is reduced passively from his passive on the ability itself. One ability? Put the passive on the ability. More than one? Make it a passive to affect their entire kit.

I know we're not meant to compare champions to each other, but doesn't her passive feel slightly useless considering how it's focused on her ultimate? If her passive is so specialised, why not embed it in the ability itself rather than take away from an innate ability? I always enjoyed passives, for example, that were tied to lore. I mean, after reading Ahri's lore, her entire kit made sense. She steals the souls of people through her passive (healing her), deceiving them with her charm (Q/E) and she feels sense of euphoria when the process occures (R). How can one explain Karma's passive? It's simply there because, I'm guessing, you couldn't think of any other appropriate passives, so you just stuck it there for her ultimate and made it a use and forget type of thing.

Imagine if she grew stronger as a diplomat when around allies, giving her motivation to aid her fellow summoners. Karma's confidence should grow when she's around people and helping them, which is where the idea of a passive that boosts her stats when around allies in combat comes from.

I just think that the way her passive is right now compared to what it was before the rework is more taking away from her playstyle rather than enhancing it. That's the only issue I have with her kit and I'll be sure to bring it up during the Reddit AMA if it doesn't get addressed here.


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Fiery Flare

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Senior Member

03-15-2013

Great, Karma's awesome old passive that was what made her with her baiting it gone