Let's talk about Soraka

First Riot Post
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Shattered Clock

Senior Member

09-09-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
It's a big stumper - especially considering that Soraka represents a lot to people who play her, but any overhaul would fundamentally violate that.

I should make a thread on this.
Here is that thread Morello. Let the bananas fly.

I absolutely adore Soraka, but she's really only good with a super passive team/late game comp or if you can somehow get a top lane to last long enough to get the CDR tank-raka train going (that train has no brakes). Full AP Soraka mid can be fun, but mobility creep lets all the assassins have their way with her. She's just so outclassed at everything she does. Sona and Taric have better HPS than her, all the other supports get better CC, and now she has even less base health than Sona. The only recent buff she got was the removal of bulwark, so now her passive is slightly more useful in teamfights..if she was capable of lasting longer than 2 seconds in them.


So what does Soraka need? How can we take her in a new and positive direction without reverting to the 'I AM GOING TO STAY IN LANE FOR 30 MINUTES AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT," release state Soraka? Will lifesteal have to see some nerfs for her sustain to be buffed? Will Morello ever respond to this thread?

Only time will tell.

Edit: OH Snap! A Wild Morello Appears!

Edit: A Wild Xelnath has also appeared!

Update: 69 pages and growing. I never imagined the outpouring of support for Soraka would be this huge. I keep reading all these fantastic ideas and seeing the passion the rest of you have for a champion only I thought I loved.


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Dryad Soraka

Senior Member

09-09-2013

I want the .5 cast time from Wish removed.

It sucks trying to be all cool then your ally dying. I always forget the cast time.

LOL WHY IS THIS DOWNVOTED


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ShyvanasaurusRex

Senior Member

09-09-2013

the way i build soraka is an unusually aggressive and slightly tanky soraka with lots of incoming gold. always works out great for me. soraka is by far the best support I've played


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Shattered Clock

Senior Member

09-09-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dryad Soraka View Post
I love Soraka but Morello is a sissy and doesn't like to talk about her. Her Q needs some sort of % slow and then a stun after a certain number of stacks. If it does that little damage and that small range I want it to at least do something for the team.
being able to shred over 100 MR off an entire team is pretty awesome. Really works for AP heavy teams, problem is you have to build really tanky with lots of CDR to even do that, which requires farm, and therefore a solo lane, which Soraka is generally not good in unless you are super good with her.

I definitely think her kit needs more CC, but her Q is fairly offensive and having an auto-locked AoE slow+potential stun might be a little over the top.

I think her heal needs to apply a debuff to whatever is attacking her healed target. Could make for some sweet baits. AP Ratios and base numbers need buffing though, she is basically a fallen God after all.


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Morello

Lead Designer

09-09-2013
1 of 18 Riot Posts

Soraka is a tough subject. I might have to do this half-way on this post, but let's break down Soraka a little to understand a bit of where she is and where her problems lie;

Soraka's core design is a classic dedicated healer. The issue here is most fully explained in another post about why Dedicated Healers are a design trap in competitive games. Starting here is a good place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
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.
So, then, with that in mind what should be done? Truth be told, I'm unsure. What do you guys think, understanding the different considerations on healers we have for League?


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Rillain

Senior Member

09-09-2013

Soraka is fine in the right teamcomp. Vs someone like Karthus, or anyone that suffers from silence. Silence is a really rare debuff nowadays and it's really awesome vs the right teamcomp. That armor resist from heal too... she's good if you have a better late game.

Well ****... idk what you're trying to say. If you just wanna talk about Soraka, she's fine but situational.


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DRIVEATAR RSCNyx

Senior Member

09-09-2013

Her Q could be changed to something more effective. I have no idea how to change it, but Starfall sucks, in every sense of the word.

It just feels like a damage ability just shoe-horned in, and serves no real purpose in her kit. What can it be replaced with? No idea, but as it is, it's just a skill no one gets until they're forced to.


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CynicalGiant

Senior Member

09-09-2013

What if you made all of Soraka's abilities AoE that harmed enemies but healed any allies within it? Possibly have this scale with the amount of enemies nearby or the amount of enemies hit.

Also, why didn't her ability icons get an update when she got a visual one? They still use her old look and aren't as snazzy as Yi's, Annie's or Garen's new icons.


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PHoToS999

Senior Member

09-09-2013

Wow morello, you're really getting after it tonight. Welcome back!

Honestly, though, I have no input on Soraka. I'm still waiting on Warwick :3


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Tortferngatr

Senior Member

09-09-2013

Step 1: Remove the targeted instant silence.

That makes it even more of a waste of resources to focus someone with heals.

Her Q might be more interesting if striking foes with it powered up an MR aura for a short time (obviously her passive would be replaced.)