Let's talk about Soraka

First Riot Post
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StationaryObject

Senior Member

09-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xelnath View Post
I am imagining that as a rank 5 version of her current heal at its current tuning.
Would we have some sort of indication of when a character is 'not in combat'? I don't think there is an in game indication as of right now [but it is late and I'm not thinking clearly].

That way we would have more ability to actually use the heal portion if necessary instead of accidentally just giving them an MR/ARM boost.


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Yaddar

Senior Member

09-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xelnath View Post
One option for soraka could be:
  • Remove her basic heal, but keep Wish
  • Replace it with: Fortitude - Grants the target 200 armor/mr for 3 sec. If the target is out of combat, increase their current health up to, but no higher than, 25% of their maximum health.

That would allow her to "save" champions under attack in combat and give her minor "you can do something extra before going back to base" style of sustain.

... but would Soraka players want something like that in exchange for say Starcall being stronger?

maybe making R more impactful while weaken the W to a not-very-strong-Heal-over-time kind of heal in exchange (with a defensive buff OR even a small cleanse, for combat)

increase range of starcall and Q is good to go.


that way you keep her identity as a healer (but the enemy has to get on you to neutrlizie the Heal over time -akin to garen) and, soraka, while having no cc of her own, can silence and small-cleanse their allies out of cc. (both skills have a mid-long cooldown, so the enemy has a window of opportunity and the soraka player has to decide whether use W to heal over time or save it for a enemy stun). making her and ther enemies laning more dynamic in the process


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CoffeeDave

Senior Member

09-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhailRaptor View Post
...
You'd have to define "stronger". Honestly, I don't think you CAN make Starcall stronger without harming the character that is Soraka.
...
Perhaps it can give a debuff to those hit by her Starcall. Maybe something that will drop the damage dealt as if she was trying to stop them from fighting? It would make her Starcall stronger while keeping with her character.


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ZerglingOne

Senior Member

09-10-2013

Soraka would feel great as a character if you added .25 seconds to the cool down of Starcall and removed its cast time. That huge stutter step that it causes is usually the difference between harassment and death.


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George0fDaJungle

Senior Member

09-10-2013

Morello:

Mostly based on what you've stated, there are 2 cases where a dedicated healer breaks down lane decision-making and is detrimental to the game:

1) The enemy cannot burst you down, and after exchanging harass your side heals to full, meaning the enemy laners now assess harass as ineffective and passively farm. This is the 'passive play problem'

2) The enemy can burst you down (Leona lane, double bruisers, etc), and whether Soraka or her lane partner is the one being bursted, her heal + silence is ineffective in offering any substantive counterplay to being taken from 100 to zero in 2-3 seconds. This is the 'no defense problem', where the dedicated healer is more or less irrelevant when facing burst damage.

Since many games fall into either category 1 or category 2, Soraka therefore necessarily creates gameplay problems. The only possible solution would be to offer Soraka counterplay to burst damage, as well as to offer the enemy counterplay to healing.

To give Soraka counterplay to burst damage, there are only a few options: give her CC, give her a damage debuff, give her more healing or a shield, and finally to give her a damage reduction ability. I somehow think giving Soraka CC goes against her design, so let's dismiss that. I also think giving her more healing would exacerbate the 'passive play problem'. This leaves us with giving Soraka a damage debuff (somewhat like Summoner Exhaust), or giving her an ability that grants an ally damage reduction X% for a few seconds. Either way, taking a flat % off of damage done in the next 2-3 sec would mitigate burst damage since the more damage done, the more damage prevented. This ability would be similar to the armor granted by her heal, except that it would prevent magic damage as well, and ideally not apply to tower aggro. It would also not be affected by armor penetration, which is a chief reason why Soraka's heal armor isn't so effective later in the game (but the absence of which is why it used to be so effective in the early game before it was nerfed). I sort of think there are too many shields in the game right now so let's dismiss giving her a shield as well.

As for counterplay for opponents facing the healer, the only answer that doesn't remove or weaken the heal would be to drastically increase the heal's mana cost. One drawback on Nami in early game is that you cannot spam heal. If you do so, you are oom almost immediately, and one effective way to play vs Nami is to force positive trades and oblige her to spend her mana from lvls 2-5. Against a Soraka I frequently try to 'make her use heal', then I look at her mana bar and she's always at full mana; this is a very disheartening scenario. Simply make her heal's mana cost obscene early game, and maybe Soraka players will consider making a Chalice or something for later to be able to afford repeated heals. To offer a further benefit for itemizing for mana, I would suggest that Soraka's W therefore be on a lower cooldown than it is now, but at double mana cost. For a short time in lane Soraka could spam heal and after that not at all. The goal in early laning would be to deplete her mana, which is an attainable goal, especially since Soraka doesn't offer much counter-harass other than a lvl 1 silence and a banana.

If I had to think about her entire kit, I'd suggest changing Starcall from an MR debuff to a damage debuff, either targeted or area-of-effect; your call. This would hopefully keep the flavor of it for Soraka fans. Alternatively, you could leave Q alone, double the mana cost on W (but lower the CD), and change E to silence enemies and give damage reduction X% to an ally for a few seconds. I guess you'd take the armor away from Soraka's W, making you think twice about whether to skill W or E. Against a burst lane probably E for the reduction, against a more passive lane you'd skill the heal. Either way one of Q or E should give a damage buff or debuff to mitigate burst damage and make Soraka viable against various lanes. I think the mana change to W would change lane dynamics considerably while retaining her Healer status.


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Elewd

Senior Member

09-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xelnath View Post
And this is why Lulu is a better expression of support mechanically (both in terms of game health and game mechanics).
so kind of like how aphrodite works on smite? all she does is amplify people and make them better.

Im all for any soraka changes that make her fun and feel more rewarding.


But just some food for thought, could the problem with soraka be that she has 2 heals?


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PhailRaptor

Adjudicator

09-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoffeeDave View Post
Perhaps it can give a debuff to those hit by her Starcall. Maybe something that will drop the damage dealt as if she was trying to stop them from fighting? It would make her Starcall stronger while keeping with her character.
For that to work it would have to be a fairly infinitesimal % reduction, due to Starcall's ability to stack 20 times (no matter how unlikely it is to actually reach 20 stacks). Also kind of stepping on Sona's niche -- of all the Supports, Sona is the only one who can do that.

Urgot can as well, through his passive, but if he's played as a Support, his potential is already wasted anyhow.


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Xelnath

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Systems Designer

09-10-2013
17 of 18 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by LiftsLikeGaston View Post
Could she possibly get some kind of CC removal instead of Starcall? It clearly couldn't be too strong though.
Utility like this would need to replace Infuse. However, once we've replaced both Soraka's core healing and infuse... is she really Soraka anymore? I dunno.


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Nularia

Senior Member

09-10-2013

If soraka's identity is changed from a supportive healer, to some sort of want to be mage like the other dozens of "Support Mages" in the bloody game, I quit.

Period, GG no RE.

Soraka is by far my favorite champion in league, even if she's not exactly the most viable champion. I will just flat out stop playing if her identity is changed :|

Maybe this seems weird, but I simply don't want to see her changed. She's NOT a mage, and I don't want her to be changed into a mage that just randomly has the ability to buff people. I get tired enough as with all the support mages in the game all the time T_T


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PhailRaptor

Adjudicator

09-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xelnath View Post
Utility like this would need to replace Infuse. However, once we've replaced both Soraka's core healing and infuse... is she really Soraka anymore? I dunno.
While I agree with you that this is not something Soraka should have, some Support should have it. Go throw it in the bin of "spell ideas" that correlates to Support.