Support Scaling and duo lanes discussion

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Kamai

Senior Member

11-21-2013

Morello, something I'm worried about is being punished for buying utility items that don't have AP attached to them. Things like Mikael's, Zeke's, and Locket are beautiful support items, and what I would have done first with more gold, but none of them have AP, and you've cut some of the bases on utility to have scaling. Do you really intend for anyone to get these sort of items without a desperate need for them?


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Zaresin

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Senior Member

11-21-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
My point to this is that it's a tuning problem. We see characters who have utility and low damage (tanks) picked over characters who have some utility and more damage (Fighters) in the jungle when both are available. There's likely balance things to fix here (the Orianna and Anivia callouts are an example) where this runs risk, or that the new support scaling get significantly more utility.
Ok to be honest this is how I read this post.

If utility mages become a problem, we'll nerf them and make them only somewhat useful on bottom, but useless in mid (you can't have your cake and eat it too).

All this does is make those mages...the new supports.....and we are back at square one.


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Morello

Lead Designer

11-21-2013
5 of 29 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathnor View Post
you keep saying its a tuning problem on the mage side.

that i understand. so why is their 0 mage utility addressed in such a patch would be my question?
Because in our tests, they performed too poorly due to their utility being a little too low and their gold being a bit too low for real damage. That has to be proven true based on exact amounts, items that you need to get to access it, level disparity (This is important! Getting to 6 and 11 significantly later is a big cost for a mage) and other factors. It's a very multi-threaded issue.


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I destroy noobs

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Senior Member

11-21-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
It's because that role is interesting to very competitive players because it shows skill, but that's a narrow focus. This isn't to fix balance - it's to fix the problem that supports have to be everyone's ***** to be successful.

How can Sona have a 56% win rate and feel bad? Or Janna a 55% and nerfs are met with religious fervor saved for weak characters? How can we see pro games where the best support player has a pair of boots and expect that to be satisfying?

That's the problem we're looking to solve here.
But playing support brings a different kind of satisfaction than playing carry champions does, and it's the kind of satisfaction that those who main support enjoy even if that's only a small percentage of the playerbase. Support is not about having a lot of items or producing big numbers. It's about using your abilities at key times in a way that makes your team gain the edge. It's about providing vision and protecting your teammates. Trust me, I'm not that good at supporting myself but I can tell when I see a really good support, and it's always a fantastic sight because I know he will probably carry me. He's certainly not my ***** to use as I please.


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Mynt

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Senior Member

11-21-2013

The very concept of a support class was to bring a unit which offered skills that were decent to use, without requiring gold to scale. Their identity was wards, and Oracle's. The original inception had NOTHING to do with heals, or buffs, or all that other stuff that gets listed as "support" in RPGs and MMOs. Same word, different meaning. False cognates. Supports should have been called scouts.

Support, as we know it, will never exist again.

I am making the distinction between:
- Ward + Oracle's Bots
- Those who target allies with their spells

Now that the only second version is validated by the ham-fisted removal of the scout style of play, it will remain to be seen what the most effective duo lane combo will be. It will hinge on the fact that one lane gets twice as much vision coverage as the others' do. Historically, the lanes which have an overabundance of vision tend to evolve towards tanky melee combos. When everything else is predictable, hitting hard and fast is the only consideration.


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Sophitia

Senior Member

11-21-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
It's because that role is interesting to very competitive players because it shows skill, but that's a narrow focus. This isn't to fix balance - it's to fix the problem that supports have to be everyone's ***** to be successful.

How can Sona have a 56% win rate and feel bad? Or Janna a 55% and nerfs are met with religious fervor saved for weak characters? How can we see pro games where the best support player has a pair of boots and expect that to be satisfying?

That's the problem we're looking to solve here.
Ironically, Janna wasn't picked once at worlds! Win rate isn't everything, Rammus has had one of the highest win rates in the game for a long ass time now. So who knows what she does at a professional level. At my elo, Janna actually builds AP from support due to the scaling on shield and the "W" nuke. It's quite strong with Morellonomicon because the item is so inexpensive.

I see your intent. You want supports to be utility mages, not just mages. The problem is that an extra 10%-20% slow late late game doesn't make up for the fact that Death is the best form of CC (which is one of the reasons Annie and Zyra are monsters right now, damage is favored over more utility like Janna). If utility scaling was more useful, Janna would have been picked at worlds. She wasn't. This means your design concept is flawed, and it will take a rebalancing of the MAGE class if you want these changes to ever work. Not to mention the base damages took a huge hit, so you force supports to build ap (invalidating many build paths), which they can't even make up for until they hit a decent amount of AP. I'm just really amazed you're convinced you didn't hammer the support class with nerfs. It's like please... Stop trying to help us.

You've also totally isolated supports like Janna from their solo lane, which I have a huge issue with.


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Morello

Lead Designer

11-21-2013
6 of 29 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0xiDIzE View Post
For once, I tend to agree wholeheartedly with the direction that Riot is taking with changes. Specifically on the subject of supports and support scaling.

I think the vast majority of criticism and negativity surrounding this comes from the fact that people were expecting direct buffs to supports as a class/role, without considering the incredible impact that would have on the game and balance.

People are also looking at changes to individual champions and immediately crying "nerfs!" They aren't looking at the changes as a whole. Not only are supports gaining an actual gold stream, they won't be forced to spend it all on wards. Not only are new items being added that give supports extra duties, the game flow is being changed in such a manner that mid and late game will matter enough for these items to also matter.
Exactly. I think this expectation from supports being unsatisfying for so long has a lot to do with this, and that the fear of the AP mage coming in and invalidating this class of character. The latter is not an OK result - there's nothing I can shout from the rooftop more.


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Deathnor

Senior Member

11-21-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
It's because that role is interesting to very competitive players because it shows skill, but that's a narrow focus. This isn't to fix balance - it's to fix the problem that supports have to be everyone's ***** to be successful.

How can Sona have a 56% win rate and feel bad? Or Janna a 55% and nerfs are met with religious fervor saved for weak characters? How can we see pro games where the best support player has a pair of boots and expect that to be satisfying?

That's the problem we're looking to solve here.
hate to quote you twice but opening up the bot lane as you have should add more varity in who can go bot and should help curb it some. a bigger pool when the support pool is so small should lead away from numbers like that.

and so far i like the changes i see. i trust you guys at riot to make correct balance for supports even if its not out the door. the only thing i found a bit odd was only soraka getting any base stat changes. but im sure you all have your reasons.


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Just Mid

Member

11-21-2013

Do you think Annie support is OP?


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Epjest

Senior Member

11-21-2013

I'm interested in why you didn't just create a different stat allocation for Utility scaling.

Right now we have AD and AP for Damage scaling, but if you made a purely utility oriented scaling attribute that buying would ONLY increase the utility of abilities it would let you have strong support scaling that let supports do what they were designed to do rather than just having a tank/AP bot lane which is what the game honestly looks like it will turn into.

(aka, AD - for auto attacks, AD skills; AP - for AP damage abilities; and UT - for Utility spells)

You already do dual AD/AP scaling on a numerous amount of abilities, why not give supports real itemization rather than having to dip into mage/tank items? (The Gold generation items are just the *start* since now we can expect to build more than Boots + Sightstone)

The problem is after Boots + Sightstone + Gold Generation item the BEST OPTION is either pure tank (Leona, Blitz, Thresh) or RAW AP (Janna, Lulu, Annie).