Is there anything support Zyra can do better than mid Zyra? [Position Imbalance]

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Kinaro

Senior Member

02-10-2014

Before I start, I want to make three things clear. First, I know the title is a bit flashy, but it's the clearest simplification of what I want to say. Second - and this is really important - this thread is not about Zyra! It's about the difference in power between positions and also roles. And third, I want to make the difference between a position and a role very clear, so in this thread I will use the following notation:

Champion roles: Figher, Mage, Tank, Marksman, Support, ...
Positions: Top, Mid, Jungle, CS Duo, 0 CS Duo


Now to the problem

Even after the changes to the support role and the 0 CS duo position (which were great!) the positions are still not equally powerful. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem if some Champions were specifically designed to work only in that position, because then Riot could tweak their power without them going into other lanes (unable to farm / abilities require a partner) and being too strong with the additional gold. And actually, that is exactly what most of the classic support Champions are.
So, where is the problem? If Champions are viable in the 0 CS duo position and in a position with higher power like mid, the difference in power between the positions becomes clear and we are at the point of what I said in the title.
Why is there a 0 CS position at all? I think it's mainly a legacy from the original DOTA map. But there is more to it than that. Morello pointed out, that he intends to use the difference in power (gold/exp) to create a niche for a type of Champion, at least that's what I got from that. That really makes sense but I think it ultimately raises the problem I mentioned before.


The idea

Instead, I think it is better to use other levers of the 0 CS duo position to create niches. There needs to be something that the 0 CS duo position, is better at than the other positions. Riot already did this in a way when they made the new gold items. Instead of being not allowed to get gold from last hits you are now privileged to buy items, that only work effectively if you don't have to last hit. But I think the gold items still feel like a sop (Is that the right word? Please forgive me. It is a second language.). I would prefer if the gold items would make utility stronger or gave a reward for it, so that you could say something like "Mid Zyra does more damage, but will never be as effective as support Zyra when it comes to CC/utility/something." The idea I have in mind looks like this:

Ancient Coin
Something special for abilities used on an allied Champion, like heals, shield or other buffs.
Example: increase power of said abilities.

Spellthief's Edge
Something special when you use CC on enemies.
Example: reduce cooldowns by x seconds or %hp damage when triggered.

Relic Shield
Something special for taking damage from enemy Champions.
Example: Increase HP regeneration for x seconds.

Another way to implement this is to introduce a new stat like "utility power" that increases supporting effects, which might be easier to balance. All of those could also generate gold/exp when triggered, but I think that is not as interesting as the other type of effects.

This thread is mainly addressed towards Riot's game/systems designers like Morello, Meddler and especially Xelnath since he led the changes to the 0 CS duo position. But I'm as happy about a constructive discussion with any member of the community!


TL;DR: The 0 CS duo position needs to have something that it is better at than other positions.

The idea is this:
1. add utility power ratios to all abilities, that provide utility regardless of champion role.
2. create items that give you utility power but make them viable only for the 0 CS duo position.

That way:

utility of a champion in the 0 CS duo position > utility of the same champion in another position

but

damage of a champion in the 0 CS duo position < damage of the same champion in another position




Other topics I made:
General Quality of Life Ideas
Isn't every Asymmetric Map Imbalanced?


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Kinaro

Senior Member

02-10-2014

Bump


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Icovarius

Senior Member

02-10-2014

They're better at warding and supporting their team and, whether any ADC wants to admit it, generally is the reason the ADC does really well.


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Kinaro

Senior Member

02-11-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icovarius View Post
They're better at warding and supporting their team and, whether any ADC wants to admit it, generally is the reason the ADC does really well.
Well yes, since Sightstone isn't really viable when playing other positions, the 0 CS duo position is a bit better at warding.
But how is - for example - support Zyra better at supporting than mid Zyra?


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PhailRaptor

Adjudicator

02-11-2014

I think the big flaw with the Utility Scaling Overhaul is that it scales with AP instead of a brand new stat. This invariably leads to champions with moderate AP scaling and "acceptable" innate utility like Annie completely overshadowing champions with low AP scaling and huge innate utility like Soraka or Nami or Janna. Actually, with damage and utility both scaling off of AP, it creates a short list of problems that... really don't have any solution without some truly massive changes to almost every item regularly bought by champions filling either champion role.

Because damage output and utility both scale off of AP:

-> "Support capable" champions with higher damage ratios outshine those with lower damage ratios

-> Items meant for AP Nukers find their way into Support builds

-> "Support capable" Nukers are freely allowed to join the Support roster, while "Nuker capable" Supports are not allowed to have the damage potential to fill the Nuker role

It all comes down to gold efficiency. Damage inherently has a higher gold efficiency than Utility, because while Utility can ensure someone dies, it alone will never kill someone. Honestly, the solution is to create a new stat, replace the AP -> Utility ratios with (new stat) -> Utility ratios, create an entire new suite of items to support the stat, rework some existing items to accommodate the new stat/items, and then add more (new stat) -> Utility ratios to a significant number of other champions. This allows you to solve the gold efficiency dilemma much more easily, prevent dedicated AP Nukers from completely overshadowing traditional Supports without flat out disallowing them from being played, and give more creative space for new champion creation.

That last one is kind of important, because it may potentially allow melee ADCs to go bot lane again. Most people don't remember original Karma. Send someone like J4, Xin, even GP bot with her, and you could easily dominate the lane. Since her rework, there is no Support that works hand-in-glove with melee champions the way she did.


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Aeolian Melodies

Senior Member

02-11-2014

We wouldn't have to wonder what support Zyra does better than mid lane Zyra if Riot didn't screw up with their actual supports so much that mages and tanks became more popular than actual supports.

If Sona hadn't been messed up so often you wouldn't see people wondering "why would I pick Sona when I can have the AoE stun pre-6, and post-6 I can have it with superior damage, less telegraphed, better range, and better CD? I mean stunning is cool, but why would I only stun when I can stun and do damage?" because the answer would be "because Sona's heal, auras and debuffs are as valuable as damage, and you can get your damage from other positions".

This is the problem right now. Shields, heals, debuffs and buffs are not as valuable as having a secondary APC on your team, or having a secondary tank. If supports had considerably better CC than mages, but very subpar damage compared to them, then Riot wouldn't have to worry about them stomping a solo lane, and supports would be more valuable picks.

Riot really needs to get back to the drawing board on this one.

1) Utility ratios need to be higher. Riot clearly intended for supports to build AP after the changes, otherwise why give them ratios and nerf their bases, but mostly all I'm seeing is Talisman - SS - boots - Locket/Crucible. The only moments where I see the support building AP are a) me playing Janna and b) the "support" is actually a mage and he or she is getting ahead and building pew pew. You know, most mages have a ranged auto attack. Technically, why aren't they all building AD? Reason: their skills have significant AP ratios. See where I'm going? Supports wouldn't be building tank every single game if AP ratios were more meaningful. Lulu needs to turn people into race cars. Sona's auras needs to get stronger. Janna's slow needs to be FEARSOME. etc. Supports can't do much on their own, but when they are with a teammate, that teammate SHOULD feel an increase of power. I doubt they are atm.

2) Poke supports - mostly Lulu and Sona - need to be allowed to poke. Don't want to buff their "brain dead" poke? Buff Lulu's Q, which she needs to land (as opposed to her E), and buff Sona's passive as opposed to her Q. Afraid that this poke damage will make them viable into solo lanes (Lulu mostly)? Make Lulu's Q do reduced damage to minions. Could do the same to Janna's tornado, or we could turn her W into a meaningful poke but I don't think even then it'd get maxed over E. Increase her AA range to a more standard 525 so she can actually harass with self shield + AAs. I used to do this a lot and it was hella fun - then people figured out "hey Janna has a low AA range, better blow her up". Doing this would still have the drawback that if the enemy chooses to trade or fight back, Janna just shielded herself so she cannot shield her ADC, but in the case where the ADC is farming behind, Janna could zone the enemy a little on her own.


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Kinaro

Senior Member

02-11-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhailRaptor View Post
I think the big flaw with the Utility Scaling Overhaul is that it scales with AP instead of a brand new stat. This invariably leads to champions with moderate AP scaling and "acceptable" innate utility like Annie completely overshadowing champions with low AP scaling and huge innate utility like Soraka or Nami or Janna. Actually, with damage and utility both scaling off of AP, it creates a short list of problems that... really don't have any solution without some truly massive changes to almost every item regularly bought by champions filling either champion role.

Because damage output and utility both scale off of AP:

-> "Support capable" champions with higher damage ratios outshine those with lower damage ratios

-> Items meant for AP Nukers find their way into Support builds

-> "Support capable" Nukers are freely allowed to join the Support roster, while "Nuker capable" Supports are not allowed to have the damage potential to fill the Nuker role

It all comes down to gold efficiency. Damage inherently has a higher gold efficiency than Utility, because while Utility can ensure someone dies, it alone will never kill someone. Honestly, the solution is to create a new stat, replace the AP -> Utility ratios with (new stat) -> Utility ratios, create an entire new suite of items to support the stat, rework some existing items to accommodate the new stat/items, and then add more (new stat) -> Utility ratios to a significant number of other champions. This allows you to solve the gold efficiency dilemma much more easily, prevent dedicated AP Nukers from completely overshadowing traditional Supports without flat out disallowing them from being played, and give more creative space for new champion creation.

That last one is kind of important, because it may potentially allow melee ADCs to go bot lane again. Most people don't remember original Karma. Send someone like J4, Xin, even GP bot with her, and you could easily dominate the lane. Since her rework, there is no Support that works hand-in-glove with melee champions the way she did.
Thank you for the answer!

The idea of adding a utility stat is actually something I (but I doubt I was the first) proposed a long time ago. But I didn't outline it as well as you did.
A utility power stat would do something similar to the items I proposed, but it would be way easier to control for the balance team. And also more interesting. You could add it to a lot of Champions, that have high utility like the classic support Champions but also to semi support Champions like utility mages and tanks. The only thing, that could become problematic is when such items became viable for other positions, since then we would have the same problem were the 0 CS position doesn't excel at anything. But I think it isn't too hard to prevent for example mid Zyra from purchasing a utility power item and still making it viable for support Zyra.

I cannot make clear enough how much I like the idea!


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Nasreth

Member

02-11-2014

so you're telling me that a lane that shares experience with another player is weaker than a solo lane?

GASP


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spiderswine

Senior Member

02-11-2014

this idea sounds good on paper but is nearly impossible to implement.

following your example,mid lane zyra will always have more levels+more gold than support zyra,if mid zyra goes by the support zyra build,she will always end up stronger due to more gold.

the approach is sensible but this game has a bunch of constraints,i can't see a way to make a support as impactful as a mid laner without completely breaking the game.


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Kinaro

Senior Member

02-11-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasreth View Post
so you're telling me that a lane that shares experience with another player is weaker than a solo lane?

GASP
lol, yes, you could say that. But it is a little bit more in-depth about why and when this is a problem and ways to solve this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderswine View Post
this idea sounds good on paper but is nearly impossible to implement.

following your example,mid lane zyra will always have more levels+more gold than support zyra,if mid zyra goes by the support zyra build,she will always end up stronger due to more gold.

the approach is sensible but this game has a bunch of constraints,i can't see a way to make a support as impactful as a mid laner without completely breaking the game.
I don't think it's that hard to make an item only efficient in the 0 CS position. Spellthief's Edge is one example, but there are more ways to do that. Also I don't think a support is less impactful than a mid laner if the Champion is designed only for the 0 CS position. As I said in the OP, the problem is only existent if a Champion is viable in the 0 CS position AND another position.