Letís talk about Sona

First Riot Post
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Cynder Kurokazna

Senior Member

04-18-2014

I like Sona how she is. Any buffs would make her ridiculous, any nerfs would make her less playable. She's an amazing support, from entry to ranked. She has the ability to carry a game fairly easily, compared to other supports, which makes her stong in Solo Queue without being OP. The only thing I don't like about her is the way her passive interacts with her E. If you want to make a change to anything, I think that should be viable to open up more plays and utility. If you nerf her base Movespeed and maybe shift that to her E, that might go over well. But I like her where she is.


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Princess AzuIa

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Senior Member

04-18-2014

half the comments are saying buff her ap ratios and make her more like a utility mage than a utility support. please respond to one of those comments versus the ones that don't have anything to do with what they want to see different in sona.


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Kingdom Hearts

Senior Member

04-18-2014

The Idea of her playing with an instrument is awesome.

Have you guys looked at invoker?

You can make her just like playing an instrument, playing it is ok, but mastering said instrument is much harder.

A key system like Invoker would be cool, but a very dumbed down version. I want to play a average diffuculty champ, not something insanely hard.


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Fearless

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Game Designer

04-18-2014
7 of 25 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by GhastlyGhoulMan View Post
Hmm... this is a good question.

When I play Sona, I'd have to agree that landing that ult is sooo epic... and probably the most epic part of her kit. If you miss it though, or it's on cooldown, you just feel like you can't contribute much to the team (even if you are.
This is definitely a big problem. Sona's auras do have power, arguably a lot of power. The problem is that they are immensely hard to appreciate, and it makes Sona feel like she isn't contributing, even when she is.

Every change we've talked about has been all about maintaining the intent of each ability, but making Sona's contribution, and therefore the Sona player's skill, much more obvious and fulfilling.


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Raptor6789

Senior Member

04-18-2014

Sona was one of my first supports, so it'll be cool to see some changes that can bring her back into the spotlight.

What do you love about playing Sona?
A few things: a) versatility, since she has very strong poke, but she also has sustain as well as a hard engage ultimate. b) passive - utilizing the passive correctly is what differentiates the good Sonas from the great Sonas. I enjoy thinking about the order in which to cast my spells in advance so I can end up with my desired power chord effect. c) ult - no doubt, using that ult to hit several people in a teamfight is very satisfying.
Also, she's very noob-friendly - while things like her passive take some time to master, she's generally very easy to pick up for beginners.

What do you not like about playing Sona?
Too much of her power is hidden. All of her auras generally feel unsatisfying to use since their persistent effects don't have any flashy effects, and even on paper, the numbers look insignificant. A lot of the time I feel like a walking aura-bot instead of someone who actually does something.
Sure, some things are pretty cool - her q active is great for poke, and her e is an amazing speed boost, especially since the AP scaling was added. However, her w's heal isn't that much, and the boost it gives to armor and mr isn't particularly large or satisfying.
Oh, and under-estimating her Q range is very frustrating.

What decisions are most interesting to you when you play Sona?
A lot has been said above already - choosing which power chord effect to use and when to use her ult, basically. However, the cooldowns to her QWE spells are so low that I don't feel punished for hitting the wrong key at the wrong time.

What moments of a Sona game make you feel like youíve made a play for your team?
The ult, mostly. Most of the other time I feel like I'm just sitting in the back - an invisible, unrecognized helper.

So, what changes would I want to see on Sona?
Well, if she doesn't get a significant overhaul on her skills, no matter how much you buff her numbers, many people will still find her unsatisfying to play (a problem I have with some of Skarner's rework as well HINT HINT). I think her versatility is one of her redeeming aspects - she's got decent poke, sustain, and cc. Any changes should try to maintain that versatility while probably shifting more power into her active effects instead of persistent auras. One thing that may be cool is to give her more effects based on the order in which she casts her spells; for example, casting Q then W might give the healed ally a damage increase, while casting W then Q might give the damaged enemies an armor/mr debuff or damage debuff. You already have to think about this to some extent while choosing power chord effects, so doing this might make her even more rewarding to play. Instead of a skill cap based on mechanics, Sona would have a skill cap based on decision making.


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crowsntacos

Senior Member

04-18-2014

Here's what I think you can do with Sona that gives her a bunch of different flavors without making her crazy strong.

I don't know how you can relate this to positioning, but the basic idea is her q, w, and e generate circles/squares of an area x units wide that are marked with a specific color.

Similar to the idea of a venn diagram, overlapping colors makes things more powerful, but casting all skills in the same spot provides less of an effect than spreading out.

Hence the idea of positioning.

So you have a movement speed square/circle, an area that gives greater regen over time, and an area that increases personal and allied damages. AKA instead of the sphere being dynamic with sona where she's a heal/power dispenser, she carries her ability to "plant" auras around the map like seeds.

You can even make this a charge-based system if you prefer.

This will increase the idea of sona having a 'zone' of power as opposed to a 'last hit' bot which I currently find her. Much less the stigma that spamming qwe wins games by itself, ult aside.


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medulla00

Senior Member

04-18-2014

" Sonaís role as a buff/enabler support is solid and rewarding."
no no no no NO NO NO NO!!

Her permanent auras should be completely removed/reworked and the invisble power moved to another aspects of her. I'd rather provide a strong 30armor/MR buff during 1 second buff after using W rather than a permanent pathetic 8 armor/MR that slightly increases on activation..
Her only noticeable auras are (maxed) Q and E (with athenes + frost queen really makes your team faster)

Things I love about sona:
Her ultimate above anything.
Heavy risk. She has a poke mechaninc with very little counterplay which only requires to get close to enemies to hurt. But I really like the adrenaline and the risk of the poke. You get too close and you can die to a lvl 2 leona/nami/taric/thresh/jinx.
Spamming E, I really love the increased MS that you get with only 100AP.

Things I don't like about sona:
Late game you become the ult bot. Her only noticeable non-ult abilities after the 25mins mark are -paradoxically- her W and E powerchords, which are not actual abilities but just her passive.
Mid late game, the adrenaline rush of being squishy is over and I hate to die just to an AOE ult or 3 AAs of an ADC

Decisions:
Deciding how much agression you should put without getting CC'd and dissappear before flashing.
Deciding which abilities to max second, W (balls in and survive skirmishes when maxed) or E (better chasing, escaping and slows when maxed).

Moments:
Ulting as much people as possible of course.
Giving a heal+deffensive boost to an ally just before they take damage, ie diving an enemy (though you can't compare a 15 armor buff to the one provided by soraka)
Using powerchords in general feel quite satisfying.


What I'd tolerate in a future kit for sona.
Remove her permanent auras. Move this power to either stronger powerchords or -largely- strengthened activation auras.

English is not my main language. I may be overrating the power of E, but I really like the not-so-invisible utility it provides


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ItemsGuy

Senior Member

04-18-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearless View Post
Hey all

With the continuing goal of making Support players have more meaningful gameplay and enjoy their choices throughout each game of League of Legends, weíre looking at making sure Sona feels as awesome as possible.

Things that are already pretty awesome:

Sonaís role as a buff/enabler support is solid and rewarding.
Sonaís ult is impactful and allows Sona players to make big plays that they and their team can appreciate.

Things that need to be more awesome:

Sonaís auras are powerful, but not satisfying to use, and create very little interaction.
Sonaís basic abilities donít have as much skill expression as many other supports.

These are my current thoughts, as a dude who has been thinking about Sona gameplay a lot lately. I want you to tell me where Iím on track, where Iím wrong, and where Iím totally missing something.

Other things I want to hear from you:

What do you love about playing Sona?
What do you not like about playing Sona?
What decisions are most interesting to you when you play Sona?
What moments of a Sona game make you feel like youíve made a play for your team?
The primary issues with Sona right now stem from the fact that "skillfull execution" of her kit (aside from the slower laning phase where mana conservation is more pressing) consists of drumming one's fingers on the Q/W/E keys and occasionally pressing R near somebody to "make big plays"--Udyr shares a similar problem, where the optimal use of his abilities are "use this whenever it's off cooldown" although a bit worse due to not having a high-cooldown decision-making opportunity.

The fact that she's also more or less a stat mule prevents a lot of her power from being noticed, as it lies in the distribution of raw stats among teammates (this is also part of why something like Warwick's AoE attackspeed steroid is also a bit of a problem--you don't really notice the huge amount of power it brings, and there's very little gameplay around it).

However, I do appreciate Sona's gameplay niche as something of a "stance-based" support, but there is a way to maintain that while also giving Sona players opportunities to express their skill, and making their impact on the team much more clear.

-By changing Q/W/E's "flat stat aura + active effect" recipe to "active effect accompanied by periodic, weaker effects", the ambient bonuses that her basic abilities grant are given more of a presence, and both allies and enemies alike will be able to better gauge the power Sona grants by being nearby

-By granting a bonus for holding onto a chord, interesting and meaningful trade-offs can be made between throwing as many different bonuses as you can to allies, or strengthening a particular bonus that the situation may call for

-By changing the nature of her heal from something spammed to rapidly top up teammates to a more reactionary combat heal, its potential power can be increased (although I used its current values for the redesign), and Sona can maintain part of the healer fantasy without creating a boring brick-wall lane

-By changing her ult from "press R to teamfight" to her main bread-and-butter (on a low cooldown and available from the start), not only can Sona players more accurately express their skill (as opposed to the direct effects her current Q/W/E possess, this must be aimed), but more interesting decisions can be made based on chord choice, preparation, and timing

While I know the changes I'm suggesting are a bit more experimental than simple number tweaks (which I hope isn't ultimately your solution for her, since her problems are more gameplay/design-based than values-based), I think at least trying to directly solve the problems I've brought up in some way, shape, or form would be for the best, even if a de-cluttered Invoker-style support isn't your cuppa.


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SmokingPuffin

Senior Member

04-18-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearless View Post
Every change we've talked about has been all about maintaining the intent of each ability, but making Sona's contribution, and therefore the Sona player's skill, much more obvious and fulfilling.
I don't think many will complain if you change the intent of her E. Sona players have always ranked that ability last and pretty much only use it to generate more power chords.


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xJLx MCHammer

Senior Member

04-18-2014

I feel like Sona a bit too weak at the moment. She is like REALLY squishy. In lane, one AA from enemy ADC and you lose a huge chunck of HP. You then spend the next 10 trying to heal off.

-Both her pokes (Q) and his passive(with AA) are both useless after 8 min. Why? Lifesteal pretty much removes all tendency for that small weak poke.
-Her healing pretty much useless after mid game when most champions have a way to self sustain better than Sona can
-Her move speed, omg, what move speed!


Karma does her job better.
A slow, poke, shield, and movement speed that matter.

Aside from her ultimate, Sona does nothing special that other Supports can already do better