Bye Bye Supports

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Abroad Unicorn

Senior Member

11-21-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Let me speak to this a little;

In the initial reveal, we were talking about the new gold flow for supports - more gold, items and general "agency" being something long overdue for Support characters (in this context, Soraka, Sona, Lulu, Taric, Janna and Nami) who have been overworked and underfed despite actual impact or performance.

We now have a world of characters who have been only balanced to have no gold now having quite a bit of gold! This comes with a few truths:

1) The old support balance base lines no longer are balanced and valid, anymore than if we increased Marksmen, Fighter or Mage gold by the same amount would be.

2) Supports have been previously defined as "characters who function well with no gold." Now that's no longer the case, overtuned/undertuned mages (if we'd not made changes) is a bad identity. By introducing support scaling, supports become MORE supportive through gold - either through acquisition of active items or AP scaling on utility. This is all done specifically to not have AP Mages and Supports fight each other in a raw numbers perspective, and instead provide supports with scaling that fits their role of helping people and working with their team.

3) Looking at these changes, seeing "NERFS" as the takeaway is...well, I don't know how to put it....insane. One of the patch notes could be "increased income by 3000-6000 gold per game". We actually were very conservative on these champion changes in an effort to protect supports from obsoletion (and will react aggressively if that becomes the case in practice).

A glance at the patch notes can read like a nerf, if you ignore the context or associated changes. AP Mids may have additional viability bottom lane, though our changes are specifically to bulwark against that.

Support needed satisfaction, a more fleshed-out identity of "helper," and a place in the game that's real and valid. That's the entire premise of the preseason support changes.

EDIT: Unreasonable rage downvotes, or real thing that you guys disagree with?
As a game designer, have you wondered why soraka wasnt taken mid? Or perhaps why taric isnt taken top lane, with the exception of that one fabulous week, fabulous...? In addition, are you ignoring that zyra, Lux, Nidalee, annie, and fid are now among the most picked champions to support bot lane? The reasoning behind this is undoubtedly that their scaling is higher, and they bring just as much utility, if not more in some cases. Randomly nerfing the true support champions when they were already in a bad place, despite the "buffs" to their utility, is just bad game design. That is why people are angry. Simply put, giving the support role more gold generation does nothing when you destroy the value of that gold by nerfing their overall ratios. There is no reason to take janna bot over a cho'gath, when cho can do so much more with the gold income than janna.


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Greenshaw

Senior Member

11-21-2013

I've come to the conclusion that morello has never played bot lane in the last 4 months and doesnt understand what an annie and a fiddle can do to you with the gold income they used to be getting. Annie at lvl 2 would hit you for 200 damage while stunning you so then it was an easy kill for the adc. Sona could nuke you as well but you werent stunned. Now with supports getting more gold annie is going to nuke harder while stunning the whole team, tell me how sona beats her at all. If you want us to play supports now you need to make their utility strong or there is no point. Yeah sona can poke, heal , and stun but it doesnt mean anything if annie can just stun insta kill you. The best form of CC in this game is death and at 30 minutes I can guarantee you that i would rather have an annie support on my team than a sona, or soraka.


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Regulas

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Senior Member

11-21-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fooly or Cooly View Post
As a game designer, have you wondered why soraka wasnt taken mid? Or perhaps why taric isnt taken top lane, with the exception of that one fabulous week, fabulous...? In addition, are you ignoring that zyra, Lux, Nidalee, annie, and fid are now among the most picked champions to support bot lane? The reasoning behind this is undoubtedly that their scaling is higher, and they bring just as much utility, if not more in some cases. Randomly nerfing the true support champions when they were already in a bad place, despite the "buffs" to their utility, is just bad game design. That is why people are angry. Simply put, giving the support role more gold generation does nothing when you destroy the value of that gold by nerfing their overall ratios. There is no reason to take janna bot over a cho'gath, when cho can do so much more with the gold income than janna.
Why arn't they taken in other lanes? It is all about perception and nothing at all to do with power. Jana mid for example is fantastic, it's just a pushing playstyle people don't understand.

As far as supports bot go i'm not sure you understand how the scaling dynamic works. The lack of scaling on utility was the big problem as it meant that support abilities fell off. Now they don't is more significant then you would think and I think you like most people are vastly underestimating the scaling support benefits.


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jjookkeerr

Senior Member

11-21-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
When Lulu and Janna could lane and get gold she pushed Annie out of mid lane - these characters have gone insane with normal gold multiple times when allowed to solo lane. Now we COULD see a world where one of these characters can solo and we won't have to gut it - one definite advantage.

These characters should be about SUPPORT. If they're about damage, they're not support at all - they're mages.
meanwhile orianna is a mage with tons of damage, utility and safety ....


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jjookkeerr

Senior Member

11-21-2013

WHY NERF these supports and leave thresh untouched?


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March of Dimes

Senior Member

11-21-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
I think this disruption and uncertainty of the correctness of the details is more than worth the ability to bring supports into being first-class citizens with a unique identity. It's long overdue and is a pain that's existed for a long time. Just because something being in a bad state is known and comfortable doesn't mean it's better than taking it somewhere better that is a bit frightening and unknown to people.
Wasn't support's unique identity that they were strong on 0 cs? ...that the utility of their skills scaled with the champions they were used on, so they didn't need to stack items to scale? They already HAD a niche, already HAD their advantages over other classes, and now they've lost it by being homogenized into yet another role that's reliant on getting items to scale. I used to enjoy support because of the role's focus on gold limits. Now that it's going to just become a mini-carry, why wouldn't I just play a real carry?

A lot of the S4 changes were actually steps in the right direction. Lowering vision expenditures and introducing lower price-point items to compete with vision both "free up" the support's income. This, combined with the retuning of many active items to focus on their actives instead of their stats, allows support to build to be impactful while not giving up their 0 cs advantage. However, any support agency earned through such changes was removed by Riot taking all decision-making out of vision and gp10s (EVERYONE will get ruby sightstone and a gp10).


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Stevev45

Senior Member

11-21-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by March of Dimes View Post
why wouldn't I just play a real carry?
Because you're last pick and the the real carry roles where taken.


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MajorPain9

Senior Member

11-21-2013

Liss supp so strong right now :3


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EchelonEffect

Senior Member

11-21-2013

There's literally no reason to pick a traditional support over a utility mage in bottom lane now.

Riot, your balance team is AIDs.


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Lagginator

Senior Member

11-21-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Let me speak to this a little;

In the initial reveal, we were talking about the new gold flow for supports - more gold, items and general "agency" being something long overdue for Support characters (in this context, Soraka, Sona, Lulu, Taric, Janna and Nami) who have been overworked and underfed despite actual impact or performance.

We now have a world of characters who have been only balanced to have no gold now having quite a bit of gold! This comes with a few truths:

1) The old support balance base lines no longer are balanced and valid, anymore than if we increased Marksmen, Fighter or Mage gold by the same amount would be.

2) Supports have been previously defined as "characters who function well with no gold." Now that's no longer the case, overtuned/undertuned mages (if we'd not made changes) is a bad identity. By introducing support scaling, supports become MORE supportive through gold - either through acquisition of active items or AP scaling on utility. This is all done specifically to not have AP Mages and Supports fight each other in a raw numbers perspective, and instead provide supports with scaling that fits their role of helping people and working with their team.

3) Looking at these changes, seeing "NERFS" as the takeaway is...well, I don't know how to put it....insane. One of the patch notes could be "increased income by 3000-6000 gold per game". We actually were very conservative on these champion changes in an effort to protect supports from obsoletion (and will react aggressively if that becomes the case in practice).

A glance at the patch notes can read like a nerf, if you ignore the context or associated changes. AP Mids may have additional viability bottom lane, though our changes are specifically to bulwark against that.

Support needed satisfaction, a more fleshed-out identity of "helper," and a place in the game that's real and valid. That's the entire premise of the preseason support changes.

EDIT: Unreasonable rage downvotes, or real thing that you guys disagree with?

Do you have anyone at all that plays support on the balance team? Let me run down what's going on for you.

Ward changes -> supports literally can't buy as many wards -> supports have more gold since they otherwise would have spent it on wards

gold changes -> supports get even more gold on top of the above gold buff

At this point, you've given tons of gold to a role that as you say is traditionally occupied by "overtuned/undertuned mages". If you'd left it like this, we'd probably never see the undertuned mages and see overtuned ones (Sona, Janna, Soraka) every single game. Logically, you decide to deal with this by re-tuning them so that they all scale reasonably with gold. Not a bad plan... if you're only considering traditional supports for the "support" role.

There are two big problems with this. The first one, which is objectively true, is that non-supports already scale well with gold. The only thing stopping people from running another damage role champion bot lane was that the champ in the support role wouldn't be getting gold. Support Champions were the only champs that could sacrifice their gold and remain useful throughout the game. Now that bot lane gets way more gold for doing nothing, you've significantly reduced the limitations of the support role.

The second problem is that in your quest to re-tune Trad. supports, you hit the base damage and base utility on many abilities across multiple champions, but added scaling. Again, if you're only looking at Trad. support vs. Trad. support, this change seems fine. But you need to consider that other champions can go bot lane now with the extra gold. Many trad. support champions are on the low-hp end of the spectrum, and rely on strong poke and CC to prevent enemies from just walking up and jumping onto them. With lower base damage and lower base utility, supports may no longer be threatening enough to prevent tanky damage-dealers from walking up and crushing them.

You know how kill-lanes were already a gimmick? Well with more gold to the support role, that kill-lane champion isn't going to fall off as hard mid-game, and with more assist gold going around kills are more valuable. Yeah, kills are worth a little less until the 4 minute mark, but laning phase usually lasts past 15 minutes.

To summarize:

Support changes -> supports are "balanced" to be approximately balanced to be the same as they were before once they reach 100 AP -> supports are now weaker before they get 100 AP and start to slowly get stronger past that

Weaker early supports -> kill-lane/utility mages get some breathing room
tons more gold to support role -> kill-lane/utility mages won't fall off as much later

Presence of more kill-lane/utility mages -> it becomes unsafe to blind-pick a squishy trad. support for support role -> someone who WANTS a trad. support will have to choose a safer option -> ???

Overall, we'll have to see what is optimal, but trad. supports now have fierce competition for support role.