Support Scaling and duo lanes discussion

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Morello

Lead Designer

11-21-2013
1 of 29 Riot Posts

Hey all,

While there's a lot of discussion on the support topic, I want to consolidate some of it here.

First I'd like to share our thinking on this, directionally and strategically. I posted this in response to a post in the other thread as it's a good starting point for a reasoned discussion on this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokingPuffin View Post
I swear, you live to troll supports. Your messaging on supports has never not been "we love to nerf supports", even when that's not really what you're doing.

I think this is a good design direction, but you're going to have to find more impactful utility scaling knobs to turn than Lulu Q, Leona W, and Nami E.

I'm not really sold on the idea that supports need damage nerfs to acquire utility buffs. Supports already generally had weak scaling, and adding gold to the support role means that the gap between supports and better scaling classes is automatically widening.
The irony about this is that this is all intended to help support characters, specifically. The concerns and thoughts we have;

1) We want to avoid a world where mages invalidate supports. Again, we'll be aggressive here. Maybe some other characters have too much (I tend to think so), maybe some mages go bottom too. Remember support gold is not equal to solo lane/farm gold, it's just quite a bit more than "none."

2) Support players have felt like their impact matters less, they have an imbalance of responsibility/rewards/success metrics. We think giving them access to the power growth tools (and not making them do "kill you" things to get it) is a big win for this.

3) We want to define supports as helpers and team-players first. This is pretty tough when you have 4 years of them being defined as ward bots with no gold. Tanks differ than fighters and have lower damage - edge cases like J4 do exist here too. Sona might just be a mage labelled as a support (as her power contribution is lane damage/late game CC) - if so, we'll have to modify her to a damage-oriented scaling model or something. That is tunable, and this is not the last patch ever ever ever.

4) To make big changes like this is disruptive by its nature. Balance will be temporarily off. Expectations that we've had for characters will change. What will almost never result from fixing game problems is "we just gave you free power/buffs!" Those aren't good solutions to what are systemic problems, but I feel that the expectation is that somehow (that applies to reworks and stuff, too).

This will be rough on launch - please go find abuse cases! Go try to do traditional support. Report your experience. We've cleared out our days to marathon a bit for less useful anecdotal evidence from our experiences. See what snaps that internal tests and a limited player pool can't catch.

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 shouldn't be taken somewhere better that is a bit frightening and unknown to people.

Important edit:

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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0xiDIzE

Member

11-21-2013

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.

The doomsayers simply don't believe that Riot will follow through with problem cases. I don't share this belief, as Riot has a stellar history when it comes to nerfing champions that box out others within the same role. All that people need more evidence of, Morello, is Riot recognizing where and to what extent champions need buffs. This is especially important for the pre-season and support-themed champions.


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Dai Tou Zai

Senior Member

11-21-2013

I think i'll like the changes over all but i don't like whats happening to soraka QQ


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AvidMind

Recruiter

11-21-2013

so i read in a post: one of the problem is, why choose support champ when AP mid champ with same amount of cc can be picked as support.

edit:you say you want to not give a reason for mid champs to be played as support; then make supports strong early


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Man of God2

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Senior Member

11-21-2013

Read, here's my thoughts.

Well upfront I'm just going to say a lot of the community is blowing up over something they haven't even tried adapting to. I remember the jungle changes and hating it at first going into this season but then eventually liking it more. People just HATE change.

Second the main thing support players want to feel is like they are accomplishing something by playing that champion, with Fid, Zyra, and Annie you feel your presence in a team fight because people are afraid of your power. With Sona, Taric, Janna, ect they don't feel as much as an impact (at least to me). However I think that allowing them to itemize and have more utility will allow that fear again.

I personally am excited to see what's coming in this update and I won't judge it till I play it out. It could be horrible and it could be great. I personally don't think that mages will take over the support role (except the select few). But also with LoL there is a time and place for everything which is why I do not think supports have/will be gutted with this update.


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ACanOfCoke

Senior Member

11-21-2013

I'm excited for support changes.

EDIT: Down votes? God forbid I want to build items.


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Wiz Khalifa

Senior Member

11-21-2013

great ideas


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Xemeron

Senior Member

11-21-2013

You better prepare for downvotes from people who didnt even read you text.
Here, have one Upvote to give you a little head start


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Clenbuterol

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Senior Member

11-21-2013

Personally, I don't understand why you're changing supports. I think they're fine in their current state. Yes, mage-like supports are strong, but so are the traditional supports like Thresh, Janna, Soraka, etc. Most people who say traditional support champions can't carry are dumb Silver players who have no understanding of bot laning in the first place. Support is a high skill role, but all traditional supports have game-changing abilities that WILL win games if used right. There's a reason some people are Diamond 1 and Challenger playing support alone.

I think, ultimately, whether you play traditional supports or mage-like ones is just a matter of playstyle and preference.

After more thinking, supporting is about:

-Providing key vision
-Providing key utility
-Making good calls and generally leading the team

If you can do those 3 things perfectly, you will certainly be Diamond 1 eventually.


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Morello

Lead Designer

11-21-2013
2 of 29 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by AvidMind View Post
so i read in a post: one of the problem is, why choose support champ when AP mid champ with same amount of cc can be picked as support
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.


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