Soraka Rework Idea(s)

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OMG halp meh plz

Senior Member

01-26-2014

Hello kind people of LoL General Discussion, I have decided to make my own post detailing and discussing Soraka, and trying to offer up a variety of ideas to make her a well-designed champ that promotes healthy banana eating and good gameplay patterns.




Soraka’s negative gameplay (AFAIK):
•Passive gameplay – Soraka’s skills are too simple with not enough decision making to go along; refilling bars and doing nothing else is bad. The less complex her kit is, the more difficult it is to balance because it only relies on numbers.
•Sustain – http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com...6#post26453416
o http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com...54325#26454325
o http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com...86149#26486149 “avoid Soraka’s mechanics”
o http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com...75984#26575984 “Lifesteal is fine”

Current Soraka weaknesses summarized:
• Average DoT (Q spam) at low-medium range; not tanky enough to do it (needs farm).
• No real CC (Silence doesn’t stop Trondmore)
• Weak vs all-ins, trades, silences, CC, etc.
• Q outranged by a significant % of ADCs and Annie (625 range GG, who also has a tank skill which Soraka would benefit from a lot more)
• Heal scaling is awful and falls off mid-late game; not allowed to be strong because being Soraka is suffering.


Soraka’s Skills and their synergies (and lack thereof) as observed by myself; feel free to add, disagree, or correct these.

Passive : Let’s be honest here, this passive sucks. It only serves to counterbalance the heal nerfs Riot gave her, and that 16 MR is GONE without any sort of compensation. Needs to be changed, absolutely no compromises here.
Starcall – One of Soraka’s signature skills, it would be difficult to radically change this without altering character identity. As cool as it is, it is also quite problematic:

  • Relatively short ranged on a fragile champ – The short range guarantees that Soraka will take retaliation. It completely fails vs Caitlyn and Ashe, who outrange it, and the 550 range champs can also walk out of range before the skill activates.
  • AoE – Starcall pushes the lane and interferes with last hitting.
  • Delay – there is a fraction of a second delay that allows kiters to attack Soraka and leave before the starcall drops. This really should not be a thing.
  • Primarily a DoT spell – This is currently a damage spell with negligible utility. It is also pretty much the only skill with decent AP scaling. AP on Soraka sucks if only one skill really benefits
Astral Blessing –Based on the passive and Riot’s own words, they want this ability to be a “clutch save” ability. It has some problems though:
  • 2 second armor buff on a 20 second cooldown – The healing aspect of this skill keeps the cooldown high, and that’s a problem.
  • Boring single target heal – such gameplay, much decision, wow
  • Crappy AP scaling – As the game goes on, this spell’s usefulness falls; one attack from an ADC surpasses the max heal.
Infuse – Silence that scales with skill level, also a mana battery. Currently a one point wonder, basically awful.
  • Awful damage that might as well not scale at all.
  • Mana scaling does not make up for the damage nerfs, even with Seraph’s, heart, and RoA.
Wish – Global heal. This is a pretty good skill, though I don’t think it affects the game enough since the nerf.
o For an ultimate, it’s pretty weak. There was no need to reduce the base and AP scaling, it wasn’t overpowered before.

Before going into the solutions/possibilities, let’s go into the Soraka lore and fantasy first; it shouldn’t really matter, but lately Riot has heavily posted about “fulfilling certain fantasies” and “fitting the lore”, so let’s try and fit that in.
• “Soraka set out into the mortal world, vowing to heal the wounded and protect the helpless.” Straight quote from the Soraka lore, this sort of limits the type of abilities we can give Soraka; can’t be too offensive, must be focused on protection/healing instead of setting up kills. However, when she herself was attacked, she did not hold back from searing the aggressors. I feel this aspect of the lore should be explored in her gameplay.
• Soraka players enjoy the “white mage” “MMORPG Healer” fantasies. Unfortunately for them, that is considered awful in terms of MOBA design (Dota’s healing is even more limited, so Riot’s approach is actually quite lenient). I am not sure if Riot will attempt to appease the fans, but let’s at least try to not **** all over some Soraka players.
o http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com...3#post26454063
o http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com...7#post41406567


Before we can discuss Soraka’s changed/revamped identity, we have to identify current traditional/popular supports and their roles in the game. The champ pool is becoming homogenized enough as it is, so let us try and not repeat skills or roles.
• Shields – overdone, would be preferable to avoid this. On the other hand, bonus armor/MR is considered invisible power.
• Peels – Janna’s domain,
• Poke – Sona’s domain
• Walls – Anivia and Yasuo already have these; too bad they’re not really supports
• Buff/debuff – Lulu, Zilean, Nunu, Sona
• Auras, – Sona
• Tank – Leona, Taric, Alistar
• CC and damage – utility mages
• Kill lane – Leona, Blitzcrank, Thresh, utility mages, etc.
• Aoe Stun – already done by Sona, Amumu, Annie, etc.
• Everything a support would want in one kit - Thresh

A lot of support concepts have already been explored, so coming up with an interesting kit won’t be easy. Additionally, Riot has some of their own rules which we must keep in mind (even though they themselves break these rules…):
• Needs to be visible and satisfactory power, preferably not stat boosts or stat debuffs which are considered unsatisfactory
o http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com...99107#26599107
o http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com...99365#26599365
• CC, protection, poke, burst heals, buffs are fine http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com...99505#26599505

First thing to do is to decide Soraka’s niche properly. She was designed as a classic passive healer, but that is now considered unhealthy for the game for whatever reason. Additionally, her Q’s MR shred and aoe along with the silence from infuse are more suited to a mage than a support. Personally I rather like tank Soraka so my suggestions will have that in mind.

My overall goal for Soraka is for her to be an effective support at every stage of the game with the potential to be a viable elsewhere. By viable, I don’t mean she’ll be scoring pentakills, but she’ll be more dangerous farmed than unfarmed. These days, a support without CC just doesn’t cut it anymore, and thus I attempted to jam a lot of it into her skills. However, I tried to make all of it very defensive; Soraka won’t be setting up kills by herself, but she’ll punish you incredibly hard if you engage without a plan (baited and outsmarted GG). Because it is so conditional and defensive, I don’t think she comes out imbalanced.

Keep in mind these are all just ideas with theorycrafted numbers. Though I did try and design a cohesive skillset, I think that taking any one of these and discarding the rest for other ideas is perfectly reasonable. With that said, here’s what I thought up:

Mana scaling – Current Soraka would benefit from mana scaling on more abilities since those items also tend to be tanky items, which she benefits from immensely thanks to her low Q range.
  • You already made one ability scale off mana, might as well make it consistent
  • Negative aspects - There are already some champs and items with mana scaling, making it kind of stupid to have ANOTHER champ with similar concepts.
  • If abilities are reworked, then mana scaling may no longer make sense
Stats – I believe they’re fine for the most part.

Change starcall function depending on final kit direction – There are many directions Soraka’s kit can take, and starcall can be tweaked and adjusted to fit that. I am unsure whether it would be better to make starcall defensive or offensive, but I prefer to make Starcall an offensive skill and require Soraka to build tank items in order to survive using it. I am also rather unwilling to part with the point blank aoe aspect, though testing would indicate whether it would need to be changed. Some ideas:
  • Reduced damage with stacking marks on enemies. Soraka’s autoattacks consume the mark(s), dealing true damage.
    • Purpose of this is to give Soraka a method of contributing damage without pushing the lane too hard and without clashing mechanics; Soraka can build full tank/CDR (allowing her to get in range to use Starcall)and still be a threat. Because it is free damage, it requires her to actually build stacks in order to accomplish anything. It is currently designed as a late-game skill, but number tweaking can most certainly make it worth using earlier
    • Theoretical numbers: 3/3.5/4/4.5/5 damage. The marks stack up to 5 and remain for 4 seconds. Soraka’s autoattack does (Starcall level damage^# of stacks) in true damage and consumes the mark
    • Counterplay – Assuming the same cooldown of 1.5 seconds at max CDR, it would take 6 seconds for Soraka to reach max stacks and 4.5 seconds to reach 4 stacks; aside from those, the scaling is not enough for Soraka to do significant damage. Therefore, merely walking away counters this, killing Soraka counters this, forcing her to save her allies counters this, etc.
    • I just remembered that Darius already has a similar mechanic, but I don’t want to delete all the stuff I already wrote down… Just ignore this idea k thx.
  • Reduced damage with a stacking debuff on enemies. The debuff stacks increase starcall’s magic damage exponentially. (use same numbers as above)
    • This is similar to the above idea, except its magic damage and doesn’t require an autoattack to increase damage. The numbers would be similar, but because it’s magic damage and therefore reduced by MR, it can be allowed to work as an aoe effect.
    • The difference between this and the above true damage version is that this will allow Soraka to do damage to everyone in the radius. It’s basically the same as current starcall, except no harass potential and massive extended teamfight damage potential. This version also pushes the lane the same way as current starcall, so it doesn’t really solve anything.
  • Healing starcall – I discuss this in the healing section further down.
  • If Starcall loses the point blank aoe targeting for something else, then building tanky will no longer be a requirement. It would also require some different balancing.

Change healing dynamics – Soraka’s healing is considered toxic, but clutch saves are considered acceptable. Expanding on that:
  • Remove the healing from astral blessing - I’m pretty sure most people will disagree with removing the healing from this ability; while I would also prefer she keep her sustain, I think it is clear as day to everyone by now that Riot has a massive bias against Soraka’s healing. There are a few threads proving that her sustain (HP/s) is average at best.
  • Move/alter the passive into the ultimate, increase ult strength. With Soraka losing her single target sustain, the ultimate should be a powerful clutch save (something like 33% max HP healing on a tank at low health as opposed to the 300 HP weaksauce we have now); details to be determined by balance team. Some possibilities:
    • Affects only one ally, but on a reduced cooldown
    • Range to be determined (global?)
      • Soraka’s current strength is her global save ability. While that is interesting and fun, I would prefer to add more power to the healing/cooldown/utility at the cost of range. This would require playtesting to figure out properly.
      • Could cause a small aoe radius with an effect on the casted target – would allow for more gameplay interaction rather than just heal
      • Keep it global all targets – This requires keeping the heal power low, so I’m against it. Maybe. Playtesting would reveal if it offers more interesting gameplay though.
        • Blind seems appropriate (beam of light hurts eyes)
        • Could be damage – 50% of health healed? Numbers TBD
        • Could be slow – already done with Lulu though
        • Could be stat reduction – invisible power
      • AoE - either targeted or point blank
        • I’d prefer to not do this because Janna already does the aoe heal thing.
      • Counterplay – Bait it, time it, ignite it.
  • Passive idea: Every time Soraka casts a spell, all allied champs in a radius are healed for x% of their maximum/missing/current/whatever health.
    • This would be a replacement for the loss of sustain from Astral Blessing.
    • % health keeps this passive relevant from early to late game
    • Could be limited to spells cast on allies.
    • Could also be modified from “all” champs to “closest” or “lowest health” or whatever.
    • The % number would be obviously low; not to the point of uselessness though. It would be gated by the mana costs of her skills and their cooldowns (which are TBD), so it would not be infinite free healing. BALANCE TEAM’S JOB NOT MINE
    • Counterplay – Not sure if it’s needed quite honestly, though it depends on her reworked skills; the heal wouldn’t be significant enough to require counterplay IMO, plus it’s gated by cooldowns and mana costs on ally casts. This forces Soraka to choose between using her abilities vs enemies (no sustain), or on allies (no harass)
      • A counterplay mechanic would be to make the passive heal not instant autotarget, but automatically aimed skillshot waves with a travel time. For example, Soraka casts a spell on an ally, and the moment it hits, an orb/thing begins traveling from Soraka to the current location of the ally. If the ally moves away, or an enemy blocks it, the heal is wasted.
      • Another counterplay mechanic would be similar to Zac, in which with every cast, Soraka drops a healing ward/meteor on the ground depending on the number of allied champs in the vicinity. These healing ward locations would be randomized in the same way as Zac’s blobs (THEY’LL BE HEALING METEORS SO ITS HARD TO AIM – lore explanation), so allied champs would have to walk over to them, and enemy champs could deny them by stepping over them.
  • Another option would be tying Soraka’s sustain with Starcall. For every cast of Starcall, extra stars/meteors fall in a “random” location close to the vicinity of allied champs within a certain radius of Soraka. These meteors would have an aoe healing over time radius, and can be consumed (clicked on) for burst healing.
    • The stacking mechanic could be changed to amplify the healing by either a % or by increasing the number of meteors. For example, for every stack on an enemy champ, the healing is increased by x% per stack per enemy champ.
      • The purpose of this is to give Soraka a threat level in both lane and teamfights. Currently, everyone shrugs off the mediocre starcall damage and Soraka contributes relatively little compared to most other champs.
      • Example: Soraka surrounded by 5 enemies, uses starcall. They have one stack. Soraka uses starcall again and hits all 5 enemies, there are now 2 stacks on 5 champs, so 10*x% healing increase for the healing meteors.
      • Alternate mechanics – Instead of increasing the healing %, increased stacks on enemy champs causes many more meteors to fall, covering the battlefield in healing. This would be more amusing, but I am unsure how well it would work out practically.
    • This gives Soraka a more active sustain, instead of passive
      • The major weakness here is that without nearby enemies, Soraka has no sustain until she gets her ultimate. I think this should still work out in practice though.
    • Frees up the rest of her kit to allow more cohesion

Astral Blessing with removed heal – With the heal aspect removed from this ability, Soraka loses the entirety of her burst sustain clutch save. Thus, this ability needs to be defensive in some way to keep an ally alive. Some ideas:
  • Armor/MR buff – this would be the easy approach, but also boring. In addition, it is considered unappreciated/hidden power. I would prefer this over a shield though.
  • Shield – Another one? Lame.
  • Spell shield – No, that’s what silence is for.
  • Magic shield – Encroaching on Morgana’s territory gets you a visit from an angry Morgageddon.
  • Block one instance of damage/CC from all enemy champ for 1-2.5 seconds; attacking enemy gets stunned for 1 second (numbers TBD obviously)
    • The purpose of this is to save an ally without using healing, lame shields, hidden stat growth, etc. Outside of radical kit changes, I can’t think of any other way of giving Soraka a clutch save ability that isn’t a point and click heal and isn’t already used by other champs.
    • Gives Soraka a conditional and defensive form of CC, which I feel she sorely lacks.
    • Needs some sort of counterplay ideas:
      • Make it a channel for Soraka (CC Soraka to disable shield); If she casts it on herself, there is no channel (solo lane Soraka)

Infuse - This would be the ideal skill to transform into a skillshot IMO. Astral Blessing needs to be point and click on allies, the ult would have to be significantly changed to make it work as a skillshot, and Starcall NEEDS to be point blank AoE (or at least feel similar) otherwise the game might as well not exist. I feel like keeping the same effects would work here, though I would prefer to swap the mana battery with something else (like a mark or debuff). The mana battery loses most of its usefulness past lane phase. If, however, Astral Blessing does not have a “clutch save” component to it due to a rework, then I feel this ability should ditch the mana battery and put some defensive aspect in.
  • Linear skillshot- first champ hit gets marked (enemy or ally)and the mark persists for a few seconds. An autoattack or activated skill activates the mark. Various possible effects can be made depending on the rest of Soraka’s skillset:
    • A consumed mark on an enemy causes the enemy to be silenced and the mark refreshed. An ally that is attacked with the mark silences the attacker.
    • Counterplay – It’s a skillshot, and then a mark that needs to be activated. There are two chances to avoid this, I think that’s plenty of opportunity for counterplay.
    • The reason for not making it an immediate silence is to emphasize the “reactive protector” lore of Soraka; she doesn’t instigate violence, she reacts to it.
      • A consumed mark on an ally
      • Counterplay – move, or force the targeted ally to move making him miss the mark.
      • Even though I suggested it, a linear skillshot doesn’t feel like it suits Soraka
  • Ground-targeted AoE – After a short delay, creates a Z radius field for X seconds in which allies gain (insert buff here), while enemies get Silenced. Effect lasts while on the field. If an allied champ gets attacked on the field or if an enemy attacks while on the field, the field’s radius increases and the duration is refreshed.
    • Counterplay - Don't attack someone on the field if you don't want to stay silenced.
    • This is a different form of conditional save which requires someone (ally/enemy) to be in the zone to have any effect at all. I guess you can literally call it a ZONING skil HUEHUEHUEHUEHUE
  • Mana scaling – If this will remain, I feel it needs increased scaling on damage; it is currently awful, from early to late game.

Passive – This heavily depends on skillset direction. In the skills I’ve made up, Soraka’s healing is either tied into a new passive or her starcall. If the healing is tied with starcall, then the starcall exponential damage idea cannot be used and Soraka is left with no innate tankiness along with pitiful damage, so ideally her passive would address one of the two.
  • Healing passive (discussed above in heal section)
  • For every spell cast, Soraka gains a stack lasting X seconds giving Y armor and MR, up to a maximum of Z stacks
    --Gives some much needed survivability during starcall spam
  • Soraka’s autoattacks mark enemies with a star sigil for 1.5 seconds. If this enemy kills an allied unit, Soraka gains +1 true damage. Works on minions. If an enemy champ kills an allied champ while marked, Soraka gains +10 true damage
    • Increasing Soraka’s skillcap is my business
    • A skilled Soraka can farm true damage and carry the game. Maybe.
    • The reason for this is to give Soraka potential offensive power, since the rest of her skills have become so defensive.
    • May require reduced base attack speed to balance it out.
    • Visual indicator can be adding particles to Soraka’s tattoos. Every successful farm flashes red, at certain thresholds the tattoos change color permanently.


Among my suggestions, the ones I find the most cohesive are:
• Healing Meteor Starcall
• Block damage Astral Blessing
• Infuse ground target aoe
• Lower cooldown, stronger heal single target Ultimate
• True Damage Passive


In conclusion and to reiterate, my general goals were:
• Change Soraka’s method of healing to stop Riot from beating her with the nerf bat
• Give her a form of CC that cannot be outright used offensively (but can bait and outsmart enemies)
• Give her a way to clutch save an ally that isn’t healing related and isn’t used by other champs ( I sort of failed here; Soraka ends up somewhat similar to Janna, though I think she’s still unique enough)
• Give her a way to scale with items (CDR and Tank items)
• Give her skills that make her a threat, not a joke.


Hopefully I somewhat succeeded. Even if this was futile (new ability icons = no rework after all?), I had fun thinking and writing this up. Feel free to rip it all apart GD, I know you can do it. The best criticism is harsh criticism.


Some other Soraka topics with various suggestions (All Soraka threads need to be bumped until every one of them has a Riot response):
http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com...php?p=41405177 – main soraka discussion thread, many good suggestions
http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com...3#post41406593
http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com....php?t=4180841
http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com....php?t=3892397
http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com....php?t=4194109
http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com....php?t=4194170
http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com....php?t=3892397
http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com....php?t=4191172
http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com....php?t=4218180
http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com....php?t=4181101
http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com....php?t=4194101 http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com...php?p=44388080 – Soraka healing compared to others





TL;DR – My Soraka Rework Ideas. Comment, discuss, berate, rip apart, bump until Red post.

Also post your own ideas/thoughts.


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Vikkypoo

Senior Member

01-30-2014

Passive : astral shift
When you are Stunned, Feared, snared, terrified , you phase out of existence temporarily causing all melee, ranged and spell attacks to miss you for 2 sec. This effect has a 10 sec cooldown.

^ fixes all in deaths

Q:
Launches a volley of light at a single target, causing X +AP damage and slowing an enemy, or X healing to an ally instantly. [makes it like infuse]

W and E are fine IMO

R: sanctuary of the stars
Creates a field of Light, healing all within it for X +AP every 2 sec for 10 sec.

or

R: Fury of the stars
Soraka surrenders herself to the power of the stars, gaining the ability to transform into a being of the cosmos increasing her armor, Magic resist, healing and Ability power lasts 15 second.


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OMG halp meh plz

Senior Member

01-30-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikkypoo View Post
Passive : astral shift
When you are Stunned, Feared, snared, terrified , you phase out of existence temporarily causing all melee, ranged and spell attacks to miss you for 2 sec. This effect has a 10 sec cooldown.

^ fixes all in deaths

Q:
Launches a volley of light at a single target, causing X +AP damage and slowing an enemy, or X healing to an ally instantly. [makes it like infuse]

W and E are fine IMO

R: sanctuary of the stars
Creates a field of Light, healing all within it for X +AP every 2 sec for 10 sec.

or

R: Fury of the stars
Soraka surrenders herself to the power of the stars, gaining the ability to transform into a being of the cosmos increasing her armor, Magic resist, healing and Ability power lasts 15 second.

The passive and Fury of the stars ult are certainly interesting; a much stronger take on tanky defensive Soraka. Two Healing skills in the base kit is kind of a lot though, not sure if that would pass Riot's "sustain is cancer" sensors.


Sanctuary of stars is sort of Similar to Janna's heal over time ult though, don't you think?


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Vikkypoo

Senior Member

01-30-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by OMG halp meh plz View Post
The passive and Fury of the stars ult are certainly interesting; a much stronger take on tanky defensive Soraka. Two Healing skills in the base kit is kind of a lot though, not sure if that would pass Riot's "sustain is cancer" sensors.


Sanctuary of stars is sort of Similar to Janna's heal over time ult though, don't you think?
abit like janna's w/o the cc, i did that only because there are so many other re used ultimates.

[see Ezreal jinx draven ashe]

2 heals in the the kit with 1 being more of an offensive, but Q cant be casted on herself so it doesnt make her op and unkillable, may make her adc or tank un-killable though. Id assume most rakas would use it for the cc though.