Red Post Collection: Discussion on the preseason support changes, including Alistar, Janna, Leona, Lulu, Soraka, & Taric!

Posted on at 3:14 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection features a heaping helping of posts regarding the preseason support changes currently being tested on the PBE! 
Continue reading to catch up on all the fun ( reading )!

Recent News

Because things have been so fast paced lately, here's some links to recent articles that have been updated with new information:

Alternatively, you should check out the 10/31 PBE post because if you don't, it will be had to grasp some of the upcoming discussion which deals heavily with the preseason support changes.

( Note : Since there are so many posts coming out across so many different threads, I've seperated things up based on champion. Enjoy. )


When asked if Alistar, a support champion who received no PBE changes in today's update, will be getting any changes, Meddler commented:
"Alistar we'd like to do some general work on, in addition to adjustments for these preseason changes. He's been weak for a while due to some of the problems his kit creates when it's strong. As far as melee supports in general go assessing them will be one of our next focuses and there's certainly potential for some utility scaling on some of them. Some however already do extremely well with items and may not need the additional help (we suspect Blitzcrank may be a good example of that, still testing though)."


In response to confusion on the values behind Janna's shield's new AP ratios work, Meddler shared a new iteration being tested soon:
"Our latest iteration's using a 0.1 AP->AD ratio. No promises that'll be final though of course, this stuff's work in progress as we adjust to the gold income changes coming in the preseason."
He continued on her Shield AD ratio, saying:
"We're going to be testing a 0.1 ratio and a base of 40 at rank 5 for our next iteration (so equals out at 100 AP and stronger beyond that). We suspect that may still be strong, supports are getting a decent amount of AP now. Another option we're also tossing around is whether this is an appropriate skill for AP scaling in the first place too though - the AP ratio on the shield itself may be more sufficient and scaling utility power better used on other parts of her kit."

He also commented on her ultimate, saying:
"As far as the ratio on Janna's ult goes we suspect that may be too strong, since it was balanced around Janna never actually getting much AP (or, when she was, you were giving up a solo lane for it usually). We're not changing that yet, would like to actually see it prove to be OP first though."


RiotWrekz, champion designer, commented on Leona's set of preseason changes, giving some context behind and clarification on them:
"I wanted to drop in here and explain a little bit about these changes as well as correcting a misinterpretation. One of our goals for looking at core supports was to ensure that when given an influx of scaling potential these characters were getting better at providing their unique forms of utility. Some of our other supports provide different benefits to their team than the "core support" style of utility when they scale. Leona, with additional gold and scaling, should become a tank. The Eclipse changes discussed throughout this thread were mis-communicated, the actual change on the PBE is below: 
Armor and magic resist bonus lowered to 25/35/45/55/65 from 30/40/50/60/70
Grants bonus armor equal to 20% of Leona's bonus armor.
Grants bonus magic resistance equal to 20% of Leona's bonus magic resistance.

As with anything on the PBE this change is a work in progress, but I wanted to ensure that players have the correct impression of what we are trying and how we envision Leona progressing through a game. With the changes in gold generation for supports it is important that we consider the role of tanky supports in the game and scale these characters appropriately. These characters tend to have high levels of crowd control and initiation power, which scales inherently with cooldown reduction and survivability as those stats enable second or third rounds of spells in a fight. When too powerful these champions are also able to become extremely dominating in games. With the influx of additional scaling these characters will already become substantially more powerful. As we see the impact of other changes to income we will be continuing to evaluate the role of melee supports in the game and making adjustments."


Samizul, Champion Designer,  commented on

"I wanted Lulu's shield to feel more impactful if she's getting AP so that she feels like she can match up to other shields. But I didn't want to increase her total health spike too dramatically, and I also didn't want to make Wild Growth feel any less good than the shield.

Lulu's total health given over the course of a teamfight will definitely go up in most situations."


When asked how Soraka's new cooldown mechanic on her Q functions exactly and if it's useful after you've maxed out at 40% CDR, Meddler commented :
"The reduction from Starcall's independent of the CDR reduction, so yes, it's still useful if you're CDR capped. 
Here's how it works: 
If you've got no CDR, Astral Blessing has a 20s CD. Hit a champion with max rank Starcall and Starcall's current CD will be reduced by 10% of 20s (2s). E.g. Astral Blessing has 6s left until it's ready, Starcall hits reducing that to 4s. 
Or if you've got max CDR (40%) Astral Blessing has a 12s CD. Hitting an enemy champion will then take 1.2s off the current CD remaining."

As for why her ultimate was reduced, he commented:
"Soraka's Wish was adjusted due to her new passive, which increases the strength of her heals the lower the target's health %. Evens out with the current live values around 40% target health, stronger on targets below that (who are generally the people you most want to be healing in the first place)."

Samizul also replied to a question about Soraka's W changes, asking why Riot chose to reduce the duration but up the effect:
"We're looking to make some of the heals in League of Legends more reaction based, so you can cast "clutch" heals that are better used to both heal and intercept damage rather than just one of those. Soraka's heal, granting a now-increased amount of physical damage reduction for a shorter duration is one example of this. It can be used to both heal and follow up by reducing incoming damage, or it can just be used as a less optimal passive heal. 
In another Soraka thread I mentioned another example of this - a single target heal that gave % damage reduction to the next incoming spell damage or auto attack. Giving a huge amount of DR to a single important incoming ability can be really exciting.

I believe Meddler worked on these changes though, so he may have had other reasons as well."


When asked why Taric's passive was changed from an every hit to a on spell cast proc, Meddler noted:
"Taric's passive does not stack, so you'll need to weave auto attacks between spell casts if you want to maximize it (and sometimes you'll want to pass up on the passive proc too of course in favor of quicker casts)."

General & Other

Responding to the general panic of players trying to digest the copious amounts of preseason changes being released, Meddler commented:
"Can understand the concern, some of these changes do look surprisingly on paper and, in some cases, different to those being made to other supports. Some food for thought to go with that: 
1. Supports are both getting a lot more gold this coming season and won't be spending anywhere near as much on vision items. How much power that gold then offers varies dramatically from support to support based off CDs, rest of kit etc, so it's difficult to just compare ratio changes. This is also important within a single kit as well, adding AP scaling to a frequently used passive like Powerchord is for example much more impactful, point for point, than the same amount of AP scaling from a long CD ult that's not used primarily for damage (like Crescendo). 
2. This is an ongoing project. We'll be making changes to support AP scaling both during their time on the PBE and then later in subsequent patches as needed. We've done a bunch of internal testing of course, the scale and breadth of feedback from PBE/the live servers though is invaluable as the next step of this work. Feedback's greatly appreciated, particularly to these changes once people have had a chance to play with and against them. The exact numbers here probably aren't perfect, what we've been much more focused on is the goal of these changes - allowing supports to scale more of their utility as the game progresses, giving them a distinct difference to damage dealers that could also be run in a duo lane and emphasizing what attracts a lot of players to these champions in the first place.

3. We're also currently testing having AP increase the slow % on E's Powerchord effect. Additionally while she may have less new points of AP scaling Sona gets a LOT of power from the E movement speed boost especially, given its a team wide buff in contrast to many other supports' single target effects."
He continued, agreeing with someone who pointed out a lot of concern about nerfs is coming from people who haven't experienced how much gold supports are capable of getting now:
"Yeah, this is the real big change going on. Changes to individual supports by contrast are more about adjusting them to work well/hopefully be better balanced within that new world of gold for non CSing duo laners. In particular we're working to add the right levers to adjust their power if they get overshadowed by damage dealers bot (e.g. damage mage plus ADC) or if they end up being insanely strong now they're getting thousands more gold than before."

Meddler also commented that they are expecting to see some non supports showing up more in the duo bot:
"We're expecting a bunch of non support champs to be played as non CSers bot and that's ok. We do want supports to have a clear niche and reason to be picked though, with a trade off of 'Do I want a mage (or whatever) for more damage or a support for more utility?' If supports end up getting overshadowed then we'll buff them, that utility in particular, distinguishing them from mages rather than just giving a bunch of damage to everyone - we don't want to just convert supports into mages that go bot."
He continued:
"Certainly not opposed to champions that can be played in roles other than their primary one, provided that other role is healthy for the game (e.g. top Lulu was able to leave enemies without much counterplay and just massively lane bullied so was inappropriate, Zyra by contrast is reasonably healthy as both a mid and a support).

Whether these particular changes will enable to discourage supports in other lane not sure yet, there are a lot of moving parts in this upcoming patch. Our first priority however is giving them the appropriate tools for their primary role."
 He also commented:
"There's potential for some really interesting duo lanes this season with the changes to gold income and yeah, really looking forward to some of those champs making a mark there. That's definitely something we can support going forwards if it proves to be fun and healthy for the game, first step though's to work on getting the primary supports into the right spot."

When asked if non support utility champions - examples being Shen and Galio - will ever get utility scaling, Meddler commented:
"Not impossible, particularly someone like Galio who's got some supporting elements to his playstyle already. Depends in part on how these changes go too and what adjustments we then feel do or don't need to be made to other currently unchanged supports. Most of our supports have been developed and balanced for games where they have a very limited pool of items to other champions, so there'll be a bunch of adjustments to make as we all figure out exactly how this impacts support play, itemization, balance, popular picks etc."

As for how these changes will effect ARAM, he noted:
"ARAM's not intended to be a perfectly balanced experience, so that's not a massive issue. In this particular case though those supports are so incredibly powerful on ARAM already we'd be really surprised if they weren't, at the very least, average or better after these changes."

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