Hello Morello, I'm a BR Soraka player. I know how hard Riot works to hear from experienced players how they feel the next changes should be on a champion they play and i want to give my deep impressions about that so underrated champion that i

love so much but at the same time dislike the feeling in her actual form.

First, to show how what i am actually saying is truth, here is my LK:

And to prove I REALLY have success playing her competitively here is a picture of me and my friend(Scytar) just before i reach plat 1 and he plat 4:

First: Thank you for creating her concept. There is a lot of things i love about this champion (from the jokes and history to the kit itself).
Second: Though i like her...
What the hell!?

As you can imagine, if i spend so much time playing with her is normal to expect that i've mastered advanced mechanics she also have and try to uses it in the best way possible.
Very few people know how her starcall at level 1 (while kiting) can even outplay two or three champions at the same time (making sure first bloods) or that her ult can be used as an extra source of money if you use it while a kill is happening on mid or top (making not necessary gold generation items.

But I'm not here to do a guide about her. I'm here to give you my impressions about her and my opinion about how it's hard playing as Soraka in our current world and with her current kit (even if am having success by doing an really big effort when playing with her).

As a "stone wrote" champion, she was designed to be support. A support that should heal, protect and help not only her ADC as (in very specific moments) the other lanes in game (yes, I'm assuming one is playing her in meta game even knowing it's not necessary or priority), delivering DPS damage and improving magical damage towards enemies while doing some silences.

If that is the idea, I don't feel she does that.

Every time i play her i have hard times against all the massive CC people so much loves to use. Every time i play her i have to do triple checks on each notion i have about the game and almost all the time win by leading my teams to the objectives, leading traps or starting team fights in situations i could, by further experiences, see we had advantage.

From a lot of perspectives, even if i'm a passionate Soraka player, i feel that the one that is doing all the winning work is "me",not "me while using Soraka". If it makes sense.

Well, everything starts (i believe) when we look to her kit.

Chapter one: Starcall.

Ah! My favorite and bright, but at the same time, worst skill.

As a 2,5 seconds cooldown dps. It's my top choice skill to upgrade at level 1. Why? It's really, really good to see the amount of potential damage you can do at level 1 or 2 with this skill while being chased or the amount of help you can do as you use it while being ganked. It has a cool idea.
But why i said i hate it so much? Why I'm not happy with it?

Thinking as someone that don't started to play two hours ago, i can say I don't want to push a lane if i don't am thinking about that right now.
Don't give me the: "Soraka is not competitive and don't need to care about that stuff". You don't need to be a genius to understand that it's bad to have as a consequence "advancing lane" as a response for just a small damage to your oponent.

Well... But maybe pushing lane in order to do some damage is not a real problem as you can simple ward against ganks and use this skill to farm more minions! Maybe we could see her as a champion designed to be pushing lanes with everyone and be some kind of top defender! But oh! I remember now! She was projected to be a support! And supports don't, usualy , get the best of their role while farming (even knowing that some succesfuly do). She was also nerfed to use her gold generation items because of the "necessity to don't farm"! What a realization!

As a DPS skill in a suportive champion, she does everything you don't want to, and have so many disadvantages due to the leak of control that it really feels that if you click in the skill descriptionm it will have some incredible amazing effects to compensate it. Something that a new player could imagine as being a "doing damage per seconds" effect (like two or three seconds after each star), put marks that explode after other stars (rewarding Sorakas that stay always close to the combat), heal people nearby when stars hits (creating sinergy), giving movement speed or whatever that could happen during starcalls. But there is a problem there.

I don't defend any of the effects i said before and am not listing any ask for changes yet, just am trying to exemplify a hole of compensation that still exists in the usage of this skill.

When you analyze it's new effect about reducing Astral Blessing cooldown, it turns out to have a good concept, but don't feel right when seeing the hidden risks and situations to get full use of this effect. Starcall have a short range and put yourself in a very complicated situation that (in a lot of times) can make you using the Astral Blessing you just took off CD in yourself in order to compensate the damage you took. More than that, healing is the most counterable and "hateable" effect of the game as you have items and skills that deeply cut it's effect, as well as is bad the fact it's CD reduction increase per level. It makes upgrading starcall first or not having both really poor effects during early and mid game due to the leak of level in each one. It is also an strange concept as it's counter intuitive to build CD reduction to it, as starcall reduction is completely based on and % and not a fix amount.

Starcall appears to be a good skill idea. A skill that should merge short range risks and high teamplay rewards. Somethings that put soraka in a bad position, even stoping her of moving while she does the skill (exactly like it happens) but that also have deep effects in the battle field as everyones will starts to try killing/silencing/stunning her right away considering her utility and leak on defenses.

The first change i would point is to making starcall a "champion against" only skill, and creating an alternative channeling for her.
Clicking one time, she will do a regular starcall in every enemy champion nearby. Channeling during 1 seconds will do bonus damage to minions and monsters but hitting every enemy nearby.

I believe this simple change will make it continue to have some defensive lane power as well as a dps capacity through the match, and it would be a change i would like to see as it does not changes soraka's feeling during gameplay.

The second change would be in what starcall truly does when it hits a champion, and i believe that is some of the hardest things to explain.

Somehow, reducing magical resistence can be translated as "increasing magical damage", and this effect (trully) is really one of the most underated right now (even more after the huge nerf it's effect had). As a suport champion that often (to not say everytime) will be with an AD champion and be focused during team fights, i believe this effect does not have a presence as it should have during early and mid game (the most important parts of the game to a suportive effective champion like her), as well as in the late game when you will not have the space to hit many starcalls in a row and res magic will be big enough to not really reward someone that don't manages to hit an enemy more than six times with it.

I belive that it could be reworked as something more useful, that stays with the concept of incresing incoming damage and creates more rewarding to professional Sorakas that manages to hit many starcalls in a row in the middle of complicated team fights (what it's not even close to be easy as you need to do it for more than 25 seconds without cdr, and more than 15 seconds with CDR).

It could be an generical increase of damage, like:

"Everytime soraka's hit a champion with starcall this champion will receive 2,5% more damage from allied skills and autoattacks for 6 seconds. This skill can stack up to 10 times"

Stacking would be (as it already is) a very hard task to do, but with a good amount of rewarding to a team focused in doing it. Something that would not only increase the attention soraka receive in a team fight as well it would start to create situations around: "how to let her use more starcalls" or "how to not let her do it", creating situations that she will be more rewarded to be in the middle of the fight instead of being in the back line healing like: "lets destroy all the enemy's poke damage as a heal dick", if you get what i mean.

As a close range skill, i believe, it was projected to be a high risk/reward part of her kit that not only have to DPS champions and reward resilient player for very long fights but as well reward it's usage with casual effect just by the act of using it and by the mana cost.

The actual CD reduction on her Astral Blessing was not (really) a bad idea, as it rewards a soraka that lives in the battle field with more supportive potential, but it's hard to think about it (in the way it is) as a functional effect as you have to be with starcall at level 5 to use it properly and you will be most likely to receive good amounts of damage while using it. And using just to reduce Astral CD slightly, because it's a percentual reduction, what is even strange to the fact it should be a high risk skill: The way it is, it incentives you to use 1 or 2 starcall in the start of Astral CD (to take the best part of its effect) and then back off for the back line to avoid damage. What does not make sense at all.

Trying to use it well It's just too much hard. Many other champions like thresh, leona, nami, janna and karma have way to good rewards by skill shots of safe distances that soraka will never get close to have with her starcall. A skill clear to see, that stops your movement ,don't have correct connection or substantial effects late game.

I believe it can be created synergy with her other skills by just converting that potential healing effect provided by her astral blessing cooldown reduction (what can be calculated) to her starcall itself. It don't need to reduce cooldowns at all, but, considering the starcall changes i said before, after 3 starcalls she could create a healing green explosion around her that could heals champions nearby her by a fix value, plus the amount of bonus damage done by her friends with the starcall damage increasing effect.

It would put everything into a very deep and active state of risk playing: Different from just spamming starcalls and healing from "safe" distances and positions, now professional player would have to stay in almost melee range combat all the time in order to use the full potential of this skill healing his friends, always considerating his position in order to not lose a good part of it's effect (what soraka players never did as she never had a skill shot). This way it starts to reward way more for high risk playing and positioning and appear less effetive to passive boring actions like healing only or staying in the back.

I believe this would already make very good differences in game. It would feel likes playing soraka and not a strange melee, dps, range, healing, suport, pusher who don't do anything well but also silence in the bot lane.

Chapter two: Astral Blessing

Even if there is a lot of things about this skill that is strange and without sinergy, like receiving armor but just healing more while with low health (what is unlikely to do if you want to buff armor of someone in the beginning of a fight), and having a huge cooldown (20 seconds) while she is said to be a kind of "team fight healer" i believe it's more a problem with her passive instead of astral blessing itself.

Personaly i see this skill as the soraka unavoidable presence in the field. People can say her ult is what makes her shine, they never changed a fight with astral blessing.

As a present unique healing/protective skill that should instantly protect and turn tables when well used, i believe it's duration of protection should be reduced and the the amount of protection buffed. I don't feel like a persistent buffs that also heals a lot is a good design of healing to a team fight. It feels like being in the back and doing nothing but using it when you have.

The protective buff should be reduced to 1 second, and its protection should be generalized to any type of damage, as well as it's healing and cooldown reduced and it's range reduced.
Why all that?

See this example:

"Soraka blesses a friendly unit, restoring health and granting massive damage reduction for 1 second."

It would heal a maximum of 150 hp (reduced healing effect) with a 0.5 ap ratio (rewarding well supportive sorakas that will have more money to build ap itens late game) giving an 75% damage reduction for 1 second (changing protection to any kind of damage), with 12 a seconds cooldown (reducing cooldown).

This way, and one more time, it would reward attentive, risk players, sorakas that understand when incoming damage is coming instead of just healing someone after the damage already get in like "heal dicks".

I really, REALLY, don't like how most part of the players use and think about soraka's Astral Blessing. It's not about only healing, it's about protecting with precision and effectiness!
It shouldn't feel like "just healing" would be as good as "healing and deflecting in the right time".

After all, this is soraka main skill, soraka main team fight bright . There is no way it should have a 20 seconds cooldown, have big use animations, non risk/reward with a huge ranges or heal a lot by itself. More than that, changing this way rewards attentive players who use her as well as player that want to counter it by just waiting until it's effect end. This way it should be used carefully and turn tables if used carefully.

I really think just those two changes would, already, improve a lot of the experience of any soraka player that dive deep in her mechanics and utilitys with the will of hugging risks and challenging plays. It does not disrupt soraka game play feeling and gave her more utility early/mid game (by reducting cooldown of astral blessing and rewarding properly her starcall use). All that without getting out of her healing characteristic and don't entering in the dedicated healer area.

Talking about her silence and ult, i believe her ult was very well projected and her silence is just fine. She don't need a stun to be good lol

I truly have a problem with her passive right now too (cause it feels it only exist to compensate her nerfs) but i will let you guys think about that more while looking the Soraka games data.

I'm not a english native and never had English courses, so please, be light with me.

If everything i said it's not clear, we can always ask Soraka's opinion about her actual state:

Soraka, talking about you actually, what do you think about people that says your kit is fine and they can do well with you as any other champion?

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Yes, i agree.
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Soraka is weak right now, and much of that is because Soraka has one job, heal others.

I think I'll respond with a link to my dev blog (still rough) where I talk about the concept of dedicated healers in PvP games;
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Originally Posted by Letler
Op makes an.amazing argument. Morello responds with 2 sentences and a link to a blog. Why not address his concepts so much work into a post with such a little response.

He suggests making soraka more of a damage reducer and enhancer and morello responds with how healing is bad??????
Will do - long posts are not something I can read in-depth at work as I have 2 minutes to look at the issue.

I didn't fight his idea, I provided additional thoughts - because I hadn't had a chance to review his specifics. If then, he's trying to move her away from that, then my article supports that direction, right?
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Originally Posted by siegfriedx1
You could answer some of my paragraphs with a little more information. I feel like you didn't put a lot of effort doing it
See above post
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Originally Posted by Postal Miku
Okay screw it
Rengar came out after you made this statement, like a long time ago, that guy has LITERAL FREE SUSTAIN BURST HEALING
Now, why is it that a bruiser can have it, a somewhat selfish champion, but a support designed for HELPING OTHER PLAYERS, cannot

not only that, but lifesteal has been a huge problem over season 3, it's too strong earlygame and way too accessible
spirit visage being a problem for most of S3 on champions like Nasus and Mundo

And dont give me the "B-BUT MUH RISK OF LAST HITTING CREEPS" there is no damn risk of attacking creeps for lifesteal
honestly lifesteal needs to be halved on creeps and kept the same on champions
It's a massive problem on Rengar. In a selfish sense, at least you know every iteration of how the healing can exist - if only X can benefit from the healing, you don't have to worry about A-W _ healer, which is where the problem lies.

Sustain has a place when used effectively - the article even calls out it's only the dedicated healer problem, not the concept of heals.
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Originally Posted by Hellioning
Well, yes, but it sounds like you saw the title of the thread and just thought 'welp, Soraka player, let's get some pageviews!'

I understand you don't exactly have all the time in the world, but couldn't you do something like 'I am working right now but I will get to this later'? I'd like that a lot more then what you just did.
That's fair - I get zealous to provide a response and often shortcut. A bad pattern of mine as it typically bites me in the ass :P
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Originally Posted by Slovakattack
Well, if someone slams you for being overeager to interact with the player-base, it won't be me.

It' my favorite part about Riot and this game, honestly.
Eh, it has tradeoffs :P

I'll respond to the OP when I can, I think it's worth a discussion. Fixing Soraka requires getting her out of blue healer territory, and we need to do it (it's high on the pri list, at least!) so it'd be good to share thoughts on how.
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Originally Posted by Xyrne
I've been disliking it ever since they decided it was a good idea to go and **** all over supports and specifically the healers. And the way they deliberately try to drive players away from playing certain champions is pathetic.
**** all over supports? You're joking, right?

Look, I was OK tanking the "Riot hates supports" even if it's flat-out insane-talk before we fixed their underlying issues. Dedicated healers (maybe more specifically, "pacifist" dedicated healers) aren't something we'll see in League for the reasons I've mentioned a lot of times. Supports are awesome characters that we like to have in League.


* Support characters are awesome ways to add teamwork and help friends.
* Annie being overpowered is a balance issue and not indicative of the design intent behind changes, and I'm pretty sure that's very obvious to any reasonable person.
* Healing and sustain mechanics in and of themselves aren't an issue (but like any mechanic can have problematic results). Their results are not related to the dedicated healer discussion (Vlad is a problem, but for somewhat different reasons).
* Dedicated healers that match a priest/medic/healer model are not appropriate for team-based PvP. and there are still zero compelling counter-arguments to the reasoning on this.
* Soraka suffers from the exact above problem because when she's balanced, it has the exact effect we talk about. When she doesn't have that problem, she's weak and unsatisfying.

The OP here is trying to present a case for moving her a new direction because he loves Soraka. It's noble and something long-overdue.
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Originally Posted by siegfriedx1
Thanks for your patience on a response! Let me go through the specific issues you list:

Problem 1: Starcall is a cool skill, but pushes the lane so much you can't use it.

True - a good avenue of attack to help this skill out. While I'm not sure the channel thing isn't really clunky (especially on a PBAOE and stack skill on a non-tank character), the idea that it has a champion-only effect, with a minion effect if the player wants it has a lot of merit.

The damage amp is a bit of an issue, because damage amps math out in a crazier way than -resists. I do think making it something her lane mate can use (both resists, or something) makes sense if we keep Starcall.

Suggestion for W: it should be used for big saves. Make it more timing-based.

Agreed. I think the passive should be tuned here too (as the lower the target, the more the "bait" and turn should be). I especially prefer this kicks in late-game as effects like this can decimate a lane, and this can handle some of the natural scaling (scales with team gold overall) to get her into teamfights.

I still think Soraka needs more work than that, but these could be decent pieces or hold-overs if available. I'll ask the team what they think.
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Originally Posted by OMG halp meh plz
Annie wasn't a problem until you nerfed traditional support bases AND ratios. You seem to have forgotten that you guys did this. Oddly enough, tank support bases and ratios were not affected, and they enjoy massive success.

Therefore, Riot hates supports.

Also I'm pretty sure its futile to give Soraka suggestions since you guys will ignore it all and do your own thing anyway; I assume its a "Riot is alpha male" thing.
Mages were undertuned a few patches after Season 3 due to assassin itemization.

Therefore Riot hates mages.
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Originally Posted by SexualHarrasadar
What are your thoughts on Nidalee's heal? At this point in time it's more potent than Soraka's, on half the CD, and due to Nidalee's playstyle encourages even less interaction with the opponent than Soraka does, as Soraka needs to subject herself to combat to make the most use of her kit now while Nidale's primary playstyle is sit back, chuck spears, and pounce away from any dangers.

One could argue that Nidalee's heal is even worse from a design standpoint than Soraka at this point. Though you trade out the sizable armor buff for a moderate AS increase that isn't exactly the most appreciated thing.
My Nidalee example is likely bad - I copypasta'd that piece from long ago when that wasn't the case. I should edit that because you're right...that's not a good example anymore either.
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Originally Posted by Rubidium
u r fat
I prefer
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Originally Posted by Fashion Mage
You didn't respond to the important part of that quote (even though it's true that Riot has pretty much completely ignored the players which is why there's an issue with supports right now):

I'm aware that you guys don't specifically hate any role in League, but I find your design to be very questionable.
Because supports are mistuned due to us trying to get it out on time? Not to say that's not a mistake, but man, I don't think any good game designers exist if that's an indication of bad design. :P
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Originally Posted by OMG halp meh plz
I don't know what your intent or Riot's intent is since I don't work there; then again outside of the balance and champ department, it seems many Riot employees are left in the dark as well. What you intend is a nebulous concept that is currently NOT present in the game. Based on one of your posts yesterday, I can loosely gather that you are at least aware of the massive problems present in the game, however mere awareness does not make the game more enjoyable to play.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions; it is meaningless to have a beautiful vision of the game, but not practically execute it.
That is 100% correct. That's the focus for this year, and it's going to be painful (IE; categoric changes to areas of the game/classes/champion sets).

A lot of this has been fear of alienating players when fixing this stuff. I think that risk is totally worth the cost now.
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Originally Posted by hashinshin
Riot just needs someone who takes 100% of the blame for finally gutting Soraka's kit. They need a Batman of design, who does what needs to be done. When all the regular designers cower in fear from public lynching BatDesigner will swoop in and tear her kit apart.
I think someone signed me up for that. Hehe
4 years, 3 months ago
Lead Designer
Originally Posted by KirbyCake
this is bull ****

you guys have nerfed every solo lane support champion and then when you announced you were going to increase gold flow to supports, you said that we're nerfing all traditional support champions because they may be too overpowered with the increased gold.

worst logic i have ever heard of
Actually, even with your spin on it, that logically makes complete sense. I think you just made the point for me.


Is that clearer?
4 years, 3 months ago