Saturday, May 18, 2013

How to nerf Sona (QQ)

Writing this sort of makes me sad, because I love Sona, and it will make me sad for her to be weaker.  However, I do think she's OP right now, and nerfing her is 100% reasonable.  This is in response to this Riot forum post.

For anyone reading this post linked from there, I have 700+ games with Sona and I wrote this approved Sona guide on, so I actually know what I'm talking about.

  • Nerf her ultimate.  This is what I would like to see targeted most of all.  Ways to do this:
    • Increase the cooldown (not recommended---I hate nerfing champions by just increasing cooldowns.  It just makes it feel worse to play the champion.)
    • Make it do 0 damage (this is reasonable but sort of silly and doesn't really address the issues---her utility is crazy-good)
    • Return it to the DOT that it used to do (fine, but not sufficient, see above)
    • Decrease the stun duration:
      • Everywhere.  That would be okay, but I would rather see
      • The farther you are from her, the less you're stunned for, or
      • The closer you are to her, the less you're stunned for.
      This is my favorite option for nerfing Sona.  Make her stun variable duration depending on how far you are from her.  Either way promotes more creative play from Sona.  If close-range stuns last the longest, you want to make sure you're right on top of your ADC so you can stun the diver immediately.  If long-range stuns last the longest, you actually want to be staying decently far from your ADC so you'll get the longest stun possible.  Obviously this also opens additional counterplay options against Sona, which is always nice.
    • Decrease the area.  This would be okay to be honest.  I would hate this change because it's ridiculous how much intuition you get about the area of a skill, but it makes sense: her AoE is really big, and if you want to keep the same duration stun why wouldn't you just nerf the area.  But I'd rather see the stun duration changed.
  • Nerf her auras.  There are a LOT of ways to do this.
    • Just nerf the numbers overall.  This already happened once.  I don't suggest doing it again.
    • Make her auras decay over time.  THIS IS THE SINGLE BEST WAY TO NERF SONA.  We already have a decay of her W from double bonus to single bonus after 3 seconds.  What I'd rather see is a decay per second from double bonus to half-bonus over a slightly longer period, and I'd like to see this on all three of her skills.  So if she's completely oom and can't refresh her auras, she's basically screwed.
      • This doesn't punish active Sona play that much in the short run
      • If Sona can't be effective in the short run, it massively punishes her in the long run
      • It massively punishes passive Sona
      • Increases Sona's skill ceiling (not that she's not already really complicated, but this would make her more challenging in a good way and reward coordination between her and her ADC.  And no one can say that Sona is intended to be straightforward to play with her passive)
    •  Make Sona's auras do less to herself than to her allies.  This is a BAD change to Sona, as it would encourage passive play.
    • Make her residual aura after she switches stances last for less time.  Please no.  Being able to go E --> Q --> W without losing the defense aura for any time but giving yourself the Q-chord against an objective/in an allin is actually pretty important, in my opinion.  And more importantly, if you're running away with E persistent and you have enough mana, you want to Q --> W --> E and then get the E-chord off on whoever's chasing you without losing your MS for any time at all.  And to be honest, nerfing that is just going to make people who main Sona sad without actually adjusting her balance sufficiently.
  • Nerf her Q/W numbers.
    • Cut down on her early damage.  I would hate to see this because (1) it encourages passive play, and (2) it takes away a lot from what makes Sona herself
    • Cut down on her W heal increase per level and increase its AP scaling.  I like this because it rewards healing from a Q aura as opposed to a W aura.  (I like this idea a LOT.)
    • Increase her mana costs.  I actually don't think this is a good idea unless it's in conjunction with 1-2 other things also, because her mana costs are already so high that increasing them further to make her be balanced on that alone will make her lose at all but the very top levels of play in terms of coordination between ADC and support.
  • Nerf her base stats.  Please no.  This is another really delicate line to cross.  I already feel that flat HP quints are 100% necessary on her; nerfing her base stats more will just lock item builds/runes without addressing the real problems.
  • Remove the auto-attack reset upon getting a power chord.  I don't actually recommend this, but it would be better than some changes.

So, yeah.  I may update this post as I come up with more things.  The last thing I want to say is that I don't actually think nerfing Sona is as appropriate as buffing other supports, and I'd rather see very slight nerfs to Sona and more substantial buffs to other supports.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Clone Recommended Item Builds Update

I updated this for Howling Abyss and figured I'd repost.  Enjoy!

Link to OP. 

# A Python script to allow you to 'clone' a customized set of recommended items.
# Written by RheingoldRiver.  Feel free to modify and share it but please don't
# claim you wrote it yourself if you do so.

# This code is intended to work with Enigma's Recommended Items Changer.  I am
# in no way affiliated with Enigma and any errors here are entirely my own.
# If you have League installed in a different directory, edit the variables
# dirOrig and dirNew accordingly.

# The inputs are (1) a string of the champion whose build you want to clone;
# (2) a vector of strings of the champions to which you want to clone the build;
# (3) a string denoting which mode you want to take the build from; and (4)
# a string denoting which mode you want to copy the build to.  Mode strings are
# "sr" for Summoner's Rift"; "dom" for Dominion; "ha" for Howling Abyss;
# and "tt" for Twisted Treeline.

# Example inputs:
#    cloneBuild("Sona",["Janna","Nami","Lulu"],"sr","sr")
# will copy your Summoner's Rift Sona build to Janna, Nami, and Lulu on
# Summoner's Rift.
#    cloneBuild("Irelia",["Irelia"],"sr","dom")
# will copy your Summoner's Rift Irelia build to Irelia on Dominion.

# If one of your builds contains items not available on a particular map then
# the program will still work; those items will just not appear in your
# recommended items on that map.

ADC = ["Ashe", "Caitlyn", "Corki", "Draven", "Ezreal", "Graves", "Kayle",
       "Kogmaw", "MissFortune", "Quinn", "Sivir", "Tristana", "Twitch", "Urgot",
       "Varus", "Vayne"]
SUPPORT = ["Alistar", "Blitzcrank", "Fiddlesticks", "Janna", "Leona", "Lulu",
            "Lux", "Nami", "Nidalee", "Nunu", "Sona", "Soraka", "Taric",
            "Thresh", "Zilean", "Zyra"]
APMANA = ["Ahri", "Anivia", "Annie", "Brand", "Cassiopeia", "ChoGath", "Diana",
          "Elise", "Evelynn", "Fizz", "Galio", "Gragas", "Heimerdinger",
          "Karma", "Karthus", "Kassadin", "LeBlanc", "Lissandra", "Malzahar",
          "Morgana", "Orianna", "Ryze", "Sion", "Swain", "Syndra", "Teemo",
          "TwistedFate", "Veigar", "Viktor", "Xerath", "Ziggs"]
APMANALESS = ["Akali", "Katarina", "Kennen", "Mordekaiser", "Rumble",
ADBRUISER = ["Darius", "DrMundo", "Fiora", "Gangplank", "Garen", "Hecarim",
             "Irelia", "JarvanIV", "Jax", "Jayce", "Khazix", "LeeSin",
             "MasterYi", "Nasus", "Nocturne", "Olaf", "Pantheon", "Poppy",
             "Rammus", "Renekton", "Rengar", "Riven", "Shaco", "Shen",
             "Shyvana", "Skarner", "Talon", "Trundle", "Tryndamere", "Udyr",
             "Vi", "MonkeyKing", "XinZhao", "Yorick", "Zac", "Zed"]
APBRUISER = ["Amumu", "Malphite", "Maokai", "Nautilus", "Sejuani", "Singed",
             "Volibear", "Warwick"]

import os
def cloneBuild(orig,new,mode1,mode2):
    d1 = {"dom":"8", "sr":"1", "tt":"10", "pg": "3", "ha":"12"}
    d2 = {"sr":"CLASSIC", "dom":"ODIN", "tt":"CLASSIC", "pg":"any", "ha":"any"}
    fileOrig = "EnigmaItem_" + d1[mode1] + "_" + d2[mode1] + "-0.json"
    dirOrig = 'C:/Riot Games/League of Legends/Config/Champions/' + orig + '/Recommended/'
    fOrig = dirOrig + fileOrig
    f1 = open(fOrig,'r')
    s = f1.readline()
    for champ in new:
        fileNew = "EnigmaItem_" + d1[mode2] + "_" + d2[mode2] + "-0.json"
        dirNew = 'C:/Riot Games/League of Legends/Config/Champions/' + champ + '/Recommended/'
        if not os.path.exists(dirNew):
        fNew = dirNew + fileNew  
        f2 = open(fNew,'w')
        s = s.replace(orig,champ)
        s = s.replace(d2[mode1],d2[mode2])
        s = s.replace("\"map\":\""+d1[mode1]+"\"","\"map\":\""+d1[mode2]+"\"")

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

LCS Coverage and Patch 3.6 Thoughts

I got the chance to attend LCS this past weekend, giving coverage for LoLKing/ZAM.  You can find the three articles (match summaries and interviews) here, here, and here.

And changes to botlane in the 3.6 patch...

Corki:  This is actually pretty huge.  I think he should be at least decently viable if not strong.  He might even be strong enough to make Corki-Leona a good lane again.

Draven:  We knew this was coming, it's definitely a change for the better.

Ezreal: I hate Pulsefire Ezreal anyway.

Karma:  I think her cooldowns are still too long for botlane given what they do.  Her skills seem like they would make her a sustain/trading support, but they're basically the same as Lulu's cooldowns, don't do that much extra base damage, and she doesn't have the bonus on her autoattacks that Lulu does.  And her level 6 isn't going to let her save her ADC from the enemy support's ult (like Alistar's or Lulu's) or get a kill on the enemy ADC (like Sona's or Nami's)...definitely she's more of an AP mid.  That said, if you're a god at hitting your Qs, she does have the potential to output a good amount of damage.  I'd put her in the same class of support as Nidalee, where if you're able to outplay with skillshots it can be strong, but overall even if it wins early, it's probably going to lose late.

Lulu:  Aaaahh now I need to rewrite the Lulu article I wrote the other day.  Grr.  Help, Pix! is now more damage/mana efficient at all levels if you only hit one target with Glitterlance (more on that when I update the Lulu article).  Her E mana efficiency goes from 1.3 to 2.8; Q goes from 1.1 to 2.  [edit: done!]

Nunu:  It was actually kind of annoying when Consume expended Visionary but didn't cast.  Not really going to affect his viability that much, this is almost so minor as to be a QOL change.

Quinn:  Haven't seen enough of her to say whether this is going to affect her in a major way.  The Vault change is honestly probably the most important part of all of this.  She no longer has the highest-cooldown ult at all three levels though (Urgot's was already longer at level 3, but Urgot typically builds some CDR).

Sivir:  Don't think this is gonna help enough.

Sona:  To be honest, I thought her W-chord already didn't reduce Baron/Dragon damage.  Oops.

Thresh:  Thank god he finally got nerfed, but this isn't enough.  Like Sona, you can nerf him so that he's only barely viable if that at all levels of play below plat/diamond, but he's still gonna be insanely OP in the right hands.  His scaling with team communication is higher than that of any other champion I think.  Maybe Twisted Fate.

Vayne:  What.  I thought they realized that this would make her too strong so they weren't gonna do it.  She's gonna be REALLY strong now.  Not strong enough to win lane without massive outplay, but still a lot stronger.  Auto-Q-auto-condemn for 3 procs of silver bolts is way easier now.

Things I need to update:  My Lulu article, like I said [done].  And also some cooldown information in my Sona guide [jk don't need to do this].  I also intend to, at some point, add much more detailed information to the matchups sections (important cooldown timers, relative mana sustain, etc.) but that's gonna be about 5-10 hours worth of work, and I'm not sure when I'll have the time [yeah, soontm].

SNSS is on SATURDAY this week!