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Image and Role of Support

XelNecra November 13, 2012 User blog:XelNecra

I want to talk about the Role of the Support, as well as the image that has established among a majority of the casual gaming community.

<you enter a game channel>

Player1: Hi there, support pls
Player2: SUPPORT!!!!!
Player1: I said first, i wanna play support.
Player2: STFU u're last pick, go Carry or something.
Player1: I dont wanna play carry...
Player3: both GTFO, I support or i troll

A very unlikely scenario to happen, rigth?
I've seen the abovementioned conversations (or similar ones) for many champion roles every day. But usually for mid, AD or top, jungle sometimes, but not for support.
It is no news that the Role of the support is the most shunned one among casual players (who make a majority of the gaming community). But why is that so, and why does it have to be that way?
I think the anti-support attitude has a specific reason.
Lets take a Look at the current Supports (I will count those who are, without arguments [!!!!!], accepted as supports by a vast majority of the community. Teemo, Shen, Heimer, Orianna and co. will not be on the list. Not because i think they can not support, but if i'd add all champions that could support "in theory" then i could as well list them all up. I instead list those who everyone agrees on as a support. Whether orianna should be on the list or not is not a point i want to make in this discussion thread).
So, we have...

  • Soraka
  • Zilean
  • Janna
  • Taric
  • Lulu
  • Karma
  • Lux
  • Leona
  • Nunu
  • Nidalee
  • Kayle
  • Sona
  • Blitzcrank
  • Alistar
  • Hope i didn't forget anyone

Most of those champs are *gasp* female. When deducing the female ones, we have Taric, Zilean, Nunu, Alistar and Blitzcrank. Now, Taric has without question a... pink touch. Releasing the Armor of the 5th age Skin (also referred to as "Gay Taric" for a reason) did not really help that. Zilean is not only an old man, he is also outclassed by many other supports. I have seen more mid Zileans than support Zileans, and even the mid Zileans are already rare. Then there are Alistar and Nunu. Thats a Giant Cow-Beast, and a little boy who basically also rides a Giant Beast. Remains Blitzcrank, who somehow is a clunky robot...
So, supports are either Female, Gay, Old, Big hairy Beasts or Genderless clunky Robots. This might look like a small issue to many of you, however, to many others it is a criteria, even though a subliminal one. Just imagine there were ONLY male AD-Carries, and the only females ones were ugly viragos or gibberish, old crones. You would not like that either, and threads like this would be all over the forums. Why is it okay with supports? That is an obvious lack of variety, it could not be more blatan

The visual design, and thereby the image of most supports, is unappealing, prejudiced and outdated to major parts of the community.

In my opinion, it is no big deal to change it.
What the Role needs is some fresh blood. A new support every 8-10 months is not enough.
Now, Riot should get some champions designed that are counterexamples to the current staple supports. Add some cool ones, give them some style! They should release 3 support champs in a row, catch up to what they've simply missed to do in the past months!
Male champions can make cool support-concepts too. Look at male Druids, supportive Frost wizards (with so much frost themed champs and skins, i wonder why there is none yet), zealous Clerics, maybe Spies that grant superior map control and lay traps? Or maybe even some Beast with arcane powers that can call upon the power of the wilds? What holds you back? The possibilities are limitless. And then give them a cool voiceover, model, a nice skin, rewarding mechanics (you made more than 100 champions, you know what is fun and what not), voila!

The first glance makes it! People would be more interested in the champions and thereby in the entire role.
The mechanics. I can not stop bothering. The mechanics are mainly simple held for supports, but why exactly is that so? Why can skillshots only deal damage? Why not add a healing skillshot? How rewarding would it be when the support shows superior positioning and heals the entire team with a well placed missile! Supports could also be combo based, with enhanced effects when they use their abilities in quick succession. Or a Cassio-Q-like spell with a buff that stacks several times, and when the support manages to predict his ally's movement for long enough and hit him multiple times the buff would grow stronger and stronger. Why not? Riot knows what mechanics are fun, why don't they give some of them to supports as well!
What about items? There should be items rewarding players for being a support, and not just compensating for the current 0-CS-Meta with some Gold-Over-Time.
They should add items that give benefits for getting assists (not kills). Maybe add a staple support item that grants a minor amount of gold to its bearer when a minion is slain by a nearby ally (not himself)? This would encourage support players to protect the carry and to help him farming. Adding the warding items for supports is the first step into the right direction.

This new "cool" image and an increase in variety among supports and support items could move the entire role into a better, fresher light. It could encourage players to pick up the new supports, maybe even start to main the role. Once more players are into that role, the other supports will be picked up more frequently too and, thereby, the negative image the role has could start to disappear.
Imagine what this means for the community! How many people are there, flaming, trolling, dodgeing, ruining entire games, just becuase they dont want to play support?
All this could be gone.
Here is a sum up, of what I would like to see:
-Add one (any hopefully more in future) cool, male support. Not Male like Taric, Male like Draven.
-Give new Support Champions a more appealing visual design. Supports can have Style too! Make him badass! He CCs you and he knows it!
-Give them interesting mechanics. For example: Why can only Casters and Bruisers be Combo-Based? Why not a Support? Brand can pull off so many combos, it almost feels like he has 2 spellsets. Why are there no healing skillshots, or more shield skillshots?
-Add support-specific items that reward, not compensate. Keep up the direction you are heading to!
Riot created this class, and wanted it to be in the game, now they should give them the attention it deserves.

Thanks for reading.


Agreeing with what i just said? Leave a comment, or a bump at one of the forum threads (they basically say the same).

EU Forum Thread


NA Forum Thread


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