Originally Posted by RCIX
Why the huge resistance to changing the way characters work? I get the "we came up with X concept and we wanna make that work if we can", but to be quite blunt, some designs suck.
Soraka is never going to be a fun character to play against in her current state unless she's nerfed into Eve tier. If Sona has a spot where she's not used as a CC bot and her spells stay as currently designed, then it's going to involve massive nerfs to her ult and corresponding tweaks/buffs to her non-ult skills. Things like that. And don't get me started on some of the absolutely hideous bruiser designs (primarily because this is a support thread :P)
This is a good question, and one we struggle with a lot. Several characters (especially older ones) have design patterns like this that could be solved by fundamentally reworking the character. The cost of this is how much a lot of people don't like change and have gotten used to certain things (jungle, Ryze rework, Fiddle changes, and many more are good examples).
In support's case specifically, this is a bigger issue because Soraka and Sona are built on shaky design foundations to begin with. On the flip side, both have a pretty loyal fanbase who enjoy those playstyles and get really angry about changes to them - even if the game or character would get better as a result. Top this off with the sensitivity that we hate support (which if we did, I think you wouldn't see them in the meta, and the two being as popular as they are..), and you see the contentiousness of this issue.
I don't have a clear answer because I'd do this 100% if we were releasing the game tomorrow. Since this is a live game though, there's a lot of things to factor in - especially when it comes to player expectations. I agree with your analysis that Soraka (and likely Sona) will always be either flattened out, lackluster or must-picks with their current core designs - do we change those and let their power shine more? Do we nerf core mechanics to be balanced and remove fun from the players who do like them? We have done this before, and I think our ability to do so today is much better, but it's always risky and a tough decision. Personally, I'd rather just make Q something like 60 second CD and a massive heal so it was a heroic save and not a HoT equivalent, but that's me :P
These kinds of things obviously take time, and Stealth, Karma and Katarina are on deck right now. I'm not opposed to this, but as you can see from the second post with downvotes, support players have a real attachment to these characters' design, even if that design is unhealthy.