When I started playing the beta, I dove in and started playing different champions, and wanted to settle on one to get more familiar with...The choice I made was to play Sivir. There wasn't much reason for the choice, other than many didn't play the character. Not neccesarily a good reason, but, as good as many others. I have gotten tons of **** about it in game, how useless she is, how her dps is low (for any single target), she can't tank, etc. But upon some amount of thinking about it, I think I may get the problem she has (if indeed there is a problem).
Her skill is movement, while moving she has an additional 25% chance to dodge. Sounds good right? It definitely has saved me a bunch of times, and is not useless, but when seen in light of some elements of the game, may be sort of weak by way of comparison.
Primarily, you have to stop to attack. You can't throw the cross blade while moving. That's sort of fine, the way the controls work it's simpler to simply right click destinations and targets. The problem is that her attacking and her method of defense are contradictory, it takes a lot of micromanagement to balance out her attack and defense. They push away from one another. Once she stops and starts throwing her crossblade she is immediately vulnerable, she doesn't have huge health and no natural armor, she is some amount deft, but dps won't save her...Once she stops moving, attacks on her have a much greater chance to suceed. And...once she stops moving, she's in range of a lot of attacks...There are many ranged spells and skills in the game, most of them more damaging than her attacks. using capture spells on her work well, because if you do catch her, you have a good chance of killing her in many circumstances. because of the pervasion of stun, slow and trap spells (which are largely fine for the game and most conflicts) there are a multitude of ways to kill her and she doesn't make up for her weakness with dps.
This is not to say she doesn't have valuable assets. On the Hunt is a great and useful spell. Ricochet can take down numbers of creeps quickly, and do a little spare damage to other champions at times. and at low level spiral blade can cause a retreat, though not usually at higher levels. Her spell immunity spell is pretty useful...if you can time it well or get lucky with your timing of it...or they don't have a lot of spellcasters.
I've thought of things I thought might fix this, but I'm sort of interested in people's thought first so that I can take a look at some other perspectives on it.