Originally Posted by RiotNome
I want to start this off as open-ended as possible. Who does the global aura benefit? Do the champions that benefit from each of its individual bonuses (armor penetration, magic penetration, and mana regeneration) need these bonuses? If we removed the aura--either wholesale, or specific portions--what would happen to the map? If we gave different champion classes different bonuses (mana regeneration for mages, damage for bruisers, movement and attack speed for AD, etc.), would this be preferable to a single one-size-fit-all aura?
It is my opinion that bruisers currently benefit from aura far more than any other type of champion. For example, Darius and Wukong are able to make armor nearly obsolete with standard bruiser builds on the map. Since the damage each champion deals is predominantly physical, and they already have armor penetration, the aura makes building to defend against these champions to be very difficult. The armor penetration statistic combined with the mana regeneration that offsets the cost of their abilities makes this subtype of champion extremely powerful. The only reason that we don't see more of them is because Blackfire Torch is so strong right now.
The penetration on the AP side isn't nearly as bad. Traditional mages, like Vladimir and Annie, certainly benefit from it. The problem on this side of the aura is that other champions that don't need the penetration end up dealing too much damage with it.
Speaking of Vladimir, the healing debuff from the aura should really be removed. A lot of the champions with heals just aren't worth running due to their inability to sustain themselves properly. It also hits some really weak champions on the map and it makes them even weaker. For example, do either Renekton or Vladimir really need that healing debuff? They aren't particularly powerful on the map.
The problem with giving a buff designed for each type of champion is that it makes the players conform to Riot's idea of a champion type. Soraka is a support champion on Summoner's Rift, but I see her played in the bottom lane of Dominion more often than I see her at the top of the map. I don't want her to have some crummy bonus from the aura that I'll never benefit from because Summoner's Rift dictates that she played a support and thus her champion "tags" reflect such a decision. Unfortunately, meta isn't something that you can really balance around. It would be very time consuming to analyze how champions are played at the different Elo brackets so that you (or your team) could make an informed decision about what can be done for each champion.
I think that the complete removal of the offensive and defensive portions of the aura would increase champion diversity. It also increases the importance of health kits, but I'm lukewarm about placing such a heavy emphasis on those kits. That may be because Teemo is so powerful right now and he has the ability to prevent an enemy team from acquiring the health kits. On the other hand, I'm not sure it will help champions like Fiora and Tryndamere, but I have a difficult time believing that it will hurt them as both of them would benefit from the removal of the healing debuff on the aura. Xerath, Nidalee and Karthus are the only true mages with percentage based penetration and they aren't exactly the pinnacle of power on the map.
The additional gold and experience over time are the best thing about the aura. It allows everyone to stay on equal footing since the map isn't all about killing enemy champions and farming minions.
My final verdict is that the removal of the offensive and defensive parts of the aura would likely be for the best. However, we're on the cusp of Season 3. There are a lot of items that will increase and decrease the viability of champions. As much as I hate for Dominion to languish in the bowels of limbo, we will likely need sufficient time to see how the upcoming items will affect the map before any significant changes can be made. The players will have a lot of difficulty discerning what is and isn't too powerful if we have all of these changes presented to us at the same time as the new items.