I know that most likely noone at Riot will read this, but I'll give it a shot anyway.
I'm Ast, or at least that's my nickname. I'm a silver V moment at the time of writing, and I am a Vel'koz main. A proud one, or at least I used to be before the new patch came. I love Vel'koz for his playstyle, lore, his classical look, and furthermore.
Last week or so, I started reading what would happen with Vel'koz during his rework, out of fear you would've reworked him completely, and I was relieved, since nothing much seemed to have changed. However, as I zoomed in, I noticed things that make Vel'koz.. unlike the Vel'koz from the other games I played. I decided to wait until the patch arrived, and play him just to see if I was right, and to my absolute fear, it felt like I was. The rework just makes me want to stop playing him, even though I've spent so much hours playing him and getting better with him, until where I am today.
Vel'koz in my opinion is a rather mana-hungry champion, who uses normal abilities to whittle down opponents from afar using his passive and basic abilities, to finally unleash his learn beam upon them. Next to that, he's an amazing kiter thanks to his short channels on his basic abilities. Finally, I love(d) the fact that you can (could) build him so versatile. As a running gag, I most of the time build him with as much magic penetration as possible, because of his looks (im guessing you know why). This is why I personally am apposed to two very specific things, the mana back on his Q, and his new "research" effect. I will elaborate more on both, and the reasons in the second-next paragraph, but for now, they feel very off from Vel'koz theme.
Vel'Koz is an interesting character to say the least. There are also three things I find unique about him in-game, which to me, make or break Vel'Koz.
* _**Organic deconstruction**_
I love this thing so much. Three ability hits, and you deal true damage. What's not to love? However, as happy I am with this passive, this at the moment doesn't statisfy me at all. Its fine with the basic abilities, **HOWEVER**, as amazing as it is, nothing statisfied me more then Vel'koz getting that final passive stack with his ultimate, finishing the enemy with an amazingly awesome looking overkill.
* _**His plasma fission, otherwise known as geometry**_
Yes. Just. Yes. In my opinion, this is one of the most unique basic abilities in the game, and if you miss the first time, it can give you a second shot! It's awesome gameplay! _**HOWEVER**_ in my opinion, it's unique enough, and I think that this is one of the two abilities Vel'koz is known for. Giving mana back as well seems a little off with his theme overall, be it lorewise or gameplaywise.
* _**Life form disintergration ray**_
The ability Vel'koz is most known for. I am still kind of confused why the rework department would change this, or change Vel'koz in the first place, but it was perfect as it was. I am very, _very_ opposed to the changes to it, since it doesn't seem like Vel'koz. Vel'koz in lore would use this beam to deconstruct them, with his passive in-game. That's the sole reason Vel'koz kills. He wants "The ultimate knowledge", but can most likely only get this using his learn beam. I think that researching an opponent would allready give him the knowledge he seeks, thus lorewise it would be weird for him to use his beam.
So Im guessing you're left with a few questions.
- What are specifically the problems with Vel'koz at the moment?
- Why does he feel so off?
- Which new or old traits should Riot stump to make Vel'koz great again?
Those are some good questions theoretical reader. The problems with Vel'koz is that he doesn't feel like he fits the theme anymore.
1. He doesn't fit it anymore, since his passive lets him learn about the opponent before using his ult to finish them, but thematically it would make more sense if he continued to learn about his opponents while using his ultimate, and this is my main focus. This just seems extremely off for Vel'koz, and feels a lot like a nerf. To continue on this subject, I think Vel'koz should look powerfull, and thus his abilities should feel powerfull. To prove my point, watch his official cinematic trailer: https://youtu.be/fyb2KC-q7ls
Then pause it at anywhere between 0:28 and 0:36. Vel'koz looks large, powerfull, even a bit almighty. I think this is part of his character, that he feels powerfull.
This powerfullness should also be expressed in game, and with this, the ult currently doesn't feel powerfull, even though it might be. It used to feel way more powerfull because of the passive stacks, and with every time that you hit three stacks, you could see a large part of the enemy health bar melt away.
Back to the current time, since his rework, it doesn't feel powerfull. It might deal true damage a lot of the times, however, it doesn't feel strong.
The mana back on his Q
Why. I am really, really confused. Why would you give Vel'koz of all characters mana back? Even on his Q? Vel'koz seems to feel less original because of this, and he feels more like Twisted Fate, or Swain, who can gain back mana by killing minions, either by basic attacks or basic abilities.
In my opinion, this can be changed in two ways, both for the better in my opinion.
-My first idea is to just revert this, since not only does it make more sense thematically, it also would give more opportunity for a higher base damage on his Q, since it used to feel way stronger early game.
-My second idea is to put the mana regain on his passive, since it might fit more, thematically, and it could serve more interesting gameplay instead of "wait for three minions to be low to use Q". For instance, if you get three stacks off on an enemy champion, you would gain back some mana.
3. The scalings on his W and E have gone down tremendously, so not only does kiting become way less effective, but this does mean that the power taken from the W and E go to the passive, Q, and ultimate. The ultimate is stronger, however, feels way less strong, and his Q now gives mana back, while his passive gets an AP ratio. A lot of this power goes to the ultimate, however I do think that this is an overall nerf, in which the normal damage Vel'koz puts out rather consistent turns into sudden bursts of power every 120/110/80 seconds, which is the cooldown on his ultimate. This makes it near-impossible to win against any mobile champion, since they can just dash/blink/walk out of the ultimate. The only reason to cast W at the moment is to get two stacks off, and that's pretty much it. E only serves as a slight knockback, and an AoE stack.
The reworked Vel'koz feels very off from what his theme seems, the solution to this is: get his passive back onto his ult because it would feel more thematically and makes him feel more powerfull, while not actually being more powerfull then the current state, remove the mana back on his Q, or add the mana regain to his passive, where every three stacks on an enemy champion means getting some mana back.
To finish this off, I excuse myself for this rant, any and all grammatical errors, and one question for you readers and rioters:
-Dear readers, would you please answer the poll below to show Riot how much we care about Vel'koz.
-Dear Rioters, please consider these arguments, and I hope that you can make Vel'koz feel awesome again!
With love, Ast.