So I was going to post this in Gameplay+ but as that has seemingly disappeared I might as well post here and hope for some good answers.
This is just something that has popped in my mind while thinking back on the various jokes of League, mainly the "new Ryze rework." I mean he's been reworked, what, 3-4 times now? That's pretty joke worthy. But then it got me thinking, "why? why has he been through this many reworks and he still can't really work?"
Let's go over his work not counting his alpha since I can't find any info on it:
1. First rendition had his passive make all of his abilities lower their cooldowns whenever he used another ability, plus his overload (which was a target point and click I believe), his prison, flux and his old ult of spell vamp and MS.
2. Passive gets changed to casting spells then grants him a shield, Overload is more similar to now, W and E are still basically the same, and ult is the same active but now gave passive CDR. Oh and it can also damage enemies he hits nearby.
3. Current one: Gain AP based on Mana, Overload is a shit-ton more complex with adding in his old shield ability, W is roughly the same but can be empowered by E, E is dramatically changed and is more of the setup for the rest of his other abilities, and his ult is changed to a very odd team utility ability.
So with his various renditions, he seems to be this character of a very heavy spellslinger, what with heavy priority on Q, but at the same time has various tools for waveclear, hard CC and now some team utility (which I find to be more troublesome than actually helpful). It almost feels like while Riot wants to keep this archtype he has, they just can't hit the mark to a point where he is interesting and can be a low difficultly, high skill cap champ without making him busted or worthless or whatever else.
Now, I should say that I don't really play him, nor have I played him in a very long time (I wonder why) so I can't fully say what his problems are but if I really need to express _my opinion_, I would honestly say they need a huge rework on him and just redo everything. I've probably upset the various fans that still play him but seriously, look at where he is right now. His winrate has been slowly climbing the last few patches but it's still around 44-46% from what I'm seeing on various sites. He's a problematic champ from what I've seen and played against. He can't fulfill this fantasy or feel of what his character should be like without breaking the game/meta. And overall it should not be healthy for a champ to be reworked this many times, trying to keep the same kit or variations of it and not expect it to be broken or too difficult to understand.
Again, I don't really play him, I haven't seen him in a long time so I don't fully know the problems, but I'm sure as hell trying to understand them and just throwing out what I think.