Karma's Look and Costume
> - First, we made sure that Karma’s new look showed off her status as a paragon of Ionia while appearing unique on the battlefield. Her floating fans weren’t cutting it as magical conduits, so we replaced them with a powerful manifestation of her Ionian will. Now, Karma carries the draconic symbol of Ionia with her at all times. We also decked her out in Ionian garb to emphasize her allegiance. We also crafted a new set of animations that emphasized her status as a champion of Ionia rather than a matronly diplomat.
> - Her fans, dress and posture didn’t reflect her playstyle or storyline. There was a lot we could change about Karma to bring a more cohesive vision to the character.
I think the question that really needs to be answered by these Developers is, did Karma really get this vision that you had in mind for her? Arguably the worst outcome of the VGU is the art and lack of completed art assets. It took Developers six and a half years to give Karma a haste animation and she still doesn't have a shield casting animation. The haste animation was created on a model that wasn't even completed to begin with. The original concept of Karma in 2013 was her as a fearless leader of Ionia. Karma is now the reincarnation of a powerful entity that is the soul of Ionia. From day one of the the VGU Karma was not represented as a fearless leader of Ionia through her narrative, poorly developed theme, model, look and appearance. What was noteworthy and iconic about original Karma was thrown away for a concept that is so muddled down, that the original intent wasn't even brought into fruition.
Karma is the living embodiment of Ionia and has a state called Mantra that should be representing her power. Not even Karma's Mantra state represents what they want her to do. Karma's animations, narrative, theme, model and appearance are far from cohesive and it's shotty work all around.
Karma's Kit and Gameplay
> - Despite all the Mantra hate we’ve got going on, we actually think the concept is pretty kickass. It’s unique and character-defining to old Karma, and augmenting her abilities with an immense surge of Ionian will is visually and thematically fun. We also liked how Karma could turn the tables on her opponents with abilities that provided defensive bonuses and had hidden offensive power. Finally, Spirit Bond’s “clothesline” gameplay is really cool, but it’d work better on a tank champion that has an easier time jumping into the fray.
> - Originally envisioned as a support, Karma’s fringe successes actually came from players using her in the top or mid lanes as an AP burst mage with support abilities, much like Zilean or Morgana. We like this direction and want to encourage you to boost both her offensive and support abilities by building AP. We also want to make sure she can hold her own as a solo or with a lane partner.
> - Finally, we’ve updated her skills so allies are reliant on Karma, but Karma’s not reliant on them. She’s got enough power at her fingertips to feel strong as a mage or as a support without teammates having to work in perfect concert for you to be effective.
The biggest issue with Karma right now are the changes to her kit and gameplay identity. There are 3 diffrent Karma players, which was the fault of a lazy group of Developers who made excuses rather than addressing her issues. It's been nearly 7 years now and Karma suffers from a major identity crisis that every Developer knows of. Let's also add in the fact that everything that was unique and interesting on this champion, was removed for something else that already exists in the game (item actives and other champion abilities). The long time Karma players are left with their favorite champion either being numbers buffed and annoying to play against or extremely lackluster and boring to play as.
With the massive AP nerf to Karma on her Q and Mantra Q to prevent her from being played in solo lanes and in a competitive scene, Karma can no longer function well in a solo lane and even as a Support. She is outlcassed by every other champion who does her job better and in a more interesting way. With the removal of the ally interaction with W and Mantra W the ability feels like it's not worth investing in unless it is to abuse the heal on Mantra W. With the removal of the damage on Mantra E in favor of a team wide shield and speed steroid that exists on other champion abilities and item actives, Karma feels like she is nothing but a shield bot and not very interactive. There is hardly any skill expression out of her Mantra besides a Mantra Q that damages, a Mantra W that is only used for the heal in top lane, and a Mantra E that grants a lackluster shield and movement speed steroid. Karma only has on damage move and it's blocked by minions.
If the original intent of this champion was to be a all powerful leader with a kit that represents both the aggressive and supportive side of Karma, these Developers failed with this VGU 7 years ago. This new version of Karma is probably more far off of what they want for her than the VGU was 7 years ago. Karma is the living embodiment of Ionia and strong enough to take down a air ship. She is a leader and powerful entity that people go to for healing and direction. Karma is a graceful character that all types of cultures and people can relate with. Why is Karma's in-game persona so muddled down and her gameplay identity is incredibly bland and all over the place? There are issues with Karma that should have been addressed with her at some point the past 7 years. These issues were created by the Developers and they know this. Instead of addressing these issues they make excuses and work on everything around the issues they created.
If a Developer knows their work failed the consumer and it wasn't what they envisioned for their product, the Developer apologizes and works on the problems they created. There has been no indication that a single Developer cares about this champion and wants to right a single wrong they did with her. Karma has been a massive balance and gameplay health issue in the game when she is strong to not even being a champion when she is under-powered. Add in the fact that she doesn't even have a interesting character and art to carry her, the champion is a massive failure on all fronts. Karma doesn't hit a single of the "5 Successive Pillars of Champion" these Developers laid out.
The fact that this champion has been largely ignored for 7 years for not even a rework or art overhaul, is astounding. The Developers prioritized work on champions like LeBlanc, Morde, Rengar and more when they needed it. Where is this caring work ethic for the mistakes you made on this champion that caused a friction within the community?