Feb 092012
 
Sona, the Maven of the Strings
Sona, the Maven of the Strings

Sona, the Maven of the Strings may not have that many skins but the ones she does have are quite good. If there’s one thing that her skins share is heavy musical influences. There’s a lot of variety among them ranging from Greek goddesses to metal bands and even electronica. If you want the best dresses for the deadliest musician the League has known check this review.

Muse Sona
Muse Sona Splash Art Muse Sona Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Sona is dressed resembling Terpsichore, one of the nine Muses and Greek goddess of dance.
Model: New model for Sona and her Etwahl.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art The splash art is adequate albeit unimpressive. All in all, it’s an accurate representation of Sona’s in-game look.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Sona looks very nice in this re-model as a Muse perfectly fits Sona and her musical theme. While the skin may not have any outstanding features it also lacks any faults as well. It’s simply a well done skin and nothing should prevent you from buying it if you like Sona.

Pentakill Sona
Pentakill Sona Splash Art Pentakill Sona Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Sona embraces the gothic style to join metal band Pentakill.
Model: New model for Sona and her Etwahl.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art As with other groups of skins, Pentakill has a splash art shared among its members. Realizing the consequences of such decision we find that the piece doesn’t really make up for it with astounding quality. The background is suggestive, at best, of twisted constructs between peaks. Add to that a rock platform with some engraved runes in some places and we have the whole of the setting. At the centre we find the famous metal band with all its members. As a poster their depiction is acceptable but nothing out of the ordinary. There’s the usual tough attitude and display of might but it all feels superficial. What might be serious is the arbitrary fog that diffuses parts of the bodies of the champions.
Concerning each champion we find that: Yorick seems strangely eager for an undead, Mordekaiser struggles to be noticed behind the other members and the flames, Karthus looks rather vivid and imposing, Sona aloof and distant while Olaf struggles like Mordekaiser at the back. For the most part, the portrayals don’t capture much of what makes each member unique in the band. Besides, in some cases, Sona in particular, they appear to be at odds with their natural personality. Ultimately, it serves as a band poster for Pentakill but as a splash art it doesn’t do much.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Technically, the skin is a nice re-model with a well defined dark look for Sona. In practice, the metal theme seems a little forced. On the one hand, she is a classically trained musician so branching into symphonic metal seems acceptable. On the other hand, Sona’s personality and music represent the complete opposite of the usual features of metal rock. In the end it all comes down to the concept. If you like the metal angle it’s worth it but if you, reasonably, think that it’s inadequate you should pass on it.

Silent Night Sona
Silent Night Sona Splash Art Silent Night Sona Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Sona lets the Christmas spirit engulf her: she dresses for the occasion and decorates her Etwahl accordingly.
Model: Major modifications to Sona’s model and small additions to her Etwahl.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: New joke for Sona, she plays an excerpt of ‘Deck the Halls’.
Splash Art The splash art is a good representation of Sona’s model. The art is nice showing Sona’s flowing hair as she plays her instrument. The particles emanating from the glowing chords of her Etwahl round up a solid piece of art.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: While the modifications to the skin are not enough to consider it a re-model it also didn’t carry the price of one. Moreover, the addition of a new joke is a nice plus that makes it special; as it should be for a limited skin. All things considered, if you bought it while available you made a good purchase.

Guqin Sona
Guqin Sona Splash Art Guqin Sona Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Sona wears a Chinese dress to welcome the Lunar New Year while her Etwahl becomes a Guqin.
Model: New model for Sona and her Etwahl.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: New walking animation.
Sounds: New sounds for her abilities, auto-attack, joke, taunt, laugh and new background music for her auras. Check Ciderhelm’s skin video to listen to them.
Splash Art: The splash art is well done, effectively merging Sona’s character with Chinese traditions. While the art has a few minor problems with perspectives and shows more details than Sona’s model has it’s not bad at all
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Few skins provide much more than a new model that may or may not affect some abilities. While visually Guqin Sona is just a re-model, aurally it’s much more than that. The use of a Guqin changes the whole feel of Sona while keeping her character intact. Aside from legendary skins there are very few opportunities to get this much for this price. If you like Sona, you deserve to own Guqin Sona.

Arcade Sona
Arcade Sona Splash Art Arcade Sona Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Sona in casual clothes with a complex game controller as her Etwahl.
Model: New model for Sona and her Etwahl.
Particles: New particles for her abilities, auto-attack and death.
Animations: New idle and walking animations.
Sounds: New sounds for her abilities, auto-attack, joke, taunt, laugh and new background music for her auras. Check Ciderhelm’s skin video to listen to them.
Splash Art: As a portrayal of Arcade Sona this piece is quite good but it leaves the feeling that much more could’ve been achieved with a proper background. It’s nice that Sona’s skirt meshes with the background, integrating both. However, aside from the little sparks and effects there’s nothing in the piece besides Sona. Conversely, Sona has never looked so upbeat and fresh. The quality of her depiction is wonderful but also is what was chosen to be depicted: her expression, her stance, the flow of her hair and clothes; the end result is breathtakingly beautiful. Arcade Sona’s splash art is excellent and only a more interesting background prevents it from being superb.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Arcade Sona is much more than a reference to old arcades and 8-bit nostalgia. Sona’s new model gives her attractive yet elegant clothing as well as an incredible new Etwhal. This new Etwhal is not just for show as Sona constantly presses buttons and moves the joysticks. On top of all this, there are new particles and sounds for the auras and auto-attack that effectively round the arcade theme. Arcade Sona is a skin that changes a lot about Sona but everything is cohesive and appealing. Seldom are themes implemented so well and Arcade Sona shows that no matter the theme, with good execution a great product is possible. In conclusion, Arcade Sona is a fantastic skin and no fan of video games should ignore it.

DJ Sona
DJ Sona Splash Art DJ Sona Model
Category: Ultimate
Price: 3250 RP
Concept: Sona as a futuristic disc jockey.
Model: New model for Sona with animated textures for each form. Three new animated models for her Etwahl. Type ‘/toggle’ in chat or press ‘ctrl + 5′ to switch forms.
Particles: New particles for her abilities, auras, auto-attack, critical hits and death in each form. New particles for her transformation.
Animations: New animations for her abilities, auto-attack, critical hits, emotes, recalls, death, respawn and tower channel. New animations when standing idle and walking in each form. New animations for her transformations.
Sounds: New sounds for her abilities, auras, auto-attack, emotes, recalls, death and respawn plus new chanting voice-over for each form. New sounds for her transformations. New background music for each form: each aura adds a layer of music when first used and using Crescendo for the first time at each level makes the music progress into a different section of each track. There are four sections per track and changes are shared between tracks.
Extras: Three Summoner icons and banners, one per form. Animated splash art for the champion’s profile overview. New in-game champion portrait.
Splash Art: An audience all around her and a rather simple stage let Sona be the star of each piece. It also gives a thin context to her surroundings even if they are suitable. After all, except for her Etwahl there’s only a flash of light as a background. Fortunately, the bright colours, overlapping sources of light and sharp lines allow Sona to captivate with her futuristic outfits. The Etwahl also features prominently, as it should, but seems a bit simple. This applies to each splash art actually; though Kinetic is the official one. Nevertheless, for an ultimate skin one would expect more than just a good portrayal. In that regard the splash arts deliver but they don’t appear to have gone above and beyond. Therefore, we find that this set of three pieces is good but gives the impression of having prioritized quantity over quality.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Giving an incredible first impression DJ Sona is a skin that sports awesome visuals but a less spectacular aural experience. Let’s start with her looks, visually DJ Sona is superb but most of the credit goes to her Etwahl. Sona’s outfit looks sleek and advanced but it’s also simple and only her Daft Punk helmet, specifically her visor and ponytails, stand out and identify each form. Actually, the outfit could’ve very well changed colours or have animated textures for each form to further the visor’s design. Instead we find the unavoidable presence of cleavage; as if the suit wasn’t tight enough. It’s a puzzling design with an emphasis that doesn’t add to the theme.
If something really catches the eye from DJ Sona is her equipment. Her Etwahl is turned into turntables, mixers and speakers with clear and appealing aesthetics for each form. The designs represent the feel of each music type and also provide Sona with different and unique identities. On top of that, each version of her Etwahl has different animations, that Sona does echo, and some impeccable particles. Without a doubt, it’s a highlight of the skin.
The new particles have different patterns per form: Kinetic seems fitting and appealing but also uninspired and simple, unlike the engaging auto-attacks, whereas Concussive is pleasantly strident and aggressive while Ethereal softly flows in waves. The new particles when Power Chord is ready stay interesting regardless of form: each waveform behind Sona is attractive and eloquent. Strangely, most of the animations are nothing out of the ordinary. Although, when idle or walking, her dancing fits each track and helps define the identity of each form.
The sounds are the true stars of the skin or should be. Her abilities and auto-attacks echo their particles: Kinetic’s crystalline effects strike as delicate yet vivacious, Concussive sounds satisfyingly powerful and Ethereal is entrancingly mystical. Still, they tend to get lost between the tracks and the auras. The auras’ sounds build with their tunes on the rhythm of each track and feel pleasant to hear. The three tracks, which are the most significant addition, have distinct styles within electronica, all unique and attractive: Kinetic approximates techno, Concussive trance and Ethereal ambient.
As an ultimate skin the integration between the forms and the game-play is essential. With DJ Sona we find that they are disconnected from normal play: there’s a specific new command and key combination to cycle between forms; choosing forms, including the starting one, is out of the question. In addition to this, the relationship between the music and the game-play is thin: the tracks evolve as the Crescendo is levelled up and abilities are used but that’s the only significant feature. As a DJ there’s a remarkable lack of actual mixing involved when using her abilities and the noticeable tunes of the auras feel ephemeral. To a point, the tracks override parts of the classic Sona personality.
Therefore, while attractive DJ Sona feels like three skins splattered one on top of another; in a specific order. There’s no practical interaction between each form and the musical aspect could be more developed. There’s some sense of playing with the sounds and affecting each track but only temporarily. Overall, the aural experience appears to be solely reliant on the strength of the tracks and the rest takes second stage.
An ultimate skin should offer a new experience and DJ Sona accomplishes that in a minimal way. She doesn’t feel like a live DJ but a radio DJ that plays some extra tunes from time to time. As a skin that should push the envelope in the link between sounds and game-play DJ Sona feel timid and hesitant to interrupt her playbacks. Perhaps it’s asking too much of a humble skin but the price certainly isn’t modest; even including the release discount. Thus, expectations should be set accordingly and DJ Sona does just enough to get a pass. If you are a dedicated Sona fan or love music then this is the pinnacle of what Sona can do with her music. However, most people will find that her other skins don’t trail behind as much as one would expect.

Conclusion

Sona’s skins have good quality and are appropriately priced for what they provide. It’s not so much that the execution of the skins fails but that sometimes the concepts don’t merge well with Sona.

However, Arcade Sona stands as an awesome exception that makes its outlandish concept work thanks to an incredibly good execution. Arcade Sona is not only Sona’s most attractive skin but also one of the best available in League of Legends.

Nevertheless, on the whole, Guqin Sona is probably the best of her skins. Thanks to the distinct and appealing visual and aural identity Guqin Sona feels unique. Fans of Sona will find much to like in her new choice of instrument.

Another option worth noting is Muse Sona with her charming and delicate style; as long as you can catch her out of the Legacy Vault. Pentakill Sona may not be for everybody, it does look good but the concept doesn’t fit Sona’s personality that well.

In the exclusive club of ultimate skins we find DJ Sona. It’s essentially three skins in one with absorbing visuals, sans outfit, good animations and entrancing music that trumps over most of her other sounds. For a fan of Sona and music there’s no better option but the interaction with her music is limited.

  89 Responses to “League of Legends: Sona Skins’ Review”

  1. Arcade Sona is a lot better and more complicated than some Legendary skins. Totally worth 975 RP !!

  2. Will this Arcade skin ever come on sale I’m wondering? ;x

    • Yes it will go on sale, eventually. Even though it was offered for free at an event it was made so that it wasn’t restricted to it; unlike PAX skins.

  3. I have some requests please.
    -Viktor
    -Ziggs
    -Yorick
    -Galio
    -Kennen
    -Renekton
    -Veigar
    -Rammus
    -Gragas
    Sorry for the long list, take your time. Just champions I want skins from XD

  4. I really do like both Amumu and Sona. They are one of my favourite champions buy I can only afford buying skin for 1 of them. Since Sad Robot Amumu and Guqin Sona are on sale please guys tell me which one should I buy. I really really do love both of them and can’t decide. If Guqin had some particles it would be the one but I don’t know. Help me!

    • Firstly, Guqin Sona only changes the aspect and audio of Sona. In her particular case, the new sounds for her abilities and auras are a great addition. However, particles aren’t changed.

      Secondly, Sad Robot Amumu not only changes the audio of most of his abilities, and modifies his voiceover, but also the look of all of them.

      Therefore, Sad Robot Amumu is a more complete skin in term of sheer features. However, Guqin Sona is cleverly designed as it provides brand new sounds to a music-based champion.

      You should also consider how much you play each champion and if you like the skins enough to use them when new ones are available. For instance, if you eventually acquire Arcade Sona, will you still play with Guqin Sona? The same could happen to Sad Robot Amumu when a new skin is released.

      If you have more questions please feel free to ask them.

  5. The thing is that I love and want some skins more than theese but I am afraid that I will apologise in the future for not buying those. I know….Im overthinking it but it’s all about money spending.

    And one single question. Do you think Aeser Wing Kayle skin will be a legendary one? I know it’s incomplete yet but do you think keeping the same ultimate visually is a good choice from riot?

    • Money is actually a good point to consider when making purchases. Besides, remember that these skins will be on sale again, eventually. If you are patient then there’s no problem. If possible, try to buy the skins that you like the most for the champions you play and enjoy the most. In that case, chances are that it will be a good investment.

      Aether Wing Kayle has a new voice-over so in all probabilities it will be a legendary skin; as those are the only ones with wholly new voice-overs.

      If there is any change to Intervention it sure is subtle; though particles aren’t finished yet. There are two arguments on particles changes: one is to keep particles to make the ability easy to read regardless of skin. The other is that a legendary skin should provide a distinct visual style to reflect its status.

      Both arguments are valid and understandable. However, one belongs to the designer and the other to the player. Therefore, as a paid product the skin should incorporate as much visual flare as possible to awe and impress beyond a good first impression; especially legendary skins. Besides, there’s much that can be done while keeping the general style of iconic abilities intact so as to facilitate readability.

  6. I find your skin reviews rather exquisitely fascinating. Two thumbs up for all your work. Crisp and downright precise as they are, keep’em reviews coming. :)

  7. Will Guqin Sona get on sale soon?

    • Guqin Soneawas last on sale between the 11th and 14th of January, 2013. Theoretically, it’s been enough time for it to go on sale again but, as there are so many skins and sales are rather small, chances are you’ll have to wait. That’s because there are a lot of skins that haven’t been discounted for over a year. Regardless, don’t let your hopes down as sales are quite unpredictable and it could be discounted at any time. Sorry we can’t be more specific but with the ever increasing amount of skins in the game sale have become very difficult to predict.

  8. It feels like the reviews for Sona’s skins (except for Arcade) are all a bit shorter than most other skin reviews, but they are still nice. I have a question about the Guqin Sona skin though. I tried it out on the PBE and noticed that her walking animation is not exactly the same as in her other skins. She seems more “pointed forward” when she walks and the two flowing parts of her dress that are behind her seem to constantly “cross” while she is talking. I have taken a screenshot of each skin’s walking animation from lolking for comparison. http://i.imgur.com/7dTbWu6.png
    Looking at that, you can also notice the flowing parts of her dress in her Arcade skin seem to stay lower to the ground while she is walking.

    • Sona’s review was one of the first we made and so they seem a bit brief. Fortunately, they still serve their purpose and we have a planned update in the future; at least, when her visual upgrade comes.

      What you mention about her walking animation is very interesting though it might not be enough to call it a new animation. It seems that the animation was adapted to each skin to ensure a better view of Sona according to the model. It’s nonetheless something worth giving a closer look, thanks for the notice.

  9. I got both Arcade Sona and Guqin for free, so which one do u think is better?

    • Both are nice and different: Guqin is more musical even if Arcade is more elaborate, regardless they both are great for their price. As you have them both, we hope you enjoy them.

  10. Although the reviews are pretty much adequate, the star ratings here are quite baffling. First you describe goquin as a pretty good skin and give it 5 stars. Then you label(correctly) arcade sona as fantastic and one of the best skins available and give it…. 4 stars. Something is not quite right. Certainly it has a bit higher price of 1350, but we are talking about whole new model sounds and visuals. We are lucky it is not 1800ish.
    I may see a bit fanboyish, but i simply think ratings(which are probably first things people look at) are misleading.

    • We know well that ratings are the most explicit indication of a skin’s value that’s why we try hard to make them as accurate as possible. In fact, the conclusion tries to be an explanation of why the skin received its rating. We probably aren’t always as clear as we should but the idea is that by merely looking at the rating you should know how good a skin’s value is. Then, you have the conclusion if you want to delve into the whats and whys.
      As always, feedback is appreciated and we pay attention to suggestions to make the reviews the most useful they can be.

      In this particular case, there’s little doubt that Arcade Sona is more elaborate and visually spectacular than Guqin Sona. However, there’s the matter of the price. For 975 RP Guqin Sona offers great value but Arcade Sona might need a little extra to really shine at 1350 RP. The price of 1350 RP is quite high and even close to a Legendary skin. Thus, we feel that a skin needs to justify the expense and the higher the price the more and better features it needs to provide.

  11. Hey Zero, as mentioned on the comment above, “Arcade Sona is not only Sona’s best skin but also one of the best available in League of Legends.” you wrote this and labelled it 4 stars. Is it due to the price? Now it’s on sale, I’m not a Sona main but then this skin sounds appealing at 675 RP, what do you think? Does it worth 5 stars?

    • Arcade Sona is a fabulous skin but a bit expensive at 1350 RP. If you like Sona then Arcade is a fantastic choice and at 675 RP it’s a more palatable purchase. So, you can add an extra star despite still being a bit more expensive than 487 RP.

  12. If Arcade Sona was 975rp would it be 5 stars and a must buy?
    P.S keep up the good reviews :)

    • Definitely, in fact it was rated at five stars before the price was increased. If you can catch Arcade Sona at a sale it would be a good way of minimizing the influence of the price.

      Glad that you like the reviews, we’ll certainly keep working hard.

  13. Sona and Mordekaiser are getting some model tweaks for their PENTAKILL skins (I think it’ll be on the release of the album) please check it out!!! :)

    • We did take a look and it seems like some touches of polish along a few changes to adapt them to the new Pentakill look; depicted in the Pentakill event announcement. It doesn’t seem like anything will change in a significant enough way to warrant an adjustment of the reviews. Regardless, let’s hope that it’s all an improvement.

      • The champions that have the pentakill skins are also getting a new shared splash art (for example TPA/SKT T1)

        • So’ve heard, though we aren’t looking forward to that. Sharing assets doesn’t seem to be working that well as they tend to squash the individuality of each champion.

          • damn if they would just take the time to change the sound effects for pentakill sona. Then i would buy it without hesitation *even though i already have Arcade and Gu Qin* Maybe snippets from their newest album Smite & Ignite will do? It’s gonna be a sick skin if that happens. Amirite??? :D

          • Definitely, if they changed the sound of her auras to tunes from the Pentakill album the skin would be awesome. Of course, the probability of that happening is low but we can always hope.

            As a re-model Pentakill Sona is interesting and different but there’s a lot more that can be done with her.

  14. Will you be doing an update on Pentakill Sona? She receive a new splash and a texture update today. :D

    • The review of the splash art will certainly be updated once we are done with Karthus’ visual upgrade. The idea is to update all of the Pentakill splash arts at the same time because, after all, the splash art review would be identical.

      With regards to the texture update, we didn’t notice any significant differences that would warrant changes. The main issue is that Pentakill and Sona forcibly mix together so the extra polish doesn’t change that.

  15. Anyone noticed the tattoo’s on Pentakill Sona’s new shared splash art?

    • You mean the one that’s completely absent on her model even after a texture update? Yes, seems appropriate though it might be a matter of taste.

  16. Hey, does the visual rework Sona had affect the ratings now? It was only some changes to her hair, but I want to see your opinion on the visual update. :P

    • From the look of things the changes aren’t significant enough to affect the ratings. Not only are they applied to all skins but they also only modify small parts; mostly. We’ll keep giving it a look but we don’t expect things to be much different.

      • Muse Sona is definitely a lot better and way more spend rp on me convincing

        • We agree that there are some improvements but they aren’t major. The changes make Sona look better but things stay more or less the same.

          • You should at least change the in game pictures of the skins because like me a lot of people actually check your site before purchasing :)

          • The problem is that the review would assess a splash art that doesn’t correspond to the one displayed. We could simply note that the text is to be updated but it seems like a poor fix.

            In these cases, when a lot of content is updated, we simply have to do things little by little. It might not be the ideal solution but it allows for a useful analysis.

  17. Sona’s beautiful texture upgrade arrived a few months ago and now I would really love to see more of your thoughts on Sona’s skins now, like you said you would in an earlier post here. I really feel like you are leaving Sona out because you updated Sion’s skins entirely after he got his relaunch, same for Karthus and Twitch after their visual upgrades, and you also gave tweaks to the ratings of Viktor and Soraka’s best skins after they got their gameplay changes. Please give Sona some love, she barely has two to three sentences for some of her skin reviews and other champions have entire paragraphs for theirs.

    • You are right and we offer our apologies. Sona was one of our first reviews and it shows. We plan to review her again, especially the older skins, but we have been delayed as with other things. Don’t worry though because Sona is firmly in our plans.

      • Thank you, I will eagerly wait. There is no rush, of course, I just love seeing this site grow because it is the only decent skin review site and I visit it very often even though I have read almost everything on it.

        • Not at all, people deserve our best effort even though it might not always be enough. We try to have the website up to date and with useful information but as it grows it takes time and a lot of work.

          We prefer to do things slowly but do them well so that things are as reliable as possible. Still, we can’t avoid mistakes so all help is greatly appreciated.

  18. You said that Arcade Sona is the best Sona skin and among the best skins in the game, but you only gave it four stars, while Goqin Sona received five stars. This seems like a contradiction.

  19. Hey Zero, do you have any idea when Muse Sona will be available to purchase?

    • Probably during the yearly Legacy Vault Sale that usually happens by the end of the year. The good news is that you may also get it at half price the bad news is that it’ll take quite a bit of patience to get to the sale.

      There’s been instances when legacy skins are put on sale outside of the LVS but that’s the exception rather than the rule.

  20. ZERO ZERO HELP ME I’M HYPERVENTILATING OMG

    I just saw the preview for DJ Sona and OMG I’M SO HYPED RIGHT NOW I NEED HELP

    It’s literally EVERYTHING I could want from a skin and as a Sona main I can’t even make myself try to contain my joy omg. I don’t even care that I own every single Sona skin (except Muse though I plan to get that as soon as possible) I’ll instabuy the DJ one.

    Sorry about that rant it’s just that I am very excited about it and UNF I CAN’T WAIT!!!!

    What do you think about it though? Which is your favourite stance? Mine is probably Ethereal when it comes to model and in-game atmosphere I’d like to project but the music on Concussive I think I like the most

    • First of all, calm down and relax. We agree that the skin gives an impeccable first impression however we are a bit concerned about how far down the musical theme reaches. Visually, the skin is great though the transformations are more superficial than one would expect. That’s because only the Etwahl is actually remodelled, the rest is just re-textures.

      Then we have three tracks, each per form. However, we fail to see how they are tied into the gameplay of Sona. In other skins that modify her sounds, like Arcade or Guqin, each aura gets a new tune. In this case it’s not clear how her auras would affect the music. Besides, the fact that the forms are completely detached from the gameplay, as you’d cycle through them with a special command, disconnects the transformations from the action.

      We’ll probably have to get our hands on the skin and see how the gameplay and the music are connected. We know that the forms are separate from it which is disappointing. A better option may be to connect them to emotes for instance, like Neon Strike Vi’s sunglasses, or, preferably, a more engaging way that isn’t so passive. Then we have to check how the auras affect the tracks and if Sona actually mixes music as a DJ should. That is, if her abilities, at least, allow the music to dynamically change with direct input from the player.

      At a glance it seems like a complex skin. However, a closer look is revealing that it’s just three skins in one with an extra toggle button that isn’t even part of the GUI. We expect more from an ultimate skin with that grandiose price it has.

  21. What do u think of the upcoming DJ Sona skin. I don’t think the name suits the skin, but I love the amount of detail that went into this skin. Every legendary and ultimate skin should have this much detail! Btw I a big fan of ur work, u are an amazing art critic, and everything you say can be backed up. You know what u r talking about.

    • Thanks for the kind words, we try hard to give good arguments so that people can agree or disagree with them but, ultimately, have an opinion to base their purchases on.

      A general view of DJ Sona, so far, is that it’s a superficial skin. That is, the visual aspect is attractive but it doesn’t reflect as much depth as it could. In each form only the Etwahl actually changes and Sona is just re-textured. Additionally, the forms are detached from the gameplay and one actually needs a special command to cycle them; not even choose which one.

      On top of that the aural experience seems underdeveloped. Each form has a new track but is it affected by the auras or the abilities? Can the player via direct input affect the music and so make Sona mix tunes? Those are essential aspects considering the theme and the category of the skin. At the level of an ultimate skin the concept should be reflected in the gameplay and we don’t see that in this case.

      We need to more closely inspect the skin but, despite the great impression it gives, we aren’t sure it offers a different experience as an ultimate skin should.

      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSbNeoUWsZE

        It appears as though DJ Sona’s skills do have some effect on the music.

        I think it’s very important to keep in mind that Sona is a champion who uses her skills rather frequently, and if her forms changed and/or her music was remixed significantly every time she used a skill, visual and audio clarity may be negatively affected (and you know how picky Riot is with game clarity).
        Just my opinion though. Of course, we’ll have to wait untill she goes live to fully analyze the skin as a whole.

        • It seems that the abilities only have an effect when first used: they add a layer of music. Besides, that is shared among forms. We agree that the music couldn’t be noticeably remixed as it can be distracting. However, each ability could’ve made a sound that modified the rhythm base of the track, for instance. Alternatively, it could’ve added a new instrument that then is substituted when using another ability; so as not to overload the track and have a different feel for each aura.

          The point is that there could’ve been more interaction with the music by the player. As it is, it’s all rather passive: once you use the abilities it’s all done. It’s not a bad option but it feels restrictive.

          Another thing to note is that Riot has been pretty inconsistent with clarity. An example: Singed’s Poison Trail. From what we recall, Mad Scientist Singed couldn’t receive a blue trail so that it wouldn’t be confusing with regards to the classic colour. However, Riot Singed existed with another colour and eventually Snow Day did break the rule. Riot’s words have been modified several times already so we’ll take anything they say with a spoonful of salt.

          • I have to disagree with you on the last part.

            The last paragraph feels like it’s saying “Although Riot does say that clarity is important, they have been inconsistent (ex: Singed). Therefore, it’s ok for DJ Sona to lack clarity.”

            Rather than taking ‘anything they say with a spoonful of salt’, we should instead look at how far Riot has progressed in terms of consistency and clarity. For example, there were times when they had been inconsistent with skin particles (Woad Ashe receiving new particles despite being 520RP), but they have fixed that; none of the skins under 975RP nowadays have new particles.

          • You’re right that just because a rule has been broken before it isn’t a free pass to do so again. That’s not really what we wanted to say though we agree it sounds exactly like that.

            Actually, what we wouldn’t like is for DJ Sona to lack an interesting relationship between music and gameplay that is excuses as preserving clarity. If it’s too much work or it’s not technically feasible they should say so. However, it does feel that, in the name of clarity, things have been left underdeveloped in many cases.

            DJ Sona looks promising but we think that an ultimate skin should push the limits. If the tracks were affected by the abilities, minimally but noticeably, then she would also play like a DJ and that’s a connection between the theme and the gameplay that only an ultimate skin can deliver. As it is, the forms are in one place, the music attached to them and the gameplay barely touches on them.

            Additionally, we don’t think that cheap skins shouldn’t receive any extra work. On the contrary, Woad Ashe is a great example of a skin that may not be technically advanced but that offers multiple attractive changes. It’s understandable that a cheap skin wouldn’t have significant changes but sometimes a simple change of colour for the abilities’ particles, like Woad Ashe, adds to the personality of the skin.

    • We are watching the previews closely and getting ready for a review. Once the skin is released we’ll give it a close inspection and get a review ready as soon as possible.

  22. Do you think the next ultimate skin (DJ Sona) should have gone to Sona, who already has numerous good skins, rather than to someone else who might be in greater need of them?

    Just wondering.

    • There are two sides to the argument. On the one hand, as you mention, maybe a champion with less skins would’ve been a better choice. We agree to an extent as there are many champions that have received no attention for far too long.

      On the other hand, there’s Riot’s idea of turning good ideas into skins and developing as much as necessary. That’s not exactly always the case as there are numerous examples of skins that would’ve welcomed extra work. However, it might be better to develop a good idea instead of limiting it because it shouldn’t go past a certain threshold; which seems to happen.

      We think it’s better to strike a balance between the two. If there’s a fantastic idea that should become a legendary or ultimate skin then go for it. However, Riot should definitely make an effort not to leave champions forgotten behind. It’s true that there are a lot of champions to consider however, it was Riot’s decision and now they have to deal with the consequences.

      Perhaps they should do less and better while encouraging and even prioritizing skins for champions with limited skin options.

  23. Hello strategy Zero,

    I would want to know what do you think about arcade sona and DJ sona for the price, which one is the best choice considering the skin quality and the RP cost?

    Thank you in advance

    • If you are a fan of Sona then getting Arcade Sona on sale is a great purchase. The price is a bit high but a sale alleviates the problem and the skin is quite attractive.

      As for DJ Sona we haven’t yet a final idea about the skin. It’ll probably be released with an initial discount but it certainly won’t be cheaper than a legendary skin. It certainly would be a skin for ardent Sona fans. We’ll need to give it a good look to find out whether it lives up to its ultimate label.

  24. I am curious as to your first thoughts on DJ Sona. I will be grabbing it regardless, but I’m nonetheless curious. I feel like the

    -multiple different background songs for games (1 for each form, extra layers when she uses abilities)
    -3 separate models
    -new particles for every form
    -new animations and recalls for every form

    make it perhaps the best ultimate skin yet. And that dance…

    • It’s not exactly 3 new models, in fact only her Etwahl changes model between forms, Sona only changes textures. Besides, while visually the skin is nice there isn’t much relationship between the gameplay and the music. Sona gets a track per form and each ability adds a part of the song when first used, which is shared among tracks, and that’s all.

      As a skin it’s one of the most elaborate but as an ultimate it needs to offer something unique. So far, it’s seems like it just ticking boxes: new forms, particles, animations, sounds, etc. An ultimate skin, considering the incredible price they have, should aim much higher than they usually do.

  25. First of all, I’m a fan of your reviews zero, I think your reviews are mostly spot on and usually you know what you’re talking about especially that I think you have an eye of an art critic. I’ve been pondering about DJ Sona for a while because from what I have seen from your comments about the skin, you are, on some level, disappointed in the skin. But can I ask if the ultimate skin is on par or sub-par compared to the last 2 ultimate skins? Why?

    Thank you in advance

    • Thanks for the kind words.

      We are, to an extent, let down by DJ Sona. We expected an ultimate skin that would integrate music into the gameplay and that would, in some way, make the player feel like mixing music while using her abilities. What we get instead is mostly good looks because the aural side is not very developed. Even more so, the three forms are completely disconnected from the gameplay and you need an extra command to switch between them.

      If we look back, we find that Pulsefire Ezreal had the forms tied to the ultimate so, in a way, he was upgrading himself. Spirit Guard Udyr also had the new forms tied to the level of his abilities so he seems to be evolving into a more powerful being. DJ Sona, however, just feels like three skins combined into one.

      An ultimate skin should be a little revolution in terms of the integration between visuals and gameplay. In the case of DJ Sona it would be the integration between sound and gameplay but that’s completely absent from the skin. If the skin were cheaper we wouldn’t be so harsh but we are talking about a lot of money so if they are going to charge a fortune it has to be something impressive. Currently, we have serious doubts it can be.

      • Thank you for the reply, sorry, last questions XD, but can I also ask if DJ Sona, although unlikely, is discounted around the price of a legendary skin, will it be better compared to Arcade Sona?. I am seriously reconsidering purchasing DJ Sona right now because I also think at first look, that it’s too pricey compared to what it brings on the table. I haven’t purchased a skin for Sona before and I want to right now because I main her as support. What are the probable skins for Sona you think are best, not including the price as a factor?.

        Thank you again.

        • The truth is that price is always a factor. Besides, if we ignore price, the best skins always tend to be the most expensive; even though they may not be up to the expected standard.

          Previous ultimate skins were discounted down to a price near a legandary skin. In the case of DJ Sona we expect that to happen again. That would be the best opportunity to get the skin. It still would be expensive but the regular price is prohibitive.

          Currently, we think that Arcade and Guqin Sona are the Maven’s best skins. Both incorporate new music besides the visuals and are visually attractive as well. We would still recommend waiting for a sale as neither is cheap; specially Arcade.

          With regards to DJ Sona, we can only hope that the stay in the PBE ends up making DJ Sona a worthy ultimate skin. More work should go into such an expensive product to make it the best it could possibly be. It seldom happens as the PBE practically receives final products but we can dream.

          If DJ Sona stays as it is we would only recommend getting it on sale and only for the most fervent fans or collectors. At its regular price it simply wouldn’t offer an experience that justifies the price. It’s even arguable if any ultimate skin actually offers anything so significant that justifies the incredible price.

          • Thank you Zero :), Might I suggest you create a Top 10 best skins of all time page. Just a suggestion anyway :D

          • No problem. We have the Skin List which is a table including all skins along their price, category and rating. That way you can check all one star to five star skins.

            Unfortunately it’s a bit outdated due to some technical problems. We hope to solve them soon.

  26. Just bought Dj Sona, played the skin in game 5 times.

    What to say?

    She’s MARVELOUS! Totally worth the high cost

    • We are not as enthusiastic because of the high price and the disconnect between the forms, music and game-play. That’s not to say that it’s a bad skin, it’s good but we would only recommend it to dedicated fans of Sona and music.

      • What about the current discount?

        • It helps but not much. If you have an interest in DJ Sona now is the time to get it. At least the release discount allows to save a bit though the skin, with or without sale, is pretty expensive.

          • I agree. I wouldn’t get DJ Sona as I already have Arcade Sona, but since I have a smurf account that I use alot, and I either play Sona or Janna as a Jungle/Support main, I think it is worth it only if you buy it now, and Sona is one of your main champs you play.

          • Would you have given her 5 star if her price was, say, legendary instead of ultimate?

          • There’s no doubt that if anyone is considering buying DJ Sona the sale is the time to get it. After the sale is gone the difference in price isn’t as huge as it was for previous ultimate skins. However, it’s still money saved and not such a small quantity as the skin is quite expensive.

            If the skin had the price of a legendary then the rating would have to rise. Comparing DJ Sona with what legendaries of late offer, perhaps a five would be conceivable. DJ Sona offers a lot and there’s no doubt that it’s above the level of usual legendary skins. The point is whether an ultimate flies that much higher than a legendary.

            As an ultimate, both price and category imply demands way above that of a legendary. Sometimes we get the idea that an ultimate skin is simply a legendary with something extra and that the revolution in new features that treads where no other skin went before is only shyly touched.

            In other words, ultimate skins don’t feel like they add that much over a legendary. If we compare features we have that model, particles, sounds and animations are modified in both cases. The ultimate needs to add something else and that is a sense of evolution or deeper interaction with the theme. That’s a facet of the ultimate skins that isn’t as developed and explored as the ultimate concept leads one to believe.

  27. I love the review for DJ Sona, its length almost makes up for the poor length of the Muse, Silent Night and Guqin reviews. Seriously though, you really should consider updating those soon. I cannot stand looking at them while all other champions have normal reviews on their skins. I also think her skins need updated screenshots, except for Pentakill.
    An interesting note I have on DJ Sona is her cleavage area. I am just puzzled as to why her skin is a dull gray in that area, while in the Kinetic and Ethereal versions you can clearly see her face having normal skin. The splash arts for those two also seem to show normal skin, though it could be the lighting, while Concussive’s splash art does actually show gray skin. It could be an extremely form-fitting undershirt, but it is unlikely.
    The other thing I do not like about the skin is her oversized behind. I think something much more fitting would have been a short mini-skirt to cover that while still showing her legs like Riot wanted.
    Besides those two things, I am really pleased with the skin.

    • We certainly have to update the rest of Sona’s review. We have prioritized new content to fixing old issues but it’s obvious that we have to find time to update. We’ll try to update the review as it’s becoming a necessity. Perhaps we went overboard with the length of DJ Sona but it’s a complex skin and we tried to be as brief as possible while covering all that was necessary. The contrast surely doesn’t help.

      Truth be told, we just don’t understand DJ Sona’s outfit. The truth is that it looks more concerned with showing her body than representing the DJ theme. It’s understandable to make the girls attractive and all that but there’s a limit. In this case, it’s clear that the suggestive outfit doesn’t add to the theme and, in fact, can even detract from the real star of the skin: the music. At least, the Etwahl saves the model along the visor and ponytails. Why couldn’t the outfit follow the style of those features that so evocatively represent each form? That doesn’t seem to have been covered in the Q&A.

  28. I wonder if there will be an Ultimate skin that could at least reach 4-5 stars. Well, considering DJ Sona surpassed SGU Udyr and Pulsefire Ez by a mile, I can’t wait to see what Riot has in store for us.

    • Actually, a close look shows that, as far as visuals go, DJ Sona isn’t that far from Spirit Guard Udyr. The aural side is certainly more developed but also dominated by the three tracks that let the rest of the sounds trailing behind.

      Hopefully Riot can learn and keep improving so that skins can be the best they can. It’s not always a matter of adding more it’s usually preferable to do things that represent each theme and make changes that, even if simple, improve the experience offered by a skin by making the message clearer.

      • I’m going say they are going to keep improving, look at the old 1820rp skins and compare them to the new 1820rp skins. For the most part they improve and we can count on you to review them.

        • We will certainly be reviewing when new skins are released.

          It’s true that skins have improved significantly in comparison with the old times. However, the increase in quality has slowed down as time goes by. It may be just our perception but sometimes a skin seems to be releases with just enough to fit its price.

          Sometimes there’s a lack of interest in the theme and only when there’s a specific developer with a passion for the concept does a skin shine. It’s not always like that but it seems to be a trend that is spreading over the conception and execution of skins.

          We certainly hope that skins become wonderful. Ideally they should all be great and the only choice should be which champion and which concept is preferred. Perhaps in time the ideal can become a reality but only with a concerted effort.

  29. Woah, you are pretty harsh giving DJ Sona just 3 stars. I understand that the price is a huge factor in the judgment but that skin is pretty amazing if you ask me.

    I love the huge write up on your legendary skins review. Good read and very informative. Good job as always! :D

    • Glad that you liked the review. We though it could be too wordy but it’s a complex skin so there was a lot to analyse.

      The price was certainly relevant when reviewing DJ Sona but also the fact that the skin, as an ultimate, should integrate forms and music with the game-play. That isn’t well implemented in DJ Sona so while the skin offers some novel ideas they can feel wasted.

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