Thread: How about this?
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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
05-03-2011, 09:49 PM
Originally Posted by Esquire View Post For a little background.

We all know that "new FaW" is causing some problems within PVP gameplay. There are still MANY people who consider the Klingon faction and escorts, in general, to be OP with their "spike damage". The EFF engine NERF? However, in each of these instances, there are people who want to keep what's there now or see other problems that need to be "fixed" 1st. Some have even stated they were leaving STO due to some of these, or have left due to past CHANGES/NERFs. PVE players end up being affected via our never ending quest for "balance", most of which don't even come to the forums to see there even is a problem. They just play the game and find something they liked CHANGED/NERFED via a patch. Rage/quit becomes a factor. So, how do we "fix" the problems without affecting the sub base, Cryptic profits, and the funds necessary for continued development for the content/additions that we all would like to see?
I suspect that there have been more people that have chosen not to continue playing STO due to lack of changes to problematic situations/skills/etc. than have left as a result of changes. In many cases, PvE-primary players will complain about changes to some things that they like (new toys such as the Tractor Mines, or the Ghostbuster Gun) or things that they had become accustomed to using (RSP is a great example); however, most complaints last about a week, then the PvE players generally adapt and move on (with the occasional grumble about those 'stupid PvP-ers'), but, in the end, they continue to have just as much fun as they had before the changes.

When problems are left un-fixed, on the other hand, particularly when those problems are severe enough to drastically affect the balance of at least one portion of gameplay (in the case of New Faw™, it affects all aspects of gameplay, whether the PvE crowd chooses to admit it or not), the value of gameplay is diminished. An over- or under-powered skill detracts from the overall 'fun factor' of the game, by limiting viable choices within the game. If an ability is under-powered, no one chooses to use it, and selects their powers from a list of more viable candidates; by the same token, if an ability is demonstratively over-powered, everyone ends up choosing it (or, purposely handicapping themselves, in the case of PvP, whether for fun, challenge, or principle), invalidating all other choices for builds.

While, personally, I find that the Efficient Engine nerf (and it 'is' a nerf, not just a 'change') seems rather silly at this point, regardless of data-mining. Instead of reducing the effectiveness of such a useful engine (at least until reaching top-tier, where, for PvP, at least, choosing to use this Engine is choosing to severely handicap several aspects of one's ship), it would have been better to offer more useful alternatives through the tier progression, much as they are starting to do at end game (the new Breen Set Engine, for example); however, at the same time, I do understand why they are changing it, because it does invalidate all other options, until a player has access to the Borg/Aegis sets, leading back to the problems mentioned above. This is the type of change that needs to be accompanied by an acknowledgement that the options available in the interim tiers were sub-standard, and that the Devs plan to address the issue.

Choosing not to allow changes to happen, however, would be even more detrimental to the long-term health of the game, because the gameplay will become stale and repetitive when balance concerns are ignored, because items and abilities that have power levels out of line with the rest of the game's systems. Instead of blanket rebellion against change, it is far more beneficial for us, the players, to provide substantive feedback to the Devs, as they investigate the need for making changes, and offer advice and suggestions to help improve balance and, by extension, the game, for everyone.

I have played another game, off and on for about 7 years, that may have somewhat an answer to this. How about a 25% DAMAGE REDUCTION TO PVP gameplay, ONLY? SOE tried that in SWG and the NERF calls seemed to die out while it was instituted. Almost to the minute that they removed it, the NERF calls came back in full force. While I can be extreemly crticle of SOE Austin, I can also see what worked for the betterment of the game as a whole.

New FaW would only be 75% as devestating as it is now. FAW 5 man "fed balls" end up being 75% of what they are now. Escort/klingon "spike damage" would only be 75% as damaging as it is now. Healing, snare, root, etc would stay EXACTLY the same as it is now in PVP, just if it includes damage, that gets lowered by 25% also. What this would end up resulting in (as I've already seen it happen), was and is;

1. Group tactics would become even more important as it would require group co-ordination to take some1 out effectively and quickly.

2. NOTHING ends up OP in the damage dept. NO 1 shot, 1 straffing run kills (from a single player) and allows the other group more time to respond.

3. NO PVE players get affected. Therefore, all damage is the same in PVE content as it is today. Their game doesn't CHANGE 1 bit.

4. Pretty much NOTHING would end up being considered OP as, depending on who you talk to, it is today. No where near as many NERF calls. No where near as many dev calls for a NERF we didn't even know that there was a problem in. (EFF engine)

5. Not many "Star Players" would be as prevelant as they are today. "Star groups" would still retain their titles.

6. New players to PVP might have a little bit more of a chance than they do today and that can only be a good thing as more PVP players = more PVP going on.

7. Since PVP gameplay is instanced, this should be an easy development CHANGE for Cryptic to accomplish. Just make the PVP instances at 75% DPS power.

I've seen this work before.
Using SOE is better as an example of what not to do with an MMO, rather than a place from which to glean ideas. SWG was a robust, entertaining game with a reasonably-balanced (with a few exceptions) system that was fun for the vast majority of its players. The havoc wrought upon the game when SOE started to flex its intractable influence was felt by all players, from the most seasoned veteran, down to the newest subscriber, and little, if any of their changes were beneficial in the long-term (the current state of its subscriber base is a perfect representation).

As far as the blanket reduction in damage for PvP, there are several problems, and many of the arguments have already been stated by knowledgeable Members like SteveHale and Husanak (etc.), but I will offer them again here...
  • First, the Devs have already expressed that the engine does not lend itself well to the idea of split natures for PvE and PvP, largely due to the complexity of the game's coding (for example, New Faw™ would already have received changes if not for the extreme complexity such an alteration is going to entail, involving some 4000+ data structures... It will be fixed, but it will be a time-consuming and likely none-too-soon appearing fix...)...
  • Second, a blanket reduction in damage output without a similar reduction in healing and power duration would not make PvP take longer, it would reduce the game to an unplayable stalemate. Skilled Healing already trumps skilled damage-dealing, and this is true in team, PuG, and solo (even PvE) play; therefore, just choosing to reduce damage will render an already-challenging aspect of PvP into an impossible-to-overcome component (either that, or the only remaining valid teams will consist of 5 Science Captains with SNB's <shudder>)...
  • Third, PvP already has a steep learning curve for newcomers, adding in a system wherein items and abilities work differently in differing gameplay types would further decrease the accessibility of the PvP Community from the general player-base... Steps should be taken to encourage newcomers to try a new and exciting aspect of the game, rather than make it more difficult and challenging for them to adapt than it already is...
  • Finally, to make a dramatic change like this seems more like trying to perform open heart surgery with a katana, rather than a scalpel... They both might be razor-sharp, but using the more dramatic and powerful tool simply does not serve the needs of the patient, and ultimately will cause far more, irreparable harm than good. Change can be painful, but it can also be productive, even when those changes include nerfs; if the end result is a better-balanced and more enjoyable game, then change should be supported and encouraged, with appropriate, constructive criticism and feedback.

I hate the 11,000 char-limit... 638 character too long... REALLY?! LOL...