Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 How many more nerfs?
05-02-2010, 06:12 AM
How many more nerfs are we going to see in the game to skills and abilities? I realise there are balance issues that need to be addressed but the constant strategy of "NERF IT!" can only be taken so far. How long before everyone ends up in a game where the only 'combat' is two ships meeting, Captains meet on one ship and an intense bout of rock, paper, scissors (best of three, naturally) decides the winner? The loser is given a hearty pat on the back and leaves with a smile.

There are a lot of fixes and balance issues that most will agree are needed but there are other ways to address them without completely neutering a skill. I have no specific skill in mind when saying this and I can adapt as needed, it's more a worry that it will go too far and get to the above scenario very quickly. The amount of damage dealt by escorts is crazy now that all turrets fire at once and there are numerous options to fix it, if it needs fixing. Do you buff defense abilities and shields to help lower the damage taken? Do you nerf the offensive abilities to reduce their damage potential? One helps everyone and doesn't really punish anyone actively, the other effectively makes one lot of players feel singled out for no fault of their own.

That is just a tiny example, I'm not saying I think either are solutions or that damage output needs adjusting. What I am saying is that the game can't take many more nerfs before rock, paper, scissors wins out.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2 Devs, you need to hear this...
05-02-2010, 07:54 AM
I have been a roleplayer from the mid 1970's, back when it was just pen, paper, a few rules and your imagination. Generally I game master, and in the computer world I mod. In all that time the lesson that stands out the most is NEVER NERF.

People can only play a character when their sense of the rules is constant and fair. They MUST have the sense that their own decisions are what shape their characters destiny. Any sense that the game is being directed to make their characters stronger at the GM/developer's whim makes their achievements meaningless. Any sense they have that their failures are due to the GM/Dev's decisions is something that can (and generally should) be taken personally.

Devs, this is why character complaints can be such an emotional wringer, because spoiled kids who didn't get what they want are the minority. It's driven by your decision having attacked the sense of self of reasonable people, in the world of what Tolkien called "secondary belief". It breaks that sense of investment in the game reality.

Raising other things to fix a balance issue is thus greeted much differently. The Player's sense of his own capability is not decreased. He is now simply facing a stronger opponent. This makes the value he derives from victory all the sweeter. But nerfing can create such a frustration for a player having his achievments swept away beyond his control that you will lose subscriptions over it.

When you have totally botched the balance issue and feel there is no choice but to take something down a peg, rather than increase what is around it, there is a way to beat the "I was nerfed and I was helpess to stop it" response. You can only do it with an arguement that appeals to the game reality. If you can make your changes in a context that enhances immersion in the Star Trek source material, then the sense of taking it personally will be reduced significantly.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
05-02-2010, 09:52 AM
It's a bit similar to the death penalty / living bonus argument in a way. People in general react more positively to rewards than punishment yet I haven't seen any game personally that bucks the trend and dares to stand out by trying such 'radical' ideas like this. There are some things that required toning back or at the very least adding a consistent counter to, such as VM, SNB and FBP.

They were hit hard .... well SNB wasn't, it was toned down but in the way it now works you could call it more powerful. FBP looks weak compared to what it was but it was vastly overpowered. VM had the inconsistent counter of ST added and being shut down completely until you died, it wore off, you were helped out made it a hated skill. It too has been made to look weak and pointless with the recent changes and I haven't seen it anywhere near as much in PvP.

There are plenty of other balance issues in the game either with skills that aren't powerful enough to warrant using, skills that are broken in some way or skills that might be useful if they didn't have such a ridiculous cool down or shared cool down. Engineers, Federation at least, are the only class that have two skills that come with a 10 minute cool down or longer and frankly both of them are worthless. The only class I feel has useful skills all throughout is Tactical. Do I want them nerfed so my science or engineer characters have a better chance? No. Fix existing problems and buff skills to bring them in line with what the Tactical class has. There's only so far you can nerf before hurling insults is the most damaging thing you can do.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
05-03-2010, 05:11 AM
As many as it takes to accomplish thier goal.......................

but I hardly find the new SNB to be nerfed. It seems to work even better now at destroying the game.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
05-03-2010, 05:41 AM
They impose so many poorly documented changes so quickly, I don't believe anyone has equilibrium to lose anymore. Every few days or weeks, you log in, and your build is broken. Your gear is different. Your strategies lay in pieces. Your powers are unreliable, and usually a huge bug is thrown in and not acknowledged every 3rd cycle.

They are playing catch up on basics because they released too soon. The cover statement is "this is an mmporg and it will evolve." Yeah. Uh-huh. You'll notice all the 'evolving' is being done by your abilities and equipment balance lol. Have they added one new space pvp map? no. But their art department is working overtime. they can't fire them while the programming department finishes the game.

I bet it will be a VERY different gameplay experience in a year. With LOTS of art extras and costume addons heh.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
05-03-2010, 09:43 PM
One of the things that really turned me off to WoW was the constant messing around with balance. I got so fed up when the mechanics of my class would change on a nearly monthly and sometimes weekly basis. My talents were reset, I had to rethink my gear selection / gems / enchants / inscripts etc... To someone like me, you might as well be telling me to start over and re-tune my character from scratch on a regular basis which ****ES me off!

Some people are just going to get really good at what they do. They are going to find every possible way to dominate and this is usually most true with min/max 'ers. If you got it, flaunt it. So what happens is, people who are good at what they do find a way to crush their opponents and in response, they get nerfed because the people who don't want to take the time to learn the mechanics and crunch the numbers get pwned and then cry about it to the devs in the formus.

So the formerly IMBA people then go and find another way to ****.

Which in turn gets them another nerf.

So they jump to a different class and pwn again

Which gets THAT skill / ability nerfed.



See where this is going? It gets to the point that one has to find themselves wondering, "Where does it all end?" "When will they realize that BALANCE IS AN ILLUSION!" If two different ships of different classes with the same AI were put against each other and one was constantly owning the other, then perhaps you could say it is balance, but when PEOPLE are controlling these things you bring this thing into play called SKILL. Some have it and some don't.

Bottom line here is that you can't possibly create a game that puts everyone on a level playing field because in doing so you will have to gut anything and everything from the game that a SKILLFUL player could use to destroy an UNSKILLED player. You might as well make it pure luck to see who wins...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
05-03-2010, 10:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulda View Post
One of the things that really turned me off to WoW was the constant messing around with balance. I got so fed up when the mechanics of my class would change on a nearly monthly and sometimes weekly basis. My talents were reset, I had to rethink my gear selection / gems / enchants / inscripts etc... To someone like me, you might as well be telling me to start over and re-tune my character from scratch on a regular basis which ****ES me off!

Some people are just going to get really good at what they do. They are going to find every possible way to dominate and this is usually most true with min/max 'ers. If you got it, flaunt it. So what happens is, people who are good at what they do find a way to crush their opponents and in response, they get nerfed because the people who don't want to take the time to learn the mechanics and crunch the numbers get pwned and then cry about it to the devs in the formus.

So the formerly IMBA people then go and find another way to ****.

Which in turn gets them another nerf.

So they jump to a different class and pwn again

Which gets THAT skill / ability nerfed.



See where this is going? It gets to the point that one has to find themselves wondering, "Where does it all end?" "When will they realize that BALANCE IS AN ILLUSION!" If two different ships of different classes with the same AI were put against each other and one was constantly owning the other, then perhaps you could say it is balance, but when PEOPLE are controlling these things you bring this thing into play called SKILL. Some have it and some don't.

Bottom line here is that you can't possibly create a game that puts everyone on a level playing field because in doing so you will have to gut anything and everything from the game that a SKILLFUL player could use to destroy an UNSKILLED player. You might as well make it pure luck to see who wins...
There's only two ways to deal with this facet of MMOs.

1- Build your character to be average. It's not the average things that the devs usually go after. You know all those skills min-maxxers say suck? They usually don't "suck" ... they're usually just average. Find uses for them. You avoid the nerfbat.

2- Don't play MMOs.

If you eschew these options and try to maximize your character's potential ... you will have to deal with the consequences of balance changes.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
05-03-2010, 10:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by superchum View Post
There's only two ways to deal with this facet of MMOs.

1- Build your character to be average. It's not the average things that the devs usually go after. You know all those skills min-maxxers say suck? They usually don't "suck" ... they're usually just average. Find uses for them. You avoid the nerfbat.

2- Don't play MMOs.

If you eschew these options and try to maximize your character's potential ... you will have to deal with the consequences of balance changes.
So in other words, be mediocre or don't play.

I shouldn't feel like I'm doing something wrong by finding ways to be good at a game. I shouldn't have to feel like the nerf police are going to kick down my door and drag me away because I wtfpwned a few noobs. Ok, maybe more than a few.

One thing I really like about STO and Cryptic is that they seem to be trying to take an "outside the box" approach to MMO's which deviates from what the MMO market traditionally accepted as "must haves" to be profitable and succeed. I guess I was also hoping that they would have the foresight to understand that once you start nerfing, it's a downhill spiral.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
05-03-2010, 11:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulda View Post
So in other words, be mediocre or don't play.

I shouldn't feel like I'm doing something wrong by finding ways to be good at a game. I shouldn't have to feel like the nerf police are going to kick down my door and drag me away because I wtfpwned a few noobs. Ok, maybe more than a few.

One thing I really like about STO and Cryptic is that they seem to be trying to take an "outside the box" approach to MMO's which deviates from what the MMO market traditionally accepted as "must haves" to be profitable and succeed. I guess I was also hoping that they would have the foresight to understand that once you start nerfing, it's a downhill spiral.
its an mmo, the first rule is that change happens. Whether you like it or not stuff gets nerfed/buffed/changed. if it never changed than the gameplay would get stale extremely fast.

ALL MMOS have routine balancing, this is a fact.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
05-03-2010, 11:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulda View Post
So in other words, be mediocre or don't play.
It's harsh, but it's true.

Quote:
I shouldn't feel like I'm doing something wrong by finding ways to be good at a game. I shouldn't have to feel like the nerf police are going to kick down my door and drag me away because I wtfpwned a few noobs. Ok, maybe more than a few.
Keep in mind, that if you are going to walk down that path, that one of the consequences is ... you might get nerfed now and again. It sucks. But it's something that you have to know up front, going into all this. It's how these games work. Know it ahead of time. It's a lot easier to deal with it that way.
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