Balance changes in E&P should be a much more regular thing

In the background of the Telluria / Vela kerfuffle are two competing ideas. The first is that people paid for certain heroes with particular stats and that adjustments to those stats is effectively a bait and switch (regardless of the ToS, it’s not wrong for people to feel that way if they spend hundreds of dollars chasing a hero). On the other hand, is the need to maintain an interesting game with a diversity of play styles.

From a long-term point of view, the second need is clearly more important, even for the people who chased Telluria. There’s no upside in having a powerful hero in a game that dies shortly thereafter.

I believe that part of the solution to this is that SGG should make balance updates a much more regular thing (like 1 / quarter rather than 1 / year), and that they should have a larger overall impact on the games’ meta. If you draw a crappy hero (looking at you Atmos!) knowing that there’s a good chance it will get some love in the not to distant future takes some of the sting out of those crappy draws, and might encourage you to at least partially level those currently sub-par heroes.

And similarly knowing that heroes which are truly dominant are likely to get modest nerfs at some point will take some of the surprise / sting out of it when it happens.

On request, here’s a poll:

What Should Be the Frequency of Balance Updates

  • Never change E&P, never change.
  • Current frequency (1 / year)
  • Somewhat more frequent (1 / quarter)
  • Substantially more frequent (1 / month)

0 voters

21 Likes

To me balance tweaks should be released monthly, balancing 2-3 heroes every month is a lot easier than having to give feedback about 15 or so heroes once a year and if SGG sticks to balancing them with just percentage tweaks it shouldn’t even take too much time to code anyway.

16 Likes

Completely agree with this. :slight_smile:

5 Likes

True but the changes should be a sole focus for testers imo

And how often has there been time for that to be the case?

With the new features, new seasons, other new heroes, etc idk seems beta has been pretty stacked with stuff to do from what i can see

1 Like

Completely agree with what you are saying here.
But SG needs to ensure that it has a business model that would only require tweaks to heroes shortly after their release.
I was previously employed as a senior project manager and it beggars belief that there is not a standard project template for heroes for testing, synergy and risk management etc etc
This type of level of “failure” just shouldn’t happen in an experienced multi million Euro business.
What they do next is going to be very difficult to achieve a content player base

4 Likes

It would definitely be nice to have more focus on testing balance changes, but if they are more frequent, it’s a lot easier to backout or re-adjust a problematic change.

2 Likes

Interesting topic.
Can anyone insert a poll?

  • no adjustments
  • 1/month
  • 1/quarter
  • 1/ year
  • ???

I guess.

Maybe 1 way to go about is official rollouts of balance changes every 3 months. But have testing of the balance changes for the 3 months prior to the roll out or some sort of system like that where new features can still be tested alongside the balance changes but give testers plenty of time to give the changes attention

@Guvnor is the pollman…err…plant…

1 Like

I added one to the original post.

1 Like

4 Likes

As suggested by the OP, quarterly should be decent. Spend 1 month of beta testing solely on balancing and new heroes only followed by 2 months of normal development beta testing.

3 Likes

Regular balancing is needed. Not only to prevent some heroes being OP or UP. Even if at some point meta seems to be diverse changes are needed to maintain interest and shuffle leaderboard.

Regular balancing is needed. But if you have a production line of new heroes you should be testing these constantly to see how they impact on others. Done properly you would have seen the synergy between Telluria and Vela and either adjusted the new hero or balanced the existing hero in the next version.
If you have that as standard practice, rebalancing once a quarter should be sufficient and if done correctly should only require tweaks

I disagree with your entire thesis.

I don’t think “interest” needs to come from completely changing heroes. It should come from new game-play methods (like the new ToL), new stages, and things like that.

At what point is a “balance” acceptable? There will always be a hero that is used most often amongst top players. And a hero that is used 2nd most often.

In fact, GM had a 60%+ usage amongst top 100 teams for months; why wasn’t he considered too OP and need nerfing?

The entire thesis of a hero being too “broken” needs to be much more well defined.

What is an acceptable winrate on defense? On offense? Why is it, if you go over that winrate by 1%, it’s suddenly OP? There has to be objective metrics here. Not just people’s opinions on what is balanced and what isn’t.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with win-rate being lower. Everyone’s winrate is lowered, it is still completely fair.

Anyway, I think first we need an OBJECTIVE criteria for what “Balance” even is, before we can even argue about whether balance changes are needed and how often they’re needed.

5 Likes

IMHO the game will end up destroying itself with unbridled power creep if it is all buff and no nerf.

2 Likes

Adjustments have to be a 2 way street imo

And given history, they have been

And the buffs have vastly outnumbered the opposite, as they should.

But every once in awhile, yea somethin may have to be tweaked down a bit, it happens.

8 Likes

Oh, I totally agree with that as well. I’d love to see the ability to have different structures for raid teams, for instance. How would a raid look if we had 3 heroes in front, and two in back? There are lots of things that could be varied.

That said, I still think that regularly tweaking heroes to adjust balance and the overall meta is a good thing to keep the game fresh.

1 Like

(Im)Balance is kinda like how someone replied when asked about how you can define what’s obscene. “I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.”

GM was probably a bit unbalanced, but tolerable. The Telluria/Vela combination was enough beyond that level of imbalance, that it required an adjustment.

1 Like

See, I disagree with this. Personally, I’ve had more trouble dealing with Neith (yes, that hero everyone wants buffed) than Telluria/Vela.

Last raid tournament, with my 4000-4100TP team, I managed to beat all of the GM/Telluria/Vela teams I met between 4400-4500 TP; I lost to a single telluria tank (without gm or vela) and a single telluria flanking aegir. I made top 1% without paying gems for replay.

And I never studied how to beat telluria or anything, I just played like I normally would.

So yeah, I very much disagree with the “it’s obvious when we see it”. This is a game, not real life, there aren’t that many factors involved. I think we should be able to clearly define everything in terms of numbers.

Remember how people thought Boss Wolf was useless because he’s very slow, and SG came out and said how good his winrate was?

People can have completely wrong impressions. We need objective numbers.

In terms of frequent balancing of heroes, I don’t think it’s good for SG or for paying players, because you won’t know which heroes to chase; a hero that seems good today might become obsolete the very next month. So why am I spending hundreds of dollars to get him/her?

Putting aside all of the extra work that is need to balance these changes, it virtually has no benefit for anyone. Except maybe f2p players, because less players would spend money and therefore give f2p players more chance at the top.

2 Likes

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