Clarification on behalf of beta testers, to the anti-nerf crowd

First, I do not speak for all beta testers, but I suspect that a large contingent of us will fall somewhere in line behind this post.

The most common accusation leveled against beta testers when calling for a nerf to a hero that is clearly out of the current power level in the game, or provides a synergy that will be toxic to the game is that we are simply protecting our current rosters of top heroes like Gravemaker and do not wish to either see new players have a chance at top heroes or wish to never see the meta change. Ignoring the fact that many of us beta testers (myself included) do not even have these top heroes like GM, as we span a very wide range from F2P to big spenders, there is some truth to the notion that a lot of us don’t want to see the meta drastically shift.

Here is where the clarification comes in and from here on I am only speaking for myself, but I do not mind the meta being shifted by the release of a hero, so long as that shift is done in the right way. If anything, I would love for the meta to shift regularly, just not in the way the anti-nerf crowd is advocating for it to happen. I do not consider it to be a healthy shift in the meta for a hero to come in as new king because it is simply flat out better than all previous heroes (see JFv1.0) which then just slots in as a straight-up improvement with negligible downside.

I’m not certain how familiar you all are with Roshambo (Rock, Paper, Scissors), but my suggestions tend to lean towards maintaining that “rock beats scissors, but is beaten by paper” ecosystem whereas the anti-nerfers are much akin to the kid stepping in to play “dynamite” which “blows up rock, paper, AND scissors, and ties other dynamite”, then accusing the purists of just hating to lose. To me, a healthy shift in the meta is created by heroes that are more-or-less in line power-wise with previous heroes already existing, but with an effect that makes people have to alter existing dominant strategies. Malosi2.0 (VFast weak hit to one, prevent status effects from target and nearby) was a great example of this and was, to me, a healthy way to shift the meta. He was certainly strong, and OP in the current dominant status effect flank meta, but after the meta shifted to factor in his existence his power level would be right around par with everyone else. He would be enough of a punish to the status effect flank meta that after a few months a lot of people would shift to running more direct damage-based flanks (like snipers) when their win-rates began to decline, creating a new meta in which Malosi wouldn’t really be OP at all(flaccid hit to target with no effect to nearby at VFast). Hell, if Clarissa launches as-is the best thing that can happen to the game is a VFast hero whose ability is simply “randomly swap the negative status effects of your allies for the buffs of the enemies and refresh their durations”.

The problem with the heroes or synergies that many of us are recommending nerfs to is that there is no reliable answer for them for the meta to shift to in order to compensate for their existence. Instead of counter play, it creates an arms race. When “scissors“ were first introduced to the game of “rock, paper” the meta initially shifted to a lot of scissors being thrown, due to the prevalence of people still just throwing paper every time. It the slightly overcorrected as people started to throw rock as more and more people shifted to scissors after seeing its high win-rate. Eventually, the meta settled into a roughly even distribution of each. Then, along came dynamite…

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My suspicion is that the anti-nerf crowd isn’t actually blind to the implications of adding dynamite to the rotation. I think a subset wants freshness in the meta at any cost, and knows that SG historically wields the nerf hammer with a far too heavy hand. Fearing that historically heavy hand (which is too heavy nearly every time) they figure that it is better to just knowingly argue that it is not too strong at all in hopes that the nerf hammer never land than to risk SG’s wrath. While I sympathize fully with this viewpoint, I think it best we just be honest about the state of the heroes and as a united front confront SG when they over nerf. The lying in order to avoid the conflict in the first place polarizes each side, and prevents us from being able to come together to force a suitable resolution when both sides dig in.

There is another subset that just flat out doesn’t care about the net health of the game, so long as they have a shot at having a dominant hero, but I suspect that to be the minority. The difficulty is that the two subsets argue identically, leading our side of the debate to suspect all anti-nerf advocates of belonging to the second subset.

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This sounds nice on paper, but it just isn’t realistic, for many reasons, but mainly two that I will outline here:

  1. Having an intricate balance of A > B, B > C, but C > A is hard to design, very hard.

More importantly, it is not sustainable, because they need to come up with new heroes all the time. What happens when D comes out? Where do you slot him? And then E, F, G? Unless they are literal repeats of the earlier heroes, you cannot always maintain a rock-paper-scissors game in E&P. It is literally impossible, because the game was not designed in a way to make it possible.

  1. This would severely punish new players. On paper, it sounds all nice and fluffy, as if new players have their chance, old players have their chance, everyone can just play their rock-paper-scissors game.

But the reality is, new players don’t have the Rock option. Or the Paper option. They only have a single option to work with, which just isn’t effective, beacuse they can always be easily countered.

In your perfect vision of the game, players would literally need to assemble every relevant hero, all of the rock-paper-scissors cards first in order to start playing.

If we’re playing rock-paper-scissors and I know you don’t have a rock, it’s literally impossible for me to lose to you.

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Now, accusations like these, on the other hand…

You’re making the ridiculous assumption that it’s clear as day whether a hero is “OP” or not. Which is not anywhere near the case.

What about people who genuinely don’t think that those heroes are OP? I for one, argued against Clarissa nerf and JF nerf, but I was very supportive of nerfing the realm effects v1 of season 3 heroes.

What about players who are not as good in evaluating the relative strength of a hero?

And more importantly, just because YOU think that the “health of the game” is dependent on the game catering entirely to the needs of the top 1% of the top 1% of players, it just isn’t true.

People can care about the health of the game and in fact, believe that YOU are trying to destroy the game by keeping it stale and constant and boring.

There are different metrics to measure, you use a single metric to determine what’s “good” for the health of the game, others use a different metric to gauge the health of the game. I can’t prove that your metric is no good and that our metric is vastly superior than yours.

But I can say that your last accusation is extremely arrogant, and ignorant of the multitude of factors that actually goes into keeping a game sustainable. It’s a very typical case of the Dunning-Kurger effect.

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Yes, clearly this was an oversimplification for the sake of illustrating a point. It is inarguably more complex than A>B>C>A, and I’d hope that you know that I understand that. I purposely used Malosi2.0 as an example of how to shift the meta dramatically in a way that allows for counter play even with heroes that are currently in the game and even more accessible that the heroes Malosi countered. This kind of shift would also lead to greater diversity in the meta, and we would see a lot of heroes that do not currently see as much play come into vogue.

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Again, this sounds nice, but it’s not realistic. I don’t know how malosi will come to be used at the top, but even if we took your word for it that it will end up like you assume it will, how many of the past heroes “shifted the meta evenly” like you’re describing?

Telluria? JF? Vela? Grimble? Neith? Kingston? Miki? Seshat? Margaret? Grazul? Anzogh? Frida?

How many of them are a direct shift, as opposed to either being generally great and generally mediocre?

You might be able to come up with a good, fresh idea once. Doing it every single month?

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Also, A,B,C are released one after another in each month. So, for a while you have to live with just A and B and accept the fact that B is just better for now, until C comes out. Doesn’t mean, you propose to nerf B to match A. And then you propose to nerf C to match B, and then you don’t create the kind of dynamics you are looking for.

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Despite your claims that it cannot be clear what OP is, it is worth noting that for Jean and the realm bonuses there was a clear consensus amongst those in beta about their excessive strength and it was pretty definite, since we are going to bring up Dunning-Kruger…

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Keep in mind that we can generally see what is in the pipeline for several months into the future. This is less like a planned A to B to C succession, and significantly more like the old lady who swallowed a fly…

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Your argument has nothing to do with Dunning Kruger.

That’s not my claim. My claim is that it’s not always clear not that it can never be clear. there’s a logical difference in those two claims.

The point here is, your accusations are extremely malicious and completely untrue. you assume people have to be lying or have nefarious plans to destroy the game. Except maybe they’re just not good at evaluating hero strengths? Or they have different ways to play the game and thus different priorities?

I for one, think Skadi is amazingly overpowered, because he, along with 4 healers will literally breeze through any stage on auto-play… 300 DOT damage + never allowing the final boss to fire?

Because I don’t care for pvp very much. But I don’t think an overpowered pve hero is “unhealthy” for the game at all; because right now people are essentially forced to sit through hundreds (potentially thousands) of hours to finish season 3 (and for those who haven’t finished season 2, season 2 as well). That’s a lot of dedication for a game. With skadi, they’d still be able to enjoy progression in the game without having to dedicate so much time. That’s a great win for players.

So see? There are just so many different variables and dimensions to whether a game is healthy or whether it is sustainable, it isn’t simply based on what the top 1000 players do in their Alliance war and raid leaderboards.

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Yeah, but with a more complex system than just A,B,C, why would you expect a counter to be out exactly the next month? There are too many powerful season 3 heroes and more to come. New seasonal heroes added. More costumes to come. How do you know that SG is not making these strong heroes so as to be able to fight the new ones?

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To be fair to your argument, they did get around to Guin counters after a year or two…

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Okay, well, if we are upset about balance considerations when altering heroes for PvP affecting PvE performance, I’m not really sure what to tell you. PvP balance is always going to have first priority in a game like this, as it is the only component where the existence or use of an unbalanced character affects another player. PvE allows you the option to not use Skadi if you do not enjoy her turning campaign into easy-mode. If you would like SG to code in alternate applications or balancing of heroes when used in campaign, I’m not opposed in any way to the existence of that, though I do feel that there are better uses for their coding resources.

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I… don’t think you understood what I wrote at all.

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Disagree. I think I understood what was written, fully. It may just not have supported your point as strongly as you had thought upon posting.

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IMO, the designers should spend approximately 0% of their time on anything to do with event 5* and HotM. There is no “meta” in this game anyway, the game never changes for 90% of players. The gameplay and design are spreadsheet-depth at best, and as other threads have pointed out there’s more than enough out there already to make gameplay enhancements that would benefit everyone.

  1. F(orget) “meta.”
  2. Focus on improving gameplay.
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Bob is right here, peoples can’t always see how strong heroes are/could be.
In fact I call heroes as Skadi “sneaky powerful” as they appear ok at first but are a clear problem in the right settings.

Skadi is average speed and

  • deals 170% damage to all enemies
  • the damage is increased by 70% for every dead enemy

Peoples simply stop reading at the first bullet as BETA testers can see in her topic, where someone asked to make her fast or to increase her initial damage to 200%.

But having a Guardian Owl that works isn’t the real balance problem, her stacks are the problem. Geting 30 damage and -6% mana generation for a maximum of 10 stacks while avoiding all of the existing status effect mechanics and not having a duration is a problem.


META shifts are however simple to do even if SGG doesn’t really have any reason to do so for free (balance patch and reworks of outdated heroes).
Guinevere shifted the META, new powerful purple were released to shift the meta a little bit, new effects and passive resistances were added… and I bet that the same will ocour with Telluria.

You make the META, you profit from it and then you try to shift it, rinse and repeat.
What would shift the META would be have viable strategies to oppose it:

Let’s still take Telluria’s boom as a example.

What if red heroes would gain a dispeller for example?
Or if they would deal extra damage for every minion on their target? very fast
Or if they would make one that resist water damage?

This wouldn’t be enough to directly shift the META but it would be a step to shift it.

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Many of you wouldn’t like to hear, that no nerf, buff or change of meta will ever beat the 30% of luck needed due to RNG.

20% $ + 30% luck + 50% skill :partying_face:

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@Mr_Style_Points thanks for this.

This thread has been a very entertaining read lol

Should add i agree with every point you’ve made so far but that’s probly obvious

I’ll be back later with my 2 cents once i can “pc” it a bit to not create a flagathon lol

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Although I see you don’t care for PvP much, I would argue that it is the only part of the game where balance actually matters, which explains why you visibly don’t care about balance.

What would be worse in your view? Having season 3 be a long grind for people, or having a majority of players be frustrated to face the same heroes in PvP all the time and failing to beat them, because the game isn’t balanced?

To not care about the PvP aspect of a game is one thing, but to think that balance isn’t important based on your personal preferences is an entirely other thing. Without balance, a game like this eventually loses a lot of players through frustration.

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