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Jon Peters posted this over on the official forums that I think people will be interested in reading.

Quote

Because there is no balance sub-forum, I will post this here because I know a lot of people have questions about balance.

If you look at the number of balance changes from BWE2 to BWE3 its fairly significant, but that is really just one of us working for about a week hard on balance. In the upcoming weeks we have multiple designers and a chance to focus on balance full time for multiple weeks so you are going to see a much larger set of changes and focus on every profession.

This game has a lot of depth so when we change stuff we are doing it from a point of experience, and while not every change is going to be perfect and not everything will be perfectly balanced, we are working hard to get things to a good place by release. Our balance philosophy is a lot about patience and allowing a meta game to evolve before reacting so keep that in mind before assuming that things are broken and need balance work. Sometimes string builds will emerge as players are familiarizing themselves with the system.

So without waiting much longer, here are some things to think about when commenting on balance. This is mostly a re-post of some things I said on our internal forums, but I think it will give you guys a good idea of our plan moving forward.

Beta is Beta

This is not a released game. We are not nerfing any builds. We are not buffing any builds. We are balancing an unreleased game so that it might be closer to balanced when it does release. Try to not get too attached to anything because it skews your feedback on changes that are often going to be necessary.

PvE vs PvP vs WvW

We do not only balance for PvP. We do not only balance for WvW. We do not only balance for PvE. We balance for the game. When we make a special balance change for a specific part of the game, we will let you know by splitting the skills. Otherwise every balance change is there for the whole game. Balance in control, support, and damage are equally important to all aspects of the game and we are not ignoring that.

Patience

This is not the last balance change. We can’t change everything at once. Sometimes even when an entire profession is in a bad place we will balance specific strong builds or skills. Sometimes even when a profession is in a good place we will balance specific weak skill or builds. We aren’t ignoring things, there is just a limited amount of time and we are working on things when we can. Sometimes we go through things piecemeal so we might be making wholesale adjustments to a profession but only get to certain weapons in a single update note. This does not mean we think the other weapons are ok and not going to change.

A forest for the trees

We are not balancing in a vacuum. Your profession is not the only profession. We have to make sure that all 8 professions are working and viable in different scenarios. We are trying to bring everything to within acceptable boundaries. If some aspect of your profession is getting changed it is because we beleive it is outside of the boundaries of what we deem acceptable in the game. Every change is going to be bad for some people and good for others. We are not making the game for just a few people and we have to make decisions that make this a better game overall, not a better game for you specifically.

Balance > No balance

This change might not stick, but we aren’t going to know if we don’t do it. We have to do balance work, sometimes the changes aren’t enough, sometimes they are too much, sometimes things have just been done wrong and are going to get undone. That doesn’t mean we are going to stop making balance changes so if you think something didnt work post about it and we are happy to discuss it.

Constructive Feedback

Do not clutter feedback threads with arguments, +1s, etc. Constructive feedback and data is getting lost. This process is going to end in a better place and get there a lot more quickly and smoothly if we all work together and provide constructive, actionable feedback that we can use to make specific changes.

Thanks,
Jon

Do take note of that last point for those posting feedback, if Arenanet are to take feedback on board then they need to be able to see the feedback without scrambling through threads with arguments, +1s, etc.
Posted in: News

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#1 Kormir

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 09:48 PM

please switch precision with power in the fire arms trait line of the engineer class. k

#2 Azhrarn

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 10:25 PM

View PostKormir, on 21 July 2012 - 09:48 PM, said:

please switch precision with power in the fire arms trait line of the engineer class. k

Don't underestimate the power of having enormous amounts of crit. :) With my Elementalist I'm sitting at ~52% crit at lvl 17. :P
It's insanely fun to use. :lol:

#3 LastDay

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 10:27 PM

About time Arenanet said it themselves if you ask me.

Sure there are some obvious balance issues you can point out by playing the game for one or two days, such as some skills being really really weak.
Threads like that are usually followed by a few +1 post. :)

However when people argue for 20+ pages about the balance of something being wrong it makes me wonder.
How can you play a game for 6(?) days or less and think that you know more about the balance than Arenanet does?
And despite that distrust they still trust them enough to pay 60€
Ahh, go figure. Whatever.

#4 asbasb

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 10:43 PM

Jon Peters said:

We are not making the game for just a few people and we have to make decisions that make this a better game overall, not a better game for you specifically.

Totally unacceptable. I want my game to be perfect, and everybody who's against my ideas obviously doesn't know it any better.

My brain, it hurts.

#5 Kormir

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 11:00 PM

View PostAzhrarn, on 21 July 2012 - 10:25 PM, said:

Don't underestimate the power of having enormous amounts of crit. :) With my Elementalist I'm sitting at ~52% crit at lvl 17. :P
It's insanely fun to use. :lol:

isnt crit useless with engi double pistol build??

#6 Stuart444

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 11:10 PM

View Postasbasb, on 21 July 2012 - 10:43 PM, said:

and everybody who's against my ideas obviously doesn't know it any better.

You sound like an Asura there :P

#7 Sleepyx732

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 11:17 PM

Honestly most of this should be common knowledge. Doesn't matter what game it is or who is making it.

It's a little rediculous Jon Peters had to come out and say it himself... of course it won't matter in a week or so.

#8 Ian42onGuru

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 11:23 PM

While I think just typing "+1" looks silly, there is no other way to show support for an idea with the lack of a voting system when you have nothing constructive to add to an idea, be it for or against.   I personally type out "I agree with this" or "I disagree with this".  Sometimes post don't necessarily need support but many do.  The addition of such a voting system can be very helpful for getting player feedback and reducing clutter.

#9 Azhrarn

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 11:39 PM

View PostKormir, on 21 July 2012 - 11:00 PM, said:

isnt crit useless with engi double pistol build??

Then design your own build.
The engineer has plenty of traits that benefit from a high crit chance, many of which apply conditions. Combine the two and you might come up with something pretty nasty.
It doesn't always have to be a cooky-cutter build, twin pistols with a crit focus might be better than you think.

#10 quarkrow

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 11:43 PM

I don't understand why attributes (Power, Precision, etc.) have to be tied together with trait lines. Why can't we make them separate? I can't think of a case why separating them would be particularly overpowered. It gives more control over builds to players, which to be honest, is something which is really lacking in this game in comparison to GW1.

#11 Canti sama

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 01:53 AM

View PostIan42onGuru, on 21 July 2012 - 11:23 PM, said:

While I think just typing "+1" looks silly, there is no other way to show support for an idea with the lack of a voting system when you have nothing constructive to add to an idea, be it for or against.   I personally type out "I agree with this" or "I disagree with this".  Sometimes post don't necessarily need support but many do.  The addition of such a voting system can be very helpful for getting player feedback and reducing clutter.

Can't you just click the like button?

I believe that would serve the same purpose; correct me if I'm wrong.

#12 FoxBat

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 07:55 AM

View PostIan42onGuru, on 21 July 2012 - 11:23 PM, said:

While I think just typing "+1" looks silly, there is no other way to show support for an idea with the lack of a voting system when you have nothing constructive to add to an idea, be it for or against.   I personally type out "I agree with this" or "I disagree with this".  Sometimes post don't necessarily need support but many do.  The addition of such a voting system can be very helpful for getting player feedback and reducing clutter.

Mass support for an idea is usually not relevant when it comes to balance. Anet doesn't care how many people think X is underpowered or that Y fix is a good idea. They want to see fresh arguments or elaborations on existing arguments to change their perspective. I do think more forums need "like" type setups, but that is only so the useless +1 posts are automatically filtered out of existence and we can get down to business.

#13 AndrewSX

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 08:09 AM

Afterall, discerning QQ's from ral problems adressed by playerbase is their work.

:P

#14 Achrisos

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:51 PM

View PostKormir, on 21 July 2012 - 11:00 PM, said:



isnt crit useless with engi double pistol build??


Actually high crit is important for 2 reasons:

1) Many traits are triggered based on crits and you want these traits to trigger as much as possible.
2) While the Engi can unload a heady dose of condition damage you still need to have as much raw damage as possible so that between the 2 you will be doing enough damage to kill someone, otherwise just condition damage will not be enough. Having high crit increases that raw damage.

During BW3 i ran a pistol/pistol  20/30/0/10/10 build that had no trouble dealing damage to any other classes (even guardians). Yes i couldnt kill someone in 3-4 seconds but if you can dodge and strafe to last at least 10-15 seconds you will probably come out on top.

It took me only about 3-4 hours to hit rank 11 pvp yesterday with this build.

#15 Athlonpv

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:26 PM

Finally

Quote

Beta is Beta

This is not a released game. We are not nerfing any builds. We are not buffing any builds. We are balancing an unreleased game so that it might be closer to balanced when it does release. Try to not get too attached to anything because it skews your feedback on changes that are often going to be necessary.

People yapping about nerfs and such have no grasp of game development ...

#16 ilr

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 12:01 AM

Usually balance is the only thing I ever make a big deal about...  but as I look back on these 3 betas, I feel oddly calm about it right now and I think the bigger issue for me is the lack of Numbers.....  not even numbers on skills, I mean numbers-numbers.  The Event bars weren't always descriptive enough or even accurate.  We have NO IDEA how concentrated the server populations are.   And in WvWvW, there's no info about pop spread per-zone so you and 200 other people could be rolling faces in the Heart of the Mists without ever realizing that your home borderlands were being overrun and the last vestiges of completely outnumbered defending players who aren't in your guilds... just rage quit (this actually happened last night for Crystal Desert).  ...I'd also LOVE to see an in-game monitor for CPU/GPU load (& maybe Server_vs_Client Latency too) in the graphics options to help us trouble-shoot that stuff b/c nothing hurts your "balance"/Skill worse in this fast-action game than low FPS/Lag in my opinion.   There's plenty of other examples too I'm sure and I really hope they fix those issues first before they get started on this whole "Let the Meta Evolve" deal b/c these numbers-issues can completely prevent those Metas from evolving in the first place.

#17 Cinder Grimtongue

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 12:19 AM

That quote needs to be stickied.

#18 Skyy High

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 12:39 AM

Quote

This is not a released game. We are not nerfing any builds. We are not buffing any builds. We are balancing an unreleased game so that it might be closer to balanced when it does release. Try to not get too attached to anything because it skews your feedback on changes that are often going to be necessary.

How many times have I said this to people around here...

#19 Porkchop Sandwiches

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 01:08 AM

I noticed that the official forums for this weekend were more particularly opinionated than they were previous weekends. I was thinking that's why they closed the forums earlier this time. :(

#20 LOCOMOFO

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 01:16 AM

I was glad they closed the official forums in the end, it was depressing.  Not much constructive feedback happening, if there was it was hard to find!