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ANet: King of irrelevant balance updates?


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#1 Tranquility

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 03:16 AM

I've been reading the updates since I quit playing several months ago. Almost every one of them consists of increasing or decreasing the effectiveness of one or two skills per profession by such a paltry amount that it's almost insulting.

Is it just so they can say they are doing something, or what? Or are they just so out of touch with their own game that they think the only thing they really need to do to achieve perfection is to add "range" to tooltips of melee skills?

#2 ben911993

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 03:21 AM

View PostTranquility, on 13 June 2013 - 03:16 AM, said:

Or are they just so out of touch with their own game

Yes, they are. I very much get the impression sometimes that the devs at ANet don't even play their own damn game. I remember somewhat recently talk of devs who said that it was possible to handle certain dungeons with just two rangers, so their answer was going to be to nerf pets.

Or there were some videos a couple weeks ago of Izzy suggesting warriors looking for advice in build making, invest in toughness and condition damage, or to use balanced stats. They really are out of touch with their own game.

#3 jma2286

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 03:29 AM

I was under the impression that their state of the game changes were meant for the first patch, but obviously it's for the second one.

They aren't out of touch, they have themselves stuck trying to balance three different game styles with one trait and equipment system. In hindsight, they ought to have taken the same approach they did in late GW by balancing PVP differently. Yeah, the new players will go "why do I have to relearn my class when I just got introduced to it?" but that's not as important as it being easy to get in and having to play whack-a-mole for months at a time with haste effects, then pets, then rebuffing, etc.

PvP is getting bigger now. Hopefully that means that they will separate that from PvE and WvWvW and balance accordingly, because then there won't be this argument of "We can't do this because it would break dungeon groups"

Edited by jma2286, 13 June 2013 - 03:30 AM.


#4 Jschatt

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 03:43 AM

View Postben911993, on 13 June 2013 - 03:21 AM, said:

Yes, they are. I very much get the impression sometimes that the devs at ANet don't even play their own damn game. I remember somewhat recently talk of devs who said that it was possible to handle certain dungeons with just two rangers, so their answer was going to be to nerf pets.

Or there were some videos a couple weeks ago of Izzy suggesting warriors looking for advice in build making, invest in toughness and condition damage, or to use balanced stats. They really are out of touch with their own game.

I don't think they're out of touch with the game. Games are never balanced around the casual players, they're balanced around the best, most skilled players. Just because you can't duo run a dungeon as a ranger doesnt mean it can't be done.

The game will always be balanced around the best a class can be, generally termed the skill cap. People don't seem to realize it, but this game does have a pretty high skill cap.

#5 Fernling306

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 04:00 AM

View Postben911993, on 13 June 2013 - 03:21 AM, said:

Yes, they are. I very much get the impression sometimes that the devs at ANet don't even play their own damn game. I remember somewhat recently talk of devs who said that it was possible to handle certain dungeons with just two rangers, so their answer was going to be to nerf pets.

Or there were some videos a couple weeks ago of Izzy suggesting warriors looking for advice in build making, invest in toughness and condition damage, or to use balanced stats. They really are out of touch with their own game.
Remember when the Collin fella was talking about dual wielding pistol mesmers like it was already in game.

#6 FoxBat

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 05:00 AM

View PostTranquility, on 13 June 2013 - 03:16 AM, said:

I've been reading the updates since I quit playing several months ago. Almost every one of them consists of increasing or decreasing the effectiveness of one or two skills per profession by such a paltry amount that it's almost insulting.

The majority of classes are showing up somewhere in the various featured tournaments of late. Yes there's only one or two builds per most classes, and there's so much overlap between the classes, but considering the minimal emphasis on team fights, that's still an accomplishment. Not something worth throwing out with huge slapdash changes everywhere.

The minimal effort even aimed at balance outside of sPvP is a slightly different issue. That said more minor bugfixes is exactly what I want anyway rather than piles of temporary content and rng boxes.

#7 ben911993

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 05:37 AM

View PostJschatt, on 13 June 2013 - 03:43 AM, said:

I don't think they're out of touch with the game. Games are never balanced around the casual players, they're balanced around the best, most skilled players. Just because you can't duo run a dungeon as a ranger doesnt mean it can't be done.

The game will always be balanced around the best a class can be, generally termed the skill cap. People don't seem to realize it, but this game does have a pretty high skill cap.

I'm not saying it isn't possible; just that nerfing what was already a largely broken mechanic isn't the way to fix it. Besides, if two players are skilled enough to run a dungeon by themselves, let them do it. That's their reward for being that skilled.

This game does have a decently high skill cap, sure, but it puzzles me that some of the balance changes would be made with the best players in mind, when the game was very clearly and deliberately designed for casuals.

#8 Arquenya

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:09 AM

View Postjma2286, on 13 June 2013 - 03:29 AM, said:

They aren't out of touch, they have themselves stuck trying to balance three different game styles with one trait and equipment system.
If they're not out of touch, how would you explain that you still don't see any scepter wielding mesmers or sword+shield guardians, for example? Or that people are still prefering warriors for dungeon runs?

It's not that the game has only been released a month or two ago.

#9 Gerroh

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:18 AM

View PostArquenya, on 13 June 2013 - 06:09 AM, said:

If they're not out of touch, how would you explain that you still don't see any scepter wielding mesmers or sword+shield guardians, for example? Or that people are still prefering warriors for dungeon runs?

It's not that the game has only been released a month or two ago.

I'm not going to go say the game is balanced, but one explanation for the scenario you're describing(regarding warrurs being selected for dungeons) is that warrurs have a higher skill floor, meaning stupid people can play them more effectively than they can play other professions. If you're PUGing and victory is all you care about, then warrurs are the ideal choice as you know the person is going to be effective regardless of how good or bad they are.
For a prime example, see the Sig of Spirits rit from GW1.
Warrurs are OP in PvE, but it's an issue with how PvE itself is designed more than anything.

#10 NerfHerder

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:01 AM

Sometimes I cringe when I see nothing but underwater skills updated and buffed warrior traits, while my ranger still gets rooted with a sword. But, I wouldnt call them irrelevant. What Anet does have, is a different set of priorites than its playerbase. Instead of looking at each profession and comparing them to each other, I think they measure each one against itself. Because, right now, I see a growing disparity between professions.

Speaking from a PvE point of view, I do agree with the OP. Sure, pets got a small survivability boost, but that has nothing to do with how easily a warrior can bring support vs ranger and still maintain around the same damage. Meanwhile, just to compete dps wise, the ranger gets one weapon. And you have to disable the auto attack just to do that. Something no other profession is forced to deal with. If the warrior had this problem, it would have been fixed a long time ago.

#11 thewindwaker

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:31 AM

View PostArquenya, on 13 June 2013 - 06:09 AM, said:

If they're not out of touch, how would you explain that you still don't see any scepter wielding mesmers or sword+shield guardians, for example? Or that people are still prefering warriors for dungeon runs?

It's not that the game has only been released a month or two ago.
sword-shield/focus is actually what dps guardians use - mesmer scepter is entirely crap though, yeah. :P

#12 Lordkrall

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 08:02 AM

View PostFernling306, on 13 June 2013 - 04:00 AM, said:

Remember when the Collin fella was talking about dual wielding pistol mesmers like it was already in game.

Remember when you ran a massive gaming company and never ever made a mistake?

I would say Colin have quite a bit on his plate so making a mistake like that is quite forgiveable, especially if dual wielding pistol was on the board for Mesmers either before release or sometime in the future.

#13 Desild

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 09:24 AM

You should be glad they are just tweaking skills. In Guild Wars 1 the entire meta-game shifted it's gears the moment a patch came along. It was not nice to be nerfed and then get to work with what was buffed and figure the next game-breaking combo.

Of course now if we get nerfed we have to suck it up, as we lack even the basic options of skill selection...

#14 Whiteone

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 09:35 AM

View Postben911993, on 13 June 2013 - 03:21 AM, said:

Or there were some videos a couple weeks ago of Izzy suggesting warriors looking for advice in build making, invest in toughness and condition damage, or to use balanced stats. They really are out of touch with their own game.

Saw this thread and was about to post the same thing.
God, that video with Izzy was so hard to watch. As soon as he started to talk about condition damage and when I saw his bank, filled with all those runes and useless armor I was like "wtf are you doing". His untransformed draconic armor alone made me suspicious.
Untransformed draconic and pearl weapon skins are the new five signet.

#15 Sheepski

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:19 AM

View PostFernling306, on 13 June 2013 - 04:00 AM, said:

Remember when the Collin fella was talking about dual wielding pistol mesmers like it was already in game.

One thing that was cringe worthy for me was the recent live stream showing off Dragon Bash where the dev was killing the hologram mobs... with a rifle on a warrior... taking forever, and struggling to kite and talk at the same time, when he had an axe on the other weapon set.

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#16 Wickity

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:32 AM

Ofc they are irrelevant updates. However the gem store is updated on a weekly basis. And as long as there are people willing to sink irl money into it, the gem store will take priority over anything else they put their hands on. I mean Dragon bash, seriously? Doing achievements that force you to kill the same looking mob for 300 times while hoping over waypoints....for a set of wings that will prooobably look much inferior to the Dragon Coffer ones...but that's the plan isn't it. Guess that's the reason why I log for the time it takes to do the daily.

#17 beadnbutter32

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:46 AM

Anyone with decsion making power at RNDnet does not play the game and completely ignores both the official and popular outside forums.  There has been and still is wide spread dissatisfaction in all forums with PVE balance, yet the official line has been and remains 'all classes are viable.'

The only 'balance' discussion with any traction at RNDnet is regarding sPVP, and for the most part it can be divided into two main themes, 1- make warriors more viable in spvp and 2- make rangers less viable in spvp.  At one point they trotted out some BS that they were going to start to split spvp and pve skills, but so far, the only splits have been insignificant and few.  All the previous spvp nerfs that were carried over to pve are still in pve.

Edited by beadnbutter32, 13 June 2013 - 11:47 AM.


#18 Lordkrall

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:52 AM

View Postbeadnbutter32, on 13 June 2013 - 11:46 AM, said:

yet the official line has been and remains 'all classes are viable.'

Which is very much true.
I have yet to find a single thing in this game that requires a specific class setup.

#19 Rhomulos

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:47 PM

View PostLordkrall, on 13 June 2013 - 11:52 AM, said:

Which is very much true.
I have yet to find a single thing in this game that requires a specific class setup.

I think they were lazy in implementing this, as 2 decent players can usually carry everyone else through a dungeon.  And all the classes generally play the same, ranged or melee full DPS.  That way they can easily just say "they're all effective".

CoF and some fractal groups will require specific classes/group comps.  And the typical CoF warrior/mesmer set-up can be used everywhere for the best run results, if dungeons actually gave above-meh rewards, then you'd see that kind of BS much much more often.

#20 Lordkrall

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:54 PM

View PostRhomulos, on 13 June 2013 - 02:47 PM, said:

CoF and some fractal groups will require specific classes/group comps.  And the typical CoF warrior/mesmer set-up can be used everywhere for the best run results, if dungeons actually gave above-meh rewards, then you'd see that kind of BS much much more often.

You are however talking about player-made restrictions. And we can't really blame ArenaNet for those.
Looking strictly from a game point of view every single class can do every single (game created) thing in the game.

#21 Rhomulos

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 04:27 PM

View PostLordkrall, on 13 June 2013 - 02:54 PM, said:

You are however talking about player-made restrictions. And we can't really blame ArenaNet for those.
Looking strictly from a game point of view every single class can do every single (game created) thing in the game.

Most restrictions in games are player made across games, they took away all but DPS in pve, so since everyone can cause damage then they're all viable.  Anet made viability a cheap way of saying they stuck with their own manifesto.

#22 Featherman

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 05:10 PM

I've noticed this as well and have have formulated several theories based on observation...

1) The team has an idea of what needs to be changed, but either they don't have the resources to fix obviously broken mechanics, or they're having trouble working with spaghetti code that resulted from cycling out different coders and re-purposing old code. The small changes is just a way for them to provide an illusion that they're working on balance while in reality it's really a way for them to stall for time. This also explains why there are still so many broken profession traits.

2) They have no idea what needs to be balanced so they tweak things that seem out of tune based on metrics and user feedback. Nothing too big though, that would be "wack-a-mole" balancing. It did take ANet nine months and a disgruntled streamer to get the devs to realize that players cannot see shit because of all the overdone particles effects.

3) ANet is convinced of their combat system and design sensibilities and have chosen to go with a slow and steady (or namby pamby, depending on how you look at it) approach, all the while PvP hemorrhages players due in part to balance issues. The problem with this is that while certain skills and mechanics do less/more damage they remain fundamentally broken. Thief profession, 'nuff said. Not that they're overpowered or anything, just mechanically broken.

4) ANet really likes underwater combat, and they want to make it relevant by showing that they care enough to change numbers around and integrating unintuitive combos.

Edited by Featherman, 13 June 2013 - 05:13 PM.


#23 Malganis

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 05:51 PM

Oh no, I use a scepter/pistol mesmer, and a rifle warrior.   They're both level 80 and finished the personal story.   I can't believe how crappy they must be.

#24 Tranquility

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:19 PM

View PostDesild, on 13 June 2013 - 09:24 AM, said:

It was not nice to be nerfed and then get to work with what was buffed and figure the next game-breaking combo.

If by "not nice", you mean one of the best parts of the game, then I agree.

View PostMalganis, on 13 June 2013 - 05:51 PM, said:

Oh no, I use a scepter/pistol mesmer, and a rifle warrior.   They're both level 80 and finished the personal story.   I can't believe how crappy they must be.

The ability to complete content is a flat out awful way to gauge balance in a multiplayer game. Especially if that content is as mindnumbingly easy as  the GW2 solo questing.

#25 Kichwas

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 07:58 PM

View PostTranquility, on 13 June 2013 - 03:16 AM, said:

Almost every one of them consists of increasing or decreasing the effectiveness of one or two skills per profession by such a paltry amount that it's almost insulting

are they just so out of touch with their own game

By your own admission you are the one who is out of touch:

View PostTranquility, on 13 June 2013 - 03:16 AM, said:

I've been reading the updates since I quit playing several months ago.

The small nature patches are intentional, and if you were still around you might know this. Where WoW has the design philosophy of 'nuke the entire class and start over' anytime they want to change something, ArenaNet is trying for 'chisel away some edges and ink in a line or two' to fine tune it to where they intend.

The idea is that big changes create too much change resulting in having to rethink balance all over again. A small change to move in a disired direction allows them to compare all their metrics and more accurately see if the change had the desired direction and amount of effect.

Whether you like this or not does not matter: You left. You don't count.

But for those of us still in the game, time will tell. Done right it is a much smarter approach - data is only meaningful if it has good controls and easy isolation.

#26 Tranquility

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 08:46 PM

View PostKichwas, on 13 June 2013 - 07:58 PM, said:

The small nature patches are intentional, and if you were still around you might know this.

Well, the game isn't going to be around 20 years by now when they finally get some semblance of balance at the rate they are going.

If you weren't a naive fanboy you might know this.

#27 Whiteone

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 08:57 PM

View PostKichwas, on 13 June 2013 - 07:58 PM, said:


Whether you like this or not does not matter: You left. You don't count.


Whether he likes it or not does matter. At least to him.

Additionally there is no such thing as an opinion that doesn't count. Every opinion counts. The function of a discussion is to see how much there is to a certain opinion and to re evaluate opinions. I can't even begin on how many levels "You left. You don't count." is wrong.
Also, his opinion is based on something he can access despite not playing besides the OP being a question to start a discussion.


Also I still agree with OP. The most recent example: they got time to change the rarity of a mini but my tooltip for Endure Pain is still not localized and has some neat (()). Not to talk about how a related trait is bugged for a year and the tooltip being wrong for so long.
They got time to implement the Dragonball arena but don't care to build some new sPvP modes like capture the flag.
They add a 5 second cooldown to Versatile Rage while anyone not exploiting can't get lower than 5 seconds weapon swap anyway. (correct me if I missed something crucial here). Also on topic with weapon swap there is still a bug with the Rune of the Warrior.
And I could make this list longer and longer. By just sticking to my warrior. I bet other classes want some cheese as well.

Stupid examples you might say but for me as a professional software developer this shows two things:

-Anet has some serious problems with their priorities
-Anet has some serious problems with internal communication
-Anet has some serious problems with incompetent people thinking they are good at their job just because they get paid for it

They need to give the whole Living Story bogus a break and address the serious issues of the game mechanics. It is just a year after release and they seem so eager to bring new content to a sub free game and don't see how this is not the polishing you've been talking off but rather a huge mess of a patchwork.

#28 StormDragonZ

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 09:02 PM

View PostSheepski, on 13 June 2013 - 11:19 AM, said:

One thing that was cringe worthy for me was the recent live stream showing off Dragon Bash where the dev was killing the hologram mobs... with a rifle on a warrior... taking forever, and struggling to kite and talk at the same time, when he had an axe on the other weapon set.

But... but... I like to use a rifle on my Warrior... :mellow:

#29 Fernling306

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 10:42 PM

Or where the dev recently streamed what was basically a hints and tips for how to play a GS warrior. I really thought that was funny, considering it is the easiest to play and likely the most played. I've never heard of anyone needing any tips to play one. They should have shown own of the builds/classes that they claim is just as good as the zerker warrior.

#30 FoxBat

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:06 PM

View PostWhiteone, on 13 June 2013 - 08:57 PM, said:

They got time to implement the Dragonball arena but don't care to build some new sPvP modes like capture the flag.

We have spirit watch, no-one cares about it. Pretty soon we will have an all new gimmick PvP map as well that can be summarily ignored. Bringing back old game types that Anet already discovered doesn't work with their PvE-based mechanics is not going to fix PvP any.

Quote

They add a 5 second cooldown to Versatile Rage while anyone not exploiting can't get lower than 5 seconds weapon swap anyway. (correct me if I missed something crucial here).

Droppable bundles.

Edited by FoxBat, 13 June 2013 - 11:34 PM.





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