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The biggest problem with pvp balance recently

Dantheman.3589Dantheman.3589 Member ✭✭✭✭

Most of the changes we have seen to pvp in recent years were based off results of mats, which is an extremely biased and one sided decision. The fact that every mat that some one plays a spec not seen before prefaces a hotfix is absolutely unheard of as this is a super short span of time to nerf something that has been in existence since forever. Like wise the “big balance patch” that they did just took things that were being nerfed EVERY single mat, example passives, and completely nuked them so that all versions of the same skills felt the same exact pain.
These types of changes, which have been incredibly abundant during the past few years, have quiet literally destroyed mechanics of possibly every class in some part. Now things are lob sidedly balanced to where some things are literally useless compared to others and some things don’t function smoothly, which for many ppl is the #1 most important thing.

Comments

  • Dawdler.8521Dawdler.8521 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 19, 2020

    If only there was some kind of pvp mode Anet could put more effort into, something larger, where a wider variety of roles existed for more build variety, which doesnt only force the meta to bunker on a tiny 3 meter wide circle for 10 minutes to win.

    But nah even Anet knows that such a thing doesnt exist.

    gaggle - /ˈɡaɡ(ə)l/ - noun
    A disorderly group of Asura.
    "The gaggle of Asura tried to agree on whether a phase-shifted thermonuclear energy matrix was sufficiently powerful for a device capable of heating bread"

  • noiwk.2760noiwk.2760 Member ✭✭✭

    @Dawdler.8521 said:
    If only there was some kind of pvp mode Anet could put more effort into, something larger, where a wider variety of roles existed for more build variety, which doesnt only force the meta to bunker on a tiny 3 meter wide circle for 10 minutes to win.

    But nah even Anet knows that such a thing doesnt exist.

    isnt it why we have wvw?

  • noiwk.2760noiwk.2760 Member ✭✭✭

    on topic the real issue is bots

  • ollbirtan.2915ollbirtan.2915 Member ✭✭✭✭

    If only there was a dedicated team person who solely looks after pvp balance and has the power to implement meaningful changes... that don't always include juggling numbers around.

  • jsp.6912jsp.6912 Member ✭✭✭

    @Bazsi.2734 said:
    The biggest problem with PvP balance is that it doesn't.

    100% true

  • wevh.2903wevh.2903 Member ✭✭✭

    @Dawdler.8521 said:
    If only there was some kind of pvp mode Anet could put more effort into, something larger, where a wider variety of roles existed for more build variety, which doesnt only force the meta to bunker on a tiny 3 meter wide circle for 10 minutes to win.

    But nah even Anet knows that such a thing doesnt exist.

    You know this is not a bunker meta right? You could only argue sidenoder meta is tank but theres no more than 1 sidenoder per team

  • Jekkt.6045Jekkt.6045 Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 19, 2020

    they should for sure balance for mAT as it's the highest current level of play. doesn't mean they shouldn't balance for ladder too.

    honestly, the best example was and will probably always be dragon hunter.

    the build was strong but not overly so, it was just relatively easy to play to a certain extent. let's say everybody could play it to 80% effectiveness right off the bat. in high level play, the build was only good not broken.

    now take a build that is harder to play, and you might only achieve 40% effectiveness right off the start. compared to dragon hunter, this build will most pikely perform worse on ladder but might very well be much stronger than dragon hunter on 100%.

    what's the right thing to do here? nerf dragon hunter? nerf the fictional build that is harder to play?

    it's actually quite simple.

    is dragon hunter too strong at the top level?
    yes -> nerf
    no -> buff if needed

    is dragon hunter too strong at lower levels?
    yes -> don't nerf it, but increase the skill cap by making the skills more interesting. this could even become a buff because the build might become more flexible.
    no -> leave it

    if the fictional build i'm talking about is too strong st high level but weak at low level you have two pathes you can take. nerf it, or nerf it and up the skill floor a bit.

    something that anet often does and i really hate is the following:

    they see a build that does something that it's not supposed to do or a build that is very uninteractive to play against (minions, turrets, bunker thief). instead of changing the build or making it less obnoxious they just whack it so hard with the nerf hammer that people stop playing it, thus ruining build diversity.

  • Dantheman.3589Dantheman.3589 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Jekkt.6045 said:
    they should for sure balance for mAT as it's the highest current level of play. doesn't mean they shouldn't balance for ladder too.

    honestly, the best example was and will probably always be dragon hunter.

    the build was strong but not overly so, it was just relatively easy to play to a certain extent. let's say everybody could play it to 80% effectiveness right off the bat. in high level play, the build was only good not broken.

    now take a build that is harder to play, and you might only achieve 40% effectiveness right off the start. compared to dragon hunter, this build will most pikely perform worse on ladder but might very well be much stronger than dragon hunter on 100%.

    what's the right thing to do here? nerf dragon hunter? nerf the fictional build that is harder to play?

    it's actually quite simple.

    is dragon hunter too strong at the top level?
    yes -> nerf
    no -> buff if needed

    is dragon hunter too strong at lower levels?
    yes -> don't nerf it, but increase the skill cap by making the skills more interesting. this could even become a buff because the build might become more flexible.
    no -> leave it

    if the fictional build i'm talking about is too strong st high level but weak at low level you have two pathes you can take. nerf it, or nerf it and up the skill floor a bit.

    something that anet often does and i really hate is the following:

    they see a build that does something that it's not supposed to do or a build that is very uninteractive to play against (minions, turrets, bunker thief). instead of changing the build or making it less obnoxious they just whack it so hard with the nerf hammer that people stop playing it, thus ruining build diversity.

    They shouldn’t balance based off of mats or ladders. For one saying this is the “highest level of play” is a huge meme considering basically anyone can do that. The problem is if you just watch a video of an auto tournament or take in info from a streamer who does ranked for your balance info- than your already balancing wrong as you are basing it off someone who doesn’t care about balance of the whole game.
    Advocating for mat balancing and balancing based off rank is almost equivalent to asking for ignorant devs and blind balance- the result so has been terrible balance and non functional skills

  • @Dantheman.3589 said:
    Advocating for mat balancing and balancing based off rank is almost equivalent to asking for ignorant devs and blind balance- the result so has been terrible balance and non functional skills

    Ya. And unfortunately that's what has been happening since CMC signed on. I like CMC as a person but the fact that he's listening to these "top players" and forum criers was and still is a big mistake cause even if they know more about the game and it's skills in the highly competitive format, does not mean they know how to balance a game.

  • there needs to be one clear vision that takes into account the big picture. not whack a mole 1 up 1 down balancing.

    Te lazla otstara.

  • JusticeRetroHunter.7684JusticeRetroHunter.7684 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 19, 2020

    What they need to do is understand that there is an APPLICABLE SCIENCE behind balancing...

    The fact that it's called balancing at all is just a misnomer, cause actual perfect balance can't be applied to this game... as it's core... in its fundamentality it's impossible to do in a game of different classes.

    But I think people here already know what I'm talking about cause i talk about it all the time. Yes I'm tired of repeating the same stuff over and over...but its not like it's my idea...it's out there and the information is free for anyone to look up... its established science since the 1970's at least. i'm just here to explain how it applies to certain game mechanics specific to guild wars 2...that it.

  • Jekkt.6045Jekkt.6045 Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 20, 2020

    @Dantheman.3589 said:

    @Jekkt.6045 said:
    they should for sure balance for mAT as it's the highest current level of play. doesn't mean they shouldn't balance for ladder too.

    honestly, the best example was and will probably always be dragon hunter.

    the build was strong but not overly so, it was just relatively easy to play to a certain extent. let's say everybody could play it to 80% effectiveness right off the bat. in high level play, the build was only good not broken.

    now take a build that is harder to play, and you might only achieve 40% effectiveness right off the start. compared to dragon hunter, this build will most pikely perform worse on ladder but might very well be much stronger than dragon hunter on 100%.

    what's the right thing to do here? nerf dragon hunter? nerf the fictional build that is harder to play?

    it's actually quite simple.

    is dragon hunter too strong at the top level?
    yes -> nerf
    no -> buff if needed

    is dragon hunter too strong at lower levels?
    yes -> don't nerf it, but increase the skill cap by making the skills more interesting. this could even become a buff because the build might become more flexible.
    no -> leave it

    if the fictional build i'm talking about is too strong st high level but weak at low level you have two pathes you can take. nerf it, or nerf it and up the skill floor a bit.

    something that anet often does and i really hate is the following:

    they see a build that does something that it's not supposed to do or a build that is very uninteractive to play against (minions, turrets, bunker thief). instead of changing the build or making it less obnoxious they just whack it so hard with the nerf hammer that people stop playing it, thus ruining build diversity.

    They shouldn’t balance based off of mats or ladders. For one saying this is the “highest level of play” is a huge meme considering basically anyone can do that. The problem is if you just watch a video of an auto tournament or take in info from a streamer who does ranked for your balance info- than your already balancing wrong as you are basing it off someone who doesn’t care about balance of the whole game.
    Advocating for mat balancing and balancing based off rank is almost equivalent to asking for ignorant devs and blind balance- the result so has been terrible balance and non functional skills

    seems like i need to clarify my statement a bit further. i'm not talking about watching a mAT or a streamer. i'm talking about numbers, performance of builds in specific circumstances, and you need to look at all the circumstances as a whole or you will buff/nerf/change stuff that might not require it. the biggest problem with this in gw2 is probably the sample size. gotta work with what you have i guess.

    obviously, you need to filter your data, not everybody in the mAT is on the same level and there is a fine line between a build being too strong or a player who's too good.

    another indicator are team comps, let's say, all top4 teams run the exact same comp, or the side node class/build is the same, that might indicate that some stuff / combination is too strong or other stuff is too weak, depending on what power level you want to achieve as a balance dev.

    this is basically number crunching, and while i say balance should heavily factor in skill level (which ladder and placement in mAT is an indicator of) that's only where it starts.

    to balance something you first need to understand what needs balancing (data) and what the exact problem is. after that you need to look for possible changes and weigh the consequences of those changes to find the best possible one.

    you can't expect devs to play a class all day to figure out if something's strong or whatever, they just don't have the time for that. that's where the data comes in.

    also, forum posts should never be the deciding factor that leads to a balance change. forum posts are (often) a good indicator that something is wonky with a build and needs checking, if it isn't already evident from the data. but that doesn't mean that a change is required all the time somebody cries about something on the forums. forum posts are a good indicator if something is "unfun" though, which might also necessitate changes to a build.

    sometimes it's also smart to just balance for the sake of balancing, or to achieve a different meta that is less stale. if everything is the same all the time people get bored.

    what you seem to dislike are knee jerk nerfs to stuff that wins in mAT, and i completely agree that it's stupid and should be handled differently. i have to disagree with something else though. just because something has existed for a long time doesn't mean that it can't be too strong now, even if it wasn't before. different meta, different balance can indeed make something too strong that wasn't before. assuming it really is too strong, no knee jerk lol.

  • otto.5684otto.5684 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Jekkt.6045 said:
    they should for sure balance for mAT as it's the highest current level of play. doesn't mean they shouldn't balance for ladder too.

    honestly, the best example was and will probably always be dragon hunter.

    the build was strong but not overly so, it was just relatively easy to play to a certain extent. let's say everybody could play it to 80% effectiveness right off the bat. in high level play, the build was only good not broken.

    now take a build that is harder to play, and you might only achieve 40% effectiveness right off the start. compared to dragon hunter, this build will most pikely perform worse on ladder but might very well be much stronger than dragon hunter on 100%.

    what's the right thing to do here? nerf dragon hunter? nerf the fictional build that is harder to play?

    it's actually quite simple.

    is dragon hunter too strong at the top level?
    yes -> nerf
    no -> buff if needed

    is dragon hunter too strong at lower levels?
    yes -> don't nerf it, but increase the skill cap by making the skills more interesting. this could even become a buff because the build might become more flexible.
    no -> leave it

    if the fictional build i'm talking about is too strong st high level but weak at low level you have two pathes you can take. nerf it, or nerf it and up the skill floor a bit.

    something that anet often does and i really hate is the following:

    they see a build that does something that it's not supposed to do or a build that is very uninteractive to play against (minions, turrets, bunker thief). instead of changing the build or making it less obnoxious they just whack it so hard with the nerf hammer that people stop playing it, thus ruining build diversity.

    There is more that goes to it than that. You cannot only balance around the top 0.25%. You need to consider the top 10%. But even in the top 0.25%, how you measure top performing can be highly misleading.

    IMO (and I go this from another game devs) the best indicator is to aggregate results by winning composition. What this means you see what class/elite compositions have the highest win percentage in 1,500 and mAT. Then you look for how often you see a specific elite. If holo shows up 8 times in the top 10 compositions, clearly it is over performing. If mirage shows up 1 time, it clearly is under performing.

    You would then look for feedback from players and experience (if devs play the game, which at this point I am pretty certain rarely, if ever happens), and hone in on what is causing the class of over/under perform.

    Honestly though, this is not really going to work well now. sPvP as a whole has been fundamentally broken since Feb patch. This is what happens when you through away 8 years of balancing then do a half kitten-ed job trying to implement new values for everything. First step is to remove whoever is responsible for this fiasco. Second, get close or at, where we were before. Then do the steps above, while also keeping an eye on what happens in gold.

  • The biggest problem is that there aren't many impactful patches. Sometimes it seems like it's obvious what needs to be changed in order to improve the balance and joy of gameplay but maybe it's more complicated and that's why we don't see the changes we want to see.

    I main power spellbreaker for 2 years now and play only this, my build has barely changed in the last 2 years. It's fun when you don't care about the outcome but it requires strong will to find pleasure in playing ranked in gold3/plat1 elo.

  • Jekkt.6045Jekkt.6045 Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 20, 2020

    @otto.5684 said:

    @Jekkt.6045 said:
    they should for sure balance for mAT as it's the highest current level of play. doesn't mean they shouldn't balance for ladder too.

    honestly, the best example was and will probably always be dragon hunter.

    the build was strong but not overly so, it was just relatively easy to play to a certain extent. let's say everybody could play it to 80% effectiveness right off the bat. in high level play, the build was only good not broken.

    now take a build that is harder to play, and you might only achieve 40% effectiveness right off the start. compared to dragon hunter, this build will most pikely perform worse on ladder but might very well be much stronger than dragon hunter on 100%.

    what's the right thing to do here? nerf dragon hunter? nerf the fictional build that is harder to play?

    it's actually quite simple.

    is dragon hunter too strong at the top level?
    yes -> nerf
    no -> buff if needed

    is dragon hunter too strong at lower levels?
    yes -> don't nerf it, but increase the skill cap by making the skills more interesting. this could even become a buff because the build might become more flexible.
    no -> leave it

    if the fictional build i'm talking about is too strong st high level but weak at low level you have two pathes you can take. nerf it, or nerf it and up the skill floor a bit.

    something that anet often does and i really hate is the following:

    they see a build that does something that it's not supposed to do or a build that is very uninteractive to play against (minions, turrets, bunker thief). instead of changing the build or making it less obnoxious they just whack it so hard with the nerf hammer that people stop playing it, thus ruining build diversity.

    There is more that goes to it than that. You cannot only balance around the top 0.25%. You need to consider the top 10%. But even in the top 0.25%, how you measure top performing can be highly misleading.

    IMO (and I go this from another game devs) the best indicator is to aggregate results by winning composition. What this means you see what class/elite compositions have the highest win percentage in 1,500 and mAT. Then you look for how often you see a specific elite. If holo shows up 8 times in the top 10 compositions, clearly it is over performing. If mirage shows up 1 time, it clearly is under performing.

    You would then look for feedback from players and experience (if devs play the game, which at this point I am pretty certain rarely, if ever happens), and hone in on what is causing the class of over/under perform.

    Honestly though, this is not really going to work well now. sPvP as a whole has been fundamentally broken since Feb patch. This is what happens when you through away 8 years of balancing then do a half kitten-ed job trying to implement new values for everything. First step is to remove whoever is responsible for this fiasco. Second, get close or at, where we were before. Then do the steps above, while also keeping an eye on what happens in gold.

    i agree with what you say. you shouldn't balance only around top" 0.25%". honestly, i don't even know if the remaining players are a good enough standard nowadays but top "0.25%" should be where you can see what's the near absolute maximum output of a build. this is only one part of the equation. the other 99.75% show you how the build performs for the low to average to above average player. if you have one build that heavily outperforms everything else in those 0.25% it is probably too strong. doesn't mean it is too strong for the rest of the game, but if it's problematic for the top it needs to be changed in a way that nerfs it for the "0.25%" but keeps it the same for the rest, which quite frankly is really hard to achieve unless you just say, welp we nerf it for high level and the other players need to "git gud".

    i touch on that subject about team comp in a different post i made aswell. holo is a simple example because it is a side noder and it's quite clear it is overperforming. but sometimes it isn't necessarily a single build but rather a combination like for example support firebrand + scourge + blood scourge. that's more tricky. maybe none of the three are broken but the combination is, that's where you need to find a way to nerf something without making them unviable individually.

    the stuff i'm talking about is very simplified so don't take everything for bare value. there's much more to balance than just looking at numbers. sometimes it's just about the feeling of a build too. i mean, look at mirage. yes mirage is weaker now with only one dodge, but it feels incredibly bad to play and will feel bad even if it was (i'm not saying it is) numerically overtuned. on the other hand it's also wrong to nerf around stuff, something anet really loves to do with holo changes. just because you nerf other stuff doesn't mean what you should be nerfing gets less broken, the result might be the same in the end, the build will be weaker, but it will feel terrible to play.

  • Dantheman.3589Dantheman.3589 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Jekkt.6045 said:

    @otto.5684 said:

    @Jekkt.6045 said:
    they should for sure balance for mAT as it's the highest current level of play. doesn't mean they shouldn't balance for ladder too.

    honestly, the best example was and will probably always be dragon hunter.

    the build was strong but not overly so, it was just relatively easy to play to a certain extent. let's say everybody could play it to 80% effectiveness right off the bat. in high level play, the build was only good not broken.

    now take a build that is harder to play, and you might only achieve 40% effectiveness right off the start. compared to dragon hunter, this build will most pikely perform worse on ladder but might very well be much stronger than dragon hunter on 100%.

    what's the right thing to do here? nerf dragon hunter? nerf the fictional build that is harder to play?

    it's actually quite simple.

    is dragon hunter too strong at the top level?
    yes -> nerf
    no -> buff if needed

    is dragon hunter too strong at lower levels?
    yes -> don't nerf it, but increase the skill cap by making the skills more interesting. this could even become a buff because the build might become more flexible.
    no -> leave it

    if the fictional build i'm talking about is too strong st high level but weak at low level you have two pathes you can take. nerf it, or nerf it and up the skill floor a bit.

    something that anet often does and i really hate is the following:

    they see a build that does something that it's not supposed to do or a build that is very uninteractive to play against (minions, turrets, bunker thief). instead of changing the build or making it less obnoxious they just whack it so hard with the nerf hammer that people stop playing it, thus ruining build diversity.

    There is more that goes to it than that. You cannot only balance around the top 0.25%. You need to consider the top 10%. But even in the top 0.25%, how you measure top performing can be highly misleading.

    IMO (and I go this from another game devs) the best indicator is to aggregate results by winning composition. What this means you see what class/elite compositions have the highest win percentage in 1,500 and mAT. Then you look for how often you see a specific elite. If holo shows up 8 times in the top 10 compositions, clearly it is over performing. If mirage shows up 1 time, it clearly is under performing.

    You would then look for feedback from players and experience (if devs play the game, which at this point I am pretty certain rarely, if ever happens), and hone in on what is causing the class of over/under perform.

    Honestly though, this is not really going to work well now. sPvP as a whole has been fundamentally broken since Feb patch. This is what happens when you through away 8 years of balancing then do a half kitten-ed job trying to implement new values for everything. First step is to remove whoever is responsible for this fiasco. Second, get close or at, where we were before. Then do the steps above, while also keeping an eye on what happens in gold.

    i agree with what you say. you shouldn't balance only around top" 0.25%". honestly, i don't even know if the remaining players are a good enough standard nowadays but top "0.25%" should be where you can see what's the near absolute maximum output of a build. this is only one part of the equation. the other 99.75% show you how the build performs for the low to average to above average player. if you have one build that heavily outperforms everything else in those 0.25% it is probably too strong. doesn't mean it is too strong for the rest of the game, but if it's problematic for the top it needs to be changed in a way that nerfs it for the "0.25%" but keeps it the same for the rest, which quite frankly is really hard to achieve unless you just say, welp we nerf it for high level and the other players need to "git gud".

    i touch on that subject about team comp in a different post i made aswell. holo is a simple example because it is a side noder and it's quite clear it is overperforming. but sometimes it isn't necessarily a single build but rather a combination like for example support firebrand + scourge + blood scourge. that's more tricky. maybe none of the three are broken but the combination is, that's where you need to find a way to nerf something without making them unviable individually.

    the stuff i'm talking about is very simplified so don't take everything for bare value. there's much more to balance than just looking at numbers. sometimes it's just about the feeling of a build too. i mean, look at mirage. yes mirage is weaker now with only one dodge, but it feels incredibly bad to play and will feel bad even if it was (i'm not saying it is) numerically overtuned. on the other hand it's also wrong to nerf around stuff, something anet really loves to do with holo changes. just because you nerf other stuff doesn't mean what you should be nerfing gets less broken, the result might be the same in the end, the build will be weaker, but it will feel terrible to play.

    The top .25% or what your actually talking about tournaments- doesn’t represent how good builds actually are in the hands of “pro” players. They represent how popular a comp or class. Plenty of ppl would prefer to play different stuff any time of day example during ranked, but then you run into the same type of problem.
    We Cannot balance around the players themselves, that’s just not how game companies make good balance.

  • otto.5684otto.5684 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 20, 2020

    @Jekkt.6045 said:

    @otto.5684 said:

    @Jekkt.6045 said:
    they should for sure balance for mAT as it's the highest current level of play. doesn't mean they shouldn't balance for ladder too.

    honestly, the best example was and will probably always be dragon hunter.

    the build was strong but not overly so, it was just relatively easy to play to a certain extent. let's say everybody could play it to 80% effectiveness right off the bat. in high level play, the build was only good not broken.

    now take a build that is harder to play, and you might only achieve 40% effectiveness right off the start. compared to dragon hunter, this build will most pikely perform worse on ladder but might very well be much stronger than dragon hunter on 100%.

    what's the right thing to do here? nerf dragon hunter? nerf the fictional build that is harder to play?

    it's actually quite simple.

    is dragon hunter too strong at the top level?
    yes -> nerf
    no -> buff if needed

    is dragon hunter too strong at lower levels?
    yes -> don't nerf it, but increase the skill cap by making the skills more interesting. this could even become a buff because the build might become more flexible.
    no -> leave it

    if the fictional build i'm talking about is too strong st high level but weak at low level you have two pathes you can take. nerf it, or nerf it and up the skill floor a bit.

    something that anet often does and i really hate is the following:

    they see a build that does something that it's not supposed to do or a build that is very uninteractive to play against (minions, turrets, bunker thief). instead of changing the build or making it less obnoxious they just whack it so hard with the nerf hammer that people stop playing it, thus ruining build diversity.

    There is more that goes to it than that. You cannot only balance around the top 0.25%. You need to consider the top 10%. But even in the top 0.25%, how you measure top performing can be highly misleading.

    IMO (and I go this from another game devs) the best indicator is to aggregate results by winning composition. What this means you see what class/elite compositions have the highest win percentage in 1,500 and mAT. Then you look for how often you see a specific elite. If holo shows up 8 times in the top 10 compositions, clearly it is over performing. If mirage shows up 1 time, it clearly is under performing.

    You would then look for feedback from players and experience (if devs play the game, which at this point I am pretty certain rarely, if ever happens), and hone in on what is causing the class of over/under perform.

    Honestly though, this is not really going to work well now. sPvP as a whole has been fundamentally broken since Feb patch. This is what happens when you through away 8 years of balancing then do a half kitten-ed job trying to implement new values for everything. First step is to remove whoever is responsible for this fiasco. Second, get close or at, where we were before. Then do the steps above, while also keeping an eye on what happens in gold.

    i agree with what you say. you shouldn't balance only around top" 0.25%". honestly, i don't even know if the remaining players are a good enough standard nowadays but top "0.25%" should be where you can see what's the near absolute maximum output of a build. this is only one part of the equation. the other 99.75% show you how the build performs for the low to average to above average player. if you have one build that heavily outperforms everything else in those 0.25% it is probably too strong. doesn't mean it is too strong for the rest of the game, but if it's problematic for the top it needs to be changed in a way that nerfs it for the "0.25%" but keeps it the same for the rest, which quite frankly is really hard to achieve unless you just say, welp we nerf it for high level and the other players need to "git gud".

    i touch on that subject about team comp in a different post i made aswell. holo is a simple example because it is a side noder and it's quite clear it is overperforming. but sometimes it isn't necessarily a single build but rather a combination like for example support firebrand + scourge + blood scourge. that's more tricky. maybe none of the three are broken but the combination is, that's where you need to find a way to nerf something without making them unviable individually.

    the stuff i'm talking about is very simplified so don't take everything for bare value. there's much more to balance than just looking at numbers. sometimes it's just about the feeling of a build too. i mean, look at mirage. yes mirage is weaker now with only one dodge, but it feels incredibly bad to play and will feel bad even if it was (i'm not saying it is) numerically overtuned. on the other hand it's also wrong to nerf around stuff, something anet really loves to do with holo changes. just because you nerf other stuff doesn't mean what you should be nerfing gets less broken, the result might be the same in the end, the build will be weaker, but it will feel terrible to play.

    The issue with the build “feel” it is hard to quantify and hard to relate to if you do not play the class. I am familiar with how to play against necro and engi, but I do not know the detail of their builds. On the other side, I know every single detail about guardian. It is much harder for me to gauge engi, but I can pretty accurately gauge guardian. If I am in a position to make a decisions about engi, numbers and player feedback is all I got. You would hope that the team that makes balance decisions play all classes, but you need multiple devs to do that. And it does not seem to be the case.

    Personally, I think it is much better to have balance devs by class versus by game mode. You want people who understand the class, on fundamental level, to make decisions. And you can never do that unless you play the class. Without playing you can understand design, but you will never understand performance. I want people who make buffs and nerfs understand what they are doing. And even though we had some highly unbalanced periods, till 2018, I think the people who were making decisions understood the classes. But from end of 2018, going forward it seems this strategy shifted. And once I heard there is “CMC” I knew this will end up in a disaster. And that is exactly what happened. As a guardian main, regardless of performance (currently kitten) I can tell CMC has no kitten clue how guardian remotely works. Probably all he knows is “immobile, aoe damage and good healing.” You cannot effectively balance classes like this.

    In addition class balance, there are multiple layers and objectives. You surely want things to be balanced at the high end, but games generally want to appeal and create a fun experience for everyone. Take Condi mirage as an example. With the exception of the first few month, after phantasms rework, mirage was fairly strong, but hardly OP. However, cuz it was extremely oppressive against inexperienced players, it continuously kept getting nerfed. At this point, a 1,200 player would not have much issues playing against Condi mirage, but above 1,500, it does not work. This is flat out wrong balance methodology, but should be considered, to an extent, to prevent lower levels of sPvP to have massive entry barrier. It is a balancing act, that requires much thinking and planning.

    In any case, Anet current spvp devs do not seem to do much but follow qq. I highly doubt in-depth statistics analysis are performed in any level. There are no indications of it.