How do the devs determine what is considered 'fair' for buffing and nerfing in balance patches? — Guild Wars 2 Forums
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How do the devs determine what is considered 'fair' for buffing and nerfing in balance patches?

Based on reading latest patch notes, I could not help but notice that it seems to be "feelings" based.

Case in point: (https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/98085/upcoming-balance-notes)

Guardian:
"We've rolled the control effect into the skill itself and increased its casting time to ensure that it feels reasonable. "

Mesmer:
"Finally, we're changing the mirage's Elusive Mind trait to no longer break stuns as we **feel ** that the necessity of including exhaustion as a balancing factor has made it too binary as a choice."

Revenant:
"In exchange, we've added a few new powerful traits with drawbacks as we **feel **this is in line with the spirit of Mallyx and skills like Pain Absorption."

This made me curious and tried to look to the previous balance patches to attempt to determine what is considered 'fair' for devs; that is, what is the basis for nerfing or buffing a particular skill. Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying they're misguided how to buff/nerf skills, but I wish devs would share what their guidelines are for buffing / nerfing skills during balance patch notes.

Comments

  • SoulSin.5682SoulSin.5682 Member ✭✭✭

    Mind me. This game can't really be placed in an excel table for balance changes.

  • Melech.4308Melech.4308 Member ✭✭✭

    @SoulSin.5682 said:
    Mind me. This game can't really be placed in an excel table for balance changes.

    I agree but I certainly don't think feelings is the right way to go either

  • They don't. It is all random.

  • Rettan.9603Rettan.9603 Member ✭✭✭

    In general it's not bad to trust your feelings when you have a lot of experience. But even then it helps a lot to use tables and and reference values (as they did with 2.0 and 0.01).

  • ZDragon.3046ZDragon.3046 Member ✭✭✭✭

    To be honest up till now i want to assume there probably was no real main factor they looked at what was over or under performing and tried to make it so that they could be either bought down or up while also keeping them strong in pve but now just recently anet chose to do pvp and pve splits which allows them to start making a standard.

    I would say this patch was not so much to balance but to get to a starting point where balance could be achieved in the future with ease. IT will also make getting data on things easier now that they for the most part dont need to consider how changing one skills damage or a traits effects could out right kill a profession in end game pve.

    Overall though its likely gonna be based on the percentage of players playing a certain build or profession. If after patch a bit shift to firebrand happens for example expect it to be culled down some to balance the spread back out. A large number of players believe it or not like to play flavor of the month or patch and just jump to what ever is the easiest thing to win with.

    I would also guess that was part of their balancing strat in the past. The game gets very boring once a certain percentage is just playing the same build on the same profession. Even more so when you have people demanding their hard counters be nerfed (and then anet actually nerfs them)...

  • Obtena.7952Obtena.7952 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 12, 2020

    @Melech.4308 said:
    Based on reading latest patch notes, I could not help but notice that it seems to be "feelings" based.

    Case in point: (https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/98085/upcoming-balance-notes)

    Guardian:
    "We've rolled the control effect into the skill itself and increased its casting time to ensure that it feels reasonable. "

    Mesmer:
    "Finally, we're changing the mirage's Elusive Mind trait to no longer break stuns as we **feel ** that the necessity of including exhaustion as a balancing factor has made it too binary as a choice."

    Revenant:
    "In exchange, we've added a few new powerful traits with drawbacks as we **feel **this is in line with the spirit of Mallyx and skills like Pain Absorption."

    This made me curious and tried to look to the previous balance patches to attempt to determine what is considered 'fair' for devs; that is, what is the basis for nerfing or buffing a particular skill. Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying they're misguided how to buff/nerf skills, but I wish devs would share what their guidelines are for buffing / nerfing skills during balance patch notes.

    It's not based on fairness ... and there isn't any reason anyone should think it ever was or will be. But it's not random either, like some people would like you to think. Based on observing the game and the language used when they release patches, I believe what they change and how much they change it is based simply on class theme.

    If you're on a highway and roadrunner goes "beep beep"
    Just step aside or you might end up in a heap

  • dodgerrule.8739dodgerrule.8739 Member ✭✭✭

    It’s partial experimentation based on feedback via the forums

  • Diak Atoli.2085Diak Atoli.2085 Member ✭✭✭

    @Exalted Quality.8534 said:
    in general, they listen to what people are wingeing the most about on forums (squeaky wheel gets the grease).

    for this update, they went super lazy and just pained a broad stroke over anything that heals or ccs not considering how useless certain skills already were (did you really need to nerf renegade shortbow..smh)

    also, the fact that dh/fb doesn’t yet have a tradeoff is ludicrous.

    If it was based on the forums, every class would deal 10~ dps and have 50 health...

  • Stand The Wall.6987Stand The Wall.6987 Member ✭✭✭✭

    a combination of AT representation, the obvious, forum complaints, their feels and bias, and whatever their internal testers tell them (if they even exist).

    Te lazla otstara.

  • FrownyClown.8402FrownyClown.8402 Member ✭✭✭

    They made changes to necro fb and ranger in the last month based on forum complaints.

  • Moradorin.6217Moradorin.6217 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 28, 2020

    @Diak Atoli.2085 said:

    @Exalted Quality.8534 said:
    in general, they listen to what people are wingeing the most about on forums (squeaky wheel gets the grease).

    for this update, they went super lazy and just pained a broad stroke over anything that heals or ccs not considering how useless certain skills already were (did you really need to nerf renegade shortbow..smh)

    also, the fact that dh/fb doesn’t yet have a tradeoff is ludicrous.

    If it was based on the forums, every class would deal 10~ dps and have 50 health...

    No no, then everything WOULD be perfectly balanced! =)

    Really that's part of the issue. Perfect balance = zero diversity

    Practical applicable balance IMO means build diversity, class diversity and each class has an equally viable roll for each mode, but not always the same role. This IMO leads to certain classes always seeming OP to certain other classes while at the same time feeling under-powered vs certain other classes. Then if/when they balance based on bias feelings from people who don't like being countered or beaten or that each class even their has a weakness complaints sourced from this perspective it seems easy to imagine how they could end up making so many apparent mistakes with balance.

  • pninak.1069pninak.1069 Member ✭✭✭

    that's not the only issue. Sure you got class mechanics, but also different armor and traits and some classes have it easier reaching the ideal position for their builds while other classes don't get enough from traits and have to get their stats from somewhereelse. For condi for example. If you got trailblazer's with tempest runes on a rev. it is gonna have 100% condi duration. but for ele you won't be able to reach the 100% unless you eat buff food.

  • Doug.4930Doug.4930 Member ✭✭✭

    @FrownyClown.8402 said:
    They made changes to necro fb and ranger in the last month based on forum complaints.

    I'm not sure about that.

    Personally I think a lot of it would be metric based. The more powerful a class/build is the more people would be playing it. For instance, FB and Scourge dominated WvW. Easily 75% of the player base were running either a FB or a scourge. Whilst Specific builds like boon Holosmith dominated small scale/roaming.

    Forums are a good place for discussion but the majority of those discussion are feelings based. I hate this part of the game so its toxic. I hate mesmer clone spam, I hate stealth, I hate passive invulns, I hate condi spam etc etc. But if the numbers aren't there to support those complaints then Its best to just ignore them.

    There's often a huge divide between what people hate fighting, and whats actually overpowered.

  • Sobx.1758Sobx.1758 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 29, 2020

    @Doug.4930 said:

    @FrownyClown.8402 said:
    They made changes to necro fb and ranger in the last month based on forum complaints.

    I'm not sure about that.

    Personally I think a lot of it would be metric based. The more powerful a class/build is the more people would be playing it. For instance, FB and Scourge dominated WvW. Easily 75% of the player base were running either a FB or a scourge. Whilst Specific builds like boon Holosmith dominated small scale/roaming.

    Forums are a good place for discussion but the majority of those discussion are feelings based. I hate this part of the game so its toxic. I hate mesmer clone spam, I hate stealth, I hate passive invulns, I hate condi spam etc etc. But if the numbers aren't there to support those complaints then Its best to just ignore them.

    There's often a huge divide between what people hate fighting, and whats actually overpowered.

    True, people that claim nerfs are just based on the forum seem to intentionally(?) disregard the fact that the boards are consistently "carpet bombed" by complaints. The moment something mentioned on the boards gets addressed, they're automatically claiming "anet blindly follows the forums". But the fact that 20 other complaints/changes were not impletemented? Naaah, that means nothing.
    I think that claim is simply insane and with the amount of data available to the devs it's highly improbable they just follow their (or the forum users') "feelings".

  • Fantasylife.7981Fantasylife.7981 Member ✭✭✭

    devs only care for high condition damage, power damange got insanely nerf in pvp, while condition damage remain almost untouch. big yikes.

  • Doug.4930Doug.4930 Member ✭✭✭

    @Fantasylife.7981 said:
    devs only care for high condition damage, power damange got insanely nerf in pvp, while condition damage remain almost untouch. big yikes.

    a
    Condi dmg does need toning down for sure, but lets be fair here, power was insane before the patch. Game is far more balanced post patch.

  • lare.5129lare.5129 Member ✭✭✭✭

    how it do? take "why not", add "it can be fun", also not forget part "is it something new" and you got recipe to any balance patch.
    Take it as weather, ans season change ..

    want solid balance ? - play chess.

  • EmmetOtter.8542EmmetOtter.8542 Member ✭✭✭

    @Melech.4308 said:
    Based on reading latest patch notes, I could not help but notice that it seems to be "feelings" based.

    The language is intended to hide the actual decision making process and shutdown debate. They use "feelings" because you can't argue with "feelings". You can try but it becomes a very short argument. No one can say "your feelings are wrong" because everyone knows that feelings are always wrong and right at the same time and subject to change, without notice.

    Now if they said, "according to our metrics" (or philosophy or whatever thing of substance) the debate gets extended to the additional thing. And worse the next time a nerf or tweak of any kind is done in the future, the spectre of those previously mentioned metrics/philosophy/whatever will get reintroduced into the debate. And if Anet says that changed the metrics/philosophy/whatever then that reasoning gets debated too!

    The person who crafted those patch notes had language Kung Fu that is very good. Yours... you barely are a grasshopper.

  • Lily.1935Lily.1935 Member ✭✭✭✭

    No idea. Seems random at times.

  • Melech.4308Melech.4308 Member ✭✭✭

    @EmmetOtter.8542 said:

    @Melech.4308 said:
    Based on reading latest patch notes, I could not help but notice that it seems to be "feelings" based.

    The language is intended to hide the actual decision making process and shutdown debate. They use "feelings" because you can't argue with "feelings". You can try but it becomes a very short argument. No one can say "your feelings are wrong" because everyone knows that feelings are always wrong and right at the same time and subject to change, without notice.

    If that is the case, then why haven't the developers always used "feelings" every time they released a new balance patch to shutdown everyone's debates? This recent balance patch, they used feelings; did that shutdown any debate? No! Every balance patch comes with new topics and debates in the forum, whether or not the "feelings" reasoning was used. I"ll give an example of another feelings based balance note (emphasis mine):

    "Finally, we're slightly reducing the duration of the Mirage Cloak dodge in order to make it more like the normal dodge move. When we first built the mirage specialization, we felt that the dodge window had to be larger than a normal dodge in order to compensate for the fact that the player doesn't move with the dodge."

    source:
    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Game_updates/2019-03-05

    Did that shutdown debate? No.

    Now if they said, "according to our metrics" (or philosophy or whatever thing of substance) the debate gets extended to the additional thing. And worse the next time a nerf or tweak of any kind is done in the future, the spectre of those previously mentioned metrics/philosophy/whatever will get reintroduced into the debate. And if Anet says that changed the metrics/philosophy/whatever then that reasoning gets debated too!

    From the same source I quoted above, we also have non-feelings based explanations, like the one below (emphasis mine):

    "In this update, we're bringing down the power of this trait to be more in line with other grandmaster traits and to give a little boost to its competition."

    Did that shutdown debate either? No, BUT they explained WHY they were making the change.

    The person who crafted those patch notes had language Kung Fu that is very good. Yours... you barely are a grasshopper.

    I fail to see how equating me to a grasshopper and the person who crafted the patch notes having language Kung Fu makes any point with regards to the topic; it seems like this is an attempt to attack my person at best.

  • EmmetOtter.8542EmmetOtter.8542 Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 17, 2020

    I feel that my description and wording is both accurate and not at all a personal attack. Further, I feel that not using such language in the past and using it now is an indication that they are only getting better at delivering news they know will upset some players.

  • Yoci.2481Yoci.2481 Member ✭✭✭

    Their language Kung Fu may be as good as their social media kittens, but their Balance Fu is weak.