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Reader Comments (44)

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 8:21AM (Unverified) said

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You have to rush to the forums and private message every developer you can contact. Then you need to make over a dozen angry posts in 5 different, unrelated forums, expressing your discontent with the nerf and your contempt for the developers. You have to always make yourself a victim and rally as many people to your blubbering siren song as possible. The louder you moan, the more every other class will face equal nerfs, and then we're back to playing a good game.

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 8:24AM (Unverified) said

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In most cases, in my experience, it's possible to adapt. Some classes were so broken and pigeon holed at certain times that it just wasn't rational to expect people to find them fun (early paladins in WoW spending their time raiding and casting cleanse non-stop). In that same vein, however, every nerf that holy, ret, or prot paladins have seen since the class was "fixed" were justified and could be worked around.

But in the rare cases in which the nerfs went too far, breaking the class to a point in which the overall experience of playing them was altered and even their roles fundamentally changed, I simply quit the game. There's plenty of MMOs out there, no reason to pay for a game that the developers forced you out of.

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 8:32AM dudemanjac said

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I don't think I've ever had this happen to me. Then again it's a rare feat for me to get my toon to the max which is where I would guess this stuff is noticed most. Then again it could just be my happy go lucky attitude toward everything in life. I was an Army brat and I got used to change. You adjust your play style or try something new.

I should say, I don't remmeber this being a big deal. I was playing CoX and WoW off and on for years, so it had to have happened. On the other hand maybe they always happened during my breaks and that's why i didn't notice.

I hear changes are coming to darkness in Champions. I hope not too much. Mine is a beast.

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 1:26PM J Brad Hicks said

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It's never happened to me, either. I can generally tell when a character sub-class is performing way, way above the way it was designed to play. If I don't spot it in advance, I certainly spot it the moment it becomes a Flavor of the Month and I start seeing them EVERYWHERE. But unlike the people this article was aimed at, I don't take that as proof that I should be playing that character, that playing that character is how to win. I take it as proof that that character is going to be nerfed, sooner or later, and probably hard, so that's the character design to avoid playing, at all costs.

But then, I've been doing this for a while. I learned from long practical experience that developers always over-do it when they make balance adjustments. Really, the most reliable way to end up with an over-powered character is to figure out which character design, which sub-class, is the most under-powered at launch, and stick with it. Not only will it teach you how to play the game better, but when they do get around to balancing it against the other characters, they will almost certainly accidentally over-do it and buff it beyond what other characters can do. Now you're at the peak of your skills AND playing the latest FotM character, only yours is already at the level cap and has all the gear. Win!
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Posted: Apr 18th 2010 8:43AM (Unverified) said

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Well, let me see here.
MMOs that I have left.
I left WoW shortly after the 3.3 patch for a number of reasons.
1: I got banned from the forums for chuckling (yes, chuckling. The entirety of the message that got me banned from the forum was "lol, this made me chuckle.") at a thread about warrior PVP balance. This compounded with the irony of the posts I made during the 3.2 PTR about Warriors with 45k HP hitting my shaman for 16k.
2: I played a Shaman. The only patch notes that have ever sounded good for a Shaman were in fact an april fools joke. The class has had legitimate issues for year, and these issues have been ignored for years by Blizzard. The only buff I ever successfully lobbied for as a Shaman resulted in bigger buffs for Warlocks and Druids.
3: I didn't feel like spending $175 dollars to switch servers and factions. Hopefully now that they have a store in place for them to monetize off of stuff in the game, they'll stop charging you 8 arms and 30 legs just to run a damned script.

Another one I left was Cabal Online.
Played it from Open Beta, was in the biggest Capella guild on the Venus server. I got up to level 125, got to the Mutant Forest, got one shotted by the every enemy I ran into on the map, left. The reason it made me leave is because I had the highest defense and dodge on the server at the time. One shot.

Last one, Valkyrie Sky.
I loved the core gameplay, was always quite exciting to play. Until they put in metamorphos skills and I was like "Wait a second, I'll never actually be able to use any of those".
They went and added a metagame enhancement that was almost impossible for the average player to enjoy.
I still check twice a week to see if they've gotten anymore updates though. The game itself was fun, and I'd liked the enhancements they made going from closed beta to live (I think its live, might still be in open beta. Its at least as much of an open beta as Dungeon Fighter's open beta is an open beta.)

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 8:45AM (Unverified) said

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HA! I just realized how off topic most of that was.
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Posted: Apr 18th 2010 8:49AM (Unverified) said

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Seems damned germane to the conversation to me.
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Posted: Apr 18th 2010 9:06AM (Unverified) said

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In the nearly four years that I've played Guild Wars now my playstyle as a Swordsmanship warrior has barely changed. I completely scrapped the Tactics attribute from my build, focusing on Swordsmanship and Strength, but never has a patch forced me to completely rethink the way I play. Rather, the changes I made to my build have all been the result of years of experience and skill gathering.

[Guild Wars Skill Build Talk begins here]
I replaced Healing Signet with Lion's Comfort, which heals slightly less but grants you some adrenalin, I replaced Sever Artery with Barbaric Slice, which also inflicts bleeding but adds some additional damage on top, however costs more adrenalin, and I removed Resurrect, Whirlwind Slash and Endure Pain from my build, replacing them with Radiation Field, "You Move Like A Dwarf!" and "I Am Unstoppable!", which now means I cannot only inflict heavy damage, but pull off a pretty good job as tank too.
[Guild Wars Skill Build Talk ends here]

But never has a patched forced me to make those changes. Fortunately I never played an Assassin; the Shadow Form skill has been nerfed several times, and the last nerf destroyed most of its possibilities. Still, it's an effective skill; it's just not as OP as it used to be, and Assassins, both primary and secondary, simply have to be a bit creative with it to put it to good use again. And it'll only be a matter of time before the Guild Wars community finds the next build that's OP...

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 12:43PM Necromas said

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I don't think I've ever heard of someone in Guild Wars going 4 years just using a single (albeit changing) swordsmanship build.

The game has a level cap of 20, over a thousand skills, easy instant respeccing of your skills/attributes/secondary profession, cheap endgame gear so it's easy to get different gear for different builds, etc.... The biggest reason I still play is because I can always do something different when I get bored of doing one thing. Even starting a new alt and getting them to the level cap and completely geared out only takes about a week.
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Posted: Apr 18th 2010 3:59PM (Unverified) said

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The build is a lot different from what it used to be, but the basics - adrenalin-powered bleeding, deep wound and damage - are still the same. And it isn't the only build I use. I tend to vary the skills if I know I'm gonna take a lot of damage, or if I need to break stances often. And of course I'll completely turn it around if I engage in PvP or have to tank in The Deep. I'm just lucky to have played a role that has seen no major rebalances or nerfs since I started playing it, at least not up to the point where the role was completely turned upside down.
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Posted: Apr 18th 2010 9:12AM (Unverified) said

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I had a pre-CU Jedi in SWG. I could kill 5 full-spec players before the first corpse had hit the ground. Bounty hunters came for me in teams, and players gasped and came running when they heard the sound of my saber ignite.

We Jedi were demi-gods. No other class in the history of MMO's needed nerfing more. It still didn't make it feel any better when the NGE finally did gut the class to the point where we were the weakest of all the them. I hung on for awhile, as did most of us, but it was the beginning of the end.

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 9:34AM Wisdomandlore said

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In my experience, most class changes in games are either justified (i.e. something was obviously broken) or able to be adjusted to. I remember in Lord of the Rings Online, the MoM expansion had made Hunters ridiculously overpowered. They had sustained DPS, burst DPS, and high power regen. Yet when Turbine moved to touch them, the Hunter forums acted like the end of the world. One of the louder voices even stupidly proclaimed that because of the changes he could not kill one, even-level monster without dying.

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 9:37AM (Unverified) said

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Depends on how the nerfing is done. In a few games, the character becomes useless because of a patch. If that happens and I can't be arsed to start all over again I leave the game. A great deal depends on how much of a pain it is to level a toon or whether you can re-spec for nothing (if that would help).

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 10:00AM Ringu said

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I had an Inv tank in CoH, and I'd spent months on getting his defences up to the absolute maximum they could be.

Then there were several patches pretty much in a straight row that gutted the Inv powerset to the point where my brother's lower level regen scrapper could tank five times better than I could, and though I tried to adapt, it just took away the whole point of what I was trying to do.

I left after a couple of months of trying to figure out an alternative way...

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 10:05AM (Unverified) said

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Change is inevitable in any MMO. If you're too stubborn-minded to think that your class's strength doesn't ebb and flow throughout the game's lifetime, you're delusional. Patch notes and buffs/nerfs will never stop me from playing a class that I love and a character I've put a lot of hours into. I just take it in my stride content in the fact that in the long run it doesn't matter much. But then again I'm playing games from Blizzard and Turbine and not a game from Cryptic or Funcom so I can be confident of that.

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 10:30AM (Unverified) said

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The only time that has happened to me was with my Defiler in EQ2 and the ward nerf (making them use the ward before mitigation) but i still played on and enjoyed the class.
But the opposite has happened quite a few time like the Commando in SWG being buffed from doing crappy damage to being OP.

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 10:31AM Drannos said

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I can honestly say that I've never had this happen; at least, if it ever has, I've never really noticed. Mostly, I think the issue comes down to each player - how do you adapt to change? Are you playing your class because you enjoy it, or because it is the uber-build of the moment and you want to dominate?

Good developers should never make changes that change the fundamental mechanic or role of a class. Not saying it doesn't happen, but that it shouldn't - it shows poor design and VERY bad process. Minor, and even some "major", changes to skills or stats (or whatever) can be understood, and a player should be able to adapt. If they care to, that is.

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 10:59AM Joshua Przygocki said

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I just play healers, no one nerfs healers.

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 11:39AM Valdamar said

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Usually I just retire the character, but if the nerfs soured me to the whole game and/or there was no other class/archetype I wanted to play then I'd probably quit the game.

In EverQuest I quit my level-capped warrior for a druid when melees were generally nerfed around RoK launch, but then switched from level-capped druid to a rogue later when changes made my druid pretty useless on raids. I wasn't about to quit the game because I still enjoyed it at that point and felt I had responsibilities to my guild.

In EverQuest 2 however I only ever had 1 main character, a Guardian, and didn't fancy playing anything else - when changes made it less fun/powerful/required in teams I'd already hit the level cap and seen most of the game, and I had no guild commitments and I wasn't really enjoying the game anyway, so instead of sticking around for the next expansion I just quit the game completely.

In CoH when Energy Melee was nerfed my EM/EA stalker suffered most as his overpowered primary powerset was making up for his terrible secondary powerset, so when the primary was nerfed he just became rubbish all round - his survivability and damage-dealing sank like a stone, as his best attack went from 1 second cast time to a long 3 seconds during which he often got killed while locked into the animation and unable to act. But he was L42, and I didn't have a L50 stalker, so I gritted my teeth and got him to L50 and then retired him and have never played him since. My EM/Elec Brute was already at L50, but again he went from being semi-regularly played to being fully retired.

I don't like how Blizzard makes wholesale changes to characters every few months - I suspect it's a side effect of having so much PvP in the game - which is one of the reasons I didn't feel like sticking around in WoW once I'd hit the level cap with one character in the 6 months I played that MMO - having to re-learn how to play your character every few months in a fast levelling game like WoW, when you can easily have multiple level-capped characters, is not conducive to keeping me as a subscriber. I want my decisions to change how my character plays, not post-release Dev decisions - if you lose that stability/dependability then there's not much point investing time into that MMO.

Fortunately though I've never had a character completely gutted, like happened to some of my friends in SWG with the NGE - if that ever happened to any characters I had spent years playing then I would immediately cancel my subscription.

Posted: Apr 18th 2010 12:43PM oxlar said

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If its bad enough, I quit the game and let them know on the exit survey.

The worst was COX when they gutted energy melee. I had three differrent characters with that power set. They all became worthless after the nerf. So I dumped the game and never went back.

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