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Controversial Imagination Conversation or CIC (prenounced sick) for short

Dig deep into the basis of MMOs, controversial or not it needs to be discussed. Let the heads roll and the children cry its time to get CIC.

Author: FlyingSquid

Nerf This!

Posted by FlyingSquid Thursday February 7 2008 at 7:57PM
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Well from the collection of comments from my last entry 9 out of 1 believe that a community can make or break an MMO.  So today I'll be talking about another touchy subject... the nerf.

To those of you who never heard of a nerf it's bascially making a certain function of the game inactive or dumbed down, the term nerf of coarse came popular from the SOE activity, starting with the original Everquest.  To many it's a sign of bad things to come, for some it's a good thing because it gives them an advantage of something else.

Though we all know MMOs need balance to opperate probably there are dos and donts when it comes to nerfs and normally it's always the "OMG NO YOU DID NOT JUST DO THAT!" type of nerf.  Now of coarse there is three sides to this. 

First a player who is content with their class,profession,job w/e you wanna call it they could care less what happens to the other classes, cause of coarse it isn't going to affect them one way or another.  Possibly may make them stronger or some type of advantage that wasn't there before.  Secondly a player who invests their time in enjoying all the classes won't care as much about it because they can always play the others.  Lastly the player who is directly effected by this is the one that causes the uproar, hate and normally finds the cancel button pretty fast.

We all hate the term nerf or worse yet, when one is planned and coming we just waiting for it to hit the live servers *gulp*, but are they all necessary to keep the game balance?  Do you think it's just a developers way of cutting corners, throwing out half finished content or future upgrades they don't want to face?

The big question out of all of this, are nerfs the most common threat of canceling subscriptions other then lack of content or unintelligent game play?  That's a big question in its self as always I'm ready to share my opinion on the current issue at hand.

From my experience as a long time MMO player of various genres and game play tactics, nerfs are the most common reason why they leave the game for good or for a long period of time.  The biggest impact for me and yes I know how much this is beating a dead horse because it was well known as the most horrific change in an MMO in the history of time.  But yes the NGE in SWG was the reason why I quit and never returned to SWG no matter how much I still have a little love for the game.  Another good one was WoW when it came to end game and all that was left was raiding, I had enough I seen no point in continuing on, some people my like to endlessly raid the same dungeon over and over again but thats not my style, it was more like a part-time job and I didn't need it, it was ment to be played to get away from my job not the other way around.

Anyone as always, I ask you to post away on your thoughts, experiences, hatred, and concerns to the issue at hand.  Hope you enjoy the second edition of CIC.

Let the heads roll and the children cry.




Anofalye writes:

Do you take away a toy from a 4 year old?


Then, why would you want to nerf me?  You certainly don't expect me to be playing a videogame for my rational qualities?


Balance is important in PvP games, like these FPS, where you just log, trash each other, and go.  But we are playing a PROGRESSION game here.  We are not just wasting 1 hour or 2.  We are deeply commited to our character and everything is EXTREMELY important.


If you have a paladin out-healing a cleric, that is merely acceptable to nerf them...and I still grinch.  If you have warrior tanking too well, don't even think of nerfing them, go away you leprous dev!  You have a rogue which deal too much damage?  No nerf policy here!  Cleric is healing too well?  Don't touch my shin shin.


We are not talking about a game, where we just log in and out for a quick match...we are talking about a game where I have been working for MONTHS on my character, and 1 possible change can send me backward many weeks, or even worser, can send me soo much backward as I couldn't ever recover!  WTF, leave my shin shin alone!


CoH has nerfed Instant Healing because a regen scrapper was regenerating too much.  I am at war with these devs ever since!  They hurt me.  :(  I never could recover the damage they did me!  :(  I am still bitter and crying.  Balance is irrelevant, the progression is all that matter.  I was soloing 57 stuff...can't anymore.


PROGRESSION = no nerfs unless it is absolutely necessary, such as a paladin out-healing a cleric...and even then I won't be happy seeing the nerf.  Couldn't you make the cleric a better healer instead?

Thu Feb 07 2008 8:59PM Report
FlyingSquid writes:

Great argument and well viewed points and great examples as well.  So in a game of progression if one class is unbalanced so be it?  I think if one class has too much power where no other class can beat it at an equal level unless the player sucks and doesn't play the class correctly, I think it should be ugh I'm going to say it... nerfed.  Balance is important in progression though as I've said theres times it is needed and times when it just outright pisses everyone off.

Thu Feb 07 2008 9:59PM Report
Anofalye writes:

Nah, if 1 class is too strong, then you have to improve each and every other class.


Lot of work forif you didn't do it righ the first time.   Balanced is submissive to progression.  Progression cannot be affected by balance in anyway, unless it is positive.


1 class is too strong...then you will have to make every class too strong and bring new challenges in, but you cannot, in anyway, remove a toy from a 4 year old kid! :P

Thu Feb 07 2008 10:47PM Report
Anofalye writes: can open new server with the nerfs live.  If you don't want to do the re-balancing work, then you leave the choice to the players.


If they stick to their home server, with it.  You can offer free character transfer and suggest heavily the same server for everyone on 1 server.


If every player abandon the server where 1 class is too strong, it will be a choice from the community.  I can live with that...and play alone or rejoin them! (not sure which I would do) :P  At any rate, I would still be happy and a constructive member of the game.

Thu Feb 07 2008 10:50PM Report
thorwood writes:

Some fine tuning is necessary in every game.  The challenge is to get the right balance so that the game is fun to play.

There are a few nerfs that should be avoided:

 - fundamentally changing  a class.  eg.  a class that specialises in charming the enemy can no longer charm.

 -  Class A is weak compared to all other classes.  Someone complains that Class A is weak compared to Class B so they nerf Class B.  This does not  fix Class A and the change to Class B may not be warranted.

- the content (current or in a future expansion) makes a class unviable.  eg.  a dps class only does cold or fire damage and an expansion is released with all monsters resistant to both cold and fire.


Mon Mar 17 2008 8:19PM Report writes:
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