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bannex19
05-15-2018, 06:06 PM
This is a legitimate question; what are the pros and cons of basing hero balance around the abilities of pro gamers?

On one hand I understand that at the pro level you're dealing with the very best at the game and if it's unbalanced at the pro level it won't be taken seriously.

On the other hand, characters like the shaman, shinobi and centurion who have an easily exploitable movement set against new players often result in a lot of rage quitting by the average gamer thus resulting in a purely hardcore player base and therefore making it difficult to recommend.

I'm not looking for the answer, or a fix. I just think it's an interesting discussion. Does a game that only caters to pros really have a future and how detrimental would some abject nerfs be to these l2p characters on the pro scene?

EvoX.
05-15-2018, 06:34 PM
Stopped reading at Centurion.

Kryltic
05-15-2018, 06:46 PM
Stopped reading at Centurion.

And that'll be why you missed his point.

Hes not saying they're good competitively. Hes saying they are noob stomping characters which can drive away newer players.

Now, back to the OP. The problem is all characters can noob bash in some way, what the game should do, before you play online for the first time, is play a warning message and suggest the trials and arena to learn about the different characters. Another idea could be something added to the practice mode about how to avoid/escape some common plays characters can make. A "how to" type video.

Other than that, its a case of self inflicted punishment if a new player jumps in blind and refuses to learn about countering characters they are struggling with.

CandleInTheDark
05-15-2018, 06:46 PM
This is a legitimate question; what are the pros and cons of basing hero balance around the abilities of pro gamers?

On one hand I understand that at the pro level you're dealing with the very best at the game and if it's unbalanced at the pro level it won't be taken seriously.

On the other hand, characters like the shaman, shinobi and centurion who have an easily exploitable movement set against new players often result in a lot of rage quitting by the average gamer thus resulting in a purely hardcore player base and therefore making it difficult to recommend.

I'm not looking for the answer, or a fix. I just think it's an interesting discussion. Does a game that only caters to pros really have a future and how detrimental would some abject nerfs be to these l2p characters on the pro scene?

Speaking as someone who is not high tier and has never claimed to be, I do think the balancing needs to be around the pro gamer level. This is because of the devs' stated aim of going into the esport market (yes, yes they might be a way off but that gets no closer by staying still), if they nerf learn to play characters hard then they are not viable picks at that level.

Whenever a new character comes out I go into the arena (well, how to play as it was then), I spend time playing as that character and trying to learn as much of their moveset as I can, I then go against a level three bot which while it is not a player gives me an idea of what I am going to struggle with. With the new training mode I suspect anything I do struggle with I will be able to plug into a custom move set to fight against. This is a couple hours before I even touch PvP. Yes some characters are learn to play, but catering to that, especially with the improved tools we now have, is not healthy for the state of the game or the devs' intentions for it.


Now, back to the OP. The problem is all characters can noob bash in some way, what the game should do, before you play online for the first time, is play a warning message and suggest the trials and arena to learn about the different characters. Another idea could be something added to the practice mode about how to avoid/escape some common plays characters can make. A "how to" type video.

Other than that, its a case of self inflicted punishment if a new player jumps in blind and refuses to learn about countering characters they are struggling with.

Exactly this, I suspect I am seeing some of that starting out again on PC (which would feel horribly close to smurfing if I did not intend that to be my main platform for the game now, I am waiting for the game to find my level and prioritise that over rep). I play the Valkyrie and the amount of wow spam and general saltiness because of things that people more experienced in the game would deal with shows just how a nerf the noob stompers mentality will harm the game given Valkyrie is one of the weaker picks.

bannex19
05-15-2018, 08:29 PM
To make this clear this isn't about who is good and bad at the game. I'm merely posting a discussion (because that's what forums are for) not asking for nerfs or buffs (which I am guilty of).

Furthermore, I'm not even looking for this to be solved for the most part. To reiterate and I think some replies have nailed it, which is better for the long term health of the game... balancing around pros or making it more accessible to casuals?

I think the cop out answer is of course both. If there was a way to slowly introduce pvp like a different rule set for unranked players. Maybe reduced stam drain, no feats and bigger reversal windows for guard break? In the end I'm not sure what it would accomplish but reduce the feeling of not having any control over your character after one mistake.

bannex19
05-15-2018, 08:31 PM
@Evo Yeah I figured somebody would totally miss the point, grats on your Twitter based social skills!

Alustar.
05-15-2018, 08:47 PM
To me it boils down to how complex and nuanced you want your game to be. If you want real depth and creativity within the games base mechanics, you have to balance at the highest tier of players, because that's the point, high skilled play.
For me the problem is always going to be causal players mis-assuming their place in the ranking. As handle has said, and I will second, a lot of us have no illusions about where we stand, however many players seem to think they are above the rules of practice and growth. To me, too many players assume they are hear the peak of skilled play, and thus if something counters them, it must be the game and not their own skill.
That and we are dealing with an instant gratification generation of gamers that wasn't contradictory material nerfed and/out right removed immediately out of a knee jerk response. That's unhealthy, and detrimental.

EvoX.
05-15-2018, 09:44 PM
And that'll be why you missed his point.

Hes not saying they're good competitively. Hes saying they are noob stomping characters which can drive away newer players.

Yeah, and? I may not have been here since this game's launch, but I've watched plenty of gameplay and read discussions before I bought FH - at the beginning, everyone was crying about Warden's SB mixups and Orochi being an easy class with Top Lights and overpowered Zone to victory. Now where are they? They've either adjusted or left, but the game is far from dead, so even if the latter were true, the loss of those players isn't significant.

On the flip side, you have the players who actually bother to learn the opposing hero's moveset and counter them, as a result of which they improve massively, eventually achieve victory and be invigorated to continue playing more and more. Those are today's veterans, and those are the players that Ubisoft should listen to and base their changes around. They are:

A. Way more knowledgeable about the game
B. Able to make accurate and unbiased judgements about an aspect of the game
C. Way less likely to hop onto the ''next big thing'', unlike the new/casual players

If this game were balanced around what the new or even average player thought and wanted, it would be in a far, far worse state than it is now. As the person above me stated, instant gratification and knee jerk response changes are a very bad choice when trying to balance a PvP game.

Oh and listing those characters is also stupid. They're all 1 tier apart from eachother, Centurion being the lowest, and those same noobs that are getting crushed by him would get doubly crushed against PK, Conq and Zerker. They are literally not able to tell the difference between them since they have such a small understanding of the different heroes and their mechanics. So of course, when newbie #1 sees 3 Unblockable symbols (Centurion) instead of just 1 (Zerker), he'll think the former is way stronger and unfair. To us, however, that would be laughable.

Case and point: nearly every class could easily be labeled ''noob crusher''. We, as players, owe nothing more to them other than giving advice on how to counter heroes they're having trouble with and encouraging to bother learning instead of blindly complaining. Ubisoft, on the other hand, owe them absolutely nothing, and that's how it should stay.

Arekonator
05-15-2018, 09:49 PM
To give as simple answer as possible: When you balance a character, you have to balance it around when the character is played at its full potential, because if you dont, you are potentialy neglecting balance problems that could be much, much worse.

bannex19
05-15-2018, 10:17 PM
To give as simple answer as possible: When you balance a character, you have to balance it around when the character is played at its full potential, because if you dont, you are potentialy neglecting balance problems that could be much, much worse.

To play devil's advocate here, the full potential of a hero can be watered down (so to speak) in order to make the game more casual friendly.

Where do you draw the line at complexity?

Arekonator
05-15-2018, 10:45 PM
To play devil's advocate here, the full potential of a hero can be watered down (so to speak) in order to make the game more casual friendly.

Where do you draw the line at complexity?

It indeed can be, but if you water the complexity down too much, you risk the resulting game being just too bland to hold people interested. Ultimately, to balance complexity with acessibility is developers job, i simply decide whether the resulting balance suits me or not.

Alustar.
05-15-2018, 11:04 PM
It indeed can be, but if you water the complexity down too much, you risk the resulting game being just too bland to hold people interested. Ultimately, to balance complexity with acessibility is developers job, i simply decide whether the resulting balance suits me or not.

This is something most players need to start doing as well. I don't know when it started happening that it was assumed that you should always excel at every game. I thought that was the purpose of learning and the reason for skill checks and learning curves.

IAmOddGirl
05-15-2018, 11:53 PM
I only play if there is a skill gap. That's a real competitive field to me. I've been on For Honor since it was in Alpha and I still get my a** handed to me sometimes in duels. The difference is I don't get angry, I queue over and over again until I learn something new. That's how skill comes to be, you beat on your craft to improve. You can still lose and feel pride in your efforts. Just today I was beaten 1-3 but every single round was down to a sliver of health for us both. Lawbringer (rep 50) vs Conqueror (rep 47)lol.

Azrakel2
05-16-2018, 04:43 AM
Ok first off. Balancing the game around the "Pro Gamers Input" Tends to Only and I mean only further detriment a game. A prime example of this is halo 5 gaurdians. The dev team of halo 5 did nothing but cater to the pro teams input. And hence forth the game became so highly competitive. that it was near impossible to achieve balance. As most pro teams will input advice on the Characters heros. and things they life vs the game as a whole. And will input nerfs on the heros and characters ad things they don't like. So to gain input only from pro teams to answer your question Only detriments a game vs listening to the community as a whole.

Azrakel2
05-16-2018, 04:50 AM
I only play if there is a skill gap. That's a real competitive field to me. I've been on For Honor since it was in Alpha and I still get my a** handed to me sometimes in duels. The difference is I don't get angry, I queue over and over again until I learn something new. That's how skill comes to be, you beat on your craft to improve. You can still lose and feel pride in your efforts. Just today I was beaten 1-3 but every single round was down to a sliver of health for us both. Lawbringer (rep 50) vs Conqueror (rep 47)lol.

So you saying you only play with a skill gap? My question to you is what do you consider a skill gap. Secondly you were in the alpha of for honor? I was in the open beta. I pretty much participated in the open beta up to and after launch. It was after Launch that the game Started becoming a detriment. And has been since launch. I agree with you that playing a game over time you gain skill. I agree that buy losing and buy winning you learn new skills new tricks to Improve you game play. But I don't belive that it takes getting beaten every time espicialy buy the same hero the same class. That uses the same overly defensive turtle meta. And or the same moves / unblockables / Guard break to gain a win. Sure your games may come down to a sliver of health for your matches and may be close. As Some of my matches / games are as well. However That dosent Exclude the fact that there are still a vast majority of problems that exist within For Honor. Many of them due to Input buy the Pro teams. And not listening to the Community as a whole

IAmOddGirl
05-16-2018, 08:09 AM
So you saying you only play with a skill gap? My question to you is what do you consider a skill gap. Secondly you were in the alpha of for honor? I was in the open beta. I pretty much participated in the open beta up to and after launch. It was after Launch that the game Started becoming a detriment. And has been since launch. I agree with you that playing a game over time you gain skill. I agree that buy losing and buy winning you learn new skills new tricks to Improve you game play. But I don't belive that it takes getting beaten every time espicialy buy the same hero the same class. That uses the same overly defensive turtle meta. And or the same moves / unblockables / Guard break to gain a win. Sure your games may come down to a sliver of health for your matches and may be close. As Some of my matches / games are as well. However That dosent Exclude the fact that there are still a vast majority of problems that exist within For Honor. Many of them due to Input buy the Pro teams. And not listening to the Community as a whole

I consider the skill gap to be having to learn tactics/strategy in order to really do anything. I mean remember back in the Halo 2 days when strafing was first applied to gunfights? If you didn't know how to strafe to throw off their aim or to position yourself in a way to take on a more skilled opponent or multiple opponents you were going to become just a KD sponge for their stats. I like that. Having to develop a tactician's mind in your specific field to get you where you want to go.

In For Honor there are issues..I will not deny you that fact. However, there is another fact to accept..not one game in existence online is without these issues. You have to find a way around them when they arise. Sometimes that is easier said than done, this is also true. You can give your best effort just to see your deserved victory kept from you. Accept it and try again next time. Nothing can be done to fix every issue in For Honor, and I accept that, because there are more pros than cons with the game as a whole and the game as a whole is wonderful. A flawed masterpiece the majority of the community didn't deserve to have.

Charmzzz
05-16-2018, 08:21 AM
1. Fighting Games are not for everyone. They are highly competitive and stressful, they cause swearing, Gamepad breaking and heartattacks.

2. No serious PVP game ever balanced around what Casuals wanted. Look at Tekken (or other Fighting Games), League of Legends, Overwatch, Quake for example. They all balanced around the top tier players and what they can do with the Characters / Weapons.

3. Every PVP game that balanced around Casuals was a mess. Looking at several MMO's like WOW, Wildstar and hell, even Warhammer Online (but that got it right after some time).

4. Back in the old gaming days you had to actually EXERCISE if you wanted to compete on the highest levels of play. Man, I was playing in the ActionQuake2 league when I was 16. I trained like 3-4 hours per weekday and alot more on the weekends to play in the finals for the European Cup with my team. Nobody back then raged on the developers in a forum... When you lost you knew that it was 99% your own fault. Right now there are only veeery few Characters in For Honor that are a bit too strong (PK, Zerk and Conq with PK getting nerfed soon).

HazelrahFirefly
05-16-2018, 02:29 PM
There is the issue that if you balance the game around just the top 2.5% of players you risk ostracizing the majority of the player base.

In FH's case that is actually some of the blame for what is happening. The game converted from slower, more tactful play to more and more heroes having speedy attacks (still tactful, but catered to the above average player). The direction they want to take FH is so that everyone is on par with the literal pace of the Shaman, Conq, and Berserker.

Couple this with the sometimes shoddy matchmaking and already low player base and the balancing is going to feel way, way off for the majority, and especially the new.

+please note, I'm making a statement here, not a complaint of the personal level. I'm actually happy to report that I whooped the *** of an Aramusha (my grandest enemy) last night as the Warden, and then proceeded to dominate Dominions with my Valk+

Vakris_One
05-16-2018, 03:25 PM
To play devil's advocate here, the full potential of a hero can be watered down (so to speak) in order to make the game more casual friendly.

Where do you draw the line at complexity?
Complexity is what ultimately keeps people coming back for more. If the game isn't complex enough it gets boring quickly. If it is too complex then it becomes a niche game that only a minority stick with. I think For Honor strikes a good balance. The art of combat system is relatively simple to understand and get into but hard to master. Therefore it has layers of complexity and the longer you stay, the more skilled you get and the more layers you get to peel back. It has the potential to always give you something new to learn and adapt to while rewarding your accumulated knowledge and skill.

The players who are interested in this kind of complexity tend to stay with a game much longer than casuals. And since Ubisoft is employing the model of "games as a service" they will naturally want more people staying with their game longer term rather than wanting a conveyor belt of players coming in, mastering the game in a week, getting bored and then going.

I'd consider myself a casual player and the game has managed to keep my interest on and off for more than a year now so I'd say they must be doing something right. By balancing their characters around what they can do at their fullest potential, i.e. at the top pro level, they are allowing all players a higher skill ceiling to achieve which is what keeps a lot of people playing whether they are casuals or pros. If they balanced according to the average player then the majority of players would reach the skill cap a lot quicker and with nowhere left to go they would eventually get bored of having nothing to improve upon and will leave.

Vakris_One
05-16-2018, 03:34 PM
Ok first off. Balancing the game around the "Pro Gamers Input" Tends to Only and I mean only further detriment a game. A prime example of this is halo 5 gaurdians. The dev team of halo 5 did nothing but cater to the pro teams input. And hence forth the game became so highly competitive. that it was near impossible to achieve balance. As most pro teams will input advice on the Characters heros. and things they life vs the game as a whole. And will input nerfs on the heros and characters ad things they don't like. So to gain input only from pro teams to answer your question Only detriments a game vs listening to the community as a whole.
Yes but the For Honor devs do listen to the community as a whole as well. They haven't just sealed themselves up in an ivory tower listening only to the top 5 players and what they want. They gather data from the whole community and then compare between what the top players are saying and what the majority of their community is saying and then they make a decision.

bannex19
05-16-2018, 04:07 PM
Yeah I think the devs strike a good balance and wow this is a great discussion!

The reason for the thread is because I too often see people resort to pointing at pro performance as a gold standard for balance but if that may not necessarily be the experience of most that play this game. So then who is right?

HazelrahFirefly
05-16-2018, 05:16 PM
Despite all the times I b**** about FH (on the internet and rl) I actually feel like it is mostly balanced. Certainly things feel unfair at times, but it can't be perfect.

Alustar.
05-16-2018, 06:26 PM
Yeah I think the devs strike a good balance and wow this is a great discussion!

The reason for the thread is because I too often see people resort to pointing at pro performance as a gold standard for balance but if that may not necessarily be the experience of most that play this game. So then who is right?

Honestly the devs are the end of discussion in regards to balance. It's their game, and they make the rules. As a community we can only provide opinion based feedback, and I lot of that is largely an emotional knee jerk response. As mentioned before developers have to tow a fine line between drawing in new and casual players, yet still keeping ranked play relevant. You need only look to other games for an example of how quickly a community can ruin an otherwise phenomenal experience.
I used to play Rift several years ago, and that was marketed as a largely PvP oriented MMO. After only a few years, the casual/raiding community got enough of a presence on The forums that the devs made concession after concession to appeal to them, that it watered down and ultimately killed off any PvP. In it's prime, you could take a fresh character from level 1-cap exclusively through PvP, queues were always popping. Now you'd be lucky to get into a match ever couple hours at level cap, and just forget trying to level that way, there are NO queues at all.
And yes major kudos to everyone involved for keeping this not only on topic, but free of overly emotional responses and toxic comments! I'm impressed.

Vakris_One
05-16-2018, 06:30 PM
Yeah I think the devs strike a good balance and wow this is a great discussion!

The reason for the thread is because I too often see people resort to pointing at pro performance as a gold standard for balance but if that may not necessarily be the experience of most that play this game. So then who is right?
Well if once the developers have made sure there is nothing mechanically broken with the character and have tested them to make sure they are as balanced as possible at their fullest potential, then they have pretty much eliminated any fault being laid at the feet of the character. What remains then is purely the player's skill level with or against that particular character. Mind you we haven't yet reached the stage where every hero has an equal chance in their matchups vs others but we're slowly heading there.

What I tend to see often is that some people expect to be able to decimate every single character in the roster with about the same level of ease, which is to say that the loud minority want to wreck everyone they ever encounter and will come to complain on the forum if the game does not give this to them on a silver platter.

If the game is balanced with high level play in mind it gives the majority of all players multiple skill plateaus which to progress towards. If it is balanced according to average play there are less skill plateays to move through and high level players are cut out from the equation entirely as to them the game will be too basic and too unchallenging to warrant a true competitive interest.

So while the experience of the average player may be different to that of the high level player that is not necessarilly a bad thing. It means the average player always has a place to progress to if they so choose and they can also stay at the level which they are the most comfortable with. It's really the matchmaking that plays the largest part here, as well as people checking their egos at the door in all fairness. It takes a lot of time and effort to be a high level "pro" player and even more so to constantly stay at that level. It's not for everyone and nor is it everyone's cup of tea once they get there.

Fuqbois
05-17-2018, 06:45 AM
As some said, in a fighting game that has a good focus in 1v1 (even in group games it comes down to 1v1 a lot of times), the devs should ABSOLUTELLY balance the game based on the character maximum potential, the progress in a fighting game is mainly your ability with the fighter, the more you play the better you get, it isn't about gold, items, party, etc, so all characters need a high ceiling, thats why i hate characters that are easy to play, simple, that have a low number of moves, etc.

A character isn't weak or strong based on its complexity and difficulty to play, he is weak or strong based on his moves, versatility, tools, damage, etc, of course a fighter that is extremelly complex against a very basic one should have a higher ceiling, but here lies the problem, in a fighting game all characters MUST be somewhat equal in terms of moves, complexity, damage output (crossign offensive x defensive capabilities), and so on, for me all characters should have the exactly same number of moves, you can't and shouldn't have a character with like 5 simple moves, and another with 15 hard to make moves.

People that want instant satisfaction in a game should think twice, whats the fun in being good with few hours of playing? This is specially true in a fighting game, the only place for casuals in fighting games is playing against friends, unless if you don't mind getting crushed.

Why should a person with around 5 hours be able to stand against one with, 50, 200, 500 hours? They should be crushed to pieces. People are used to MOBAs where a fight between lvl 1 characters its pretty much a draw, thats not how it works in fighting games, here, the moment you start to control your character, he already have all his potential, he doesn't need to level up, buy items, spend skill points, scale HP, defense, etc, all its power lies on the player brain, if i log in my newbie friend WOW account, and play with his garbage level 14 hunter, there is positively NO WAY i fight against a level 40 brainless NPC, but in For Honor and fighting games, the moment you touch the controler you can fight anyone. (Yeah i know there are equipments for some modes, but the game isn't balanced based on equipments and those stats, the stats are balanced based on characters capabilities.