The dreaded NERF BAT

Archived from groups: alt.games.coh (More info?)

Okay, Update #5 is going to be hitting in the near future and the old
NERF BAT is swinging.

The question is basically... if the game is designed well and not losing
customers, then why swing the NERF BAT?
The other problem is basic Dungeon Master math, be too stingy with the
rewards and the players get irked OR be too generous ("Monty Haul") with the
rewards and the result is bored spoiled players with rewards too
effortlessly gained.
9 answers Last reply
More about dreaded nerf
  1. Archived from groups: alt.games.coh (More info?)

    George Johnson wrote:
    > Okay, Update #5 is going to be hitting in the near future and the old
    > NERF BAT is swinging.
    >
    > The question is basically... if the game is designed well and not losing
    > customers, then why swing the NERF BAT?
    > The other problem is basic Dungeon Master math, be too stingy with the
    > rewards and the players get irked OR be too generous ("Monty Haul") with the
    > rewards and the result is bored spoiled players with rewards too
    > effortlessly gained.

    You answer your own question. Because of, as you put it, "basic Dungeon
    Master math" the Nerf Bat must be swung. It's best to start swinging
    before you start losing customers, and if a game is designed well, then
    there wouldn't be a problem with "basic Dungeon Master math," which
    there is.
  2. Archived from groups: alt.games.coh (More info?)

    "The Black Guardian" <blakgard@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:1120696725.014209.163750@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    | George Johnson wrote:
    | > Okay, Update #5 is going to be hitting in the near future and the old
    | > NERF BAT is swinging.
    | >
    | > The question is basically... if the game is designed well and not losing
    | > customers, then why swing the NERF BAT?
    | > The other problem is basic Dungeon Master math, be too stingy with the
    | > rewards and the players get irked OR be too generous ("Monty Haul") with
    the
    | > rewards and the result is bored spoiled players with rewards too
    | > effortlessly gained.
    |
    | You answer your own question. Because of, as you put it, "basic Dungeon
    | Master math" the Nerf Bat must be swung. It's best to start swinging
    | before you start losing customers, and if a game is designed well, then
    | there wouldn't be a problem with "basic Dungeon Master math," which
    | there is.

    There is always the option of "Adjustment on the fly", but that irks
    players that play-by-the-numbers.

    For example, in "Mario Kart", the game cheats to adjust the challenge
    (gives extra speed bonuses to far behind NPC players) to always be tough.
    "Command & Conquer" also cheats to make the gameplay tough right off the bat
    for the player. The question is to whack the player with a fair NERF BAT or
    whack them with a NERF BAT that makes the game extra challenging in an
    unfair manner which "cheats" in favor of the game itself.

    Of course, the game MUST remain interesting and it can do so in fair and
    unfair means.

    To do so, it should be highly difficult at times and highly rewarding at
    times too. Far too much ease and far too much grind will cause the players
    to desert or grow bored with the games. Indeed the planning of the game has
    proven itself not to be whimsical in design and far too orderly overall to
    simply dismiss as random NERF BAT swinging. The question then remains, what
    is the goal that players are being herded toward to meet the overall future
    objectives? "City of Villains" is one visible goal on the horizon, yet not
    the sole one. The Arena has proven itself insufficient in Player Versus
    Player gameplay to retain the investment in time and coding to produce it.
    I suspect it is merely a placeholder for a more entertaining diversion once
    that is properly coded out. Now that the fixture is there and accepted it
    can be built upon properly.

    The question should be "How useful are the newer power sets so as to
    draw the dreaded NERF BAT to herd the flock into a suitable location?"
  3. Archived from groups: alt.games.coh (More info?)

    On Wed, 6 Jul 2005 15:25:27 -0400, George Johnson <matrix29@voyager.net>
    wrote:

    > Okay, Update #5 is going to be hitting in the near future and the old
    > NERF BAT is swinging.

    If you say so.

    > The question is basically... if the game is designed well and not
    > losing customers, then why swing the NERF BAT?

    To maintain diversity. When we start playing, we have only the manual,
    rumors and our own dream of the ideal hero. But when we hit the 30es it
    becomes obvious that those darned fire tankers level twice as fast as us,
    and soon we are playing fire tankers too. The problem grows steadily worse
    as fewer and fewer defenders and controllers become available, until the
    game breaks down.

    Thus, you have to prune whatever build is considered uber at the moment.
    Conversely, if some builds are growing scarce, you power them up.

    --
    "When someone starts bragging about how much debt they have, it's not a
    good sign." -G
  4. Archived from groups: alt.games.coh (More info?)

    Magnus Itland <itlandm@online.no> wrote:
    >On Wed, 6 Jul 2005 15:25:27 -0400, George Johnson <matrix29@voyager.net>
    >wrote:
    >
    >> Okay, Update #5 is going to be hitting in the near future and the old
    >> NERF BAT is swinging.
    >
    >If you say so.
    >
    >> The question is basically... if the game is designed well and not
    >> losing customers, then why swing the NERF BAT?
    >
    >To maintain diversity. When we start playing, we have only the manual,
    >rumors and our own dream of the ideal hero. But when we hit the 30es it
    >becomes obvious that those darned fire tankers level twice as fast as us,
    >and soon we are playing fire tankers too. The problem grows steadily worse
    >as fewer and fewer defenders and controllers become available, until the
    >game breaks down.
    >
    >Thus, you have to prune whatever build is considered uber at the moment.
    >Conversely, if some builds are growing scarce, you power them up.
    >

    So, Bonsai software development, in other words... :)

    -R

    --
    Rob Wynne / The Autographed Cat / doc@america.net
    http://www.autographedcat.com/ / http://autographedcat.livejournal.com/
    Gafilk 2006: Jan 6-8, 2006 -- Atlanta, GA -- http://www.gafilk.org/
  5. Archived from groups: alt.games.coh (More info?)

    "Magnus Itland" <itlandm@online.no> wrote in message
    news:opstin12rpb52ai9@news.online.no...
    > On Wed, 6 Jul 2005 15:25:27 -0400, George Johnson <matrix29@voyager.net>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> Okay, Update #5 is going to be hitting in the near future and the old
    >> NERF BAT is swinging.
    >
    > If you say so.
    >
    >> The question is basically... if the game is designed well and not
    >> losing customers, then why swing the NERF BAT?
    >
    > To maintain diversity. When we start playing, we have only the manual,
    > rumors and our own dream of the ideal hero. But when we hit the 30es it
    > becomes obvious that those darned fire tankers level twice as fast as us,
    > and soon we are playing fire tankers too. The problem grows steadily worse
    > as fewer and fewer defenders and controllers become available, until the
    > game breaks down.
    >
    > Thus, you have to prune whatever build is considered uber at the moment.
    > Conversely, if some builds are growing scarce, you power them up.

    What irks me is that this stuff can be calculated mathematically.

    In advance.

    Game balance should not be hope-and-guess.


    --
    John Trauger,
    Vorlonagent


    "Methane martini.
    Shaken, not stirred."

    chat: @vorlonagent

    Vorlonagent (M), level 29 Blaster (Electric/Energy), Guardian
    RolIing Thunder (F), Level 24 Defender (Storm/Electric), Infinity
    NightfalI (M), Level 18 Defender (Dark/Dark), Pinnacle
    Steel Night (M), Level 18 Tanker (Invulnerable/Super-Strength), Virtue
    MC-2 (F), Level 16 Blaster (Force/Fire), Protector
    lmpact (F), Level 16 Blaster (Gun/Energy), Virtue
  6. Archived from groups: alt.games.coh (More info?)

    "Vorlonagent" <jt@otfresno.com> wrote in
    news:9Zbze.40166$J12.10853@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com:

    >
    > "Magnus Itland" <itlandm@online.no> wrote in message
    > news:opstin12rpb52ai9@news.online.no...
    >> On Wed, 6 Jul 2005 15:25:27 -0400, George Johnson
    >> <matrix29@voyager.net> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Okay, Update #5 is going to be hitting in the near future and
    >>> the old
    >>> NERF BAT is swinging.
    >>
    >> If you say so.
    >>
    >>> The question is basically... if the game is designed well and
    >>> not losing customers, then why swing the NERF BAT?
    >>
    >> To maintain diversity. When we start playing, we have only the
    >> manual, rumors and our own dream of the ideal hero. But when we hit
    >> the 30es it becomes obvious that those darned fire tankers level
    >> twice as fast as us, and soon we are playing fire tankers too. The
    >> problem grows steadily worse as fewer and fewer defenders and
    >> controllers become available, until the game breaks down.
    >>
    >> Thus, you have to prune whatever build is considered uber at the
    >> moment. Conversely, if some builds are growing scarce, you power them
    >> up.
    >
    > What irks me is that this stuff can be calculated mathematically.
    >
    > In advance.
    >
    > Game balance should not be hope-and-guess.
    >

    Players can be quite creative in how they use what is available to them
    in game. They will do things that are completely unanticipated that will
    make a huge difference in the capabilities of a set of powers and/or
    abilities. It makes it very difficult to actually do this balancing
    prior to seeing what real world people will do with what is available.
    It is darned near impossible to take into consideration all the possible
    permutations in advance. I don't know enough about CoH yet to know how
    hard that is for this game, but from experience with other MMORPGS, this
    is what I have seen.

    --
    Richard
  7. Archived from groups: alt.games.coh (More info?)

    On Thu, 07 Jul 2005 15:35:33 GMT, "Vorlonagent" <jt@otfresno.com> scribed
    into the ether:

    >
    >"Magnus Itland" <itlandm@online.no> wrote in message
    >news:opstin12rpb52ai9@news.online.no...
    >> On Wed, 6 Jul 2005 15:25:27 -0400, George Johnson <matrix29@voyager.net>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Okay, Update #5 is going to be hitting in the near future and the old
    >>> NERF BAT is swinging.
    >>
    >> If you say so.
    >>
    >>> The question is basically... if the game is designed well and not
    >>> losing customers, then why swing the NERF BAT?
    >>
    >> To maintain diversity. When we start playing, we have only the manual,
    >> rumors and our own dream of the ideal hero. But when we hit the 30es it
    >> becomes obvious that those darned fire tankers level twice as fast as us,
    >> and soon we are playing fire tankers too. The problem grows steadily worse
    >> as fewer and fewer defenders and controllers become available, until the
    >> game breaks down.
    >>
    >> Thus, you have to prune whatever build is considered uber at the moment.
    >> Conversely, if some builds are growing scarce, you power them up.
    >
    >What irks me is that this stuff can be calculated mathematically.
    >
    >In advance.

    Bullshit. There is so much variety possible given the flexibility of build,
    the enhancments used (both type and level), as well as player skill, that
    the mathematics are only round guesses.

    Take a look at the Broadsword ability Slice...is it balanced? That's an
    impossible question to answer without knowing the specific circumstances.
    If you use a wall/corner exploit, have it 6 slotted for damage while using
    Focused Accuracy, and hit Build-Up and use a large red skittle in advance,
    it can lay out an INFINITE number of even level minions in a single hit.
    Should we nerf the entire power based on those circumstances?
  8. Archived from groups: alt.games.coh (More info?)

    "Matt Frisch" <matuse73@yahoo.spam.me.not.com> wrote in message
    news:fgvqc19aihlvpr1c2cddr8sgptmvmf46fk@4ax.com...
    > On Thu, 07 Jul 2005 15:35:33 GMT, "Vorlonagent" <jt@otfresno.com> scribed
    > into the ether:
    >
    >>> Thus, you have to prune whatever build is considered uber at the moment.
    >>> Conversely, if some builds are growing scarce, you power them up.
    >>
    >>What irks me is that this stuff can be calculated mathematically.
    >>
    >>In advance.
    >
    > Bullshit. There is so much variety possible given the flexibility of
    > build,
    > the enhancments used (both type and level), as well as player skill, that
    > the mathematics are only round guesses.

    Mathematics can be used to set a known baseline for comparison. The best
    players will be ahead of the curve, unskilled players will be behind.

    Math can tell me on the average whether and how likely it will be to solo a
    given adventure or a given fight.

    We've seen regen scrappers and Hami 50% enhancements reduced. In both cases,
    a little math and statistics should have revealed these problems if the work
    had been done because both are cases of general superiority. I'll agree
    that math won't tell you how a player is going to play his character. Which
    means some tweaking in response to unexpected and too-good tactics is
    inevitable.

    But this stuff...different story. There's no excuse for not realizing that
    Hami enhancments were overbalancing. There's no excuse for not realizing
    the amount of advantage regen scrappers had before Issue 4.


    > Take a look at the Broadsword ability Slice...is it balanced? That's an
    > impossible question to answer without knowing the specific circumstances.
    > If you use a wall/corner exploit, have it 6 slotted for damage while using
    > Focused Accuracy, and hit Build-Up and use a large red skittle in advance,
    > it can lay out an INFINITE number of even level minions in a single hit.
    > Should we nerf the entire power based on those circumstances?

    First you fix the exploit.

    Your example is by definition a tactic that bypasses play balance and
    therefore pointless when the subject IS play balance.

    Deciding whether or not to nerf a power should be based on how it performs
    in combat. Slice carries some definite limitations in that environment
    becuase, if nothing else, you only get to use it so often and have to do
    something to defend yourself while it recycles.


    --
    John Trauger,
    Vorlonagent


    "Methane martini.
    Shaken, not stirred."

    chat: @vorlonagent

    Vorlonagent (M), level 29 Blaster (Electric/Energy), Guardian
    RolIing Thunder (F), Level 24 Defender (Storm/Electric), Infinity
    NightfalI (M), Level 18 Defender (Dark/Dark), Pinnacle
    Steel Night (M), Level 18 Tanker (Invulnerable/Super-Strength), Virtue
    MC-2 (F), Level 16 Blaster (Force/Fire), Protector
    lmpact (F), Level 16 Blaster (Gun/Energy), Virtue
  9. Archived from groups: alt.games.coh (More info?)

    On Sun, 10 Jul 2005 17:33:59 GMT, "Vorlonagent" <jt@otfresno.com>
    wrote:

    >
    >>>heck, Fire/dire blasters could USE a little something.
    >>
    >> All Blasters could use a little work, Ice/Ice can work fairly well with
    >> the
    >> ability to stack holds and use Ice Patch to keep stuff in near
    >> perma-knockdown. There has been some discussion about redoing blaster
    >> secondaries to give some form of defense in them at a lower than "epic"
    >> level to give Blasters some survivability.
    >
    >A little something would help, that's for sure. The fire seconday could
    >really use it. I'm happy with the force secondary to be sure, but if
    >defenses are added I won't cry. My main is a blaster and fighting off debt
    >is a constant irritant.
    >
    >Still, get on a good team and I suddenly have few problems. Recognizing a
    >good team and getting off a bad one without too much debt are the big
    >issues. Most teams I give two deaths, then I'm gone.

    That's the key, A good Team, I had teamed up last night, it was a
    Tanker, a Controller and my blaster, I die once, used an awaken, don't
    get quite recovered when the tank keeps charging threats that scan as
    red for me and then bitches at me because I can't Heal fast enough for
    him.
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