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Why Nerfs Are Better Than Buffs


w1lyumz
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(This post is a bit of a read so be prepared for that. Hopefully this can accurately get across my opinion on buffs/ nerfs and help people to understand the necessity of nerfs within PvE games. Please ask me to clarify any ideas you don't understand before debating the issue.)

 

Recently there have been a lot of threads started asking for buffs, nerfs, and adjustments to weapons. Buff threads are almost always met with a unanimous vote of yes, nerf threads are met with a headstrong argument of "don't nerf these because i use them and like them", and adjustment threads have mixed responses depending on how well thought out the idea is and how open to suggestions the people are when presenting them. 

 

And for the most part this is completely backwards and wrong.

Now i'm not trying to say that every buff is a bad idea, or every nerf is a good idea. However, when you are dealing with a PvE game it is much better to nerf the highest tier to make the lower tiers feel more viable. The reasoning behind this is that in Warframe the only real challenge you face is adjusting your stats to optimize your damage output. While there are a lot of options to change your style of play and general role within the game, the guns are simply becoming to powerful. When you get into a run with someone who has fully modded gear and maxed out stats, suddenly the game becomes a cakewalk and isn't even fun to play.

 

Take Xini runs for example, when i first started running them with my low level Nyx, carrying a recently forma-ed Boltor, brand new Orthos, and Bolto, the run was challenging but accomplish-able. Now with Xini being one of (arguably) the most challenging runs in the game, I should have to work like no other in order to even make it through each wave with low level gear.  

 

I'm sure I'm not the only person who quickly becomes bored with Warframe quickly simply because the game is getting to easy. I can clear entire waves of defenses with one or two abilities and spend the rest of my time watching a video or something while I farm in the background. As much as I love this game, that's not fun at all. I want a challenge, something that I have to really work for and that I can be proud of doing. 

 

For this reason, nerfs are the answer. Nerfing guns will make the lower tiers feel more in sync with everything above them and keep the game challenging at higher levels. Buffing guns simply makes them exponentially better since all mods are percentages. With high level mods that can be easily obtained, You can instantly multiply a guns damage by at least four, without even using a catalyst. Then, you add in formas and catalysts and suddenly you have a weapon that is ten times better than it was originally. While the scaling isn't an issue, the base stats are. They are simply too high on some weapons and need to be lowered. 

 

(When I say nerf I do not mean cutting stats in half or anything drastic. Simply a small scale back in certain areas in order to balance the weapon.)

Edited by w1lyumz
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This is a backwards way of thinking. You don't nerf weapons, you create end-game content for your players. Nerfing weapons to downgrade players to your current "skill-cap" is a lazy school of game design, and I sincerely hope DE doesn't go down that path.

 

Buff everything to the same level if needed, and balance the game towards this level.

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Nerfing OR buffing shouldn't be "The Answer" or "The Best Way".

You should set specific tiers, in this case our Mastery requirements would do nicely, and balance weapons around those tiers. Nerfs/buffs/endgame content may turn out to be necessary, but none exclusively makes for "The Answer".

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If you keep buffing things to balance, you end up with ridiculously high numbers for no reason. It just ends up with the enemies being scaled proportionally to the buffs of the guns, thus going no where. 

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If you keep buffing things to balance, you end up with ridiculously high numbers for no reason. It just ends up with the enemies being scaled proportionally to the buffs of the guns, thus going no where. 

 

No, I am talking about creating new higher level planets and systems, where your "overpowered" guns will be less effective. Xini should not be the "end-game."

 

And yes, numbers will get higher and higher, as content becomes more and more difficult, that is how games work. Are you new to this?

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The point is nothing changes when you do this. The only way to introduce balance and keep challenge is to lessen the massive gaps between the tiers currently in Warframe. Using nerfs would allow them to increase the difficulty on their current content while they work on new end-game. This isn't permanent, as the game gets harder with new content they can always re adjust the weaponry keeping it all proportional with their end game. But they can't pump out new levels and end-game as quickly as they can change a few numbers in the weapon stats.

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The point is nothing changes when you do this. The only way to introduce balance and keep challenge is to lessen the massive gaps between the tiers currently in Warframe. Using nerfs would allow them to increase the difficulty on their current content while they work on new end-game. This isn't permanent, as the game gets harder with new content they can always re adjust the weaponry keeping it all proportional with their end game. But they can't pump out new levels and end-game as quickly as they can change a few numbers in the weapon stats.

 

Again, this is incredibly lazy, it introduces what I call "artificial difficulty" (artificially adding more content by making your equipment weaker) and it alienates a large percentage of your userbase who may have enjoyed using those weapons. It's not a valid way of balancing a game, it's a copout and an excuse.

 

Buffing weapons makes people happy and encourages them to play more, nerfing weapons angers them and makes it more likely that they stop playing the game. Have you been here long enough to see the Braton Vandal debacle?

Edited by fatfree
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You can't say nerf good buff bad, and while you did say that it's not the case 100%, it's pretty strongly implied to be true in most cases by you.

But I disagree on your point of lessening tier gaps. I personally at least enjoy a game where, once I beat an area and get the new gear from the next, can wipe the floor with the old foes. A wide gear gap makes a game fun-go back and curbstomp old foes with new gear, while trying desperately to survive in the newest area with the same stuff.

However, if this happens, there should be a way to ensure you don't get stuck with a low gear/high gear group relative to where you are. I agree it's no fun when one guy gets every kill because of better gear or when you're the only one with low level gear who can't do anything-but the opposite, all guns are equally weak and nothing makes a good difference-is, at least to me, a far worse idea.

Edited by SolluxCaptorTA
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Even if this is "artificial difficulty" as you like to call it, what is the problem with this as a temporary fix to the imbalances to the weaponry in the game? The point of this post was to introduce the idea that nerfs aren't necessarily a bad thing and are often necessary in order to keep challenge and balance within a game. You seem to think that nerfing a weapon means "make it completely worthless"

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But I disagree on your point of lessening tier gaps. I personally at least enjoy a game where, once I beat an area and get the new gear from the next, can wipe the floor with the old foes. A wide gear gap makes a game fun-go back and curbstomp old foes with new gear, while trying desperately to survive in the newest area with the same stuff.

 

I don't mean such a drastic nerf that the weapons shoot cotton candy. By nerf I mean a small damage reduction, are toning back the fire rate a bit, not cutting the stats in half. The tier system can still exist with this, it would simply tone back the end-game weaponry so there is still a challenge available there

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Even if this is "artificial difficulty" as you like to call it, what is the problem with this as a temporary fix to the imbalances to the weaponry in the game? The point of this post was to introduce the idea that nerfs aren't necessarily a bad thing and are often necessary in order to keep challenge and balance within a game. You seem to think that nerfing a weapon means "make it completely worthless"

 

My problem with it is that it doesn't make the game more fun, it makes the game more tedious. If they can tweak some variables instead of adding a whole new system of planets, why shouldn't they? It's lazy, it's ineffective, and it's a poor substitute for real game design. I understand this is a F2P game, but you have to have some standards. This isn't Farmville.

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My problem with it is that it doesn't make the game more fun, it makes the game more tedious. If they can tweak some variables instead of adding a whole new system of planets, why shouldn't they? It's lazy, it's ineffective, and it's a poor substitute for real game design.

This isn't making the game more tedious, this isn't lazy, its a temporary fix to the absolute cakewalk of an end-game they have. It is extremely effective and it isn't a substitute to game design, it is balancing so that the end-game is still fun and challenging. 

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This isn't making the game more tedious, this isn't lazy, its a temporary fix to the absolute cakewalk of an end-game they have. It is extremely effective and it isn't a substitute to game design, it is balancing so that the end-game is still fun and challenging. 

 

I take it that since you believe it's a cakewalk, you're able to solo T3 void runs?

 

It is lazy, it's a replacement for new content. If DE see that they can do this to prolong the life of the game, they will do it indefinitely. I already told you why it's not as effective as simply buffing weapons and balancing the game around that level of weapons; it alienates players. I don't understand why it is so hard for you to get what I am saying.

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I take it that since you believe it's a cakewalk, you're able to solo T3 void runs?

 

It is lazy, it's a replacement for new content. If DE see that they can do this to prolong the life of the game, they will do it indefinitely. I already told you why it's not as effective as simply buffing weapons and balancing the game around that level of weapons; it alienates players. I don't understand why it is so hard for you to get what I am saying.

Yes i can easily solo a T3 void run.

 

It is not a replacement that argument makes no sense. Are you suggesting, that by introducing some nerfs to balance weapons and hold the difficulty with the current content, that DE cannot continue to work on new content? I understand your point, it is simply ignorant and illogical. 

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Personally I don't think things as they are currently should be dropped down as a whole, I want to make that very clear before going in to what I have to say regarding this in general. I have no problem with things being nerfed if it makes sense, much like buffs (most recently look at how bad of a position Dera was in) should be done when necessary. The problem is when buffing everything gets away from the developers and we see really stupid ways of essentially band aid fixing the rest of the game because they were afraid to nerf.

Perhaps a better way to put what I'd like to see is preventing item bloat. It's perfectly fine for some things to be better than others, and the mastery system has a perfect way of essentially implementing it. The biggest problem that effects any game that goes on for a long time is if they become obsessed with everything being a straight upgrade. A lot of people will probably hate me for this example, but World of Warcraft is a perfect example of how it can go wrong.

Original release: lvl 66-92

1st expansion: lvl 120-154

2nd expansion: lvl 200-277

3rd expansion: lvl 359-416

4th expansion: lvl 483-5xx

Those are huge gaps which created a huge amount of bloat because there was an obsession with every new piece of gear being better than every other piece of gear. Yes this was over the period of years, but just the same it's the general attitude which is the problem. It's much better (at least in my opinion) to have a lower curve of gear improvement (and in Warframe it can easily be based on Mastery Levels until they're able to expand upon enemy engagements) as new gear gets introduced than to just let it explode. What happens when you just let it go is that every number has to then be made insane just to make things balance out.

I'd certainly agree that nerfing and buffing both need to be tempered with logic and reason, but keeping things within about a maximum of 25% apart seems to make sense to me (this gives them a lot of room to introduce different mechanics). Stuff that's super overpowered should get nerfed (u6 Boltor: high damage and rate of fire, and the original Braton Vandal: very high base damage, both screamed nerf me) but at the same time those nerfs should bring them into line without dropping them below other things. This is the biggest issue really is making sure things make sense where you want the weapons to fall in your overall system. This is why nerfs and buffs are both needed.

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Nerfing OR buffing shouldn't be "The Answer" or "The Best Way".

You should set specific tiers, in this case our Mastery requirements would do nicely, and balance weapons around those tiers. Nerfs/buffs/endgame content may turn out to be necessary, but none exclusively makes for "The Answer".

+1 to this, -1 to OP for a few reasons.

1. Xini isn't endgame. It's a good place to farm, but not endgame, closest we have to that is Pluto, and even then, it's not REALLY endgame.

 

2. If we get mostly nerfs, we might as well swing foam swords and buy some foam dart guns, what fun is that? (and like fatfree said, this just makes it harder artificially by making our weapons crap)

 

3. High level enemies aren't "end game" as much as they should be, they're just bullet sponges, that eat more bullets the higher in level they get. End game is where you have to use real tactics and skill to win, not pump a million bullets into each guy to put him down. (And taking cover to regen shields while they shoot at you doesn't fit as "tactics") Some of that is ok, not every grunt can be a tactical genius, but at the same time, not every single enemy ever needs to be able to eat lead like there's no tomorrow.

 

My point: We don't have an endgame right now, so you can't base nerfs/buffs off of it really (however I agree that nerfs and buffs must be used together to create a balance)

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Yes i can easily solo a T3 void run.

 

It is not a replacement that argument makes no sense. Are you suggesting, that by introducing some nerfs to balance weapons and hold the difficulty with the current content, that DE cannot continue to work on new content? I understand your point, it is simply ignorant and illogical. 

 

No, it doesn't prevent them from continuing work on new content, I am suggesting that it gives them an excuse not to. I apologize if I'm being cynical, but I've played many F2P games, I see this often as an excuse to drag out content past its natural lifetime. You are substituting new content with old content with different balancing.

 

It's a little bit sad that you think my point is "ignorant and illogical," when you don't even remotely understand what I'm trying to say. It's obvious that what I am saying is beyond the scope of your understanding, so I'll stop here. Hopefully others get what I'm trying to say, if not, oh well. I won't say any more in this thread.

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2. If we get mostly nerfs, we might as well swing foam swords and buy some foam dart guns, what fun is that? (and like fatfree said, this just makes it harder artificially by making our weapons crap)

 

You are misunderstanding what I mean by nerf. A nerf does not mean "This gun does nothing now" it can be as small as 0.1 damage reduced. The idea is to tone back weapons we have now to fit with the level of the enemies we can face in our current content.

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You are misunderstanding what I mean by nerf. A nerf does not mean "This gun does nothing now" it can be as small as 0.1 damage reduced. The idea is to tone back weapons we have now to fit with the level of the enemies we can face in our current content.

And once everything gets nerfed to X point, something will stand out, and get nerfed again, and again, and again.

 

You're assuming Xini should be endgame, when really, our equipment goes to level 60 (supercharged) so balancing vs level 40 enemies is silly.

 

(Also in your example, I'm assuming you had a team when you went to Xini, and that you didn't solo it with rather low level equipment (initially at least.))

Edited by KvotheTheArcane1
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There should be some line where stats reach "intended" levels.

 

Everything over that line is nerfed.

Everything under that line is buffed.

With certain margins of error, of course.

 

An extreme example for contrast and clarification:

If I design a gun right now that absolutely obliterates everything in comparison to any other gun, I'm not going to make all the other guns so they absolutely obliterate everything too. because that would make the game trivial and mindless.

If I design a gun that needs twice the time to kill something when compared to anything else, I'm not going to nerf everything to its level, because that takes away impact from the guns and makes them feel weak. How the guns feel is an important part of the game.

 

Now, where that line is drawn should be decided by the devs, since they made the game. There's no distinct winner over nerfs or buffs. They're just 2 tools to keep the game balanced. Stop acting as if one's the enemy.

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No, it doesn't prevent them from continuing work on new content, I am suggesting that it gives them an excuse not to. I apologize if I'm being cynical, but I've played many F2P games, I see this often as an excuse to drag out content past its natural lifetime. You are substituting new content with old content with different balancing.

 

It's a little bit sad that you think my point is "ignorant and illogical," when you don't even remotely understand what I'm trying to say. It's obvious that what I am saying is beyond the scope of your understanding, so I'll stop here. Hopefully others get what I'm trying to say, if not, oh well. I won't say any more in this thread.

This entire post is you being condescending acting as if you have some unobtainable idea. I know exactly what you are trying to say, you have made it blatantly obvious. The fact is, just because other games have made mistakes with this method, others have used "artificial difficulty" to great effect. Certain things within Warframe (Ex. Boltor, Trinity, Despair) are simply to strong and need to be nerfed. Buffing other things up to their level will simply make everything broken and take any fun from the game that was there to begin with.

 

Your argument of them "substituting new content" makes no sense seeing as they are not trying to introduce content, they are trying to balance the game so that everything is in line with the content they have out at the time. You have simply restated the same illogical assumption and hid behind the defense of "you don't understand" when i have shown evidence that your argument could be wrong. 

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And once everything gets nerfed to X point, something will stand out, and get nerfed again, and again, and again.

 

You're assuming Xini should be endgame, when really, our equipment goes to level 60 (supercharged) so balancing vs level 40 enemies is silly.

 

(Also in your example, I'm assuming you had a team when you went to Xini, and that you didn't solo it with rather low level equipment (initially at least.))

I am not saying Xini is end game. It was simply an example of one of the more difficult missions available. Lets say as of now T3 runs are end-game, and I can solo them easily . the point is things need to be toned back in order for a challenge to exist. 

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This entire post is you being condescending acting as if you have some unobtainable idea. I know exactly what you are trying to say, you have made it blatantly obvious. The fact is, just because other games have made mistakes with this method, others have used "artificial difficulty" to great effect. Certain things within Warframe (Ex. Boltor, Trinity, Despair) are simply to strong and need to be nerfed. Buffing other things up to their level will simply make everything broken and take any fun from the game that was there to begin with.

 

Your argument of them "substituting new content" makes no sense seeing as they are not trying to introduce content, they are trying to balance the game so that everything is in line with the content they have out at the time. You have simply restated the same illogical assumption and hid behind the defense of "you don't understand" when i have shown evidence that your argument could be wrong. 

 

Ok, I said I wouldn't post anymore, but I couldn't resist. This was my first post in this thread and it succinctly addresses your entire asinine argument.

 

 

This is a backwards way of thinking. You don't nerf weapons, you create end-game content for your players. Nerfing weapons to downgrade players to your current "skill-cap" is a lazy school of game design, and I sincerely hope DE doesn't go down that path.

 

Buff everything to the same level if needed, and balance the game towards this level.

 

I made it bold, underlined it, and italicized it for you. I'm not against balancing the game, I'm against your lazy method of balancing the game. And really? You've shown evidence? What evidence has that been? Your post about how "omg numbers will be too big?"

 

My argument is as simple as "balance up," you're arguing for "balancing down." As I've said time and time again, one of these has a negative connotation to it and drives people from the game, yet both result in the same end result (except as you said so nicely, with bigger numbers in my case).

Edited by fatfree
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