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If devs want to preserve difficulty by nerfing the strongest builds, players MUST have more numerical data in the UI

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After spending many hours playing the open beta, my brother and I decided to do our first 1.0 run on Whoa! difficulty. It was a challenge at first, which was great because that's what we were looking for with this playthrough. However, as we've hit end-game in the upper yard with all our gear at 7+ we've come to a disappointing realization: maxed out equipment is not enough to make combat against the "hardest" enemies a tedious slog to burn through huge hp bars. Some of the boss fights have more mechanics and thus are still quite fun (Asst. Manager and the Director spring to mind) but most are just an exercise in perfect blocking predictable attacks, chugging beefy smoothies, and watching huge hitbars slowly chip away unless you optimize your build.

Throughout the playthrough, we've relied on the wiki for details on what exactly armor and weapon perks actually do because the game only provides vague descriptions and useless bars. Optimizing our damage to speed up slow encounters would have been impossible without players data mining game files. Now in the latest patch, a handful of nerfs were dealt to some of the strongest end-game builds (poison and staffs) with the clear intention of maintaining combat difficulty in the end-game. On principle that's a fine design goal; grounded isn't a power fantasy it's a survival game. However, if devs are determined to keep combat challenging, it is only fair that players be provided with the necessary knowledge to overcome those challenges within the game's UI.

It's not enough to know a perk activates "occasionally," we need exact percentages in the item description. It's not enough to know an item does 10 bars of damage and has 3 bars of speed. We need actual double-digit numbers to understand a weapon's strengths and weaknesses. It's not enough to know a trait debuffs an enemy's attack, we need to know not only the numeric value of that debuff, but also its duration. It is unfair to the player base that gear is nerfed and enemies are buffed while not providing concrete numbers on the tools given to defeat those challenges. 

If the developers want item info and UI elements that are minimalistic and immersive, then players should feel powerful no matter what weapons they choose because it's not about the details, it's about the fantasy. But if the devs want the players to struggle to survive throughout the full duration of the game, then they owe their players specific game mechanic data so we can work towards more optimal builds. We shouldn't have to rely on data mining wikis (which are frequently out of date and thus false) to build strong strategies. That info needs to be in the game itself, lest the whole game feel like a battle with the developers instead of the backyard.

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Here's my thing... personally, I absolutely HATE numbers. (Yes, I am a girl, but, so what? ;))

Hence, I really don't CARE about ANY of the numbers, or even the "true" stats! 

I just use what weapons actually work, and what armor has the best protection, suited to what I am doing, as well as to my own personal playing style. The numbers don't actually make any difference to me.

The part I don't get, or agree with is, Why give us these "OP" things in the first place, if it's just going to get nerfed as soon as they realize it's burning through even the toughest bugs "too quickly"? 

Instead, how about those same devs start these new things out on the LOWER side, stat-wise and then just BUFF them later, if it's needed?

After all, clearly, no one likes nerfs. But, everyone just loves buffs! Right? So shouldn't you try to avoid nerfing WHENEVER possible?

While I understand you can't just keep buffing every little thing, (I know that's not fun, either) there are still places where it's needed, just to improve general game play.

What I'm really trying to say is, the devs are NOT "preserving the difficulty" of this game by actually nerfing ANYTHING, ever! All they are really doing is driving players like me away. (Or, at least, to playing offline, only.)

When I choose "Easy" mode, things should just be easy, (or easier, at least) for me to kill. Plain and simple. This should be where the life steal is highest, the best armors offer the highest protections, ect.

If I want/need the bugs to be harder to kill, I could just change the difficulty level accordingly.

Instead, why not have the different numbers and values you want to use for these things reflected only in the DIFFICULTY level that is chosen?

In woah mode, enemies are supposed to have bigger life pools, and higher damage outputs. Weapons SHOULD do less damage, armors should offer less protections, ect. That's the entire point to playing on harder modes. (This is where you would put the "nerfed" numbers, obviously.)

Easy mode should STILL be easy, particularly for less skilled or new to the game players. Normal mode should be harder than that, and Woah mode should be the hardest, maybe even bordering on near-impossible. Right?

Personally, even after I've had HUNDREDS of hours of game play, I can really ONLY play on Easy mode.

I have tried playing on Normal. After I got killed for the 5th time in the first 8 minutes, I understood that I just didn't belong on that mode. I simply don't have the necessary skills. (No, I don't plan to EVER play on Woah.) 

I find it plenty hard enough JUST on Easy. (Especially when it comes time for those upper yard JERKS, and the (Ugh, shudder) GOD-AWEFUL "infected" wolf spiders.)

I STILL die plenty often, even WITH the supposedly "OP" items and "best" builds. No nerfs needed.

This is a PVE game. Not any (useful) PVP at all, so it's not like I get some big advantage over anyone else by using a specific weapon or build.

It's also not like the bugs get mad if they die "too quickly." Sure, if you kill too many at once, they will raid your base, anyway, so how fast they actually die is a bit irrelevant. 

 If you want/need the bugs to be harder, then just adjust your difficulty. That's all you should ever need to do.

The reason we play ANY game is to HAVE FUN playing it. If I am just getting killed every ten seconds, guess what? I am NOT having fun!

If I spend hours upon hours working on doing everything I need to do, trying to get the "best" stuff or the newest, "OP" stuff, and it suddenly gets unnecessarily nerfed, guess what? I'm also NOT having fun, anymore.

In fact, you are likely to upset me to the point of not wanting to play, anymore.

(I wonder how many players quit playing, number-wise? That's a "stat" I might actually care about.)

As a lifelong gamer, I DO understand that the devs are just trying to "balance" the game, but in reality, that's not balancing anything.

It's just making it that much harder for those of us who actually do LOVE to play, but aren't particularly GOOD at it. (Yes, I know I suck at it. Again, so what?)

It doesn't need to be any more difficult, honest. 

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