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On nerfs and balance updates


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Hello guys,




Any of you guys remember when Psychic Mindblades where OP as **** ?

That was before patch 1.03 which tuned down the damage.


Some time ago, Josh published a very nice post about balance updates and tuning.



Now, I don't know about you guys.

I usually play RPGs one of 2 ways, depending on the mood and the game.


The first one is to RP it, try and be legit and "realistic", if such a thing can even happen in a fantasy universe.


The second one is to min-max it.

What's the single highest target damage I'll be able to inflict ? (500+ raw damage from a cipher, but that's a DoT, not a one-shot effect).

What's the highest AOE damage I can deal ?

What's the biggest disable/CC combo I can land ?

What defense can I reach on my main tank ?



On the one hand, I just don't like balance updates when they mess with my 2nd way of playing games.

If something's OP, so what ? This is a single player game, nobody's forcing people to use OP spells and abilities.

On the other hand, Josh's post also makes sense.


Anyway, I recommend the post :)


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I am with Josh on that one - balance is quite important. I dunno, I am very much “roleplaying” kind of guy - I like to create different characters, focus on different strategies and make different choices through the game, but minmaxing dice rolls doesn’t excite me.


Still, if I know something is really really good, and I am using something which is simply worse, I do feel guilty - like i am playing game badly. I still feel guilty for never making Kensai/Mage in BG2.


Not something that kills game for me, but seeing a rebalance is always welcome. I agree, poorly balanced (with some reason fo course) single player game isn’t hurting as much as a multiplayer game would.



well balanced SP game > poorly balanced SP game.


So if dev is willing to go back and fix stuff that is a bit too good, in my eyes he/she only makes game better. There is a bit of disappointment, when strategies you used aren’t as valid or ridiculusly broken anymore, and that’s why Josh said he prefers to buff than nerf if he can help it.

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Balance is very important to me.
After the first kind of RP and blind playthrough done with predefined companions, I usually strive for the strongest party in general, and strongest build for my MC in particular.

And if there is only 1 way to achieve it, it will heavily diminish the replay'ability factor for me. Additionally: if that one best build is also very obvious - there will also be a sense of disappointment, as there is nothing left to figure and try out (party power-building fun ended right after it began)

That's why I liked PoE1 so much:

- Want to top total-damage chart? You have many different options. You can build barb, chanter or cipher; and depending on playstyle a Priest or Monk could compete too.
- Want to change general playstyle? Again you have different, but equally viable options.
- Want to have a cipher that fills niche A? Great, there is a unique build for that. Want him to fill niche B? There is a great build for that too.
- Want a dps guy with DW? It works great! Want a dps guy with 2H? It works differently, but is also great! Heh, you could even have 1h+shield dpser.

The key is:
- all options are at least ~viable.
- there is more than 1 optimal option in every domain. And these optimal options are different, unique, but somewhat equal in power between them.
* in place of "option" insert: "class", "role", "weapon style", "weapon type", "armor type", "dumped attribute x", "maxed attribute x", etc

If something's OP, so what?

- If something is OP to the level of being an obvious I WIN button - there is no fun.
- If something is strong, but you had to explore / figure it out, and build the character and party in a specific way - then it's another story, and feels closer to being a reward for effort. But then again there should also be alternative ways to specialize your character that are almost equally as strong, but do play differently.

Edited by MaxQuest
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