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Character Balance and Fighting games:

Why some designers feel the need to nerf some characters while upping others? Can't there be a balance?
 
 2 Mezzopiano, Mon, 16th May '11 8:49:14 AM from Arrapago Reef Relationship Status: Crazy Cat Lady
Isn't the whole point of nerfing characters and buffing others to retain balance?
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Nerfs and buffs are generally done to maintain balance. Contrary to what cranky 3rd Strike players may tell you, balance is a great thing to have in a competitive scene; it allows for a variety of characters to be used and adds more possibilities. It's more exciting for viewers, because watching only 2 or 3 characters fighting at a top level every match can get boring.

It's impossible to make a perfectly balanced game, and it's very difficult to create a very balanced one; that's why nerfs and buffs are done, to make the game more balanced overall. The original versions of Blazblue and Street Fighter 4 were both much less balanced (And fun to play) than CS or SSF4

edited 16th May '11 9:46:01 AM by Scardoll

 4 Omega Kross, Mon, 16th May '11 9:51:20 AM from Nosgoth Relationship Status: Mu
Vae Victus
I absolutely hate balance patches. I didn't download the patch for MVC 3 for weeks, because I didn't want to play with nerfed characters. But I downloaded Jill Valentine so I had to use it. Then lo and behold, Sentinel gets his health slashed by a third. And Phoenix still didnt get a health buff.

Screw balance. The game should remain unmodified and the players should just adapt like in the old days.

edited 16th May '11 9:52:16 AM by OmegaKross

Burn
They DID have balance patches in the old days. Street Fighter 3 had two: 2nd Impact and 3rd Strike. Street Fighter 2 World Warrior isn't the version you see in tournaments today.

And Pheonix still didnt get a health buff.

Maybe it's because she's widely considered the best character in the game?

edited 16th May '11 10:24:05 AM by Scardoll

 6 del diablo, Mon, 16th May '11 11:26:47 AM from Somewher in mid Norway
Den harde nordmann
I read Omega Kross post as "Why push out shitty beta quality game? Why not FIX such large and critical issues BEFORE it hits the marked?!".
And I agree with him there.
Balance patches are utter shit when they do anything more than minimal changes.
A guy called dvorak is tired. Tired of humanity not wanting to change to improve itself. Quite the sad tale.
I really don't how seemingly awesome characters get nerfed or just plain have their speicals taken away. (ex. Sean from SF 3)

@Scardoll and Omega Cross

I am all for balance but it is really isn't possible to create a truly balnced game huh? Well, I guess that may be but I agree removing some moves, traits, specials, etc from the characters altogether is sort of stupid.

 
Fractally long
The problem with balance is, the people who use overpowered characters bitch and moan when their character gets nerfed...
 9 Neo Crimson, Mon, 16th May '11 12:43:10 PM from behind your lines.
Your army sucks.
It's possible to create a balanced game, maybe not a perfectly balanced one and definitely not one at release. However, it takes a lot of work and understanding player dynamics to do so. The ability to do to quickly respond to flaws in the multiplayer environment is the key to balance and the reason that patches exist.

Of course, you'll always have people whining about it no matter what you do.tongue
Sorry, I can't hear you from my FLYING METAL BOX!
How, exactly, do you "fix" a balance problem before large numbers of players have actually played the game? That is how you find out if there *is* a balance problem in the first place.

"Game companies release incomplete games" is usually an inane argument, but especially so here. What, precisely, is Capcom supposed to do? Run an open beta of 50, 000 players for six months before release?
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Even with pre-release testing, releasing a well-balanced game is very difficult. Hell, even a game like 3rd Strike, which was the third iteration of a single game, still had enough balance problems to make most of the cast unplayable.

Be thankful that developers do balance things after initial launch. Otherwise, we'd still have godmode Sagat and D-spam Arakune and Nu.

I am all for balance but it is really isn't possible to create a truly balnced game huh? Well, I guess that may be but I agree removing some moves, traits, specials, etc from the characters altogether is sort of stupid.

Nerfs almost never remove moves. Developers instead tweak the attributes of the moves and the character's resting attributes. Of course, some moves will be accidentally nerfed enough to be unusable, but it's not like terrible moves didn't exist in the original version.

edited 16th May '11 1:16:08 PM by Scardoll

Kagome, Kagome
The best balanced fighting game I can think of is Eternal Fighter Zero. Or at least, by the time of Memorial Edition. Not sure about the others. ...No, Kanna doesn't count.
'twas brillig.
 13 Hellman Sabian, Mon, 16th May '11 1:24:54 PM from The United Kingdom Relationship Status: Maxing my social links
Pushing that Devil Trigger
While true balance in a fighting game is a impossible task, it is still worthwhile one. The only dissapointing thing is that balance is 70 percent subjective.
"Some are born speedy, some achieve speediness and some have speediness thrust upon them." - William Shakespeare (Sort Of)
How, exactly, do you "fix" a balance problem before large numbers of players have actually played the game? That is how you find out if there *is* a balance problem in the first place.

I have a theory.

Okay, there's the game and then there's the "metagame", right? The game is composed of the rules and skillsets the creators intend to foster based on the build of the game. The metagame is the set of rules and skills the game actually fosters after players adopt strategies to win.

When companies "rebalance" a game, they're revising the metagame to more closely match what they wanted the game to be. For example, if their intent was for execution to not be an important skill to win, then the discovery of a sure-death combo that can only be done by a small number of dextrous people even after months/years of practice is not conducive to their game design. It may evolve into a completely palpable metagame, but not the game they intended to support. Thus, they patch any and everything which goes beyond the intended game.

edited 16th May '11 1:49:04 PM by KingZeal

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Total posts: 14
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