"Why don't you just buff everyone else?"

| Friday, March 20, 2009
I sometimes see this is response to nerfs. Say, hunters get nerfed because their DPS is too high and it's driving other people out of raids. Why not buff everyone else? Well there's a certain expected raid DPS for the expected gear level. Increase everyone's DPS and then the raid is too easy. Also PvP becomes a burst-fest and healers become useless, except possibly the bubble-tossing disc priests.

After reading a post about mage nerfs I started thinking, maybe the current idea is to nerf everyone. Mages get nerfed, ret gets nerfed, fury gets nerfed. Arms warriors are the only ones I hear getting buffed, though I must admit that I haven't read many patch notes and I avoid the DPS forum (it combines hunters, rogues, and moonkin in one place, how can that result in anything good?).

Maybe Blizzard caved to the elitist QQers who said that Naxx is too easy and with every scrub guild clearing it they no longer felt special. Well now they've fixed that and nerfed everyone. No longer will scrub guilds clear Naxx. Instead, they will die over and over, wondering what happened. Meanwhile the elitists will wipe their eyes and say how great they are, forgetting that the nerfs happened only after they had cleared. That's right, the people that burn through content as fast as possible got easy mode.

Or maybe it's just the usual roller-coaster of balance. On that subject, why does it seem so hard for Blizzard to balance the game? Surely by now they have a program which can simulate DPS, allowing inputs of variables such as gear, required movement, and non-damage related jobs such as interrupts or CC (or maybe that's the problem: Blizzard assumes people are using CC). This would obviously be an incredibly complex program to write and would take a lot of computing power to run, but surely it would be eventually be better than the constant roller-coaster. I suppose even with their financial resources there are only so many hamsters to go around.

On the subject of balance, I've come to understand City of Heroes/Villains and why my friend likes it so much: everyone is overpowered. There doesn't seem to be much need for teamwork when half the hard stuff can be soloed and the other half, you just aren't playing the right class to solo it. I think it's actually a great example of how easy and casual are not at all the same. They have no positioning, there doesn't seem to be any difficulty at all to the tanking, and even healing looks pretty easy. But their 'AH' is terrible. It has a limited display of auctions, so it's a lot harder to figure out a market norm, bidding and posting are done weirdly with a lot of potential for buyers overpaying by huge amounts, and prices are horribly inflated. I suppose that is somewhat inevitable since nothing is BoP, so the game seems to involve a lot of grinding and then blowing it all on the AH. It looks a lot like the terrible farming for old Naxx, but without even having the raid. So yea, it looks easy and very flashy and not much fun. I'm not sure why a post about nerfs turned into CoX bashing. Oops?

Getting back to WoW, we'd never see on the forums "rather than buff X class, why not just nerf everyone else?" And yet, we do see that. One class gets nerfed and immediately they go crazy wanting every other class nerfed. Mage nerf? Well nerf warlocks too. But if they go down, shadow too! If priests get nerfed, nerf ret too. And if ret gets nerfed then obviously DKs and warriors need a nerf too. Why should druids get a free ride? On that note, rogues need a nerf too. But why nerf rogues and not hunters? Obvious ranged bias is obvious, nerf hunters too. And there we go, by a simple chain of lack of logic we can nerf everyone.

I still want to see my dynamic nerfing system implemented: nerf everyone that I am not playing at the time, except for healers in PvE,but especially healers in PvP.


Green Armadillo said...

This is an unusual time in WoW's history where existing content is actually getting harder. (Technically, the change to prevent oversize groups from running level 60 5-man content was another case, given that most players were choosing to run in the larger groups before the change.) Even before the DPS nerfs you mention, we have an explicitly stated design goal of making it hard to cover for mistakes with excess healing via nerfing mana regen.

Combine that with a dungeon whose non-hard mode is apparently not designed to tax high end guild, and we could be in for a very unhappy community. Non-raiders got hit with nerfs aimed at balancing raids. Low end raiders get hit with nerfs that stop them dead. High end raiders are ticked that there isn't content that challenges them, and it isn't even offset by happier low end raiders because they can't get there. With the sheer amount of time Blizzard takes per patch, they really need to be making SOMEONE happy with the finished products...

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