Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Dr. Hates, Mar 19, 2012.

By Dr. Hates on Mar 19, 2012 at 9:27 PM
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    Dr. Hates Jerk.

    I came across Namco’s official patch notes while sorting through the “incoming” pile here at the Hate Speech News Desk, so this week I’m setting aside my regularly scheduled diatribe in favor of the hot-button issue. Of course, this may also be my last column ever, too. Like many of you, I took one look at the information in the patch notes and realized that life is no longer worth living.

    My perfect, beautiful, wonderful game—one about which I’ve never complained, ever—is now irreparably ruined and soiled. As such, my plan for the day is simple: post this article, make arrangements for bequeathing my cherished collections of celebrity bobbleheads and Yu-Gi-Oh cards, and then driving my car off of the Golden Gate Bridge so I can go out like a boss.

    Actually, wait a second, everybody! THIS JUST IN: as it turns out, losing your mind over this patch actually isn’t the brilliant plan it seems to be. I guess it’s just all in how you choose to read it . . .

    Dealing With Game Updates (And Other Indescribable Traumas)

    In On Death and Dying, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross outlines five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. We’re all fancy-ass gamers, though, with high-impact, fast paced lifestyles, which means we don’t have time for all that. In its place, I offer a three-step model. It’s fast, it’s sleek, and it’s even a little stylish. We’re talking about the Ferrari of coping mechanisms here, people, so I implore you to at least take it for a test drive.

    To help make things easier, I'll be providing you with some soothing images, too.

    Step 1: Ditch Your Preconceptions

    It’s easy to lose track of the fact that fighting games hinge entirely upon relative strengths and weaknesses, but it’s true. Nothing is strong or weak in a vacuum. What do you call a character with an i3 unblockable mid that does 99% life in a game where every other character has that same move, but it insta-kills? Unplayable trash. Likewise, it’s easy to look at individual changes, for good or ill, and jump to all manner of erroneous conclusions. The upcoming patch isn’t just nerfing or buffing your favorite move or your favorite character; it’s changing the entire game ecosystem in literally hundreds of tiny ways. Bearing that in mind, it’s important to take precautions against fixating on one or two things to the exclusion of everything else when no single element is as important as the changes in their totality.

    Step 2: Reserve Judgment

    This ought to be obvious, but then again, the Internet ought to facilitate intelligent, reasoned debate instead of just gay jokes and increasingly baroque porn. In any case, it’s wholly unreasonable for anyone to get too high or too low without spending a great deal of time digging deeply into these changes, which is patently impossible before they’ve even been patched into the game. Think for a moment about how much the hive-mind’s opinion has shifted in less than two months. Consider the moving targets that have been tier placements for characters like Viola, Pyrrha Omega, Alpha Patroklos, Nightmare, Astaroth, Maxi, and so on. Games take time to mature. Matchups evolve, nuances arise, and things ultimately shift in effectiveness as we continue refining our gameplay and learning new things. Everyone therefore needs to step back, put your dismay in check, and get back to the business of making things as hard as possible for the other guy. More to the point, most people aren’t playing at a level which really allows for them to make well-reasoned, objective assessments of balance issues. Even the best of us are still deep in the research process. Hell, even if you’re in contention to win every major you enter, it’s still smartest not to blame losses on your character.

    Here, have a scented candle. They're so relaxing!

    Step 3: Consider the Big Picture

    More important than any single balance change, this update signals a number of larger positive elements about which we should be getting excited. First of all, fuzzy guard, step guard, and backdash canceling are going to be out (by the way, shout outs to the fervent cadre of mouth breathers who insisted that step guard was an intentional feature), which is great news. These were glitches that had the potential to seriously undermine high-level play, and it’s good to see that Namco recognized them as such and took care of business. In fact, all of the system changes look pretty darn good. Second, Namco released a comprehensive list of patch notes, which is relatively unusual for 3D games. This kind of transparency is a very good thing for us not only because it’ll save us a lot of headaches, but because it indicates, once again, a willingness to interface with the community. Lastly, the fact that they’re patching at all is a good thing. Everything thus far points to Namco’s long-term commitment to improving gameplay balance, so it strikes me as exceedingly foolish to think that this patch will be the only revision we’ll see. Everyone needs to keep playing, keep learning, and so on. If your character was unduly hit, have a little faith that it’ll be addressed somewhere down the road rather than going completely nuclear and spamming the boards with your cries of injustice (what would Pat say about that, anyway?). The confluence of an invested dev team and living in an age of downloadable updates means that SCV is a living, changing thing. It’s imperative that we remain open-minded toward balance revisions rather than unceremoniously shitting in the laps of people who are trying to make our game better.

    Zen rock gardens are always nice when it's time to de-stress.

    So there you have it. Embrace those three steps of grief management and see if you don’t come away feeling a little better. We still have the luxury of playing backseat designer all we want, but it’s best to do it in a way that won’t put anybody at risk for bursting blood vessels. But wait, what’s that? You say it’s still not good enough? You say that game companies should make things better solely through buffs and never with nerfs? I am so, so glad you mentioned that . . .

    Remember that strength and weakness are relative values contingent upon the overall game ecosystem, as mentioned above. While issues relating to raw damage output could potentially be solved exclusively with buffs, those are hardly the whole story. Sometimes it’s not necessarily a move’s damage which makes it problematic, but instead its properties, such as guard meter damage, pushback, combo-ability, counterhit properties, and so on. In the case of a move like Leixia’s WS B BE, for example, buffing the rest of the cast does nothing to change the fact that that move is really, really nasty. Yes, you could potentially give every character an option which would lessen that move’s impact or stuff it entirely , but then you end up introducing a great many more variables into an equation already so complex it can’t be adequately solved. Moreover, even if designers weren’t committed to handling counters on a move by move basis and thus decided to simply dole out more borderline-unfair stuff which could easily break countless more matchups, would anyone be any happier for it? It’s far more efficient and reasonable to remove a little bit of the offending move’s bite, which constitutes a de-facto buff for the entire cast.

    Woops! I think my fingers slipped and I ended up searching for "mindless, gut-wrenching terror." Honest typo.

    All right, enough of my soapbox for today. Once more, just calm down, be reasonable, and be ruthless. So they changed your character? Big deal. That just means you have to find an even cheaper way to mash people’s heads in.


    Take a deep breath.

    Oh, and if you’re actually excited about any of the upcoming revisions, let me know.

    Gatsu, Sp1d3r, AzyG4Lyfe and 28 others like this.


Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Dr. Hates, Mar 19, 2012.

    1. Filmedin3B
      As far as new players, I was going to say they'd learn eventually, but since the training mode doesn't really cover or even introduce the concept of advantage/disadvantage, the frame data is pretty much useless to them.
    2. Dr. Hates
      Dr. Hates
    3. Ceirnian
      Patch this *flips u teh bird*
      Lasercakes and lespaulphoenix like this.
    4. Runis
      Hilde changes seem like gianourmous buffs.
      Cervy's BT B+K sounds like it will let us hold G turn around and then iGDR or something. Fun times.
      Azazel likes this.
    5. Omega
      Fuck i cant believe this, this is a dream wake me up, nooooooooooooooo, you all lieeeee. Nightmare B+K is more unsafe, thats how i won the tourneyyy noooooooooo.
    6. Misty_Chaos
      I'll admit I got a little freaked out when the patch got announced last week but I calmed down and decided I'd just deal with it if my character was nerfed to hell by the patch. Fortunately, she ( Pyrrha ) got off lightly, though with the system changes on top of it and possible hidden changes, I may end up eating my words, ha!

      Would have I being upset? Yeah, of course, I'm generally character loyal once I pick my character ( I've remained loyal to Juri in SF4, even though she is generally seen as being mid tier at best. ) I want my character to get better, not worse. That said, I still agree with the nerfs she got, anything that helps make the game less brain dead is a good thing in my books.

      I too, will reserve my judgement until I've messed around with things when the patch comes out.
    7. Rico
      As much as they nerfed Maxi's damage (which, honestly, was pretty ridiculous), I feel that he will still play pretty much the same. I'll deal.

      What bothers me A LOT is how much they legitimately beat Tira into submission. I honestly don't understand how Namco can go from at least SOMEWHAT listening to the community by toning down Maxi's damage output, to basically making shit up about Tira needing more nerfs than any other character in the game.

      It's not the nerfing, so much, as HOW MUCH they nerfed with her. I'll reserve a final judgement until I can see how the couple of buffs she got make things work out.

      Why on earth did Tira receive more developer nerfing focus than ANY other character in the game?

      For god's sake, Pyrrah is practically untouched!!

      Ranking aside, I'm happy that Namco IS taking the time to patch. I'm just a little annoyed when things seem to come completely out of nowhere.
      BlackRoseVale and RaidenNC like this.
    8. Hudathan
      It's always better to nerf the few glaring overpowered moves/mechanics/characters rather than to buff everyone else and throw a largely balanced game into total chaos.
      optymuss likes this.
    9. KowtowRobinson
      I abused fuzzy guard whenever possible, and I am glad to see it go. It wasn't gamebreaking, but it was pretty stupid anyway. Could be viewed as a tangible buff to certain characters, too.
    10. Dr. Hates
      Dr. Hates
      iGDR is already guaranteed in that situation. Likely it'll allow for a 3B. It's basically a non-change; same damage, same degree of difficulty, just 2 ways to get it.
    11. WuHT
      good stuff. Need more articulate (and level headed) comments from more members of this community.

      This is how the line of logic should go for the following groups

      Group 1. The alpha pat, viola, ivy mains who think their character wasn't buffed enough ---> at least your character didnt' get nerfed

      Group 2. The rest of the cast (not in any of the groups) who got nerfed a little bit --> at least there wasn't more than 5 nerfs for your character

      Group 3. The maxi, natsu, tira mains who think their character got overly nerfed ---> at least your character is still in the game

      Group 4. The zas, yun, mina, talim mains --> You can always CAS your character!

      Glass half full kinda guy.
    12. Runis
      Oh you can land a iGDR into full combo? need to start doing that more often.
    13. PhilBond
      I'm excited that Nightmare's 66B is buffed, and Dampierre got nothing but two buffs including one to his CE. Of my two mains, one banned would-be main, and four dabbling characters, the only things that got nerfed are things that I'm willing to admit were nasty.

      Lots of SC players, especially including the most talented ones, are just jaw-droppingly selfish. It's only natural, when you think about what mindsets are favorable in a fighting game. It's just a shame the kind of social behavior it produces.
      lillekri likes this.
    14. IvyFanboy
      Fuckin Namco didn't patch the whining! Every player feels like a Pyrrha clone now.
      Adnan, Wolfgang, Zyrusticae and 11 others like this.
    15. Animefreak6969
      I've never really cared about changes to games.
      I play characters i like no matter what..... i've used Bang in Blazblue from CT to now from when he was arguably the WORST to arguably the BEST and i've done just as well all around, i don't care.

      I'll do the same with Xiba in SC5
    16. Hawkeye
      Im cool on the patch... But im still confuse on the Poison Darts (FC 2A+B) not stunning grounded opponents. That move been stunning bitches since the beginning of time.
      Frayhua, Azazel, TaXi and 2 others like this.
    17. DrakeAldan
      I abused fuzzy guard whenever possible, and now I have to get BETTER AAAAAAAUGH
    18. LP
      Can't believe some people don't realize how good Tira was. Still, all the balance stuff remains to be seen; all I know for now is Viola got buffs all around and they nerfed backstep.
      ilTokyoli likes this.
    19. thugish_pond
      Patch notes came with sc4?
    20. Ring
      They did not.

      I spoke to Utoh-san and he called her broken (he actually used that word) but also added that people still haven't found the imba stuff.

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