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. WuHT
      Lol try it out before you thank me. Hopefully that doesn't cause you to eat more bombs instead of less.
    2. darkfender
      am i really reading that wrBE was a fair move?
      well as the topic itself says...lets see things in a different way.
      That move was HIGH back in scIV slower less evasive...

      If you came right from scIV to scV you'd see it as a HUGE BUFF not a nerf...
      same for lot other moves.

      In fact most leixia moveset is a buff from xianghua whereas other characters like raph are merciless nerfed (and trolled see the stuns that are actually nerfs in disguise) since 2002 to the oblivion...
    3. AKNova7
      Fair point. Off to the lab, I guess. lol.

      Um, to be honest, I think the biggest buff about WR B (Keep in mind, the game didn't have Brave Edges) compared to 66A+B is the WR part. Now, besides that, I'm not really sure who's movelist I like more. I think they were different kind of characters though. If I remember right, even though it was a high, the old 66A+B tracked step too.

      Look, I understand what happened to Raphael, and I don't think it's fair either. He deserves so much more respect. Overall, between Leixia and Xianghua, besides the Brave Edges, they made her moves flow together in more compared to X in exchange for damage. That's the big difference. That, and her lows are better. Xianghua was a little more reliant on pokes, and even more so on evasiveness. But remember, the biggest nerf from Xianghua to Leixia was the higher damage of the rest of the game in the first place. =P
    4. Senzait
      Look. I said this before to other people who are complaining... Please realize that you do NOT know better than the producers/ developers. You haven't even touched the actual patch yet. All your going by is theory talk from a patch list that frankly doesn't say anything conclusive but the changes in damage. And how can you actually call WuHT a tool and tell him to look at the BIG PICTURE when its obvious that its you being the lunatic fanboy?

      Just some advice... Calling Hates "fucking stupid" not only nullified pretty much any argument you could come up with but also speaks volumes of your composure and ability to argue a point with some civility.
      Zyrusticae and RedDjinn like this.
    5. Azazel
      Nova would u shut it plz! I'm trying to read the posts from Belial, are the only worth reading here
    6. adysoft
      Did they fix the "Network Error" issue ?
    7. Azazel
      Apparently yes
    8. AKNova7
      Please realize that, if I didn't know that I didn't realize better than the developers, and that I haven't actually tested the new patch yet, this game would be on a shelf at gamestop already. I love Calibur, but I've had more than enough quarrels with SCV, notably the severe increase in damage combined with the continuing increase of movement un-safety, if I really thought I knew better than them, this would have probably pushed me over the edge. It hasn't, and it looks bad, but it hasn't come out yet.

      Even more so, I'm not a lunatic fanboy, or even being upset about something unreasonable, I'm just doing it in a very upset, unprofessional manner. When I think of balance patches, of course, what comes to mind is adjusting only what needs to be adjusted, not getting one's paws on every character just to get your paws on every character. Needless to say, it depends on the philosophy of the developer, perhaps the reason they touched everyone is match-up based. Who knows.

      The point is, even though I'm only complaining about Leixia, I actually am more upset about the unnecessary patches (to first glance) in general, because unbalanced gameplay REALLY bothers me, from Soul Calibur to Borderlands (Sirenlands, really, so top tier it's hilarious..). And a plethora of characters with nice balance does wonders for the game. I want the game to succeed, and like you, I've seen people leave the community do to unbalanced play and the difficulty involved sometimes with using the character you love. If you truly care about the community, you'd be, at least post patch-testing, as upset as I am, if the news is true.

      And for your last part, Hates is human, and so am I. Being human, hyperbole is highly possible for us. That doesn't negate the truth (or misconceptions) in what I said because of an angry comment. He's not so godly that criticism makes me a moron, no one is. Hyperbole is part of life.
    9. KingAce
      Hey natsu players look at the brightside, they slowed down neutral jump in fixing fuzzy guard. It's a direct buff to your bombs.
      Zyrusticae, BeastEG, Wandrian and 2 others like this.
    10. AKNova7
    11. lobo
      for the first time ever, reading a hate speech thread has left me far more stupider.
      Zoidberg747, Zyrusticae and Dr. Hates like this.
    12. BrewtusBibulus
      I no longer want to play the same character as half the tournament... GET HYPE!
    13. devildigimon
      This thread should have been closed RIGHT HERE!

      Excellent post.
    14. Greenk4
      ^ Agreed, though I look foward to tackling the changes and continuing to use Mitsurugi...maybe Ezio now and...someone else lol
    15. Azazel

      Is also sad that just a few are actually looking at this as something good. I mean we complained about glitches and some netcode issues and they fixed it, yet the amount of crying is too damn high, just cause most of the cast got nerfed, come on guys! we are trying to get balance in here and we are getting it, stop the whining
      Zyrusticae, Frayhua and ChaosK like this.
    16. devildigimon
      I will be honest and say, that I was HOPING that this title patch would ADD more moves for the characters (possibly bring back some moves from SCIV). But I suppose that didn't happen. :(

      Oh well. Still a great game. And will continue to be a great experience. ^_^

    17. lobo
    18. Mamoru_Hasukage
      I had not even looked at what the changes would be. I decided when I learned bout it, too just simply try it out then make a judgement first hand, how I usually do things.

      We will see if it makes or breaks the game soon enough.
    19. Rico
      I realize what you're getting at here, but there are NUMEROUS examples of the competitive community knowing better than the producers/developers as far as balancing is concerned. PARTICULARLY in Project Soul games.

      Truthfully, the developers are often too close to the game to make these objective choices. ALL changes in balancing should be based off of a LARGE sampling of competitive opinion and NOT off of one developer saying "Yeah, Character X is broken so we need to fix them."

      Using Tira as an example; WHERE was the public opinion/outcry that she needed to be fixed in any way? Overwhelmingly from what I've seen from talking to Tira players are reading the threads, SCV Tira is her best iteration yet, but definitely not broken, and she still takes a lot of work to win with.

      With Maxi (my main), every time anyone does one of his staple MEGA-DAMAGE (and super easy) combos, SOMEONE nearby talks about how frickin' powerful he is. Everyone knew.

      With Tira. Nothing. I've never head a complaint beyond "HOLY CRAP HER GLOOMY CS DOES SO MUCH DAMAGE!"

      Everything they nerfed for her was decent (but not at all broken) stuff that she had that we all knew about. The developers supposedly said she was "broken" and that we "just hadn't figured it out yet." To me, that's simply admitting that they didn't look to the community AT ALL on those nerfs.

      The issue here isn't that someone I play got nerfed (as I said, Maxi probably deserved it), it's that MANY characters got nerfs while basically the entire community is left scratching their heads as to why. It simply doesn't make sense to make so many nerfs that no one was asking for.
      AxlRed37 likes this.
    20. Azazel
      The time for the real Soul Calibur has come!

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