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

By Dr. Hates on Mar 19, 2012 at 9:27 PM
    • Senior Moderator
    • Premium Supporter

    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. Wandrian
      Curious, outside of popular opinions does anyone find any of these changes at all bizarrely pointless? In some instances, bad moves with extremely niche uses at best are just made worse for no reason I yet comprehend.

      Obligatory personal main-centric example: Tira's JS 11_44_77AA(and A1A variant). This move already sucked, easily blockable and unsafe with basically no combo potential was nerfed. How is the game improved by this?

      There's other examples all through the notes of course, but this one just hits a little bit closer to home personally.
    2. Scamp
      I'm confused. It looked like you didn't want to play one character before.
    3. IvyFanboy
      You all lookin real purty with them panties in a bunch.
    4. Rico
      Honestly, I'm kind of baffled as to why anything from Jolly Stance got nerfed.
    5. BeastEG
      I think the developers should release videos of this undiscovered tech so we can see it for ourselves. If it's truly broken, then good stuff, but I'd like to be able to see why at the bare minimum.
      Gamegenie222 and AxlRed37 like this.
    6. ChaosK
      People should step away from their opinion that chars prepatch needed to be broken in order to get nerfed. They simply nerfed the good ones, barring some exceptions.
    7. SkullJune
      MEH...pyrahh aint changing much IM COO
      sidenote:CREATION STUFF WOOP!
    8. Cynergy
      Normally I would agree with Hates' sentiment here; not to overreact, changes are overall good for the game, yadda yadda.

      But anyone who's even dabbled with Tira will tell you that she is destroyed in this patch. Most notably by the fact that she can no longer reliably stance change from JS to GS with her BE moves anymore. And Tira in Jolly stance is quite easily the worst character in the game.
      X_Factor likes this.
    9. D_Matt_Ma
      Tira is JS IS the worst char in the game. I'm looking into whether Dampierre is more viable than Tira post patch. I still think the Japanese community must be pretty weak to justify the stupid Tira changes. I hope someone from Japan shows up at Evo and gets completely obliterated on stream for playing Tira. In fact, I just hope somone from Japan loses badly.
    10. ShaolinTiger86
    11. XxRainism

      Apparantely the new TEAM NINJA is getting it right with DOA5 and, Sega has been doing since the beginning of VF5..

      Quite a slow bangwagon huh?
    12. IceColdEdge
      Translation: I like Rock em Sock em robots... Let's get together and mindlessly swing at each other until someone dies.

      - I.C.E.
    13. carter
      the people who use natsu gonna cry with this patch.lol
      As a Cervy player, i would be in a good mood too...
    15. TinMan
      I don't have a problem with any of my nerfs and think the overall game state has been greatly improved. BUT, one exception to that. Viola certainly did NOT need all the buffs she got. I don't know how many of you here know a guy called Orochi Chris, but yeah. Play that Viola and tell me that she needs help. Any help at all. Let alone the MONSTER buffs.
      Zyrusticae likes this.
    16. rudeb0y
      Lol that name rings a bell - think I came across him last night in ranked.

      I concur
      Zyrusticae likes this.
    17. UnseenWombat
      Actually, we're pretty okay with it. Nerfing backstep allows her to get up in your face even better, and they didn't touch bombs, so she's still the ultimate scrub-killer. The only thing we question is removing the stun on grounded FC A+B, but even that isn't bad. 1A as an ender picks up the slack pretty well.
      ChaosK likes this.
    18. BrewtusBibulus
      I lied... I want to play the same character. I just hope half the tournament gets scared away from her by the patch changes
      ChaosK and DrakeAldan like this.
    19. Omega
      Fuck im losing it, this patch o my god afjsdjsdjadsjasdjasda namcoooooooooo,
      banes49, damn-I-Suck and Wandrian like this.
    20. aneudee
      I'm not sure why so many SC players hate on tekken. This game feels a lot more sluggish now with the nerf to back step. I guess its back to the rock paper scissors while fighting in water feeling of sc4 :(

Share This Page