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Each rebalance seems to require a future rebalance

Author
Rowdy Gates
Wormlife Freeport Operations
Wormlife
#1 - 2015-03-01 18:15:22 UTC
I want to state upfront that although I have been in this game a couple years, I hesitate to post this criticism because I simply am not qualified to know that it is fairly on target for sure. I do feel it presents a fair perspective from the newer and less fully experienced player.

I do read the patch and related notes from CCP, and my observation is based on them, and not the forums.

It really seems questionable whether the rebalancing/changes done by CCP has been, and is presently, based on enough objective data. By this I mean I question whether CCP is doing enough to make sure all the changes it seems to constantly be making are truly based on sufficient and correct data, rather than emphasizing haste to make changes over and above making sure it will get it right, rather than have to waste yet more resources on correcting what it corrected, rather than targeting those resources to things that really need attention.

In one patch they will balance or rebalance something like medium rails only to then have to correct that action in a future rebalance. I mention this particular one because it is the most recent. If you read the most recent developer post about this - see http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/balance-changes-coming-in-scylla you will see a chart posted to show how over-powered CCP made medium rails and to support the change to now nerf them back in line.

In that same chart you can see how overpowered heavy missiles once were, and how now they seem to be the weakest. Medium rails are not an isolated example. If you need an example about things other than weapons consider all the resources that went into industry teams....

I believe CCP is trying to get things right, and eventually will, but is going about it in too rushed a manner. I wonder if it has fallen victim to the philosophy that more change is inherently better than less change. I wonder if it feels unless there is constant change, players will lose interest in its game.

I respectfully suggest that CCP should consider being more restrained in making changes to the game, which is already one of the more complicated and challenging to learn games, without having to deal with change for the sake of change.

Serene Repose
#2 - 2015-03-01 18:22:58 UTC
Yeah, they raise the goal. Then, they lower it. Then, they move the foul line closer. Then, they move it back further. Then, they get rid of it altogether. Then, they bring it back witth an extra. Actually, it's entertaining all by itself. I don't think it can be said they're all over the map yet. But, they're getting there.

One day, they'll leave the road completely. Cool

Maybe devs shouldn't play their own games like they have a personal interest in the outcome...did I say that? Cool

We must accommodate the idiocracy.

Dominique Vasilkovsky
#3 - 2015-03-01 18:31:24 UTC
It is impossible for one or two devs to calculate every possible combination for each ship. As a result they will simply have to tweak the most popular combinations and boost the least used one's. The game has never been as well balanced over all as it is now.
Abrazzar
Vardaugas Family
#4 - 2015-03-01 18:33:38 UTC
Got to make sure your job does not become obsolete.
Ned Thomas
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#5 - 2015-03-01 18:35:53 UTC
The players adapt to the rebalances and new metas pop up, thus causing further rebalances and the cycle of life continues.
Kiandoshia
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#6 - 2015-03-01 18:39:01 UTC
I don't really see balancing changes in Eve as balancing changes at all. They're more like changes of the meta? The meta of course is established by players who will always look to find the thing that works best in a given situation and then bring as many of that as possible.
I am not sure where the numbers come from, or where the numbers come from that support the claim that medium railguns are overpowered. I have no idea what it looks like outside of fleets but the reason everyone uses railguns in fleets is because they're the best weapon for the range and size of the engagements.

Then there is the Tengu that has enough hitpoints to give an average battleship a run for its money but that is a different issue. In the end, they are left with trying to balance damage and range of weapons, size of engagements they are used in, groups they are used by and for what reason... Countless stuff you can't really plan or account for, or maybe you can but it probably takes a lot of work and testing and watching and adjusting.

That's probably what's going to continue to happen. Watching, adjusting, more watching, more adjusting.

Maybe they should come up with a meta and then go from there instead of balancing stuff around... around what is it actually being balanced? *confused*
Rowdy Gates
Wormlife Freeport Operations
Wormlife
#7 - 2015-03-01 18:44:25 UTC
Ned Thomas wrote:
The players adapt to the rebalances and new metas pop up, thus causing further rebalances and the cycle of life continues.



If this is the case, and it may well be, I suspect the very small minority is the only real beneficiary.

It also means that achieving true balance is a myth, or perhaps the real goal is not truly balance, but to add a further advantage to the most experienced and dedicated players.

I doubt in this game that the most experienced and dedicated players really need any additional advantage.

Is that the highest and best use of those limited resources?
Sibyyl
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#8 - 2015-03-01 19:01:57 UTC

EVE is a living system where human players optimize and exploit the rules to their advantage.

Rebalancing will only end when EVE players stop thinking.

Joffy Aulx-Gao for CSM. Fix links and OGB. Ban stabs from plexes. Fulfill karmic justice.

Orlacc
#9 - 2015-03-01 19:13:42 UTC
Rowdy Gates wrote:
[quote=Ned Thomas]
It also means that achieving true balance is a myth...


Yep. Look out the window.....

"Measure Twice, Cut Once."

Kitty Bear
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#10 - 2015-03-01 19:21:04 UTC
and this is a problem because ?

Rowdy Gates
Wormlife Freeport Operations
Wormlife
#11 - 2015-03-01 19:29:31 UTC
Kitty Bear wrote:
and this is a problem because ?



I would say because if the goal is balance, then taking more time to get it right the first time would be better; and if the goal is really (CCP does say this is partially the goal) giving yet additional advantage to those who are already ahead, those resources could be better spent, unless the overall good of the game is secondary.
ShahFluffers
Ice Fire Warriors
#12 - 2015-03-01 19:45:22 UTC  |  Edited by: ShahFluffers
Rowdy Gates wrote:
Ned Thomas wrote:
The players adapt to the rebalances and new metas pop up, thus causing further rebalances and the cycle of life continues.

If this is the case, and it may well be, I suspect the very small minority is the only real beneficiary.

It also means that achieving true balance is a myth, or perhaps the real goal is not truly balance, but to add a further advantage to the most experienced and dedicated players.

I doubt in this game that the most experienced and dedicated players really need any additional advantage.

Is that the highest and best use of those limited resources?

You're looking at "balance" like it is an exact "science" and that there is a way to hit "perfection." Unfortunately, this isn't the case.

The truth is, game balance is more "organic" and thus very imprecise... especially if you have a multitude of competing systems that are all in conflict with one another (by design).
Nerf one thing... everything else is indirectly buffed. Buff another thing... and everything else is indirectly nerfed.
Bring one type of tactic "in-line" and players simply shift to another that is fundamentally different but achieves the same result.

Now... you can change the system itself to make identifying "imbalances" and corrections easier (i.e. the less "moving parts" you have the easier it is to "fix" whatever is wrong)... but this would require the general gutting of different systems (like ship fitting, ship types, weapons, ammos, modules, etc.).

Basically... "perfect balance" can never be achieved. You can only get "close enough"... and only for a limited period of time.


Case and point: The ship rebalancing efforts more or less started with Assault Frigates several years ago. They were buffed and made awesome. Then, destroyers were buffed... then cruisers... battlecruisers were worked over... battleships too... several new ships were introduced... etc. etc.
Now you have a situation where some Assault Frigs are a little lackluster due to the cumulative changes and introductions into the game. This means that sooner or later the DEVs are going to have to start back from the beginning and polish over some things... which will require more polish on other things... and so on and so forth.

It will never end.
Jenn aSide
Shinigami Miners
Already Replaced.
#13 - 2015-03-01 20:47:24 UTC  |  Edited by: Jenn aSide
Rowdy Gates wrote:
I want to state upfront that although I have been in this game a couple years, I hesitate to post this criticism because I simply am not qualified to know that it is fairly on target for sure. I do feel it presents a fair perspective from the newer and less fully experienced player.

I do read the patch and related notes from CCP, and my observation is based on them, and not the forums.

It really seems questionable whether the rebalancing/changes done by CCP has been, and is presently, based on enough objective data. By this I mean I question whether CCP is doing enough to make sure all the changes it seems to constantly be making are truly based on sufficient and correct data, rather than emphasizing haste to make changes over and above making sure it will get it right, rather than have to waste yet more resources on correcting what it corrected, rather than targeting those resources to things that really need attention.

In one patch they will balance or rebalance something like medium rails only to then have to correct that action in a future rebalance. I mention this particular one because it is the most recent. If you read the most recent developer post about this - see http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/balance-changes-coming-in-scylla you will see a chart posted to show how over-powered CCP made medium rails and to support the change to now nerf them back in line.

In that same chart you can see how overpowered heavy missiles once were, and how now they seem to be the weakest. Medium rails are not an isolated example. If you need an example about things other than weapons consider all the resources that went into industry teams....

I believe CCP is trying to get things right, and eventually will, but is going about it in too rushed a manner. I wonder if it has fallen victim to the philosophy that more change is inherently better than less change. I wonder if it feels unless there is constant change, players will lose interest in its game.

I respectfully suggest that CCP should consider being more restrained in making changes to the game, which is already one of the more complicated and challenging to learn games, without having to deal with change for the sake of change.



As others have said, some of it is inevitable, EVE is an incredibly complex piece of work and CCP has done a good job keeping it all together.

But sometimes, it' feels like EVE survives in spite of it's developers not because of them.

A recent example is CCP coming work on 'Skynet'. CCP knows that sentry drones are a problem, and they knew that carriers used sentries instead of fighters in capital fights. So CCP changes fighters in Phoebe to make them more useful. But they did not take into account EXISTING mechanics life fighter Delegation and the sinister creativity of EVE players. So now 'Skynet' is a problem, and their 'solution is (instead of reversing or toning down the buffs that actually caused the modern problem) to get rid of fighter delegation and fighter's ability to warp, again using a sledge hammer on something that might have needed a scalpel.

It's a very backwards way of thinking. It's not the 1st time by a long shot:
Quote:
Expected consequences
•Some alliances will immediately start wanting to look for better space
•In the longer run, there'll be more conflicts going on, with more localized goals
•Newer alliances will have an easier time getting a foothold in nullsec
•Coalitions will be marginally less stable
•Alliances will have to choose more carefully what space they develop, where their staging systems are, and so on (low truesec systems generally tend to be in strategically inconvenient places)


That was 4 years ago. Not only did that change (among many others) not have the 'expected' consequences, changes like that tended to make things worse (that particular change devalued null sec systems to the point where renting went from a niche activity to THE defining state of Null).

It's not because CCP devs are stupid. It's because they are creative. Creative people are the beating heart of progress in the real world, without them we'd all be the Amish, without creative people like the original and current CCP developers we wouldn't have EVE. But everything comes at a cost and the cost of creativity is that most creative people don't have the common sense God gave a cricket. It's why Einstein had trouble remembering his home address lol. And that's why EVE DEVs sometimes make changes that almost everyone else can see is a bad idea a mile off while they are all "Expected Consequences" about them lol

Likewise with most of EVE's player base. One only has to look at the features and ideas forum for 3 minutes to see it's full of.....creative people ..... lol.
Potamus Jenkins
eXceed Inc.
Plucky Adventurers
#14 - 2015-03-01 21:16:08 UTC
first they could never just make one pass and fix everything
then you have to consider its a program thats dependent upon a ton of different variables where changes have domino type effects that CCP probably could never completely predict, ESPECIALLY when part of that is guessing exactly how players will utilize said changes and how the "meta" will be effected.



i have zero programming experience but I can only imagine the type of project continously trying to upgrade and improve a game over a decade plus actually is.






wait...forget everything i just typed
Hengle Teron
Rorquals Anonymous
#15 - 2015-03-01 21:38:59 UTC
there is no absolute balance, only relative

the best you can do is nerf the overused ships and buff the underused ones
Omgitsbears
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#16 - 2015-03-01 22:11:52 UTC
Balance changes feel like a catch-22 in some ways. When making balance changes, you can expect that players are going to change up how they play the game. That is a large part of the point in balance changes after all. This new change in behavior from the playerbase is going to present new issues and thus require further tweaking. It becomes a never ending cycle of balance changes, sometimes multiple to the same systems. It is very difficult to have all of the correct data you need in order to make the right balance change that will never need changing again. I think very rarely is gold struck when it comes to these changes.

There is also the fact that new ideas come about, and the devs implement new changes and systems that require balance changes else where. Old systems are also completely replaced with new ones that better allow players to play how they want, while increasing enjoyment of the game, but still keeping with the overall goal of what Eve-O (or any MMO for that matter) is trying to be.
Iroquoiss Pliskin
9B30FF Labs
#17 - 2015-03-01 22:34:38 UTC
Once upon a time... We had Armageddons with 8 Heat Sinks and no stacking penalty.... Or that time when Kestrels could fit Cruise missile launchers.

Double MWD Ravens - I remember those too.

Good times. Pirate
Hengle Teron
Rorquals Anonymous
#18 - 2015-03-01 22:49:28 UTC
Iroquoiss Pliskin wrote:
Once upon a time... We had Armageddons with 8 Heat Sinks and no stacking penalty....
Good times. Pirate

meh, that's only like increased dps x5
Martin Corwin
Corwin's Corsairs
#19 - 2015-03-01 23:11:36 UTC
You can't control complexity, only manage it. And that's what they're doing.
Rain6637
NulzSec
#20 - 2015-03-01 23:40:29 UTC
Couple quick thoughts on the matter.

Even if you could fix everything to be perfectly balanced, it would be unwise to do so all at once. That type of thing puts people out of a job (if there's nothing left to do).

If a change is too drastic, people get scared and upset. Also, considering that EVE is Iceland's greatest contributor to national GDP, they could be understandably squeamish about big changes.
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