What's your opinion on CP's attitude towards patches? (Not the character in DS)


#1

With the release of patch 1.83, CP’s given us a lot of insight into their patching philosophy, namely the lack thereof. The attitude of [quote=“emil, post:1, topic:9447”]
still hav[ing] the ability to step in and make balance changes in the short term if needed, though our goal is to do this rarely.
[/quote]
has brought some interesting topics of discussion to the community, topics of which I’m surprised at seeing a lack of heated (or not heated) debate upon.

  • Why would CP change from their older, more involved attitude (in regards to frequency of patches) to move onto being less involved?
  • Is this process of administration (one where the players make the meta rather than the devs) something that should be welcomed within Duelyst?
  • How have the last few seasons reflected the success or failure of this type of administration?

The implications of this patch are immense. So let’s summarize it with a poll! Voters are anonymous.

  • More balance patches are good
  • Less balance patches are good
  • I don’t care or don’t notice balance patches that much
  • It’s the content of the balance patches that matters, not the quantity

0 voters

Feel free to discuss below


#2

It should always be about what happens in the patch rather than the number of patches. Balance patches ideally should never happen since cards should be balanced upon release, but not everything can be taken into consideration and things have to change every now and then. The thing I would like more of, is buff to certain cards and complete remakes of cards that are never used. Seems unfair that cards are continually nerfed but buffing others don’t seem to be on the agenda anymore. I’m sure most people would love to see Astral Crusader (for example) changed since its one of the best looking cards in my opinion but its stats and ability make it unplayable even for a fun deck.


#3

There is an option in this poll which will definitely bias it, so here is a more structured opinion.

Any kind of balance patch is good to me, as long as:

  1. It does not kill cards: if a card needs to be killed, it should not have been printed like that in the first place. Please, CPG, stop printing obviously broken cards.

  2. It is backed up by extensive testing: a few of the nerfs have been uncreative and harsh. I don’t think that most of them went through a thorough testing phase.

  3. It is justified by consistent problems with the game: a few of the nerfs have hit cards which none was expecting to see nerfed. The “design space” argument is becoming stale. Why aren’t these cards fixed when new problematic interactions may actually occur?

Other than that, something I would like to see in future balance patches are also buffs and reworks, which are underused.

I conclude with a consideration. I may be wrong, but I think that the last few patches nerfed more cards than all the previous patches together. The last patch alone hit 8 cards! Too many nerfs make the game lose credibility.

Edit: this post sounds more negative than my actual attitude. Just the latest frequent nerfs and a few weird balancing choices left me puzzled.


#4

I think it’s a dangerous game to avoid balancing older cards.

If a balance patch breaks your deck, that means your deck was hinged on an overpowered or unfair mechanic. If the patch is justified, you should still be able to use the card–though it might not be able to carry you to victory all by itself anymore.

So, yes, don’t fix what ain’t broke…but don’t pigeonhole yourself into leaving bad cards in the game either. You’ll just end up in a situation where players must buy new cards to compete with your past bad decisions.


#5

Less patches is so much better. Seriously, if you made balance patches all the time without leaving time for the players to react and actually try to counter, it’ll snowball and at the end, you’ll have to patch the whole game!
Contrary to popular belief, intelligence does not always stack. So they can’t just do whatever the community tells them to.

The problem with balance is also that you never really know if something is broken. For all the devs know, a card could just be OP just because the players don’t want to counter it (not looking at a certain game called Paragon at all).
Plus, they can’t really do “extremely extensive” tests. There’s only so many devs that you want play testing instead of working on new features/keywords.


#6

The argument that the number of devs is limited sounds moot to me. I’m totally sure that a number of players would be more than happy to help play testing new cards and reworks for free.

Also, I think the problem is not with balance issues in general. The problem of balancing is inherent to any online game. The real issue is when there are glaring balancing problems with cards since the very beginning. A few examples: Variax, Enfeeble, Meltdown, which all ended up being nerfed.


#7

I don’t know. I mean, it’s not as bad as before, but he still feels like he’s in charrrge…

Wait, not that Patches either?

More to the point, I feel like they always go for wide swings when they do balance patches. Like they nerfed Meltdown and Thumping Wave, nice. But why did Chryallis Burst have to be included, atleast now? Or when they nerfed Songhai way back when with Lantern Fox + Mana Vortex changes. Who on Earth was complaining about Cryo at the time? I honestly lose a little bit of faith in CPG everytime they do stuff like that, because I can’t develop any attachments to any cards. Apparently everything is free game.

Not to mention, the latest balance patch seemed to be more for placating people than to actually balance the meta. Faie might cut Enfeeble, but she’s still mostly changed. Vaath isn’t even going to budge 2 inchs. Thumping nerf is good, but it’s still solid enough to keep running just for it’s versatility. Flash nerf only means Juggernaut (And Slithar Elder) won’t be super ramped out. And Chryallis Burst is literally not even a factor.


#8

I definitely would prefer fewer patches. If patches come out too often, we don’t get to see how certain card changes affect the meta before even more cards are reworked.

Extensive study needs to be done when determining which cards need attention, and there needs to be enough time to make informed decisions about what cards to change.


#9

I think the patches should be more frequent.
It’s not just the content of the patch that matters (which it obviously matters, if the patch is shit then it should not exist in the first place).

If the game were to be perfectly balanced, there would be no need for patches - which is obviously not the case since perfection does not exist. Now if the metagame is balanced (not perfect, but balanced), patches can indeed become less frequent. The problem is that the metagame is rarely balanced - some seasons better than others. So as long as there are issues, they must be taken care of - with a patch. That excuse they said “we dont want to tell you how to play, you should figure out how to deal with meta through deckbuilding and exploring” or whatever just doesn’t apply to some metas (like this past one). No matter how well you deckbuild you just cant do nothing about crap like Enfeeble and Meltdown. This comes from another problem - these sort of cards should not be printed in the first place, much like @tsevech said.

Tldr; if the meta is not fine, patches must happen. The simple fact is that the meta is rarely fine and so the frequency of patches should improve.


#10

I think that the frequency of balancing patches have been less than adequate in the last few months to say the least. Something like the Meltdown nerf to take place after FIVE MONTHS is plainly unacceptable. The card wasn’t broken only after Ancient Bonds, it was already broken on its day one.

So, in a nutshell, yes, I do believe this new “patching policy” is not optimal, in fact it is the worst possible, especially after the last expansion, which clearly generated one of the most toxic and oppressive metas up until this moment.


#11

I, for one, like increased patches and balance changes.

The monthly patch notes gave the developers a way to work with the community to fix broken or unbalanced cards. The devs would see what was being oppressive, change it according to the niche it was to fill originally (rather than be an all include), and make the game seem less…uniform (in regards to gameplay at least).

I like and understand many of the changes that they made in this round of patches, but what I donut understand is why they didn’t happen sooner (which seems to be a recurring question amongst the community). Thumping wave was a problem since it’s release in Shimzar, Meltdown was the same, and even enfeeble had it’s problems since RotB. All these cards had existed (and were seen as problems) for months before any change was done to address these issues. Even variax was changed shortly after her release because she was posing such a problem to the game. Even if you want time to test out cards and see whether or not players find a way to circumnavigate seemingly OP cards, it makes no sense why you’d wait any longer than a month after its release especially if it’s creating such problems within the game.

I don’t want CP to make changes every week and I certainly understand their desire to leave the direction of the game to the players, but if they leave cards that’re overpowered or stronger than the average as they are then isn’t that the same as defining the meta?


#12

In terms of balancing – fine. I think it’s generally better to give players a chance to figure things out themselves, so waiting 5 months till Meltdown nerf seems about right.

However, in terms of community interaction, I think there is value in frequent updates. When I played League of Legends, I really liked the regular build-up and discussion around the patches – they made the game feel much more alive, even if the changes were often very minor.

I’d love to see a couple of tiny buffs to underpowered cards every now and then.


#13

I would be fine with only patching things every few months however… CP loves to create busted cards every expansion that need to be nerfed asap. Some cards sure we may not have thought were that strong, on release i thought variax was going to be crap because it was just another slow 7 drop and i thought mana deathgrip would make you run out of cards to quickly.

But some cards CP have released they clearly put little thought into even though they could have been strong cards. Everyone knew that 4 dmg enthropic was way too much. Trinity oath even though i think it is very overrated is another cards that looks too good and it is too good.

So if CP changed their requirement of at least 5 powercreeped cards each expansion then yes i would agree with balance patches only once every 4-6 months.


#14

CPGs balance policy is, along with their communication policy, one of the two big things that i really don’t like about this game and it’s imo also the biggest hindrance to this games success.

If i look back at all the balance patches so far there have been a whole number of problems with them.

  1. CPG kills cards entirely when nerfing them, and that happens very, very often. Saberspine Seal, Mana Vortex, Siphon energy, Kron, Veteran Silithar, Vindicator, Chrysalis burst, Slo, Zenrui, Kara, Cryogenesis and God knows how many more before i even started playing. And pretty much all of them were killed for no reason. Just a little more thought put into their change and they could still be viable today.

  2. Their timing for balance changes is just plain horrible. They release broken cards, then let us deal with them for months while those cards dominate the meta and then, half a year later, when the decks using those cards are hardly even relevant anymore, the cards get nerfed into the ground. Most recent example, Kelaino. One of the strongest Abyssian cards since her release almost a year ago and complained about for almost the entire time. Creep Cass, the main deck to utilize her was one of the strongest decks back when she was released, and it had dominant periods even after Shimzar, but Kelaino was never touched, just now, when Cass was practically erased from the ladder anyway they nerf one of her key cards, great timing. Windblade adept change goes into the same direction, so do Saberspine (baconator wasn’t even a thing anymore by the time it got nerfed), and Zenrui.

  3. The bad timing also goes in the other direction and usually comes along with the “designspace” reasoning. “We change Karas BBS to free up design space and allow us to make better minions later on that would have been broken with her old BBS”. That was about 6 months ago and which strong minions did we get exactly that would have been broken with the old bbs? Myriade maybe? Chrysalis burst also goes in that direction, both ways actually. This card has been complained about for as long as i play and was never touched until now. They finally touched it for “designspace” reasons but the next expansion is easily two months away so why the fuck nerf it now? It wasn’t exactly dominating the meta. And if they do it now, they could at least change all the other stuff that was made worse intentionally because of burst, like Morin Khur and Dreadnaught.

  4. Instead of cureing the disease they usually just treat the symptoms of it. Instead of fixing chrysalis bursts main problem, that retarded rng, they raise the cost to hilarious levels. Same can be said for meltdown, who is still cancer, just a little less deadly. Entropic Gaze, Enfeeble and Variax are other examples where, instead of fixing the problematic card design, they just increase the manacost/reduce the damage.

  5. They keep nerfing cards that nobody asked for out of the blue. Windblade adept, Siphon energy, Rite of the Undervault, Cryogenesis were cards that nobody ever complained about and yet they got nerfed, in two cases they were hit so hard that they are unplayable by now, for what?

The only redeeming quality that the patches had so far was the fact that, even though they did tons of unnecessary colleteral damage, they always served their purpose at the end of the day and improved the meta. However, with the latest change they managed to throw even that trait out of the window. The top dog decks before the patch were Arcanyst Faie and Midrange Vaath, and now guess which decks will be at the top after the patch. Right, Arcanyst Faie and Midrange Vaath. Yes they got hit, but not where it hurts them. Arcanyst Faie rarely even played Enfeeble and Midrange Vaath hardly even cares about the cost increase for twave. Something both care abouth though, is that Cass and Argeon were hit severly and are much less of threat compared to pre patch.

So yeah, duelysts patch history is a disaster that has no equal and honestly, giving that history, the thought that they will make less balance changes in the future actually has a positive sound to it, if it wasn’t for that broken meta we have now and all the broken cards that will be thrown at us with the next expansion.


#15

Personally, I don’t mind fewer balance patches (say, once after every expansion), as some decks take longer than others to be tested and evaluated compared to others. Also, by having less focus on getting out balance patches, and by only releasing expansions once every quarter, CPG has more time to dedicate towards releasing new game modes and features for Duelyst. I’m not saying that balance patches aren’t important, but I would really like to see a new game mode be released soon.

Personally, I would like Duelyst to have at least once patch a month dedicated towards adding features and content for Duelyst. Game modes, such as the hinted rainbow/unlimited draft mode that was revealed many patches ago, and the rework of Duelyst puzzles (which I feel it’s a key aspect to the game) helps being in players and interest to non-competitive game modes, which can also provide additional rewards to add help players transition into the game. The addition of boss battles were a great way to this; a fun game mode that allows non traditional decks to shine while helping new players out (shimzar orb plus and additional 3 orbs if they buy a boss key).

I’m glad that iOS testing is being done, and that android testing is on the works, as I believe the mobile platform would be a great way to bring in players. However, I would really like to see at least one of the aforementioned game modes to be introduced before the official release to give players an escape from the competitive scene.


#16

If the “attitude” you’re talking about is “balancing as less as necessary” then I’m absolutely fine with it.
I’m playing Duelyst for 15 months now as Magmar Main and 3 cards got nerfed (one of them killed) with the last patch and nevertheless I think this one was one of the better patches.

First: Nerfing is better then buffing. Powercreep is there. It’s in every game that’s of this style. Buffing accelerates powercreep - nerfing slows it down a bit.

Second: This patch leaves a feeling that CP has a plan (for the future).

Let’s take Chrysalis. It makes absolutely no sense nerfing a card that isn’t played. It could swing games, yes. It felt bad to lose against it, yes. But if it was so good as some people tried us to tell it wouldn’t have been a niche card. I put the card in decks that I never played because they where not as effective as other decks. And I main Magmar and know a bit what I’m talking about.
On top it’s a disenchantable Legendary. Why would CP give away free spirit to everyone for a card nobody needs but for niche decks? The only thing that’s logical is that they have plans for the future so the card had to be nerfed (sooner or later).

Let’s take Flash. A smart nerf. Did they nerf it because of Juggie? I don’t think so. They could’ve nerfed Juggie instead. They don’t want double Flash to be possible in the future. For what reasons ever - we don’t know them to the day.

Let’s take Kelaino. 3 health is nothing. She dies to everything now. It’s my believe that this is a preparation for the future. They could have nerfed her to 4 health. But it’s necessary (not now, but I think later on) that she dies to Phoenix Fire, to a Tiger, a Lasting Judgement, a Frostburn,… even Blades. They could have nerfed her to 4 health - and, this time, it’s my believe they have a plan why they chose 3 not 4.

CP killed cards in the past for no good reasons as I think (Kron for example or Archon Spellbinder, which really could be a very good tool-card if it would be cheaper for the price of a smaller body, Zen’Rui - just examples). This time is the first time I have the feeling it’s because of a plan they have for the future.
Time will tell if I’m right or not.

I have to say that I’m not happy with the attitude of CP. And the unspeakable interview one month (or so) ago (the one everybody was talking about) was just the top of it - not the beginning (this was cutting the drop rates of Shim’Zar without saying a word before).
But this has nothing to do with the balance patch out now and the “attitude” they have towards patches. This one (for the first time since long) makes me feel that they’re doing well and have a plan.
And that’s good for all of us.


#17

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