Video Game Balance Guidelines
There are a bunch of things that make my head spin - err ... me rolling my eyes - when it gets to
games. Like - "why in the world is 'this' a thing?" - and ... I want to explore this thing a little.
Let me begin with something on Street Fighter. Street Fighter 4 in specific. It is first of all important
to notice that we don't get born pro's. We all at some point have accumulated some common sense - and with
that we venture the world 'expecting' that knowledge to be true. That is much simpler in a Video Game because
in essence Video Games aren't as complex as the real world. The VR is thereby mostly composed of a few
Mechanisms. And the reason I write this is because in some ways I feel like, ... this is a 'toxic topic'.
That means: Person A has an oppinion, Person B believes to know better - and in the end the majority wins,
maybe - and thats how it works for the most part. (Am I wrong? So don't "me me me" this! Its as much 'me
me me' as it is 'yu yu yu' - OK?!). No! Kindof. Of course - it depends. It depends on the standpont of
yours. And the reality of things.
So - at some point I started to play Rose and immediately liked her. It was challenging at first to get a
feel ... considering that her offense is really good but extremely vulnerable - and eventually I began to
get something done. I want to describe that as "Overcoming the "Buff/Nerf pls" phase". So, moving past the
point where you have picked up a Character and 'expect' things to go a certain way based on which you want
to assume you understand what needs to change. And who can really tell? You would need to be able to play
against yourself - knowing every Character - ... or something similarly complicated to do.
And still something felt ... wrong about Rose. Most of the time I felt like every Character had a clear
advantage on Rose with Rose having little to nothing to throw against that. Until I saw some guy actually
wrecking it with her - and I adapted to some of that playstyle. And still something felt wrong. At some
point then Capcom decided to buff Rose ... giving her better Spirals ... and all of a sudden some Rose
player won Evo. Well "all of a sudden"? Why did that happen? How did it get to that? Is it good? Or was it
Now - on to Street Fighter V real quick. Here - obviously - 'officially' - some guys decided to make it
really obvious that Ken will again be Overpowered; And on that notice I said myself I'm done "arguing" or
"contributing" to/with/about the FGC/Fighting Games. That so because - well - if we want to talk about
balance this is basically the first thing ... "bully tank issue" ... that we have to get clear about. As
in - being on the same page. Asking: Is there even something such as a realistic attempt on making the game
fair for everyone? Or are the designers more like ... Shao Khan who sends Four Armed Monsters into a hand
to hand battle against fragile humans calling it a competition? I mean - being totally random about it and
... taking a huge dump on everyone who actually wants it to be fair. Like:
Buff, Nerf, Adapt
Which takes me to a bolder point: Cyber Bullying. This as done by Game Developers to gamers ... based on the
"Adapt" argument - which turned around means: The devs 'tell' what one is to adapt to in order to be good.
Well, lets call it "the Sword of a Thousand Truths" - its 'the one weapon' that beats every other weapon -
in that Southpark promoted W.o.W. Legend - And yea ... so, everybody wants it - those that have it are good
at the game, those that don't suck at it ... and so we get to an economy where everyone either wants it or
quits playing. Sooner or later everyone has it, but the noobs, and they don't like getting shredded by it -
so they either go look for it ... and by the time they have it there's the sword of a Million Truths. Whatever.
If we look at Street Fighter we know that this isn't really how things go. Kindof. Not everyone plays Ken.
On the other end we got to wonder: Do we 'want' things to be completely even? In that sense one single
Character would do. Well, this question does really quickly degenerate into a non-issue. The Characters 'are'
different - and in that sense there is 'utility' and 'ability' or strength, sotospeak. Ryu has fireballs -
Cammy doesn't - and this alone already creates an interesting scenario - unless you're new and you play as
Cammy and you don't know what to do against a defensive Ryu. (The answer is: Take risks and pray that it
works out! Until you then have some experience and ... then its still kindof the same! I suppose!)
Well - this gets really visible when watching Daigo these days. Its apparent how Guile is easily backed into
a corner and generally relies on the opponent making mistakes. Balrog on the other end is a "Careless"
Character. It doesn't matter how badly he gets beaten up - eventually he'll beat his way through to the end.
And that doesn't work always. Even if you play as Ken and start winning by just spamming DP, you at some point
have to expect those that know his shtick and know how to avoid it.
On another note is there certainly that sense of realism, ... like - the Bad guys are supposed to be intimidating
and all that. And although Characters are basically "just functions" - I would think that Street Fighter is that
Archetypical game that goes against that notion. And yea - this is where my 'heart is at' at this point. Street
Fighter originally featured Ken and Ryu being basically indestinguishable from each other. And from all the
cash Capcom makes on selling Costumes - they would or should understand that a Characters move-set isn't the
only thing that matters. For me - I every once in a while get to a point where I want to learn a new Character -
and in that regard there is a wide variety to choose from, ... in SF4 at least.
So - lets leave that for the time being and take a look at Destiny. Specifically: Handcannon Nerfs. Why?
The thing is ultimately that: If your aim is good - if you know how to handle it - Handcannons should feel
rewarding. And I say that because I love me my Handcannons. To the point that even once nerfed, I'll shtick
to it. But then loosing sucks - and eventually I find myself enclined to use a Pulse Rifle.
And so some stick to their Street Fighters, even if they end up sucking. Kindof. And someone who put a lot of
effort into getting good with Rose for instance, surely that person will end up playing better once she gets
that buff she 'needs'. Its a ... trials and tribulations thing. Then some might think she's OP - and objectively
... there is no solution other than the devs should do what they think/feel is right - whatever they like it
how - and the players have to deal with it. On the other end - if the devs get it wrong, players are gonna be
pissed ... as they will anyhow ... but ... maximizing positivity you as a dev you want to ... well yea ...
maximize positivity! And often, it seems, there are those that learn how to deal with hardships and it would
seem that while we're already used to it, ... it wouldn't be too detremental to keep us on the lower end of the
spectrum. But ultimately there are so many stuffs to think about - ... and so, well ... whatever!
(Give good gamers the tools they need to succeed?)