Balance: An Average Players Perspective

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Strider99, Mar 20, 2021.

  1. Strider99

    Strider99 Bug Hunter

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    I was reading through all the comments on the proposed Air shield changes https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/air-shield-users.166367/

    And after the Friday stream, it occurred to me that the game designers may not actually know how Balance changes feel to the average player, so as requested, here is some feedback.

    Firstly, let me say I believe the game has made many huge strides forward this last year:

    · Fixing Maps and Bugs all over the place

    · Many new ways to earn lots of crafting XP so we can now use that XP to enjoy all the crafting skills.

    · Great new content with tons of Loot and Massive adventure XP, so Again, we can use this to try new skills.

    · Creative additions to the game goals and rewards like the shrines, the upgrading of Artifacts and more.

    · Fishing add-ons, new fish, recipes and fun.

    Bravo and thank you for all your hard work! We are grateful.

    Now about Balance and Nerfing.

    Fixing massively over powered new skills like the changes to make barding or even fire less invincible are good when done as part of the introduction of new skill content, kind of like letting us help test things as they are going in. We love those changes.

    Damaging the player’s ability to use long established skills is NOT good. I believe this really hurts the game and completely alienates the player base. I often play solo like so many of us because I like it. I also have many good friends in the community and get a lot of feedback in my stream and one on one from other players. Nearly everyone I know who has left the game, moved on to other games, or plays rarely now, and the number is considerable, has left because they feel they put many hours (months and years) into a skill to finally be able to achieve some success in combat. Then had all of the time spent wasted and their success yanked out from under them by a skill balance attempt meant to stop a tiny minority of grinding (Min/Max’ers) from getting unchallenged. It feels like we’re being punished for playing too much. It makes people very disgruntled and should be an absolute LAST resort. Many of these players do not come back.

    If you absolutely have no other way to keep the game challenging then downgrading players effectiveness, then please make sure there is a substantially better reward, additional loot or other bonus for making players redo all their effort to achieve success again.

    In the Friday stream, it was said that some people are getting their Air shield transfer rate below 2 or 1 or even 0. Is it possible these are devs playing with unnaturally adjusted stats or the extreme Min/Maxed players because as a normal player, who even does some mindless grinding which I abhor, getting air shield that low just isn’t practical. I’ve been trying to do it for years and I just got it to .3.

    For example,

    To get my air shield to where it’s at .3 using nearly every dex buff, potion, food, high end dexterity bonus equipment (many millions of gold worth to make, buy, acquire), this is what it took. Over 300 Mil XP. Most players that are not grinders have much less than 100Million in their XP pool.

    · Shield of Air: (141), 60 Mil XP.

    · Airs Embrace: (145) 88 Mil XP

    · Dexterity: (127) 158 Mil XP

    · Air specialization: (117) 122 Mil XP

    · Other Air skills to GM average bring up Air Attunement: 33 Mil

    It took over a years worth of intensive play for me, an average player, to get these skills up while working other skills. And I play a lot. I do not however usually spend 10 hours a day mindlessly grinding 8 Mill XP an hour though I had to do it some to get my xp up enough to have any chance at a decent skill set. I spend my time in the game playing, fighting, farming, fishing, dancing, crafting, selling, buying, decorating and adventuring. I hate repetitive boring grinding. I left most other games because of it and we have players leaving shroud because nerfing makes it required.

    Over all , what I am asking as that you not make changes based on results of a tiny portion of players who have massive 1 Billion plus XP Pools. Most of us like to play this wonderful game as a whole rather than grind XP. Please keep combat rewarding for the majority of your player base and don’t punish us whenever we start to get some success using skills we worked hard for.

    Thank you again for all you guys do. I hope this offers some perspective that you can use.

    A Grateful Strider Green
     
  2. Asclepius

    Asclepius Avatar

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    THIS ^^^^*^^x 1000. I know many average players feel the same as this. I can fully identify with everything in this post.
     
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  3. Asclepius

    Asclepius Avatar

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    I have been in this game 5 years. And I don't play all day. Just an average player. My stats are sort of similar to @Strider99 :
    Dex 407
    Air Shied 151
    Air's Embrace 138
    Air spec 102
    Air attunement 232

    With all that, and I've pretty well exhausted available avenues, FTR shows as 0.3. Looking at combat logs it's not quite there - a more exact figure comes in at around 0.348.. (Rounds down to 0.3). So I have a way to go to get even there.

    So I join the chorus, on behalf of average players - don't hit us and take away years of hard slog because of the few min/maxers.

    And thank you @Chris - I know you guys are doing an amazing job. I love the game to bits and want to keep on enjoying it.

    (A grateful archer staying alive with Air Shield)
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
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  4. FBohler

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    Hope the devs hear you without calling your arguments false or anything.
     
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  5. FrostII

    FrostII Bug Hunter

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    A big AMEN to all posts above.
    I agree completely ! ;)
     
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  6. Violet Ronso

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    So what I understand here is because only a few players have reached a stage where they are quite literally invulnerable, there shouldn't be any changes made because the others haven't reached that point yet?

    Heck, even a 0.3 ratio is insane, Death Shield was nerfed because it could potentially reach an 80% damage mitigation, glancing blows reduce damage by 66%, but is only a random chance, meanwhile Air shield mitigates 70% of all the damage you take, all while making you even more prone to dodging which means you will ignore 100% damage. So basically, 70-100% damage mitigation doesn't seem like it is too much?

    This is an online game with ever changing content, new things get added to the game, and those things can have an impact on older skills that were fine before. I understand that you have built yourselves around these skills, and have considered this to be normal as it hasn't changed for so long, but honestly in my eyes these changes are late, but they are what is required.

    Now if you look at the proposed change, this will only affect those who have brought their Air shield below 0.5, which according to your statements, is only a small minority, so this change should not or barely affect the casual players, and will affect the min-maxers quite the most, which seems to be what everyone would want, yet it doesn't seem to satisfy. A change, only affecting those who have invested hundreds of million of experience in a few specific skills, yet it is too much?

    Yeah, I still don't understand what you guys truly want...
     
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  7. Vesper

    Vesper Avatar

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    Air archer is a min / max build, that's a fact. Min / maxers figured it out, showed some people, streamed it on twitch, and it propigated. The 'I earned it, but you're going to hurt the little guys' attitude is akin to your mom finding the weed in your sock drawer and you claiming it's not yours.
    If you're an Air / Archer with a 0.3 transfer rate, mom found the weed, it's a bummer, it looks like she's about to flush it down the toilet; you shouldn't have been hanging around with that shady crew behind the gym.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
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  8. Barugon

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    Which proposed change are you referring to?
     
  9. Asclepius

    Asclepius Avatar

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    @Violet Ronso , @Vesper , I need to put one thing on the record. When Chris devised the current formula, he acknowledged that the top players could reach a FTR of 0.3 - he was OK with that. What he is not OK with is FTR below 0.2 and approaching zero.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but death shield was nerfed because it BOTH mitigated damage AND healed, and at zero focus cost. Invulnerability is not acceptable.
    Damage mitigation from air shield is not without cost - focus pool drops, plus focus costs for archery skills were boosted recently. Once focus pool is drained I am totally vulnerable. So attack and defence both drain the pool; I chug potions like there’s no tomorrow in order to stay alive.
    I reject the assertion that a FTR of 0.3 represents an entitled view. This, according to Chris, is an acceptable maximum. With air shield, as with anything else, invulnerability is not acceptable.
     
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  10. Vesper

    Vesper Avatar

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    In air shield you're trading damage for focus. So in effect, your focus pool becomes your health pool. Guess what happens to someone without air shield depletes their hit points?
     
  11. Asclepius

    Asclepius Avatar

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    I don’t know enough to give a comprehensive answer I do know there are healing spells and potions (like I chug focus potions), plate users can tank up to resist almost everything. Any build has its strengths and weaknesses.
     
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  12. FBohler

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    If I was near .3 FTR, I would yield and willingly take the nerf.
    If Chris implement his plans from last stream (making focus potions less effective with lower FTR), the skill may suddenly get underused.

    The end product is making your game ultimately less fun to play, because the change won't benefit other "shield type" spells at any rate.
     
  13. Barugon

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    He removed the focus regen nerf. I truly believe now that dexterity needs to be removed from the focus transfer calculation though.
     
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  14. FBohler

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    Probably a good move there, even though a lot of people may get upset by having invested a lot of gear stats in DEX, and then losing the point of having sky high DEX.

    Fortunately for me, that's not my case.
     
  15. Barugon

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    Every time he adjusts how much dex contributes to the transfer rate, he upsets a lot of players... and it's ultimately just kicking the can down the road. Anyway, he could also adjust the benefit that you get from the skill itself to help mitigate the nerf.
     
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  16. Hemnu Lightbringer

    Hemnu Lightbringer Avatar

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    I think like Chris said balance is needed in any MMO you must constantly balance skills as new content is added. I love soloing content as well its a lot of fun but trivializing content should not happen. I agree that drops and loot need to be more rewarding to players the gold drop needs to be increased Items need to be boosted and feel powerful for players to want to group up to tackle tougher challenges. I'm a very old school MMO player my RL bro and I have played games together since UO. And this conversation actually makes me think back to WoW back in the burning crusade when guilds would use rogues to tank Illidian because dodge was OP. I believe the direction the Devs are taking SOTA is the best for the game as a whole nerfs happen in every game to keep balance. You know what you adjust your Avatar and move on. But balance is needed loot needs to be increased to feel more rewarding to new and old players alike and new amazing encounters need to be added all of which the Devs are working on and I believe they are doing a Amazing job!!! @Chris @Elgarion @Ravalox @Sannio you guys are doing a awesome job keep up the good work :)
     
  17. FBohler

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    Gold is okay right now. Increasing gold rewards would lead to heavy inflation.

    Yes, nerfs are needed sometimes, but if there's little interest in some skill trees entirely, they should make those more interesting instead of keep nerfing the most sought after.

    For example: how would this nerf help the water magic shield being used by more players?
     
  18. Violet Ronso

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    Nerfs to Air shield aren't happening to make other skills more appealing, they are happening because Air Shield is OP. Being able to negate that much damage is a lot, already, at 0.5% transfer rate, we are talking about 50% damage mitigation, that is probably already the best consistent mitigation in the entire game, and then it can go even lower? Can you not see that no other skill offers as much as Air Shield does, and its not even close? What other skill offers as much as that? Heck even a full plate lvl 140 shield using tank wouldn't manage to get a consistent mitigation like that, there would still be a bunch of hits that would go right through, others that would be way too hard to even notice the mitigation, and then you would have the occasional block or glancing blow, which act like a dodge, which is, inconsistent.

    When you hear someone like Chris saying "Everyone feels like they have to use this, so we will nerf it so they can consider other options", its not because he wants to make the other skills more appealing per say, its because he wants to make this choice of shields less of a no-brainer. Different skills for different situations, but Air Shield is currently the one to rule them all.
     
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  19. oplek

    oplek Avatar

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    While it would be an up-front investment, a considerable amount of developer time, and player angst, could be saved if they implemented some form of unit testing on the skills/characters/stats. Balance issues could be quickly and thoroughly identified even before QA builds are deployed.
     
  20. Spinok

    Spinok Avatar

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    Physical damage+air shield should be nerfed - its the easiest and bad way to play Sota. OP, too easy, too ugly.
    Really I understand why airmage can be invulnerable (heavy stuns) best air shield (air mage would work even with low airshield) but LOW dps.
    Pretty sure that our game doesn't need a god mode - top dmg dealer+top tank. Physical + air shield. is a god mode now, even on mid-levels, if you know what are you doing.
    So yes pls nerf these vicious mechanics.
    What is the reason to have 127 in DEX ? You can put 100 mil XP from it still have ~107 but 100kk+ in air skills or archery or berserk anyway on your progression level you have better 100kk XP investment than ~10 Dex