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Legendaries and Balance Rant - For Devs


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Posted (edited)

I won't touch on the tiering system as everything said here represents my position on it.

I'd also like a reponse to that as the thread has been posted 20 hours ago and this - your game's balance - should be your top priority, not whatever reskin of whichever of your 2 events you choose to do for phase 3 of your reskin marathon.

The game won't find balance until legendaries are added. Pokemon was built by people likely more competent than you and me with them in mind.
Certain tiers will always disproportionately favor a certain archetype until we get the proper tools to balance them. 

I read a response from Kyu earlier that confirmed that we were never getting "the most powerful legendaries". What about the others? Why do you still have an Ubers tier? We have been strung along for the better part of a decade with the promise of balance.

Now is the time that you turn around and reveal that your priority has always been to string us along with the slowest ever drip-fed content the world of gaming has ever seen. 
I'm torn between a sarcastic "who would've guessed?" and "it's about time".

What, exactly, are your arguments against the perfectly balanced - non-"powerful" - legendaries, if any? Because I fail to see the issue with implementing the legendary dogs for example right this second, most of the lower-tier legendaries are in fact likely to drop to lower tiers and not even be OU.

You have supposedly been working on implementing legendaries since 2014. If they are not damaging to PvE and are a boon to PvP, what on earth is the hold-up? I have my theories, most of which involve most of the development time being sucked down the drain of server stability and the monitoring of RP-related economy in an effort to accomodate your casual chinese cash cow, but I won't go into another rant inside a rant, I'll respect your time, unlike you.

We've established that your goal is not balance, your goal is preserving the shitshow we have had to deal with for years because you believe it is the best way to keep people interested and to prevent a stale metagame. You are wrong.

What you are doing is shooting yourself in the foot. Because you don't offer the proper tools, instead of several viable archetypes, there is only 1 per tier. That is staleness. That is a game people want to move away from.

Staleness in a player-driven PvP environment isn't broken by drip-fed content, it is broken by player innovation. Why do you think older gens are still popular on showdown?

 

Your concern likely is that legendaries would "break" PvE. Let me be the bearer of good news: not a single person plays PvE pokemon expecting a challenge. You can tune that AI up to the moon and it won't make a difference. You will never offer a challenging PvE experience unless you remove a significantly larger amount of tools available to the player. If that is really something you want to do, take inspiration from rom hacks like Emerald Kaizo, create a nuzlocke mode... in short, do your job. Don't punish PvP players for your lack of imagination in problem-solving PvE problems. 

You tend to respond to players asking for perfectly reasonable things in a know-it-all, condescending way using hasty generalizations, false dilemmas, everything in the book to avoid revealing your roadmap, to the lucky 1% that get a response that is. These are the same players in a community that have been carrying the shit out of your game for a decade and have allowed you to milk an insane amount of money from an IP that isn't yours. Show them some respect. You have enough money to hire a PR rep, do it. I would ask that you also hire additional devs to not have to delay your projects 17 times over the course of 4 months, but you've made quite clear you're afraid the unqualified and uninitiated would immediately start unraveling your spaghetti code.

Rant over, have a good day.

Edited by Draekyn
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8 minutes ago, Draekyn said:

The game won't find balance until legendaries are added. Pokemon was built by people likely more competent than you and me with them in mind.

This game won't find balance regardless and Gamefreak is so unbelievably incompetent any semblance of balance by them is purely accidental.

Also balance is not the top priority in ANY game, this is a bitter truth you learn eventually. The top priority is to sell shit. Do you think Gamefreak had the word balance for a single second enter their heads when they designed Dynamax? No, they just thought about how much money they'd make by selling shitty huge plushies alongside other toys for the new forms of the older more marketable Pokemon much like they are going to do again with SV when they release Charizard (Forma gohan blanco calvo).

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13 minutes ago, suigin said:

This game won't find balance regardless and Gamefreak is so unbelievably incompetent any semblance of balance by them is purely accidental.

Also balance is not the top priority in ANY game, this is a bitter truth you learn eventually. The top priority is to sell shit. Do you think Gamefreak had the word balance for a single second enter their heads when they designed Dynamax? No, they just thought about how much money they'd make by selling shitty huge plushies alongside other toys for the new forms of the older more marketable Pokemon much like they are going to do again with SV when they release Charizard (Forma gohan blanco calvo).

That is correct. I’m not sure how that refutes anything though.

Are you of the opinion that balance is not something to strive towards? 
Whether it is by chance or design does not matter, the point is Gamefreak’s PvP design has had peaks and valleys, the peaks I believe we should strive towards.

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Posted (edited)

While I understand the frustration; I do feel this rant is a bit premature.. The event isn't even over yet. They added HA's and drip fed them in update 2, I imagine update 3 is a continuation of this. And who knows, maybe legends? (cope)

E: I also am not surprised at the "no most powerful legends will be added" As it's been clear since day 1, with the roaming legends. Imo the best action to take would be allow keldeo, dogs, birds etc. To be added, keep Zekrom etc as roaming or something of this effect

Edited by Lvkee
xd
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2 minutes ago, Lvkee said:

While I understand the frustration; I do feel this rant is a bit premature, the event isn't even over yet. They added HA's and drip fed them in update 2, I imagine update 3 is a continuation of this. And who knows, maybe legends? (cope)

E: I also am not surprised at the "non powerful legends" As it's been clear since day 1, with the roaming legends. Imo the best action to take would be allow keldeo, dogs, birds etc. To be added, keep Zekrom etc as roaming. 

While your optimism is a breath of fresh air to me, I can't reasonably share it.

Repeated delays, reskin of old events and swarm mechanics along with a hastily put together red drop shadow & 1.2x size modifier for alpha mons whose purpose is null other than yet another speculative market toy for people with too much time on their hands. That and a few HAs. That is all we got.

Taking that into account, I personally don't expect phase 3, which bare in mind isn't the main event, to be co-op dungeons + legendaries (stated to be in development in 2014). That would have been the main attraction.

 

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13 minutes ago, Draekyn said:

That is correct. I’m not sure how that refutes anything though.

Are you of the opinion that balance is not something to strive towards? 
Whether it is by chance or design does not matter, the point is Gamefreak’s PvP design has had peaks and valleys, the peaks I believe we should strive towards.

You're thinking like a player. Yes, as a player I wish there was balance. However balance won't be acquired by either releasing all the bullcrap we have gated behind the devs saying no nor by abiding by whatever Gamefreak "canonizes" in the eyes of the devs, the only way to acquire true balance is to go the full fanfic route and tweak shit until you find the sweet spot.

Now if you think like a dev, you're just killing the golden goose.

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2 minutes ago, suigin said:

Now if you think like a dev, you're just killing the golden goose.

And that is exactly what I am saying.
Where we disagree is that I don't believe it's either "there we go, all balanced" or "the pile of dogshit we currently have". To me your argument is a false dilemma, there aren't only two mutually exclusive outcomes in game balance. I'd like the tools to push the balance slider up to a comfortable point. And some of that, in my opinion, is "releasing all the bullcrap the we have gated behind the devs saying no".

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12 minutes ago, Joyboy666 said:

I suggest you watch some ORAS OU and compare Showdown and MMO if you think Keldeo would be healthy for the game. 

I never said implement it tomorrow lol

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Disagree with most of whats been said

 

You don't even know if legends will bring balance because our meta would look completely different from bw or even oras. So that's just flat out wrong. Second, pokemon balance is pretty meh and tiers like bw ou have underwent some major changes due to their poor balance. Even with legendaries. If not for a very active and passionate council + community some tiers would be utter trash.

 

The devs should allow the council more power though, so that together with the community it has more tools to try and find balance in the tiers.

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Just now, ThinkNicer said:

The devs should allow the council more power though, so that together with the community it has more tools to try and find balance in the tiers.

Yes, this is crucial. And what are legendaries aside from more tools for TC to play with, exactly? I am not suggesting to add everything and call it a day.

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Lvkee said:

I never said implement it tomorrow lol

Just got irritated by it being named alongside a bunch of mons that dont demand a shitton of updates beforehand, my bad.

e: Considering you name Keldeo, which would demand an environment its not broken in beforehand, in a thread that addresses balancing, so a rather urgent topic (unless you are that one guy that wants the game balanced in several years) is naturally confusing and ironic however. 

Edited by Joyboy666
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3 hours ago, Joyboy666 said:

Just got irritated by it being named alongside a bunch of mons that dont demand a shitton of updates beforehand, my bad.

e: Considering you name Keldeo, which would demand an environment its not broken in beforehand, in a thread that addresses balancing, so a rather urgent topic (unless you are that one guy that wants the game balanced in several years) is naturally confusing and ironic however. 

Bruh we got absolutely no idea how Keldeo would behave in our OU meta, especially if we have no clue if we would also get other legendaries that would potentially deal with it (Latis or Celebi for example) and do you know how many times we speculated that a mon will be completely broken in a certain metagame and it turned out that it's perfectly fine? You can't compare your experience with Keldeo from any metagame you played (and neither can I, and I have played pretty much every generation on Showdown starting from BW) to the PokeMMO competitive environment- we will lack legendaries, hidden abilities, our pokemons got more diverse movepools and so on and so on.

 

I don't want to address the topic because I'm actually a fan of seeing the whole fucking chaos and taking part in shaping the meta myself rather than waiting for some smart people to realize how stupidly good Magic Bounce Espeon, and how [email protected]#$%^ devastating Sun is going to be in OU

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5 hours ago, Draekyn said:

The game won't find balance until legendaries are added. Pokemon was built by people likely more competent than you and me with them in mind.
Certain tiers will always disproportionately favor a certain archetype until we get the proper tools to balance them. 

 

I read a response from Kyu earlier that confirmed that we were never getting "the most powerful legendaries". What about the others? Why do you still have an Ubers tier? We have been strung along for the better part of a decade with the promise of balance.

 

Now is the time that you turn around and reveal that your priority has always been to string us along with the slowest ever drip-fed content the world of gaming has ever seen. 
I'm torn between a sarcastic "who would've guessed?" and "it's about time".

 

What, exactly, are your arguments against the perfectly balanced - non-"powerful" - legendaries, if any? Because I fail to see the issue with implementing the legendary dogs for example right this second, most of the lower-tier legendaries are in fact likely to drop to lower tiers and not even be OU.

 

You have supposedly been working on implementing legendaries since 2014. If they are not damaging to PvE and are a boon to PvP, what on earth is the hold-up? I have my theories, most of which involve most of the development time being sucked down the drain of server stability and the monitoring of RP-related economy in an effort to accomodate your casual chinese cash cow, but I won't go into another rant inside a rant, I'll respect your time, unlike you.

We've established that your goal is not balance, your goal is preserving the shitshow we have had to deal with for years because you believe it is the best way to keep people interested and to prevent a stale metagame. You are wrong.

 

What you are doing is shooting yourself in the foot. Because you don't offer the proper tools, instead of several viable archetypes, there is only 1 per tier. That is staleness. That is a game people want to move away from.

 

Staleness in a player-driven PvP environment isn't broken by drip-fed content, it is broken by player innovation. Why do you think older gens are still popular on showdown?

 

Your concern likely is that legendaries would "break" PvE. Let me be the bearer of good news: not a single person plays PvE pokemon expecting a challenge. You can tune that AI up to the moon and it won't make a difference. You will never offer a challenging PvE experience unless you remove a significantly larger amount of tools available to the player. If that is really something you want to do, take inspiration from rom hacks like Emerald Kaizo, create a nuzlocke mode... in short, do your job. Don't punish PvP players for your lack of imagination in problem-solving PvE problems. 

 

You tend to respond to players asking for perfectly reasonable things in a know-it-all, condescending way using hasty generalizations, false dilemmas, everything in the book to avoid revealing your roadmap, to the lucky 1% that get a response that is. These are the same players in a community that have been carrying the shit out of your game for a decade and have allowed you to milk an insane amount of money from an IP that isn't yours. Show them some respect. You have enough money to hire a PR rep, do it. I would ask that you also hire additional devs to not have to delay your projects 17 times over the course of 4 months, but you've made quite clear you're afraid the unqualified and uninitiated would immediately start unraveling your spaghetti code.

Your response is very passionate. I think we have very different opinions on how games should be developed though, and I won't comment on upcoming content which isn't near release.

 

1 hour ago, Draekyn said:

Hope he'll read all this then, good points 

 

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I think it's difficult to fully understand how problematic releasing large swathes of new content (e.g. targeting Gen 6 as base) is, from a player's perspective. Decisions like those around HAs buffer us against content droughts which occur during prolonged periods of content development for very large projects, like introducing new regions.

 

I have no idea what the "hostage" comments are based on, though. I find that kind of silly.

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11 minutes ago, Kyu said:

I have no idea what the "hostage" comments are based on, though. I find that kind of silly.

My comments were in reference to having content ready to be released, but not releasing it in order to keep us playing the game for longer. You're stalling the progression of your own game to keep us interested in features that were teased 4 years ago. We're 10 years into the game and the only solution to the content drought is to keep core game mechanics from releasing, which is odd because you've shown the ability to create interesting/engaging content/events when you actually try.

 

My perspective would be to release the basic mechanics that were teased 4 years ago, and focus more on the custom content you've shown the ability to make interesting. 

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9 minutes ago, Paul said:

My comments were in reference to having content ready to be released, but not releasing it in order to keep us playing the game for longer. You're stalling the progression of your own game to keep us interested in features that were teased 4 years ago. We're 10 years into the game and the only solution to the content drought is to keep core game mechanics from releasing, which is odd because you've shown the ability to create interesting/engaging content/events when you actually try.

 

My perspective would be to release the basic mechanics that were teased 4 years ago, and focus more on the custom content you've shown the ability to make interesting. 

Alright. It wasn't ready, and stalling content doesn't generally make players play longer. I'm not sure why you have the latter opinion.

 

To comment on HAs themselves, they were mostly suffering from a lack of consensus as to what to do about them. While we originally did want to include them alongside legos, eventually it became comical how long we were waiting, and it felt like it was about time. So, we just built something which could release them in a way which didn't feel completely lackluster.

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11 minutes ago, Kyu said:

stalling content doesn't generally make players play longer. I'm not sure why you have the latter opinion

"Hidden Abilities give us an opportunity to extend the lifespan of the game by continually introducing new batches of metagame-changing monsters, before we eventually introduce new generations."

 

I understood these comments as hidden abilities are ready, but won't be released until later dates to keep us playing the game for longer & extending the game's lifespan. I don't understand that as the reason to stagger the release of hidden abilities, because your game isn't dying anytime soon and you've shown you are capable of making interesting content, so there's no reason to believe you won't continue doing so in the future to keep the game alive. 

 

If you want to go into other reasons to keep hidden abilities unreleased, such as how it would affect the meta or in what ways they should be released, that'd be a different conversation. My comments were just in regards to the game's lifespan and stalling content to keep it alive.

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28 minutes ago, Paul said:

I understood these comments as hidden abilities are ready, but won't be released until later dates to keep us playing the game for longer & extending the game's lifespan. I don't understand that as the reason to stagger the release of hidden abilities, because your game isn't dying anytime soon and you've shown you are capable of making interesting content, so there's no reason to believe you won't continue doing so in the future to keep the game alive. 

Ah. I thought you meant that players were so enticed by the idea of HAs that we had a "Star Citizen" type of scenario where we kept dangling that promise for years on end, and players somehow took that bait.

 

We suffer from some unique problems because the game is structured on ROMs. A major one is that we have an absolutely finite amount of content to work with [unless we begin backporting items/abilities, or shift to another base ROM]. While it's my opinion that we do have the possibility of Gen 6 later on, again, it's very hard to appreciate how much R&D has gone into this game to even make it function at all.

 

Our major options atm for additional [ROM-based] content are transitioning to B/W2 and Johto. B/W2 is going to be the most realistic consideration for our next base ROM as the only major changes between B/W & B/W2 were script-based, iirc. Johto is obviously a meme region, and while we'll do it, it doesn't really give us anything long-term aside from ticking another box and giving you another E4 to grind.

 

But anyway, the point I'm making is that it is in everyone's interests for us to keep the game as interesting as possible for as long as possible, and staggered HA releases are one way to help achieve that. While we have definitely enjoyed a very successful few years, the next major introduction of new monsters is going to be a very long process, and we'd very much like to prevent a scenario like our Gen 3 -> Gen 5 transition where the game basically died for a year because we blew our load with no concern as to how we'd weather a very long content drought.

 

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2 minutes ago, Kyu said:

staggered HA releases are one way to help achieve that.

Are you gonna adress the issues this choice causes and that were pointed out in the other thread ? I feel like besides what this rant talks about, which conclusions and claims are debatable, what is shared by everybody is that the way tiering is handled has a definite impact on how players enjoy PvP and decide to play at all or not.

 

This is something where you can't have excuses of having to deal with ROM or whatever. It's simple organization and cooperation. You can add or not legendaries and all HAs you want, if it stays with this system, PvP is going to be shit no matter what. 

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4 minutes ago, Poufilou said:

Are you gonna adress the issues this choice causes and that were pointed out in the other thread ? I feel like besides what this rant talks about, which conclusions and claims are debatable, what is shared by everybody is that the way tiering is handled has a definite impact on how players enjoy PvP and decide to play at all or not.

 

This is something where you can't have excuses of having to deal with ROM or whatever. It's simple organization and cooperation. You can add or not legendaries and all HAs you want, if it stays with this system, PvP is going to be shit no matter what. 

I think it's a fair criticism that our tiering rules haven't kept up to date with how we develop the game, and that the game suffers due to it. But the TC is a player-run organization, and we try not to insert ourselves too much into it. I've asked someone to talk to them about the problem though

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12 minutes ago, Kyu said:

the next major introduction of new monsters is going to be a very long process, and we'd very much like to prevent a scenario like our Gen 3 -> Gen 5 transition where the game basically died for a year

This conversation is a good example of why we typically ask for more transparency/communication, this isn't something I considered prior to this thread. If your goal is to eventually work on future generations, which I had assumed were out of the picture, I understand wanting to have something lined up for the year(s) it would take. 

 

On the topic of staggering abilities, are you able to share how often new alphas will become available after the event, and how the species will be decided for the swarms? 

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7 minutes ago, Paul said:

On the topic of staggering abilities, are you able to share how often new alphas will become available after the event, and how the species will be decided for the swarms? 

The initial batch has "~50 evolution lines, some impactful and some not" and were handpickedTheir introductions are meant to be unpredictable, so I can't really offer specifics there. Afaik the TC wants us to immediately complex ban anything impactful to OU until they can review it, so the unpredictability shouldn't be too much of a pain from a PvPer's perspective.

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