Development Manifesto: Game Balance in Path of Exile: Harvest

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I want to report this ad say I agree. I have been playing hack n slash games for roughly 25 years now. many can blindly say its for balance reasons, but i will tell you from experience this sort of nerfing philosophy (the builds i play were not hit with this) is one that goes down a easy but poor path. D3 did this. If GGG is starting to fail to understand the very important difference between a high effort high investment power build vs an average build, and nerfing the high-end so it doenst trivialize content, something is very wrong.

Add harder content.
Add harder content, add harder content.

Making sweeping changes like this suppresses your player-base because the volatile nature of changes like this leaves people questioning of their investment and time in PoB/Excel/Etc is going to be wasted after 3 months. This slowly leaves the hardcore playerbase only, and in turn scares new players away due to general elitism that surrounds that crowd by majority when trying to do simple things like craft a nice rare.

ALLOW people to make op builds. NERF them mainly in how hard they are to attain. be OK with content being trivialized. Its going to happen. When it does, create new keys and thresholds of power for player to open with new harder content that actually put their builds to the test. Nerfing things is the sign of a lazy developer that cannot detach themselves from how they push out boss battles. (why is every boss a humanoid?) If you dont want a mechanic skipped, THEN MAKE IT UNSKIPPABLE FOR THAT ENCOUNTER. and so much more. Dont make the game less fun for people, because that gets the community to make fun of itself, and we dont need that toxicity. Nerf lightly, content heavy.


You don't add harder content for one build, that trivialized everything, while the other builds have to play it regulary. If you are ok with content beeing trivialized, and just add harder content for those OP builds, it will result in the same bullshit that D3 did (good of you to mention it, this is the exact same stuff), where only one or two builds are viable for the end content, and the rest will need to be brought up piece by piece with random 3000% more damage multipliers on specific items/skills.

This is how you kill a game. Powercreep is good in small amounts, builds will get stronger and stronger each league, the issue is how fast this happens.

Take the herald stacking from delirium as an example. It was the most powerful build that ever existed in PoE, 90% phys mitigation 90% chance to evade, 90% max res, insane recovery, so much damage and speed that it literally did not even matter which skill you used, be it attack, spell, direct damage, dot damage, crit, non crit. it was superior to everything else. There is no point in making harder content for this kind of build, since it will be literally impossible for other builds to do the same kind of content unless they introduce another mechanic that will allow us to get the same amount of damage and mitigation.

They will add new content, the builds will become stronger and stronger, but simply saying "make it harder to obtain" is not a valid option, when this kind of builds exist in a league, it will lead to having the entire market catering to them. you saw it last league, over 40% of SC delirium classes were guardians, everything ES/reservation based was way more expensive than in any other league before.
the quest jewel with reduced mana reservation went up to 80c uncorrupted, and 15ex with a reduced mana reservation corruption.

Voices, megalomaniac with herald affixes, herald cluster jewels, all of those were super expensive, to a degree that they become undesireble to chaose for non Aura stacking guardians. The entire market will revolve around those super broken builds.
Its not healthy for the game, its a direct line to a stale metagame.
Last edited by skuller06451 on Jun 16, 2020, 2:33:26 AM
path of nerf
Thanks GGG
Please focus on servers!!! Thank you for this great game.
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MandrulDuce wrote:
Each time you add new stuff to the end game it has to be harder and slightly more challenging than what is already in the game. It wouldn't be fun and appealing otherwise. As that accumulates over time, the gap between vanilla alc an go red maps and current end game widens. Yet you are still balancing the average power lvl around vanilla red maps, indirectly nerfing all the builds in the game.

Delirium proved the flaw in this design philosophy the best. How many builds could clear juiced t16 maps? (not to bring into discussion t19s). Very few. And the majority of builds have ceilings they can't scale above regardless of investment.
Not to say that most builds that average people build couldn't handle delirium on a regular t16 map.

Let's take the example of Herald Stackers. Everybody complained they were OP. Most of them probably just saw clips of empy's 3000ex build trivializing Sirus. The medium budget version of that build (which is already an insane investment) could engage with the end game content of delirium (juiced maps with full delirium) at a good pace and would still have to be careful and in danger of dying.
Nobody built a stacker to engage with regular t16 maps and trivialize them. They did it because it was fun to build and manage all its moving parts, it would always have something you can invest into and improve, and it could engage with actual delirium end game content.
Crit builds were also amongst the few that would scale enough to do juiced delirium maps.
You are gutting all of the above described because "let's not trivialize vanilla t16 maps".

Why put harder content in the game if you take away our ability to scale builds to engage with it? And if we can't engage with it, for people that played for years, what you expect us to have fun with??? Vanilla mapping?

This design philosophy literally makes zero sense for me at this point. Nerf builds to bring them to the power level of average builds which become trash builds with the addition of more difficult content.
More buffs less nerfs.




im HIGHLY agreed with you
and i want to add that all buffs and nerfs by GGG are random impulsive actions without ANY good strategic view of the game itself or path where to go in general

all i see last 1 year is dumb changes and panic button slapped every time

oh we made OP Cyclone - panic button
Oh we made OP necro - panic button
Oh we made herald stacking - panic button

dude wtf just make it end end game hard to get bulds THATS IT


GGG WHO TOLD YOU that good and fun to play builds are BAD?

GG GGG WHO TOLD YOU that DUMB IDIOTIC literally 0 DPS clunky as bull ass skills(and builds) are GOOD?

pls answer 2 last questions.


to me these changes sound again like: one step forward two steps back...



“Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.”
― Christopher Hitchens
sounds like i might have to hit my armageddon brand elementalist again. it didn't use brand recall anyway, sounds like pure buff for it. not sure i want to take that route again though...
Good changes. Nerfing is inevitable, and if you can't handle that, please head for the door and mind the gap between REALITY and EXPECTATIONS. It's a long, hard fall if you miss the jump.

All in all, time to play yet another new build this time around! Maybe I'll go with the Slam Jam they're throwing our way, or maybe try my hand at some funky, wacky mix-up with that Arcanist Brand, or hell, maybe I'll just go SHOUT Monk and scream my way to the top like most of the kids in this thread. "REEEEEEEEEE!" to victo-REEEEEEEEEE!
"In order to make slam skills fun and more appealing, we will nerf anything that isn't a slam skill or traps/mines(because these always need to clear all content with almost no investment)".

'The spiritual successor to Diablo 2'. Did you guys even play D2? The game was just years of power creep, which is why it was great for so long. This isn't a moba. Arpgs need power creep to remain interesting, so stop pretending that the patch notes need to read like League of Legends.

Balance is an illusion, and all you're doing is removing fun and choices. Stop caving to the self hating new gen who want every genre to be some frustrating pvp esport wannabe. It's a pve kill n chill hack n slash, and these games will always have a low skill ceiling by default. Removing choices or changing numbers won't ever change that. Go back to your D2 roots.
Really good changes targeting the right things. A little bit worried leech immune slid under the table though.

I think removing 20% of more damage from duel wield is an insane overreaction though.

Sometimes when GGG nerf or buff stuff I am like, "Do they actually know how much of a change that is?"

For instance, they could remove 10% of the build's damage. But instead they tend to completely kill stuff or make stuff OP broken.

RIP juicers it was fun while it lasted.

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