Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How much is too little?

As S2 finally pushes out their latest patch containing their own iteration of Storm Spirit this week, people are again, for the time being, happy campers. For a lot of people, however, this patch was something they expected at least a week ago as this patch did mark one of the longest pauses in HoN patch history.

Now, it's no secret that people love patches. Free content and changes are what make the game interesting to hardcore fans. This is a very one sighted opinion, however, as game designers and balance gurus will often be all too glad to hit you over the head with a newspaper when you ask them why a patch doesn't come out every week. According to them, game balance needs time to settle, and changing things too drastically too fast can often result in some very all over the place heroes that are changed too radically too often.

On the other hand... not changing things often enough can lead to some long term glaring imbalances... mysterious shadow women in this article shall remain nameless.

Wanted: Nerfed or Alive

So how much is too much, and more importantly, how much is too little? Were the glaring imbalances created by [mysterious shadow woman] not enough to persuade a nerf? Or was uploading the patch for something as small as that simply not worth spending the Bandwidth?

The concept that "overchanging" a hero within a short period of time can lead to disaster is something I agree with and that should be avoided. However, when you look at some hero change-logs and realize that they A) haven't been played at all for months and B) haven't been changed in months, you have to ask yourself why no helping hand has come yet.

Arguably, some heroes will simply become played more as other, similar heroes are nerfed. This is the case for heroes like The Dark Lady and maybe even Maliken. Perhaps my favorite change in this entire patch was the change to Devourer, a hero who really needed some sort of change.

"Devour slightly reworked."

In closing, I'm not asking S2 to come out with a patch every Friday (although that would be cool, don't get me wrong), I'm simply hoping that come soon, a lot of long term imbalances (both in the form of overpowered as well as underpowered) will finally be addressed.