Game balance and why I will be leaving this game for now.

Let me get a few things straight: I am not trying to rile anyone up for any kind of cause, as in nerfing, buffing, changing or adding things, neither am I looking for sympathy or counter-feedback.
I am creating this topic because the page with support tickets suggested I’d rather do this than occupy space with more pressing submissions, but I would’ve rather sent a private ticket quietly.
The purpose of this message is to just make my voice heard, let you know that there are people like me and, of course, considering I am probably not alone, add another grain of sand to that minority, without regards to how small the impact would be to the shift of your priorities. And, of course, to lay several things off my chest.

I’ll try to stay on course and get to the point, but pardon me an occasional sidetrack.
Let’s begin with context and start with who I am and what I got from the game, and what I wanted from it.
I am very fond of this genre of games, having sunk a lot of time into games like Left 4 Dead and Killing Floor. I simply enjoy jollly cooperation as much as the next person. I came for the paladin boy Kruber and stayed for buildcrafting and trying things out.

Climbing the power and hero levels I came to slowly grasp the mechanics of the game. It never got old, from replaying the same 4 maps during Beta to… Replaying the same 13 maps after release. Being the kind of player I am I usually enjoy playing healer characters or tanks, something focused on cooperation. Rushing in to save your buddy, getting in to create breathing room, generally watch out for each other and whatnot. Overcoming overwhelming odds together, because you felt like you needed others around you for the task ahead.
I still remember people not being used to ambushes (a little skitter-skitter before dung hits the fan), people would quickly scatter to search for a secure position. And generally hold together and scrape by for any supplies you could find along the way, since, once again, you needed them.

Fastforward a bit and some fancy things like more cosmetics and reds rolled out. You were happy to complete a level and get a shiny for your favorite boy/girl just for the sake of it.
When I got those dozens of red trinkets and baubles I started branching out to try various other careers and builds ready at hand.
At that point the game already had an established meta, so it was always interesting to dance around it. Another draw of the game, as I never was a guide or a breakpoint guy, so trying to make something work was alluring.

Fastforward to now, I know all the maps, I already have all the main cosmetics and reds I need, I have tried dozens of various builds I found comfortable and inventive, the main allure now is just gameplay, atmosphere and characters of the game.
And… Now for something completely different. I’ve felt this way for a long time, but putting it into words sounds like a confession. This game changed me dramatically and looking at it from a perspective is somewhat eye-opening for me.
I want my teammates to die. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Whenever I see certain careers somewhere deep inside I feel disgusted that (as I imagine) players have the satisfaction of feeling useful and skillfull just by erasing the challenge in a couple of clicks. I would stop marking supplies, watch someone fall and occupy myself with more menial tasks in hopes they don’t survive. Just to do something, feel that rush of facing overwhelming odds and not steamrolling them.
Half the time I would just go do my thing like they do, half the time I would just follow the party and literally not do anything unless things really went south.
And I am being honest by saying this: I rarely see this divine punishment people always talk about when someone dares to forsake teamwork and everything is suddenly ruined. Majority of the games are still won, either regardless of my presence or with me just clicking things on my own. Yes, on Legendary, with full books and grimoires, just so we’re clear on this.
From the game turning into a first person shooter, separation of waves, specials and bosses to the point where the components are way lesser than their sum and to the abundance of supplies where you throw most of the potions away and drink draughts just to top off, or live entirely on temporary health, this is no longer a game for four people to combine their efforts to achieve a common goal, this is a game for four people to make their own fun. Not mentioning numerous individual nerfs to bosses, specials and patrols and all the playerside buffs.

In conclusion I want to say several things.
No, I do not want to do deeds or to use mods, I don’t want some quirky challenges, I just really like the vanilla experience and I wanted it to live up to the finely crafted challenge and potential it could have had (yes, I am speaking for myself and strictly my own point of view, obviously). Besides I always play with random people, I don’t have a group or friends to establish such an arrangement. Nor do I see why should have to require a group just to play the game it deserves to be played (yes, again, this is just my opinion). I do not claim to be godlike or even really good at this game, if anything I am a bit masochistic in difficulty sense as I enjoy a challenge. But the whole point of this is the fact I just finally realized wishing for my teammates to fail or compete with them for a slice of fun instead of helping each other while actually trying to give it my all is not what I want to experience.

And, obviously, I wouldn’t write all of this if I didn’t care for the game. It is past midnight and I am just having a minor breakthrough, since I rarely post on forums or whatnot. Just wanted my couple of cents out there, not because it’s something new (it is not), but because every cent counts.
I am departing with utmost love for the game, it being pretty much my go-to way to spend free time for the last several months, I hope it grows to be better, regardless whether it goes my way or the opposite, and yes, I do understand that in development not everything is easy, there are other things you need to do despite tweaking numbers seeming like such an easy thing at a first glance. I am just personally opting out for now.
Big thank for read.

TL;DR Geam too ez lol xDDDDD

9 Likes

Great post.

Whenever I see certain careers somewhere deep inside I feel disgusted that (as I imagine) players have the satisfaction of feeling useful and skillfull just by erasing the challenge in a couple of clicks.

This is me, completely. I’m 100% in support of your position.

I knew I had a problem when I simply quit any party with a WS, BH or Pyro in it. Or both. OR any of them. If I could get in a sneaky rifle shot to the back of the head of these classes I would whenever I got the chance.

I am also glad when a WS gets downed and dawdle about letting them get ripped up simply so I have a couple of minutes where it’s bit more pressure and team-like without the Ult-Delete firing off every minute. I’m cheering on the gunner to target the pyro and shoot them to ribbons before they can burning head everything.

I deliberately won’t use the auto-win weapons (halberd etc) and the abusable Classes simply because it feels cheap to me. I play huntsman a lot as it feels like a higher skill class, and requires some aiming and concentration to survive. Playing as HS and in a party of ult-delete classes or those with unlimited ammo is blood-boilingly frustrating.

In an attempt to recapture the challenge you describe, I’ve got myself some 50 - 100 power weapons, I take the Health on Boss Kill at level 20 talent, and go back to play recruit and veteran. Many of the “recruits” haven’t unlocked the insta-win, abusable talents and it just feels like more of a team effort. Punishment for being silly is usually quite swift as there’s none of the get-out-of-jail buffs at higher levels. NO temp health, No ult removing overcharge, no CDR spam builds and no forgiveness for charging into the distance.

This is how I enjoy the GAMEPLAY, as there’s no real benefit to playing Champion or Legend, as it’s fill of auto-delete, meta-game monty haul players who can simply plough through without being team players at all.

3 Likes

I stopped playing regularly after I got the master’s frame. At that point I had experienced enough to know how my next 100+ matches would go. It’s a shame too, since the melee combat is the most enjoyable I’ve experienced in a videogame.

If there was something else to do other than just running full book mission on legendary on a loop, and it had desirable rewards to boot (not recolors of things we already have or very-slight changes of default equipment), then interest might actually get revitalized unlike what we saw with the first DLC. Adding in last stand mode would be a good step towards this.

I definitively agree with you.
I’m on phone so I’ll edit this later, but the hardest part from me is to chose between taking a talent that seems fun and suits my build, but is too strong, or taking something else that is not OP

Maybe I’m misunderstanding something, but, you’re writing that you want the real team play where everyone works together , but at the end you are quitting/mistreating other players because they are not good enough/play in a different way/have a different “game philosophy”/are not sticking to your style. I apologize if I could not get the right idea, but isn’t this a little bit egocentric? I mean, “I like things only when others adhere to my convictions” isn’t the best way to have a relationship, right?
Instead of taking revenge for your frustration on people spending their time with you, why not looking for fellas who have your same philosophy? You are already 4 in this thread, just pm each other and take note of your steam nick? Wouldn’t be easier?
This are my 2c, I wish all of you can find what you’re looking for, if you can’t find joy in playing a game (aka investing your quality time) it’s, for sure, better to look in another direction.
Sheeps… now I understand why I’m getting shoot/kicked all the time :expressionless:

2 Likes

It’s not about not playing the same philosophy, it’s just about the careers balance.
The game is supposed to be about cooperation, and with the actual balance some careers (mostly ranged) just make cooperation optional, and are poorly punished for running around alone and taking risks that SHOULD get the team wiped or almost wiped.

Sure, those people have to be good, career doesn’t make it all, but even good player should be punished for running alone and not having any cooperation.

Everything I’ve described is not something I often act upon, just something I have noticed about myself and have to admit. It is more about the mindset the game puts me in to wish certain things rather than about me actually doing these things.
It is not about philosophy or style, there are simply so many “win the videogame” buttons out there (and people know who and what those are, I will withhold myself from a balance rant) that for people like me the process of winning the videogame evaporates.
And it is not personal, people just want to win the videogame, can’t blame them, so it’s more about a back-and-forth relationship with the game itself. I don’t demand anything of players because the game doesn’t, I just wish it wasn’t so.
Vengeful intentions or a dark mindset (I know it’s overly dramatic, my vocabulary is just not really that rich to properly describe it :stuck_out_tongue: ) is a consequence of it all and just stems from my human nature, it is not something I am proud of, but it is there for all the wrong reasons.

I cannot disagree about this. Right now the game doesn’t work this way, but you can still make it work if the game experience is what you look for (and not the end of match box).

If the game balance is what is bothering you, you could partake in threads which discuss changes to the system. Or you make suggestions yourself.

I think the problem lies in the talent trees and that the initial state of the careers are already extremely strong. With some changes to the talent trees characters could still be able to do certain stuff but would have to accept weakness in other areas so that teamplay is more enforced. But currently single careers can fight alone without issues.

Problem is, while you find people that think many of the current careers are to strong you will find nearly noone that will support some kind of nerf or change because they could also be affected. So balance threads will normally be criticised to death or just completely ignored.

fix it :stuck_out_tongue:
putting stupid remarks aside, I understand your points, just I think you can fix/push aside those things you find annoying looking for a group of people with the same mindset (like @Winthiefow) and with the help of a couple of mods, like (not sure about the name) spawn tweak, deathwish, savage, vanguard something. I know you wrote that you prefer the vanilla, but with a small effort you can try something that probably is more satisfying.

or in my case, I don’t have enough insight in the game mechanics/numbers/code for proposing something. I can point something I think it doesn’t work as intended, but not knowing the choices/path behind the decisions, I cannot support/suggest.

This is not a problem. As long as you don’t take your own opinion as inrefusable it can all be discussed. Balance questions should be tackled in discussion anyway. Main goal is to show developers that there is interest and that there are ideas out there. You don’t need 100 % insight on something. Just an opinion is more than enough.

I understand, but if I don’t know what I am talking about, the best thing to do is read/listen and try to understand.

I do not think the game is too easy… it is enough to look the average player: he he can not even play legend.
Instead, if a player has 100000000000000 hours it is normal to find the game easy… this happens in every videogame. You do not want deeds, but developers can’t shape the game difficulty on you.

An average player is not supposed to be able to tackle the hardest difficulty the game can throw at you, that is nothing out of the ordinary. You can play an average difficulty until you get ready to move on or stay where you are comfortable.
If someone has a lot of time in the game that doesn’t make it easy. That just means you know what you are doing and the purpose of the difficulty is to test that knowledge. I would understand this logic for a linear single player game you could memorize, this, on the other hand, is a replayable multiplayer experience with many variables.
And let me be upfront: there is a difference between “tailoring a difficulty to me” and making a proper difficulty in general. Besides, I’ve never said the game is easy… Unless you just read the TL;DR and took it at face value. But there are a lot of ways to break it apart and make easy, and I don’t think having to choose between having fun and trying to win is good game design.
Personally I abstain from making balance suggestions, there are plenty of good threads about it already. But I’ve seen enough for my lifetime, from meta mains blindsided because they believe everything else is just underpowered to people literally suggesting Sienna should be overpowered because she is a mage and… Lore and magic, I don’t know. I don’t want the voice of suddenly not-so-average “elite” filth like me to drown, is all.

In fact it is already so. I simply say what the statistics say… only a small % of players can handle legend. Thing that also I can see with my eyes: when I search random players, most of them are bad. If a player has mastered the game there are deeds… also hardest game becomes easy after a lot of hours. Just PvP game can offer an endless challenge.

I would love to do deeds but you can’t join deed games, there is no system to find other people that want to play deeds and deeds are also way to scarce.

I’m all for a mutator system.

3 Likes

It sounds to me like you got good enough (as did many of your peers) that the highest vanilla category just doesn’t give you the same fun that it used to. Furthermore, you don’t want to have to do “quirky” stuff to find more fun in the game. I get that. I’m guessing that if Fatshark released EPIC difficulty tomorrow you’d be all over it.

In VT1 a lot of people got to where you’re at with the top “cata” difficulty and started burning out. It was the arrival of “Stormvermin Mutation” and “Deathwish” that really revived the game for a lot of people. They were mods, yes, but just standard enough (and, more importantly, fun enough!) to set up an alternate world of play. There was also no mod-sanctioning, which sucked for running into cheaters and griefers but streamlined modded challenge-play.

If you really aren’t feeling like reaching out on discord or reddit or wherever to get into modded games, or deeds, or duo games or whatever, then I think stepping away for a bit probably is your best option. VT2 was deliberately designed to be “expandable” in terms of mutators and other challenges drawing on the lessons of VT1. They haven’t tapped into a lot of that potential, yet, but I’m pretty sure they will. Eventually.

4 Likes

I’ve thought about it, but I don’t actually think a new difficulty would solve the problems.
It’s been discussed before, the relative balance will be skewed regardless of how much you beef up the enemies. What I mean is I’d still occasionally stumble into off-meta random groups. One time we started arguing the viability of sword and shield, tried it out and in a couple of games we suddenly started running Battle Wizard/Shield Kruber/Witch Hunter/Ranger Veteran.
And it was one of the most fullfilling experiences. Things were not falling in packs but we made steady progress, had our moments and died close to the end, but universally agreed the whole thing was rather fun and, had we been a bit more coordinated, would’ve pulled out a victory.
I am not that great at the game, I’m just adequate enough to get the job done. Now, the thing is right now put someone like that on the right career and all you need to do is just have three extra bodyguards to push a few specials that can crowd control you off and you’re set, rather than combining all that effort to have a chance.
And regarding the statistics: I’ve browsed a few threads, you’ve already been told how out of context and meaningless the numbers you pull are, no offence, I’ll not duplicate it here.

we are going no where, I hope you’ll find something worth, enjoy it and maybe come back, cya!

Why not join the Fatshark Discord https://discord.gg/K6gyMpu