When balancing a game, there are several avenues to take with regard to game balance. Each one results in a very different game over time. I’m hoping to highlight three different theories I’ve seen in very successful games and get an answer to how the devs plan to approach the issue.
Continuous patches and sweeping changes. League of Legends is particularly known for this. Riots patches can massively effect the metagame of LoL and buffs/nerfs to champions consistently bring them in and out of the pool of competitive play. The game is constantly being tweaked around what the community sees, and changes are frequent.
Regular patches and minor changes. This theory is a bit more how Valve/IceFrog balance Dota 2. Patches are fairly regular (every couple of months) but changes are generally very minor. Changes can of-course remove heroes from the competitive set, but that isn’t always the case. Furthermore, the game is generally balanced around the very highest levels of play rather than what the community at large would like.
Never change the game, let the metagame Evolve (heh heh) naturally. At first this seems entirely counter-intuitive, especially in a time when developers seem to pander to the lowest common denominator with constant patches and updates. However, this theory is not without merit or precedent. Super Smash Bros. Meele in particular has never been changed or balanced. However, based on this graph it’s clear that character tiers have shifted regularly over the life of the game. Dedicated players will figure out strategies to counter what may have previously been deemed “OP”.
I only ask because despite the game not even being released there are already cries of “OP”. I saw a player just yesterday play against Abe a single time and deem the Hunter “OP”. Kraken has already been changed based on feedback from the Alpha. Certainly reacting to community feedback is a good thing, although I do tend to wonder whether it was in-fact too soon? Did players really play enough games against the Alpha and have the time and experience necessary to change their tactics and adapt to the new monster enough to deem it “OP”. I want to make it clear that I’m not criticizing - I couldn’t be more hyped for this game - I’d just like to know where this ride is going to take me.
So - TRS, what’s the plan? Evolve community, what direction would you like to see the game go in?