Edited by SuperWimp at 10-31-2013 01:21 PM
This is an open letter to all Castle Clash players and developers who support nerfing.
It is never okay to nerf. When I say "nerf", I'm talking about when the developers intentionally change (usually weaken) the attributes of a particular character or feature, in order to keep the game "balanced". Specifically, I'm talking about cases where these adjustments are made after the original attributes have already been "in the wild" for a significant period of time (e.g., more than a week?). There is a huge difference between "balanced" and "fair", and if Castle Clash can only be one of these, it has to be fair.
When a new character or feature is introduced to Castle Clash, it changes the game for everyone equally. That is, all players are given an equal opportunity to adjust their game strategy accordingly. A new hero might be over-powered or under-powered, but in the beginning no one has that hero yet, so it shifts the playing field for everyone. Everyone has the same chances of receiving that hero from the alter, and everyone who gets it starts at level 1. It might be random, but it's definitely fair.
Now let's fast-forward a few weeks. Some players have received the new hero, some have not. Some players have kept the new hero and trained it, others have consumed it to power up their veteran heroes' skills. Some players may have gained a significant advantage from the new hero, others may have watched their Arena rank drop because of it. In fact, maybe the top 100 rankings in the Arena are dominated exclusively by players who received and trained the new hero, and the entire "balance" of the game has been all but destroyed. But regardless of the outcome, the fact remains that everyone started on a level playing field.
If a particular outcome is "unbalanced", developers can restore the balance...but they should strive to do so in a manner that is fair. Nerfing an established character is not fair, no matter how well it balances out the game. It basically punishes this group of players:
- Those who dedicated their time or money to acquire the character.
- Those who analyzed the character's attributes and adjusted their game strategy accordingly.
- Those who were lucky.
- Those who respect the rules of the game.
...and rewards this group of players:
- Those who just want to win without putting in the time or resources.
- Those who don't have a strategy or don't want to change their strategy.
- Those who are unlucky.
- Those who believe they can change the rules if they just complain enough.
That doesn't create fairness--that creates pointlessness. There's no point in playing a game where the rules change every time you start winning. What would happen at the World Series of Poker if halfway through the tournament, all the short-stacked players convinced the casino to make $1,000 chips worth only $1? Well...that would certainly "balance the game", but so what? Not only would the whole game be pointless, but winning the tournament would be meaningless.
So, every time the topic of "nerfing" comes up, remember the following...
Developers: When you nerf an established hero--or make any significant changes that sacrifice fairness for balance--you are basically hurting the integrity of Castle Clash just like you would be if you allowed hackers to win. The end result is the same: there's no point in playing. If you release a hero that's over-powered, release another hero that balances it out. Every time you nerf a character, you're destroying a huge amount of time and resources that your customers have already dedicated to that hero because they trusted you to (1) test your code BEFORE releasing it, and (2) to stand by your decisions afterward. Selling us lemons is forgivable; taking them back after we've made lemonade is reprehensible.
Players: When you complain about a character being over-powered and suggest that IGG developers make it weaker, you are no longer just a loser in Castle Clash--you're now a loser in life too. Play the hand you were dealt, get a better hand, or shut up and lose with dignity. At this table, Aces are high and no one cares about you Queens.