Author Topic: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"  (Read 60966 times)

Offline Daft Loon

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2016, 08:32:31 pm »
Missing from the lochnagar notes:
- -100% jitter changed to -60%

Given that the Minotaur now has 2 shots with loch at 405 armor damage a piece this is probably necessary given the other changes.

Offline Dementio

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2016, 08:35:34 pm »
Wait what, what changes were untested? I haven't read a single thing that wasn't already in dev app before. Maybe some details about Flak and Lochnagar that I didn't bother memorizing, but everything else has been tested in one of those 3 weeks.

@Muse Why in the world would you think the Heavy Flak changes would make the Spire op? Why do I need an easily disabled heavy gun to kill a ship, when I can put a Hwacha on there that disables the enemy while killing them with a less easily disabled light gun that does twice the damage output (Mortar) or has an explosive damage type as well as shatter to disable enemy guns (Artemis)? Even if it does get OP on the Spire, has the thought occured that maybe the Flak needs to be looked at again, instead of nerfing the one ship that needed a buff even more than the Pyramidion and changing Lochnagar in a way that kills it for the few guns that actually had a use for it? The new Heavy Flak doesn't even work with the new Lochnagar! And the old one would probably still be worse then Burst Rounds.

I also feel like our feedback has not been looked into all that much. The values have basically been the same throughout 3 weeks and only around two things were actually changed in between weeks. Official testing is a nice thing to have, but it was damn redundant. Especially, because, on the dev app forum at least, I have not seen a single person that thought it was a good idea to buff the Squid, nerf the Spire and not buff the Pyramidion's speed in any way. Like, what? I imagine that the guys writing on the forum are the more active ones and actually write emails to feedback@muse as well, and unless they changed their opinion without stating so on the forum, to what degree was our feedback actually taken in? I personally see only one reflection from my feedback: The Mobula's bottom gun changes are back to 10 degrees instead of 15 from the last week of testing, and that's it? Everybody else thought "the other changes are perfectly fine, let's get going"? Three weeks worth of testing and barely anything got changed from the original values? That makes me believe Muse is playing a different game, with a blindfold while liquid happiness is pumped into their blood stream so they wouldn't notice how horrible some, not all, but some ideas are.

Pull that trick a second time, and you have to employ 16 more people to test the changes yourself. Nothing comes from it anyway. Even when I question some of Muse's decisions in terms of game balance and design choices, this effects me personally, because that was 3 weeks of waste.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 08:39:03 pm by Dementio »

Offline Keyvias

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2016, 09:44:13 pm »
@Untested changes
Definitely want to know which ones we missed. I'm pretty sure they were all caught and tested.

@Loch jitter
Fixed, good catch, copy paste error.

@Feedback
We get a crazy amount of conflicting data. Showing everything means people do what happens on the forums already which is someone points to another person saying it as proof that it is fact. We've tried showing numbers before and we were told "how dare we care about the numbers we should focus on what the players are saying."
Going through the data takes a lot of time already from sorting the data for every ship and gun usage to having meetings internally about decisions we've made. Putting out all the data and then having to defend the way we see that data is another step that doesn't earn us anything because there will be people that massively disagree with our interpretation.
You can believe that your feedback doesn't have any effect, but I name 11 changes specifically that would've been in this patch if not for feedback. Is that enough for you to keep testing? That's your decision. As I said I want to improve this communication because honestly the noise between good feedback and bad feedback is very hard to filter.
Do I think we listen to the right feedback perfectly? Of course not, but remove your own feedback from the mix read all the forum threads, then double that and add in people who aren't talking to each other and just on their thoughts. Who do you listen to?
I am not asking for slack or trying to make excuses. At the end of the day a decision has to be made on these things, we have to try to estimate the interactions between the changes to four ships, three guns and one ammo. Do I think we made the right choice? I am sure enough to try it in production, but it can be changed on the fly. If by tomorrow the spire is broken, unusable, and useless, we can change it. We can give it 400 more health, double how fast it moves up and down, make it the fastest ship in the game, or return it to how it was yesterday without closing down the servers for a second.
We want to be more active in balance, we want to finely hone this game, and we want to improve it.
And we're going to get it wrong.
We have before and that's going to happen, but we want to be quicker on fixing it. We want to find better ways to filter noise and get the right people saying the important things.

If we lost some of you for testing or some of you lost faith in Muse Games. I am sorry. Our purpose wasn't to annoy, frustrate, or ignore. It was trying to improve the game. We will keep trying and keep doing everything we can, including improving the testing communication and system.


Examples of data (for Spire)
Spire Winrate by all non-novice pilots: 58.38% +3.16% of the next highest (mobula), +7.88% of the ship average, and +10.24% of ship median.
Spire Winrate by all pilots over the level of 31: 71.52% +1.86% of the next highest (mobula), +4.32% of the ship average, and +5.65% of the ship median.

Examples of emails (for the arguments side not being said here)
"I just checked out dev app for changes and noticed Loch is now '-50% clip size' and back at '+125% damage'. This is a better solution than the ones I proposed! I think you guys are really close to having it right."
"Hwacha, It didn't feel like it wrecked the entire ship as often as usual. This is good."
"First off; Lochnegar viable on light guns? Finally. It's a much needed change"
" Turn decreases will definitely make it easier to dodge behind while brawling. Increasing armour slightly would be a nice change so it can at least survive a little while longer while flanked, especially with the Squid buffs."
"I was already a fan of using the rear pair of guns on the squid so i like the idea behind turning the rear gun sideways"
"You are one step away from making it (Pyra) a good ship"


@Changes made directly by feedback from players (number of changes we made over the weeks of testing so week 1 testing vs release)
-Gravity changes removed
-Hwacha autofire removed
-Mobula's arc changes scaled back
-Spires turning changes scaled back (was much higher)
-AI should not fire the harpoon
-Pyra mass increased
-Reduced screen shake
-Squid front gun arc put back in its proper place
-Squid rear gun moved slightly
-Lochnagar went from 65% back its normal 125%
-Hwacha got slower and almost lost range because of this, but was changed.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 10:01:28 pm by Keyvias »

Offline GeoRmr

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2016, 10:19:10 pm »
HE ACTUALLY DID IT THE ABSOLUTE MADMAN!

 8)

now lets just imagine how bad things would be if we didn't tell them anything
plz muse, stop trying to ruin your game - it's a pretty good one

lol nerf the weakest ship in the game
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 10:21:48 pm by GeoRmr »

Offline Hoja Lateralus

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2016, 10:23:10 pm »
First and foremost, this is something we're constantly monitoring and are going to be very active on. There was definitely a lot of time between the last balance patch and this one. We'll be releasing the final plans for that communication later. As I hinted on during the fireside stream even a player "elected balance president" to be the singular voice was brought up (and shot down, have no fear.) To help us cut through noise and provide better two way communication. We have a couple plans we're working on and will be introducing to try and make that communication path better.

Well, I don't know the details, but I don't understand. People are going to have different opinions about many matters. How are you planning to "fix" this? You can set your priorities or just prioritise based on your personal trust to the player and validity of his/hers argument.

These decisions mark a new starting point for us to look at in player feedback, win rate, and personal experience. These are not the final point, these changes are large and I have no doubt outlying cases will arise, but tell us the second you feel them. Tell us when the squid was untouchable to the goldfish or the flakfish has taken over every single game you play (just random examples)

So... this means you are just going to drop stuff into game and looks at stats (which may or not be of any relevance at all)? It feels like it.
This is pure theory, I have no data for it; but it feels like vets hop on to other ships, the viable ships, and you nerf them (because since vet play them, they gain more usage and winrate). You have nerfed pyramidion, usage and winrate dropped and now you've decided it's too low, so you buff it again. Squid may have low usage/winrate because it's a hard ship to use (and to crew!) so you buff it up to the point of riddiculousness. After some months new meta will form and for instance galleon will be buffed and squid nerfed.

Putting out all the data and then having to defend the way we see that data is another step that doesn't earn us anything because there will be people that massively disagree with our interpretation.

Doesn't earn you anything? This... this is extremely sad to hear. On the point of some people disagreeing you are denying any significance of community's opinion. As if the game isn't for people - the people are for the game. Many of us are not asking for all data, just some brief justification.

What are the reasons for individual ship balance changes? I don't understand, especially given negative feedback.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 10:37:04 pm by Mr.Disaster »

Offline Daft Loon

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2016, 11:22:49 pm »
For reasons unknown lochnagar gatling survives its clip by 1 shot worth of self damage

Offline Omniraptor

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2016, 11:38:26 pm »
@Keyvias What I mean is a paragraph, just three or four sentences about which problems each change serves to fix. These can be posted in devapp, or on the main forum. Goio is a complex system of interlocking mechanics and as you say a lot of thought goes into each change. Surely three or four sentences of your balance reasoning is not too much to ask.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 12:08:39 am by Omniraptor »

Offline Dementio

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2016, 11:44:11 pm »
I want people to notice, just for a second, how the examples of positive feedback do not include positive remarks on the Spire nerf or the Squid's increase in horizontal movement and how the Pyramidion was not considered as great yet.

The handling of controversial feedback is alright, it did apparantly result in more than the total four changes I was expecting and slight changes are better than going all out breaking the game. But I am disappointed that no other stats were touched. With 3 weeks of testing, could you not test to see if maybe the speed buff for the Squid is not necessary after all? Or that the Spire could do with an increase of some other stats if you are dead set on nerfing its mobility?

Because the Muse argues the Spire nerf with numbers, I will argue against a nerf without even buffing anything else on the Spire, by explaining what these numbers mean in the most uncomprehending way I can think of that late during the night. Yes, all the next few paragraphs are relatively random Spire ramblings and irrelevant to my opinions stated above.

They are also a lot of factors regarding win rates. I imagine that people are aware of the fact that you can literally do anything in pubs and still win? That's becsuse people that are aware of that likely communicate with their crew, something that most pub matches don't have. If, say, you take a Spire with Hwacha, Gatling and literally any explosive gun, how do you think people in pub matches fair against that? When I started the game, I ran a Spire with Hwacha, Artemis, Mortar and a Carronade, the killstreak was almost unstoppable. Two years later, I took it again in the Iron Fork of Friday and it had no competition, you would expect people to be able to communicate in there and not get killed by an full explosive Spire. Or maybe they did communicate, but then what could lead to their easy to come-by death? It could be possible that it is the amount of guns of the Spire + Lion Gun OP that makes it possible, but now the Hwacha is nerfed and so is Lochnagar Mine Launcher, which served as effective ram defense for the Spire.

The Spire is supposed to be a glass cannon and the nerf reflects that rather well. But the nerf and some indirect other nerfs change that to a coin flip: It's either glass or cannon. The Spire wins, if it ambushes, if it gets the first shot on people, disables them or kills them outright with more firepower than any other ship in the game. If it couldn't do that quick enough, than the enemy could always easily outmanouver the Spire gun arcs, disables the Spire's heavy gun and everything else for that matter or just kill it first. The Spire doesn't have the armor to compete in any 1v1, you must literally risk your life in order to ensure a kill. And now it is nerfed to when you miss your once chance, there really isn't a second one, because of all the ways any enemy ship could kill you, turning around fast enough in order to shoot before dying, was the Spire's only saving grace, now it can't anymore, or at least shouldn't, because that one survival chance is literally what Muse intended to remove.
Even with the previous Heavy Flak the Spire could get ridiculously easy kills, and nobody called that nerf-worthy.

Also note that the win rates for the Spire are lower when flown by non-novice pilots. Non-novice does not necessarily mean experienced. Imagine your average lvl 15 or 20 pilot that flies Spire against other players on the same level, assuming matchmaking works, he will win these matches, because most of them likely are not that in-depth with the game combat. Their ambushes will fail, if they even try to attempt it at all, their crew will be overwehlmed with the amount of damage they are taking, while being unable to disable the Spire and their pilot does either not know how to or react quick enough to outmanouver the Spire by going up, just a little bit.
Now let's look higher up on the spectrum, at people that know how the game works. And without much explanation, the Spire loses. Everything that worked in the favour of our lvl 15-20 pilot, is not going to work against people that understand how this game's combat works. They will abuse the Spire's weaknesses to the maximum, going above the gun arcs while still being able to hit their hull, disabling their heavy gun and shutting it down in long range, before it can even ambush. It doesn't need to be ambushed to die, which is what the nerf is trying to achieve here, it just needs to face somebody aware of its weaknesses and then any ship can win against it.
Thus, according to my fictional fantasy of my understand of all the playerbase, the extreme variation in skill levels balance the winrate for non-novice players.

"But then why is the win rate higher when the Spire is flown by pilots of the level over 31?": Because matchmaking doesn't work, it cannot work with that low of a playerbase in this game. High level players always meet the "I just came out of novice" guys, if they are not still novices. If the low levels take a Spire, then they lose against higher level players who are capable of abusing the Spire's weakness. If the high levels take a Spire, they will win, because their opponent does not have the same understanding of the Spire or the game in general to combat a high level pilot effectively, especially not if that pilot has a crew on a similarly high level.

What is actually nerfed on the Spire, for the more experienced players, is its survivability in every situation. They need to be able to do something and turning was the one thing they could do. Now what? Spray and pray, #HwachaSavesLives? The win rates are not going to change dramatically, but gradually, so much that nobody looking only at numbers will care about the Spire and then it will quickly stop. The same principle of player (in-)competence applies, no matter the stats of the ship.

Offline Dev Bubbles

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2016, 12:13:41 am »
Hi Omniraptor, I've been prepping for GDC and at GDC (I'm in transit at the airport right now, so please excuse the short replies).  In short, what you asked for we did.  Whether people agreed with our starting point or not is a different matter, but with the overall communications, we did try to do what you suggested.  There are a few issues here with the process.  One is that, it's really hard for us to reach everyone.  Even with 4 weeks of testing and announcements, a lot of people don't know until today.  So finding a better method to make people aware is an issue that we'll need to do better.  The other thing is obviously how we account for, integrate, and replied to player feedback.  With feedback, we actually got a lot.  And as to be expected, they were varied.  People have different play styles, perspectives, natural biases etc, so it's natural for opinions to canvas a spectrum.  What we did do, was to log everything, read everything, and tried the best we could to figure out the issues and pain points.  Granted, our starting point was data.  We did look at different usage rates and win rates of different builds, ships, for different levels of play.  But we didn't end with data.  With balance it's definitely not easy for us. 

To you and Dementio's points, a lot of the stats of ships are interwoven and complex and there are a lot of variables affecting win rates and usage rates, and therefore difficult to hold things in constant.  We made an attempt at it.  Also on the point about looking at data, we do look at how things trended.  So it wasn't a short term horizon that we were looking at.  I do want to note that. 

As for now what, we will use today as a baseline to monitor, and if we see issues, we'll do our best to address them. 

Offline Jub Jub

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2016, 12:14:24 am »
I'd like to start this post by stating for the record that I'm posting as a player NOT a mod, and that anything I say is an attack against NO ONE. And furthermore would like to state that I too voiced several concerns about the new balance changes that were put into place, like just about everyone else on this thread so far.

This game/community has a serious identity problem, and it shows up again and again, specifically whenever the game gets a patch. I realize that I'm not the oldest guy/gal in the room here, and that many players have been sitting around this party called "Guns of Icarus", but I feel that after 3+ years of being apart of the community, I've about seen all that it has to offer. This problem stems from the fact that every time the game is brought up the two sides are arguing from two completely different perspectives. When Muse says "Hey, guys! We have some great new things that we'd love to hear your opinions on, come on into dev app and email us what you think!" the people they primarily get are competitive players (keep this in mind, it comes back later). Why? Because the competitive community loves the game and they want to see what's going on with it. And, if the player isn't competitive, I'd argue that they're generally more-or-less aware of the game's current meta and so-on-and-so-forth. These players represent the hardcore center of Icarus' veterans. This is not a bad thing!

The issue, is the sheer fact that these hardcore veteran, competitive, meta-capable people are going to have suggestions on how to balance the game in a COMPETITIVE MANNER. However, Guns of Icarus is not balanced around being Competitive. It's balanced around being Casual. And I believe herein lies the major issue. Every single complaint I've seen posted, in this thread and numerous others, focus around the game's competitive balance. Just look at all of the changes that Muse brainstorms to try and implement. A bunch of changes to make the Squid EASIER to fly. Changes to the Typhon Heavy Flak to make it EASIER to shoot. Increased armor/hull on Pyramidion, not to make it better to fly, but EASIER to survive on. The list goes on, and that's just THIS patch, not accounting for any previous balance patch that things were dumb-ed down to make it easier for newer players to pick up the game. I'm entirely for Guns of Icarus to be balanced around being competitive, but it isn't. And until then people giving any sort of feedback have to keep that in mind. The game isn't being balanced for the game's competitive scene. It's being balanced for the game's Novice Pub matches.

TLDR; The game isn't balanced around being competitive and the only feedback Muse gets is from competitive/meta-capable people, attempting/giving suggestions for how the game should be balanced, from a competitive perspective. I'm all for having the game be actually balanced around being competitive, but as of now it isn't. And this is why no one is ever happy whenever a balance patch goes through.

Offline DrTentacles

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2016, 12:21:17 am »
PvP games have to balance around competitive. If you balance around casual, players lose interest. It's as simple as that. They reach the ceiling, and find that it's shallow, and there's nowhere to go. This doesn't mean that you should have complexity for the sake of complexity-"Simple to learn, difficulty to master" should be a goal.

Offline ZnC

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2016, 01:02:11 am »
LION GUN OP is dead. LONG LIVE LION GUN OP!

Now that this isn't the Gravity Patch, I dub this the Loch Patch. It really needs -50% Rate of Fire.


Offline Keyvias

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2016, 01:13:40 am »
Jub Jub does bring up a very interesting point on Competitive vs Casual.

Guns of Icarus is not balanced solely around any one group, competitive or casual. There are definitely some ships that shine more in the highest level of play and some that shine is the simplest of novice games. No amount of changes can make everything the perfect Novice weapons or the perfect Pro weapons, but I do think you hit the nail on the head with we are all having different conversations.
The highest tier of play is very interesting, it has great games, but it does not define the way all the ships and guns work.  It is something to always be mindful of same as with a novice player. How will a novice player use a hwacha, how will a pro use the lumberjack.

Some things we couldn't trust a novice to use and were removed completely.

I don't think making the heavy flak have 4 shots makes the ceiling less.
As an example:
If a novice gunner has a 25% hit rate
Old Flak: There's a good chance he hits nothing.
New Flak: Statistically, he hits once.

If an expert gunner has a 75% hit rate
Old Flak: A good chance he hits both.
New Flak: Statistically, he misses one.

So I don't think this change sacrifices our expert gunners. People may like the feel of the old 2 shot better, and they definitely can feel that way, but I'd have a hard time believing that the weapon can be just as effective in lesser hands due to this change.

I don't know if all our feedback is from competitive players, but I would agree that a majority of it, especially on the forums does. It is something we could definitely explain better, such as with the spire numbers. Numbers wise, that ship is the most effective at winning, does that make it the best ship in the game for expert level matches, no, but it does provide a lens we look through when making changes.

Offline Omniraptor

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2016, 02:14:36 am »
News from the battlefield: Double loch gatling pyra is hilariously broken. Shreds permahull like nobodys business to say nothing of armor.

@Dev Bubbles I didn't mean specifically as a response to feedback, I meant to show your own views on the state of the game. The timing of these is before or right as you post devapp change notes. What are the problems you are trying to solve and gather feedback on? Stuff like this https://gunsoficarus.com/community/forum/index.php/topic,3420.0.html or this https://gunsoficarus.com/community/forum/index.php/topic,4115.msg70584.html
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 02:21:16 am by Omniraptor »

Offline DrTentacles

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Re: 1.4.5 New Balance Changes "When Ambush Comes To Shove"
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2016, 02:26:21 am »
Loch is unusable on heavy guns.