What happened to the concept of balancing out the game?

After the very unpopular move to nerf oml, the explanation given was that the developers were trying to balance the game so that no one toon or combination of toons like oml+pnx and panthos would dominate pvp gameplay.  While this was a noble pursuit, it appears as though you guys have given up on this cause as you follow up some of the worst and least competitive 5* new releases ever (im looking at you starlord and doc oc) with the single most OP 5* release in game yet with Gambit.  Now as much as I’d love to just rule over any shard with a massive 5* Gambit that automatically feeds 3 AP to both of his damage powers every round, while also being able to wipeout all enemy CD and special tiles every other round or so, it just feels way out of balance from what a fair fight should be.  It’s basically going to cause every node in pvp to be against a championed Gambit until enough players have been forced to chase him to catch up to everyone else, at which point, we can all expect him to get nerfed into oblivion like OML. Why not just create balanced 5s right off the bat to make them all desireable and effective in certain situations so that we can see a more diverse and more fun playing field?  It’s almost like the designers have never played the game before and have no understanding of how it works. 

It’s fine to release a popular character with cool, new, and effective powers but they should all be released this way so that people are allowed to have and use different favorite characters.  I personally can’t stand Gambit and really was looking forward to having a playable doc oc but the way they are both designed has made it so I really will have no choice but to use the one I’d rather not play and will have no use at all for the other one I would.   Please take another look at the recent new releases and go back to the drawing board as far as balancing powers and new toons (especially the heavily sought after 5*s) are concerned. 



  • Dormammu
    Dormammu Posts: 3,531 Chairperson of the Boards
    While I'm not necessarily agreeing with the entirety of this post's sentiment, I will say that it is amazing to consider the gap between Doc Ock and Gambit. But in the 5-star tier it seems a character is either really amazing or wholly awful, with no middle ground. And their status changes from moment to moment and from release to release.

    Maybe the next 5-star release will have some crazy power that makes Ock king of the hill through synergy, and everyone will be screaming 'nerf ock!'.  :p
  • Jaedenkaal
    Jaedenkaal Posts: 3,357 Chairperson of the Boards
    You know, I'm fairly sure that this concept of "the designers know perfectly well how to make 100% balanced characters, but they actively choose not to" is blatantly false.
  • Deeznutz1234
    Deeznutz1234 Posts: 15 Just Dropped In

    Is it just me, or does anyone else think that the concept of a toon automatically generating 3 AP each for its other 2 powers every turn is unbelievably ridiculous?  As if actually matching tiles and collecting AP is just an afterthought or a bonus?  This just seems like a lazy and inelegant way to create an OP toon to try and bait players into whaling him as far as I’m concerned.  Why not incorporate some sort of element that requires playing and/or strategizing over in order to obtain this AP like everyone else in the game?  This is just taking the concept of a passive power way too far in my opinion. Is there any other power in the game where absolutely zero conditions need to be met in order to gain AP? And as if it weren’t bad enough to automatically generate AP every turn for nothing based on zero playing or strategizing, the designers decided to have it occur at such a high quantity for not just one but 2 separate colors.  What’s the next logical progression for this type of OP passive power?  Just have someone that automatically downs an enemy target every round?    Why even have the game be playable at all?  Why not just create a new toon that automatically wins just by rostering them? As long as it creates damage on both sides that require health packs and money to be spent in order to keep playing them, the game designers should be happy right?   

    I get that character design is hard and that creating balanced and well thought out additions to this game is more of an art than an exact science but, to this point, I’d like to suggest that the designers slow down a bit and put some more thought and care into the product they’re selling and profiting from.  At the very least, take the time to listen to the feedback from the loyal and passionate fan base that supports this game and prioritize making the adjustments needed for better balance sooner than later instead of just trying to bait us into chasing the next new shiny thing they’re selling.  As the powers that be pointed out while nerfing oml, this balanced approach to toon creation is better for the long term health and sustainability of this game which is in everyone’s best interests.  There’s only so many times that the designers will be able to get away with the bait and switch involved with releasing highly OP toons only to nerf them after a certain threshold of players that have already chased them and obtained them has been met.  I think taking the time to make sure all of your existing releases are acceptable as far as a certain quality standard is concerned will go a long way towards establishing a firm foundation of trust with the game’s patrons and will inevitably lead to increased sales and profitability which is understandably the designer’s main goal with further game development.  Currently, it just doesn’t seem a whole lot of thought is being put into these new toons either before they’re released nor after and I really think that needs to change.

  • broll
    broll Posts: 4,732 Chairperson of the Boards
    I don't know if it's just you, but it doesn't bother me.  Especially given the side effect that it blocks other moves of the same color making it difficult to use him as a battery for other moves of that color.  I'm excited to get a chance to truly try him, which might be a while.
  • Blindman13
    Blindman13 Posts: 504 Critical Contributor
    Yes, at first glace, an ability to auto generate AP in 2 colors sounds like too much, but the fact that he also forces you to use that AP on his other two powers, which are not that great on their own is what balances him out.
    His main damage output is tied to countdown tiles, so first you have to wait for him to generate enough AP to fire, and then wait for the countdowns to resolve before he starts doing any real damage, which means you are already 6 or 7 turns into the match. Gambit requires pairing with the right team to make him strong, otherwise he is just a mid-tier character.
    Along those lines, you brought up Doc Oc, they gave him a match ending ability, the made it difficult to active and paired it with mediocre abilities to balance him out. Much like Deadpool's whales; not only do you have to get the AP to trigger whales, but you have to have saved up points from previous matches in order to get the full effect. The argument can be made that they went too far in offsetting Oc's ability, and that is what makes him one of the worst 5*, but the attempt to provide a balanced character is evident.
  • Deeznutz1234
    Deeznutz1234 Posts: 15 Just Dropped In
    It’s obvious you guys haven’t come across a championed 5* gambit yet in the game which is understandable as he was just released but I promise you once you do, you’ll have bit more perspective on Gambit’s damage output.  Especially when you see him in action with black bolt and/or Hawkeye.  Just making it so others on your team can’t use other red or purple powers doesn’t make up for the fact that Gambit will be able to automatically fire his powers every 2-3 turns without even having to factor in the extra AP generated each turn by matching tiles.   Gambit hitting a target on your team for 7k+ every 2 rounds is bad enough on its own but the fact that his purple overwrites all special tiles including cd tiles makes him extremely OP.  But more than that, my main point just has to do with the lack of overall balance that the disparity between recent releases like doc oc and Gambit massively highlights.  Usually there is some sort of correlation between how quickly and easily a power can be launched with its effectiveness, with an intent to offset certain pros with relative cons.   The only cons you can point to with gambit is that he prevents others from using powers in the same colors he is auto generating AP for which I argue isn’t really a con since his powers are effective enough on their own to not warrant other uses for AP of that color and the fact that one of his damage powers is tied to cd tiles.  Compare that with doc oc who’s powers are all tied to tiles that can be matched away and who has a much higher barrier to meet in order to use any of them, with much less overall effectiveness across the board. Maybe these characters seem balanced in theory but, in my experience, they don’t play out that way in game - not by a long shot.  My opinion is that gambit and doc oc in particular are two new releases that are very poorly balanced and that it is exactly this type of undesirable game design that is at the root of the issues that the designers have explicitly stated that their intent was to address when they nerfed oml.   
  • Jaedenkaal
    Jaedenkaal Posts: 3,357 Chairperson of the Boards
    5* Thanos and Infinite Power should shut Gambit down pretty quickly. For a few turns, I guess. Black Widow also seems like she might have some use. I offer those only as conjecture as I am nowhere near actually playing in the 5* meta.

    There's definitely a challenge between making characters balanced, and making them different and exciting. I think I would personally rather that D3 lean towards making characters different (and potentially unbalanced) than err towards making all characters the same (and inherently balanced).

    Having some characters better than others is a definite side effect of this process.

    I'm not arguing that Doc Ock isn't bad, and I'm sorry that you were looking forward to him and not to Gambit. I'm sure that you can see, though, that this is only your experience, and there could easily be someone with the opposite experience, and others who are somewhere between those extremes.
  • Deeznutz1234
    Deeznutz1234 Posts: 15 Just Dropped In
    You’re missing the point. Of course I understand that my experience and my opinions are my own and that there will be different experiences and opinions out there.  It’s pretty obnoxious that you feel the need to point that out but, that’s just my opinion.  Of course there will be others with the opposite opinion and some in-between but I’d like to move beyond just pointing out the painfully obvious. 

    To your point about there being a challenge between making characters balanced and different and exciting, I just don’t agree with you there in the slightest.  These concepts are nowhere near mutually exclusive as indeed d3 has had a lot of success actually in creating new and exciting characters that are also balanced. In fact, I truly believe that most of their recent 4* releases have been this way. They all have their own specific uses and cover a wide spectrum of game play.  I’m more focused on the 5* tier which you admittedly have little to no experience in while that’s been primarily my focus of game play for over the last year.  I don’t have a problem with some characters like doctor strange being more useful for pve than pvp for me or others having more usefulness in certain situations as opposed to others like black suit spidey against oml.  In fact, I think that’s what I like most about the game and what im actually requesting there be more thought and energy invested into as far as game design goes. I don’t really care about wanting to use doc oc over gambit - I was just making a point that since both are in the 5* tier and are of the highest echelon in rarity, that they both deserve to be somewhat balanced and equally useful and desirable, albeit not necessarily for the same situations.  

    The more I think about it, the more it comes down to just the increasingly OP nature of certain passive powers that are being released.  When you play black bolt and gambit together, you are being enabled to do damage and gain AP automatically which just seems like it’s going a bit too far to be fair in my opinion.  I totally get why people like it and want to use that combo but it just doesn’t seem in the spirit of actually playing an interesting and diverse competitive game to me.  Just like it might be exciting for a while to just be able to down an entire enemy team automatically after just two turns but would a power like that actually be any fun or good for the game after a while?  There just needs to be some sort of line with these passive powers and a bit more vigilance on the designers’ part when it comes to balancing them out.  And again this isn’t just something I’m bringing up to complain about out of the blue or anything. This is a specific problem that the designers themselves have made it very explicitly clear that is an ongoing issue for them and one that they’re very aware of and have a very vested interest in addressing.  

    Just like hardly anyone that had him championed wanted d3 to nerf oml, players are going to always want OP characters, especially if they can have them when most others don’t but my point here is that’s not always what’s in the best interest of the game and/or it’s long term sustainability.  I’m all for new and different characters with exciting and interesting abilities.  I just want them to be somewhat balanced across the tiers.  Creating one character that’s ridiculously ineffective like doc oc and another that’s much more than marginally useful like gambit is one of this game’s biggest flaws.  It’s results in very monontous gameplay where players pretty much all use the same teams over and over bc there just so much better than any others. We’ve seen it with oml+pnx, panthos and now are about to see it again with gambolt.   There’s a glaring similarity in every case and it usually comes down to some sort of OP passive power.  I’d like to see this addressed before or soon after new toons are released as opposed to a year later (as it currently occurs) after most have already spent their time and resources chasing these toons so they can catch up to the new meta being defined by them.  Specifically, d3 can start by buffing doc oc and nerfing gambit a bit. The need to do both should be painfully obvious to anyone that’s had any experience playing with or against either.