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A Passionate Critic of How Ankama Balance Characters

By MiiiiKy - MEMBER - June 14, 2019, 12:34:32
AnkaTracker
DISCLAIMER!!
 This was not done in spite of the developer or Ankama as a company itself, this is merely my stance on how things are going while I opt some solutions to this thing I perceived to be a problem!!


 With that disclaimer out of the way, let me say that I really enjoy this game, enjoy it so much I got into a real life marriage because of it so I'm quite bias when it comes to praise but that doesn't change the fact that some things about how Ankama manages this game displease me and I'm sure it also does many others, so this is about balancements and how Ankama does it and it basically boils down to:

"You get a nerf! You get a nerf!! EVERYONE GETS A NERF!!!"
 This is something that's been bothering me for a very long time, for Ankama to actually buff some classes takes ages but the nerfs keep coming and coming (or changes that just make something worst). Stop me if you've been in this situation before, you liked a class and got really comfortable learning all the strats and mechanics then suddenly, out of the blue, Ankama nerfs something VITAL to that class or change it entirely and now playing that class isn't as fun anymore and you either 1)Push through and changed your build/learn the new strat according to the new meta (Like me when they changed how Xelor Hourglass worked); 2)Quit that class entirely because it's no longer fun (Like my partner that used to be a Cra); 3)Quit the game temporarily out of frustration (Like a friend of mine when they changed how Enutrof worked); 4)Quit the game entirely (Like that same friend once he came back, made an Osa based on Badgeroxx then the summon got nerfed to the ground and he got double the frustration which made him give up).
 
The problem: getting nerfed isn't fun people like to pick strong classes because winning is fun (Crazy, I know), just look at the amount of Iop mains compared to Enutrof mains, no one likes to play with a weak class that struggles to level up while other classes just breeze through but it's even more frustrating when the class you picked suddenly gets nerfed, it just creates frustration between players in the end and push players to quit.
 
The solution: Instead of nerfing classes that are overperforming how about buffing classes that are underperforming until they all reach the same standards? There are MANY classes that are so weak they're basically only used to fit a specific role, like the Pandawas, people only use Pandawas as positioners tanks and I never, in my 5 years of Wakfu, ever saw someone play Pandawas in any other way (At least high level ones, the low level ones soon discover how weak Pandawa is and just switch to something else later). Buffing has the opposite effect of nerfing (duh), while nerfs bring frustration to people who play the class affected buffs give a chance to a class that previously was barely used which invite players to create a new character and finally try and see if that class that was considered so weak finally became viable.

Now I pose a question, which do you prefer?
1) Drag everyone down to the same standard as the lowest common denominator so every class is now as weak as that one?
OR
2) Boost everyone up to the same standard as the strongest classes so every class can be powerful in it's on merits?

Sadly I know this post isn't going to change anything but at least I took this off my chest..
12 -9
Reply
First Ankama intervention

Hello,

I won't go deep into the topic (class balancing) but I'll give you a small answer at least.

What both main sides say is understandable, but I'll add to the table our intention as the GD team : Balancing by improving everything isn't healthy. Balancing by nerfing everything isn't healthy either. Balancing is about finding the right... balance. And I believe it is done by making every class interesting in the content of the game.

For example, I could nerf to the ground every class, it wouldn't matter if the dungeons are made a lot easier. I could up them all to god level, and yet they still wouldn't be able to beat the hypothetical Stasis 1000 requirement to drop legendary items.

Please don't separate the "meta" the game forces the teams into, from the actual class balancing. It's a much deeper topic than it appears.

On another note, I wanted to let you know that we GDs, Devs, CMs, do spend a lot of time reading most of the threads in the english forum, even multiple times occasionnally.

Allow me to speak only for myself (Siu) and not on behalf of the team : I read english naturally, but I struggle with actually writing sentences and it takes me a lot of time to make sure I'm not writing gibberish.

As you may already know, we are not a team counting several hundreds of people. As such, the time we spend replying on the forum, is time we don't get to spend on fixing bugs, improving features, or adding new content to the game (or even balance a few classes). I'm not asking you to stop feeling how you feel about it, but I still want you to understand the reasons why.

Siu.

See message in context
Reactions 37
Score : 17379

I disagree.

Nerfs are required to some extent. 

Name one nerf that should've been instead, a buff to everyone else?

There's no such system in the game for this, and they'd just have to keep making more and more dynamic changes, which is taxing on the developers.

"waah my broken strat where i revive myself got removed"

yeah, good, that was cancer for the flow of gameplay

"waah iop no longer has infinite +AP"

because at end game if you took Return 1 twice you'd literally end up killing things above level 185 content for the cost of 1-2 WP

this game up-scales characters so much already, they can't afford more buffs without literally redoing certain classes. This isn't a healthy solution for Wakfu in my honest opinion, and the dev team is of course limited as well.

9 -9
Reply
Score : 4082

Sure.. Let's nerf everyone..
Let's make more players quit the game, why not?..
The reason why those strats were OP in the first place is because the other classes can't keep up, if all classes had their own "OP" strat then would that be an issue? Also I feel the need to point out that I understand some things DO need to get nerfed when they're this ridiculous but if the only reason they're nerfing a class is because it's overperforming than I would rather prefer they buff weaker classes instead..

- EDIT -

Prodigal pointed out something I forgot to mention, yes, most of these nerfs/changes are with PvP in mind, I am aware of that but in the end there's plenty of people that don't play this game for PvP (Insane idea, I know), me included, and when they nerf something of a class for PvP sake then all the players of that class that are not invested in PvP can do is Press F.. 

5 -6
Reply
Score : 3266

I don't think that you realise how stupid some skills were before they got nerfed. Totem from sadidas were required in every single UB before it was nerfed, and Black Crow simply killed himself by hitting the totem. 
Xelors could take away infinite AP before the introduction of AP resistance, and a group of Xelors could take down a boss easily.
How do you boost every other class up to that point? 
Skills can be so powerful that they seem more like an exploit, and people will threathen to quit after nerfs no matter what. What is stopping them for threathening to quit after X class gets too strong as well? It not a real argument for why we should balance the game.

2 -2
Score : 1028

@HateSpawn
If something is "broken" then it isn't a nerf, it's a fix, also I disagree that the Iop getting +AP was OP, to pull that off they needed to waste 2WP everytime, at some point they will run out of WP anyways but I don't mind much about the Iop since they've been good since this game has created but I agree with MiiiiKy (why so many "i"s?) that there's plenty of classes in desperate need of buffs that aren't getting any, I would also like to add that I dislike how many of Ankama's changes are with PvP in mind and not PvE and I think a good example is Rogue, they kinda suck for PvE, too much preparation time to kill an enemy, takes too long because now they need to use Bombs, for PvP they're nice, OP said something about the Xelor Hourglass and I have to inform him that this change was merely done for PvP while screwing the spell for PvE.

6 -3
Reply
Score : 17379

"Broken" to me and "Broken" to you seem to mean very very different things.

What I mean is "unfair" or "bypasses things in the game with ease", not literally an improply functioning mechanic.

It doesn't matter if you think it was or wasn't OP. I'm telling you it skewed class' balance way out there window, because that 2 WP didn't just become 2 AP, it became 2 AP while also dealing 106 base damage worth of air in total. Maybe it was balanced, but  that being said, if it was in the current iteration, where you can slap on 2 levels of Return 1, kill something, gain 2 AP for killing it, and always gain 2 extra AP for using dumb flurry combo. It'd quickly get out of hand and iop would just break everything apart.

2 -3
Score : 640

Classes having an OP strat just pushes other classes out of team comps, 1 player is happy while the others are unhappy; Not all too fair.
Take Enu for example, when the -200 resist was added it pushed other debuffers out of team comps in favour of the Enu. Now what would we rather, reduce the -Resist of Enu or buff the -Resist of other classes. 1 class pushes out 2(3, excluding panda for this bit) other classes (Sadi/Eca, altho Sadi/Eca together are better than Enu).

Now what's better for the game? 1 Class being OP and 2 being seen as worse, 3 classes having -200 Resist, or 3 classes being the same. In option 1 there is powercreep for 1 class and the playing field is unequal, In option 2 there's powercreep for 3 classes but the playing field is equal, in option 3 there is no powercreep and the playing field is equal.
I'd take option 3 any day of the week, both as a dev and as a player. Powercreep kills games, even more so in a tactical game. The tactical aspect becomes trivialised, and when that happens why even play? 
If they say, buffed Sadi to have -200 resist, they'd have to nerf something about their kit and now there would be 2 Enus in the game.

In terms of nerfs, a lot was needed for PvE and PvP. Cra was pretty much the king of PvE, pushing all the other range DPS out of teams bar a few. Free positioning, No LoS spells that hit like a truck, of course it had to go. Is Cra completely in the bin? No, they are still strong, in the middle, or otherwise known as balanced. 
Every class has alternatives. Hourglass doesn't work? Time Control + Frostbite spam. Raining Arrows doesn't work? Good thing the class has other spells.

2 -3
Reply
Score : 556

But eca and sadi can do other things, like heal, buff, position, revive teammates, shield. Giving them the same -res ability as enu will not make those classes equal.

4 -2
Score : 418

changes are necessary. Everything will change my freind, not just in the game, in everyone lives too. When they first changed sacriers, all I heard was my friends complaining about "they are killing our class completely", and now they are gods in pvp and finally useful in pve. Instead of been afraid of changes, you could help in this process, giving some reasonable feedback for ankama, in my opinion that is what the company needs the most right now, players with good will to help build a better game.

3 0
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Score : 4082

Well.. I wasn't actually complaining about changes.. I am encouraging POSITIVE changes instead of just negatives

2 0
Score : 4128

Honestly I feel like we should get buffs and nerfs for classes every month, it doesn't need to be huge or reworked spells, just raise or lower the damage on some spells a few %

5 -2
Reply
Score : 17379

that's a lot for the dev team though, theyre constantly focused on new content

1 -2
Score : 1424

Nerfs should come and should keep coming. Its easier to rebalance a character than the whole character base and whole mob base (since if you buff everyone mobs needs buff to be fair).
Some strategies completely mess this game up, take sacrifice with PA that was possible a while back, or cra's OPness, or current enu ridiculous amount of resist removal.

The problem is when a nerf that remove class options isn't compensated, only weakening the class and removing playstyle options, and this is where ankama rules: unconpensated nerfs.
Whats coming to help tank sacriers now that they lose a soak?
What came for sacriers when they removed insanity + motion combo?
What came to cras when they lost their OPness?
What will come to enu when it loses it's -200 resist by itself?

The few cases where ankama did compensation it worked pretty well. Remember when they removed colision damage for willpower? Mask is an example of a class that had a whole branch unitilised but was compensated with 20% final when colliding something, altho it wasn't anywhere cool, it wasn't completely ravaged and people didn't complain much.

When they removed cling but added a huge armor block once (yes it could have been better but it's much better with that)?

There still should be "fixes" as someone mentioned, that are nerfs without compensations, but nerfs should be compensated somehow so the class doesn't lose too much, and this is where ankama fails with their reworks and most nerfs.

Getting something up on nerfs makes us feel less miserable, create other options.



Now addressing the main problem of this company, and correcting Voodudes, the problem is that Ankama isn't using feedback correctly. This whole enchantment thing is the whole face of it. They did a pool to get what we wanted and in which order, and went ahead and ignored it to add something they wished (get people playing for longer without updating much more) and no one asked for, ignoring most of the feedback (altho they are taking small steps to make it less worse).

Not even talking about their overall disregard for english community. The few feedbacks that I know were listened is when people talked directly to devs.

They also tend to make something overpowered after revamps, to shut people down and not complain. This was the case with sacrier as well, when it came out, and enu second revamp.
Rogue was somewhat a missed exception there, but they added a few dungeons where it's very good at, but still too slow for most of fights.
 

4 0
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Score : 2080

Can't agree with every sentences here, but on top of that, I agree that we English community always been less priority... Judging that even the Beta change log still haven't be announced yet in English forum :/

2 -1

Hello,

I won't go deep into the topic (class balancing) but I'll give you a small answer at least.

What both main sides say is understandable, but I'll add to the table our intention as the GD team : Balancing by improving everything isn't healthy. Balancing by nerfing everything isn't healthy either. Balancing is about finding the right... balance. And I believe it is done by making every class interesting in the content of the game.

For example, I could nerf to the ground every class, it wouldn't matter if the dungeons are made a lot easier. I could up them all to god level, and yet they still wouldn't be able to beat the hypothetical Stasis 1000 requirement to drop legendary items.

Please don't separate the "meta" the game forces the teams into, from the actual class balancing. It's a much deeper topic than it appears.

On another note, I wanted to let you know that we GDs, Devs, CMs, do spend a lot of time reading most of the threads in the english forum, even multiple times occasionnally.

Allow me to speak only for myself (Siu) and not on behalf of the team : I read english naturally, but I struggle with actually writing sentences and it takes me a lot of time to make sure I'm not writing gibberish.

As you may already know, we are not a team counting several hundreds of people. As such, the time we spend replying on the forum, is time we don't get to spend on fixing bugs, improving features, or adding new content to the game (or even balance a few classes). I'm not asking you to stop feeling how you feel about it, but I still want you to understand the reasons why.

Siu.

Reply
Score : 4128

So uh, if I may ask, what's the reason that minor buffs and nerfs are so rare?

5 -2
Score : 614

Balancing by improving everything isn't healthy. Balancing by nerfing everything isn't healthy either. 

hi guys , well Siu your answer and don't take this personal seem bit mediocre to me  .... Ankama literally never improve   nothing  ,so basically you didn't even tried the improving everything to see the player base reactions .... thats obvious to me Ankama don't follow player base reactions as serious as they should be or because if game is empty is same for Ankama.


i as player feel frustrate every time you claim to be balancing classes ...balancing classes in the world of games ,programming ..etc is just a matter of mathematics and common sense ....every class MUST  be enough powerful to grind or to meet criteria in any team for dungeons ... 
we don't need an apologize we need respect from the game too , your answers always make me feel your goals are more important than make player base love more or play more the game ...is like a human rat lab .
playing 13 years now ankama games and seriously Siu Ankama  NEED  improving time to time, to at least balancing the player base feelings about game ...so my point is balance your nerfs rules like at least players can wait someday for an improving , thats psychology ...and balance classes is a 1 time huge balance that should be  because if you balance  3 classes instead of all them that balance causes disbalance  of other classes ...
your infinite ouroboros system of bring chaos to set a cure really makes me sick ...
can you guys at least be more emphatic with player base that is using thousand of their time playing a long term game to end up with and endgame gear and strategy ? seriously Siu if Ankama knows the word ethics ... wich i suppose you do ....then place some ethics in the nerfs, patches ,etc ... all Ankama teams shouldnt working in parallel with players a game is a company that goes for refunding and earn real life kamas so basically if the player base are happy Ankama too and can grow more as company and can someday stop saying that is a small crew.

thanks for reading
and hope don't get permabanned for say my word as happened to other accounts of mine in the past :s


sorry for my bad english hope you get my point .
have fun

2 -2
Reply
Score : 4082

Agree with you.. Siu shouldn't be talkin' like Ankama cares about balancement when there are plenty of classes needing buffs / revamps for YEARS and yet they keep being ignored patch after patch, the dungeons are also TERRIBLE, some are easier, some are harder and some are just WAY TO HARD.. So when they say they care about balancement but I am playing their game and noticing a bunch of unbalanced things like how Sacriers are too OP in PvP I just see this as lip service and that's all..

1 -1
Score : 2324

Osamodas and other classes crying, where elio laughs

2 0
Reply
Score : 4082

If there is any good summon in the Pandalucia patch, wait a week or so to see this summon being nerfed to the ground, Badgeroxx style!

1 0

Hello,

I understand. Minor tweaks, however minor they may be, do take a lot of time because we need to analyze it thoroughly. A meaningless tweak's only purpose, is to be tweaked again someday. What I meant in my post, perhaps was I unclear... is that yes, there is work to do in both sides of the balance.

You're right. We agree. Some classes need to be improved, some classes need to have less potential... But most classes need, in fact, both. There are passives and active spells that could be worked on, on our part. We may have been focusing on the stronger abilities because they stand out, while you may have been forgetting that quite a few buffs have also been made through the years. I can only hope you will discover more satisfying tweaks in the future.

I will take the liberty of repeating that classes are undissociable from the content they're in.

A lot of abilities that you feel are underwhelming, may be underwhelming in the dungeons you run, but they may also be outstanding abilities in dungeons that are properly designed around them.

Let's take an example :

Armor removal abilities are not good in content where monsters have no armor. They are very good in the Dark Treechnid dungeon, because the monsters there have a lot of armor, but when they don't have any left, they take 50% more damage.

Class balancing is a "cross" job. We've been slowly rebuilding content in the game to allow more roles and effects to be viable. (indirect damage bypassing immunities, more armor on monsters, AP removal makes more sense...).

Our goal is that there is not only one mega-composition that solves best the same basic content in the exact same way, but a lot of diverse contents that can be performed with different approaches and abilities. Then, we can open those abilities (more burst, more support, more positioning) for classes, to improve their secondary roles and to make them answer better the content they approach.

I've merely given you my global, macro intent, of course there are a lot of specific points that are still open to debate.

Thank you again for reading.

Siu.

Reply
Score : 2324

Isn't easy work smile 
but about "remove armor spells" many classes haven't or big cooldwon (like hyppo)

and about dungeon / classes blance
I do not understand how people can call this tactical game...
Where is tactical ... where mobs have BIG amount MP, RANGE, push/pull/teleport
and wakfu have all map fight small...

I think support branch characters schould got buff... for more usefull...
Gobgob example, Animal Link osa
Eni (should easy give diff bonuses/armor)
Healers should don't have res heal... 

Example for me Osa have only ONE good way... (need more way choose summons Tank, Support, Positioner, Damage, Healers more possiblites)

Where other classes have 2+ style playing (good way) 

but @Siu I believe in you and your team! 

0 -1
Score : 614

hi guyz again , well i didnt ment to shot no one as ProdigalShame said ...

and SIU thanks for your efforts  we really appreciate them , my hole point was just pointing that we will stand here until wakfu dies ...we love game but somehow scince some players in the past abuse the game and literally wakfu had to broke hole schedule just to fix  those inminent code gaps the hole game is clamming for common sense here .... i dont understand really why adjustable leveling for example that was a huge non asked feature that not many loves. You guys turning game on that feature while many other important fixes still in the background .

is slow , takes time ... we all know that  but somehow everytime you buff or nerf a class over others  , players always will find the way to get broken startegy ...thats  just natural . so my suggestion even if sounds crazy (because there are 14 classes with specific concept and specific objetives) every class SHOULD be able to handle same content , otherwise the content just kick off some classes from some level contents .

Now that the gears will be really specific in power and purpose  maybe set a way that classes even with their supporting abilities , in damage can be more general , so just gear can make a difference .... please take a new read to the feedback over new smithmagic .... theres no possibility  all old players keep playing after that , while just few op solo 2-3 ip windowed players will keep being the monopoly , servers need those old players (exaplme in remington : haylen , elradoman and some others..)to take back markets . is not like giving a refunding bonus to old players with endgame set(epic /relic runes) but it sounds fair at least....it makes me remember in dofus when omega lvl was launched... thats the kind of emphaty  this huge change may think on too.
i know also maybe is too late now but well you guys are the develope team so basically if we still dont have a merge and we keep playing we will still be playing even if this patch take a bit of a delay just to be more emphatic with the players that already are loyal even if the fixes arent done yet.


thanks for reading 
sorry again for my bad english , and hope you get my point .

have fun

1 -1
Reply
Score : 4128

That was very well put Siu, I can't wait for future reworks, class or otherwise

0 0
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