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redditBalancing Through Inconvenience: Why Games Became Polarizing

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When a card needs a nerf, it is always a better choice to nerf it in a straigtforward matter.

In constrast, the worst way you can nerf a card is by making it harder to use.

Balancing through inconvenience: A way of balancing cards by making them unusable in certain interactions.

The most notable example is of course initial hitspeed reductions.

When a card deals too much damage, you nerf their damage, a quick, direct approach that rarely goes wrong.

When you nerf a unit's initial hitspeed, you usually end up crippling, if not killing it.

Multiple examples include Zappies, Rascals, Magic Archer, Musketeer, Three Musketeers and now Sparky.

This is a problem in of itself, but a much bigger problem lurks behind, and actually appears when the cards become "balanced".

How so?

Ironically, of all the cards that were nerfed for dealing too much damage, none of them were nerfed in their damage.

So, a Musketeer will still be as strong as it used to be once it locks on, but now it fails to even start attacking in some interactions.

Cards are changed to remain overpowered in some interactions, but become unusable in others.

As cards become more and more matchup dependent, this affects deck building too.

Nothing exemplifies this better than Elixir Golem, despite staying around 50% win rate, there is clearly something wrong about it.

The answer presents itself once you start looking at its matchups.

Elixir Golem dominates in certain matchups while getting crushed by any deck with a Bomb Tower.

Essentially, instead of having a 50/50 matchup against everything, decks now have 80/20 matchups against some but 20/80 matchups against others.

This is why games today felt much more RPS than before, why Esports matches get less and less exciting.

We have arrived at a state of false balance, things appear normal on the surface, but underneath the facade lies a broken game.

This needs to stop right now, before we doom ourselves to an endless game of Rock, Paper, Scissors where matches are decided before they even start.


Thanks for reading.

submitted by /u/Jake_Rowley
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