You can't just "buff everyone else"

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I see this argument a lot when something is overpowered. Today it's Barbs, tomorrow it might be Witch Doctors, it doesn't really matter. Remember that Witch Doctors got a hard nerf with Vision Quest when it was much too powerful, though it ended up being better in the long run. Here's why that's a pretty stupid thing to say.

Note: if you think the game can just be unbalanced and have one class or one spec much stronger than the others, go away. You're stupid and will have nothing meaningful to add. I don't care what I'm playing, if there are choices then those choices need to be relatively balanced. Perfect balance is not possible of course.

1. It will have unintended consequences.
Let's say we buff Big Bad Voodoo so that Witch Doctors can keep it up all the time to compensate. Oh, wait, now we've just made Witch Doctors mandatory for any Uber runs. Ok then, let's add some reduce cooldown on crits...well now we have a Witch Doctor build that can stay permanently in Spirit Walk.

Skills do not exist in a vacuum, every skill affects everything else. Even WOTB itself is only too powerful because of several skills that make it 100% uptime, remove any one of those and it's broken.

2. It will start an "arms race"
So we just buffed everyone and everyone is happy. Then suddenly all the Barbs are trading in their gear for Demon Hunter gear because the buff to Demon Hunters made them ridiculously OP (see #1). So we'll just buff everyone again...and now everyone's a Wizard.

If you just buff everyone, something is going to be overbuffed and ridiculous. Remember that WW Barbs never existed before a lot of buffs and nerfs, since they could not survive in original Inferno.

3. It will make the game too easy again
If it's well-established that for the current game, one class is too powerful and as a result that class just tears through the highest difficulty, buffing will just result in everyone being too powerful. This doesn't conflict with the "you can never have too much power" design philosophy because you still need to have some sense of challenge. Go watch well-geared Barb videos, they just kind of mow down MP10.

Games have to be at least a little bit challenging in order to be fun, and if we just keep circle buffing every time something is OP, the game will just be stupidly easy (it already is but even more stupidly easy).

4. It's just plain harder on the development side
The forums seem to think that code comes out of a magic box. In reality, it takes time and effort to code things and as anyone who has written more than a "hello world" program will tell you, any time you change your code you will have unintended consequences.

Buffing a whole lot of skills in a way that is both interesting and viable is a LOT harder and will take a lot more time than just nerfing the overpowered skill in question.

So please, stop being dumb and saying "just buff everyone else!" If a single skill is causing something to not work as intended, it needs to be changed to work as intended. You don't change an entire game because one skill is broken, you change the obviously broken skill.
Buffs and nerfs are equally important. Straight on nerfing Barbs won't do much good, but neither is just buffing the other classes.
OP is spot on.
They could balance all the classes without breaking the game, I'm fairly certain of this.

FYI, Blizzard, buffing Rapid Fire damage != Balance
Note: if you think the game can just be unbalanced and have one class or one spec much stronger than the others, go away. I don't want to hear people who aren't mad that other players have an advantage over them cause its not fairrrrruuh!

Don't let Wrath cooldown while Wrath is up. Problem solved.
Nerfing is the same as buffing.

Do you honestly believe that if Wrath and Archon get nerfed then everyone will suddenly go "Whew! Now THAT is balance. No, next most powerful thing will need to be nerfed, and on down the line, same as if you buff everyone else.

The difference is if you buff other classes instead of nerf ones that have a handful of good builds, then everyone gets to have fun playing their characters and not feel like their farming time is completely wasted by running say, a DH.

04/26/2013 11:04 AMPosted by Zoid
obviously broken skill

I like how you say this like it is an accepted fact. I do mediocre dps (180-200k range, without wrath and overpower) and I cant keep wrath up in mp8 permanently. MP7 I can barely extend the time at all except on elites (which, incidentally is what wrath is for, a boost in power for dealing with hard mobs). The only time I reach full 100% uptime is in mp10.
Nerfing, as well as buffing will have unintended consequences. The problem with the buffs that usually get implemented is that they keep doing the old rule of if it's not working, then "just double it". If you really want to balance things out through buffs, then you have to do them gradually. 10% here, and 10% there type of changes, and not 100-300% increases. You also have to be creative in your thinking and figure out what skills could work together, and how could changes to multiple skills make something more powerful than intended. Software engineers aren't stupid, they can figure out what combinations could cause problems, just like gamers can figure out what combinations could be fun to play.

In regards to it being harder on the development side, I only partially agree. Many of the requests on these forums that are supposed to be "easy changes" are anything but easy. I've been a software engineer for a long time, and I've probably written more software than most, if not all of the programmers on this Diablo 3 team. I can tell you that while the buffing of characters approach will require some effort in taking a critical view of the skills of each of the character types, and how they can be combined, it is a better approach then finding out that your nerf had unintended consequences, and you've just lost a large portion of your player base, because of your changes.
It's not about buffing/nerfing skills, it's about having different playstyles. If every class provided a completely different experience than the others, having balance issues would not be as big a problem as it is. When melee and ranged classes, essentially use the same stats and play the same way, then balance issues become more apparent and a bigger problem.
It's not about buffing/nerfing skills, it's about having different playstyles.
Ah, but consider this. WotB is so overpowered that you essentially only have one playstyle. Then you either have to buff other skills to compensate or nerf WotB. So it is in fact, about buffing/nerfing skills.

The problem with buffing other skills to compensate is that you're essentially making other abilities overpowered to match the level of power with WotB. So then you've just created more problems. Another OP build will emerge, everyone will flock to that one, and the whole nerf/buff cycle starts all over again.
absolutely amazing post OP, thank you for your words of wisdom
04/26/2013 01:25 PMPosted by mikeab7925
/\ here is a prime example of the point i made directly above his post

Which point is that? That nerfing someone's favorite build makes them wonder why other powerful builds arent also under the nerf gun?
Do you honestly believe that if Wrath and Archon get nerfed then everyone will suddenly go "Whew! Now THAT is balance. No, next most powerful thing will need to be nerfed, and on down the line, same as if you buff everyone else.

Darkangel is right, what will the babies cry about next?

first inferno is too hard. <-- nerf
next inferno gets nerfed, babies cry about reflect damage <-- fixed
right after relect gets nerfed, babies cry about (what are you crying about now, molten?)

Same with the classes. I don't even use perma wrath but people need to quit calling to nerf other classes (or even your own class if you're that dumb). It's so easy to just not use the build and let it exist, it does no harm.

Balance is the funny joke everyone uses as the reason this MUST get done.
Last night I read in LFG and General MULTIPLE players requesting high DPS WW Barbs and CM Wiz for help in uber runs (why the heck ANYONE still runs these is beyond me) but not one call for a DH, WD or Monk of any build type. And yet everyone wants those removed. When was the last time you saw a post where players were asking for DH's to join thier run? I see players looking for WW and CM only, and quite often.

Fix the others, quit messing with the most popular builds, they are popular for a reason and nerfing them will not force player to accept another lesser builds, it will force them to quit playing this game.

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