After having spend almost 300 hours on rebellion, playing multiplayer exclusively, I feel like the time has come for me to provide feedback to the developers of this excellent game.
I must start by congratulating the developers on a job well done. Having played a little bit of the original SOASE, mainly singleplayer, I was surprised by the giant leaps this game has made since the original was launched. I felt like the new elements added to the game, such as the diversifying of the different races by splitting them into factions, and adding dwarf ships and gargantuan ships, opened up a plethora of new strategic options. I was delighted.
Others not so much, I soon discovered. Upon chatting with other players at the start of, after, and during games, I found out others were not as impressed by the game as I was, the main reason being balance: they claimed vasari rebels were 'overpowered', going as far as to ban them from their lobbies, kicking anyone who would chose Vasari Rebels. The other half of the Vasari race, as they would have me believe, was also overpowered: surely, consuming planets must be moved to tier 8 and nerfed to 50% effectiveness! And while we are at it, we might as well remove corvettes from the game.
Each and every single one of those balance whines makes me cringe. It hurts. It is a blade cutting to the bone. "Why?" You might be wondering. Why does this guy not make angry posts on the forum about how imbalanced the game is, or make excellent balance suggestions to improve the game like we are all doing?
Allow me to explain myself. Nobody here is going to deny that some fine small-scale balance improvements are required to make the game even better than it is now. Tweaking some numbers here and there, adding a small bit of damage here, fixing a bug there. I very much agree with you on that! Perfect balance is only a small adjustment away.
Everybody wants the balance to be perfect. The question that has people divided is: when is the balance perfect? Who decides when the balance is perfect? In the end, the developers do. The developers of this game, I have noticed, actually listen to criticism offered by the community. A very positive trait! But alas, does the community know what is good for itself?
The community, I found, is very much like a small child that is learning to walk: it falls on its face, and comes crying to mommy. The community is learning to play the game, yet it encounters an obstacle, and come crying to the devs. People encounter a strategy that is continually beating them, and they instantly conclude that the opposing race is intrinsically overpowered and must be nerfed. Phase jumping starbases, overpowered! Consuming planets, overpowered! Corvettes, overpowered!
These awesome mechanics, that diversify the game so much, and add so much fun to the game and add so much new gameplay will be made redundant, boring, dull and plain if the community has their wish. The different factions in the game all have strenghts and weaknesses in different directions, but if the community gets what it wants, all those strenghts and weaknesses will be equalized. Would that not be wonderful? If we could just nerf everything into the ground, and make every strategy equally viable, all equally easy to execute, with the same chance of succes and luck involved?
I think not. Am I the only one that dares swim against the flow? Am I the only proponent of keeping the game as it is now largely unchanged? The only one not offering up balance suggestions? Winning a game takes several things, in my opinion, so here, in no particular order:
- Skill. (Do you make the right decisions at the right times, and multi-task well?)
- Experience. (Knowing the counters, having seen situations and knowing how to act)
- Strategy. (What is your long term game-plan?)
- Tactics. (How do you plan out your engagements?)
- Luck. (The planets that spawn around you, making decisions based partially on unknown factors)
These different factors that I summed up here, can all be the deciding factor that win or lose you the game. If you are skilled and experienced, and have a good strategy, but engage in a shitty manner thus failing in the tactics aspect, you lose. If you are unlucky with your spawn, but change your strategy because you have experience with the situation or are improvising because you are naturally skilled, you can still win. If your opponent uses a supposedly OP strategy, such as phase jumping star-bases, you change your own strategy to counter his. You pick the engagements to favour you. You build your ships to counter his. You use your skill to out-micro him. You win.
Do you see what I am getting at here? Certain strategies are considered OP by the community. Instead of attempting some introspection, and seeing if they could possibly alter something in their own strategy or tactics to counter the opposing strategy, they come on the forum, and start balance whining. But how arrogant is it, to make the claim that some strategy or ship is overpowered, even going as far as to offer balance suggestions, when you can't even be bothered to improve your skill to out-multitask him, to get more experience to know how to counter the strategy or tactic, to change your strategy to counter his, to adapt your tactics to make your engagements favour you!
I love this game and I would hate to see it mutilated because people see the problem outside of themselves instead of inside of themselves. Adapt, evolve! Get better! Go, and improve all the factors to decide who wins , and when you can truly claim that the only factor that decides whether you win or lose is balance, come back, and share your wisdom. Don't try to change the game so you can safely keep doing the thing you have been doing forever and hide under yo momma's skirts instead of learning and adapting.
Want to win? Don't blame the game, blame yourself!
Signing out, Grimmy.
What are your thoughts? Is there anyone that agrees? If you disagree, why so? What are you counterarguments? Keep it civil.
The problem part of the community has with balance in this game is is largely caused by their mentality and lack of willingness to change their strategy and tactics. balance only plays a very small role in who wins or loses. Only small balance changes must be made, larger ones will simplify the game and make it bland.