5 common misconceptions PS2 players have about balance

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Moonheart, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. Moonheart

    One of the most sad thing about this game is the amount of time people spend complaining about how their weapons are weak, and how much opponents weapons are strong.
    It fills the forum, it fills the in-game chat, and it surely does not make the game funnier.

    In my opinion, most of those complains are also not justified, and are due to people not knowing how to analyze properly the situations.
    I see main 5 errors people do when the put a judgment on something (weapon, vehicle, etc):

    1- There is no unbalance to fix as long factions of equal population achieve comparable conquest results

    PS2 is a faction-flavored game. Faction flavor means that each side get different advantages/weakness who are supposed, on the average, counterbalance it.
    And those conterparts are not always present on the same weapons/vehicle that the one you judge in the opponents side.

    For exemple, a faction can have an advantage on their MBT, and another an advantage on their ESF, and the all resulting of both succeeding to be "equals" on battlefield. Thus, this is not because you will "proove" that the MBT of a faction is "OP" that it means there is something wrong with the balance.

    A faction weapon deserve a "fix" only if its overall results on conquest and alerts are not matching their over/underpop. Because it means that despite what this weapon have has strength/weakness that other have, the weaponry of the faction, as a whole, is balanced, and modify the weapon would result in a new unbalance.

    2- An item is not OP/weak compared to its counterpart of other factions because you can point out it has a strength/weakness the counterpart doesn't have

    Because the game is faction-flavored, even if two weapons are meant to be equals by the devs, it doesn't mean they have the same stength and weakness.

    For exemple, the Ripper makes more sound than the Lumine Edge when actived, which make it more noticeable by nearby opponents.... however, it doesn't mean the Ripper is weaker, because the Lumine Edge, on the other side emit of lot of light, making it more noticeable from range. The two weapons achieve statisticaly the same results of efficiency on the battlefield, just by different means, and thus, they are balanced even if the Ripper -does- in fact has a weakness the Lumine Edge doesn't

    3- Feelings are not facts

    Our personnal feelings are often quite a bit aside of the truth, because our perceptions are far from perfect.
    Having the feeling a weapon or vehicle or class or even faction is advantaged in a fight against you doesn't mean it truly it.
    The only way a problem of balance can be confirmed is by looking at statistical numbers.

    For exemple, the PPA canon has being cried upon until a point the devs nerfed it.
    However, the PPA was not killing more people than the canister in the statistics, meaning it was not an OP weapon... it was just vastling annoying because of the long rang spam effect, the displeasant noise, and the way some people where using it to hammer the spawn rooms of some bases. By "tuning down" this weapon who had equal efficiency to its counterpart, the devs simply turned it down to an under-efficient one, broking it

    4- Popularity and efficiency should not be confused

    Seeing that a weapon that kills more people, or that you see it more often in your death screen doesn't proove the weapon is more powerful.
    The more a weapon is used, the more you will see people dying with it, no matter of it's real efficiency, and this is why "kill count" statistics are not a proof of a weapon efficiency.

    For exemple, VS QCX crossbows kills more people the TR/NC QCX crossbow. The reason is the VS pistol are felt (true or not) as less efficient as TR/NC pistols, resulting the VS players using the NS weapons more.
    As the VS QCX variant as more users, it kills more opponents, appears more into death screens and have higher kill counts in statistics.... but VS QCX is in fact strictly identical to TR/NC QCX, and thus has naturaly the same efficiency.

    Only "KPH" statistics is usable to judge weapon's results, because it factor the popularity of the weapon into its calculation, reducing the final numbers it displays to what a single player can do with it during a single hour of play

    5- Situational weapons can lead to misleading statistical results

    When a weapon is only used as a situational weapon, the players only active it when they are in the ideal situation to use it.
    This fact drasticaly pump up the KPH statistic because not only the player active it a lot less than the time they truly run with is on they gear, but when the weapon is activated, it is when it can do a -lot- of damage, and the game doesn't provide enough data to to fix this into the calculation of the statistic.

    For exemple, most Wraith drivers doesn't equip the shotgun unless the opponent start to build a huge cluster of infantry near one of their sunderer. In every other situation, the shotgun is underefficient and most Wraith drivers will just equip a Fury (or more rarely a Basilik). As a result, the shotgun is used for very short raids where they kill a ton of players... resulting in an insane KPH statistic. However, most of the time, the shotgun is almost useless and if the calculation could factor all the time the people just doesn't equip it because it sucks, the KPH would be vaslty inferior.

    C4 follows a bit the same logic: when C4 is equipped, it is meant to be almost always immediatly detonnated, and it can kill several players at once... as a result, the C4 has twice more KPH than any other infantry weapon, because the game doesn't tell how much time the C4 is "equipped" but only how much time the C4 is "activated"


    Many players produce bad analysis of the balance because they overlook the global scheme, trust too much their perceptions and or do not understand the statistics correctly.

    To analyze the right way the current balance, a player always must remember that the balance is made on the faction weaponry as whole first, that the statistics have to be check prior to letting their feeling or preconception speak for them, and that the statistics has to be picked intellegently and with understanding of its weaknesses (prefer KPH over most statistics available, and understand even if it's the most accurate measure of efficiency, the KPH can still be mislead by some situational usage of the weapons)

    Most of "XXX is OP" nerf threads would not open on those if all players were aware of those 5 misconception, and even if I have no true hope that every players starts to do so, at least, if only one learns to analyze balance a bit better, I will have find the time spent to write this thread useful.
    • Up x 15
  2. Maljas23

    #3 is a HUGE issue here
    • Up x 5
  3. ColonelChingles

    Actually if you look at the data before October 30, 2014, the PPA was having a significant lead in performance compared to the Canister and Marauder.

    AKPH, October 1, 2014
    PPA- 77.3
    Canister- 69.1
    Marauder- 55.2

    So in that case the PPA was about 11.9% more effective than the Canister and 40% more effective than the Marauder. I would use monthly averages but unfortunately it's a bit of a ways back.

    There was good statistical information to suggest that the PPA was indeed overperforming. I mean I'll be the first to say that it was heavily over-nerfed, but to say that the PPA was called out unfairly is not accurate.
    • Up x 4
  4. Iridar51

    So for the sake of argument let's say NC has the best MBT for tank combat, VS has the best ESF for air combat, and TR has the best MAX for MAX combat.

    You're saying it's okay for VS and TR to always lose tank battles to NC just because of the faction flavor and screw competition?
    You're saying it's okay for NC and TR to always lose air battles to VS ESFs just because this is VS faction flavor?
    bla bla MAX bla bla

    This is plain wrong. Faction flavor should come in HOW factions do the same thing, not in WHAT factions can do. You say pretty much the same in your #2 point.
    • Up x 4
  5. Jubikus

    Pretty much how i see it however for the most part the game is balanced i dont care if things roughly preform the same but maintain flavor like the MBT and theres always more things to take into account than what people look at some times.
    Like with the MBT The TR prowler preforms better many beleive this because the platform is simply better however i would like people to look at it from a different angle. The fractures as many people are aware lacks a mechanic to allow it to be effective against ranged targets and i believe do to this it leaves many more targets for the tanks to take out from the back line. The difference here is in a vehicle battle between bases locked down prowlers will finish off more vehicles because fracture arnt raining at the enemy vehicles as to where with the VS and NC their tanks will still be hitting the enemy tanks but the kills may go to Vortex and Ravens this in itself can cause the TR tank to seem much more powerfull than its counterparts and at the same time make the Fractures to seem a bit more weaker than they actually are. Fractures only suck past a certain distance against targets that can move they work just fine against sundys.

    Basically what im trying to get at is next time you think something is OP look beond just its straight counterparts things are never as simple as they seem alot of things do outperform their counterparts but sometimes it can seem worse in the stats than in actual use.
    Also i could just be blatantly wrong and stupid because im tired but hay its an interesting way of looking at things.
    • Up x 1
  6. Moonheart

    And if you take the data a little before again, you will find numbers where the KPH of canister was 12,4%

    There was good statistical information to suggest that the PPA was indeed overperforming. I mean I'll be the first to say that it was heavily over-nerfed, but to say that the PPA was called out unfairly is not accurate.[/quote]

    And if you look at the statistics of the 25th October, the KPH of the cannister was 18,2% higher than the one of the PPA.... but that's not important thing here.

    The important point is that the exemple allows to illustrate the common misconception I'm pointing out. It does not have to be 100% accurate, I'm not here to advocate in favor in a weapon or another but to explain why most of the nerf thread around are based on bad analysis.

    No, never said something like that.
  7. Goretzu

    Performance statistics are undoubtedly very valid and arguably the first and possibly most important thing, but equally they don't always show the full picture.

    The PPA would be a good example, I think.

    In the weeks pre-nerf I don't think I'd stepped out of a spawn (when not playing VS) where it wasn't being bombarded with PPAs. I don't know that the players doing that were raking in massive amounts of kills, but they were certainly causing all sorts of secondary issues (causing people to just not to leave the spawn, causing people to take very indirect routes from spawn to cap points, causing people to run out take damage and have to run back in to repair/heal then rinse&repeat etc. - none of which shows up in weapon statistics) that made the bases much easier for the VS to take.

    But yes, absolutely, "it killed me therefore it must be OPd" is plain silly.
    • Up x 1
  8. Moonheart

    *shrugs* Whatever if the PPA needed a nerf or not, that is not the point of the thread.
  9. Towie

    This has been used before - lengthy but it's a good watch; Wrel's take on balance (and I think it is very reasonable). Many of the points / reactions / nerf / counter-nerf arguments are heavily used throughout our threads.

  10. CipherNine

    Good point. Demigan made similar remark relating to Liberator.

    Sometimes OP weapon can have average KPH because it forces enemies to redeploy. If PPA made players stop leaving the spawn then its KPH would be artificially lowered.

    That is why usage time or popularity needs to be taken account as well. If PPA has 3x higher usage time than Canister and Marauder then some explanations are in order.

    PPA had about 10% higher KPH than Marauder and Canister. That alone doesn't warrant nerf but when coupled with the fact that it was also used 3x as often then you know something isn't right.

    edit: Just took a quick look at Oracle's graphs. PPA was actually used 9x as often than average of Canister/Marauder. On some days even 20x as often.
    • Up x 2
  11. Moonheart

    Popularity can come from the fact a faction lack good alternatives or simply just because the weapon looks "too cool".
    That's precisely why it can be used as a measure what needs a balance fix or not.

    NB: PPA was both lacking nice alternative (in the eyes of VS players) and looking very cool.
  12. Pikachu

  13. Danath

    I'd rephrase that into "If you say faction X is OP, you are generalizing a lot. Which means you'll be mostly wrong"
    Agree and disagree
    Agree: MBTs and ESF are different and have different abilities, so their weapons will be different, even if they are direct counterparts. ES secondary guns have very different roles, they aren't even counterparts.
    Disagree: I shouldn't have to spend +1000 certs in a weapon with a very specific role that overall performs just like your 650 certs counterpart. That's a scam.
    Period. Better not to try explaining with examples.
    Show us your statistics or ****. :D
  14. Shanther

    I am going to preface this saying I am not trying to turn this thread into something it isn't.

    This can't be more true. Another good example of this, and I know this will create an argument (see preface), is the 0.75 ADS weapons. People are constantly saying how they are OP but are never really providing numbers and facts to support them. Without data to back those statements up it is nothing more then an opinion. People who defend it are guilty of the same thing. However they also try to provide some data to support their argument. The short of it is people need to actually back up what they are saying.
  15. Thardus

    I see #2 in almost every discussion about ES Rocket Launchers. People seem to be under some strange misconception that all faction weapons should work differently, yet still somehow perform the exact same way.
    I saw one person trying to say that the Striker will never be brought in line with other ESRLs, until it no longer works so well at anti-air, because the other ESRLs are bad at anti air. There's no reason whatsoever that the TR can't be a little better at anti-air, in exchange for the NC and VS being a little better at anti-ground. They still have great NS options for both, it's just that each faction will pull their ESRLs in slightly different situations.
  16. Ronin Oni

    meh, used the PPA back then once in a while...

    honestly it really wasn't that great of a direct weapon.

    What it did stupidly well was an incredibly boring spam into area for denial and aoe dmg.

    It sucked though.

    Now it's completely worthless, hoping they fix it to function more like marauder/canister at some point (actually effective AI weapon limited by effective range)

    I'd like to go back to using it on my Harasser, but I always hated the long range park and barrage use. I was excited for the change but it's laughably bad. Tighten up CoF, add a max range or have more dmg dropoff or something.
  17. Campagne

    Some counter-arguments, if I may.

    1 - If an unskilled, dumb, deaf, half-blind player can use a weapon with the same level of effectiveness as the standard player with the same weapon's counterpart, the two weapons are unbalanced.

    As an example, the NC6 Gauss Saw vs. the AC-X11. Both have the same damage model, same attachments, and are both on the same faction. However, the AC-X11 is leagues ahead of the Saw in terms of ease of use. So much so, that even VS unskilled players can use the AC-X11 to a higher level of effectiveness than the Saw.

    2 - There is an imbalance between two weapons if one advantage/disadvantage is greater than the other's advantage/disadvantage.

    Your example will do fine; The Ripper vs. the Lumine Edge. The loud, constant noise of the Ripper is more penalizing in the weapon's effective range than the Lumine Edge's light is in its same effective range.

    The Lumine Edge is clearly the superior knife.
  18. CorporationUSA

    I don't cry about balance, but I do believe the game would be better with less cheesy weapons.
  19. Goretzu

    And it was also horrendously effective at spawn suppression.
  20. Villanuk

    And its justified in some cases and when you said your up on some down on other, so overall its not a problem, well thats incorrect,

    Specific rocket launchers make a big difference in the game and currently the striker offers little help in that area, and you cant fight off zergs with it compared with the other factions and then if all put AV max options into the equation then their is a dramatic weakness in this area that really puts the TR in a vulnerable position.