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[Developer blog] Crossout development: how balance changes are made


Woodyrojo
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@Ka1deron Would appreciate an answer to my question about how hovers stack up to other movement parts statistically.

Both me and my clan wants to know.

Edited by Lord_Gotem
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Most annoying thing in this game is - HOVER.
If you nerf it - it will become useless; now its OP with most weapons on it, that annyong mosquitos are problem, they DO NOT NEED SKILL - as their braindead users say, because its very agile and still carry tons of junk. There is literally no chance to do them with few shots of cannons, you will say melee right? which one? Legendary light new cabin only? because everyone can detect stealth now, and everyone has stupid kapkans.... you CAN NOT sneak to hovers now... its nearly impossible

Right thing to do about hovers is removing that god damned thing from this game... and compensate their useless owners with equal junk it costs

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"how balance changes are made" so funny..... you enter match with full epic build (cabin and weapons, with 0 legendary items) and in 20 seconds some walletboy with 330000 porcupines (RELIC WEAPONS)  will capture you with pair Kapkans and will shower you with barrels. Or some cancer flying mosquito will penetrate your craft from their base. GG

"BALANCE" of Crossout. 

There will be no BALANCE in this game till you change matchmaking based on weapon rarity and no PS - that does literally nothing...

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Just as a thought....maybe you should check statistics of combinations, instead of solely looking at the weapon itself. For example static cannons have become next to useless in any normal build, except for hover and spider. Looks like this has been a result of hover and spider both drastically shifting the statistics on them. The same would be true for tackler + spider, MGs + hover, spider + wasp and similar. You have been going a bit hard on weapons that by themselves are not OP, but used in certain ways will be. This is especially true for all limited fire weapons and spider/hover. They do not suffer from having to rotate, balance and handle recoil among other aspects. As for hovers, they can use weapons nobody else can use efficiently, since they fall off when an enemy looks at them. Unless, of course, you are next to impossible to hit.

Try to isolate such combinations and balance those instead of destroying a whole weapon class. It worked pretty well with the meat grinders. They come with serious tradeoffs that balance out strafing ability.

By the way, thanks for trying to share your decision process. It will make it easier to communicate and improve the game when players know which reasons are behind things and where developers might overlook something.

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You devs say that you spend hours and hours going through the many complaints and suggestions that is players make in order to make an educated change. I get that. What I don’t get is why weapons such as the chord got nerfed. Literally nobody asked for that. It became a meme on reddit for a bit because nobody thought you were actually going to do it. But you did for some forsaken reason.  I’m sure many people also complain about shotgun damage being too high for what it’s size, rarity, and type. Yet they have been running rampant on the same torero or favorite wedge triangle builds for the past 2 years. 

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1 hour ago, Jafarson said:

Most annoying thing in this game is - HOVER.
If you nerf it - it will become useless; now its OP with most weapons on it, that annyong mosquitos are problem, they DO NOT NEED SKILL - as their braindead users say, because its very agile and still carry tons of junk. There is literally no chance to do them with few shots of cannons, you will say melee right? which one? Legendary light new cabin only? because everyone can detect stealth now, and everyone has stupid kapkans.... you CAN NOT sneak to hovers now... its nearly impossible

Right thing to do about hovers is removing that god damned thing from this game... and compensate their useless owners with equal junk it costs

While it IS the most annoying thing, it can't and won't be removed. It also can not be balanced fairly with wheels and tracks. Hovers and ground movement parts are by them self different games stuck into one and whoever came with the initial idea to have movement parts respecting different physics just wanted a cash grab and did not thing about the future. 

Anyway, the only fix would be an option to choose whether you want to meet them or not, which also won't happen, and DEFINITELY raise their PS like legs and tracks got raised so they become a somewhat end game item as they should be.

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Statistics are missing one key element - player enjoyment.  Just because something has 50% win rate doesn't mean it's balanced.  People have to enjoy playing the game, and if one playstyle becomes too oppressive, it damages the experience players have.  Look at hovers in 5.5k power score for example - I don't play there anymore because I don't want to fight against 3 sinus 4 hover or 4 sinus 3 hovers all day.  This power score is damaged by the over saturation of hovers.  This isn't a problem with sinuses (STOP NERFING WEAPONS FOR THE SINS OF HOVERS), it's a problem with hovers overperforming when combined with the acceleration perk and high power.  The maneuverability of hovers at this ps (and even going up to 8k) is obnoxious, hard to deal with, and even when you kill one he is probably queued with 1-3 others.  Even when you win against these players it doesn't feel good, and doesn't make me want to continue playing.  Changing power score or logging off are the only options I have to continue enjoying the game...

 

Player satisfaction is important.  Don't neglect this.

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@Ka1deron i've been asking for months to add a test option on consoles in order for us to give our feedback too, you cant rely only on PC players for their feedback. :012j:

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Thanks for balancing Crossout for our enjoyment, and for explaining how that works! :smile:

A few ideas for stuff to balance:
1. Porcupine barrels - make them explode upon contact with allies. In raids, as well as missions, they get under teammates' cars, making them swerve, blocking them, or even making them trip over. What is more important? For the barrels to stay intact so they can explode on enemies, or to not interfere with allies' movement?
2. The above issue is particualrly pronounced with the Bigfoots. They are much more prone to making the car trip over than other wheels. Should they be so bouncy? And it's not only Porcupine barrels, they bounce off terrain or other cars that get underneath them. Maybe there could be an option to switch between a softer and stiffer suspension for the Bigfoots. I just resumed using them after a long break, I may not be fully competent to comment on the Bigfoots, but it seems to me the bouncing is excessive. Sometimes I get the impression I'm driving on the Moon (kind of, never been there).
3. Turrets and wheeled drones could be destroyed if they get under allies' vehicles, so that they don't wedge them. In this case, again, is it more important for a turret or drone to remain active, or for a teammates' car to be fully mobile?
4. About 36 to 20 hours ago, someplayers were experiencing weird lag, spiking every few seconds, which interfered with gameplay, especially with bouncy wheels. Then the lag went down to normal. Something was going on with the servers, like when updates are being uploaded. It wasn't announced that we should expect weird lag for most of the day. My Internet connection was fine. At least giving us some heads-up would be nice.
5. The Grenadier at 4 energy is a sobering reminder of what Crossout really is about. That's never getting fixed, right?

Edited by Omega616
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Anyway, you guys should consider that some inefficient weapons do not used well or at all.
I haven't seen Corvo and Adapter long times.

I think you guys should focus on buffing the other weapons more instead focusing weapons with outstanding performance in the statistics. 

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Well i cant just agree this is good method, too little information.

But you really did nerf autocannons cuz new low ps players didn't know how to play and that a distance weapon will kill them if they dont cover!?!?!? Srsy? Now this is beyond any logic.

That's you conclusion? Then maybe do not balance for Aces???

Did you check the low ps 4 hover super agile builds vs Aces, im really interested in that :-), so it also shows now that increasing PS is the simplest balance change if you dont want to take the issue seriously and fix it, just change and forget, sorry.

Also CW dont work by PS, so again, lack of data.

U just showed something that doesn't really mean much, very little, dont cover many situations and modes, its a simple graph, its very little information.

So basically if Aces cannot fight with something cuz they dont know how yet and many of them will complain, you will nerf it, not cuz it is too strong or even OP based on the in game facts, but just cuz someone dont have the idea or tactics needed to fight it or is just lazy and want a simple game, call it what you want, but this isn't real balance.

Then i'm not surprised they are then going into CW for the first time and are literally CRUSHED by other teams and then they are complaining cuz the babysitting by devs is over and its a whole different game there.

Its such attitude you are not doing anything good to the game.

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3 minutes ago, VisceraCleaner said:

Anyway, you guys should consider that some inefficient weapons do not used well or at all.
I haven't seen Corvo and Adapter long times.

I think you guys should focus on buffing the other weapons more instead focusing weapons with outstanding performance in the statistics. 

They tried already.
Corvo: got something ... cant remember what it was.
Adapter: got "auto fire" shooting pattern on mouse button hold (same like plasma emitters)

I guess, and thats logic somehow, they collect data over a larger time to see the difference.
That includes
- ppl recocnizing(?) the update and start using those wpns (again)
- larger amount of data collected since the update

EDIT: so they have to wait. No way to blame them for that "waiting" time.

Edited by _cottton_
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Can you guys make the game not too hard for newbie players to progress?

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2 hours ago, Jafarson said:

Kapkan is OP

i bet you never used kapkan, its good vs spiders and  hovers , dogs just ram it and destroy it , or just drive 90km/h and not get caught at all or just  take spark and oneshot kapkan in aoe fasion (if dog is pining you and you use kapkan hi will deestroy kapkan with spark mid air before it even touch a ground

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Thanks for this detailed devblog, always nice to have a peek behind the scenes. :)

 

You guys talk about winrate and average damage per battle and base some of your tweaks on those. What about pick rate? How much does that weight when determining whether to tweak a part or not.

 

You show us the main reason why you guys tweaked Rapier is because it had the highest average dmg and winrate. Can you tell us how was/is Rapier's pick rate then? We do know you guys also tweak weapons based on popularity, that's why Spark has been tweaked a number of times despite having a very low average damage.

 

Do you guys find pick rate and winrate often go hand in hand? Or do you tend to see a great difference between the two? What do you guys tend to do when an item has a high pick rate but low winrate or vice versa?

 

2 hours ago, Woodyrojo said:

If we need to implement fundamental changes, then we do, but gradually as part of several updates.

This one is indeed a pretty tough equation to pull off. When something is fundamentally off, simple stat tweaks rarely fix the problem. Then again a fundamental redesign when implemented properly is anything but a gradual change.

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1417167613_tangembalancing.gif.2353c785e

honestly it feels like you don't play your game at all and instead you just colect data on avarage weapon dmg per match

the fact that  cricket was released and not hammer nerfeed till now since release is ridiculous , only now you gave it pseudo nerf that bearly matters and only for pvp , right now its more/as powerfull as legendary weapon + the power of having the ps of epic

just make it turret messile launher and make it shoot 1 rocket at a time like in battle royale so if you want to do same dps as helios you would need to stay on target and keep shoting instead of deal 3k dmg in 2 sec and run away to reload

also  remove knockback from 4 energy rocket launchers and retcher(rether hp buff to compensate?) completely

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Where do you get this mantra of devs creating a game to not play it?  I mean, never mind the source, what kind of mindset do you have to have, to believe in anyone, let alone a team of people creating something, spending years on it, and not using it?  

What kind of person, do you believe exists, that would do something like that, and why?

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4 hours ago, Woodyrojo said:

Hello, survivors! In the comments, you often ask: “When are you nerfing hovers?”, “Why don't the devs increase my favourite gun's damage?”, “What are the test servers for?”. It's time to talk about how we make balance changes to Crossout — from your feedback, through development, to getting the changes into the game. Let's go!

Yeah let's talk about balance changes, good idea and really appreciated. Even though you guys might want to rethink that condescending attitude towards player's demands. The selection of so called "often" asked questions at least suggest that. There are way more profound questions and fair opinions about balancing to talk about than those simpleminded statements.

 

4 hours ago, Woodyrojo said:

A detailed text with an objective assessment really makes us happy, and a couple of sentences with insults — not so much, because they do not contain any information that will help improve the game.

Obviously everybody would prefer constructive criticism over insults, but how many of those elaborate posts from dedicated players have been ignored or waved aside?

 

4 hours ago, Woodyrojo said:

Players also asked to replace the perks of “Punisher” and “Breaker” with those that would correspond to the weapons of relic rarity, and on the contrary, for “Spark” they wanted us to slightly weaken the perk that was too effective for a “legendary”. The changes were made thanks to the survivors and now we closely monitor the stats of these parts.

That is apples and oranges. The perk of the "Punisher" for example was ineffective by design and became even less useful due to the type of builds, weapons and movement parts primarily used. The "Spark" in itself never really was the problem, only the combination with other imbalanced game mechanics made it overpowered. Talking about weapon strength being appropriate to their rarity, maybe you want to take another look at the epic "Cricket"?

 

4 hours ago, Woodyrojo said:

For example, consider recent tweaks to the “Rapier”. It was too strong in matches with rookies who could not adequately assess the threat and allowed opponents with autocannons to shoot their armoured car from a distance. As a result, “Rapier” became the most popular weapon at low Power Score with the highest damage and win rate. We saw a big imbalance in the statistics, although then the players did not appreciate these changes.

So if a a weapon can be used more efficiently by experienced players against "rookies" it qualifies for a nerf? That sounds like it is intended for the Power Score or energy consumption to not adequately represent the actual potential of an item. I'm all for preventing any form of seal clubbing and providing better experiences to new players also helps to keep the game alive, but instead of trying to make a point by devaluing some player's opinions why not listen all comments and take a look at the bigger picture? Surely, the data will show some big imbalances with other weapons of the same category. What was that legendary autocannon called again? Sorry, i can't remember anymore, its been so long since it has been seen on the battlefield.

 

4 hours ago, Woodyrojo said:

It is also important to take into account the interests of all survivors, not just those who ask for tweaks. For example, after testing hover changes, players asked for the option to rotate this chassis. But other survivors will still put hovers parallel to the direction of movement to make the narrowest armoured car, which is difficult to hit.

Isn't Crossout a lot about building and being creative with it? A vast majority of players would support less restrictions and more freedom with the placement of parts. It does not matter if its cabins, hover, legs, boosters or any other part, those changes have been requested for as long as they have been ignored. Don't try to imply that there is a significant amount of players opposed to such changes!

 

4 hours ago, Woodyrojo said:

Work on the balance in Crossout is carried out every day. In order to be more accurate, developers need as much feedback from players as possible. Participate in public testing, survivors! And remember to post detailed feedback. Perhaps your message will help make Crossout better!

Imagine how happy that one random guy who first addressed shotgun wedges almost three years ago must be now. :lol:

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7 minutes ago, Beni_Stingray1 said:

Isnt that obvious?

No, it isn't.  Seriously, that wasn't the answer to the question.  What auto-maker creates a supercar, only to not drive it?  What arms manufacturer designs a new pistol, only not to shoot it?  What furniture maker works for years to design a new sofa, and never sits in it?

How can you possibly believe in this myth of a game developer, let alone an entire dev team, composed exclusively of people who hate their own game, and never play it?

No, it's specious.  Honestly, it's absurd that you convinced anybody of this "Fact," but here you are, trying to convince the Developers who created this game that they never played it.

That's insane.

Edited by psiberzerker
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26 minutes ago, alpha1q said:

i bet you never used kapkan, its good vs spiders and  hovers , dogs just ram it and destroy it , or just drive 90km/h and not get caught at all or just  take spark and oneshot kapkan in aoe fasion (if dog is pining you and you use kapkan hi will deestroy kapkan with spark mid air before it even touch a ground

I bet you never tried to run through kapkans. That would work vs one not vs fields of kapkans like we see now. 

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2 hours ago, Jafarson said:

"how balance changes are made" so funny..... you enter match with full epic build (cabin and weapons, with 0 legendary items) and in 20 seconds some walletboy with 330000 porcupines (RELIC WEAPONS)  will capture you with pair Kapkans and will shower you with barrels. Or some cancer flying mosquito will penetrate your craft from their base. GG

"BALANCE" of Crossout. 

There will be no BALANCE in this game till you change matchmaking based on weapon rarity and no PS - that does literally nothing...

If we match players weapon by rarity, there'll be players with chords and huntsman  and players with avengers and Bastion, or lupara+wheels against lupara+armored tracks.

So we'll have to match players by rarity for all gear (hardware, cabin, movement parts). So we'll have "epic players" against other "epic players" and that will make the game boring.

But what if a player has a blue cabin, special wheels and epic weapons ? It'll be hard to match him other players like him, hence matchmaking queue way longer.

Let's stay humble when posting suggestions because it's actually harder to find better solutions without néfastes side-effects.

 

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how about you balance the hovers there always at the end they dominate every single match they are really hard to hit because you have them so unbelievably quick. they can drive backwards full spoeed without looking because they never ever get stuck or flip over so shooting the hole time darting right and left there the most dominant op item in the game and just like everything else i have picked up and used if i start using them then you will nerf them. i hear the fan boys all defend them but that is because they use them and love dominating everyone else on the battlefield. played about 35 missions every mission was won by hovers your data I know shows them as being the op item in the game yet you do NOTHING. 

i STILL USE AC50 HAVE TO EQUIP 4 AND TAKES ABOUT 30 SECONDS TO KILL A CAR WHILE HOVER WITH 2 ASSEMBLER RIP THROUGH PLOWS AND GUNS ONE SHOT THE GAME JUST SEEMS LIKE A TROLL

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Finally, some transparency towards how these stats are gathered. I appreciate that, although it does seem to confirm many of our suspicions that you guys go by damage  and winrate only.

This is especially troublesome in autocannons' case as rapiers, storms and whirls are long range support weapons with no ammo count, meant for damaging the opponents' weapons every time they peek or simply suppressing their movement, in addition to having splash damage which increase their damage numbers further. A autocannon user getting high damage numbers does not mean the weapon is overperforming, it simply means it's doing its job.

Without that damage, there is no incentive to get behind cover and they will just get rushed down. The game is in the middle of a close range meta  after all as firedogs and shotty wedges are everywhere. 

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