Eric Fagnan Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer and the reason we have weekend events, balance changes Operation Olympus

Eric Fagnan shouldn’t be looking at the data mined from the weekend events, trying to see what good guns or character powers need to be worse or ‘nerfed’. He needs to make all the bad guns, bad characters and powers good instead. Most of the guns and older characters are garbage. The players know which guns suck so they use the good guns, then Eric nerfs the good guns. good powers or characters. He’s going about his job completely backwards.

He should approach it like a professional. Look at what Blizzard games is doing and not just with the skills/abilities etc that aren’t good, but people who want to solo. It is a good look at a professional studios way of handling things, instead of the lazy approach Eric Fagnan takes. Also note Cryptic Games, SoE (with DCUO, letting us get raid content through duos is awesome) and many shooters (what me3 is) take the same approach as Blizzard. Here’s what I’m talking about, read and apply to Mass Effect 3.

We're making a metric-ton of changes to classes, so we’re going to have separate blog posts for each. But in general we’re looking at unpopular skills and asking ourselves a few questions:

Does the skill have any control or readability issues that would make the skill less satisfying to use? If so – polish the skill more. A good example here is the Barbarian Rend ability – many people don’t use it because you can’t always tell which enemies are affected by the bleed and which aren’t.
Does the skill fill a similar role as an extremely popular skill? If so, buff the skill to be competitive with the popular skill. For example, Bola Shot could be a solid skill, but simply doesn’t have the raw damage when compared to Hungering Arrow, so we’re buffing Bola Shot to be competitive.
Does a skill have a dominant rune? If so, can we buff the underused runes to be more competitive? A good example here is the Wizard Hydra skill. The Venom Hydra is by far the most popular rune, and for good reason, so we are buffing the other runes to make them more competitive with Venom Hydra.
Is the skill a resource spender? In general we have found that many resource spenders just don’t do enough for their resource cost. Here I would use the example of Wave of Light, which is a fairly significant expenditure of Spirit that doesn’t always seem worthwhile. Many damage-oriented resource spenders are receiving buffs in 1.0.4

And then this:

While many people are playing co-op, it’s still a minority of games. Ideally we would like players who want to play solo to be able to solo, and players who want to play co-op to play co-op. At the moment though playing solo is the clear choice, even for those who would prefer co-op with some of their friends.

The change we made back in 1.0.3 to remove the bonus monster damage per additional player was a great start, but we can clearly go a bit further. The first change we’re making in 1.0.4 for co-op is to remove averaging in multiplayer games of Magic Find and Gold Find. You’ll benefit from your full Magic Find stat, independent of other players in the game. We originally added Magic Find averaging so optimal play did not involve people stacking what we call “adventure stats” to the detriment of their party. While this may re-emerge as a problem, we think the current solution feels like too much of a penalty, and is doing more harm than good.

Along the same lines as the change in 1.0.3, we’re going to be lowering the health multiplier for monsters per additional player in co-op games. It’s going to be a flat 75% in 1.0.4 for all difficulty levels, as opposed to the scaling 75/85/95/110% it is now. This makes enemies far more manageable in co-op games, and rewards a co-ordinated group with a higher farming efficiency than playing alone.

Would buffing the skill increase or decrease build diversity? Some skills when buffed cause other skills to become obsolete, so there’s a net decrease in build diversity - we’re more careful with those. Other skills, when buffed, add to the total pool of appealing skills, which increases build diversity.

We know there are a lot of you out there that are really frustrated by the difficulty of some of the champion and rare packs, so in 1.0.4 we’re going to shrink the gap between normal monsters and Elite packs (Champions and Rares). The design intent of Champion and Rare packs is to provide a spike of challenge, but in general we feel like the gap is too big. Normal monsters die quickly and are usually just fodder, and Champions and Rares can feel like a brick wall. In general we’re looking to bring normal enemies up a smidge, and Champions and Rares down.

So, in 1.0.4 we’re increasing the health of normal monsters by approximately 5%-10% in Inferno, but also increasing the likelihood they drop magic or rare items by a factor of four. We’re correspondingly lowering the health of Champions and Rares by 10-25% and editing specific affixes to shrink the difficulty gap. We’re still working on those numbers, but that’s approximately what we’re shooting for.

To further reduce the gap between normal and Elite monsters, we’re adjusting some of the more frustrating monster affixes, such as Fire Chains and Shielding.* Of course there are some normal monsters that are massive spikes in difficulty too, and we’ll be making polish adjustments to a few of those as well, like reducing the damage of two-handed skeletons like Skull Cleavers.

Both Taken from here - http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/6923456/104_Systems_Preview-8_10_2012

That's how Eric should approach balancing the guns and powers the characters use, exactly like Diablo 3 does and several other games, just maybe he needs a more recent studio's take on similar aspects, items and full co0op versus solo or duo play. He needs to go back and make the bad things in ME3 more competitive, but stop with the lazy nerfing. I don't need to get into and heavy details and hopefully he sees this. The game is just not fun when guns in ME3 mostly suck and every other game you'll find mostly good games. Gears or L4D even Borderlands are a good example of pick up any gun off the ground and you can own with it based on true skill, because they are made to all be effective. The enemies too are very difficult for most of the average players I know even on silver. Eric needs to understand, like Blizzard and all those other games mentioned that some people play alone or co-op (2 player) but don't want to be stuck in bronze. In the end Blizzard is dealing with a real cash auction house in there game, ME3 is just some tacked on shooter. It has packs people can spend real money on but you don't need to. It's even hackable. Especially around the events! It's easy to tease Eric and call him an asshole and its easy to give up and go play the mod/emulator, but I want the official game to do more like it should. It just personally bothers me he doesn't see that the same approach Blizzard uses above, is what he needs to do to make everyone happy. If it was me I'd also try to add in a way to customize guns further like Ghost Recon Future Soldier does, so there would be a wide array of builds for guns and new things to unlock even to place into building your gun, unrelated to the mod attachments. Either way by buffing all the bad guns and classes to make them competitive with the good guns, is leveling the playing field.

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20 thoughts on “Eric Fagnan Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer and the reason we have weekend events, balance changes Operation Olympus

  1. Marcello says:

    why u no approve comments?

  2. James V says:

    Fagnan needs to stop nerfing popular stuff and make the unpopular stuff good. That Diablo 3 update sounds good too. That’s how you do shit! Everyone write a letter to Eric. This is what would make the game good. More variety in matches too. No more being kicked for liking a certain character or gun. I play stuff that sucks only because it’s what I like. I have to deal with it, which means lots of being kicked. I do wish we could solo or play basic coop style which for most people is 2 player matches.

  3. Mad says:

    i agree and though we already know some developers do this, it’s a good reminder, if Eric sees it, how things could be. It would certainly solve things. Eric’s hardly done a good job this far, and it’s disapppointing to me that I can’t use things I want and earned. So many characters get ruined and weapons. No one uses them and they migrate to the good stuff then he seems to find that overpowered and he nerfs those things. What does he expect when he keeps removing good things from the equation?

  4. Statesman_HERO says:

    me3 ultimately is all about the multiplayer which is sad cause fagnan is ruining it. i mean it’s fun and i like playing it but he’s handling it wrong. if you have 5 or 6 characters only being played and 10 guns only being used of 52 guns and the rest are sucking something is wrong. I have numerous horde mode games I can play alone and it’s a fair fight without playing the same character over and over and using the same guns, but in this game it’s impossible for many people I know who played or quit playing. Lots of us want to solo, but with our favorites not just batarians or krogan vanguards and pirhanna shotguns. I do have friends to play with but sometimes they have to go to sleep or aren’t even on so I’d like to solo and not play with just some strangers online who kick me or lag me to death.

  5. Death! says:

    This is good. I think it would make the game better. I’ve been posting on their forums forever saying they should buff the junk stuff but they never listened. Maybe this action Blizzard is doing will show them they should too. I know SoE does it too with DCUO and it’s great. Cross your fingers got ME3 going from nerfs to buffs for unused guns and powers!

  6. Kenpo says:

    Well yeah this would be good if Fagnan can reverse the infiltrator being destroyed (sniper specific one) and make them actually good again. I haven’t played since those bad nerfs went down. I had downloaded the mod but not even played that either. Maybe I should, at least until they get this game back on track. I rather try all the n7 for free anyway then paying for them with money or time.

  7. Sean @ Origin (not EA) says:

    I’d like to see the infiltrator be good again and just true co-op (two player) on all the difficulties without it being crazy hard. And I would add the co-op with any characters or any guns. I’m tired of guns I liked being bad, even common ones.

    Aside from the infiltrator lots of stuff needs to be buffed. All the original characters. I’d like to see the Fury and Shadow have more health or shields without respeccing it. Just the base number. They are good but they die too easy making them not fun. I haven’t unlocked the slayer so I can’t say. The Paladin needs to be able to carry a shotgun and handgun without taking a hit to recharge. Destroyer’s good but feels a little weak in health too or shields. he’s just weaker than I’d imagine.

    There’s more it’s too much. Just never nerf anything again would be nice. Buff up stuff, leave what’s working well. Let people have fun! Right now it’s miserable to play so I just play other games.

    Off topic slightly, Blizzard is doing some smart stuff there. I wonder if they will apply that to their other games?

  8. Scarling says:

    That is a good post and good way to show Eric how things could be done in a positive light to make the game better for everyone.

    I sure do miss the old infiltrator sniper builds. At the moment reloading, aiming fast enough and every other classes stagger or just outright killing makes it too hard to play the sniper rifle builds effectively. I think they should increase the Krysae a little, put the zoom that had on all the guns because the black widow is hard to play with.

    It would be interesting to build a gun and preview it, test it then buy it for like .99-1.99. Or make custom weapons.

  9. Steelhawk says:

    I’d love to be able to play gold or higher in old school 2 player co-op. I quit over the 4 person thing myself.

  10. General Puffins says:

    I’m not playing that game until it is corrected. Until then I’ll stick with L4D2, where finales can be done on elite. Eric would have a heart attack if he saw that kind of gameplay and nerf it all! What a jerk he is.

  11. Wolf says:

    What’s it really matter what he does? The mod totally sinks Bioware’s version of multiplayer. There’s like what 166k people playing it now.

    Lets see:
    12 Factions to fight
    46 NEW characters & lots of new to multiplayer powers
    302 NEW maps +16 new ones coming this weekend
    all the old maps have extended versions so that’s even more maps
    new npc escort mission
    assault gametype (FUCKING AMAZING/ completely new)
    mapping tools
    CAN play this ALL solo on platinum
    can tweak the AI right inside the menu to act a certain way
    every gun, mod, previous character unlocked
    bot support helpers if you want them

    There’s so much more too, like I said tremendous amounts of content and even in game text chat now, and that’s a minor bonus. I don’t see why playing Fagnan’s version of a shooter which is probably the worst version of a shooter ever made, is even something you people do!

    • evil engine says:

      Well yeah the mod is great, but some of us feel the official one should be better. I’ve spent money on the Bioware version so I’d like to see it improved. In the end it would help everyone. Right now Eric’s turned it into chaos. I’m afraid to use any gun or character I really like, because he might nerf it. There’s only a handful of good guns left and most of the good characters are ugly aliens, and when he buffs old guns they still suck. I’m not sure what he’s trying to do other than destroy the game. I just hope he turns it around.

      • Jump P. says:

        I like the mod too but like EE said, I put time into the official one. Either he fixes it or there’s more set of nerfs that push me away forever. The last balance changes at least fixed the unfair stomping bullshit. Knowing Eric Fagnin, he’ll probably nerf the hell out of everything next week. And that folks, is how he does things and it’s so predictable too. He’s the worst at his job and you all know I play every damn shooter. This eric guys just crap at making it good.

        If he doesn’t nerf anything next week, they’ll announce some new dlc, and once that’s out and people like it, he’ll nerf stuff. Like once N7 was out which was lackluster, he nerfed tons of shit like the cerberus smash… just enough seconds cut short to faceplant all the time! It’s always give and take sadly and he mostly taketh away from us. The games unplayable right now for most people. I’m bored using the same guns and characters and seeing ones that could be good like most of the new n7, completely sucking in the end. I mean MAYBE the demolisher is good but the rest are lacking in other ways/total shit.

    • Broken says:

      This mod is great. I’ve spend more time with it than the real game. Someone at bioware seems to be leaking them things, since the leviathan DLC stuff is all in there too already. I mean the maps at least and some characters. I’m not sure if the characters are new, but the maps are definitely are the same ones shown in videos and screenshots.

  12. Sarah says:

    but the question remains after seeing the abuse or lack of experience perhaps… is Eric Fagnan professional enough to pull this off? Small studio or not, he could do it, Kids do more in mods in a week than Fagnan has done since the beginning. Same with the pros working on the ME3 mod now. They have done so much in so little time, rebalancing all the guns and it’s far, FAR more polished then the work Fagnan’s done on the “official” ME3. Sorry but I probably would never return to Fagnan’s little circus of crap.

    • I think he could if he cares. Maybe he didn’t know what he was doing, but what Blizzard is doing is a good guide for him to go by and it touches on similar aspects to where ME3 is deficient. I have to admit though, he seems to be very haphazard in his approach thus far in making the game good. So many friends of mine have quit and finding matches in my timezone is getting more difficult. My origin list and ps3 list of friends playing this has dropped to just me of a few 100 people on each. Most went back to Steam or play the me3 mod. I find myself playing it alot more too.

  13. Anubian says:

    Why can’t bioware do stuff like blizzard or some of these other game studios? They invest in a multiplayer mode but put a person in charge of it with little experience in games and from what I dug up, NONE in multiplayer… And some of these other guys like Derek you can’t even find records on the guy.

    On the other hand we have a team of nearly 150 working on the ME3 mod which actually is so big and complete it makes the bioware multi look like the mod. These people are led by a girl from epic games and another girl from square Enix whichis crazy in itself, but their professionalism shows. And then a few coders , artists all unreal engine experts here and there that worked on some 10-20 games over the past 10 years, and over 100 mappers/modellers from the ut-ut3 community, many I know who won the make something Unreal contest/ all that have been working on unreal content since before Eric fagnan and they are making an amazing game.

    I like how they take ideas people want and make them. The N7 2 player (or one player with a bot partner) is amazing work. Theres events and a ship you go back to like the single player…. It’s amazing. Now they are working on a Cerberus version with all those units.

    It just baffles me bioware doesn’t even know how to code in bot partners. How bioware can’t do work this polished? These modders and devs working on the mod do it for free because they care about it and their work is far more professional. From adding bots, new classes characters, 100s of maps and new gametypes, new powers, new enemies to simple stuff like making the enemy stomp/execution look less robotic and amateur and more fluid in animation. ALso the new patch said it increased how long before the AI stomps, but they still stomp almost instantly, so eric is just lying to people now.

    If bioware did that.and removed Eric fagnan from ever tweaking and nerfing anything and charged for it people would play. I love just being able to play on the hardest settings but solo and practicing.

    So my point is who cares what Eric does with the “official” version, the mod overtakes it in every category. I didn’t even mention how amazing the net code is and allowing people to log in and connect to their friends or any server without going through origin, ea games or bioware. I don’t even see the point of wanting eric to improve the official game when the mod has like 20000000000 downloads and the official game I never can find more than 1 other person to play with and I’m only playing with them because I’m forced to. I rather play alone or with friends, but most of my friends quit bioware because of the me3 ending or eric fagnan’s poor balancing and ruining fun weapons and such.

  14. Thornstar says:

    This is a great post, hope Eric Fagnan does it but he’s stupid. The mod smashes the normal multiplayer. I love the anderson character the mod added today for fun. andersons courage buff +75% to all damage on everything. anderson’s iron will – +75% to ALL defenses. Anderson’s Praise – “You’ve done well child.” gives invulnerability to everyone for 25 seconds, but you can only do it once per match so you have to do it at the right time.

    Why play the official anymore? Once the kids go back to school any day now the game will be even more dead.

    • MADness says:

      i think they just added him for fun and it seems to work like the ut mutators did so that’s good. I mean he’s fun, it’s good sometimes to have him on the maps if you turn up the difficulty or set it to spawn lots of bosses over standard enemies.

  15. Broken says:

    I think the ideas presented here are great, I just believe Eric Fagnan has broken the game past the point of no return. Like others have said, there are a number of weapons that are bad, more bad than good. There’s too many kids and whiners on the forums who say things, Eric listens because he has no experience, and they ruin the game more. I’m sure this Tuesday more nerfs will come on classes that don’t need it, weapons that work fine. Instead of improving on all the bad weapons or powers, we will just see what works properly lessened and they will always justify it with “wasn’t working as intended,” It’s a sad excuse but most people these days know it’s just the dev bsing people.

    Thanks to Eric Fagnan and the mass effect 3 community on those official forums, the game is dead and going… gone.

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