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.