Opening the balancing Blackbox to the public

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Agreed. Discussion behind close doors is really not necessary in such a small community. Big game with millions of players can afford to lose a few unhappy people, but wth FAF, it's a matter of keeping the community together.

Same applies to map pool discussions. I'm not satisfied with the answer : "if you want to participate in reviewing maps, join the ladder team". Why ask people to join the black box instead of making it public ?

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I mentioned this back in November in this topic. If I recall from that topic it is not necessarily the need of it being a black box - more a form of convenience.

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@auricocorico It's not a black box if people who want to join the ladder team and contribute to the map pools can just do that by just messaging me or FtX. It's like the most minimal barrier to entry you can have.

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@archsimkat I would like to join the balance team. Ok?

Honestly that sounds just moronic. It's like saying you need to have a membership to shop at Costco, but memberships are free. What's the point of requiring the membership anyway?

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The changes that were introduced in beta were well described in a post made by Petric a while ago and if you want to discuss any of them feel free to make a topic (given it's well made, has merit and thought through arguments) or ask someone on the balance team. I really don't understand this whole fuss about balance changes being hidden, the beta patchnotes exist for a reason, if you want you can also track github to see PR's (that's what I did before I joined balance team). While in theory it would be nice to have more openness there is honestly no time for that and who would want to watch unit test stream either way? It's not exiting, trust me ... I know I will sound elitist but the truth is that most people can't add much to a balance discussion, especially when we are not talking about huge changes but rather small tweaks. So the few people that could add something have all the possibilities, forum, discord, PM, comment on Github PR's. It's really not that hard. About the "response" from balance team to some posts. The only interesting one was Mercy one (I wanted to adjust them anyways so I spent like 5 hours playing around with them) and the recent Lab made by Tex (I think?) which is something that may be considered in the future. Also I would like to add that with bigger changes eg. SACUs rework there was a post made about them and they are not even close to being done for now anyways.

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Link to balance pull requests on Git Hub:
https://github.com/FAForever/fa/pulls?q=is%3Apr+is%3Aopen+label%3A"area%3A+balance"

And our FAF Discord:
https://discord.gg/jj9yGUP

When I see something interesting on the gitHub site, I go to discord and ask / talk about it.
This happens mostly when PRs on github don't have comments about what was changed.
Sure i can read the code but i still don't know why it was changed.

Maybe this can be an improvement. Better comments on PullRequests. (I would love that)

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@shape-of-bennis said in Opening the balancing Blackbox to the public:

sometimes the balance forum comes up with legitimate points of imbalance or improvement opportunities for the game, and currently except for the occasional condescending statement I see no engagement by the balance team with these issues. It almost seems to me as if for a lack of counterargument some issues are just left on the table, mix in a little bit of favouritism and pride. This has to change, a well formulated balance suggestions with well formulated support by top players stands as an open issue, and the balance team should have the responsibility to engage with it. Otherwise we might as well close the balance forums.

So apparently, you are wrong, Bennis, and the only potentially good balance ideas originate from the balance team, but you will never hear why your ideas are wrong. I believe your conclusion is correct: "Otherwise we might as well close the balance forums." They are clearly 100% pointless anyway.

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@corvathranoob said in Opening the balancing Blackbox to the public:

@shape-of-bennis said in Opening the balancing Blackbox to the public:

sometimes the balance forum comes up with legitimate points of imbalance or improvement opportunities for the game, and currently except for the occasional condescending statement I see no engagement by the balance team with these issues. It almost seems to me as if for a lack of counterargument some issues are just left on the table, mix in a little bit of favouritism and pride. This has to change, a well formulated balance suggestions with well formulated support by top players stands as an open issue, and the balance team should have the responsibility to engage with it. Otherwise we might as well close the balance forums.

So apparently, you are wrong, Bennis, and the only potentially good balance ideas originate from the balance team, but you will never hear why your ideas are wrong. I believe your conclusion is correct: "Otherwise we might as well close the balance forums." They are clearly 100% pointless anyway.

Apparently so. We are all just retarded, and tagada and petric know all the shit. Duh.

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I'd just like to know the reason behind the Mex changes. What triggered the change and what the intended outcome was.

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I saw the LAB icon change discussed / suggested on the forum. Better late than never for the shard as well.

Petricpwnz is balance councillor at the moment. If you want to contribute you now know how.

There's a bit of sarcasm above. I get it, you're frustrated, but hopefully now that is out of your system and you can focus on being positive to deal with.

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Care to ellaborate on all of the good and well thought out balance ideas that we've missed on the forums?

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Perhaps a method of collating and prioritizing ideas by importance from the perspective of the community might help?
For example, a poll/list/voting/spreadsheet where ideas are listed and voted on. Requirement for voting is sign-in to FAF to stop vote spamming and allow griefers/lol-posters to be held accountable.
That might help identify which topics the general player base community believes should have priority in the next patch.
This idea came from the "Naval Balance Survey" as some people had (amid the garbage) some good ideas. E.g. "Carriers were under performing so let them build while moving".

BTW the "FAF Beta Current Changelog" topic has really helped make changes become more transparent and was an excellent idea (as github is confusing...). One suggestion: add 2 sentences describing why the change is being made and how it addresses the issue.

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Polls for balance matters ,especially vague ones like "what units would you change and why" or "in which direction do you think that balance should go" don't make any sense. Most people don't understand the game and its balance, so all that's you gonna get in such a pull is what players struggle with/just don't like, be it mantis, aurora, labs or transports. If you understand the balance well and you want to be actively engaged with its development you join the balance team. If you have a good idea you make a forum post and if it's well written I will read it and comment on it.

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What about a minimalistic journal, posted weekly on forums any week there have been discussions?
People can then reply or post if they want to know more.

FULL POST EXAMPLE
Title: Week 19:

  • Discussed T3 MAA balance, moderate consensus.
  • Discussed Suggestions for engineer hp, wildly varying views.
  • Reached consensus on LAB balance
  • Implemented Mex design as per prior discussions.
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Sure, i understand the need of not being spammed by random ideas. But from the player perspctive, it feels like there is very little will to communicate toward the player base.
As Arran and Valki pointed out, a small journal, or just an updated thread "FAF Beta Current Changelog" would already be a good step forward.

Funny you link the github page, as it's a perfect example: i can discover there are discussions about aeon and sera enginneering station (who asked for that ? is there a forum post ?), a solace buff (???), a t1 ghetto gunship buff, but no thread about the mercy rework, no discussion about aeon strat bomber (i remember arran making a legit thread about it), nothing on the navy stuff ... etc.

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The engineering station thing is pretty old, pretty sure there was a thread about that on old forums.

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@tagada said in Opening the balancing Blackbox to the public:

Care to ellaborate on all of the good and well thought out balance ideas that we've missed on the forums?

I'm sounding like a broken record at this point, but I'm still waiting for a response to my arguments in the beetle thread that isn't a condescending "beetles are good now and all of you are just too stupid to notice".

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The were forums posts about mantis icon and navy, then mantis icon and shard got changed......yeah so blackboxie

Regarding mercy, I'm currently making a mercy mod to change how you can use it, it's not easy, don't expect mercy to be changed at all because anything will probably break it

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@Tagada you expressed to me that the major drive for the previous balance updates to labs and t1 boomer is to make the game more interesting within the first 3 minutes. That does not sound like a balance change but more a “we don’t like waiting 3 minutes and want to do this update with justification!”

You guys in no way are addressing an imbalance but more the flow of the game in the past and the current update.

I wrote in my player application about how the balance team should collaborate on how to express balance updates BEFORE release through explanation. You guys are nearly completely refusing to admit it’s a gameplay change rather balance, so I am happy to see other people are starting to take notice and demanding openness.

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@archsimkat said in Opening the balancing Blackbox to the public:

@auricocorico It's not a black box if people who want to join the ladder team and contribute to the map pools can just do that by just messaging me or FtX. It's like the most minimal barrier to entry you can have.

But why do they have to be on the “team?” Not everyone wants to be on the team full time but may want to voice concerns or suggestions every so often. I don’t think someone needs to officially be part of the team to do that.