As many know, current and past balance councilors and balance team were never elected by the community. Mostly through fake news and conspiracy theories claiming a popularity contest would lead to bad game changes they managed to circumvent democratic processes in the past to implant themselves like a cancerous oligarchy. This is of course the common premise of all dictators who know that in a fair election process, their self centeredness would never trump superior candidates’ ideas. This has become very clear over time in their "balance" patches that create new imbalances, lessen strategic diversity, ruin map designs and reduce units to obsolescence (I.e. Fire Beetle).
Unfortunately FAF nowadays is in ruins, having become increasingly stale and uninteresting, as viable strategies to create advantages and counterplay keep disappearing. I want to see the game saved from this path, the ‘S’ in RTS for FAF is almost dead but we can bring it back, bigger, better and stronger than ever before with real change that you can really believe in.
Cause and effect:
The issue is as follows: With their unlimited term in office and no stated manifesto, the current group have no reason to hurry along completing their process of "balancing the game" and consequently use their position to prevent much needed changes and improvements they either don't understand or don't see how those changes would improve things for themselves.
Nevertheless they keep making adjustments to units after playing games in which they did not like the outcome, i.e. that they lost and the blame goes to the unit used against them "obviously being OP". This leads to poor patches necessitating further "balancing" after they lose yet another game. The vicious circle never ends and while the head of the hydra has changed from time to time, at its core the balance team is still the same group of people who appease their "friends", while others get ignored when proposing improvements to the game. Balanced gameplay is not just about changing individual unit costs, HP and DPS, failing to see further implications to the changes than just one dynamic between 2 units, it is much more complex.
You may say they are good players because they have high ratings. OK, but where do these ratings come from? Is it that they can click faster, have better memorized build orders or that they have shaped the gameplay to favor their strengths and preferences? Are these factors alone really relevant to the task at hand of balancing units vs each other in a complex dynamic web or should there be a general framework based on math and analytical models that anyone can look at and scrutinize?
The issue with saying a unit 'is better balanced' and 'it is intended to do X' is that those are just claims/opinions with no supporting evidence. As an example, many maps have specific ideas behind them based on the range of T1, T2 and T3 navy units and why should map makers have to redo their maps because the balance team decided to change ranges on navy vessels' weapons? Another example were t1 bombers being sterilized for 5 years because the first bomber on 5x5 maps was "too strong" which not only affects the first bomber but also every subsequent bomber. At the same time they weakened the bomber, they also buffed the T1 mobile AA reducing T1 bombers’ utility even further.
It only reverted when a new leader of the team took over with no explanation whatsoever. Why did we have to live with that mistake for 5 years and still do with the many others?
We need an alternative to this current feudal system. Like politicians, they never will admit they made an error and will keep their mistakes in place to the detriment of all of us as long as they have their say in the decision-making process.
We need a superior balancing system to the current opinions-based one. Competing candidates with their own ideas should lay out what they intend to change with fixed terms of say 6-12 months to implement them. The community can then decide to re-elect those who deliver improvements or dismiss those that do not. Most importantly, the changes to come would be known in advance through their proposals as the game in theory is a static set of data. This would also weed out those who only want the power to decide what to change for their own benefit and prevent many meaningless changes presented as balance improvements when they are not just to achieve volume.