So if you’ve been following fighting game news, you probably know that Street Fighter V has yet another balance patch coming. Normally this would just be news and nothing more, but thanks to the…Let’s say questionable decisions made in the last balance patch, I felt the need to throw together a list of things we hope to see in the next patch. Bare in mind that these could be just raw balance changes, or a change in Capcoms entire balance philosophy. This list could also include references to changes made in the past balance patch so make sure to read up on that, or to at least have it available as a reference. Let’s get started.
Reversions on or Compensation For Low tier Character Nerfs
One of the first things I do upon waking up is pray to Papa Capcom, and ask them why they nerfed Alex and Nash the way they did. While Nash was pretty decent, Alex had no cause for nerfs to come his way. Nash had started out the games lifespan doing well in tournaments thanks to Infiltration, but his domination was hardly so absolute that he needed to be nerfed the way he was. Then there is F.A.N.G.. I won’t even pretend to understand the decision behind that.
Intuitive, Creative Nerfs
So let’s just go ahead and get something out of the way: When Capcom decides to go through with this balance patch, there’s very little doubt in anyone’s mind that certain characters will see the nerf bat. Guile, Urien and Laura are the prime suspects for such a treatment given how…Well…Objectively stronger they are than the rest of the cast. Still, it’s unhealthy for the game if characters are continuously nerfed into obscurity. People lose interest if their character is made unplayable, especially in fighting games where most people specialize in one or two characters. So the nerfs that do come, need to be creative and don’t remove the usefulness of the character. If that’s not possible for them then they’ll need to look into…
At the other side of creative nerfs, sit buffs. I prefer buffs in general (Controlled buffs, anyhow) Compensation buffs are going to be important here if Capcom is as heavy handed in this balance run as they were in the last one. I know there are many players that would hate to see Laura get the Nash treatment, and I’d imagine that they outnumber the people that want to see her get nerfed so hard. As I stated, it’s important for the health of the game to ensure that as many characters are as viable as possible. It keeps interest in the game alive, and doesn’t scare people away from dedicating their time to a character. Street Fighter isn’t a MOBA, most average players can’t afford to spend time in the lab every few months because Capcom decided they wanted to step on the necks of their favorite character, and there is a lot of in depth tech to both learn and master, something that will only become more true as the game ages and grows.
More General Buffs
This could be written as “Adding more options” as well. One of the biggest complaints about the game in general was that every character was stuck to a certain playstyle, and that the majority of the cast fell into the “Rushdown” category, with the notable exception of Dhalsim, who is still more aggressive than he has been in the past, and perhaps Guile. Buffing characters gives them more options, which not only evens the playing field, but also increases how many different playstyles are available to players, making the game more fun to play for many, and enables innovation and increases the life span of a game. A better man than me said it best – Buffs are the reason we have Marvel.
A Light Approach On Raw Fame Data Nerfs
Changing the frame data of a character effects everyone, and doing it willy nilly, and heavily changes the entire competitive landscape of your game, and causes everyone to have to relearn the matchup from the ground up. People who play the character in question now how to learn to compensate for the weaknesses their character has now, and while it’s easy to just say “Git Gud” there’s only so many times that people are willing to do that before they just stop, and the entire population of the game is worse for their loss, since that’s one less competitor than before.
What are you hoping for in Capcom’s next balance patch? Let me know in the comments and for more on Street Fighter V stick with us at FGCNow.