After playing S4 for a while, I noticed for a while that the weapons in S4 hardly change. The new weapons, like the Homing Rifle and the Rescue Gun, only changed after getting tested by players. But then, they were never touched ever again. Do you remember the Turret? After it’s release, how many of them have you seen being used EFFECTIVELY against players who aren’t newbs? Do you remember the Shockwave Gun? No wait. That’s even worse since it just became removed. But I’m not just talking about the new weapons. I’m mainly talking about the old weapons. The old weapons hardly ever change. Actually, I can’t remember when they ever buffed or nerfed the old weapons. And you might be thinking “That’s because the old weapons are perfect!”.
I think some, if not most, of the old weapons are balanced. I mainly think this because it’s easier to balance weapons when there are less of them. You have less weapons to compare with each other. If you want to make a balanced game with different types of weapons for different styles, you have to make sure some weapons don’t completely outshine another. Each weapon needs their role, strengths and weaknesses so it is good but not OP. This becomes much more difficult as more variations are added into the game and it may even cause some weapons to be buffed or nerfed, whether they are old or new. This is fine. If the game needs to be balanced, I can happily withstand my favourite weapons getting nerfed
because I would have already abused the hell out of them. Even right now, I wouldn’t mind seeing Ragna getting nerfed in BlazBlue (even though I use him) because by using the character, I can feel how OP that character is. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Tomislav getting nerfed (and it did!) in TF2 since I can feel that it’s too powerful, even though I love the instant spin-up and it’s power. In S4, I wouldn’t mind the Counter Sword getting nerfed, even if it is my favourite sword. The difference is that I KNOW the CS isn’t getting nerfed anytime soon.
The big problem with S4 is that after weapons get released for everyone, it hardly ever changes (like I mentioned before). When was the last time an OLD weapon got buffed or nerfed? I think I remember seeing the HMG being slightly buffed or nerfed (can’t quite remember which) but that’s about it. And, for those who think the old weapons are balanced, I can tell you that many of them aren’t. The Mind Shock, for example, is very weak and has limited range. It is fairly easy to land critical hits but even then it is far to weak to keep up with a gun or sword. The HP regain is minimal and even if you use it to attack people through walls or obstacles, it’s just a matter of whether the opponent decides to come around the wall or to just walk away from the MS after receiving very little damage.
Next, look at the CS. It is undoubtedly the most powerful sword in SO since it has the unique function of being able to block attacks, deals good damage and has excellent range. The only downside it has is the delay between attacks and having to be more ‘rigid’ in movement compared to the Plasma Sword or the Dagger. It is still beatable and it still requires the user to have skill to user it properly but anyone with a long experience in SO (except the OMG PS AND BAT ONLY ‘pros’) can come to the same conclusion: it is a ‘must-have’ sword.
Arguably, it’s not just weapons either. Skill mastery is arguably useless compared to all other skills (excluding Half HP Mastery) except in TD and SO. Having 40 more SP than usual is not a good enough benefit to have a skill for it since you won’t actually need that much SP most of the time (except for scoring and dodging out of stuns or just simply dodging to avoid hits). It becomes more important in SO because SO requires lot more actions which eats up SP and this is specially the case when you need to dodge out of a stun. SO is more dynamic and more about movement. But even then, HP Mastery is more useful in modes other than TD.
But you probably saw a lot of these kinds of things. I’ve seen games where the ‘once-good’ old items are now pretty much useless due to the new items. Developers like making new items which are more powerful than the old ones instead of buffing or nerfing existing weapons. In some cases, so do we. We love being able to do new things in games, especially if new content hasn’t been released for a long time. New weapons gives players more possibility and power that the developers may have never been able to think of. But, it leads failure in balance eventually if it isn’t properly managed.
Look at TF2. TF2 gets buffs and nerfs on weapons quite frequently (in my opinion) but a lot of them are still neglected. The Brass Beast has been UP for quite a long time and even in the recent update, it was not touched. Weapons like the Third Degree and Solemn Vow rendered the default melee weapons useless because they have absolutely no downside to using them. Even if the bonuses are small, you will never see the Fire Axe or the Bonesaw in competitive play.
Is your favourite weapon deemed to be ‘Underpowered’? One of my favourite is. The MS hasn’t seen a good day ever since it’s release and it’s still as weak as ever without AP. The only exception is in Unlimited Chaser. Oh those tears of
Please do note that all the things I call OP or UP is my opinion. They may be based on facts, but they are still my opinion and I would love to discuss about it with other people.