Weapons left alone. For some, FOREVER alone…

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 rage joy…

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.

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6 Responses to Weapons left alone. For some, FOREVER alone…

  1. Reivalt Geriant says:

    The weapons I use are pretty much balanced. My main setup is SMG, Rev, Semi accompanied with hp30/bind which I haven’t found any issues with. Ironically those are old weapons .. all the new weapons are kinda useless or weak, the only exception I can think of atm being the AR which is borderline OP. Turret I would have loved to use but the many flaws ruined it. Mind Shock is great for trolling or finishing, but not something to rely on either.

    One of the old weapons I do think is way too overpowered is the Smash Rifle. But that is for another day, as I’m writing an article about it as we speak.

    Btw, two pointers to a nicely written article:
    1) For such articles, ‘S4 > Gameplay Analysis / Tips fits better than ‘weekly rambling’.
    2) Feel free to reply to our thread with a post that a new entry has been posted. Link: click

    • Pleasance says:

      I thought this kind of thing would fit better in the ‘rambling’ since there isn’t much of an analysis in how to use the weapons in game. My article doesn’t help players to use the said weapons and only registers them to be OP or UP.

      I thought you would make a new post on S4 thread yourself since you did the same thing last time. Ah well. I’ll do it right now.

  2. Harakiry says:

    I call the Counter Sword clearly underpowered and Katana strongly overpowered. Problem?

    No but seriously, I believe that labeling things as overpowered or underpowered is not entirely possible in a game with many modes and maps like S4… follow me in my argument.

    Weapons and skills are SITUATIONAL. Something may be completely cheap/broken/overpowered/awesome in a mode, while in another mode it will be completely useless… there are many examples:
    -A team without a Mind Energy in DM and Cpt will always lose against a team that has one, which makes it overpowered. But Mind Energy in BR is the most useless weapon you can choose since there are no teammates.
    -Mind Shock, Homo Rifle and Spark Rifle attacks are easy to land but generally very weak in all modes because of their low damage. But, when you’re the Chaser the damage gets “fixed” and you become a killing machine… consider that when you’re the Chaser it’s harder to aim attacks because you get pushback/knockback/stun raped all around the map… but with the previously listed weapons that are easy to aim, it’s not an issue
    -In TD, the power of a Bomb often resides in suicidebombing… and well, there are maps where you can’t suicide. Now compare Bombs in Siege and DM. In Siege you can spam Bombs by picking up the yellow ammo refills (and they are like 70% of the buffs), a Bomb thrown into a base WILL hit everyone in it, and you can even suicidebomb in Skyline. On the other hand Bombs in DM can’t be spammed and are not convenient to use like in Siege since you’re free to go anywhere in a DM map
    -The major drawback of Metallic is that you stand still when using it. Standing still is always bad in S4, EXCEPT FOR SIEGE when you occupy a base. If the enemy doesn’t have the right tools, he’s forced to stare at you stealing his base lol
    -Anchor? Useless everywhere except in TD where it can be awesomecake
    -Rail Gun? Better used in open/wide maps so you can take full advantage of its aim, it is better used in TD because the routes of players are rather predictable, you can stop anchorers with a single non-charged hit etc.

    Ok, there are weapons that seem to fit in EVERY situation and do their job always well, like Smash Rifle, Counter Sword, Shield, but if you think about it they have their downsides too.

    Oh who the fuck am I kidding, they have a broken design that make them stand victorious against virtually EVERYTHING. Picking one of those weapons/skills is always a good choice, but there is a but. I believe that AVAILABILITY plays an important role in game balance. S4 is not like Halo where the first player who picks ZE SNIPER RIFLE rapes the whole room, or like TF2 where you’re forced to choose certain classes that only use certain weapons… in S4 you’re FREE to equip whatever you want. If you’re skilled enough you’ll know how to choose your equipment wisely. If everyone is free to use overpowered weapons then everyone is overpowered. If everyone is OP then no one is OP. S4 League is balanced. Lol logic.

    Just my over-nine-thousand cents, as usual. It’s good to see you here Heat. When I’m in the mood I’m gonna apply/send random articles for this blog instead of writing superlong comments lol.

    • Pleasance says:

      I really wanted to talk about the old weapons needing some love too along with the ‘tier list’ but oh well.

      The whole ‘tier list’ thing isn’t about finding the INDISPUTABLE TRUTH of weapons. You hardly find anyone agreeing with each other about one thing (except you and I. We agree on many things) but discussing and evaluating what each other think is better than just pooping on others for not agreeing with you. I’m sure we can at least come to a general consensus.

      • Harakiry says:

        Oh btw, you forgot the Handgun nerf… it used to have autoaim but they removed it at Patch 7 because it was a killing machine lolol

      • Pleasance says:

        Ah that one. Totally forgot about that it. It probably never stuck to my mind since I barely used the Hand Gun for killing. I had no idea it had auto aim until they removed it sadly.

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