NGE Rant (But it’s not what you think)

I’ve been seeing it on forums a lot lately, it seems.

EVE Online made some changes to speed, to being able to continue training while unsubbed (can’t anymore), a couple other things.  City of Heroes/Villains is making changes to the PvP system.  In both cases, the affected individuals scream bloody murder at the nerfs-and constantly trot out this little tidbit.

“This is like the SWG:NGE!!!  You don’t listen to your customers, we’re all going to leave!”

To borrow a phrase:  I knew SWG.  SWG was a good friend of mine.  This is no NGE.

Fact:  the NGE was, aside from graphics, nearly a full replacement of the SWG game.  The creatures were changed; the professions were changed; the combat mechanics were changed; the buffs were changed.  Crafting was castrated and loot became king.  It was so complete that the NGE was buggy as hell, and to this day STILL has issues.

Comparing any of these nerfs in EVE or CoH/V is just insane.  Neither one approaches the absolute scale of the disaster that was NGE.  Neither of these changes are likely to cause the same massive exodus as the NGE, either-which, among other things was caused by not JUST those changes, but by the fact it was dropped on the players a mere 2 weeks prior to implementation.

And this is the only place where a comparison can be drawn; the lines of communication.  The devs of these games do have to explain what they’re doing-which they have-and they must explain the WHY.  Nerfs are never perceived as a good thing by those affected by them, but the devs have to get out their side of the story, or else players will tend to believe the worst.  Don’t tell the players “We have reasons, but we can’t tell you what they are”.  Players aren’t stupid-and they aren’t renowned for patience, either.  Explain the nerf; explain the reasons why it had to happen.  If it’s to set up something further down the line, don’t just say that-tell the players where this is going.

It won’t stop the people who want to say “It’s the NGE all over again!”  But it’ll get the reasonable people on your side-and I like to think that they outnumber the unreasonable ones.

I like to delude myself on that point an awful lot.

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