If you have been around the forums for any length of time, you must have seen at least one thread proclaiming that Fraggers Nade is OP (Over Powered). Within that thread you find people that fall within one of two camps thrashing it out. One group are the people that believe the Nade is overpowered and simply needs a huge nerf and on the other side we have people that believe the Nade is fine in the grand scheme of things and should be left alone. Both can't be right, can they? Well this is where it gets a little more complicated because in literal terms, no, the Nades are not overpowered. Fragger by his very design is supposed to be one of the heavy hitters and be topping the scoreboard in terms of kills and deaths. His punishment for this? Well, he cannot heal himself or his team, revive other players, do objectives quickly, highlight enemy players or provide ammo to himself and team members. Basically, beyond his lethality, he's kinda useless...
So, we go by the numbers and accept that he is indeed balanced and get on with it, right? Not exactly... There is a new go to term in back seat game design called "Counter Play". Really the words mean very little these days due to the way it has been milked dry by gamers who have very limited understanding of how it works. For those people here that have no idea what I am talking about, watch this -> HERE!
In basic terms, counter play is the idea of designing mechanics that both add choices to players using a mechanic and the players on the receiving end of said mechanic. Fraggers Nades do this very poorly... At the moment, the outcome of a Nades overall effect on gameplay is too heavily dictated by the player throwing it. This may seem both obvious and the correct way of doing it and you would not be far wrong. For example, you look at your spawn timer, realise the enemy are about to spawn so you pull out your nade and start cooking. As soon as you hear the enemies footsteps from around a corner you peak out, let the nade fly and get a sexy triple kill. Sure, you earned them kills and it felt awesome to get them. However, it only felt awesome for you. Your team are likely bored and frustrated though the lack of action they are able to partake in and your enemies have just been killed with no opportunity to either fight back or realistically predict what was about to happen. So even though you have somewhat ruined the enjoyment for at least the 3 people you hit but likely more whom now have less chance of progressing or if on your team, less people to interact with, that does not mean what you just did is due to any imbalance in the game...
This is where what you as a player wants, really polarises you opinion on what is right for the game. For simplicities sake I am going to break it down into two camps. 1, the camp that believes in "Skilful Slaughter" and 2, the camp that wants "Skilful Domination", and yes, I know both these names suck but its very late and I need sleep. Before going any further I want to make it clear that I come from the camp of "Skilful Domination". So if you find my wording in the following biased, I do apologise.
In my eyes the camp of "Skilful Slaughter" are the people that generally are of a decent skill level and believe that fair is fair. They want to feel as powerful as possible, as often as possible and are willing to risk the same mechanics being used on themselves to achieve that. Also, extremely casual players and some of the more old school players are more willing to take on this mindset, be it for widely varying reasons. The casual players simply accept it blind with the attitude of "well this is part of the game". On the other hand the more old school players have likely become more accustomed to this form of game design over the years due to how games were in the past. These players pride themselves on a very high skill ceiling
The camp that push for "Skilful Domination" more so believe in a few design pillars like the mythical counter play, wide skill sets catered for and tactical depth being more aligned when it comes to value with individual skill levels. Based on the popularity of games like LoL, Dota 2, Starcraft and Counter Strike, I would have to say the players that generally fall into this camp are the hardcore/avid gamers. These players are generally of a medium to high skill level and receive less support from the extremely casual due to games balanced around skilful domination generally having a much steeper learning curve that less experienced gamers can find daunting
CONTINUED IN THE NEXT POST!!!