The first few weeks of a mmo release can be scary.Â This is usually when the devs nerf or “fix” classes that seem overpowered.Â But it often feels like it’s more than simply being overpowered, doesn’t it?Â It feels like whenever a class has smoother gameplay or feels just right the devs always “fix”, aka nerf, the class making it far less appealing and in many cases worse off than many other classes in the game.
In Age of Conan the devs have recently fixed two classes that I have been playing.Â The Tempest of Set and the Priest of Mitra both received fixes/nerfs in a recent patch.Â The PoM’s nerf was fairly justified because of their ability to pull 15 mobs, drop them all, and go do it again in 5 seconds.Â In their haste Funcom took the spell being used and turned it into a DOT instead of dd.Â What they failed to realize was that it wasn’t the spell being used that made this possible, it was a secondary talent that allowed the spell to be recast.Â This has resulted in a once useful skill and decent burst dps ability being nearly useless.Â This change completely alters the play style for PoM’s who spec’d for that spell.Â The ToS’ nerf was also needed since they could summon numerous totems of set and solo in a similar fashion like the PoM.
I support balancing classes, I really do.Â I think it’s important that classes are not left as broken and overpowered capable of performing gameplay breaking feats.Â But it confuses me when, right after a long beta with plenty of feedback, a company decides to change how a class plays drastically right after release.Â I’m reminded of Vanguard and my Bard.Â I beta tested VG for months and the Bard class at release was balanced and nothing was wrong with it.Â The class was fun and and had real flavor that set it apart from the norm.Â Days after release the class was nerfed and it felt like another sheep in the flock.Â Why must classes that are fun to play, that offer a unique experience, and really raise the bar be nerfed?
This popular class syndrome is often referred to as “Flavor of the month”.Â When a class is overpowered, or in many cases really enjoyable, it attracts many people and quickly gains notoriety for needing a nerf.Â I am a freaking magnet for FotM’s!Â I always pick a class that sounds fun, plays fun, then gets changed.Â Then when I decide to change classes to seek out something that matches my play style again I always pick the next class that gets targeted for the nerf.
Developers need to start looking at these FotM’s and find out what makes them so appealing.Â Then, instead of nerfing them, make the rest of the classes appeal in similar ways!
When you remove all the flavors of the month all you’re left with is vanilla.Â I hate vanilla.