Simple answer? Escalation.
I agree that balancing is healthy for the game and is necessary. However…
but this is like getting kids to eat their vegetables
I don’t think we should consider the players “kids” and the Devs “parents”. Players are consumers and Devs are producers, and they should be standing at the equal footing.
We can argue for the opposite as well, and let’s back up for a minute. The nerf would not have happened in the first place, if Devs tested and balanced the commanders before they released them.
As consumers, we should not allow Devs to push out OP commanders to lure players to purchase them, only to be followed by nerfs. The commanders (ideally) should be well balanced before they are released. And if consumers do nothing about it (borrowing your words):
it makes them happy for the moment but it sets a bad precedent and they don’t learn what they needed to understand in the first place
If we keep allow them to nerf the commanders without a cost, this cycle will continue, and you’ll have to deal with the complainers again!
Devs need to be conservative when they add new commanders, and they should try their best to balance without nerfs (buffs only) - start them on the slightly weaker side, and then slowly make them stronger.
That’s why requiring compensation for the nerf will be healthier for the game in the long run.