Nerfs to come with compensation similar to Hearthstone's full dust disenchantment

Regarding the 12/16/19 update to Co-op commanders, I am assuming that everyone agrees that the update was a nerf to Zeratul and Mengsk.

I want to ask SC2 dev team to consider a way to compensate the players with nerfed commanders, similar to how Hearthstone compensates the players with nerfed cards with full dust disenchantment - it gives the players the option to exchange the nerfed cards with something else.

Even though I trust the Dev’s decision to nerf the commanders is for the better of the game, I cannot stop feeling like I just lost what I paid for…

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Will people never get over the fact that Zeratul and Mengsk were overtuned and are now on a more similar playing field with other commanders? Get over it.

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People will get over it more easily if they are compensated for it.
And that - nerfing with a compensation - seems to be the norm in Hearthstone, and I am hoping we could find a way to follow that.

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And what exactly would you propose for compensation? It’s not like SC2 has an in-game currency.

In my case, I do not own all commanders, so I would be happy to exchange Zeratul with another commander that I do not own.

Other options could be compensation with Battlenet credit which players can spend on other things that they sell for SC2 and other games.

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How about receiving the next commander for free, or being able to purchase the next commander at a discounted rate?

Commander credit?

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Why don’t you want to play Zeratul anymore?

Players get compensations because Hearthstone is a primarily competitive game that can come with large investments of in-game currency in order to build out the decks or playstyles you want to climb the ladder with. When cards get nerfed, it can then render that investment worthless, particularly in cases where the nerfed card was the centerpiece of the entire deck; you’re not just losing the crafting cost of that particular card, but all the niche cards you crafted intended to support that card.

Is this competitive? No. Did the nerfs to Zeratul’s cannons and Legions make him worthless? No. Did you have to spend money buying niche commanders in order to make your Zeratul purchase worthwhile? No. Was he advertised as “the most powerful co-op commander ever who will never be nerfed”? No. You still got exactly what you paid for: a commander based on a hero unit and a small but strong army who gets mostly-automated macro in exchange for having to play a fairly easy scavenger hunt each mission, one who is still very powerful and versatile. So please stop moaning and groaning about how unfair his nerfs were. He’s fine. Everything is fine.

I swear, I’ve never seen people get so upset over something they spent FIVE DOLLARS on.

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I’d agree with some kind of compensation if not for two things:

  1. As much as it doesn’t seem like it, Blizzard has a history of nerfing over performing COs and strats. (see Abathur, Stukov, and Dehaka as examples of paid for COs being nerfed)
  2. Nothing about what they nerfed was what they were selling Zeratul with. He still has all his defining features.

Besides, he’s still got lots going for him. Even his mass cannon still works.

Ahaahahaha. No, really, no.

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@GhostWhoWalk Thank you for taking your time to write the response.

Is this competitive? No. …

I agree with you that SC2 Co-op isn’t competitive like Hearthstone. But it is also because Hearthstone is a competitive game, in many instances, nerfs are actually welcome and more unavoidable. And those who dislike it are at least compensated for the dust value. I think that is healthy for the game and the community.

One could ask that if it is not competitive, why nerf in the first place? In a way, a nerf in a game like SC2 Co-op isn’t as necessary as that in a primarily competitive game like Hearthstone. So, simply saying that SC2 Co-op isn’t competitive like Hearthstone isn’t a good argument against giving the players some kind of compensation.

So please stop moaning and groaning about how unfair his nerfs were. He’s fine. Everything is fine.

I hear your frustration about complainers, and I really hope that I am able correctly write my post so that readers understand that I’m not here to moan and groan about the nerf, but I am here to propose a way to make people complain less about the nerf.
I’m not the best writer :frowning:

I swear, I’ve never seen people get so upset over something they spent FIVE DOLLARS on.

Yeah, people get upset over even things they spent no money on. It’s not just the amount of the money that matters, but also how people feel that they were treated. If a restaurant incorrectly charges me extra few dollars, I would be bothered and ask them about it.

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I actually agree with that, I never personally found any of the parts of Zeratul or Mengsk they nerfed was all that bad. But there was just so much complaining before the nerf about him that I feel that pushed the devs to doing it. There was more complaining before than there is now.

But I personally just don’t feel that the core of the two has been hit that hard. Though to be fair, I never really used the Cannons all that much, so I’m sure I’m a bit biased there.


I just want to say though, I appreciate that you’re actually making good faith arguments rather than just attacking everyone that disagrees with you. Too much of that going on since the nerf on these forums.

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Why don’t you want to play Zeratul anymore?

I used Zeratul as an example, but if there is an option for me to explore a commander I do not own, I would be happy to exchange a nerfed commander for a new commander. Having that option, I believe, would make both parties happy: People who didn’t like the nerf can try a new commander and people who are satisfied with the nerf can keep the same commander.

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I’ve actually been playing and enjoying Zeratul a lot more since the patch (since they buffed things that I wanted to use and nerfed things that were overtuned anyway), whereas I hardly ever played him before, so do I…owe them another $5?

I know you mean well, but you can’t please people like this and you really shouldn’t even try. Blizzard should hear community feedback and use it to guide them, but ultimately, they need to make their own design decisions and stick by them, even if they’re unpopular with a vocal minority. Otherwise, you end up with mediocre design-by-committee garbage. Nothing truly extraordinary makes everyone happy.

I disagree with the entire premise that Zeratul is weaker and therefore less valuable. We don’t buy co-op commanders because they’re powerful, we buy them because they’re well designed and fun. Zeratul is better designed now. Good design doesn’t mean making everything busted easy and game-breaking powerful; it means making a lot of hard decisions balancing the power level with the amount of effort required (that is, the game isn’t fun when it’s too easy or too hard, so you have to find a spot in between).

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Simple answer? Escalation. Suppose the dev team never nerfed any of the commanders, even when they release one that’s more powerful than they had planned, and instead continuously buffed the other commanders until they were on the level of whichever one was strongest. What happens then? The difficulty of the missions drops down to the point where people get bored because they’re so easy. So, naturally, they have to buff the AI units as a result. This cycle repeats every time a new commander is released, or even when one if buffed and they overdo it, until every commander is spitting out full economies and free supply right from the start of a mission, the first attack wave arrives at minute 1 with Hybrids and basic Marines and Zealots have triple-digit health and damage. At some point, the dev team has to draw a line and says “this is the limit of how strong players should be, this is the limit of how strong the AI can be” and get the strength of both as close to those lines as possible through both buffs and nerfs, to ensure that every co-op match offers the opportunity to both make the players feel powerful and offer them a reasonable challenge. Zeratul, Tychus and Mengsk were over that line, so the devs reeled them back a bit to try and bring them more on par with the other commanders.

And that’s certainly a noble sentiment, but this is like getting kids to eat their vegetables: they don’t understand that it’s good for them in the long run, all they care about is that it feels bad for the short term, so they are going to complain until their faces turn blue. Sure, the devs could compensate players every time they nerf something, but that’s like bribing those kids with candy so they’ll eat their greens, 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. Better to just give it to them straight and talk them down as best you can, at least then it has a chance to sink in. Eventually.

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There was more complaining before than there is now.

This, I did not know, and I am happy about it.

But I personally just don’t feel that the core of the two has been hit that hard. Though to be fair, I never really used the Cannons all that much, so I’m sure I’m a bit biased there.

In my experience, using the cannon was such a unique play-style that no other commander provided, it had become an identifying feature and core of Zeratul for me.
I played Zeratul post-nerf, and his army comp is still solid, so yeah, one would not feel the difference much if one hadn’t played cannons pre-nerf.

I just want to say though, I appreciate that you’re actually making good faith arguments rather than just attacking everyone that disagrees with you. Too much of that going on since the nerf on these forums.

Thank you very much for this. Same to you!

I’ve said this before, but Diablo III has TWENTY DIFFICULTY LEVELS because the devs took the approach of always buffing and never nerfing. They had to add an additional three (Torment XIV, XV, and XVI) a couple of patches ago because SEVENTEEN DIFFICULTY LEVELS was no longer enough and Torment XIII was too easy. It’s astonishing people are still asking “Why nerf in PvE?” when we have a wealth of examples of PvE games that went full stupid because they didn’t.

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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.

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Mengsk was never overtuned. He is one of the hardest commanders to play well and struggles against many mutators. I can agree the imperial mandate generation was too high, but he should gotten some buff to compensate. As he stands now, Mengsk is mid-tier among all the commanders. The only edge he has is bomb from long range with ESO which has several major weaknesses.

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These sorts of players don’t care. They want an overtuned hyper easy, brain dead experience.

Blizz made a MASSIVE mistake when they started catering to these types of players in World of Warcraft on the basis that they were subscribed customers. Starcraft as a F2P game has no such obligation, and since Starcraft is Blizzard’s classic competitive RTS experience they never should.

These players don’t like that so they whine. Blizzard doesn’t have to listen.

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