The devs are still in the process of trying to calm down the disgruntled players on the preview server that saw little to no response to their feedback in recent weeks. After Community Manager Julia, Systems Designer Noworries addressed the state of the feedback threads as well. In a lengthy post he additionally shared some information on their current approach to class balance.
Balance Between Getting the Work Done and Responding on the Forums
During the preview phase the devs ideally should have sufficient time to fine-tune the changes and interact with the community. Unfortunately, as Noworries pointed out, their resources are so tight that it’s essentially a trade-off. They can’t do both. He re-assured the community however that they read much more than they post, which was also a key point Julia made a week ago. There seems to be a lot going on behind the scenes that might not be too visible on the outside due to the lack of communication.
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One major hindrance that we already mentioned is overall workload and deadlines. Noworries stated that he currently isn’t exclusively working the preview server and M15. Instead they already have other stuff lined up that they need to get to as well. It’s annoying for players and devs alike, but just one of the symptoms of a heavily undermanned staff. The trade-off between getting work done and responding on the forums shouldn’t happen, but it is what it is and unlikely to change anyway.
Changes over Time
Noworries also commented on players taking offense at the nerf now, fix later approach. He claimed that it’s a direct result of player feedback. Cryptic feels like overarching tweaks and the long periods of time that go by without changes isn’t a concept the community likes. So they are going with an incremental approach for now, which of course can lead to issues in case you see nerfs first and beneficial changes only come at a later point.
As the Systems Designer rightfully pointed out, someone is going to be unhappy anyway, but they feel the positive feedback still outweighs the negative. It’s certainly a tricky situation. Ideally the devs should work class balance permanently and constantly monitor trends, the meta, and issues. But Cryptic can’t afford to assign someone to that task, at least not without losing that staffer in other areas. That’s why balancing in Neverwinter is always a catch-up process that the studio only gets to every so often. As confirmed by Noworries, they aim to improve that in the future. In the meantime however they have to hope the players bear with them.
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