Why Content Nerfs Aren't Negative
ByDate: 03-17-2012 Views:
It is a common perception that nerfs to content are bad for games. The fact that some things become easier is often a cause of concern for players who are looking for a challenge, but let's look at why this isn't necessarily the way it should be.
Nerfed game content comes as a result of trying to balance content between those who are considered as hardcore and those who are casual players. In this sense, we're looking at hardcore as being players who have a lot of time to play, and casual as those who can only get on periodically. Elitism is in its own category.
As time goes on, MMO's get more and more content added to them. In the case of Rift, this has come in the form of raids and dungeons. To allow players to still have a form of progression, one thing that ends up happening is the content has to be tiered. When it comes to tiering, it is not necessarily named that; tiering simply means that to get to some content you must progress through previous. In a very real sense, this happens as you level up anyways.
As more tiers are added to the game, it hits a point where casual players are still near the bottom and more hardcore players are closer to the top (or possibly even at the top). For Rift, the top right now includes Hammerknell Fortress and Rise of the Phoenix, whereas the bottom would be the Expert Dungeons (as the dungeons are pretty much a prerequisite for doing raids). With another new raid to be out soon, Infernal Dawn, that adds yet another step up, which will be above Hammerknell and ROTP. If we look at the order of progression at that point, it will be as follows: