This character needs a nerf!

Which character? Oh, uhm…

That’s not what this thread is about.

This is a thread about excited threads being made about characters being too strong, as well as being about the balancing process in general.

Now what I’m about to say might feel like it’s being directed at you, especially if you’re one of the people making or contributing to “Nerf now!” threads, so prepare yourself. - People who make these threads are creating bigger problems than they’re trying to fix.

I’m not saying calling for balance changes is inherently bad, but simply being upset over the strength of a character causes a problem, especially if you get equally upset people backing you. Companies are about making money, and in a lot of cases making money means pleasing the community. The community should be regarded as the majority, but for the most part it’s regarded as the most outspoken. If you say something is bad loud enough and long enough, and get enough people riled up with you, a change will be made even if it isn’t really a smart one.

Complete balance is hard to achieve in many instances, partially because of the community, but also because of intentional design vs unintentional outcomes. And without fully articulating your reasonings, and giving full fleshed examples, the developer looking to please you while keeping their vision of their product as intact as possible cannot easily find an appropriate compromise. With a blanket statement like “rath is OP”, even narrowed down to “his ult does too much damage” maybe reducing the damage isn’t the answer. Perhaps lower the range, lower his movespeed during it, make his lifesteal not apply to it, any number of things.

I’m not even saying rath or his ult is a problem, there are plenty of ways to stop his ult and deal with him in general, but if you have limited experience with the game you aren’t going to find these ways. A lot of “overpowered” characters or combinations are only “overpowered” because people don’t know how to deal with them, or dealing with them requires coordination which is something a team of new players won’t ever possibly have. That doesn’t make the character or thing bad, it just means people need to learn, and perhaps better teaching tools need to be available.

We have a moba-fps hybrid here though, and characters have roles. Imbalance is more a thing of characters being able to do too many things too well, or bringing too many things to a team to the point where not having X character means your team sucks and you’re going to have a hard time winning. Rath should do damage, he should do a lot of it, that’s what his character is.

If we want to examine how strong rath is vs another character, phoebe seems to be commonly compared to rath, we have to look at everything he does, not just all the damage he can do. Phoebe is harder to hit while she’s on you, she has the best escape in the game (and also the best approach), she has higher health and higher shield and in general is tankier (Rath’s survivability requires him to be hitting his target, phoebe has it naturally). Her ult is bigger and also does tons of damage, and doesn’t stop her from putting out damage herself while it’s going on. She’s also cuter.

And I haven’t even went over everything that should be considered when comparing those two characters, such as what they bring to the team, everything else they can do aside from damage. The fact that phoebe can do more damage at range than rath can, just all kinds of stuff. So saying that a character is too strong because they do a job easier or better than another character isn’t helpful because characters do different jobs and bring different things to the table. But we can use the comparisons to see what they can do and why exactly this character is good (or too good) at this thing, and use that information to completely and healthily articulate what makes this character a (potential) problem.

And aside from all of that, we had a brief glimpse at the game, where tons of people were simply trying to get a grip on what’s going on, and we only got a taste of the real depth of strategy that can go on here. As a whole I think we can say that we don’t know how to play the game, and with that in mind…we can’t judge if a character is really too strong or not at their job.

It’s worth having discussion, bring up your issues and look for people to toss ideas back and forth with. But just plainly saying that someone or something is broken and needs to be changed or just “Nerfed” doesn’t contribute. Try to figure out exactly why something is bothering you, first ask if other people know how to deal with or get around something. Do some testing (when the game comes out), and then if you still feel there’s a problem, attempt to describe it in full with specifics.

This community has been pretty cool so far, and a lot of you are making excellent points about a lot of things, but overall we need to tread carefully because we are very much being listened to. The old saying rings true “Be careful what you wish for”.

Peace out love and kisses XOXOXO.


Well said, sir/madam. I salute you.

Oh yes. One thing that bugs me to no end is when people say GBX isn’t listening to the community. GBX may not be listening to them particularly, but they do have two community managers, so they’re very much apprised of how the community in general feels about things. As you said, GBX has to weigh what the community wants with what their vision of a game is and whether or not the asked for change will contribute to the fun factor of a game. Battleborn is the first fully competitive game they’ve developed, so I’m not at all surprised there are balance issue. But saying “Phoebe needs a nerf!” is like going to your mechanic and saying your car doesn’t run properly or that you’re hearing a strange noise. The more detail you can go into, the better. I also agree that we should wait until the full game has been out for a few months before the calls for boosting/nerfing are made in earnest; though I know GBX is looking at the win/loss ratios of the various heroes and will likely make changes based on that.


Nerf them all and let the minions take over.


I personally believe some characters need to be changed, but my opinions on that didn’t belong in that post.

This thread alligns pretty solidly with most of my feelings of how good characters are, with the exception that ISIC is probably the strongest character in the game rather than on equal levels with someone like ambra or oscar.

It’s also where I believe these balance discussions should take place, or on the threads linked on the list.

I have to admit I’m a little confused here: I was agreeing with you, not saying that a particular character or characters needed a nerf. :slight_smile:

Oh I know you were, I’m just admitting that I have bias, and taking it as an opportunity to plug a great thread. Sorry, I didn’t mean to sound like I was confronting you about something, I was just talking more.

It also let me post that in this thread without double-posting, just wanted to keep my initial post clean.


Hmm, i agree and I’m assuming that GBX is really looking mostly at an 80-90% consideration of game data and 10% everything else because even with that game data the 10% details how the game feels in the hands of the general public. So they may change how some things work or how somethings feel but most likely keep a lot of it the same because in general people’s experience are limited by their knowledge, skill , and prior experience.

Alright, good. I may be the community smart ass but that doesn’t mean I’m always smart…


Such a clickbait!.. nicely said.

Nerf the nerfers :v


I didn’t mind the clickbait, since that was exactly the bait OP was fishing for :slight_smile:

Also, I strongly agree. Sometimes it’s not about the character, it’s about the player even. If you steamroll a 5 man team of formerly RTS-only guys, I bet you can do that with any character that is in skilled and savy hands. Doing objectives, activating the mechanics pay for themselves in a multitude etc.

Participating in both CTT and OB the ‘nerf this, nerf that’ threads have significantly gone down over the course of time. Who remembers the Phoebe-rage in CTT ^^ this has to do with GBX ‘going more carefully’ and doing smaller iterations on changes (both buffs and nerfs) and that many players were pretty used to the Meltdown mechanics, see how many topics exist about incursion? On release, it will then be about the new mods once again. There’s a pattern I believe, which will flatten itself out over time.

thanks for the excellent contribution OP :slight_smile:

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Very nice post. I wish more people would have a better understanding of how/what they are trying to say when they post. Also how those thoughts and ideas are best said in words so that the topic or game they are trying to improve can be most helpful to not only the dev’s but also everyone else who is reading the forums.

Note this is not limited to these forums.

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This is true, and unfair. Buff Rath’s cuteness, or nerf Phoebe’s!

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Gearbox respond to users issues in a very nuanced way. They’ll look at things holistically, rather than just react in a simplistic manner. They’ll listen, but they’ll try to find the underlying reasons, and address those, rather than knee-jerk a change to stop complaints. In my experience, and on reading how they respond to play testing feedback. There’s an article somewhere, I’ll try to dig it out later.


Nooooo no no no … i want Rath to be badassers not cuter. Although a Rath skin with him in a seifuku and wearing pink twin-tails plus a taunt saying “Notice me senpaaai” would be pretty hilarious i reckon.

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Phoebe may have the best escape ability but Deande definitely has the coolest one.

On topic, I agree, I don’t think it’s possible to judge relative strength that fast. Also, I don’t think you can make a “tier list” like some peoples did. Because A winning against B and B winning against C doesn’t mean that A can win against C. Characters have sometimes pretty harsh hard counters and enemies they have an easy time against as well.

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Dear Gearbox, can you please listen to this genius/badass and make this happen?


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I agree with this thread whole heartilly. That being said, buff Toby! Do I think he needs it? No, not really. But…I want to be OP too!

I’m a bad person, forgive me.

This topic OP. Needs nerf NOW.

On a more serious note, nice clickbait. Saw through it, though :wink:

On a much more serious note, this is very true. While the game will still need further balancing, as it is still quite young, the balancing needs to be specific and carefully thought out, and viewed holistically, both as numbers and as the vaguer, more difficult to capture “feel”. While, for example, going against an ISIC as a Marquis can (CAN) be a very poor choice, an ISIC can (CAN) be virtually helpless against the likes of a Rath. There’s a lot of factors that can make a character feel stronger or weaker, such as who they’re up against and the skill of both the player and their opponent, or if one of them has an advantageous position. Going up against a skilled player doesn’t necessarily mean, at all, that their character is OP. It simply means that person has put in the time to, as they say in some circles, “get gud”. Most of the Attikus (Attikuses? Attiki?) I went up against seemed very weak, but one of them slaughtered my entire team time after time, and it was scary. They ended up with no deaths, a huge damage output, and a number of kills that I would be embarassed to list here. It’s possible that my team was just terrible and that it wasn’t the Attikus player’s skill at all. But it served as an excellent warning against voicing a desire for a nerf or a buff.

On a note lacking any seriousness at all: SEIFUKU+PIGTAIL SKINS FOR ALL MALE CHARACTERS!!!1!!! (That 1 was intentional)

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The 1 is too OP, nerf it. It stands out way too much, and brings more attention than the !'s which is unfair.

Anyways, when the game gets released and everyone plays loads of matches, I’m sure that the OP and UP characters will stand out much more and it will get easier to nerf/buff them.
Everything will work out in the end!