The process of making balance changes

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CPTANT
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The process of making balance changes

Post by CPTANT » #649394

It feels to me that the process of making balancing changes could use work. Quite often issues are debated in length but even for the issues that reach consensus quite often nothing is done in terms of making actual PRs. I feel a large part of this is that every balance change is by default met with resistance and people don't know if their effort will go to waste. It is way more fun and often easier accepted to just slap a new feature together. I think it would really help if there was more structure to this somehow and people didn't have to guess beforehand if their proposals will ever be approved. I was wondering what your takes on the matter are.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by CPTANT » #649395

Also I don't think it helps that balance changes cost nearly as much GDP as features. Why does tweaking single values of objects cost almost as much as adding an entire new module. Yeah single changes are doable, but multiple small balance changes really add up if everything is -5. I know balance changes can introduce bugs, but not nearly as frequently as new features and they don't increase the overall complexity of the codebase like new features do.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by Shadowflame909 » #649399

CPTANT wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 9:10 pm Also I don't think it helps that balance changes cost nearly as much GDP as features.
This is good. You should fix some stuff if you're gonna go and nerf whatever viable crew-aligned content is left because they didnt turn horizontal fast enough (as for most things nerfed)
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by Mothblocks » #649402

If you're ever worried that any change of yours won't be approved, talk to maintainers first, there's like eight maintainers who are very active in the coding channel on Discord
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by CPTANT » #649414

Shadowflame909 wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 11:55 pm
CPTANT wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 9:10 pm Also I don't think it helps that balance changes cost nearly as much GDP as features.
This is good. You should fix some stuff if you're gonna go and nerf whatever viable crew-aligned content is left because they didnt turn horizontal fast enough (as for most things nerfed)
Balance changes does not mean nerfs by definition. But yes this seems the attitude, that balancing is a bad thing or something.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by Shadowflame909 » #649416

Its been so long since I've seen someone buff something that I forgot they could even do that.

Most people would rather work on something new!
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by CPTANT » #649423

Shadowflame909 wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 7:46 am Its been so long since I've seen someone buff something that I forgot they could even do that.

Most people would rather work on something new!
I don't think this is weird when buffing a single value costs just as much as implementing an entire new antagonist/department/whatever.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by CPTANT » #649434

Mothblocks wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 12:15 am If you're ever worried that any change of yours won't be approved, talk to maintainers first, there's like eight maintainers who are very active in the coding channel on Discord
Would it be an idea to add a balance channel?
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by NecromancerAnne » #649436

Mothblocks wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 12:15 am If you're ever worried that any change of yours won't be approved, talk to maintainers first, there's like eight maintainers who are very active in the coding channel on Discord
While I respect this as the stance, I have at times had a lot of trouble getting interested maints to respond to something up until I have made the pr and pushed it, at which point they actually come speak their mind. And by interested, I mostly mean maints who are involved in the game content I want to touch, or have strong opinions about it.

I have long since gotten the impression that the only way I'll get a good timely response is if I just go ahead and do it. Otherwise, I'll probably get radio silence even if I ask for help. Even a 'no' is better than nothing or just something inconclusive. And i greatly appreciate people who will confidently tell me whether or not to do it.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by Rohen_Tahir » #649437

CPTANT wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 7:28 am
Shadowflame909 wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 11:55 pm
CPTANT wrote: Fri Aug 12, 2022 9:10 pm Also I don't think it helps that balance changes cost nearly as much GDP as features.
This is good. You should fix some stuff if you're gonna go and nerf whatever viable crew-aligned content is left because they didnt turn horizontal fast enough (as for most things nerfed)
Balance changes does not mean nerfs by definition. But yes this seems the attitude, that balancing is a bad thing or something.
Stuff being too weak is usually not as troublesome as stuff being too strong so buffs are rare.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by CPTANT » #649438

Rohen_Tahir wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 12:02 pm
Stuff being too weak is usually not as troublesome as stuff being too strong so buffs are rare.
I think this is a process issue because simply nobody wants to touch underpowered items because of uncertainty if it will even get merged.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by Mothblocks » #649439

CPTANT wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 11:12 am
Mothblocks wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 12:15 am If you're ever worried that any change of yours won't be approved, talk to maintainers first, there's like eight maintainers who are very active in the coding channel on Discord
Would it be an idea to add a balance channel?
No, I don't see any reason for this instead of just using the coding chat
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by Itseasytosee2me » #649451

CPTANT wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 9:22 am
Shadowflame909 wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 7:46 am Its been so long since I've seen someone buff something that I forgot they could even do that.

Most people would rather work on something new!
I don't think this is weird when buffing a single value costs just as much as implementing an entire new antagonist/department/whatever.
I buffed skateboards a bunch a while back
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by CPTANT » #649506

Mothblocks wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 12:16 pm
CPTANT wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 11:12 am
Mothblocks wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 12:15 am If you're ever worried that any change of yours won't be approved, talk to maintainers first, there's like eight maintainers who are very active in the coding channel on Discord
Would it be an idea to add a balance channel?
No, I don't see any reason for this instead of just using the coding chat
But it just gets instantly buried with other unrelated stuff there.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by RaveRadbury » #649510

CPTANT wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 9:22 am
Shadowflame909 wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 7:46 am Its been so long since I've seen someone buff something that I forgot they could even do that.

Most people would rather work on something new!
I don't think this is weird when buffing a single value costs just as much as implementing an entire new antagonist/department/whatever.
You have to look at it from a throughput perspective. Single line changes don't require a lot of work or coding knowledge and can also have potentially big impacts on the game. For a PR to be merged it's supposed to be approved on a code and design level. So even though a small balance PR might be easy to approve code-wise, the balance of it all can get really complex. Everyone here is a volunteer and we need some sort of sanity check on the rate at which PRs that are easy to make but hard to approve are generated. In addition to this, the GBP system is fairly benign, players who are eager to add a balance PR of their choice can easily make a few fixes and get the points needed. Not every bug is 5D chess, people frequently post bugs that are easy fixes or even spelling/grammar issues. So balance changes are throttled and people who want to make easy PRs still can but they do have to put some work in elsewhere.

It's really not that bad. At the end of the day maintainers are a resource not easily replenished and so we have to be careful about how quickly we wear them out. :honkman:
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by Pandarsenic » #649522

GBP doesn't reduce the number of PRs people make

It's just meant, in theory, that people have to fix bugs with the features they make

in practice, lol. lmao.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by oranges » #649545

it's just a way to slow people down
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by CPTANT » #649576

RaveRadbury wrote: Sun Aug 14, 2022 5:25 pm
CPTANT wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 9:22 am
Shadowflame909 wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 7:46 am Its been so long since I've seen someone buff something that I forgot they could even do that.

Most people would rather work on something new!
I don't think this is weird when buffing a single value costs just as much as implementing an entire new antagonist/department/whatever.
You have to look at it from a throughput perspective. Single line changes don't require a lot of work or coding knowledge and can also have potentially big impacts on the game. For a PR to be merged it's supposed to be approved on a code and design level. So even though a small balance PR might be easy to approve code-wise, the balance of it all can get really complex. Everyone here is a volunteer and we need some sort of sanity check on the rate at which PRs that are easy to make but hard to approve are generated. In addition to this, the GBP system is fairly benign, players who are eager to add a balance PR of their choice can easily make a few fixes and get the points needed. Not every bug is 5D chess, people frequently post bugs that are easy fixes or even spelling/grammar issues. So balance changes are throttled and people who want to make easy PRs still can but they do have to put some work in elsewhere.

It's really not that bad. At the end of the day maintainers are a resource not easily replenished and so we have to be careful about how quickly we wear them out. :honkman:
The problem is that this just really disincentives small changes compared to huge rework PR that try to change everything all in once. This means even issues that a consensus is reached about don't get PR's because people pool them up. See for example the topic of progtraitor objectives. Basically everyone agreed that murder objectives need a rework and that they should reward more and have less strict requirements, this has been the case for ages, why doesn't anyone make a balance PR? I think it is because people pool it up for this big change and don't want to try to push through small changes incrementally because they just get punished for it by this system (and creates a let someone else do it feeling). This is the opposite of what I think is desirable because incremental changes reduces the complexity of the impact you mentioned. We had a lot of big rebalances/reworks go pretty badly (Like many many iterations of cult and clockcult) because everything was tried at once.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by NecromancerAnne » #650472

CPTANT wrote: Mon Aug 15, 2022 3:09 pm The problem is that this just really disincentives small changes compared to huge rework PR that try to change everything all in once. This means even issues that a consensus is reached about don't get PR's because people pool them up.
You shouldn't really be making large changes all at once simply because it slows down the review process as much as the GBP costs attached. Be at least a little courteous to the maints you might expect to have to look through your PR, or at least talk with them thoroughly about the situation before making such a huge undertaking.

It also can be really confusing to people who might want to engage with what you're doing. If something changes too many things all at once, it can be really hard to work out the minutiae of a given PR and what it is trying to do. Certainly, you yourself might miss some things in the process, and you may have a few unintended bits of functionality slip through that you will be spending a long time scrubbing.

Little changes over time help people acclimatize as well. While you might want to change tons of things, it can be really confusing for returning and current players if things change too rapidly all at once.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by CPTANT » #650478

NecromancerAnne wrote: Mon Aug 22, 2022 2:35 pm
CPTANT wrote: Mon Aug 15, 2022 3:09 pm The problem is that this just really disincentives small changes compared to huge rework PR that try to change everything all in once. This means even issues that a consensus is reached about don't get PR's because people pool them up.
You shouldn't really be making large changes all at once simply because it slows down the review process as much as the GBP costs attached. Be at least a little courteous to the maints you might expect to have to look through your PR, or at least talk with them thoroughly about the situation before making such a huge undertaking.

It also can be really confusing to people who might want to engage with what you're doing. If something changes too many things all at once, it can be really hard to work out the minutiae of a given PR and what it is trying to do. Certainly, you yourself might miss some things in the process, and you may have a few unintended bits of functionality slip through that you will be spending a long time scrubbing.

Little changes over time help people acclimatize as well. While you might want to change tons of things, it can be really confusing for returning and current players if things change too rapidly all at once.
So incentivise that instead of punishing it, that's the entire point.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by NecromancerAnne » #650526

But we have. Balance changes aren't as expensive as they one were, and not a serious issue for score if you do your due diligence cleaning up the codebase. For most players looking to do a one off balance change, it probably isn't a big deal.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by CPTANT » #650569

NecromancerAnne wrote: Tue Aug 23, 2022 12:14 am But we have. Balance changes aren't as expensive as they one were, and not a serious issue for score if you do your due diligence cleaning up the codebase. For most players looking to do a one off balance change, it probably isn't a big deal.
It isn't a big deal because nobody is bothering actually picking up balance. The entire problem is that people only do one off's because they get punished if they do more. You have to fix slightly less than 2 bugs for every balance PR. Once again, why would anyone want to spend that much on balance instead of new features?
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by oranges » #650801

I like that you believe that the GBP points cost is the major barrier to balance changes, and not the fact at least 5-10 people will personally contact you to say mean things because you happened to destroy their favoured meta strat.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by NecromancerAnne » #650865

Strangely I've mostly avoided direct messages. Most people don't realize I've removed or reworked quite a few things.
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Re: The process of making balance changes

Post by CPTANT » #650872

oranges wrote: Thu Aug 25, 2022 8:12 pm I like that you believe that the GBP points cost is the major barrier to balance changes, and not the fact at least 5-10 people will personally contact you to say mean things because you happened to destroy their favoured meta strat.
Yes this is also true. I made the mistake of searching discord for feedback on the old PRs I made and about 90% included the word "retarded". But I still wonder if both should be a barrier if it is already that hard. I still think it's very hard to get feedback on whether balance changes will be accepted before you make them. Hell, I think it's hard to get feedback even for the PRs that are actually up.
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