Dear PCF

1 : Anonymous2021/04/08 17:03 ID: mmwabj

I just got done reading the patch notes balancing section...Quite the disappointment.

Let's take a real hard look at what exactly this game is because through that, it will become evident that "nerfing" has almost no place here.

This game is not "competitive" per se, but rather a seemingly solo-focused PVE experience where players push themselves to beat NPCs. I know that this game was supposed to be focused more on coop play. Unfortunately, due to instability, poor matchmaking, and horrible scaling, most players don't want anything to do with each other.

Because the coop aspect is mostly lost so far, combined with the lack of leaderboards, PVP, or anything that pins players progression against each other, nerfing becomes unnecessary. Why? Because there is literally ZERO harm done to anyone if something is abused/overpowered. That doesn't mean we should ignore imbalances, but rather buff underperforming aspects of the various classes.

I don't care if Franky the 12hr a day Youtuber spent 2 straight days exploiting legendaries. His progression has absolutely nothing to do with me. The only way it COULD disrupt my progression is if he joined me via matchmaking, which he can't because no one likes how groups currently perform and turn their network to private to prevent such a thing.

Additionally, nerfing actual abilities makes little to no sense. The problem with the bullet builds is not that they are TOO powerful, it is that the alternatives are incredibly weak. Why would I play a half-baked build that scales at half the rate of the firepower bullet builds? The way you nerfed them also has a trickle-down effect on the underperforming classes because your approach to these nerfs was terrible.

What you guys did was nerf the only viable route to solo gold 15's. Not only did you nerf the abilities but you actually also increased the difficulties of completing gold on certain maps. WHY?

What you really should have done:

- Found a way to fix the exploits associated with bounties/hunter quests/historian quests.

- Buffed AP builds and made other skills more viable by bringing them UP TO the level of bullet builds.

- NERFED the AI's ridiculous accuracy and performance in certain situations.

- Not touched the map times at all.

- Tweak player scaling to actually make it useful to have support builds.

- Make use of drop pod currency once you're mostly geared.

What you did:

- Nerfed the only useful abilities most classes have (which also directly has nerfed underperformers)

- Made expedition times more stressful

- Made the campaign world completely obsolete by removing replayability of the missions.

- Left AI and group scaling untouched - wtf?

This approach is not done for our enjoyment as players. No one wanted any of this. What people want is viability in their choices. If you want to radically change something, take away timers from expeditions and just make an ever-increasing difficulty setting. This will allow other builds to surface because time won't be such a huge eliminating factor. It will also reduce the toxicity in the community that is already present due to their being such a focus on min-maxing.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk. I needed to vent 😀


I see a small cluster of people who don't quite understand my take. Let me elaborate a bit.

I understand that you desire difficulty as it leads to more play time. I fully agree and support this. Unfortunately, nerfing things to prolong already completed content is short sighted. If PCF truly wants to create replayability the end game model MUST be slightly altered. Timers must go and a scaling difficulty system needs to be put in its place. At the end of the day, we still only have 15 tiers and our journey because of this is finite.

As to the reward of the difficulties: Very slight increases to drop rates, self-pride, achievements, and what I would love to see implemented, a cosmetic reward system.

Thanks for all the feedback I love seeing people takes.

2 : Anonymous2021/04/08 17:56 ID: gtu4fg1

If you want to radically change something, take away timers from expeditions and just make an ever-increasing difficulty setting. This will allow other builds to surface because time won't be such a huge eliminating factor. It will also reduce the toxicity in the community that is already present due to their being such a focus on min-maxing.

This is by far the most important part of your post, and PCF needs to understand this.

The only reason people are even talking about things being "viable" or "OP" is because the only endgame activity is a DPS race.

Let me repeat that:


All these nerfs didn't solve the problem. Everyone using bullet builds isn't a problem, it's a symptom. The real problem is that the only endgame activity is a DPS race.

For fuck's sake, guys, it's 2021. We have known about the problems with DPS races for a decade at this point. Nothing cause more toxicity in a community than DPS races being the preferred activity.


I love the gameplay in this game and my heart just sunk into my stomach the first time I saw that expedition reward were better based on completion time.

It's poison.


EDIT since this is getting visibility:

The root underlying issue isn't really based on gameplay, it's psychological. People don't want to be punished for choosing to take it slow or try a new fun build, so they just use the cookie cutter build and kick anyone who's not playing perfectly. Remove the punishment and you remove most of the toxicity that surrounds avoiding it.

People are comparing expeditions to Greater Rifts from Diablo. They're not. That comparison is bad. Greater Rifts have a timer but the loot isn't directly tied to that timer. If you don't make the timer, all you miss out on is a key to the next difficulty. You still get the same amount of loot no matter how fast you go, as long as you complete it.

That's how expeditions should work. Challenge Tier should determine loot and you should move up a tier if you can make the timer.

The problem with this is that item level is tied to Challenge Tier, but that's something that can be easily capped and Tier 15+ can just give you more drops.

ID: gtugbt0

1000 times this!

time limited DPS races as MAIN and ONLY endgmae activity is the worst decision ever.

They should be personal challenges when you want to test yourself and NOT the only way to play and grind loot at max level, MAINLY IN COOP.

There should be endgmae missions, horde modes, tower modes, whatever, where you go to grind endlessly with your friends and randos!

They just took ONE of the activities Diablo3 has thinking that was the only important one to steal, without knowing that the most fun part of that game was grinding in nephael rifts to PREPARE yourself for the great ones!

ID: gtuvdu0

What is worse to me is that the race and timer aspect is nowhere to be seen in the playthrough. With the world tier campaign power cap they basically obsolete the experience they SOLD me in the demo and funnel me into something I would not pay money for otherwise. If I didn't feel the campaign itself was worth the price of admission (I do) I would have thought about a refund. That said the game being what it is and not having a core group to play with I have zero interest in participating in a toxic co-op judgementfest. If it stays this way I won't buy into DLC and enjoy the nostalgic hallway FPS experience it gave me for the hours I did put in

ID: gtui6pj

Yeessss! I would love variety in the end game. Fighting every increasing waves of enemies with the challenge being how far you go would be interesting!

ID: gtv4jvk

On god, I would pay more for an infinite horde mode

ID: gtugwbq

I agree with this. I can’t stand anything time related when it comes to end game content. It only works in a game like Diablo that has leader boards and even then I’m not a fan.

If they want some sort of DPS check then implement it into a final boss that has some sort of rage timer mechanic.

As much as I like this game I feel the end game is lacking. How do you create a “tank” class that isn’t needed or even wanted in your entire end game?

ID: gtu6947

It's poison.

Its toxin.

The Technomancer Hero Tree node -"Damage Against Poison" - has had its power reduced to 15% (Previously: 30%)

It's actually called "Purge"

I agree though its a DPS race game. Im running the same build pre-nerf and its taking me 2min-5 more per each expedition. No way im going to group now, since the damage scaling is off the charts for multiplayer.

ID: gtumqoo

For fuck's sake, guys, it's 2021. We have known...

This sums up a lot of my gripes with the game to be honest. How on earth did this game release in 2021 without loadout slots or transmog options or a better map? PCF isnt even a new studio, so its not like they can fall back on not having the experience excuse.

ID: gtub6h2

A race is a great analogy and illustrates why I think the whole "it's a PvE game, we don't need to balance" argument doesn't hold water. In a race it should be fair for all classes participating. Tricksters shouldn't be able to push CT12+ like cake while classes like Dev struggle to gear up for that difficulty.

However, that being said, the Gold time nerfs are absolute bullshit. The reason people farm Chem Lab isn't because of the timer anyways, it's because the encounter design is actually fair. Players avoid maps like Marshland Caverns because it's a huge difficulty spike that isn't inline with the difficulty of other expeditions.

The thing is the timers don't actually make these maps difficult, some of them literally just have more elites and if we are going to address balancing expeditions, we should be addressing the expeditions and enemies that are overtuned. Reducing the timer for Gold does not make a expedition harder in the same way increasing the timer for Gold does not make a expedition easier.

It's very concerning to see their approach in this initial balance pass and shows some real lack of foresight from PCF's balance team. It feels like these guys got back from Easter holiday and threw together a knee-jerk balance plan that really wasn't well researched or thought.

ID: gtuw31z

The change to the times is absolute insanity. I have a level 50 trickster that barely makes the time on T14. My gear and build isn’t shabby at all. I kill everything fast. I dunno.

ID: gtuz8zu

Can we also tone down melee staggers? Holy crap is Marshlands not hard because of the actual enemies but because everything staggers.

ID: gtug6hg

I never understood people's love for Chem Lab. I always got shit on in that expedition, I preferred Boom Town WAY more.

3 : Anonymous2021/04/08 22:59 ID: gtv9b1a

I cant wrap my head around enemy mobs having more abilities and better abilities then the player

ID: gtvlkv4

I think the bullet skills are about the most boring skill design you could possibly have, regardless of how strong or weak they are.

We got these cool fire tornados the enemy is doing, B52 airstrikes, awesome lazerbeam traps, and the player characters got three different colored bullets lol.

4 : Anonymous2021/04/08 19:35 ID: gtui39k

I want to say that the timers hurt build diversity as the only way to get gold is to min/max burst damage builds, while damage over time and tanky builds cry in the corner waiting for someone to notice them.

ID: gtv2nq1

"Rounds are over performing so we brought everyone down a notch. Also, we made rounds even more necessary"

5 : Anonymous2021/04/08 19:32 ID: gtuhoez

these nerfs are solely to slow down people in order to increase the grind time

ID: gtuj3x1

Or to try promote coop play. Which is still broken soooooo

ID: gtum62c

Not only broken. But just bad.

Don't know if you're getting put into the middle of a Expedition or at the start.

Doesn't seem to match people of similar level.

And then the scaling. I can't even.

What tier your doing seems random too. (Not entirely sure on this one. But sure seems so.)

6 : Anonymous2021/04/08 22:01 ID: gtv2355

100% agree OP. Quite the nerfs for a game that’s definitely not a ‘Live games as a service’

And less than a week old

7 : Anonymous2021/04/08 18:58 ID: gtuczlg

Eh. I hear your core point. And quite honestly I'd rather buffs than nerfs (ie Anthem pretty much buffed rather than nerfed). But, I think the biggest underlying issue is that they attached rewards to pace of time. Which to me, seems like they didn't think it completely through.

I know it's suppose to be an aggressive Gameplay game. But deciding to use time as a measure of reward puts players in a box. Because it leads to focus on DPS output. And for a game that constantly mentioned build creativity and diversity... Well, it's a major problem. I mean, it's certainly possible to have aggressive Gameplay while not having rewards attached to pace. It's a thing.

I mean, you got Devastators getting kicked. The Class Trees are fairly mundane because people are focusing on DPS out put. And many people stressing out over pace. Not a good recipe.

Imo, they need to change the Time:Rewards mechanic. Change it, or overhaul it, or replace it, or revamp it, or alter it (pun intended). They also need to Buff Devastator.

I know, it's still early in the journey of the game. But the trends are already clearly present and tangible. For a game that is suppose to be build diverse, you gotta make changes to achieve that no matter what the original vision was.

ID: gtufhw3

I agree 100%.

This is what they should do. If we want to keep the spirit of build diversity and support classes alive, remove the timer from expedition runs and replace it with a ever climbing difficulty ladder. By this I mean increasing the cap to above 15.

I know what people are going to say, "what about the rewards!? How will you scale the rewards passed 15?".

You can give minimal increase to legendary drop rate. I'm talking like 1% or so depending on how the damage scaling works per tier increase.

Want a bigger reward? Tie in a transmog system. That way people clearing top content can be rewarded with item cosmetics that they can flex on the internet and in their matchmaking groups. The cosmetics will give incentive to continue playing the game once fully cleared.

This sort of system will ensure replayability and give the studio nice play time statistics for their corporate overlords.

8 : Anonymous2021/04/08 21:13 ID: gtuvmgs

I do agree, you already have OP AI, the only enemies I find too easy are the big ass bosses that climb around you like a bug... meanwhile all the AI that are as tall as you seem to be god like at times. I’ve spent over 1,000 hours on dark souls 1-3 and this feels like it’s trying to copy it but falling short. Don’t even get me started on the aiming system, I had to turn aim assist off because it was making me miss more shots than hit. I also would love options of cosmetics without sacrificing the mods and stats of some armor, I mean it’s basically copying gears with the taking cover and hiding behind things, Destiny with the abilities, and Dark Souls with the brutally unfair fights and encounters. Not saying it’s bad that they did, but they seem to have half-assed these copycat systems and did a poor job of executing them. For example taking cover us got to be the most pointless thing to attempt, you’re better of running out there guns blazing and playing as the devastator.

9 : Anonymous2021/04/08 22:13 ID: gtv3jvw

"If you want to radically change something, take away timers from expeditions and just make an ever-increasing difficulty setting"

This. So. Freaking. This.

Honestly. With this instead of a limited amount of time based expeditions, the game would've had a reason to grind. With thr current system, there is absolutely no point in grinding, because there is nothing to grind for. What we have now is what we get. Why even have all of these mods, legendaries and sets, if theres nothing to use it on? Would be amazing to see an ever increasing difficulty, where people climb with different builds. Could even add things like gear dropping at a certain point that has 3 mod slots instead of 2. Go crazy with it. That would create possibilities for so many cool and unique builds.

Another thing is to add leaderboards for how high people have gotten. That alone would add so much to the game. I know its not a live service game, but i seriously doubt the developers want this game to die after a month. Cause that is the way its heading right now. You dont need to add things all the time, but atleast give players an incentive to play

10 : Anonymous2021/04/08 18:45 ID: gtub5rr

Devs and publishers only care about time-played metrics now. They want you playing their game as much and as long as possible, and making players too powerful might shorten the overall length of time that they play the game.

ID: gtulyki

this isn't a live service game though. There's no microtransactions. PCF doesn't need to incentivize people to constantly play the game, but they should make a good game with good balance to promote more people to buy and play the game.

ID: gtuur4c

They actually achieved the opposite. Was planning to start a technomancer after completing the story and doing some challenge tiers. Now I will probably complete the story and bum off to do something else with my life. If I want a power fantasy that is secretly just a struggle to finish in time and a grind qith ver sparse reward I can just keep on working at night.

ID: gtufhux

Worked great so far, I was already frustrated because nothing useful has dropped in 2 days of expeditions, but was willing to give it another chance after work tonight. Finished work, read the patch notes because servers were down.

Well I did do Expedition for sure. Just not these ones. I played No Man's Sky instead. I was struggling before, and now it just made it all even harder, while not addressing any of the actual balance issues with the game.

ID: gtuvjn9

Well, they just somewhat reduced incentive to play, so not sure their plan is working. Last week, everyone was happy and wanted issues fixed so they could play more. Today, people are unhappy and that will drive at least some away.

11 : Anonymous2021/04/08 19:29 ID: gtuhaqs

What, you don't like when a game removes repeatable content 1 week after launch?

Personally, I love running around in Expeditions like I'm on fucking amphetamines /s

12 : Anonymous2021/04/08 19:51 ID: gtukads

Whats even worse in my opinion is that after that great post about watermarks for cheaters and exploiters in the Demo.

They now say that players who clearly exploitet the shit out of the hunters Quest DONT get punished !!!??!!

WTF what kind of Message is that for legit Players ?

They even take away the Option to farm legendarys at all outside of expeditions...destroying a Upgrade road for casual gamers who cant beat the now harder timers in the first place.

ID: gtv5of9

"If we took away what streamers and youtubers exploited they'd say bad things about our game, so if we let them keep it they will tell their army of 12 year old's to buy it"

ID: gtuxfz5

If you think about it, while not punishing the exploiters, they punished everyone who didn't exploit the glitch.

There are two options in my book for how to handle the situation correctly.

Fix the exploit while still allowing players to legitimately farm legendary gear. While still going against their initial stance, if they decide not to punish those who abused it, that is fine. Remove legendary gear (like they did) and punish those who abused it and ruined it for everyone else.

Instead, they don't even give a warning to those who abused this exploit. What is to stop me from using the next exploit that is found? Almost feel like they are mocking me for not using the exploit.

13 : Anonymous2021/04/08 20:03 ID: gtum1fo

I don't care if Franky the 12hr a day Youtuber spent 2 straight days exploiting legendaries. His progression has absolutely nothing to do with me.

This is the biggest overcorrection from a dev I've ever witnessed. Granted, I'm sure there has been worse. But the fact that they didn't fix the problem, and instead, punished every single player is truly mind-blowing to me.

I'm not into timed anything in video games. If I wanted that, I'd go play Dragster from Activision on my Atari 2600 and hope I can shave a 10th of a second off my best time. I was really looking forward to building out my gear set using the hunt/bounty/history quests. This is a real bummer.

ID: gtum8vg

It truly was a knee jerk reaction by them. I can't understand why they just gutted the quests like they did.

ID: gtv73aj

Yeah the removal of the legendary from hunts is a real bummer. I liked the content cycle of being focused and slamming some expeditions or wanting to chill and watch some TV while hunting monsters.

14 : Anonymous2021/04/08 20:57 ID: gtuth3w

' most players don't want anything to do with each other.'

This. The unfortunate instability of the game has now created a multiplayer game where you are actually quite likely to lose all your gear if you play multiplayer or simply be booted from the game entirely and have to sit through the frigging opening titles to log in and try again.

As a byproduct, no one wants to play multiplayer. This sucks quite a lot as I actually, last night, lucked into a group of two other players in an expedition and it was glorious. This was literally the first time I have ever played with a full group and it was the best. I had fun.

Of course, the game kicked me to dash in the boss room and I missed out on the loot and stepping up a tier but, at least I had fun getting there.

If the instability is fixed and players confidence in the system is restored (so they actually want to play in groups) the nerfs won't hurt as much. Nerfing before you can actually play confidently as a group to share the load is diabolically ignorant.

ID: gtuyf0d

The unfortunate instability of the game has now created a multiplayer game where you are actually quite likely to lose all your gear if you play multiplayer or simply be booted from the game entirely and have to sit through the frigging opening titles to log in and try again.

Ignoring catastrophic bugs (and let's be real, that's what these bugs are) making the repeatable content work on a timer is guaranteed to create a toxic environment. The problem with any endgame is that the reward is the goal, not the activity itself. And the player base of any game largely gravitates to highest possible reward per time invested with as little risk as possible. Which leads to nonsense like kicking anyone that can be filtered out of "top 1%" in whatever metric generates the reward.

15 : Anonymous2021/04/08 17:10 ID: gttxv36

I was actually pretty shocked that they're scaling down the timers on certain maps in expeditions. I just got to CT 11 on my devastator and they're already throwing these nerfs out. No buffs for the devastator as well which means that, even with these bullet build nerfs, they'll probably still outperform my character. I've never understood the nerfing aspect in a PVE based game. I get fixing exploits or fixing things that weren't intended to work the way they do, but straight up nerfing abilities because they're "too good"?? Hopefully this isn't a path they continue to follow.

ID: gtufo5o

I'm not that surprised by Chem Lab, but Boom Town actually needed a boost in the timer. I have a really good damage build, but the map layout + hiding AI, make it really difficult to hit that 7min for gold.

ID: gttzagd

It's just that Devastator is the only class that is not low key bugged.

I switched to Trickster and were WT 9 before i finished the campaign Solo, all i needed was ONE mod i transferred from my Devastator, and whatever gear i found, I then facerolled my way to CT11 without much difficulty, it's ridiculously low effort!
But it's a fun way to play, like slow-control, i don't think it's completely ruined!

16 : Anonymous2021/04/08 19:55 ID: gtukvk4

I really don’t want this game to die dude. I was having a lot of fun leveling up to 15 at tier 6 and wasn’t expecting an abundance of nerfs so fucking soon. And now drop rates are also nerfed. My motivation to play this game is gone. Just hopped back on bl3

ID: gtvjaf9

I honestly don't understand how designers of a game like this don't know the history of all these games and how things go and how it just needs to take a different approach, but nah, lets just repeat history again and have Jason get developers to talk to him anonymously and tell us what's all wrong behind the scenes.

ID: gtvohx4

I agree... They didn't even really give people a chance to form any dedication to this game (other than the white knights and people who've been playing beta's etc). My husband and I started just at launch, for instance, and he's just like... "This isn't even my main game yet... I guess it won't be. Bye. " If they waited a while or made less knee-jerk changes, it would give us more time to feel connected to the game and thus more likely to stick with it.

17 : Anonymous2021/04/08 21:47 ID: gtv05y1

Now all of you Non-Devastator Mains will know my pain bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa....*sob*

On a more serious note, I thought they handled the campaign/side quest exploits better than expected. The only guaranteed legendaries you are supposed to get are during the story based main missions. If you were able to get legendaries with little effort there would be no point to the end game....

Honestly, I hope the devs do not cave. The timer nerf on the bullets is practically a slap on the wrist. The weapon type nerfs however I disagree with. While it is true "A rising tide buoys all ships," it will create a stat bloat arms race in the context of video games like this and will become ever harder to balance.

18 : Anonymous2021/04/09 00:28 ID: gtvjoo1

All I'm gonna say is destiny 2 launched and had timers on the nightfalls to add artificial difficulty and the community hated it. Bungie got rid of it and the game was so much better. All timers do is add anxiety, then when you're weaker it's even more stress of not being optimal. Players don't mind difficulty but the power fantasy must also be held for a fun game.

19 : Anonymous2021/04/08 21:50 ID: gtv0mdu

TL;DR patch notes: We dropped your DPS in half and made the expeditions more difficult! We also reduced the amount of legendary drops to drive everyone into the expeditions. No, we did not fix anything that you asked for, we completely ignored it. Patch next week, probably.

Here is our week in Outriders:

Cross play doesn't work, can't stay connected to the servers for hours at a time, mass refund requests and poor reviews start spiraling all over the internet.

Many of us are patiently waiting for news of the patch that will fix the issues with cross-play, encouraging others to be patient, trying to be uplifting to the PCF team.

What did we get for our efforts today?

No news of fixing cross-play other than "maybe next week" No asked for adjustments to NPCs and their ridiculous accuracy, or their amped up defense when playing co-op. Insta-nerfs to the only viable DPS builds for 3 out of 4 classes Less time to get gold on expeditions Less sources of available legendary loot No punishment for people intentionally exploiting a bug in the system

Is the person driving the PCF boat asleep at the wheel or did someone give them bad information about what these "balances" would do?

Do they not understand we only have one DPS tree, one survivor tree, and one anomaly tree that is woeful underpowered? Any change to the DPS tree, in a DPS race for end game, means substantial , tidal-wave-esque, changes to how the game is played. These changes should have been made slowly, over time, with slight tweaks.

They will either have to revert this and buff the other trees, or this game will be dead within a month, maybe sooner.

Quite honestly, the damage may already have been done, I know several people who have, or are, requesting refunds as a result of today's notes.

ID: gtvcn2p

PCF has quickly proven just how tone deaf and incompetent they are. They rank right up there with the likes of Massive, Bioware, and Bungie!!!!

20 : Anonymous2021/04/08 17:34 ID: gtu19d8

Some devs take it personally when players succeed against what they consider their "hard" content... and react spitefully.... unfortunately PCF seems to be one of those studios...

21 : Anonymous2021/04/08 19:33 ID: gtuhs96

Everytime I make this argument about nerfs being pointless I get shit on. There is literally no point.


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