Hey, gang, I wanted to post with a few notes real quick before the weekend.
1) Thank you for posting your thoughts, be they positive or negative. I've collected the first round of feedback and kicked it up the chain. We'll all review when we're back in the office next week. Keep posting.
2) Please try to avoid making personal attacks or insulting other posters over their stance on this issue. You're all playing the same game, but different people play for different reasons. Nobody looks good when discussion devolves to petty comments, and it's a quick way to get shut out from a conversation that you could be participating in productively. Please try to keep your hostility focused on us where it belongs. Er, wait a minute...
3) Keep playing. I've seen a number of people declare that they're done playing and that this has ruined the game for them. That is obviously not what we want. If you don't think this was an effective change, you can help by showing us. Keep playing and we can track power up use, scores, leaderboard progress, etc. Having more data to work with will help us make a more informed decision about how to handle this in the future.
I'll continue to track discussion here over the weekend and will check in with the Blitz team when we're all back in the office after the 1st. Thanks again for your feedback. We're listening.
I already played some songs trying all sorts of combos. I am unable to get even half of my previous score on most songs. I saws Zage1337 100% Shout using Jackpot/Flame and not even Gold star it.
The only reason I ever played any music game was to always try and better my own high score. I can no longer do this. I will wait to hear news of a fix and will be happy to come back once that happens.
Thanks, Aaron, for at least acknowledging that the feedback is being heard. That's definitely a step above what we usually can expect from developers in this industry.
That being said, I think it would be extremely helpful to everyone involved if, after consulting with the team and discussing the feedback in here, you could provide a little more substantive official word with respect to some of the specific issues raised here. Particularly those involving the general use of some of these combinations. I would like to know what the design team thinks about the fact that a player making effective use of Road Rage and Blast Notes can significantly outscore someone making effective use of Jackpot and Flame Notes on an average song.
One of those combinations requires much more skill than the other, and in the past, the game rewarded higher scores accordingly. After this nerf, that is no longer the case. So far, that is the fundamental consequence to this change that I simply cannot believe was consciously intended.
I will do my part and play as much as time permits this weekend to gather more information and observation. Thanks for paying attention, at the very least.
For the record, I'm not affiliated with HMX at all. Of course, if you were paying attention and noticed my username doesn't have HMX in it, that would be clear to you. I typed in "/HMXshill" because I plugged their gig bags and Blitz posters, which I believe they sent to the participants of Ümloud.
You, in this thread: you are the 1%. Yes, 99% of the people in this thread are complaining about the nerf. But let's say there are 10 in this thread who are against the Flame change. 10 / 30,000 = 0.0003... Heh, you're even smaller than the 1%.
In relation to the other purple note powerups, Flame was overpowered. Runaway notes have a high point value, but appear randomly and at a low frequency. Blast notes appear randomly and at a higher frequency, but don't have a high point value. Pinball appears randomly and at a low frequency, but is limited to the ceiling of human skill in returning the pinball. It could be exploitable, but it's easily fixed without changing any point values by speeding up the ball past the point of human skill.
Flame appears randomly and at a low frequency, with an average point value per note... except the notes infinitely respawn with perfect play. It is the only purple note powerup that respawns, not to mention infinitely. That already makes it pretty powerful. Then you pair it with Jackpot and it gets way out of control. Add in Super Instrument point bonuses. Don't forget Bandmate. Then add in perfect play across two different tracks... and wow.
HMX has a few ways to fix this:
1 - Change the timing windows to prevent playing two tracks at one. Problem: you're changing the timing windows in a MUSIC game. Talk about breaking the mechanics of an ENTIRE GAME. That should be really fun to test!... NOT. FAIL
2 - Buff everything to match the strength of Flame notes. Problem: again, you want to change the mechanics of ALL THE OTHER POWERUPS to balance out one powerup? It's theoretically doable, but totally unreasonable to expect when you consider how limited your resources are. NOPE
3 - Wait, isn't the problem just with ONE powerup? Aren't Flame notes the common thread between the overpowered Jack/Flame, Band/Flame, and playing two tracks at once? Wouldn't it balance everything if we just nerfed ONE thing instead of trying to change practically EVERYTHING? DO IT!
The rules change, the market adapts. It's not about letting n00bs into the top 10. It's about evening out the playing field so the leaderboards look less like an exponential curve with only Flame players at the top, and more like a line graph with more parity and balance. It's about allowing the majority of your player base to think that they have a shot at winning something in a tournament. No, they may not have a shot at all, compared to the skilled players in this thread. But to quote Dumb and Dumber: "so you're telling me there's a chance?"
Re-read a few things after I posted.
I suppose HMX could have changed the mechanics of Flame notes alone and left the score values untouched. However, the scoring still remains unbalanced because Jack/Instrument still makes scoring ONE NOTE ridiculously overpowered compared to the other purple note powerups. And to think, you can string together a chain of those notes in a concentrated area instead of waiting for them to randomly spawn around the track? A scoring change nullifies the problem quicker than a mechanics change will.