I'm honestly surprised not to see more concern from average players about the absolute loss of another viable power-up option from the game.
Comments like that (coming in that case from someone that initially very adamantly supported the nerf) would be what I'd expect as more common casual player reactions.Originally Posted by AJayN85
When I started out I mostly used blast notes but enjoyed being able to use flame notes for variety with the potential to earn comparable scores. I was disappointed to discover runaway notes weren't a worthy option, and I could only imagine I'd be equally disappointed with flames in this state.
Though most who play probably will never see this thread to understand what happened, nor possibly even notice that a nerf took place unless they feel the effect due to friendly competition or a personal preference for flames. The result will simply be playing through the game for the most part without the use of flames.
The only positive tradeoff for completely removing flame notes as a realistic option for every player (casuals and hardcores alike) was to remove the mostly theoretical possibility of an unintended playing technique claiming top ranks on 4-lane songs.
My feeling from what I've seen is the change was prompted by two factors: 1) The thread which revealed the bandmate/flame exploit; 2) Upcoming tournaments with real prizes on the line.
I keep coming back to the same point, but that exploit is only possible for 4-lane songs. With less than 4 lanes anyone who can manage a streak can keep flames alive continuously. For 5-lane songs, playing every note in 2 lanes still isn't good enough, and without proper reaction flames will very quickly die out. It's also much more difficult to keep pinball alive in 5-lane songs for long periods.
This is why I believe the best solution for everyone involved would have been selecting 5-lane tracks for the 30 tournament songs while potentially figuring out a better long-term fix.