Game makers are in this new era of gaming are constantly tinkering with their games. Given that games are all online all the time (basically) periodically developers, especially triple A studios, will release updates and patches to the games. This can be good but also it can ruin perfectly fine games as well.
Two recent games pop to mind when I think of the latter. Pokémon Go, when released in July wasn’t a perfect game by no means, but it worked and was fun. We had trackers, we had GPS sites that, though not ran by Niantic, helped players along, and we all had a lot of fun getting together finding Pokémon and catching them. Then of course Niantic dropped a large update that “fixed” problems that no one thought were problems and made it a lot more difficult to catch Pokémon, one instance it took me 6 pokeballs to catch a very low level Caterpie. The player base (including myself) has dropped off. Now I will say, the other day while walking to my office, about two blocks in Washington DC, I fired up the game to see if any of the latest “fixes” had made the game fun again. What were my results? Well they were inconclusive because in my two block walk in a major US city not a single Pokémon popped up.
So I don’t know if the latest update to Pokémon Go has fixed the game at all and honestly because the last overhaul made the game worse (in my opinion at least) I didn’t have a want to come back, and when I finally did it was a letdown.
The other recent release that may have been given “fixes” that it didn’t necessarily need is Gears of War 4. I don’t want anyone to get me wrong, I love the Gears series (except Judgement) and I still like Gears 4, however, the latest update (a massive 5.6 GB one) made some fixes. The one I have a problem with is what they did to the Gnasher shotgun in Competitive mode. The Gnasher has always been a point of contention among players, some say it’s too OP and others don’t like how most games break down to shotgun battles (though this isn’t really the case for a lot of matches). To me I’ve never really had a problem with the Gnasher, but the newest update did something weird to it. It nerfed it at point blank but “slightly” increased its power at a medium distance. I think what they were trying to do was turn down the impact up close shotguns slightly and to increase the impact at a medium distance only slightly. What happened, as it seems to be, is they turned down the impact up close a little too much and upped the medium distance too much.
I noticed last night after the update was installed that I could put my shotgun right up to an opponent and not kill them with one shot, but be blasted to pieces at a medium distance with no prior damage. Now, either tweak on their own could have been fine, but both at the same time has created a weird unbalance in the game play. Since a shotgun (in the real world and this game) is a spread shooter then the closer you are the less spread which means more impact. The further you are away from someone the larger the spread, meaning you’ll hit more with the pellets but they do less damage the further away you get. So in a real world scenario a shotgun up close is more deadly than it is the further away you get. Like I said, either one of these tweaks on their own would be fine, but together they contradict each other.
One other thing I noticed last night and could have nothing to do with the update was several times I’d run up on an opponent who was in cover and blind firing (not at me mind you) but would somehow get a head shot on me with the Gnasher. I’m not going to hang this on update but was something I noticed and it happed way more than once so that’s a bit of a concern where it comes to “hit boxes” on your character which can negatively affect the game, but maybe that was just a glitch and something Coalition can address and fix with another update.
This whole thing isn’t to say updates are bad. Most of the time updates in games make the game better, and in fact before online gaming updates there have been plenty of games that with one or two tweaks and it would have been great. Since the advent of online updates (with consoles, PC has been doing it for years either by the publisher or mods) mediocre games have gotten way better. However, I’ve never gotten updates that no one asks for. Like I said I’m a huge Gears fan which means I check out the reddit threads, and official forum, and Twitter, and nowhere did I see the player base asking for Gnasher changes. With all of that said I don’t think these changes have ruined the game, they are just something that we’ll all have to get used to and adjust. Where I was a bit frustrated with the game I still love it and will continue to play.
So have you installed the update yet? What do you think about it? Am I completely off the mark here or do you agree? Let us know in the comments below.