The problem with getting feedback from a game’s community is that sometimes the community’s passion overrides the desire for useful feedback. That’s part of the takeaway from a frank discussion from the devs about the state of Emma Frost in Marvel Heroes, a sad story in which a character moved through the test center receiving plenty of feedback… but most of it feedback oriented in the wrong direction. The goal for testers, Gazillion suggests, wasn’t to provide feedback for a balanced character; it was to provide feedback to create a game-breakingly good one.
In short, players who like the character wanted to see her pushed exceedingly far up in terms of performance, while cooler heads were shouted down, leaving developers feeling as if they had little choice but to push a live version of Emma that was specifically undertuned and buggy.
“TC just doesn’t get enough people to act on data alone, so we had no choice but to return her to a balanced state (not overpowered) and release her to the public,” explained Gazillion.
“Yes, she’s probably going to be a bit under in the damage category, and probably has unresolved bugs that may even have been reported but were consumed by the constant fighting and necessary moderation of the Emma feedback threads,” Gazillion writes. “We will get those fixed, and we will perform another tuning update sometime this month after we’ve got more data. You all do have the capability of helping with that without turning this into an ‘us vs them’ clique war and realize that you are all playing the same character with the same goals.”
While further updates and improvements are coming based on live feedback, it’s a cautionary tale for players and developers alike about accidental echo chambers.
YouTuber Danny C took a look at the patch, including the maybe-not-entirely-improved Emma: