As the latest location test for Guilty Gear Strive takes place, we’re quickly realizing that this is not the same game it was in the previous beta. While there are many welcome changes like bug fixes and various other improvements, there’s also a significant amount of balance changes that frankly feel premature and unnecessary.
In this age of overpatching games, these rebalances often occur before a meta can truly take shape. Time and time again we’ve seen games receive large overhauls months, weeks, or even days after release. But now with Guilty Gear Strive, ArcSys has made the strange decision to rebalance the game before it’s even out.
It’s exhausting to keep up with all these changes for players who spent hours playing the previous beta. What’s the point of letting us play in these beta tests if they’re just gonna change everything afterwards? I guess we put up with those lobbies for nothing.
The most frustrating thing is that it’s not clear that any of these changes were necessary in the first place. Take Leo for example, who in the newest location test has lost his ability to combo from his cross-up attack. Was anyone really complaining about that move? Did anyone win any tournaments with it? Of course not. But they changed it and plenty of other things too, and now we’ll have to relearn the game all over again on launch day.
Don’t get me wrong here. Sometimes balance changes are necessary to keep the game fun, but that’s only after there’s been enough time to show they’re truly needed. It’s not a good feeling knowing that I’ll need to throw away a whole weekend of beta experience and start from scratch on June 11th when the game probably releases.
ArcSys delayed the game because they needed more time to work on it, but I can’t help but worry they’re just going to keep changing it instead.