Nerfs are just awful design decisions, that developers put in when they feel they cannot buff other mechanics or systems or abilities to match the 'problematic' thing. No matter what game or series nerfs are applied to, they always end up feeling horrible for players, and end up making the game or series less enjoyable overall.
For example, the most poignant example of unwarranted nerfs (in my opinion) has to be the Pokemon series, especially going from Black/White 2 (on the DS) to X/Y (on the 3DS). A number of needless changes were made, including:
- The Base Power of a lot of special moves was reduced slightly, but noticeably. For example, special moves with 95 Base Power (Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, Flamethrower, Surf, etc.) were dropped to 90. Special moves with 120 Base Power (Hydro Pump, Blizzard, Thunder, Fire Blast) were reduced to 110. Special moves with 140 Base Power, which also have the drawback of reducing the user's Sp. Atk by two stages after each use (Leaf Storm, Overheat, Draco Meteor) were dropped to 130 - with the exception of Psycho Boost. There was NO reason for this; no-one ever complained about these moves. They were far from being "broken" or "overpowered".
- When Fairy was added as a new eighteenth type, the type chart was also altered so Steel lost its long-time resistances to Ghost and Dark. Not only was Steel far from being "overpowered" in terms of its tanking potential (its three weaknesses - Fire, Fighting and Ground - are all very common, and many Steel-types lack reliable recovery), it meant that many Steel-types now had to fear the now-insanely-buffed Knock Off, and Pursuit. This was especially true for Steel/Psychic-types, like Metagross, Jirachi and Bronzong, since instead of taking neutral, regular damage from Dark- and Ghost-type moves they were now unfairly weak to them. The new Aegislash - which was far from being unbeatable due to lacking reliable recovery and King's Shield not blocking Will-O-Wisp and other status moves and doing nothing to scare off special attackers - was also subject to this unexpected and frankly idiotic change.
- No additional features like the Pokemon World Tournament, Challenge Mode, Key System, Black Tower/White Treehollow, Hidden Grottoes, seasons. Also no VS Seeker from FireRed/LeafGreen and Diamond/Pearl/Platinum.
- Additionally, weather-inducing Abilities (Sand Stream, Snow Warning, Drizzle, Drought) were altered to be identical to the standard moves (Sandstorm, Hail, Rain Dance, Sunny Day) by limiting them to 5 turns (or eight, if the correct held item is held) instead of infinite duration- this one, however, was somewhat justified because the Generation V competitive scene became almost solely centred around "weather wars", thanks to non-Legendary Pokemon getting access to the two most potent weathers (rain and sun - Politoed and Ninetales). Still felt horrible, and practically killed off the Abilities' usability.
As for going from Ultra Sun/Moon to Sword/Shield...significant reduction in number of usable Pokemon, no EXP Share key item to turn off party-wide EXP gain, the first time a Pokemon has had its base stats reduced (Aegislash), King's Shield having its special effect weakened (if the user is attacked by a physical move, the attacker used to have its Attack stat reduced by two stages; it's now only one stage), the four Terrains having their type-buffing effects reduced from 50% buff to 30%, and some others I believe. Y'know, despite moves being introduced to play around Terrains and Defog being buffed yet again to remove Terrains.
Very few of the above changes were ever justified, and Game Freak have never provided reasons as to why they nerfed things between Generations. They all result in a significantly less-enjoyable experience than what should be the case.
Another game that has seen nerfs, that I have played, is Bloons Tower Defense 6 - a primarily singleplayer game that had multiplayer tacked-on months after release, from a series that is primarily singleplayer. These nerfs can range from a tower's purchase price, or an upgrade's purchase price (the more common of the two), being increased; attack or effect speed being reduced; how many Bloons a tower or upgrade can pop being reduced; and more.
In my experience, Bloons Tower Defense 6 is and has always been a rather difficult game, due to just how expensive upgrades can get, and how relentless Bloon waves can become, along with the new "3D vision cone" gimmick (if there's an environmental detail blocking a unit's radius, the unit can no longer fire despite it, unlike all five previous games). Not to mention bloody CHIMPS mode. So when prices are increased, the game just becomes less fun and far more frustrating - and one of the things I truly loathe is frustration and resulting rage.
Back in the day, the Spike Factory's "Perma-spike" upgrade was a reliable - though obscenely expensive - 'mopping up' tool since its spikes lasted two rounds before automatically disappearing, could pop a large number of Bloons each, and the Factory spewed them out at a rather quick rate. The only problem was that obscene price, making it damn-near impossible to earn it a lot of the time. What did Ninja Kiwi do to the Spike Factory's Perma-spike upgrade in update 2.0, a few months after launch? Why, they bloody well increased the stupid price (from 22,500 to 25,000), and reduced spawning speed by 66%!
That was just the first sign that told me BTD6 was overall inferior to its predecessor, BTD5. Since then, many other nerfs have occurred, and I haven't touched the game much at all, whereas BTD5 has seen plenty of love and attention. STOP NERFING YOUR SINGLEPLAYER GAMES!
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