I always find it surprising when people think that Blood Bowl should automatically have been a perfect game system with perfect TV calculations made in a perfectly playtested world. It never has been. It has flaws precisely because it was a game developed by a couple of people tossing ideas around for something fun to play once in a while over a beer. So yes, it was made by someone throwing some numbers together, playing a handful of games and seeing what felt about right.
Nobody ever said it should have been perfect from the get go. The game was made with the intention of being what has been called a "beer and pretzels" game - something to do when you're with some buddies socializing, not really as something to seek out with the hopes of finding socialization on the side, and certainly not something meant for serious competitive play. For it's original purpose it has been fine for ages - it's fun and funny, especially when nobody is taking anything seriously.
When you play BB with some buddies as a hang-out thing, it is fun nomatter what - it's where a lot of people's best memories of the game come from. The problems started when a lot of folks shifted to that second concept... the game is primary and the socializing is the secondary aspect, such as you'll see with larger leagues and regional tournaments where the players don't all know and like each other from outside the game. That's when the rules started to become important, and as that type of play became more widespread it required rules revisions to deal with some of the most obvious deficiencies.
The BBRC was put together to work on that, and while they did some improvements they were really the start of the game's near-fatal growing pains. The BBRC was more or less about transitioning the game from beer and pretzels into something that made more sense in terms of being vaguely competitive for tournaments and short term leagues. They did some good stuff, don't get me wrong, but they were trying to use patches to turn a turkey into an eagle, and what's worse, they didn't really have the tools or know-how to do so. No doubt the statement will rub many of the hero-worshiping community members the wrong way, but I'd be absolutely floored if any member of the BBRC even knew how to analyze data much less anything else... it was just guys sitting around tossing a football around and saying "what if?" more or less.
And that leaves us with the online BB game which more or less is that final step... its not people who know each other coming together and playing a game to pass the time while they drink and laugh... it's not even people who like to play the game who are looking for like-minded folks... it's people who are playing a game and probably won't do much socializing with their opponents, especially outside of the match, and it's people who are looking for a game that is competitive and fair. Blood Bowl in its current form does not suit that, but that's what we're pretending it is with these online versions of the game.
The question thus becomes - do we do what needs to be done to transition it to a competitive game that suits online play? Some say yes, some say no... typically the people who say no are trying to hold on the the idea that the game can be one of the first two types mentioned despite being in a gaming environment (the internet) that doesn't much suit it. They can absolutely have that experience by simply sequestering themselves into smaller, cozy private leagues... they can play only with their real-world friends - hell, that's mostly what I do with this game. If the game is to make the transition into an online game it does need to change - specifically, it needs to have the qualities that make for a competitive game: it needs to be balanced in such a way as to make player skill the primary determining factor in either match outcomes or some visible ranking system.
Should the overall rules, even tabletop, change to accomplish this? Personally I don't give two craps whether they do or not - that's not what I'm playing here. I don't see that it'd be a problem since the actual reason for playing the game only rely heavily on the rules when using it as a competitive medium - if you're just passing time with friends it doesn't matter if the rules are total crap or if they're actually well balanced
, and for short term leagues and tournaments there won't be anything lost by having things balanced. The opposition is mostly fear of the unknown from what really is a painfully chickenshit community.
Has it improved over the years due to extensive play and large volumes of league data and experience, yes, it has, but ultimately it can only improve within the parameters set out in the original rules.
And what parameters are those, exactly?
All game systems are essentially made up from nothing. They can be tweaked with data, but the starting place has to be decided by somebody somehow to get the ball rolling in the first place.
It's not the starting place anyone is worried about, its the next place.
We're also dealing with a system that essentially had development frozen by GW years ago, so refinement is a lot harder to come by (sadly for Human Catchers).
At its core, this is just the aforementioned chickenshitness of the community - its the fallback argument that people go to when they're too afraid to move forward, but don't want to say so. They say "but... but... GW will never officially change the rules so...." ...so what? They're not the ones making or playing the game.