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The term "nerfing" comes from the online gaming world of Ultima Online.

At one point in the game, the developers reduced the power of swords in melee combat.

This resulted in players complaining that it was like they were hitting each other with nerf bats, not swords.

From then on, if ever something gets made less worth while than it had been originally, it is considered 'nerfed'
"Oh man, they reduced the dmg on the berserker class and now it's totally nerfed!"

"Damn, the Devs nerfed those axe's real good!"
by Dave Elliott January 11, 2005
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Typically applied to online regularly-changed/updated video games.

To "nerf" something means to reduce its 'power' or effectiveness within the game. Often times this is to solve some problem in the game (such as an 'overpowered' weapon/ability or super effective strategy), or to push the players in one direction or another (such as a new cosmetic/item/character).

Nerfs affect the 'meta' or prevailing strategy/characters/items used to win the game. In this way nerfs also give control to the developer of how the players play the game. i.e. nerfing a commonly used item to discourage the community from playing with it.

Some nerfs can be so drastic they change the very fundamentals of the game, and are often a contributing factor to the size of the playerbase, for good or bad.

Outside of games, this would again mean to reduce the things 'power' or 'effectiveness'. The exact analogy that gave birth to this term, is that of a Nerf Gun, compared to a real gun.
Oh man, they totally nerfed 'Titans Armor'! Guess I'll stop playing Golem now :/

They nerfed Irelia again?? Oh wait, its actually a buff. <-- (opposite of nerf)

Great, so now all the free-2-play guns are nerfed, guess I have to buy some to keep competitive. :(
via giphy
by xX_The_Dank_One_Xx420blazit69 September 24, 2018
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v: something that worked at one time, but was changed (usually for the worse) by someone who did not understand that particular thing's usefulness. You used to have something cool, but now your stuff
suxors. Often refers to MMOFPS's or MMORPG's, when the game designers change in-game rules and they screw stuff up.
"That game used to pwn, but now it blows. They took out the best part."
"Whatever I was doing, I'm not doing it anymore, I got nerfed."
"Our junk was so much better before the designers all nerfed it."
by CmdrAwesome December 29, 2004
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1.To make something pointless whereas before it was productive
2.To Stop something working

Usually a term used in online games
'' Aww Gawd They Nerfed My Fave Farming spot''
by James94 February 24, 2008
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When a weapon in a game relating to call of duty is "taken down a notch". This means that it is no longer as good as it was, and is now no longer overpowered.
by Myamoxomis May 10, 2014
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When a burgler comes in to rob a store with a nerf gun
Haha we were just Nerfed
by Bacon is not jmaycan February 13, 2017
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