People never stop crying about Nate do they? I get it, his barrel is annoying. I agree, but you've just gotta deal with it. They're never going to remove it, and that's the only thing that makes him so bad to deal with. Honestly, without the barrel, he'd be much easier to handle, and I should know since whenever I don't use the barrel, people always have a much easier time dealing with me. Honestly though, people, including myself, don't have a hard time dealing with the barrel when nobody else is getting in the way, and honestly you shouldn't. Just jump over that stupid thing. I can understand if you're a close ranged character, so getting in is hard, but it's definitely not impossible. Nathan is truly not that bad of a character. He's got plenty of punishable attacks, and his AP gain is mediocre without that barrel-AK nonsense.
I used to complain about the barrel as well, but then, one day, I realized that it was incredibly helpful, so I stopped holding back in matches and started using it more myself. He's only playing to his strengths just like any other character would. Is it fun to deal with? No. Is it wrong of them to spam? No. Is it something that can be dealt with? Yes.
Also, if you have an projectiles at all, and most characters have at least one, barring Raiden, then toss it or shoot it at the barrel. It'll stop it midway and cause it to explode, sparing you from the frustration. Also, Nariko and Parappa can reflect it, Kratos can counter it safely plus all of his moves are ranged enough to just throw out and hit the barrel with safely, and Cole can just absorb it with his neutral circle. I believe Sir Dan's shield can also deal with, but even if it can't he has projectiles all the same.
lol people cry about spamming drakes, yet half of them do the same exact thing with other characters. Sure Drakes spam is better. But what about Jaks infinite in the air spam and his gun shots. What about Kratos square spam, what about Sly parry spam. EVERY character is spammy, this game rewards spam. If you stop one characters spam everyone is going to complain about someone elses being that much better. I PROMISE you all, if we keep crying about nerfs (myself included) this game is going to become complete trash, ive seen it with alot of games. They end up nerfing everything to nothingness until people start crying for buffs. Also there is like 9856250725857 ways around drakes barrel lol.
I put this in a different post (hell, it has its own topic), but I think the fairest way to nerf Drake is to neutralize his short-hop abilities. When Drake uses the oil drum, the grenade launcher, and the golden gun shot in the air, he can act again once he hits the ground, practically giving the moves instant recovery. Keep Drake in the air longer when he he uses these moves in the air. Maybe not as long as it takes for him to recover from the ground version, but long enough so that he can't act immediately after performing the move.