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Mel's Rant: Balance is the bane of MMORpg's.

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Mellkor, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. Mellkor

    Mellkor Well-Known Cupcake

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    I find it quite amusing that people shout out for balance in mmorpgs when the whole premise of rpg's is unbalancing mathematical statistics in order to "Win". I mean, if you want to achieve true balance, normalize damage output on characters and abilities to a fixed number then just change the animation.? but that would be no fun..

    So you get this weird space where you cant have complex progression and stat building systems because everyone is chasing this balance lie.

    Weather its gaining a level to get an advantage or gaining a few hp to create a buffer is fundamental to rpg combat: "my stats are greater than yours". So, its really quite strange that people have an issue when someone that has gear that creates a statistical advantage beats them they cry foul.

    I can understand that in action or fps games that "skill" is major factor in competition, The bullets have a fixed damage and you can only take so many, so you have to find a way to out twitch an opponent.

    But there wasn't any real skill factor to rpg's it was always stats. so trying to squeeze skill into mmorpgs is quite bizarre unless of course mmorpgs arn't really rpg's anymore?
    Blue Tunic Man and teh_ninjaneer like this.
  2. teh_ninjaneer

    teh_ninjaneer Cupcake-About-Town

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    There shouldn't be a "quest for balance" because the classes are intended to work together to achieve PvE victory. Even in a PvP setting the classes are "supposed" to work in tandem, not singularly.

    The problem arises when people want to PvP duel each other, or strive to solo PvE all the time. Essentially, when a player wants to play alone. No one wants to feel like their class will always lose to another, and no one wants to feel like their class will reach level 33 five minutes slower than some other class.

    To go along with your initial statement, true balance would essentially mean that you have one class with one ability that constantly does X amount of damage. The game is now balanced. But of course this would be no fun.

    All of these armchair developers on multiple forums think they understand game design and "balance", but they really don't. If the game is class-based, there has to be imbalance so that the classes need each other and can properly work together.

    If the game is class-less/freeform, then that's a whole 'nother problem.
    Tribe and Mellkor like this.
  3. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    These guys would argue that mmorpgs really aren't:


    I find some issues with their presentation, but it is an interesting take.

    The issue with the calls for "balance" is that is not what they actually mean. What they really mean by the statement is they want it to be easier. Rarely do players complain when they are too powerful (it does happen, but yeah...) but they complain constantly when they cannot effectively kill a class or encounter for one reason or another. The real problem is knowing the difference between knowing when there is an actual problem (not having the tools, abilities are overtuned) versus the player just needing to l2p. Part of the l2p though is split between the player and the dev. There are some players that no matter how you explain it, they won't get it. That is just the nature of communication, but that does not excuse the developer from not explaining enough, or correctly.
  4. Blue Tunic Man

    Blue Tunic Man Cupcake-About-Town

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    On the flip side, there were just certain cases that classes were indeed balls against other classes.

    For example, WoW's warrior under no circumstances can take on a frost mage that isn't severely under geared or has no idea how to play a frost mage. It just couldn't happen because of how frost magi were and I knew this because I played a frost mage during my time in WoW during the WOTLK - Cata era.

    To add emphasis, I kited my arena partner's guild master around the arena for fifteen minutes and he was cursing gchat up while my buddy was laughing his ass on vent. It was 2v1 so he had also some else trying to tear me down while I was kiting him around so we both had a good laugh on an inevitable loss.

    It was really bonkers how they played because I knew how to switch between frost and arcane armors when I need mana regen or more kiting capabilities, had two damage absorb shields, and my abilities were centric around slowing down/freezing. Now add in a instant cast that was almost promised a crit if your target was frozen.

    Sound like a sweet deal? It was. I was buddy-buddy with a unholy death knight which really complimented each other and with proper coordination on vent and <REDACTED> we were wrecking face left and right. Heck, I was wrecking face on my own - one time he forgot to accept an arena que and I was 2v1 against a boomkin and I think a assassination rogue. I won, it wasn't even a hard struggle because I managed to tear down the rogue pretty fast and the boomkin was really liable for interrupt. We had a good laugh on vent after I told him our team won on a 2v1 and continued wrecking face.

    I can't really toss it up to my skill even though I went up bad frost magi aplenty that made critical mistakes. We were beast in the PvP scene and for every other class it was a real buttache to go against frost magi that were worth their salt.

    So yeah, true balance is a fallacy BUT some semblance of balance needs to be there especially in the PvP scene. There can and has been really overpowered classes in the past that just ruined things but as long as there's just some sort of concern into it it'll go a long way.

    tl;dr Just me flexing my ego and everything else can be rounded up on the above paragraph.
  5. filanwizard

    filanwizard Cupcake-About-Town

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    The only PVP games with true balance are FPS games and EVE-Online.

    FPS of course are always balanced because anybody can run up to someone with a shotgun. Planetside(Pre BFR/Mechs) is to this day IMO the best PVP MMO.....
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  6. Dirty Outlaw

    Dirty Outlaw Cupcake-About-Town

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    true perfect balance would only work if everyone is the same.
    I think the only balancing should be done on a group level and not on 1vs1 or 2vs2 teams.
    I blame pvp for this need of balancing the classes in every level of play.
    Mellkor likes this.

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