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Today, we ask Funcom's Craig Morrison about his philosophies on attempting to balance ranged and melee combat styles in an MMO.
I think before you look at the challenges specific to MMO combat in terms of balance between any two sets of character types you have to define what we are usually trying to achieve in terms of balance.
You might think it was easiest to define it very straightforwardly as 'every time I fight I have a 50/50 chance of winning or losing based my skill and approach' but when you actually push players about what many feel about gameplay the reality is that they would feel balance was better when they have a chance of losing, but that they should win more than lose. Most seem to tend towards wanting something like a 75/25 mix of winning to losing...so they recognize the need for, and want, a chance of losing, but they generally feel that its more fun when they win more often than they lose, as long as it isn't too much.