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Is a perfectly balanced game actually really boring?

TheScavengerTheScavenger Matrix, NYPosts: 911Member Uncommon

15 or so years ago a MMO came out, a no-budget MMO...not that popular. Don't even remember the name, and its not talked about anywhere, and I don't even remember the first letter it started with. Probably closed down a decade ago.

 

However, this MMO said "most classes of any MMO! Over 50 classes to choose from!"

 

Yeah...all the classes had different abilities. But each ability had the same stats as every other classes abilities. I think there was like 30 abilities and spells for most of the classes...and each of those abilities, while visually different, was pretty much exactly like the other classes 30 or however many abilities/spells.

 

And it was the most boring MMO I ever played. It was so perfectly balanced...there was no point in most of the classes. It wasn't fun. Everyone was pretty much exactly the same. There was no character to it...none of my spells felt powerful, they didn't feel weak...but they were so balanced...the spells were just...boring. It felt like if it was an FPS game, and every gun was exactly the same...just with a different type, model and skin.

 

Would you play this MMO? A perfectly balanced MMO that I described? Would you actually enjoy it? Or would you too find it rather boring?

 

 

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Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,783Member Uncommon
    One class with 50 different graphical effects for it is not the same as 50 different classes.  The problem wasn't that the game was balanced.  It was that there wasn't much variety.
  • TheScavengerTheScavenger Matrix, NYPosts: 911Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical
    One class with 50 different graphical effects for it is not the same as 50 different classes.  The problem wasn't that the game was balanced.  It was that there wasn't much variety.

    there were summons for some classes, one had a skeleton and another some kind of elemental. The elemental was a lot stronger, but got balanced to be the same as the skeleton (stat wise).

     

    There was healing of various types. heals over time, pure full healing and shielding effects.

     

    The shielding effects being most unique and varied, as one class had a shield that protected slash, and bludgeoning, and another class defended more for elemental attacks. These actually had different stats among the classes, and were the only spell type that was varied (stat wise).

     

    There was tanks and dps. And some crowd control.

     

    There was variety, but probably a lot of classes not needed. Even if they narrowed it way down...I never felt powerful with any of the classes. I never felt weak...just average

     

    That was the problem. I just felt average. Not powerful or unique or anything..just average. Even SWG I felt did this really well, you could be an average joe...but it never truly felt average. That was a lot I think, because how great the crafting was...so I could be a trader and focus on that, and I felt unique. I could make unique items.

     

    On the other hand, if SWG crafting was in the MMO I'm talking about. Every single item would have the exact stats, the only difference being higher level items being better than lower level items. Just boring. (edit: Well outside of slashing/bludgeon/elemental types...but every item still had the same exact stats, as long as they were the same "level")

     

    Maybe some people would like that. Personally, I don't want a balanced MMO...that just seems so boring.

     

     

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  • JakdstripperJakdstripper logan lake, BCPosts: 2,126Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by TheScavenger

     

     

    Yeah...all the classes had different abilities. But each ability had the same stats as every other classes abilities. I think there was like 30 abilities and spells for most of the classes...and each of those abilities, while visually different, was pretty much exactly like the other classes 30 or however many abilities/spells.

     

     

     

     this is actually why i left WoW years ago. in their attempt to please veryone they gave everyone pretty much the same abilities. they had a different visual effect but in the end everyone got CCs, Stuns, Armor, Bleeds, Pets, Teleports, "oh shit" buttons, life leaches, stealth, etc, etc.

    it doesn't make things more balanced, it only makes every class play the same and every encouter play the same. boring.

    perfect balance is: if i screw up you win, if you screw up i win, if no one screws up this is going to go on until one of us does, or someone else jumps in.however, in an mmo the rock, paper, scissor is also very enjoyable as long there is no "lazer sword" flavour of the month.

     

  • skeaserskeaser Wichita Falls, TXPosts: 3,849Member Uncommon
    You talking about Shadowbane? Only game I can think of with that many classes that got cancelled but it came out in '03 and closes in '09 or '10 (ish). Other one that comes to mind is DAOC.
  • TheScavengerTheScavenger Matrix, NYPosts: 911Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jakdstripper
    Originally posted by TheScavenger

     

     

    Yeah...all the classes had different abilities. But each ability had the same stats as every other classes abilities. I think there was like 30 abilities and spells for most of the classes...and each of those abilities, while visually different, was pretty much exactly like the other classes 30 or however many abilities/spells.

     

     

     

     this is actually why i left WoW years ago. in their attempt to please veryone they gave everyone pretty much the same abilities. they had a different visual effect but in the end everyone got CCs, Stuns, Armor, Bleeds, Pets, Teleports, "oh shit" buttons, life leaches, stealth, etc, etc.

    it doesn't make things more balanced, it only makes every class play the same and every encouter play the same. boring.

    perfect balance is: if i screw up you win, if you screw up i win, if no one screws up this is going to go on until one of us does, or someone else jumps in.however, in an mmo the rock, paper, scissor is also very enjoyable as long there is no "lazer sword" flavour of the month.

     

    yeah, that was pretty much how the unknown MMO was as well. While there was variety in roles, every class pretty much had similar stuff. The exceptions being shields, and not every class had pets. But they aimed to make it the most balanced game...in return...it was most boring MMO I ever played

     

    It is like WoW, everyone gets similar spells (well there is a bit of variety, but its all similar really)...and even the factions had to be perfectly balanced. Hence paladins for Horde, and Shamans for Alliance. That was...well...lost a lot of flavor with those two. It isn't about not making classes useful...but there should be at least some variety in there and classes better at dps, better at tanking or better at healing...and some classes should be better at one of those roles. Not perfectly balanced where it doesn't matter.

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  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,918Member Uncommon

    If everyone is strong, then noone is strong.  That's one of the reasons I like classes with a great deal of diversity.

     

    I'm of the opinion that making a character stronger in one area (for example by specialization) should make them weak in another.

     

    Some devs seem to hold back on diversification, very likely to make it impossible to gimp a character.  Personally I like a game that will let me gimp a character if it also allows me to build one that's strong.  Specialization becomes a mini-game.

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,978Member Uncommon

    Balance does not really make a game boring, it is the lack of customization that does that.

    Many balanced games do have little customization to make balancing easier.

    Another problem with loads of classes is that as I see it all classes should have unique mechanics, not just different attacks and gear.

    If another class uses the exact same mechanics as a warrior there is no need to make them 2 different classes, it is more fun to just let them be different speccs of the same class.

    The biggest difference between most pen and paper RPGs and MMOs is that in P&P you usually have a ton of customization which allows your character to be unique. In games like Pathfinder you can have 6 players of the same basic class that are completely different. Say everyone makes rogues, then you have 1 ninja, 1 cat burglar, 1 poisoner, 1 scout, 1 Swashbuckler and 1 spy. All these templates have unique skills and abilities and no character would be just like the rest.

    Of course allowing customization like this is a lot of work and makes the game hard to balance but it isnt the balance in itself that is the problem here.

    Games with little real customization are boring, not games with balance.

  • StonesDKStonesDK SomewherePosts: 1,805Member
    Add PvP to the mix and you have a recipy for a ton of crying, if the classes aren't completely balanced.

    Whaah! Stunlock! Whaah! Fear! Whaah! Pets!.. you get my drift
  • skeaserskeaser Wichita Falls, TXPosts: 3,849Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Starpower
    Add PvP to the mix and you have a recipy for a ton of crying, if the classes aren't completely balanced.

    I think this comes from the single-player trend. Everyone wants to be able to go at everything on their own. I'd really like an MMO that focuses more on group synergy and less on equality. Look at the old days of EQ1, there were plenty of classes that couldn't solo very well but put a party together and they're pumping the DPS numbers through buffs and throwing up all sorts of wards and mezzes making a well formed group a well-oiled killing machine. Now it's all interchangable tank/dps/heals.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,978Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by XAPGames

    If everyone is strong, then noone is strong.  That's one of the reasons I like classes with a great deal of diversity.

    I'm of the opinion that making a character stronger in one area (for example by specialization) should make them weak in another.

    Some devs seem to hold back on diversification, very likely to make it impossible to gimp a character.  Personally I like a game that will let me gimp a character if it also allows me to build one that's strong.  Specialization becomes a mini-game.

    That is true to some degree, but it is far too common in games like that where only a singhle build for each class is OP and everyone just copies if off the net.

    Classes doesnt really have to be balanced but there must be some balance betweens the skills and feats you pick when you customize your character. It doesnt have to be perfect but close enough so people wont demand you to have a specific build to let them join a PUG.

    Allowing people to find odd specialization builds and skills that work well together is fun but no balance still takes the fun out of it.

    Let us make our own weird builds, some better than others but dont let it be a minigame to find the one perfect because that one will be out on the net a week after launch and then everyone will use it. Having hundreds of possible builds is not fun if ony one of them are really good.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,978Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Starpower
    Add PvP to the mix and you have a recipy for a ton of crying, if the classes aren't completely balanced. Whaah! Stunlock! Whaah! Fear! Whaah! Pets!.. you get my drift

    There are 3 types of playing styles in MMOs: solo, group and PvP.

    Some builds just will be better in one of those than in the rest. With plenty of customization each class should have good builds for whatever you play but some people just needs to stop whining or start playing classless games instead.

    Perfect balance wont happen in MMOs, what we need is plenty of customization and enough balance to not make a class completely useless (we seen that in MMOs before, some classes that just dont have good speccs for anything).

    When you are making a PUG you shouldn´t feel that a certain class is a waste of a spot, no matter if you want to PvE or PvP. The soloing part isnt as important since you dont need to find a group for it and some people want a higher challenge. But there should always be a reason to bring any class when you play with others, or the class is just a waste of developer time.

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,447Member Uncommon

    No any game can be great if the developer is any good.

    Thge problem is Balance  is impossible,games are pretending to do it just to keep everyone happy.

    Well i guess if everyone was the exact same class/player/race then ya it would be balanced.However you have player styles that come into play.Example some might like to melee better than sit back and Kite or have any kind of magic management.

    A huge problem with balance is it does not meet the req's of all players.Example some like to JUST heal,balancing measn they would have average healing and feel non important.Why woudl anyone need that player top heal if they can heal themselves for the same?

    Why give a player the same dps if some players don't want to dps?

    I feel that was the lack of foresight by Anet,they simply do not understand that MANY RPG gamers WANT a role to play,they don't want a jack of all trades balanced game.

    Also with balancing issues,you can guarantee the forums will be constantly crying over which class is better than the other,nerf this nerf that or just make everyone o/p'ing.The whole reason ROLES work in a RPG is that is what the game is SUPPOSe to be about,balance has NOTHING to do with Role playing.


    Samoan Diamond

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,474Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loke666
    Originally posted by XAPGames

    If everyone is strong, then noone is strong.  That's one of the reasons I like classes with a great deal of diversity.

    I'm of the opinion that making a character stronger in one area (for example by specialization) should make them weak in another.

    Some devs seem to hold back on diversification, very likely to make it impossible to gimp a character.  Personally I like a game that will let me gimp a character if it also allows me to build one that's strong.  Specialization becomes a mini-game.

    That is true to some degree, but it is far too common in games like that where only a singhle build for each class is OP and everyone just copies if off the net.

    Classes doesnt really have to be balanced but there must be some balance betweens the skills and feats you pick when you customize your character. It doesnt have to be perfect but close enough so people wont demand you to have a specific build to let them join a PUG.

    Allowing people to find odd specialization builds and skills that work well together is fun but no balance still takes the fun out of it.

    Let us make our own weird builds, some better than others but dont let it be a minigame to find the one perfect because that one will be out on the net a week after launch and then everyone will use it. Having hundreds of possible builds is not fun if ony one of them are really good.

     I think people like customization in two ways:

    1) one to be a goldfish/peacock.

    2) To find an OP build.  Although they often can't admit it.

  • BanaghranBanaghran HuisoPosts: 869Member
    Originally posted by waynejr2
    Originally posted by Loke666
    Originally posted by XAPGames

    If everyone is strong, then noone is strong.  That's one of the reasons I like classes with a great deal of diversity.

    I'm of the opinion that making a character stronger in one area (for example by specialization) should make them weak in another.

    Some devs seem to hold back on diversification, very likely to make it impossible to gimp a character.  Personally I like a game that will let me gimp a character if it also allows me to build one that's strong.  Specialization becomes a mini-game.

    That is true to some degree, but it is far too common in games like that where only a singhle build for each class is OP and everyone just copies if off the net.

    Classes doesnt really have to be balanced but there must be some balance betweens the skills and feats you pick when you customize your character. It doesnt have to be perfect but close enough so people wont demand you to have a specific build to let them join a PUG.

    Allowing people to find odd specialization builds and skills that work well together is fun but no balance still takes the fun out of it.

    Let us make our own weird builds, some better than others but dont let it be a minigame to find the one perfect because that one will be out on the net a week after launch and then everyone will use it. Having hundreds of possible builds is not fun if ony one of them are really good.

     I think people like customization in two ways:

    1) one to be a goldfish/peacock.

    2) To find an OP build.  Although they often can't admit it.

    2) is why we usually agrue for more diversity in activities, so that there is less chance for one build to be op in most cases.

    Old timers might remember that it wasnt always "just raids", that once we had "soloing", "aoe" and "grouping" (pve and pvp :) ), where different classes and build could shine, not even mentioning niche things like resource gathering and evade and steal.

    Flame on!

    :)

  • FelixMajorFelixMajor London, ONPosts: 576Member
    I think a lot of people get mixed up with what balancing should be like.  I honestly like the variety of outcomes players can come up with.  Having a boat load of skills, items, game mechanics, environments to manipulate and use to your advantage is wonderful.  Balancing a game is more in the stats and numbers, it's really just math and science, but as far as how players use what they are given, developers should realize that people ARE creative, and can maniupulate the world around them, smarter players should be rewarded in that way, and a game that can capture that essence is a win for me.

    Originally posted by Arskaaa
    "when players learned tacticks in dungeon/raids, its bread".

  • madazzmadazz A town, ONPosts: 1,564Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by aleos
    imagine 2 children leveled out on a see saw. 

    But that isn't how a see saw works.... You don't just hop on and wait for perpetual motion to kick in, you have to push off the ground man, PUSH! lol

  • madazzmadazz A town, ONPosts: 1,564Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loke666
    Originally posted by Starpower
    Add PvP to the mix and you have a recipy for a ton of crying, if the classes aren't completely balanced. Whaah! Stunlock! Whaah! Fear! Whaah! Pets!.. you get my drift

    There are 3 types of playing styles in MMOs: solo, group and PvP.

    Some builds just will be better in one of those than in the rest. With plenty of customization each class should have good builds for whatever you play but some people just needs to stop whining or start playing classless games instead.

    Perfect balance wont happen in MMOs, what we need is plenty of customization and enough balance to not make a class completely useless (we seen that in MMOs before, some classes that just dont have good speccs for anything).

    When you are making a PUG you shouldn´t feel that a certain class is a waste of a spot, no matter if you want to PvE or PvP. The soloing part isnt as important since you dont need to find a group for it and some people want a higher challenge. But there should always be a reason to bring any class when you play with others, or the class is just a waste of developer time.

    Couldn't agree more.

  • MMOdad72MMOdad72 Hoover, ALPosts: 93Member
    Originally posted by skeaser
    Originally posted by Starpower
    Add PvP to the mix and you have a recipy for a ton of crying, if the classes aren't completely balanced.

    I think this comes from the single-player trend. Everyone wants to be able to go at everything on their own. I'd really like an MMO that focuses more on group synergy and less on equality. Look at the old days of EQ1, there were plenty of classes that couldn't solo very well but put a party together and they're pumping the DPS numbers through buffs and throwing up all sorts of wards and mezzes making a well formed group a well-oiled killing machine. Now it's all interchangable tank/dps/heals.

    This x1000.

    In EQ my druid could quad kite even level mobs to max level while a warrior would struggle against one even con past level 10 or so and have to sit down forever to heal after solo.

    A cleric was almost impossible to solo also compared to say a necro.

    But warriors and clerics were necessary and needed by all and never lacking for a group while the druids and necros were optional , in fact enchanters likely ranked right behind warrior-cleric for group needs.

    I loved the dynamic that was like this in EQ. 

    I really don't like the current trend of everyone has to be able to do everything.

    I liked defined roles and actual major class differences.

  • BanaghranBanaghran HuisoPosts: 869Member
    Originally posted by Loke666

    When you are making a PUG you shouldn´t feel that a certain class is a waste of a spot, no matter if you want to PvE or PvP. The soloing part isnt as important since you dont need to find a group for it and some people want a higher challenge. But there should always be a reason to bring any class when you play with others, or the class is just a waste of developer time.

    One has to point out, that this is a sure-fire way to creating groupable classes that solo very vell due to the "groupable" abilities like buffs and heals, leaving some classes in the dirt being "groupable enough" while having a hard time solo.

    Soloing and in broader sense the overall versatility of the class is important.

    Why is the "challenge" of finding groups always seen as bad, while the "challenge" in beating content that some heavy armor self healing ranged meelee class can just facetank is seen as good? :)

    Flame on!

    :)

  • MaephistoMaephisto somewhere, DCPosts: 632Member

    Extra Credits: Perfect Imbalance

    The premise of this episode basically states that a perfectly balanced game would become boring in the long run.  Instead, devs aim to achieve a perfect imbalance.

    Enjoy

    image

  • rounnerrounner CanberraPosts: 603Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Maephisto

    Extra Credits: Perfect Imbalance

    The premise of this episode basically states that a perfectly balanced game would become boring in the long run.  Instead, devs aim to achieve a perfect imbalance.

    Enjoy

    This whole premise is based on one on one balance. They dont mention non pvp classes (eg PVE tank) or other games styles (eg crafting). Nor does it discuss the true skill in pvp, communication and team work. For this reason, perfect imbalance (could have just said rock paper scissors) and perfect balance are both boring and unnecessary.

  • AethaerynAethaeryn Kitchener, ONPosts: 1,973Member Uncommon
    I hate that they have started balancing classes so that in 1v1 PvP they are "equal". .  it just got dull.

    Wa min God! Se æx on min heafod is!

  • DrakynnDrakynn The Pas, MBPosts: 2,030Member
    Originally posted by Aethaeryn
    I hate that they have started balancing classes so that in 1v1 PvP they are "equal". .  it just got dull.

    yeah I hate that too.MMORPGs should not be based on 1v1 PvP IMO.I prefer a rock/paper/scissors/lizard/Spock kinda balance!

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    Originally posted by Loke666

    Balance does not really make a game boring, it is the lack of customization that does that.

    Many balanced games do have little customization to make balancing easier.

    Another problem with loads of classes is that as I see it all classes should have unique mechanics, not just different attacks and gear.

    If another class uses the exact same mechanics as a warrior there is no need to make them 2 different classes, it is more fun to just let them be different speccs of the same class.

    The biggest difference between most pen and paper RPGs and MMOs is that in P&P you usually have a ton of customization which allows your character to be unique. In games like Pathfinder you can have 6 players of the same basic class that are completely different. Say everyone makes rogues, then you have 1 ninja, 1 cat burglar, 1 poisoner, 1 scout, 1 Swashbuckler and 1 spy. All these templates have unique skills and abilities and no character would be just like the rest.

    Of course allowing customization like this is a lot of work and makes the game hard to balance but it isnt the balance in itself that is the problem here.

    Games with little real customization are boring, not games with balance.

    I agree 100%. Lack of customization that actually has some effect (be it aesthetic, mechanical, etc.) is a game killer for me. The more choices, the better.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

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