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Do we really need totall class balance?

cybertruckercybertrucker Pensacola, FLPosts: 1,119Member

PnP games and older MMMOs even were loaded to bear with classes that access to certain skills, spells or abilities that made them stand out. Balance was not always the main element in class design but more depth of character that would fit lore. Some of these abilities were combat oriented some were utility in design.

These days games are all about the numbers and combat. How do the classes stack up in combat and are they balanced? Uitlity spells and effects that are used outside of combat that might give a particular class some sort of edge  in  other areas of gameplay such as making travel easier or even the ability to give long term buffs are rarely seen. And when it comes to combat abilities, balance  trumps all.

So what are peoples opinions on this. Should developers go back to the older philosophy that  character depth and game lore is just as important and bring back abilities  that others might not have access to?. Or should they continue with the trend that everything must be totally balanced, and no one class should ever have abilities that might give them an  edge?

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Comments

  • MortisRexMortisRex Columbia, TNPosts: 348Member Common
    It's a tough question because it requires context. In a PvE game, do you have one class who offers great "flavor" but brings so little in terms of actual gameplay that they'll never be invited into a group? In PvP, do you have 1 or 2 classes that just shut down everything and make the entire exercise pointless (I'm looking at you pain trains)? I'm all for diversity and UOs skill system still remains one of my favorites. I think as long as everyone has a role to play (play being the key concept), then balance doesn't have to be such a major consideration.
  • nate1980nate1980 Evans, GAPosts: 1,829Member

    I could care less about balance in any of my games. PvP is also not very important to me, but even when I do play, I could care less. 

    I'd prefer each class to have their own flavor. Meaning, they should have their own look, style, abilities, and so on. Each class should have its own philosophy and background. Each class should have their own niche in a group. 

    The problem with todays games is the developers focus to make every class solo friendly. Between that and balance, we end up with every class having abilities that do the same thing. Every class now has a way to mitigate damage, deal direct damage, damage over time, heal, and control enemies. I miss when every class had thier own niche, had strengths and weaknesses, where other classes were needed to compensate for those weaknesses, making grouping highly beneficial. 

    As for balance, if there's to be balance, I'd rather a group be balanced instead of individual classes. Pre-WoW games are a good example. You could solo as any class in DAoC, but to get the best results, you were encouraged to group, since classes complimented each other and covered each others weaknesses. This worked in both PvE and RvR. 

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon

    If your MMO is class-restricted, level based and focuses solely on levelling through killing things, then the classes need to be balanced. This was a lesson learned as far back as DAoC, where healers were at a serious levelling disadvantage if they tried to level solo.

    oh noes! I mentioned solo. Yes. That is a concern if we want to talk realistically, as every player - even the most group oriented - will solo occasionally, and a lack of balance prevents them from keeping up with the group.

    To remove the need for balance and introduce more specialization, MMOs would need to do one or more of the following

    • - get rid of levels as a progression system
    • - offer more than just murder as a path of progression
    • - use a skill-based system, either player skill or character skill
    The necessity for balance is a byproduct of the linear, shallow design of most MMOs.
     
     

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
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  • CalmOceansCalmOceans BergenPosts: 2,273Member
    Only PVP players want class balance, Everquest never had class balance of any kind.
  • sunshadow21sunshadow21 Omaha, NEPosts: 354Member
    Originally posted by MortisRex
    I think as long as everyone has a role to play (play being the key concept), then balance doesn't have to be such a major consideration.

    Part of the difficulty in the statement quoted, and the issue of balance as a whole, is that  it relies on the players as much as it does the developers. FFXI is a good example of this. The classes themselves were remarkably versatile when you actually took the time to look at them, but far too many players insisted that each class was only good for x, putting constraints on the system that the developers never intended. Same goes for pretty much ever other MMO I've played to at least some degree. In that context, where the players insist on focusing on combat, balance, and the "proper" way to play a given class, it's little wonder that most devs have given up caring about anything else when they are pretty certain it will just get largely ignored anyway. It's also why I've grown less and less thrilled about most MMOs; even when the devs provide the options, it's disheartening to see the players who supposedly wanted them to ultimately ignore them because they don't end up being the "optimal" way to play the game.

  • itgrowlsitgrowls newport news, VAPosts: 2,951Member

    Yess wee doo

    I got the best example for you. Engineer in GW2 is the weakest class. Here's the issue. We're supposed to just take for granted and believe that a "magical fairy sigil" system is more powerful then all the weapons of the 20th century war.

    Seriously? and since you bring up the lore thing. if we were to examine this from a strictly lore pov then again it's still wrong that this class be the weakest because the Charr were the weapons of war engineers according to the lore of this game. If I'm to believe that they are really this weak then there should not be an ascalonian dungeon at ALL and the kingdom of Ascalon should still be standing with live citizens and not ghosts.

    Listed on their website about combat is that no class should ever feel weak or be unable to participate because of some kind of combat issue. Well that's not happening where engineers are involved. They are actively denied access to dungeons because the class balance issues directly prevent them from taking one of the three new trinity roles Anet has been pushing, DPS. (Support, CC, DPS were the original 3)

  • RoxtarrRoxtarr Freeland, MI, MIPosts: 1,122Member

    This is a perfect example of where in 'theory' gamers say one thing, but in practice do another.  Sure, some might love the idea of the 'old school' paper/rock/scissors but here's the problem.  If I'm the "rock" and get owned by paper, what's the first thing that comes to my mind? "Oh well, I guess my class was never designed to beat their class?" Nope.  I'm going, "WHAT? That class is OP - nerf them now!" And crocodile tears fill the forums raving about how the devs don't know how to balance their game.  

    The biggest challenge around PvP is allowing diversity while rewarding skill.  It's possible, but not without sacrificing diversity and homogonizing the classes in some ways.  If it is possible, I've seen few examples of it being done successfully.

    If in 1982 we played with the current mentality, we would have burned down all the pac man games since the red ghost was clearly OP. Instead we just got better at the game.
    image

  • MaelwyddMaelwydd CrawleyPosts: 1,123Member

    PvE - No. individuality and specialisations are actually great things to have.

    But as soon as you include PvP of any sort the PvE side of the game is advesely affected because people desire the feeling of being able to compete with those they are fighting. Some will be ok with imbalance (those that always roam in large groups, have enough time to hit max level quickly or RP'ers, perhaps others) but for the most part people want balance.

    The problem is most gamers see PvP as the reason to play rather then a tool to assist play. Enjoying RP this is one of the bigest gripes I have with FFA PvP games. The PvP should be a tool to use not the point of playing.

    That is why I personally don't think PvE and PvP should be mixed.

  • AnthurAnthur StolbergPosts: 686Member Uncommon
    Hmm, you really want to open this sack full of wild bees ? Good luck on that. I pass. ;)
  • cybertruckercybertrucker Pensacola, FLPosts: 1,119Member

    Everyone is replying about in combat situations...what at out of combat utility type abilities?

    also for the record. Engineers are an awesome class in GW2. One of my friends play one and  the utility he brings to the group is great. 

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLPosts: 4,516Member Uncommon

    Absolutely not.  I do not want classes balanced.  I do not want classes mirrored between factions. 

     

    Old-School DAoC did it right.  I didn't care that Ablion had OP class XYZ... or Mids had OP class ABC.  Well, actually I did care, but it just made me feel more like it was us (Hibernia) against THEM...  everyone else.

     

    Now that said, obviously the gap should not be too large where it becomes unviable to play anything else and everyone should have their little niche where they can shine.  But overall this trend to making everyone the same is one of the factors that has ruined many modern MMOs for me.  If you want an E-Sport.. great make an E-Sport game, but I want to play an MMORPG and couldn't care less about your scoreboard, arena ranking or E-Peen level.

     

     

     

     

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,281Member Uncommon

    Balance is a myth. No such thing. Just an excuse for a defeated player.

     

    edit- 3.0 Paladins were broke though...

  • cybertruckercybertrucker Pensacola, FLPosts: 1,119Member
    Originally posted by Maelwydd

    PvE - No. individuality and specialisations are actually great things to have.

    But as soon as you include PvP of any sort the PvE side of the game is advesely affected because people desire the feeling of being able to compete with those they are fighting. Some will be ok with imbalance (those that always roam in large groups, have enough time to hit max level quickly or RP'ers, perhaps others) but for the most part people want balance.

    The problem is most gamers see PvP as the reason to play rather then a tool to assist play. Enjoying RP this is one of the bigest gripes I have with FFA PvP games. The PvP should be a tool to use not the point of playing.

    That is why I personally don't think PvE and PvP should be mixed.

    I know a lot of people will knock WAR for being a bad game. But one thing it got right was how abilities changed based on who the target is. For example if a tank type used a taunt on a player that player would take extra damage from his attacks for a  limited duration.  However that taunt was just a hate building taunt on a PVE target.

    more games should do this.

  • ShrillyShrilly Citra, FLPosts: 380Member Uncommon
    I like a rock paper scissor system. This class is better  than that and so on counters just a circle makes it easier to focus on more important content.
  • MaelwyddMaelwydd CrawleyPosts: 1,123Member
    Originally posted by cybertrucker

    I know a lot of people will knock WAR for being a bad game. But one thing it got right was how abilities changed based on who the target is. For example if a tank type used a taunt on a player that player would take extra damage from his attacks for a  limited duration.  However that taunt was just a hate building taunt on a PVE target.

    more games should do this.

    lol never played WAr but in a recent post about Trinity I said something along the lines of A taunt against a PvP target should take more damage/do less damage against everyone else except the person who did the taunt. Yeah things like that would reduce the problems that having a game focus on both PvE and PvP butwith rare exceptions like that I have yet to see anythng even approaching a system to integrate.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Roxtarr

    This is a perfect example of where in 'theory' gamers say one thing, but in practice do another.

    Yup. Class balance is fine, as long as the unbalance lies in my favor. Otherwise, time to QQ.

    Later today: "Why do we have to have nerfs, why can't we just always have buffs?" (The Monty Haul Theory of Class Balance)

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • cybertruckercybertrucker Pensacola, FLPosts: 1,119Member
    Originally posted by Maelwydd
    Originally posted by cybertrucker

    I know a lot of people will knock WAR for being a bad game. But one thing it got right was how abilities changed based on who the target is. For example if a tank type used a taunt on a player that player would take extra damage from his attacks for a  limited duration.  However that taunt was just a hate building taunt on a PVE target.

    more games should do this.

    lol never played WAr but in a recent post about Trinity I said something along the lines of A taunt against a PvP target should take more damage/do less damage against everyone else except the person who did the taunt. Yeah things like that would reduce the problems that having a game focus on both PvE and PvP butwith rare exceptions like that I have yet to see anythng even approaching a system to integrate.

    Well you should check out WAR then because it was implemented very well there. Every class had certain abilities that had different effects in PVP than in PVE.

     This is actually a good fix to the PVP vs PVE ability balance issue.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by cybertrucker

    Well you should check out WAR then...

    You know, you can proceed directly to the specific game fanboyism, without approaching it through the round-about poll.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • motmot84motmot84 MandaluyongPosts: 11Member
    Originally posted by itgrowls

    Yess wee doo

    I got the best example for you. Engineer in GW2 is the weakest class. Here's the issue. We're supposed to just take for granted and believe that a "magical fairy sigil" system is more powerful then all the weapons of the 20th century war.

    Seriously? and since you bring up the lore thing. if we were to examine this from a strictly lore pov then again it's still wrong that this class be the weakest because the Charr were the weapons of war engineers according to the lore of this game. If I'm to believe that they are really this weak then there should not be an ascalonian dungeon at ALL and the kingdom of Ascalon should still be standing with live citizens and not ghosts.

    Listed on their website about combat is that no class should ever feel weak or be unable to participate because of some kind of combat issue. Well that's not happening where engineers are involved. They are actively denied access to dungeons because the class balance issues directly prevent them from taking one of the three new trinity roles Anet has been pushing, DPS. (Support, CC, DPS were the original 3)

    Actually it was the searing that breached Ascalon and Aldelbern technically made the catacombs because of the foefire. Engineers were not significant back then because of the flame legion shamans.

    Engineers are actually viable in dungeons you just need to be good at it, skills, traits, armors, and accessories. Anyways back to OP's topic, balance is indeed needed because if no balance exists there will always be one class at the very bottom.

    Let me give you an example, Priest in Ragnarok Online. And by Priest I mean book weilder with INT VIT build. Lets see how you fare solo.

  • EndeEnde brightonPosts: 6Member

    It doesnt matter if players want balance or not because its impossible to fully balance classes in a game anyway.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,030Member Uncommon

    Cant care less about total balance but all classes must bring something to the group. Having B classes for soloing just suck, and it sucks even worse to relalize that the class you maxed out cant get a group in endgamecontent even if your life depends on it. 

    EQ2 is a bit like this, certain classes can only get groups for dungeons before the endgame but as soon as you max out noone wants you.

    But 100% fairness in PvP isnt realistic and 100% fairness in PvP is just boring and makes all classes the same. There is nothing worse than 99% mirrored classes with slightly different name.

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    I prefer classes to be unique personally, and most of the time I feel the people who want 'class balance' use it as a crutch for their own inability to play or understand their role/roles.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    It depends on how finely tuned the experience is.  If you have a linear plot or long grind and every monster is essentially a dps race between what you can inflict vs what you can absorb, then any imbalance between classes can cause an encounter to feel like a brick wall for the weaker class.

  • fat_taddlerfat_taddler Wanaque, NJPosts: 286Member

    I think a totally balanced game would be boring.  I mostly play WoW right now and particularly enjoy the way the current classes are working in PvP.  

    I mostly play a Disc priest in PvP so I'm usually healing but can also throw down when needed but only against certain classes.   

    If the game mechanics put me on a level playing field with  say a Death Knight or Palidin, that would be silly in my opinion.   Of course I do have some nice counters to their abilities but I expect to get beaten down in most 1v1 situations and I'm perfectly ok with that.  

    Now my Shadow spec can typically do enough damage to at least make things interesting but again, I don't usually expect to fair well in a 1v1 situation against a high DPS, plate wearing class, which makes sense to me. 

     

     

     

  • FlawSGIFlawSGI Woodstock, GAPosts: 1,379Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Aeonblades
    I prefer classes to be unique personally, and most of the time I feel the people who want 'class balance' use it as a crutch for their own inability to play or understand their role/roles.

    I couldn't agree more. I'll be the first to admit that I am not a die hard PvP person so when I don't do so well I am ok with it. But if I understand my class and it's strengths/limitations and play them to the best of my abilities I am content with playing my role well. 

    As a PvE oriented player, class balance ruins class uniqueness and this in turn kills the PvE aspects for me. Thinking back to vanilla WoW, this is one of my biggest complaints and main reason I left the game when I did because all the classes were homogenizing.

    RIP Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan and Paul Gray.

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